How to launch your career as a freelance digital marketer

Are you thinking about becoming a freelance marketing professional? Well, it might be worthwhile to consider that.

A digital marketing career can be a lucrative and flexible option. It offers numerous opportunities if you have the right mindset and essential skills.

This article offers a complete guide on how to become a freelance digital marketer successfully.

What is freelance digital marketing?

Freelance digital marketing involves providing marketing services to clients on a contract or project basis. That is different from having a full-time job in a single company. 

Freelancers in this field offer expertise in various digital channels such as social media, search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and more. 

Their goal is to help businesses improve their online presence, attract customers, and increase sales or brand recognition and awareness.

Digital marketing freelancers may also work with different types of clients simultaneously and have the flexibility to set their schedules and rates.

Four essential steps to kickstart your journey as a freelance digital marketer

Now let’s dive in and share some tips on how to become a freelance digital marketer. Here are four steps to follow:

1) Define your niche and services

As mentioned earlier, digital marketing is a vast field. To excel, you must find your ideal niche and define the specific freelance services you will offer. 

Start by researching the current trends and demands in the digital marketing industry. According to a study, paid search marketing is the number one digital marketing channel, with 42.4% of business leaders spending the most for it. This was followed by social media ads (40%) and organic social media marketing (36%).  

Furthermore, study other freelance marketers and even agencies catering to your target market. Identify their niches, services, pricing, and unique selling propositions (USPs). That can help you find opportunities to differentiate yourself.

Also, reflect on your interests, passions, and areas of expertise within the digital marketing industry. Consider what aspects of digital marketing you enjoy the most and the skills you have. 

Once you have completed your self-assessment and market research, narrow down your freelance business focus to a specific niche or target audience. 

You could, for example, choose from industry verticals such as e-commerce, fintech, or SaaS. Alternatively, you could target a business size, such as startups or local businesses.

Finally, outline the core digital marketing services you will offer to your clients. These could include social media management, content strategy and creation, SEO optimization, PPC campaign management, email marketing campaigns, among others.

As a new business owner, don’t forget to identify any complementary offerings that can enhance your value proposition and make you stand out from your competitors.

2) Build your online presence

You must build a solid online presence to establish your expertise and stand out online. The first step toward achieving this goal is to create a well-designed and user-friendly website that showcases your skills and services.

For a positive user experience, ensure your website loads quickly, or in two seconds or less. So, select the fastest web hosting provider. Also optimize your images. You can use valuable tools such as JPEG Optimizer and TinyPNG for this. 

Furthermore, start publishing high-quality, SEO-optimized blog posts. You can also create free resources such as e-books, webinars, or templates that offer value to your audience. These will help you showcase your knowledge in your niche.

Additionally, submit guest post ideas to prominent blogs and websites in your field. Once these guest posts are published, you won’t only expand your audience and solidify your position as an expert in your chosen niche. If your guest posts carry your backlinks (and they should), they can help boost your site’s SEO ranking as well.

Don’t forget to identify which social media channels your target audience is most active on and create social profiles. Then, start sharing valuable content and insights, joining online communities like Facebook groups, and engaging with your audience.

3) Acquire clients and projects

Your digital marketing business success largely depends on your ability to attract and retain clients. So, you must have a solid plan in place for acquiring customers and client projects.

Take a proactive approach. Cold pitching potential clients via email or LinkedIn helps. Just ensure that you demonstrate that you have researched their online business needs. 

You can use AI templates to streamline the process and personalize your message for each recipient. This will help you distinguish your message from generic ones and prove your genuine interest in working with them. 

Also, focus on providing value instead of just directly pitching your different types of services in the digital marketing industry.    

Networking effectively is also an essential aspect of identifying potential opportunities. So, attend industry events and conferences. 

You could offer complimentary consultations or audits of prospective clients’ current digital marketing campaigns. Consider offering special promotions or discounted packages for your digital marketing services. That can incentivize businesses to try them and foster long-term partnerships.

Don’t forget to request referrals or recommendations from your existing clients. Satisfied clients are more likely to refer others in their networks, facilitating the expansion of your client base.

4) Market your services

Promoting your services will help you further boost your visibility and get even more clients you can turn into loyal customers.

Implement these strategies to market your services:

  • Writing site blog posts and guest posts: Continue writing site blog posts and guest posts even after your website is up and running and after you’ve published a few pieces on other sites. You want to scale your content creation to get your services to an even wider audience.
  • Social media marketing: Continue leveraging your social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, X, Instagram, and YouTube. You can use them to, not just build your online presence and enhance your authority, but also to directly promote your offerings. Share your portfolio to continue to attract customers.
  • Email marketing: Once you have increased site traffic, you can build an email list of potential clients and send them regular updates, valuable content, and special offers via newsletters. Personalize emails to meet audience requirements and interests.
  • Paid advertising: Use your now-bigger budget to reach more people using paid advertising. Google Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, or sponsored content can help you with lead generation. Target your ads effectively based on factors, such as demographics, interests, and behavior to maximize your return on investment.

Ensure you are continuously monitoring and optimizing your marketing activities to ensure they’re working and yielding results.

Ready to become a successful freelance digital marketing expert?

Becoming a successful freelance digital marketing expert requires a proactive attitude and effort. However, it is a rewarding career with great potential. 

I hope this article has helped you understand how to become a freelance digital marketer. To summarize, launching a career as a freelance digital marketer involves the following steps: 

  • Defining your niche and services
  • Building your online presence 
  • Acquiring clients and projects 
  • Marketing your services through various digital marketing strategies.

As a final tip, always remember that consistency and ongoing learning are essential to remaining competitive in this ever-changing field. 

Now, go forth and make your mark as a freelance digital marketer!

James Westfield is the Marketing Manager for Writer, an AI writing platform designed for teams. He has over 10 years of experience in the industry. When James isn’t in the office, you can find him on the golf course.