Freelance Digital Marketing 101 - Road to Success
- 23 May, 2021
Everybody has some goals and ambitions. As a professional digital marketer, you may want to see yourself as a head of marketing in the next few years. In fact, you may probably be putting in lots of effort to achieve that goal.
Some people want to land a job abroad so they can earn better than what they currently earn in their country. But what if you can earn better or more than your existing salary and add international experience to your career while working from home?
As a freelance digital marketing specialist, you can do just that without leaving your loved ones or without working under strict AVPs or CEOs as the head of marketing.
In this guide, we will tell you more about freelance digital marketing, what skills you need to make a career in this field, how much you can earn, and how.
What Is Freelance Digital Marketing?
The online strategies a brand uses to achieve its marketing objectives is what freelance digital marketing is all about.
The number of large and small businesses employing freelance digital marketers is on the upsurge, whether it's for brand engagement, generating new leads, increasing customer value, or enhancing a brand's image.
Simply put, freelance digital marketing includes services like search engine optimization, community marketing, and social media marketing to help companies increase their fan base.
What Does a Freelance Digital Marketing Specialist Do?
Unlike other freelancers, a freelance digital marketer has to wear many hats.
They possess a wide range of skills from content and copywriting to social media, search engine optimization, ad production, website development, strategy building, and design.
Some freelance digital marketers specialize in one area, for instance, website design, while others may provide a variety of services at the same time.
If you want to start off with freelance digital marketing, you'll have to decide whether you want to provide only a few digital marketing services or a full range of them, depending on your skillset.
Let’s have an idea of what the actual freelance digital marketing job looks like. Below are some of the most common tasks executed by marketing freelancers:
Checking job posting websites for new project openings
Submitting proposals to get new clients
Networking with other freelancers
Search engine optimization for clients' websites (SEO)
Using Google AdWords and Bing Ads to run PPC campaigns
Facebook campaigns (free and paid)
Email marketing campaigns
Content development to meet the demands of online marketing campaigns
Producing a digital marketing strategy and action plan
Preparing monthly project reports
Issuing invoices to clients
How to Become a Freelance Digital Marketer?
Having a successful freelance digital marketing job is one thing, but just getting started is quite another!
It can feel almost miserable when you're just setting off, and it's easy to get frustrated or overwhelmed.
But let’s get rid of the nervousness now since we’ll go through the nuts and bolts of starting freelance digital marketing from the ground up.
Know What You’re Doing
This is step one because it is essentially an obligation; if you want to work as a freelance digital marketer, you must understand the basics of marketing.
It might seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people join the industry without a comprehensive understanding of basic marketing concepts.
You can't freelance on things like targeting, branding, interaction, contact, sales, advertisement, messaging, and follow-up if you are not already acquainted with it!
Develop The Requisite Skills
One of the requirements for working as a freelance digital marketer is to possess the necessary skills.
In a ‘traditional' workplace, you have other team members that can assist you with a task. In many situations, the employer can provide you with training and development opportunities, but this is not the case when you run a freelancing business.
To start off, working as an assistant to an accomplished freelance digital marketer is the first and most effective route.
Spend some time taking a course and earning a certificate. This will assist you in obtaining employment as a junior digital marketing specialist.
Learn how a digital marketing firm operates while working as part of a team. Ask questions and strive to follow in the footsteps of other professionals’ moves and procedures.
Remember that your target at this point isn't to land a job with a specific organization, but to learn as much as you can about how freelance digital marketing works.
Once you've worked on a few projects and are assured that you are ready to pursue it on your own, you’re all set to leave your job and become a freelance digital marketing specialist.
Limit your Niche
The next move is to pick your niche after you've established your strengths and skillsets. One major blunder made by many newbie freelancers in this step is they don't go into enough detail.
Many freelance digital marketers, for example, would opt to work with entrepreneurs and small business owners.
There are a lot of clients who fit this description, so if you target them, you think you’d have a better chance of landing a job, right?
But this is not quite the case. Consider that your clients can all be small business owners, but they're in different markets, have different target demographics and goods, and are pursuing different objectives.
You won't be able to tailor your pitch to be relevant to your customers, and you'll have a hard time persuading them that you can market their brands effectively.
Defining Your Specialty
Rather than sticking with a wide niche, narrow it down and choose something more specific. You will do so by posing the following questions to yourself:
What is the company's size? (in terms of number of employees, or revenue)
What industry does the company operate in?
What is the location of the company?
Think about the types of services you want to provide in addition to identifying your niche in terms of your target audience.
Obviously, the services you will provide would be influenced by your skill sets. You can't do Search Engine Marketing if you don't know how to run PPC advertising, for example.
Build Your Portfolio
As a freelance digital marketer, a CV alone won't get you the kind of clients that will help you develop a good, long-term career; you'll also need to build up a portfolio of work to present to potential clients.
At the very start of your career, offering your expertise and services in exchange for experience is a good thing as this will help you to build trust, hone your skills and give you plenty to add to your online portfolio.
If you're a content marketer, you can also send pitches to online magazines, writing on subjects that are relevant to your expertise. You'll gain valuable visibility and bylines as well as be able to show off your talents and niche knowledge.
When creating or updating your portfolio, make sure to include a professional profile shot of yourself, a synopsis, and real client testimonials to go along with each connection.
Tap into The Freelance Marketplaces
As a new freelance digital marketer for hire, you'll definitely have to rely on online freelance platforms to support your job.
There are 16 million people employed in the gig economy in the United States alone, securing projects in their field through freelancing websites.
You'll have a good chance of landing freelance digital marketing jobs if you find the right platform for your niche, optimize your profiles on those sites, and stay active.
These platforms have tools that allow you to keep track of your progress and get paid.
If you work on an hourly basis, your clients will be automatically invoiced and billed for your time at the end of each week.
If you're working on a fixed-price project, your client must deposit the agreed-upon sum before you begin.
These platforms are fantastic for showcasing your work, setting your own prices, and landing fantastic freelance digital marketing jobs without the hassle of bidding or begging for work.
Set Your Rates
If you're new to freelancing, you might be approached by businesses who ask if you'd work in exchange for exposure. You should always cast off such offers because your services are worth some money.
First and foremost, study what others are charging for similar services. You may either look at other freelancers' profiles to have a better idea of the market value of your services.
It's best not to wander too far from this number, at least when you're first getting started.
After all, you don't have much experience, so your first few clients won't see the value in paying you the price of a premium.
It’s favorable if you work on fixed-price projects because they can pay more than hourly projects if you work quickly and efficiently.
Your clients pay you for the value you provide, not the number of hours you put in your work!
Bonus: Get Hands-On These Useful Tools and Resources
There are a plethora of tools and resources available to you as a freelance digital marketer. Some will help you save time on administrative activities, and others will assist you with specific aspects of your marketing campaigns.
Check out these tools to boost your productivity and elevate your digital marketing efforts:
To produce SEO and website improvement-related leads, use SEOptimer's own Embeddable Audit Tool.
Hotjar will assist you in analyzing and optimizing your website.
SumoMe will help you in expanding your email list.
Wix is a website-building platform.
Pixabay is a site where you can find royalty-free photographs.
Canva is a platform where you can build social media models.
You can use a blog title generator to help you come up with headlines for your blog.
Hemingway will help you develop your writing skills.
Billing and Invoicing:
Bonsai as a source of freelance work
Harvest is used to create invoices for clients.
Freelance Digital Marketing Salary
Since freelance digital marketing is such a new idea, there isn't much information about expected pay levels available yet.
Let's take a look at what digital marketing managers earn around the world because as a freelance digital marketer, you can work from anywhere!
In the United States, the average income for a freelance digital marketer is $66,206 per year.
A digital marketing manager based in the United Kingdom can expect to earn around £40,000 on average, and a savvy freelancer can earn around the same.
Digital marketing managers in Australia earn an average of AU$79,260 a year, and freelancers should expect to earn the same if they put in the effort.
In Canada, the annual salary is $58,000. If you work in Ontario, the figure rises to $65,000, while Nova Scotians earn $45,500.
Top Freelance Digital Marketing Jobs
Freelance Digital Marketer
Your job as a freelance digital marketer would be writing email newsletters, seeking partnerships, managing Google advertising, managing Facebook ads, running digital marketing campaigns, and so on, depending on your client.
Freelance Content Marketer Specialist
As a freelance content marketing specialist, you could be working on blog posts, eBooks, white papers, book covers, social media posts, and newsletters
Freelance SEO Specialist
An SEO expert studies and analyzes web patterns and best practices in order to create and execute digital marketing techniques that boost search engine rankings.
The ultimate aim is to increase website traffic by using keywords and keyword topics to enhance user experience and comply with search engine guidelines.
Freelance Social Media Specialist
Freelance social media experts go to great lengths to ensure that a company's social media pages remain current.
It's all part of the job to post social media content on a regular basis, run contests, gather testimonials, analyze data across channels, and create content.
Freelance Search Engine Marketing Specialist
According to Search Engine Land, "SEM is the method of generating website traffic by buying advertisements on search engines."
Freelance search engine marketing specialists use analytics to analyze website traffic trends and determine which pay-per-click advertising campaigns work best.
Woot! You've made it to the end of this comprehensive guide, and you're now a self-proclaimed expert on how to start as a freelance digital marketer.
Let’s not sugarcoat things and get to the reality that there are a lot of freelance digital marketers out there, and standing out in such a competitive field is difficult.
However, if you bring something unique to the table and are willing to learn new skills, there's nothing stopping you from doubling or even tripling your income by doing freelance digital marketing jobs.
Summon up: the key is to have something genuinely useful to your customers and to stick it out rather than giving up too soon. Good Luck!