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How to Become a Digital Marketer & Find Freelance Digital Marketing Jobs in 2020

Computer used to find freelance digital marketing jobs

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be your own boss? In this article, we will tell you how to become a freelance digital marketer and start living the live you want.

A growing number of businesses are looking to fill remote and freelance digital marketing jobs. It’s a movement that just makes sense for both employers and workers. Businesses can save a ton of overhead costs like, on boarding, training, office expenses, etc… And workers get to experience the freedom of working from home (or anywhere else for that matter).

Remote & Freelance Digital Marketing Jobs

As the market for outsourced work increases, freelancing has become a viable opportunity for individuals looking to expand their careers and create flexibility in their lives.

According to CNBC,​ more than one third, or about 57 million U.S. workers, are in the gig economy. This is an increase of $3.7 million since 2014. The average annual salary for full-time freelancers with 3 to 10 years experience is about $70,536.

Nowadays, employees no longer stay at companies for 10 to 20 years. Heck, most employees don’t even stay longer than 2 years. Deloitte surveyed 10,455 millennials and found that 43% of them plan to stay at their job for no longer than 2 years. Why would a company waste money, man hours, and time training an employee who isn’t going to stay?

More and more individuals are taking advantage of freelance opportunities. Some are supplementing their income by working as an Uber driver in the evenings; others might be making a little extra cash by joining local project and task sites like Thumbtack and Task Rabbit; and a growing number are quitting the usual workforce altogether and full-blown building a freelance career.

Bottom Line: Escaping the 9 to 5 and being your own boss has never been easier.

Why Become a Freelancer

  • Earn additional income
  • Learn new skills and grow your expertise
  • Work wherever you want
  • Control your hours and make your own schedule
  • Opportunity to become a full-time business owner
A freelancer digital marketer's bag on the beach

So the question becomes, what kind of freelancing should you do? Well, only you can answer that, but we suggest one of these methods when choosing a freelance niche.

  1. Choose a niche in which you already have experience. For example, if you’ve been writing for years, a freelance writing career is an obvious choice.
  2. Choose a niche in which you have little experience, but a great eagerness to learn. Maybe you’ve been working in sales your entire life, but you’ve always wanted a career in social media marketing.
  3. Choose a broad niche in which you can learn more about and slowly become more and more focused. Good options for this strategy include virtual assistant jobs and, you guessed it… jobs for online marketers.

Whatever you choose, you’ll find everything you need to know about working from home and flexible careers throughout this website.

And, if you think freelance digital marketer might be the way to go, keep reading.

Why Become a Freelance Digital Marketer

First, let’s talk about what digital marketing is anyway. Neil Patel says it’s, “any form of marketing products or services that involves electronic devices”. Basically, digital marketing means to communicate value to your customers using digital means and tools, like social media, blogging, blogging, email marketing and search engine marketing.

Computer use to learn how to become a freelance digital marketer

Here’s a few reasons why digital marketing is a great service to offer as a freelancer –

  • It’s a skill that nearly everyone can learn… although it does take time to master.
  • It’s a skill that is in extremely high demand. Most businesses are struggling to adapt and figure out how to market on social media or online.
  • There are so many different aspects of online marketing including: Social Media Marketing, Website Development, Copywriting, Email Marketing, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Pay-Per-Click Campaigns, Content Marketing.. the list goes on.

Qualities of a Marketing Freelancer

Freelance Digital Marketing Jobs - Who Are They For INFOGRAPHIC

Here are the qualities of an excellent digital marketer:

  • Eager to Help: ​Digital marketing really is all about solving problems. Your audience needs to be constantly nurtured and reminded that the product or service you are marketing can and will solve their problem.
  • Hungry to Learn:​ Top digital marketers have a burning desire to learn. They are  curious about the evolving trends in online marketing and are constantly looking for more information to devour.
  • Willing to Share: ​Great digital marketers aren’t afraid to get personal and show the real side of the business. They know that people buy from brands they know, like, and trust and the only way to accomplish this is by sharing and connecting.
  • Strategy Driven: ​The best digital marketers will make it look effortless, but the truth is that every step, every blog post, every instagram story should be part of an overall strategy to build brand awareness or move the audience through a marketing funnel.

Freelance Digital Marketing Job Description

Researching a freelance digital marketing job description

In general, ​digital marketers​ ​are in charge of planning, managing, and executing marketing campaigns that advance a company’s brand and promote its products and services. Their duties include strategic planning and management of marketing campaigns, analyzing data and metrics, and increasing overall brand awareness.

A freelance digital marketing job description will vary depending on employer and job title, but most will look something like this…

Job Responsibilities

  • Define target market and ideal customer avatar
  • Set monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals
  • Develop and manage all aspects of a company’s online marketing department including their content, email, social, and advertising campaigns
  • Create and maintain all campaign budgets
  • Act as community manager of all social media platforms
  • Track conversion rates and collaborate with other teams to make improvements
  • Oversee online brand and create campaigns to raise brand awareness
  • Create strategies to improve the user experience of the company website
  • Stay current with new innovations and trends in online marketing
  • Periodically research and analyze competitive data.

Freelance Digital Marketing Salary Potential ​

The sky is the limit as freelance digital marketer. Many freelancers eventually scale to a six figure salary and beyond by creating their own teams and acting as an agency.

Of course, they don’t start out there. Depending on your experience and skills, $15 – $25 per hour is a plausible freelance digital marketing salary for a relatively new digital marketer.

How to Learn Online Marketing Skills Fast

If you’ve started looking for digital marketing freelance jobs, but lack the experience or skill needed to land the ones want, you needn’t worry. You’ll find a tremendous amount of information for free on the internet if you’re willing to search for it or you can learn new skillsets very quickly by taking an online course.

Notepad for learning online marketing skills

By learning new skills, you are widening your field of expertise and giving yourself the best chance to land jobs and build a long term sustainable career from freelancing.

Best Digital Marketing Courses

  • Social Media Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Graphic Design
  • Web Design
  • Web Development
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Paid Campaigns

Where to Find Jobs for Freelance Digital Marketers

Freelance Digital Marketing Jobs - Infographic
  • Freelance Websites like Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, and Guru
  • Job Boards like Mashable and Indeed
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook Groups
  • Local Networking – YES. You can find freelance jobs locally.

How to Get Digital Marketer Jobs on Freelancing Sites

Step 1: Determine which skills you can offer as a Freelancer

Visit freelancing sites, like the once mentioned above, and browse their categories. If you look under sales and marketing, you’ll find different types of digital marketer categories that clients are looking for.

If any of these skills apply to you and your experience jot them down to use later.

Step 2: Scope Out The Competition

Before you create your profile, I suggest taking a look at other freelancer accounts. You can usually tell which freelancers are the getting the most jobs. Study those accounts and see which elements are relevant to your own profile.

Step 3: Create Your Profile

Here are the factors that make an amazing profile:

  • High Quality Profile Photo: ​Your profile picture should be a nice professional headshot – No Snapchat filters. We repeat… no Snapchat filters!
  • Clear Headline: ​Your headline is an opportunity to share what exactly you do. For example, if a client is looking for a social media manager and your headline says exactly that, it catches their attention.
  • Engaging Summary: ​Talk about what exactly you do, who you serve and the type of work you’re able to do. Also explain why someone should hire you.
  • Provide Case Studies and Portfolio: If you want to land the best jobs as a freelance digital marketer, you must have a portfolio in place that clients can see. Ideally you’d want to show the industries you’ve worked in, the work you’ve produced and (most importantly) the result you provided. The more tangible and visual the portfolio is the better. A good example would be saying “Helped a local gym in Boston acquire 17 new gym membership clients in 30 days with $170 ad spend” Then you could showcase the ad, analytics and landing page.
  • Job Success Score:​ Clients want to see that you have worked with other clients on Upwork and have done a good job.
  • Resume/Previous Experience: If you don’t have a job score yet, your resume will be even more valuable. Tell them where you’ve worked and what you’ve done in your professional career that relates to online marketing.
  • Skills Tags:​ Make sure you label your skills so you can be easily find by potential clients.

Step 4: Research Potential Clients

This is a critical step that is often overlooked. Before you ever apply for a job, do a quick search and find out what the company is all about. Take a peak at their team members, mission statement, products and services. Try to determine who they are marketing to and how they are marketing to them.

Step 5: Write a Personalized Cover Letter for Each Client

I know it’s tempting to create a generic cover letter and simply replace the name and job title each time you apply, but to make an impression, you must create a personalize your cover letters. These are the best tips for writing an awesome cover letter.

  • Address the cover letter to an actual person on the team (your research really pays off here).
  • Introduce yourself quickly, making a couple points about your experience and how it relates to the job opening.
  • Act like a true marketing strategist and create a game plan for them. Some clients know exactly what they need from a digital marketer. But many times, they are clueless as to how to market their business on social media. That’s where you write out a well thought out, clear & concise strategy for that specific client.
  • Include case studies or specific examples in your proposal. For instance, if someone wants to grow their instagram account and you send them a case study of how you grew an account to 50k followers, that instantly gives you credibility.
  • Offer to hop on a quick call to discuss. Most of the time, they are likely to be sold if you can speak with them on the phone.
  • BONUS – Create a personalized video – Most freelancers won’t do this, but it can really set you apart from other applicants. Simply use chrome extensions such as Loom or BombBomb to shoot a quick webcam video going over your proposal and cover letter.

Step 6: Follow Up

There’s no shame in sending a quick message checking on the status of your application and letting the potential client know you are serious and enthusiastic about the job. Be careful not to send too many, one message per week is enough.

Step 7: Keep Trying

When you get the dreaded ‘We went in another direction’ or ‘the position has been filled’ message, it can be hard to put yourself out there again. Don’t give up. If you keep applying and using what you learn here, you will eventually get hired. And the more jobs you have behind you, the jobs you will get.

How to Get Freelance Marketing Jobs in Facebook Groups

Find Freelance Digital Marketing Jobs in Facebook Groups Infographic

So how do you actually find jobs on Facebook Groups?

  1. Search and join relevant Facebook groups. The key is to look for facebook groups where your ideal client would be hanging out. Search different words and phrases that pertain to your ideal client and join as many groups as possible.
  2. Observe the group culture. Start by reading the rules, then take some time to really watch  each group to see how they engage with each other. See what’s acceptable and what is not, then follow the lead of the group. People are protective of their groups and you must be respectful of that.
  3. Ask questions. Ask engaging questions that stir a response and give you the opportunity to share your knowledge and make genuine connections with others in the group.
  4. Answer questions. Read through your groups every day and answer  as many questions as possible. This will position you as an expert in the industry and a valued member of the group. Quick tip: Give the good stuff away for free.
  5. Collaborate. When you’re helping a group member by answering questions or giving suggestions, make sure to mention the services you offer and how you can continue to help them in the future.

Note: The advantages of using a freelancing site like Upwork is that the structure is in place to protect you. You know how you’ll get paid and you can make disputes easily. With outside methods, I suggest using a contract, a tracking tool, an invoicing software and a payment provider such as PayPal or Stripe to handle disputes.

Closing the Deal

Negotiating a Freelance Digital Marketing Salary

Tip #1: Get on the phone.

Many of us avoid the phone at all costs, but it really is the best way to drive home the value of your services. If you do get a phone call, find out what they are struggling with and where they need help, then provide details and examples of how you can help them. Use this time to give them a taste of the kind of service they can expect when they work with you.

Tip #2:​ ​Draft a Detailed Proposal With Deliverables

After your call, draft a detailed proposal that states the exact deliverables you will provide to the client. If any disputes come up, you can refer back to this proposal. Also this proposal helps manage your client’s expectations.

Tip #3: Have References Available

A small number of clients will ask for references to ensure that you’re trustworthy. They’ll want to know what it’s like to work with you and make sure that the information you’ve provided so far is accurate.

Tip #4: Be Ready to Send Them Your Portfolio

Not many clients will ask, but some clients want evidence of your work. It’s crucial you start to add to your portfolio with each new client. Even build up your portfolio doing free work or on the side as a hobby.

Tip #4: Go Above and Beyond

Most clients do not know what they’re doing in terms of online marketing. If they already have a plan in place or a specified job description, it’s your job to point out any holes in the plan. It’s your job as a digital marketer to let them know if there are any holes in their job description.

Give them suggestions of any other duties you (or someone else) will need to do in order to be successful. This isn’t an upsell opportunity. It is a necessary step in setting yourself up for a win and a chance to gain trust and respect from your client.

Build Your Portfolio

Start by applying for entry-level positions. They will pay less, but your chances of landing a job are higher. As you acquire clients, capture data, record wins, and ask for testimonials. This will help you to build case studies and a portfolio, and allow you start competing for more higher paying jobs.

How to Streamline the Process

There are two great ways to save time when applying for freelance marketer jobs. First, create templates. We mentioned this before as no-no, but it can be quite effective as long as you don’t skip one important step… personalization.

The next suggestion for saving time on the digital marketer job hunt is to use the time-block method. With time blocking, you schedule time for specific task, not specific jobs.

Choosing between a Remote or a Freelance Career Path

Working remotely means you can still receive all the benefits of a company, but have the perks of working at home. The advantages include the possibility for employee health insurance, stable paychecks and accessibility of company training programs.

As a freelancer, you’ll work for multiple clients who will likely pay you on a per project basis or possibly an hourly rate. Your pay may not be as consistent and you won’t have employer provided health care, but the benefits can be quite lucrative. You have the potential to earn more, since you can acquire new clients or higher paying clients. You can choose to accept or decline jobs based on your schedule or preference. Overall, freelancing is less stable, but you will have greater freedom.

Where to Find Remote Jobs for Online Marketers

If you’d prefer a remote marketing job, you’ll need to use a different strategy for searching and applying for jobs.

The first place to look is at your current employer. Find out if they would be interested in letting you do your job remotely. Tell them how they can save money and reassure them that you are capable of staying focused at home. You never know unless you ask. If your employer isn’t willing to let you work remotely, check with local and national competitors.

Then look at companies who are likely to hire remotely. According to Glassdoor, these are 14 of the top companies that let you work remotely: Humana, Dell, Glassdoor, Aetna, Allegis Transcription, Kaplan, Amazon, Apple, Github, American Express, Sitel, Enterprise, AppDynamics and Schellman.

Next, search online job boards that are specifically for remote jobs, like FlexJobs.

Last, use Google to search for jobs that include marketing, telecommute, online, and remote in the title.

Conclusion

In 2020, there is an incredible opportunity to become a digital marketing freelancer. Many of us have goals to travel the world or work from home to take care of our families. The remote and freelance career paths give you the opportunity to make your dreams come true.