Digital marketing is an exciting and challenging niche in the fast-growing internet industry right now. As companies pump money into marketing their products and services, the compensation and salaries of digital marketers will continue to increase geometrically. And if you are one of the best for-hire, these companies will go to battle just to have you work for them.
So, how do you start a career as a freelance digital marketer? Here are some useful steps that will help you build a career in this niche.
- Give yourself a reality check
Freelance digital marketers are different from typical digital marketers in their ability to think proactively and adjust to the varying needs of customers. As an employee, a digital marketer is given a project from which he determines what to do to meet his or her boss’s request. The first customer here is the boss. Freelance digital marketing doesn’t follow this paradigm.
As a freelancer, you will be required to take the initiative and handle the job in the best way you can. This time, there is no boss to run your ideas through. While some customers will come with a solid plan, others may need your expertise to create a strategy. This requires you to jump into different situations each time, and confidently convince them that you are the right person for the job.
You’ll need to work on your presentation and assertiveness skills to help you climb up the ladder in your career. Success as a freelancer depends on your competency. Therefore, put all your effort into, adequately executing a task and not achieving perfection.
- Select the right course
Digital marketing comprises several sub-disciplines. Most of the common ones are social media marketing (SMM), search engine optimization (SEO), conversion rate optimization (CRO), Pay-Per-Click (PPC), and email marketing. An in-office digital marketer will most certainly know a bit of all, like a ‘full-stack marketer’.
According to Brisbane Joel House, as a freelance digital marketer, it is advisable to pick just one specialty and be excellent at it. Mastery of one sub-discipline allows you to build a brand and reputation faster than being a jack of all trades. Freelancers who go on to become recognized on the global stage show an in-depth knowledge of a few rather than all sub-disciplines of digital marketing.
- Create a website and offer a signature deal
Ironically, even digital marketers need to make people aware of the services they provide. What better way to do this in the 21st century than having a personal website? Invest in one, and include a handful of feedback and testimonials from your friends and past colleagues. If you are entirely new to digital marketing, offering a couple of free jobs just to get testimonials wouldn’t hurt. You will definitely have a competitive advantage with a personal website.
A handy trick you can use is to create a signature offer. Typically, it should be value-packed but easy to carry out. Customers love these services, so you will not have any trouble pitching it to them. With such offers, you can build client relationships and loyalty.
- Network and connect with people
The hardest part of building a career as a freelancer is in securing your first few gigs. It is tough getting people to trust you, with several other digital marketing companies to select from. However, nothing convinces a customer more than recommendations and reviews. Therefore, you need to connect and build your network. You can go about his by;
- Communities: Joining digital marketing communities and participating in their activities.
- Networking offline: Let people know what you can do for them. Attend business events that may bring you to connect with potential customers.
- Sending out letters of introduction: Use LinkedIn to pitch your idea to the online community. Ensure that these letters explain what you do and how your services may be useful to the company.
- Stay up to date with the trends
The digital world is ever-changing. Within a few months, the sub-discipline that was raking in a lot of money could come in second-best to a new, exciting one. Freelance digital marketers that can identify such changes and quickly adjust to them are like gold to companies. Therefore, always keep up with the latest trend in your niche.
Online communities and media outlets are some of the best places to get such techniques and trends. If you can combine them with your specialty sub-discipline, and show customers how this helps to solve their problem, you will be a force to be reckoned with.
Like every other discipline, digital marketing requires that you continuously learn and improve yourself. You can only build a successful brand as a freelancer if you are passionate about and stay committed to the direction you have chosen. The steps we have included will help you get started as a freelance digital marketer.
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