The increasing hyperconnectivity of the digital world has broken down both physical and geographical barriers in many industries, meaning that people can produce work and remain productive wherever they are in the world, at any time. And digital marketing is no exception.
The freelance economy is booming, with 56.7 million Americans doing freelance work today—up by 3.7 million just four years ago. The fastest growing segment of freelancers is those making $75,000 and up, with over a third in that category.
With so many avenues and angles to explore, a constant rate of evolution and a growing number of touchpoints to exploit, more and more businesses are looking to freelance digital marketing specialists to help them deliver important campaigns and projects.
Becoming a digital marketing freelancer is a potentially lucrative, rewarding and entirely flexible situation and if you feel it’s the venture for you, here are some tips on how to make it happen.
There is currently a digital skills gap, and if you can fill it, you will find your pick of the best freelance roles, assignments, contracts and projects in your field.
According to a recent digital study, around 50% of modern businesses are suffering from a shortage of skilled workers. By learning the fundamentals of digital marketing, choosing an area in which to specialize and constantly upskilling yourself in-line with industry changes, you will remain competitive and attractive to businesses looking to outsource key digital marketing projects to talented freelancers.
As a freelance digital marketer, a CV alone isn't likely to land you the calibre of clients that will provide you with a successful, sustainable career - you will also need to build up a portfolio of work that you can showcase to your prospects.
At the very start of your career, taking on short internships or offering your skills and services in return for experience is a positive thing as this will allow you to gain confidence, hone your skills and give you plenty to add to your online portfolio.
If you're a content writer or marketer, you should also pitch out to online publications, writing on topics relevant to your areas of expertise. Not only will you be able to showcase your skills and niche knowledge, but you'll also gain valuable exposure and bylines.
When filling out or updating your portfolio, make sure you include a professional profile shot of yourself and include a synopsis as well as real client testimonials to accompany each link to, or image of, your work.
Every time you branch out to a prospective client, you will be going up against a host of other freelance competition, so learning how to pitch your services or ideas is essential to success.
To help you hone your pitching skills and cover all bases, here is a pitching checklist you can use as a guide.
As a freelance digital marketer, you will essentially be tapping into the gig economy to gain employment. In the US alone, there are 16 million people actively working in the gig economy, securing projects in their field through platforms, hubs, job sites and professional forums.
By finding the right professional work-based platforms and sites for your niche, optimizing your profiles on said platforms and actively participating, you will stand an excellent chance of picking up regular freelance digital marketing work.
Rather than pitch out for freelance work all of the time, by creating an engaging, mobile-friendly, fully-optimized website, as well as a relevant social media channels, and honing (or using) your inbound or content marketing skills (chances are this is what you do for a living anyway), you will enhance your online presence, boost awareness and ultimately have clients queing up to use your services.
While challenging to break into, with the right skillset, a desire to learn, self-motivation, plenty of persistence and consistency, the rewards of being a freelance digital marketer are potentially endless.
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