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The demand for digital marketers is growing at such a rate that there are more jobs than people with the necessary skills to fill them. This is making way for a new kind of entrepreneur, the freelance digital marketer.
There are a plethora of possibilities emerging in this field for those who are willing to dive in feet first. It is a fast-paced game with ever-changing rules giving the advantage to those that are able to stay on top of the changes and keep up with the pace.
As it becomes more difficult for companies to hire in-house digital marketing managers, and the demand for digital marketing services continues to rise—companies are being forced to outsource. If you can position yourself as an expert in even just one of the areas that need to be outsourced, it can be all you need to begin a rewarding career freelancing as a digital marketing manager.
One of the benefits of this type of work is that it gives you the freedom and flexibility to work from virtually anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
What does a Digital Marketing Manager Do? (And Why Are They so Hard to Come By?)
A digital marketing manager is the person responsible for developing and implementing a company's online marketing strategy. This includes tasks such as:
- Developing and managing marketing campaigns
- Branding and enhancing brand recognition
- Social media management
- Content marketing
- Customer acquisition
- Driving website traffic
This is such a new and fast-paced industry; there just aren't enough qualified professionals to meet the demand. Digital marketing managers have so many aspects that make up the day-to-day requirements of their job, that in order to fill the gap between need versus availability, savvy freelancers are honing in on what they are good at and getting paid for it.
Lena Elkins, a freelancer who coaches millennials on creating successful businesses, encourages her clients to figure out what they are good at, and then focus on that. This is great advice if you are considering making a move toward freelance digital marketing.
As companies are forced to outsource to freelancers, this provides a unique opportunity for freelancers to narrow their speciality. We will delve into the different areas that you can branch off into and the skills required for each below.
What Services Can I Offer as a Freelance Digital Marketer?
In the world of digital marketing, you are in the business of offering value. This requires a mind-shift.
It’s a hard habit to break, but the question needs to be more client focused. Not what can you do, but how can you help?
As a freelance digital marketer, you have to sell yourself by showing the client how you and your services are valuable to them.
Specific Areas of Focus for Freelance Digital Marketers
Facebook Ad Management
Some businesses base their entire marketing strategy on Facebook Ads because it is a powerful tool. It can be intimidating to the uninitiated, but a master of this craft has unlimited potential to attract clients.
Running and maintaining Google Ads campaigns for clients and showing them that you can use this tool to increase their revenue.
Google has an extensive amount of information and tools to get you started.
Social Media Management
Are you a social media butterfly? Can you post relevant, exciting and value-driven content across multiple mediums several times a day? Then someone needs you.
Handling social media accounts requires you to be a quick thinker. You must stay connected throughout the day and be ready to respond when your client's potential customers have something to say.
Writing relevant, value-driven content using keywords. It is an in-demand skill as more companies recognize the importance of providing value.
If you have a way with words and can write knowledgeably on things you know nothing about, this is a lucrative service that can earn you a great freelancing income. You can set your own rates based on your experience and skill. But starting out, you can expect to make about .02 to .05 cents per word.
When you want to break into this field working for a content mill, it is a great way to quickly gain experience in a multitude of areas. This can help you get an idea of what kind of clients you want to offer your services to as you build your own freelancing business.
Search engine optimization is not going out of style anytime soon. Organic rankings in search engines are one of the most powerful tools in the digital marketing tool belt, and mastering search engine algorithms will make you an asset to any business with an online presence.
Pay-per-click is a mystery to some, and a headache to others. If you have mastery of this art, you will have no trouble finding businesses in need of your services. The benefit to this is that since the client only pays when it works, you are able to quickly show your value with data-driven results.
Salary Expectations and Job Outlook
Freelance digital marketing is such a new concept that there isn't yet a lot of data on the expected salary ranges. That being said, a smart, well-organized, and dedicated freelancer can easily position themselves to do as well as, or better than traditional digital marketers.
Plus saving yourself the headache and expense of commuting to an office while being able to set your own hours are definite perks.
Freelance digital marketers have a great job outlook in the next ten to twenty years. There are 1.9 billion online buyers expected in 2019, and that number is projected to grow to 2.14 billion by 2021. With more shoppers turning to online markets, the time is now to set yourself up as an expert in the freelance digital marketing field.
Let’s take a look at how much digital marketing managers are making across the world, because as a freelance digital marketer—you can work from anywhere in the world!
The average salary for a freelance digital marketer in the US is $66,206 a year.
A digital marketing manager working out of the UK can expect an average salary of about £40,000, and a savvy freelance can expect about the same.
In Australia digital marketing managers are bringing in an average of AU$79,260, freelancers can expect to do the same if they put in the work.
The average salary in Canada is $58,000. That number increases to $65,000 if you’re working in Ontario and drops to $45,500 for Nova Scotians.
When you are working outside your salary expectations, you may have to adjust your mindset from expecting an hourly rate. As an employee that is how you get paid, as a business owner that is just not realistic—especially when you are first starting out. You may feel like you are not getting paid appropriately for your time if you use an hourly wage calculation which can be disheartening.
Instead, consider first how much you need to earn to live by analyzing your current expenses. It will not take long until you are exceeding your goals, but you won’t be able to do that if you can’t pay your bills or buy groceries. Some people find that they can even triple their income in as little as three months.
If you are reading this, then you are well on your way toward starting a new career as a freelance digital marketer. Whether you’re just getting started or a seasoned veteran, one of the most exciting aspects of this career is your unlimited potential for growth. If you have a passion for marketing and a thirst for knowledge combined with stellar time management and organizational skills—now is the time to start offering your services as a freelance digital marketer.
And are you looking to upskill yourself, but unsure how to find the time? Then online learning could be for you, as it is designed to fit in with your life, professional and personal.
The industry is full of opportunities for those who are willing to put in the time to hone their craft and adapt to changing demands. If you are interested in reputable digital marketing training, an online course with the Digital Marketing Institute may help you to bridge the gap between your current professional situation and your dreams.