Do you want to become a digital marketing freelancer?
Are you someone who want to work on your own terms with complete flexibility?
Are you still wondering about how to start freelancing as a Digital Marketer?
Do you want to know how to get freelance Digital Marketing projects?
If you have any of these questions going on in your mind, this guide on freelance digital marketing will help you start your journey successfully.
Believe me, if you decide to become a full-time freelancer, you are going to love the flexibility that comes along.
And by the end of this blog, you will have a lot more clarity on the what and how of Freelance Digital Marketing.
It is very important for one to set the expectations right as Freelancing comes with its set of pros and cons. So, let’s first understand what exactly is Freelancing?
What is Freelancing?
Freelancers are people who work for themselves and not for any company or organization. They work on contract basis with different clients and are ultimately self-employed.
Being a Freelancer means that you have no full-time job security, instead you have the flexibility to work on your own terms. You get to choose the projects you want to take at the time you prefer while being at the place of your choice. You can work while travelling to your dream destination, or from home while spending quality time with your family.
But as someone has rightly said, with Great POWER comes Great RESPONSIBILITY!
A freelancing lifestyle requires a strong mindset to be successful. More flexibility and less boundations means that it is very easy for you to get distracted and lose focus. It is your responsibility to keep track of yourself and stay focused. Feel free to check out this blog on how to maintain a strong mindset.
Now you must be wondering, can you be a Freelancer?
Who can become a Freelancer?
To be honest, anyone can be a freelancer.
Literally, anyone from a 15 year old in school or a 50 year old with no relevant background can become a freelancer. It requires no degree or certificate for you to become a freelancer.
All you need is a set of relevant skills and a client to begin with. It is not recommended to wait to start freelancing till you become an expert in your field. You should start freelancing as soon as you achieve some marketable skills.
Being a freelancer is more of a lifestyle choice. If you want to be your own boss, living with complete flexibility and are ready to leave the societal concept of job security behind, becoming a freelancer will be the perfect choice for you.
Even if you don’t want to become a full-time freelancer by leaving your job/business completely, you can always generate some extra income with freelancing as a side-gig.
Why should you opt Freelancing?
We have already discussed some of the benefits of Freelancing. Let’s summarize them and have a look at some more points.
You should opt freelancing because it:
- Provides the flexibility to work on your own terms.
- Offers multiple sources of income from multiple clients resulting in income stability.
- Takes you out of your comfort zone as you have to keep hustling continuously.
- You will learn how to sell your services, deal with multiple clients, maintain a stable income, keep yourself updated, and manage your time efficiently. This will also set you up for entrepreneurship.
Great. But how can you get started?
Starting your Freelance Journey: Zero to One
Now that you know what to expect from the freelancing career, let’s understand the steps for successfully starting your freelance journey as a digital marketer.
- Identify your skills:
Since you are planning to become a freelance digital marketer, you must be having at least the basic digital marketing skills. If not, you can go ahead and learn more about digital marketing here.
Once you have a surface-level understanding of all digital marketing skills, you can identify the skills in which you are interested the most and start offering the relevant services. Some of the top digital marketing skills that you can utilize as a freelancer are:
– Content Writing
– Search Engine Optimization
– Lead Generation
– Website Creation
– Social Media Marketing
- Choose your niche:
Once you have decided the services that you will be offering your clients, it’s time to decide who your clients will be. It is not recommended to vaguely choose clients from any sector, but select a niche and become an expert in that. It is the only way to stand out from the crowd. You can choose your niche basis your prior experience or interest in a particular area. For example: You can focus on small businesses working in the edu-tech sector and offer them services like content writing, lead generation, etc.
However, in the beginning of your freelancing journey you should not focus too much on the niche as it is more important to just get started and explore. For more details on selecting a profitable niche, check this blog.
- Become your own client:
It is highly likely that you will face difficulties in finalizing your first few clients as you will have no prior experience and project to prove them your worth. Also, before starting to charge others for your services, you should atl east have a bit of confidence in implementing stuff and not just theoretical knowledge.
As someone has rightly said: The best way to learn something is by implementing it. You can become your own client by starting your own blog. Buy a basic domain and hosting plan. Create a decent WordPress website using free themes and plugins. (Let me know in the comments if you want to learn about website creation in detail.) Then, implement all the basic digital marketing skills like content writing, lead generation, email marketing, search engine optimization, etc.
- Get Started:
Most of us just keep on waiting until we think we are ready. But the reality is, we are never ready until we go ahead and do it anyway!
Just do it. Let the world know about you. Reaching out to people is the key. Get on some top freelancing websites for digital marketing like upwork, fiverr, people per hour, flexjobs, etc. Pitch relatives/friends/local businesses who are in need of your digital marketing skills by helping them understand the benefits of taking their business online. Cold email to small businesses and explain how you can help them increase their revenue using your skills. If you reach out to sufficient people, you will definitely get your first client and the next one and the next one, until you no longer need to reach out to clients anymore.
Some Hacks to get started
Let me tell you a few hacks that will help you kick-start your freelance career and get ahead of the crowd:
- Understand the market pricing:
One of the main challenges you will face as a freelancer is how much to charge for your services. If you overcharge you will not get any clients and you definitely do not want to undercharge.
Well, no need to worry. Go to some freelancing websites and carefully analyze the services and charges listed by other freelancers. Contact some of your local freelancers as a client and understand their pricing. Don’t worry if you do not understand much, this is just to get a vague idea of the market.
- Give discounts:
Once you have a basic understanding of the market prices, start reaching out to clients. Sooner or later you will realize that most of the people are not interested in your services due to your lack of experience. In order to hack your way out of this situation, offer some discounts to your initial clients to compensate for your experience. Just remember to not charge too low as well, because this will start damaging the general market price. This will definitely encourage your clients to take a risk and opt in for your services.
- Under Promise and Over Deliver:
Using the above two hacks, you will definitely get your first few clients. However, just providing what you promised to them is not enough. It will just suffice your payment for the project. If you want to make the best out of the project in a way that can help you multiple times in your career, it is recommended that you under promise and over deliver. This will ensure that you stay in good terms with them, so that they will contact you for their future projects and also recommend you in their network. And believe me, this hack will always work and you will be fascinated by the opportunities it can open.
- Make the most of your Clients:
Once you have won the trust of your client by delivering more than expected and finishing the project on time, it is very important to stay in touch with them. It is a very underrated technique that even the best of the freelancers take for granted. You have to keep sending them emails/messages from time to time so that you are at the top of their mind whenever a relevant need arises. It will also make them feel that you are easily approachable and trustworthy.
Also, you can ask them for a testimonial to put on your website or some referrals and they would be more than happy to help you.
- Be Professional:
Being professional from day 1 represents how serious you are towards your work and sends a positive message to your clients. It also prevents you from getting into any unwanted situations.
Some of the professional things that you must do are:
– Download a contract template and get it signed before you start working on any project.
– Keep all discussions with the client on email/zoom. Remember to record all important calls.
– Understand and cross-verify the requirements and deliverables with the client properly before starting the project.
– Respect the deadlines and always deliver within the time limit decided.
– Keep the client updated by sending weekly/daily updates on email.
I know that you want to become a Digital Marketing Freelancer. Just don’t let the ‘SHOULDS’ of the society suppress your ‘WANTS’.
I have already told you about all the basic things required for you to get started with your freelancing journey. Now don’t spend weeks researching about starting freelancing. You have all you need. Just go for it.
Identify your skills, choose your niche, set up your website, understand the basics of the freelancing market, reach out to potential clients, over-deliver them, utilize them completely, be professional, and rock it.
Let me know your thoughts and queries by commenting below. I am excited to get in touch and listen to your success stories.