For those who are unaware of their potential freelance opportunities, digital marketing can be a highly lucrative career path. This is especially true once you are able to accrue a solid number of clients.
But, many people are unsure of how to start down the path of freelance digital marketing. To help simplify the process, we’ve put together some useful tips.
Let's take a look at what you should know.
Your portfolio won’t always guarantee that you are able to secure the clients you want, but a lackluster portfolio can certainly impact your ability to secure clients at all.
So, it’s in your best interest to make your portfolio as stellar as possible.
In practice, this means that you will need to showcase your previous professional work. For those who have worked in the industry before as an employee, it’s critical to ensure that you have permission to showcase these projects.
The same can be said about those who have previously done freelance digital marketing on the side.
In general, your portfolio should be full of diverse, high-quality work that conveys your expertise and range as a digital marketing professional. If you are new to the industry and don’t have any previous work at a professional level, you could create mockup projects instead.
These are projects that you complete independently in order to showcase what you would do for a particular client. In these scenarios, it’s not uncommon for new digital marketing freelancers to use high-profile brands (such as Nike) as their fictional clients.
Be sure, though, that you denote somewhere in your portfolio which projects are legitimate and which ones are mockups.
Social media is one of the most powerful ways that you can get yourself out there as a freelancer. Not only does it serve as a platform for you to express your thoughts, but you can also keep your audience updated on your latest progress.
It can also be a great place to post content that otherwise wouldn’t fit in your portfolio.
Although you are the one who will operate your social media accounts, it’s essential to remember that these are professional, branded accounts. This means that you should never say or post anything that you wouldn’t want to be associated with yourself as a freelancer.
When utilized appropriately, however, you may even find that you are able to build relationships with future clients through social media.
Ironically, there are plenty of freelance digital markers who neglect to educate themselves on their industry. While this is important to do as any type of professional, it is especially crucial as a digital marketer.
The latest trends in the digital landscape will have a large impact on which strategies work and which don’t. For example, a major change that Google makes to its algorithm could render your previous methods useless after this change occurs.
If you don’t fully understand the changes that took place, you won’t be able to adapt and continue providing outstanding results for your clients. As you might expect, this could easily bring your career progress to a grinding halt.
Additionally, it’s worthwhile to invest in books, courses, and networking events that can help you develop as a digital marketing professional. Although this may not seem overly enticing, you should also consider that your competitors in your industry are likely making the effort to do so.
It can be fairly easy to fall behind if you let yourself, so be sure to remain vigilant in your self-education as time goes on.
So, you’re ready to jumpstart your freelance digital marketing career and begin building your client base. Regardless of the results that you are able to provide, you can’t expect client acquisition to go smoothly if nobody’s ever heard of you.
You’ll need to perfect your pitch in order to get your first handful of digital marketing clients. In general, freelancers pitch themselves in one of two different settings:
The strategies that you use during your pitch will also vary depending on which settings find yourself in. For those who push themselves over email, it’s imperative that you both remain brief and illustrate your qualifications as a freelancer.
Your subject line should be short and compelling, and the body of your message should briefly describe who you are. You should seek to convey what you can do, why they should hire you, and how they can see your past work.
When pitching yourself in person, you’ll have a bit more time to explain what you’re capable of. Regardless of whether you do so at a formal meeting or at a restaurant with a potential client, remain professional at all times.
Freelancing in general can be particularly isolating. This is especially true for freelance digital marketers since they are almost always working from a laptop by themselves.
Even those who work in public places may still feel relatively distant from everyone else. The situation is further complicated if none of your friends or family members are freelancers.
Fortunately, joining a freelance community can go a long way in terms of resolving this issue. Not only will it give you an opportunity to learn from others who have a similar lifestyle, but you can also get feedback on your projects or ideas.
How you treat your current clients will play a large role in how easy it is for you to secure future clients. To elaborate, you should take every step necessary in order to make their lives as easy as possible.
This means they should have a clear understanding of what they can expect to pay, the results they can expect to receive, and how you plan to stay communicative with them.
Hectic offers a tool that allows you to streamline the creation of proposals and contracts for your client. In fact, you can take advantage of its drag-and-drop utility in order to build professional proposals within minutes.
Afterward, you can convert this information into an airtight contract, allowing you to protect both your work and yourself.
You can check out our proposals and contracts tools to learn more.
After you reach an agreement with a client, it’s time to deliver results. Since digital marketing involves so many different nuances, it can be difficult to remain as efficient as possible while working.
So, establishing an ideal workflow is an essential practice from the very beginning of your career. This means that should have a strong understanding of when you work best, which type of projects take you the most time to complete, and your strengths/weaknesses as a professional.
Time tracking is a reliable way to help hold yourself accountable while working on extensive projects. Not only will it keep you aware of how much time has passed, but it will also come into play when billing your clients.
Hectic’s time tracking tool allows you to accurately track the hours you've spent working for your clients. This will ensure that you are compensated for all of the work that you complete while keeping you on the right path during the process.
Part of working as efficiently as possible is staying organized. Your workspace (as well as your desktop) should be arranged in a way that allows you to quickly find what you are looking for while minimizing distractions.
However, it can be difficult to manually arrange the files that you need to keep track of.
The project management tool that Hectic provides can allow freelancers to quickly map out future projects and manage current ones. Additionally, this tool can even give users suggested actions to take if they find it difficult to determine where to start.
Once you’ve established this level of organization, you’ll find that each workday goes far more smoothly.
But, it’s not the easiest path to get started with. Fortunately, our above guide to freelance digital marketing will ensure that you’re able to jumpstart your career and begin making progress as soon as possible.
Want to learn more about what Hectic has to offer? Feel free to reach out to us today and see how we can help.