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Internet consulting is an exciting branch of consulting that is concerned with the development of business through the Internet and Internet technology. Internet consultants are professionals who use their skills to advise corporations, entrepreneurs, business establishments, and a variety of other organizations on how to improve business and profits by using the Internet.
Internet consultants also give advice on how to reach untapped markets, improve customer service, and improve corporate image. Additionally, Internet consultants often run a variety of in-house and external training programs for employees, executives, and managers on a range of Internet technical aspects like using web mail, setting up a website, using software, or using search engines for business use. Many Internet consultants also design and manage websites in addition to providing advice to corporate clients.
Profile and Services Provided
The consultant's level of service matches the needs of the client. Some clients need only basic levels of Internet service, while others need a variety of complex services. Consultants should aim to provide an array of simple-to-access tools for their clients so that their clients' companies can maximize use of these tools.
For example, some brick-and-mortar groups may need only a website to extend their online presences, whereas larger retailers may want to set up secure, e-commerce-enabled websites that can accept transactions online. Businesses may want to keep a tab on web statistics like traffic details and page rank. Others may be interested in finding buyers for their products and services or locating suppliers and raw-material providers.
The Internet is a fast-paced, dynamic, and interactive medium, and new technologies are regularly introduced. Internet consultants should remain abreast of the recent developments; otherwise, they face the risk of becoming technologically obsolete. Internet consultants, therefore, must be constant learners. They must also spend a lot of time networking with current and prospective business clients.
Qualifications and Earnings
Internet consultants are either self-employed or work at consulting firms. To become an internet consultant, no specific education is necessary, but a college-level education is recommended. It is imperative that consultants have in-depth knowledge of the Internet and current web technologies.
Depending on the skills and experiences of Internet consultants, median annual earnings can range from $50,000 to $80,000. Independent consultants directly contact businesses and firms to promote their businesses, whereas salaried consultants work on projects assigned through their consulting firms.
Deciding whether to work as an independent or salaried consultant is entirely up to the individual. Self-employed Internet consultants enjoy the freedom of working according to their schedules. However, their work depends upon demand and market conditions. On the other hand, consulting firms may hire marketing professionals to promote their consulting services to the market, so salaried consultants are typically insulated from marketing activities.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment opportunities for consultants will grow faster than average through the year 2014. Internet consultants may need to work long hours to meet their clients' needs. Prospective Internet consultants should keep in mind that there is no fixed duration for assignments, which may last from a few days or weeks to a few months. However, consultants with the right mix of experience and skills will find opportunities in this growing market.