How To Become a Web Consultant in 7 Steps
Web consultants use their knowledge of web development to help clients with the digital aspects of their business. These professionals often have experience in programming, coding, graphic design or computer science. If you're interested in helping others through web development, you might consider a career as a web consultant. In this article, we explain how to become a web consultant, define the role and its job duties and discuss useful skills for the position.
What is a web consultant?
A web consultant is a technical professional who works with clients to promote the success of their business through web development and design. These consultants provide practical suggestions for improving the online presence of their clients and their businesses. They might work as a freelancer or for a web consulting firm, but it's typical for these professionals to only work with clients during a project. Consultants may work with several clients at once, depending on each project.
When hired by a company, a web consultant may travel to various clients in order to provide on-site services. Each consultant might provide a unique array of services based on their previous work experience. For example, if a consultant worked as a software engineer, their specialty might be the internal code of a website rather than the aesthetic appearance.
What does a web consultant do?
A web consultant might advise clients on how to best market a new product on their website or help a client completely restructure their company brand online. Clients hire a consultant in order to actualize their vision for content or a website. Rather than simply performing web design precisely how a client requests, consultants advise clients to ensure the project is successful. They partner with their clients to provide solutions regarding websites, content and marketing strategy. Specific job duties may include:
Making a plan for restructuring a website
Ensuring the client's website is technically accurate
Tracking the progress of a project after it's completed
Planning new, branded content for a client
Troubleshooting technical issues with a website
Performing research to make informed suggestions
Hiring a team of web designers to assist with changes
Related: Career Options for Consultants
Web consultant skills
Web consultants may provide a wide range of services based on their particular knowledge and skills, such as:
Knowledge of coding and the various coding languages can equip web consultants to decide which language is best for a client to use. While each project might have different needs, web consultants with extensive coding knowledge can recommend changes specific to the client. Coding skills may also help the consultant alter the client's code themselves, which might save time compared to outsourcing to a specialist. Web consultants may have experience with certain types of coding, depending on their previous positions. For example, a consultant who worked as a website developer likely has previous knowledge of writing and editing code.
Graphic design skills
Some web consultants may benefit from graphic design skills, which often involve the creation of branded content for a client, such as logos or promotional material. For example, if a client wants to re-brand their personal website, a web consultant might draft a few versions of a new logo, using graphic design software.
Related: Graphic Designer Skills: Definition and Examples
The ability to exercise strong writing skills can benefit web consultants because they communicate with clients or they may write content for a website. Their writing style might vary from client to client, based on specifications or preferences. A web consultant with writing skills can adapt to each client's requests in order to deliver well-developed content.
Another aspect of this position involves working with others to complete projects. For example, a web consultant interacts with clients to advise and offer suggestions. Then, the consultant might outsource the work to a trusted team of web designers. It's important for these professionals to have strong interpersonal skills to maintain professional relationships with clients and partners.
It's helpful for web consultants to have strong communication skills to accurately and professionally provide guidance to their clients. This work requires back-and-forth communication about a project to ensure it meets the client's request. The web consultant also communicates with their team to ensure they understand their work assignments.
How to become a web consultant in 7 steps
Here are seven steps you can take to become a web consultant:
1. Pursue an education
Many positions in this field require an associate or bachelor's degree in computer science, web development or a related technical field. This education can equip professionals to make informed suggestions to clients about their online presence. While it's helpful for consultants to possess a broad knowledge of web development and design, some might have a specialty based on their area of study.
2. Complete an internship
Internships can help web consultants gain valuable experience working with clients and providing services. It's common for web consultants to start their consulting careers after working as a web developer or in a similar role. This can prepare them for a career as a consultant by providing tangible experience working on complex projects. Typically, internships are available during college or after graduation to equip students to start in the industry.
Related: Common Web Developer Interview Questions (With Example Answers)
3. Build your own website
It's helpful to have a way for prospective employers to view your portfolio. Consider building a website to showcase your previous projects while using the site itself to reflect your skills. If you decide to work as a freelance web consultant, use this website as a place to generate business. You might include contact information or details about the consulting services you provide.
4. Set a rate for your services
If you're providing web consultations as a freelancer, it's important to set a rate for your services. You can research what other web consultants charge for the same services to ensure your price is fair and competitive. You may also consider setting different price points based on the specific services a client requests and display this information on your website so clients know your rates from the start.
Related: How To Price Your Products To Maximize Profit (With Tips)
5. Develop a list of your services
For both freelance consultants and those who work for a firm, it's helpful to have an extensive list that explains the services you provide. For example, if you have experience in graphic design, you might list logo creation and rebranding on your list. Having a list can help you know if you can help a client with their request before the project begins.
6. Apply for jobs
Whether you apply for jobs with a web consulting firm or decide to work as a freelancer, you can apply for jobs to begin your career. Job applications typically require a resume that includes your education, work experience, skills and any other qualifications that equip you for the position. It's helpful to read the job description before applying to ensure your resume accurately matches the role. Consider including a cover letter to provide the employer with more information about your skills.
7. Continue learning
Technical professions like web consulting often undergo changes as technology continues to improve. You can continue learning about changes in the industry by reading journal articles or talking with your colleagues. Staying updated about new techniques or software can contribute to your success at work by helping you remain at the forefront of developments in the industry.
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