How to Become Freelance Digital Marketer & Get Projects?

As the internet is gaining more active users, businesses are also relying more and more on digital marketing. According to a recent survey, over 72% of an organization’s marketing budget is allocated to digital channels. 

Considering the work flexibility and career opportunities this field offers, many aspirants and freelancers are exploring digital marketing career options. Considering how the future seems, most professionals are now going for freelancing jobs as digital marketers. 

Freelance marketers are responsible for meeting the marketing goals of brands and businesses that want to make the most of the internet’s growing population. They help clients develop, execute, and track marketing campaigns to promote various products and services. 

Although starting freelancing in digital marketing doesn’t demand heavy investment, there are still a few steps to follow to build an audience and connections with brands, 

So, if you are looking for a change of pace or a more flexible career option, here’s all you need to know about how to become a freelance digital marketer.

In this blog, we have shared a guide to starting a digital marketer freelance career and explored key skills required to do your job effectively. So, let’s dive in.

What is Freelance Digital Marketing?

A digital marketer freelancer is a self-employed marketing professional who offers services to brands, organizations, or individuals and creates marketing strategies, goals, and processes. These freelancers mostly work from home, helping companies meet their marketing goals. They can play multiple roles, which can vary according to their specialization, experience, products, and industry. 

The demand for freelancers digital marketing experts is on the rise as companies need reliable and proficient marketers to help them reach a wider audience and attract the target audience. Freelancers are their own boss, make their own office rules, decide their working hours, and ensure maximum effectiveness and productivity. 

After gaining enough experience as a freelancer, you can utilize your skills and knowledge to start your business, be it a digital marketing agency or online business, or find a high-paying job in a leading firm. 

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What Does a Freelance Digital Marketer Do?

Below, we have shared an idea of what a day in the life of a digital marketing freelancer looks like. Take a look at the following job duties and responsibilities that you will perform:

  • Social media marketing and strategizing
  • Creating SEO-friendly and optimized content, such as blogs, guest posts, podcasts, and social media content
  • Handling email marketing campaigns
  • Optimizing websites for search engines
  • Creating brand awareness and boosting its online presence
  • Punning PPC campaigns
  • Analyzing traffic, leads, and conversions using different analytics tools
  • Tracking the performance of marketing campaigns
  • Preparing monthly reports

To perform these tasks and run your freelance business successfully, you would need to develop the following technical and soft skills.

  • SEO skills
  • Content writing and copywriting skills
  • Research skills
  • Teamwork
  • Time management
  • Communication 
  • Negotiation
  • Willingness to learn

Also Read: How to Increase Website Traffic? 20 Best Ways in 2024

Roadmap to Start Freelancing in Digital Marketing

roadmap to start freelancing in digital marketing

Digital marketing is a rapidly evolving industry, which can be intimidating for aspirants and beginners. Starting freelance in digital marketing can be challenging and daunting. 

You need to follow a few essential steps, such as acquiring skills, choosing the area of expertise, making connections, promotions, and more. Here is a complete guide to help you get started:

  1. Choose Your Specialization
  2. Develop Necessary Skills
  3. Gain Relevant Experience
  4. Build Your Brand
  5. Expand Your Network
  6. Build a strong Portfolio and Online Presence
  7. Set Your Pricing
  8. Promote Your Services
  9. Register Your Business
  10. Time to Find Clients

How to Become Freelance Digital Marketer?

Let’s understand in detail how to start freelancing in digital marketing:

1. Choose Your Specialization

Digital marketing has several niches and processes. If you try to provide all the services at the beginning of your freelance career, you may get confused and lost. Also, it may affect the quality of your services and your credibility. 

Don’t try to wear many hats; focus on one or two niches initially. So, narrow down your services and choose your specialization based on your core skills and interests. 

If you are fond of writing, you can offer content creation services or if social media is your forte, go for social media marketing. As you gain more experience, you can expand your services. Here are a few specializations to offer freelancing in digital marketing:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Social media
  • Content creation
  • Email marketing
  • Pay-per-click (PPC)
  • Mobile 
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Marketing Analytics
  • YouTube marketing

Master the selected digital marketing field by learning theory in the beginning by reading books, listening to podcasts, and watching tutorials. Apply acquired knowledge on your own website and learn different techniques.

If you are a beginner or want to further enhance your skills, go for the online digital marketing course.

2. Develop Necessary Skills

Successful and lucrative freelance digital marketing careers are not possible without acquiring essential practical skills and knowledge. There are many ways to develop basic skills. You can take free online courses, join local workshops, watch tutorials, listen to podcasts, read books, or seek help from a friend who already has experience in the industry.

However, the most effective way to learn digital marketing is by signing up for a reliable certification course where industry leaders train you in live classes and through hands-on projects. You will learn the nuances of each aspect of digital marketing and gain proficiency in handling projects from scratch. 

You can get started witht best digital marketing course by WsCube Tech.

3. Gain Relevant Experience

One crucial factor in knowing how to become a digital marketing freelancer is gaining experience in the industry. Many beginners try to kickstart their freelancing career without working for any agency or company. You need to understand how the industry works and get insights into the field to become a confident and skilled professional.

It will help you build soft skills that will take you a long way in your career. You can do an internship at a digital marketing firm or work as an employee for a company. This will be your chance to learn under the supervision of experienced professionals. Volunteering is also another great option you can opt for to improve your skills and gain experience. 

4. Build Your Brand

In the digital world that we live in, branding is everything. So, if you want to do freelance in digital marketing, you need to build your personal brand and promote it across social networks and various websites. Clients usually prefer freelancers who are credible and well-known in the industry.

So, even if you decide to have a business name, you need to establish a personal brand to drive traffic to your website and bring clients to your door. For this, you need to post regularly on different networking platforms and expand your network. 

Also, you must build a website to increase your online visibility. However, it’s not easy to get published on big websites, especially for beginners. You need to invest time and be patient to get your articles approved and prove your expertise. You should at least build your portfolio by working on digital marketing projects

You can use the following two effective ways to build your brand as a freelancer:

  • Publish your articles and write-ups on high-authority and high-traffic platforms and websites. Content must be related to your freelance services and must be well-researched and structured. This can lead to multiple benefits, which include:
  • When potential clients see your guest posts and articles on Google search results, it can work wonders for your reputation.
  • It’s a part of your off-page SEO, which will boost your website rankings.
  • Leading and reputable websites have strict policies when it comes to selecting articles for their websites. When your blogs make it to their platforms, it establishes you as an industry expert.
  • You can use your social media presence to build your brand. Create your profile on popular sites, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, and stay active on these networks to connect with other professionals and potential clients. Make sure that your profile states who you are and what you do, and keep on posting interesting content on your page.

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5. Expand Your Network

Clients and marketing leads rely more on referrals from trusted sources than job portals and postings. Freelancing in digital marketing is all about networking, which also determines how you set your pricing. According to a recent study, around 42% of freelancers get high-paying gigs through referrals, especially word of mouth. 

Use platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter to know what other digital marketing freelancers are doing. Connect with them, discuss the industry, and build a network. Here are some tips you can try:

  • Attend meetups
  • Join communities
  • Build relationships with other freelancers in your niche
  • Participate in webinars and online conversations about marketing

Also Read: 20 Best AI Tools for Digital Marketing (Free & Paid Tools 2024)

6. Build a Strong Portfolio and Online Presence

One key piece of advice that experts give to beginners asking how to be a freelance digital marketer is building a portfolio. Irrespective of your digital marketing specialty, you would need a portfolio or website to showcase your skills, expertise, and knowledge. If you have an active and strong LinkedIn profile, that would also suffice. It will help you promote your services as a freelancer.

A website or LinkedIn profile works as proof that you are well-versed in your job and can handle a project professionally. Post your work, testimonials, challenges you faced, solutions you provided, and skills used. Add a biography or ‘About Me’ section to share your academic and professional background. Mention your certificates and degrees, experience, companies you have worked for, projects you have managed, and other relevant details. 

Keep the portfolio precise yet insightful. Display your work samples and digital marketing projects, too, to grab attention. Mention the area of your expertise so clients know what they can hire you for. Also, your work samples should be appealing, which means formatting must be in place. Add your contact details and other essential links. 

You can also start writing blog posts to grow your personal brand. Write your success stories, create informative content, and watch clients roll in.

7. Set Your Pricing

The first question most clients ask is, ‘What’s your pricing structure?’ or ‘How much do you charge?’. Therefore, a self-employed digital marketer needs to have a clearly defined pricing structure. It can be project-based, hourly, by a retainer, or a combination of any two. Many freelance digital marketing professionals opt for an hourly pricing model as it’s hassle-free and effective. 

You can select from the following pricing model:

  • Per project
  • Per hour
  • Per month
  • Combination of more than one

It’s better to allow clients some flexibility so they can seek your services according to their business requirements. So, your prices may be lower than your set standards, or you can offer certain discounts or deals when clients ask for multiple services or hire you for a big project.

8. Promote Your Services

Moving to the next step of how to become a freelancer in digital marketing, it’s time to promote your business and website. This is your forte, so you need to do it right. A major part of your marketing will be through your website and LinkedIn profile. Email marketing can also be useful when done effectively. 

Offer quality services to your clients so you can ask for client referrals. If you are dedicated and true to your work, your clients will be happy to refer you to others. 

The following are the two ways to help you promote your business:

  • Many companies look for freelance digital marketers, but they don’t know where to find one. That is where cold pitching comes into play. It means reaching out to marketing leads and clients in your niche and pitching your services to them. As you pitch your business, do your research to know how you can help them, what skills you need to boost their website rankings, and what strategy you can use to grow the business. 
  • Working for free should never be an option as it’s your job, and you deserve to be paid for the work you do. However, sometimes, it’s the only way to gain experience and establish yourself in the industry. You can do unpaid internships, submit guest posts, or barter your services to another freelancer.

9. Register Your Business

Before we learn how to get freelance digital marketing projects, it’s crucial that you make your business legal. As your freelance company takes off and grows, get it registered. It’s an important step to get paid for your services. 

So, register your business, get a tax ID, and track income and expenses before filing taxes. Also, you should acquire business skills to handle clients efficiently and send them invoices. Make sure to use a contract for every project that states all the terms and conditions clearly, along with the payment terms. 

Here are a few things to do to get your company registered and get paid:

  • A bank account
  • An invoice processing system
  • An account with a payment provider
  • Legal business for tax purposes
  • An accountant

If you don’t have a legal entity as you accept payments from clients, you will face issues with tax authorities and get in trouble. So, it’s better to do things the right way from the beginning.

Also Read: 10 Government Jobs in Digital Marketing in India (2024)

10. Time to Find Clients

It’s not easy to find your first client, but with the right sources and techniques, you can start applying for jobs and spread the word about your company. Use platforms like Upwork and FlexJobs to find freelance opportunities and build experience. 

Reach out to local businesses or small firms run by your relatives and friends. Discuss their marketing needs and provide relevant solutions. Try to collect as many contacts as you can, reach out to potential clients through personalized emails, and tell them about your marketing services.

We have shared a few tried and tested ways to find clients for your freelance business:

  • Apply for jobs through different freelance websites. Explore these sites meticulously to know all the features and increase your chances of getting hired.
  • Start blogging to find new clients. At the beginning of your career, it might take a few months to drive traffic to the website. Be patient and implement the right marketing strategies to stay in the business.
  • Build a portfolio and publish success stories to build trust among leads.
  • Freelancing is tricky, and no matter how many years of experience you have in the industry, it’s a challenging journey when you work as a freelancer. So, at times, it’s fine to offer free services to a few selected clients so they can be assured of your quality work. 
  • Other platforms and ways include social media, previous employers, existing or past clients, professional networks and contacts, employment agencies, local newspapers, friends and family, online job portals, online ads, etc.

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Key Takeaways

As a freelancer, you will be your own boss. It’s a lucrative career option, and you can choose the projects and tasks according to your interests. It’s a fun and exciting job that will always keep you engaged. However, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Freelancing in digital marketing demands regular motivation and high confidence. 

Build the necessary skills to offer top-notch services to your clients and achieve expertise in different areas. This would require consistent effort, but you will get there gradually. Take one step at a time, build a strong portfolio, and keep on learning.

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  • Ashima Jain

    Ashima Jain is a Content Editor and Strategist at WsCube Tech and has been in the content marketing industry for 6 years. She is a writer by day and a reader by night. It was actually her love for reading that made her try her hands at writing. She has completed her postgraduation in Economics and Financial Management and has also done diploma courses in Journalism and Digital Marketing. When not working, you can find her in a cafe enjoying a cup of joe and a book.