Businesses need to be agile if they want to keep up with their customers and their competitors. Innovation and disruption change industries rapidly, and keeping up can be very challenging. Business owners can keep up with the pace of change by relying on freelancers.
Freelance marketers, in particular, provide businesses an ROI that’s hard to beat. That’s why businesses are hiring more of them to promote their products. You should take advantage of that. Here’s what you need to know to jump-start your freelance marketing career.
How To Begin Your Freelance Marketing Career
Starting a freelance marketing career is a lot easier than you might have thought. You’ll need to put the work in, but following these nine steps will ensure you hit the ground running on day one.
1. Define an area of expertise
The concept of marketing is complex. It can cover a broad range of skills, which is why you need to start by choosing a specialist field. You have plenty to choose from! Here are some of them:
Focus on an industry or business type, too. There are some profitable niches to look at. Think about the skills you bring to the table and whether they are suitable. The more you specialize, the more you can stand out.
2. Freelance on the side first
The goal of any freelance marketer is to commit full-time, which means you need to quit your day job at some point! That can be very daunting. So, set the groundwork for your freelance career first while keeping your full-time job.
That way, you can build your network without the stress. You don’t have to panic if you don’t attract all the freelance jobs that will equal your existing salary.
Don’t decide to quit a well-paying job until you’re confident you have the clients you need.
3. Examine finances
Going freelance means knowing everything you can about your finances. Sit down and work out all of your outgoings. You need to know how much to earn to survive.
Knowing how much you need will make it easier to work out how much you need to charge your clients. Whether you’re charging by the hour or by task, set your prices too low, and you’ll have to work harder to earn the bare minimum.
Don’t forget to check the essential things like taxes. These can be very dangerous to overlook. Besides, they can help you in your freelance marketing career. For example, throughout COVID-19, tax breaks were offered to businesses, and freelancers were to take advantage of those.
4. Create your brand
When you work in a salaried position as a marketer, you’re marketing a specific service or product. When you make a move to freelance marketing, you suddenly become the product! You’ll have to start thinking about yourself as a business. That means creating a personal brand.
Your branding will be the key to standing out from other freelancers. Logos and color schemes, company values, and a brand voice are critical. The quicker you establish your brand identity, the easier and faster you get clients.
Consistency is key. Have a clear idea of your brand identity, and use that when highlighting your skills.
5. Locate customers
Finding clients is the most challenging part. It’s best to start small. If you want to have a flying start to your freelance marketing business, you need to:
- Tell everyone what you’re doing.
- Use freelance job sites.
- Check social media.
- Conduct cold outreach.
Don’t forget you can do all this while still working at your full-time job. Before you leap to 100% freelance marketing, set the foundations.
If you set goals, make sure they’re feasible. If you don’t deliver what you promise, you’ll lose a client, and your brand reputation will suffer. Be honest about what you can do (and what you can’t).
Under-promise, over-deliver, and your clients will be happy. The happier those clients, the more likely they will hire you again, recommend you, or give you a glowing testimonial.
7. Outsource if needed
You don’t have to do everything yourself. You can outsource to streamline your workflow.
Break down all you have to do as a freelance marketer. If you’re spending too much time managing your finances, outsourcing to an accountant could save you time and money. If you’re an SEO expert, but you’re spending too much time writing content, collaborate with other freelance writers to get what you need.
Never underestimate the value of outsourcing as you grow your freelance marketing client list.
8. Build passive income
Passive income can be a game-changer when you’re committing to freelance marketing. A single piece of work can continue to earn you revenue well into the future and give you breathing room. Consider:
- Selling online courses
- Self-publishing ebooks
- Allowing ads on your website
- Affiliate marketing
- Make money blogging
Have a plan. Commit to working on your passive income, and you can ease the stress of your finances.
9. Never stop learning
Marketing is an evolving field. Trends and consumer demands are in flux. What works today might not work tomorrow.
So, you need to update your skills. Take courses and keep up to date with the thought leaders in your field. The goal is to be one step ahead of your competitors.
For many, the 9-5 life is comfortable and predictable. For others, freelance marketing means a better quality of life. It means taking control of your workload and financial opportunities.
If you’re one of those, follow these tips to get your freelance marketing career started.
Remember, though, that freelance marketing will mean busy periods followed by slower ones. Use those times to learn more about your niches. Use that time well, and your freelance marketing career will always be moving forward and growing at a rapid pace.
About the author:
Matt Diggity is a search engine optimization expert and the founder and CEO of Diggity Marketing, The Search Initiative, Authority Builders, and LeadSpring LLC. He is also the host of the Chiang Mai SEO Conference.