How to Become a Freelance Digital Marketer

digital marketer skills analysing a e-commerce website

The career of the freelancer digital marketing is becoming more accessible and more attractive than ever before for a few reasons in particular.

For one, nowadays it’s much easier to set up a working space wherever you want to. You can build a freelance business in your own home, in a co-working space, or even in your favourite café.

Secondly, everyone needs digital marketing these days. Big or small, local or global, there isn’t a business that doesn’t benefit from digital marketing.

This growth is a direct result of the changes to the marketing landscape in business. New technology, new means of engaging customers, and a constantly growing rate of online adoption means that more businesses in need of digital marketing experts than ever. From delivering entire campaigns to helping them meet their daily online needs, freelancer digital marketers play a huge role in the modern landscape.

With the flexibility to work how you want, the potential to make a substantial profit, and the ability to work in a field that rewards creativity, freelance digital marketing may be the right path for you.

What’s your first step?

Building the digital skills you need

Despite the growing need for digital marketing expertise, there’s a significant skills gap in the industry. If you’re willing to build the skills to fill it, this means you can afford yourself much more choice between roles, projects, contracts, and clients.

A niche can undoubtedly help you build authority and become more competitive, but make sure you’re not lacking the most in-demand skills like social media knowledge. While you continue to specialise, paying attention to industry trends and the skills that are growing more important in digital marketing can ensure you remain an attractive option for business owners who want to outsource their digital needs.

Work on your sales skills

Some freelancing roles act much like traditional employment, with a contract that sees you doing work for a company on a repeating long-term basis. Other prospective clients need more of a pitch to make sure they’re choosing the right freelancer, however.

You must be able to sell your services and creativity not only on the quality of your work but what they can provide for your clients. Some understanding of business and how exactly it benefits from your particular field of digital marketing is crucial.

Show what you know

Experience and training can help, but potential employers and clients want to see the proof in the pudding. A portfolio of work is essential. For content marketing, copywriting, graphic design, and web design, having a body of work you can showcase to potential partners can help you be a much more convincing hire.

You can start building your portfolio through internships or free projects for things like nonprofits and charities, or even work on your own projects.

Besides a portfolio of work, you can show what you know by building a series of testimonials or references that potential clients and employers can look to, as well. For other work, such as content or graphic design, try getting your work featured in online blogs, publications, and industry influencer sites for the exposure it can provide your work.

Treat the portfolio like a much more detailed CV, and don’t forget to include a professional profile photo, a synopsis of yourself and your skills, and any other information you believe future partners may need to know about you.

Diversify your workflow

A good freelancer knows how to make use of multiple opportunities. You may have clients that you work with one for a single payday. You may clients that keep coming back and refer others they know. Then you have the gig economy. The gig economy doesn’t pay as much as being able to sell yourself to individual clients, but it provides easy access to stress-free platforms and forums that can provide a consistent flow of work, so you’re never left with nothing to do.

Pick the right platforms and sites to match your specialisations and you can not only benefit from a steady stream of work, but you can build the skills and authority that supports your own client outreach, too.

Build your presence

The gig economy can help support your career, but it shouldn’t define it. It’s better to create your own presence, such as an engaging, attractive website, social media channels, a blog, and more. Increase your visibility and prestige online by making your site easier to find and build a community around you that you can consistently share insights with. This is how clients find you.

Becoming a freelance digital marketer isn’t too difficult if you have the skillset and the motivation. However, you need resilience, initiative and constant self-improvement to get beyond the level of subsistence. Once you do, however, it can be one of the most rewarding careers in the digital age, financially and emotionally.