Online consultancy, like PPC or SEO, seems an attractive business. You work with interesting, innovative subjects, with modern tools and are continuously investing in new knowledge for your company and yourselves.
Most online ad agencies charge by the hour. Unlike other consultancy like strategy consulting the services in online PPC or SEO consultancy are rather fragmented in a sense that it is not unlikely that a consultant that needs to have 140 billable hours, allocates these hours to more than 10-15 customers. And I can say from experience that that is a lot harder to get efficient, than have a big consultancy assignment at 1 customer. Next to that the hourly rate you can charge is mostly lower than in strategy consulting. How to get such a business profitable?
It’s all in efficiency:
- Make sure that your services are highly standardized.
- Focus on 4-5 services max (SEO, PPC, Facebook etc.) per agency.
- Differentiate with and focus on segments, like B2B or real estate.
- Be sure you have templates for all kinds of documents.
- You have a fixed working schedule.
- Use the right tools.
- Update your knowledge, but don’t stare all day at twitter or blogs.