While a lot of people want to get a job in digital marketing, being a freelance digital marketer is one of the best freelance careers you can have.
You’re directly responsible for increasing sales for a business (which makes you valuable and less expendable), you have the freedom to travel or live abroad, and depending on your skills – you can make a lot of money.
So, in this post, I’m going to show you how to become a freelance digital marketer – as well as give you a few tips that I use when freelancing.
1. Choose your industry / niche
One of the first things you’re going to want to do is pick a specific niche that you’re going to target.
Choosing a specific niche allows you to optimize your marketing materials, pitches, and learn a lot about an entire industry – thus improving the value you can bring to your client.
Now, you don’t have to only work with businesses in this specific industry, but it’s best to focus on 1 or 2 industries in the beginning.
However, if potential clients outside of the industries you’re focused on contacts you for your services – you don’t have to turn them away if you feel you can do a good job.
2. Make sure you’re skilled enough to get results
You have to know digital marketing in order to become a successful freelance digital marketer. There’s really no way around that one.
Now, the reason this section is titled “Make sure you’re skilled enough to get results” instead of “Be a rock star digital marketer” is because you don’t need to be a rock star.
You only need to be skilled enough to provide the client with a positive ROI. Which is basically a way of saying: provide more value than what you cost.
Different niches can have different techniques and strategies that work better than others. By choosing a specific niche (step 1) – you’ll be able to learn and test what strategies work better – as well as learn and work around legal/compliance guidelines (if applicable).
Allowing you boost the amount of value you can provide to your client.
3. Promote yourself
Now that you know what niche you’re going to target and you feel confident in your ability to get results – start promoting yourself.
During this promotion period, you should have a personal website with information about how you can help potential clients, a blog with informational content, a way for potential clients to contact you, and a few landing pages if you’re going to run an advertising campaign.
It’s best to get most of your marketing materials together as soon as possible.
Content marketing such as your blog posts, videos, infographics, and etc. should all be apart of a long-term strategy.
Here are a few things I’d recommend for getting your marketing together fairly quickly:
- WordPress (as your website & blogging platform)
- Cloudways (your website hosting)
- Genesis Framework (a theme for your website)
- Upwork (to help get your first few clients AND to hire contractors when needed)
- Canva (to create graphcis)
- Mailchimp (for email marketing)
Because once you start taking on clients, if you’re the only employee, it’s likely that you’ll be busy doing client work and won’t have a lot of free time to work on your own website and marketing materials.
4. Have a written process for as many things as possible
This is an area that I’ve personally struggled with.
In the beginning of my freelance digital marketing career, I was always focused on the results and avoided spending time writing down processes for things. Although I had the process in my head, when hiring additional help – it became more time consuming to teach them what was inside my head instead of just doing it myself (which held me back from scaling up).
While it was great for my clients, they were able to get great results at a cheaper price, it was unsustainable for me.
By having processes for the majority of the tasks you do as a freelance digital marketer, the more consistent experience and value you’ll be able to provide your client.
You’ll also be able to track what parts of your processes are least efficient, improve them, and watch your income and/or quality of life improve.
Your written processes manage you and your employees. You manage the process.
Here are a few things you should have processes for:
- Onboarding new clients (Process for first 90 days)
- Process for reporting (I’d recommend creating your own templated reports using Google Sheets and the Supermetrics add-on)
- Process for each task you do for a client (If you’re changing title tags, changing paid search bids, creating content, etc. – write down why you’re doing and how you know what to optimize it to.)
- Process for handling client questions
- And more..
Now, you don’t need to create all of these processes before getting clients. The more experience you have dealing with clients – the more processes you’ll be able to create.
And then, once it’s time to start bringing in employees or contractors, it should be relatively easy to get them up to speed and working efficiently.
To become a freelance digital marketer, you’ll need to:
- Choose the niche you’d like to work in
- Make sure you have the skills to give the client value
- Promote yourself and your brand
- Have a written process for as many things as possible
Just by doing the above 4 things, you’ll have an edge up on the competition.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll help you out as much as possible.