How To Become a Freelance Digital Marketer
In today's digital age, the demand for digital marketing professionals has growing exponentially. Digital marketing has become a crucial component for businesses to establish their online presence, promote their brand, and generate leads or sales. The increasing demand for digital marketing has also resulted in the growth of the freelancing market, making it a popular career choice. In this blog post, we will guide you through the steps required to become a successful digital marketing freelancer.
Step 1: Build Your Digital Marketing Skills
To become a freelance digital marketer, you need to either have a broad understanding of a range of digital marketing skills, or specialise in a single skill.
These skills include but are not limited to:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): The process of optimizing a website to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Content Marketing: The creation and promotion of content to attract and engage a target audience.
- Social Media Marketing: The use of social media platforms to promote a brand, product, or service.
- Email Marketing: The use of email campaigns to build relationships with customers and promote products or services.
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising: The process of paying for each click on an advertisement to drive traffic to a website.
- Analytics: The collection and analysis of data to make informed marketing decisions.
There are several ways to acquire these skills. An easy low cost way to start is to enroll in online courses. The best courses are generally provided either by experts in the field or even better the big tech platforms themselves. If you want to know about Meta ads for example the best thing to do is to sign up for one of the Meta official online courses. Once you have learned the basics you can get a certification which means you have reached a certain level of knowledge and capability, which is verified by the platforms. These certifications can provide credibility needed to start winning clients.
Another way is to build your own online property such as an eCommerce business and then start marketing that. This approach can be very low cost and enables you to learn by doing. For some people this is the best way to start learning about digital marketing. You can set up a website and use some Google or Meta credits to build your first campaign and start to learn what works, what doesn't. The experience of building and marketing your own business can act as a case study to go out and win new clients in a similar space.
Step 2: Marketing Yourself
Marketing is a crucial part of growing your client base and expanding your revenue streams. Here are some effective ways to generate new business as a digital marketing freelancer:
- Use your existing network: Reach out to your existing network of contacts, such as friends, family, and former colleagues, and let them know that you are available for freelance work. They may be able to refer you to potential clients or may have a need for your services themselves.
- Attend industry events: Attend networking events and conferences related to digital marketing and other relevant industries. This will provide you with opportunities to meet potential clients and other freelancers, as well as stay up-to-date on industry trends and developments.
- Use social media: Use social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram to showcase your work, share industry insights, and connect with potential clients. You can also use social media to join relevant groups and participate in discussions with other professionals in your industry.
- Create a strong online presence: Create a professional website that showcases your skills, experience, and portfolio. Optimize your website for search engines so that potential clients can easily find you when searching for digital marketing services.
- Use online marketplaces: Join online marketplaces for freelancers, such as Traktion or Marketerhire. These platforms provide a convenient way to connect with potential clients and bid on projects.
- Offer a referral program: Offer a referral program to your existing clients, where they can receive a discount on their next project or a cash incentive for referring new clients to you.
- Cold outreach: Reach out to potential clients directly through email or LinkedIn. Be sure to research their business and tailor your outreach to their specific needs.
According to a survey conducted by Statista, the global digital advertising spending is projected to grow to $526 billion in 2024. This growth presents a massive opportunity for digital marketing freelancers to generate new business. By utilizing these strategies, you can effectively generate new business as a digital marketing freelancer and continue to grow your client base.
Step 3: Create a Website and Social Media Presence
Having a website and a social media presence is important for any freelancer, but if you are a digital marketing freelancer it is essential. Your website acts as your digital storefront, providing potential clients with a place to learn about your services, view your client projects, and contact you. Your social media presence allows you to showcase your expertise, show the human side of you and what you do, as well as connect with potential clients on a frequent basis.
When creating your website, make sure it provides a great user experience and enables visitors an easy way to reach out and contact you. The ultimate goal after all is to get them to connect with you and set up a meeting. Use keywords and phrases that potential clients may search for in search engines, such as "digital marketing freelancer" or "digital marketing services."
On social media platforms, engage with your audience by sharing valuable content specific to the vertical or category of advertiser you want to win, participate in relevant discussions, and respond to comments and messages promptly.
Step 4: Network and Collaborate
Networking and collaborating with other freelancers or businesses in the industry can be beneficial for digital marketing freelancers. Collaborating with other freelancers or businesses can help expand your reach and provide you with new opportunities.
According to a survey by Traktion, the global freelancer platform, 48% of freelancers find new clients through networking, and 32% find new clients through referrals. Attending industry events, joining online communities and forums, and reaching out to other freelancers or businesses for collaboration opportunities are all effective ways to expand your network.
Step 5: Set Your Rates
Setting your rates as a digital marketing freelancer can be challenging. You want to make sure that you are pricing your services competitively while also ensuring that you are earning a fair wage. It is essential to research the rates of other digital marketing freelancers in your industry and location to determine your rates.
On Traktion 65% of freelancers review and adjust their rates each year so they remain competitive with the market as well as inflation.
Step 6: Pitch & Win
Pitching is a very important part of being a freelancer. In a pitch you are usually competing against someone else to win a piece of business. In a pitch the prospective client will usually provide a challenge for you to respond to. This is how they will judge your capabilities against the other person. This challenge could be something like 'slowing growth' or 'declining Meta Ads performance'.
Here are some strategies to help you win that pitch as a digital marketing freelancer:
- Research the client: Research the client and their industry to gain a deep understanding of their business and marketing needs. This will help you tailor your pitch to their specific needs and demonstrate your expertise.
- Show examples of past work: Show examples of your past work that are relevant to the client's needs. This will give them a clear understanding of what you can do and how you can help them achieve their goals.
- Highlight your unique selling proposition: Highlight your unique selling proposition (USP) and what sets you apart from other digital marketing freelancers. This could be your experience, your results, your approach, or your pricing.
- Create a compelling proposal: Create a compelling proposal that outlines your strategy, deliverables, timeline, and pricing. Make sure it is easy to understand, visually appealing, and tailored to the client's needs.
- Be confident and professional: Be confident and professional throughout the pitch process. Dress professionally, arrive on time, and demonstrate your expertise and passion for digital marketing.
- Build rapport with the client: Build rapport with the client by being personable, asking questions, and actively listening to their needs. This will help you build a strong relationship with the client and demonstrate that you are invested in their success.
- Follow up: Follow up with the client after the pitch to address any questions or concerns they may have and reinforce the value of your services. This will demonstrate your professionalism and commitment to their success.