Do you think you have what it takes to work in digital marketing? Does the idea of working for yourself sound like a dream come true?
If so, you can join the 56 million Americans working in the freelance market.
Before you jump into freelance digital marketing though, you want to make sure you know what you're getting into. To make the most of freelance marketing you need to make sure you can manage yourself effectively. You also want to make sure you know the skills required to make it in the digital marketing world.
What is Freelance Marketing?
First things first, freelance work involves working for yourself. Freelance means you take temporary jobs from multiple sources rather than working for one company.
This means you can work whenever and wherever you want. It also means your income will fluctuate. You will go through dry periods, and you don't get those employee benefits. Vacation time means time you're not getting paid.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing encompasses a range of jobs. A digital marketer handles
- Content creation
- Social media management
- Setting strategies
- Website maintenance
Daily, you'll fluctuate from SEO and marketing strategy planning, to creating everything from articles to videos, to regularly keeping up with social media posts and interaction, to cleaning up the website. The good news is you can start with your own website to help you hone your skills while marketing your services.
Getting Into Freelance Digital Marketing
Before you get into the ins-and-outs of freelance marketing, you need to understand the importance of setting realistic expectations. This means setting goals you can achieve. It also means pushing yourself to do more.
It's easy to hit a comfort zone and grow stagnant. While you don't want to set yourself up for failure by pushing yourself too far, you want to make sure you're always increasing your skills and job opportunities.
These expectations will change over time, so make sure you review your goals and plans regularly as you move forward with your freelance business.
Know Your Platforms
The first step to a successful digital marketing business involves familiarizing yourself with the platforms you'll use. Digital marketing takes in many online platforms, including:
- Social media
- Email Marketing
- Networking forums
- Review platforms
- PPC markets
Your digital strategy will take in all or at least many of the online platforms, so make sure you know how to use them.
Website maintenance takes up part of your time as a digital marketer. It's your job to create new content for your client's website. It's also your job to clean up outdated content and make the site presentable and easy to navigate.
Make sure you understand the website platforms you might come across. WordPress has the most use, but it's not the only platform available.
The first step to social media is understanding the popular platforms. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube will need your attention most often. You'll also want to know how to use LinkedIn and Pinterest.
This also means knowing the best strategies for each platform. You want to update your social media platforms regularly, but not so often that you annoy your audience. Remember, balance your updates with a mix of your own and other industry content.
You also want to participate in discussions. Social media management involves answering questions and starting new conversations. This offers excellent market research opportunity.
As a digital marketer, you need to know how to use email automation tools. You also need to understand the strategies required for effective email marketing.
Automation allows you to set up email campaigns without you needing to monitor everything constantly. This only works if you know the right content to use for the different campaigns you set up.
You want to offer different content for each stage of the sales funnel. A new contact doesn't need your big push, but someone that's stuck with you might respond to a push.
Networking and question forums have gained popularity recently. This means you need to create a presence in these places. Look for opportunities to share your industry knowledge in these forums.
This offers another research opportunity. You can use these forums to understand what's relevant to your target audience. This will help you build your digital strategy.
Your job as a digital marketer involves finding advertising opportunities. You want to understand the platforms that fit your pay-per-click marketing needs. You also want to understand the best practices on these platforms to get the most for you, and your client's needs.
Look into the ad potential on search engines. This involves understanding how to bid for relevant keywords. It also means understanding how to set up your demographic needs for personalized ads.
Optimization is Your Key to Success
Digital marketers need to know the best search engine optimization techniques. Your SEO practices will help you bring in organic traffic which means people that want the information you provide.
To generate organic traffic, you need to know the questions people ask about your services or products. You need to know the keywords that will catch attention.
You want to know how to find these keywords, and how to use them. You want to know how to set up websites to catch the attention of search engine bots so you can rank higher in search results.
Understand the Sales Funnel
You need to know how to differentiate between different types of leads. This will help you see what funnel to send each lead through.
For instance, a new lead needs information-driven marketing. A person that's checked out several offers might respond to a coupon code or a bigger push on a particular item.
This comes down to understanding basic marketing strategies. Digital marketing means marketing on the internet, so the plan will look similar in many ways.
Always Feed Your Knowledge
If you want to make it in the digital world, you need a readiness for continued learning. Your job requires the ability to implement new tricks and ideas based on digital changes.
Online trends will change. Online platforms will vary. Algorithms will change.
For instance, Google updates its search engine regulations at least yearly. They always look for updates to ensure people get the results they want. This means you need to get ready to change your SEO strategy to meet these changes.
What works today might not work tomorrow. Make sure you stay up-to-date with industry changes. Make sure you fully understand these changes so you can make the most of them.
Other Digital Marketing Required Skills
As a digital marketer, you need to know how to create content. This includes articles, videos, and graphics. This means you need to know how to use the tools required to create these different types of content.
You also need strong communication skills. You need to communicate regularly with your clients as well as with their clients.
You need to know how to communicate your ideas. You also need to know how to listen to what others say. Remember, communication involves both skills.
The job of a digital marketer requires constant research. Your researching marketing and consumer trends. Your researching new methods and strategies.
You need to know how to find the information you need. This includes finding new ideas for content. It also involves finding the right tools to do your job.
You also need analytical skills. Your job involves reading the data to determine what works and what doesn't. This means you need to know how to read the analytics provided by different platforms.
Know How to Market Yourself
Your first job in digital marketing is marketing yourself. A digital marketing specialist can make $60,000 per year on average. To get here or beyond, you need to know how to make people want to work with you.
Build Your Portfolio
To get started in self-marketing, you need to build up your portfolio. This gets difficult if you're just getting started, but it's doable.
If you don't have many clients yet, build up your online presence. Use your website to show off your skills.
Once you build a client base, use the work you do for them as further examples of your skills. Include testimonials from previous clients so you can show your expertise.
Pitch Your Work
When you're getting started, you'll need to pitch your work regularly. Once you get established, you can rely more on incoming clients, but you won't get to that point if you don't get out there and find jobs.
You can look on job boards to find opportunities. You can also research online publications or entities that you could benefit and send them a pitch for services.
Use social media for advertising your services as well. Set up business accounts on the major platforms, and share examples of your work on these platforms.
Wherever you pitch, make sure you make the pitch relevant to the people you reach out to. Don't send generic offers. Give them something specific you can help with.
Take the Next Step in Freelance Marketing
As you can see, freelance digital marketing requires a lot of work. That work can prove rewarding if you plan well though.
To get started with your freelance business plan, you want to start with the best educational materials.
If you want more information to succeed in digital marketing, check out our Free Course!