If you’re new to marketing consulting or are considering becoming a consultant (and perhaps have big goals — hey, it is possible to earn six figures and have work-life balance!), then this e-book is for you. This summer, head over to Peet’s, spend less than an Iced Caramel Macchiato and sit for a bit to read “The Silicon Valley Guide to Becoming a Six-Figure Marketing Consultant” by Alison Sokoloff. Why?
1. It’s Alison.
Alison Sokoloff has experienced life in Silicon Valley for the past 20 years. Call her a Veteran (with a capital V) in the crazy, interesting tech world — which includes work at the greats, namely Intuit, PayPal, Oracle, Sun Microsystems and Symantec, not to mention Intel.
Her backstory includes a side of corporate America that’s not often talked about, but experienced by many. Corporate acquisitions, “old-timer” colleagues slowly but steadily being removed, re-orgs and inevitably, herself being laid off — presenting a fork in the road, where she ultimately chose consulting as her right path.
What she’s discovered is that the majority of tech companies rely on a nearly invisible army of highly-paid consultants who run great marketing campaigns that launch and grow some of technology’s greatest products and services.
2. It’s practical.
What’s easy to love about this book is the practicality it brings. She provides two quizzes that help you determine if you’re ready to go out on your own. Quiz #1 asks tough questions about what kind of lifestyle and skills you desire, and Quiz #2 assesses your ability to be self-employed.
She covers the pros and cons of consulting. As a biased marketing consultant myself, I’ll only share the pros below. (Feel free to read the book to get the cons!)
- Time freedom
- Location flexibility
- Lucrative pay
- Building a network and work portfolio by and for yourself
- Working with companies on the bleeding edge of technical innovation
Be sure to soak in the chapter dedicated to finding work in the gig economy. How do you find new work and clients? This is a big concern for anyone who does consulting. You can let EM Marketing help you find your next project, but as Alison states, often it’s networking, warm emails, warm calling, some cold calling and connecting with recruiters. Oh, and don’t forget that we live in an ageist culture, so if you’re “mid-career,” consider the contemporary image you’d like to project — your appearance must suggest adaptability, flexibility and vigor.
Lastly, what do you do when you’re hired? How’s this for a practical (wake-up call?) statement: “Consultants are not given the cool jobs. We are hired to dig ditches, so be the type of person who is ready to roll up your sleeves and start shoveling.” You’ll find out how to fold into a team, how to work with twenty-somethings and how to stay in touch with your industry and peers.
3. It’s time.
Does this sound like you? A daily grind of endless meetings at your current job. Toiling away in a cube farm, wondering if this is how you’ll spend the next 20 years. You’re a marketing pro who really wants to enjoy work and personal life in a full- or part-time capacity… Perhaps it’s time to truly consider consulting. As a first step, take a moment to read Alison’s book. It’s worth so much more than that iced coffee!