If you plan to make $200 per hour doing something, you first need to believe that someone is willing to pay that much for what you do. So what makes web analytics worth $200 per hour? Convincing people that you’re worth that much is your second challenge. Your first challenge is convincing someone they need to pay someone to do web analytics at all.
This isn’t a new problem. Kevin Kelly talks about the changing network effects in different phases of the evolution of all new markets:
Maximizing the value of the net itself soon becomes the number one strategy for a firm. For instance, game companies will devote as much energy to promoting the platform—the tangle of users, game developers, and hardware manufacturers—as they do to their games … During certain phases of growth, feeding the network is as important as feeding the firm.
What he’s saying is that people have to want a game before they can want your game. It’s the same with analytics. People have to want analytics services before they can want your analytics services.
Do Not Want!
Web analytics suffers from the same issues as copywriting: Everyone thinks they can write, so they don’t value good writing. Same with analytics. Anyone can read charts on Google, and with a couple of days practice you can even set up split tests. What do you need to pay someone for?
The consultants already making money at it will tell you that that yes, anyone can optimize a site with enough testing. What you’re paying the big bucks for is someone who can skip past two months of split testing and show results in the first week. Some people are that good. Identifying them out of all the ones claiming to be that good is hard.
Your challenge in getting clients is mostly going to be convincing them the service can have a large impact. Large companies already know this. That won’t help you, because they already have people doing it.
That leaves small businesses. There’s a ton of opportunity for small businesses to use an analytics consultant. Convincing them of that is the hard part. Do you plan on cold-calling small businesses? How will you get leads? What’s your pitch going to be?
Oh, you don’t want to be a salesman? You don’t want to sell yourself that way? Sorry then, I guess I can’t tell you how to make $200 per hour doing analytics after all.