How to Become an Advertising Consultant


You need years of advertising industry experience or an advanced education to become an advertising consultant. This helps you develop expertise in a specific area of advertising, as well as build up a large network of contacts and potential clients.


Although not a formal requirement, having an undergraduate or graduate degree related to advertising will be of great benefit in this career.


If you want to become successful in this field, you will also need to make sure this career aligns with your interest, skills, and personality traits.


Does the following describe you?


• You have a passion for communicating with people through advertising

• You have an interest in creating, implementing and evaluating advertising campaigns

• You enjoy the idea of working as a freelance contractor

• You have interest in a career that allows you to possibly work from home or travel

• You have self-confidence and a competitive spirit

• You have an interest in developing expertise in a specific area of advertising


Below we've provided detailed information on what you'll need to get started on this career path.



Experience Needed

Advertising consultants have expertise in a specific area of advertising, which may be a type of product or service, industry sector, an advertising technique, an advertising medium, or other area.


In order to develop this expertise, you'll likely need to work in an advertising agency for at least several years before establishing their own consulting business.


These years of practical experience will also help you to develop a large network of professional contacts and potential clients.



Education Needed to Become an Advertising Consultant

While experience is arguably the most important thing you need to become an advertising consultant, a solid educational background in advertising strategies and marketing is also highly beneficial.


Most consultants have earned at least a bachelor's degree in marketing, advertising, communications, or a closely related field.





Advertising Consultant Job Description

Advertising consultants are independent contractors or representatives of an advertising agency that are called upon by companies to provide short-term or long-term advertising guidance.


They help their clients generate revenue by advising them on how to best advertise their product or service within specified budgetary restrictions. They must be able to provide creative advertising solutions for specific campaigns, or long-term general strategies, based on a thorough understanding of the client’s needs, goals and specific sales objectives.


Advertising consultants essentially serve as a knowledge base for how a company can reach new customers, or up-sell to their existing ones. In addition to providing advice, they may be responsible for to developing strategic ad campaigns, writing copy or purchase appropriate ad space.



General Job Duties

• Consult with customers to determine their business needs and what they expect of the client

• Confer with client in order to gain a thorough understanding of their needs and goals

• Analyze market data to recommend most effective and cost efficient advertising methods

• Pitch new advertising campaign ideas and help bring plans into focus

• Work closely with the creative team of their employer, or the ad agency they represent 

• Advise as to how to develop sales in a specified region or territory using different forms of advertisements

• Advise clients as to how they can ensure an existing customer will remain with them in the future

• Advise clients as to how to make the most of the business of an existing client by up-selling products or services



Marketing Vs. Advertising Consultant: What is the Difference?

In business, “marketing” refers to the planning of, and steps taken, to bring merchants and consumers together. Advertising is but one step in this process. It's the part that involves getting the word out concerning a business, a product, or the services a business is offering.


In addition to the advertising component, marketing also involves market research, pricing analysis, public relations, sales strategy, and other areas.


Unlike marketing consultants, advertising consultants are only responsible for overseeing the advertisement component of an organization’s overall marketing strategy.



Characteristics Needed to Be Successful

In order to become a successful in this profession, you'll need to be able to survive the ups and downs that are inherent to it. You also need to enjoy what you do, if you’re going to devote your professional energy to it. The personality traits it takes to succeed in this career include:


• A passion for communicating with people through advertising

• A creative, outgoing and energetic personality

• A competitive and confident attitude

• The motivation and determination to succeed in a highly competitive field

• Able to effectively deal with stress

• Enjoy coordinating information

• Interest in a career that allows you to possibly work from home or travel

• Interest in working in a creative field, with business responsibilities 





Skills Needed to Get Work

Having a great mind for advertising in not enough if you want to secure work as an advertising consultant. After all, what good is having skills in the profession if you aren’t able to effectively market your services?


To get hired as an advertising consultant, you’ll need an additional skill set related to marketing, promoting and selling your services, including:


• Having a good idea of what kind of companies you will market

• Able to formulate an effective marketing plan for reaching those potential customers

• Able to adequately assess the advertising needs of clients

• Able to effectively price your services (under-pricing can be as dangerous as over-pricing)

• Able to convince potential clients to hire you by showing how you can meet their needs and increase their revenue



Skills You'll Need to Prosper

You need a certain set of skills in order to become competent in this profession, including:


• Expertise in the advertising of specific types of products or services

• The ability to effectively assess the advertising needs of an organization’s product or services

• Able to effectively create an ad campaign, or an element of a campaign that meets those needs

• The ability to work within a strict deadline

• The ability to work within budgetary restrictions

• Must be able to quickly adapt to working with new team members

• Excellent presentation and persuasion skills



Who Creates Jobs for Advertising Consultants?

Jobs for advertising consultants can be found with any size organization, in virtually any industry.


Advertising consultants are hired when an advertising mind with a proven track-record of success is needed to supplement the efforts of in-house staff, typically within a specific product area. They are most often hired as freelance contractors, as the employer needs their experience and expertise, but cannot justify the expense of adding a new employee to payroll.


Advertising consultants are typically employed as independent contractors, who's client base is composed of a built up a network of employers who call upon them for short-term solutions.


Sometimes, employers hire advertising agencies, rather than freelance contractors to perform consulting work. Many ad agencies employ advertising consultants as part or full-time employees, and assign them to work on specific projects that they have been contracted for.



Where are Jobs for Advertising Consultants?

Jobs in this field can be found mainly, although not exclusively, with organizations that operate in urban areas. Many times, advertising consultants are able to work virtually, via computer, meaning there's a lot of flexibility in where they are able to find jobs.


For example, an advertising consultant based out of Edmonton, Alberta may be hired by an food product distributor based in Toronto, Ontario, and may be able to work from their home office in Edmonton. 



Typical Salary Level

The amount an advertising consultant earns can vary widely from one to the next, depending on the following factors:


• The amount of projects they work they are able to secure during the year

• How much they charge for their services (an hourly, monthly, project based, or annual fee)

• If there are performance-based incentives built into their contract

• Their level of experience and aptitude

• The region in which they work

• The specific responsibilities of their job


There is no salary information available from reliable sources for the career Advertising Consultant. We can however, get a good idea of what they earn by looking at the salary level of workers in closely related occupations*.


Salaries in Canada (Alberta figures only): According to the 2018 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans working in the Marketing Managers occupational group (which is the closest field that was available for statistical purposes) earn an average salary of $99,784 per year. Unfortuately, similar statistics were not available for other Canadian provinces from reputable sources.


Salaries in the United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary level of American workers in the Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers occupational group is $88,590 per year. Salaries in the 10th percentile are below $43,270, and those in the 95th percentile are above $187,200 per year.


*The salary information provided is a combination of hourly, salaried, contractual, part-time and full-time employees.



Advertising Consulting Jobs

Our job board below has "Advertising Consultant" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.





Career Advancement Opportunities

Career advancement for advertising consultants can come in many forms. As they successfully complete more projects, and their name gets out their more, these professionals are able to attract more clients and charge more for their services.


They may also choose to expand their consultancy by bringing in more consultants, who specialize in other areas, thus being able to offer clients a wider range of services and expertise. 



Work Environment

Work Setting: Advertising consultants work out of their client’s office, their own office, or a home office. Advertising consultants work with some clients face to face, and others they work with remotely via computer. They may have to travel frequently in order to meet clients, if remote work is not an option.


Working Hours: Advertising consultants can work a wide variety of hours. They typically work on advertising projects during the daytime, and spend some time working on marketing their services and performing administrative duties in the evenings and during the weekends. 



Similar Careers in Our Database

Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to Advertising Consultant, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.


Advertising Account Executive

Advertising Manager

Creative Director

Marketing Consultant

Market Research Analyst

Media Buyer




To find out more about what an advertising consultant does, how much they earn, and other details of this career, please consult the following resources:


Occupations in Alberta: “Management Consultant.” (January 31, 2017). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved October 18, 2019.

Occupational Outlook Handbook - Management: “Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers.” (September 4, 2019). United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved October 18, 2019.

Communications and Journalism:Advertising Concept Consultant: Job Description, Duties and Outlook.” (September 23, 2019). website. Retrieved October 18, 2019.

Careers:Behind the job title: What it takes to be a marketing consultant.” (April 27, 2011). The Guardian website. Retrieved October 18, 2019.



Scholarships for Becoming an Advertising Consultant

Looking for Canadian or American scholarships to help you on your way to becoming an advertising consultant? We’ve got you covered! Here's how to find the best-suited scholarships:


• On, our scholarship listings are sorted by major

• The “Relevant Fields of Study” section below shows what majors apply to this career

• Search scholarships by major on our All Scholarships by Major page


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Relevant Fields of Study

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point for getting into this field. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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