There has never been a better time to get into digital marketing. Well, except for yesterday! No worries. It’s not too late. Keep reading to see how to begin freelance digital marketing in today’s ever-growing digital world.
Here’s a glimpse of what will be covered for you today:
- Freelance Digital Marketing is explained in detail.
- Ups and Downs of Freelancing: what to expect and what to look forward to.
- How to Begin Freelance Digital Marketing.
So, you want to get into digital marketing? Perhaps you’re interested in doing digital marketing on the side? Start freelancing as a career? Or you simply need some tips for implementing digital marketing into your existing business.
By the end of this blog, you’ll be ready to confidently take the plunge into digital marketing.
Digital Marketing Agency vs. Freelance Digital Marketing
First things first, what exactly is digital marketing?
By definition, digital marketing is the promotion of your product or brand using the internet and electronic devices to reach your audience.
Let’s say you own a custom tee-shirt business. You could design and print off 100 shirts to fill up a booth at your local mall. Everyone walking past the booth would see your shirts, and you might even sell a few on your first day. A couple weeks go by, you notice your daily sales decline. The people that regularly visit the mall have either purchased a shirt already or aren’t interested.
What now? You have so many new designs you want to print off, but you can’t seem to sell the lot you’ve got on display already. You need to get your shirts in front of a new audience. It’s time for some digital marketing.
Digital Marketing Agency
One option is to contact a digital marketing agency and promote your product via social media, online advertisements, and build you a website from which you can sell your tee-shirts. Expanding your audience beyond the mall, potentially, to anyone with internet access.
Fantastic! Think about the possibilities. Now you just need to make shirts and watch them fly off the shelf. Wait a minute. You are selling many more tee shirts than you were at the mall. Why are you not makings more money? Digital Marketing Agencies are great if you can justify it based on the ROI (Return on Investment).
Freelance Digital Marketing
Again, no worries. With some time, effort and patience, you can do the digital marketing yourself. Doing digital marketing for yourself allows you to gain complete control of your situation. It will take you longer to learn and perform the necessary digital marketing skills, but once you know what you are doing, the potential to expand and start taking on projects for other small businesses and professionals that will pay you to do their digital marketing. This is called freelancing.
To recap, the role of a freelance digital marketer is to assist their clients with promoting their products/services online. You must get their audience’s attention, bring them to your client’s website, and turn them into paying customers.
My Top Suggestions for Beginning Freelance Digital Marketing
Digital marketing can be categorized into several unique fields. From content marketing to data analysis, affiliate marketing to online advertising. Just to name a few. All of which are beneficial to include in a business’s marketing strategy. Every business requires a combination of these fields, but not every field is necessary for every business.
We will focus on the 4 types of digital marketing well suited to the freelancer looking to get the ball rolling…
If you would like to learn more about digital marketing and become certified in any of the following types, just click the one you’re interested in.
Content marketing refers to any type of content created to interact with an audience in one way or another. To discuss content in more detail, we will break it down to plan, create and deliver.
Before you start anything, it is important to develop a strategic plan based on the client’s targeted audience. The end goal is to have your audience perform a specific task (this could be joining an email list, following a social media profile, placing an order, etc.). Choosing the type of content that appeals to your audience and the platform(s) that get you to your end goals.
SEO is all about getting your website to rank as high as possible on Google or any other search engine, using keyword research, on-page and off-page optimization, etc.
This has become more popular over the years, and companies are willing to invest a considerable amount to have their website ranking high on Google. It makes sense since customers are online doing the research before making a purchase, more than ever before.
There are many tools available to improve your SEO. For more information on SEO, click here.
While SEO looks to increase search engine ranking organically, SEM is used to increase a company’s visibility on search engines through paid advertisements and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads. The idea here is by spending money, your company can increase sales and revenue in a shorter amount of time.
Social media marketing your using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and many more to promote your brand. You are creating a line of communication by increasing followers and then engaging with them. You can see what others are saying about you and use it to improve your brands’ image.
Be careful, it may seem simple, but there is a lot that goes into social media. Creating various posts and knowing the best time to post to get the most engagement from your followers is an art. Read this for more on social media, and there are many tools available like HeroPost.
What to Expect in Freelance Digital Marketing
The Upside of Freelancing
For starters, you are your own boss. You decide when and where you work. Never a dull moment since every job you take on will be different. Most of all, you decide how much you get paid. Basically, you can work as hard as you want to or as little as you feel like. Everything is up to you.
Such responsibility, however, comes with a downside.
The Downside of Freelancing
The industry is vast and continues to expand every day. The number of digital marketers available increases daily and shows no sign of slowing down.
Work can be a challenge to find at times, leaving you with inconsistent earnings from week to week and month to month.
In an ever-growing industry such as digital marketing, the constant need for upgrading skills and learning new techniques becomes your responsibility. This can become pricey to do without the help of a company that invests in its employees.
Starting Your Freelance Career.
For the record, becoming a freelance digital marketer can be done in many different ways. Often leaving a person overwhelmed and unsure where to begin. The following steps can provide you with a place to start. Some direction for anyone looking at freelancing.
- Be prepared.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to be prepared for what’s to come. Being a freelancer can have its challenges. Stress can be difficult to deal with. Being prepared and knowing how to manage stressful situations that come up is extremely important.
Managing your time and workload can help you meet your deadlines and keep you from taking on more than you can handle.
Keep in mind you will need time to build a reputation for yourself. Finding jobs can be tough at first. As you gain more experience and grow your portfolio, it will be easier to land new clients.
- Make a list of your skills.
What skills do you already have to offer?
Do you have any experience?
What are you most interested in?
Any digital marketing software or tools that you’ve used.
Experience with Facebook Ads or PPC campaigns. A passion for data and numbers or problem-solving. Graphic design or intriguing storytelling abilities that you can utilize.
- Your Niche.
Keep in mind that any company looking to outsource work will be more interested in someone who has experience in their industry than someone unfamiliar. A common problem for new freelancers is targeting generic clients such as small businesses. This will increase your chance of finding potential clients, but you will have difficulty selling yourself to every small business you come across.
Narrowing in on a particular industry allows you to become an expert in your industry. Now you have a better chance of landing jobs. Pitches to clients become easier when you are knowledgeable and confident in what you’re talking about.
- Build your Brand.
Your brand is where you set yourself apart from the competition. Start with what you would like to be known for or what you want clients to say about you.
For example, you want to be seen as innovative and willing to take risks to get results. You might want to create an exceptional website. Include the newest practices and have grand ideas ready for pitches to potential clients. Start using AI where possible to show that you are up to date with the latest technology and will continue to update your practice.
Stay professional, knowledgeable, and true to yourself. Be careful not to lose your personality. You want to leave clients thinking you are personable, easy to work with, professional and that you provide an excellent service.
Design yourself a memorable logo that clients will remember and immediately associate with you. More importantly, you should have a freelance website where you can showcase all your work. To start, you won’t have much for your website, but when you get jobs, you can begin adding them to your CV page. As you grow professionally, your website will improve and become an invaluable asset.
- Start looking for jobs.
Finally, this is what you’ve been thinking about from the beginning. Finding jobs today has become quite easy. There are plenty of platforms that have been created specifically for freelancers looking for jobs and companies looking to outsource specific jobs.
Some popular freelance platforms available are:
- Fiverr – budget digital marketing.
- Contently – brand content marketing.
- ClearVoice – unified digital marketing.
- Torchlite – digital marketing project management.
- LinkedIn – B2B digital marketing.
- Upwork – wide digital marketing talent pool.
- Find your price.
It can be intimidating to discuss prices with clients. If you don’t, you will get taken advantage of. So you must understand your worth.
Once you decide on a range value to use as a base, you can negotiate a final price with your client. Regardless of the amount you earn for your work, you want to be sure to execute the job well and meet your deadline. The cost of a bad review can do more damage financially than getting slightly underpaid on a single job.
You can use any or all of the steps we just covered. My goal is to show you where to start and the confidence to begin your journey as a freelancer.
Thank you for reading, and best of luck! I would love to hear about your experiences getting started with freelancing, so be sure to leave a comment with your story. If you have additional advice for someone just starting out, please share in the comments section too.
About the Author
Richard is a digital marketing analyst at the International Institute of Digital Marketing and wants to share his passion, knowledge and skills accumulated along the way to help businesses grow their online presence and maximize their marketing efforts.