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How to Start, Manage and Grow Your Freelance Digital Marketing Business

How to Start, Manage and Grow Your Freelance Digital Marketing Business
March 18, 2019

How to Start, Manage and Grow Your Freelance Digital Marketing Business

Mar 18, 2019
Surya Teja

Surya Teja is a Digital Marketing Professional with a great interest towards Marketing, Branding & Visual Design.


Freelancing has been on the rise in India in the recent years. Professionals from various industries are shifting towards freelancing and some are doing freelancing along with a full-time job. While freelancing also has its own pros and cons, it depends on one’s interests, skills and preferences whether to move towards freelancing or not.

Digital Marketing Jobs On Top Freelance Websites

Freelance Digital Marketing Job Post on Upwork

 

Freelance Digital Marketing Job Post on People Per Hour

 

Freelance Digital Marketing Job Post on Freelancer.com
Freelance Digital Marketing job posts on various freelancing websites.

 

With that said, freelancing is a good career option in Digital Marketing too. Many small businesses as well as established companies are looking for freelance digital marketing specialists to help them in their marketing efforts. 

Freelancing statistics of India by Atlas

A report on how much freelancers in India are making annually.

 

Industry statistics and reports suggest that freelancing is a growing career with its growing opportunities in India, US and many other countries across the world. With enough skill and expertise, you can setup and start your own freelance Digital Marketing business and generate high income. You can have the freedom and flexibility to take up projects and work with clients or companies/businesses based on your own interests and preferences.

To ensure success in the industry and a steady flow of income, you need to have good skills and expertise, and constantly update yourself in the various modules of digital marketing. You need to manage and promote your personal brand well in order to get clients continuously. With these things, here are the ways you can start, manage and grow your freelance digital marketing business.

START

Build Your Digital Marketing Skills

The first and the foremost thing in order to start a freelance career is to have a strong skill-set and understanding of your field or industry. Since clients or companies always look for freelancers with good skills and expertise, it is necessary to define your skill-set and recognise what areas of specialization you are good at in Digital Marketing.

The various types and specializations of Digital Marketing are:

PPC Advertising: PPC Advertising is the process of creating and publishing adverts on various places on the internet through platforms like Google Ads, Bing Ads, Outbrain, etc.

Social Media Marketing (SMM): The process of using various social media channels to reach and engage the target customers of a brand/business, increase brand awareness and promote its products/services, and drive sales. It includes both paid as well as unpaid methods.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM): Search Engine Marketing is the practice of using paid advertisements that appear on search engine results pages (SERPs) as well as using unpaid methods to market/promote a brand or a business or a website. SEO can be considered a component of SEM.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Search Engine Optimization is the process of increasing the visibility and ranking a website in search engine results pages (SERPs) for specific keywords and search phrases.

Content Marketing: The practice and the process of creating and publishing content relevant to a brand/product/service that engages and informs its target audience and drives them towards conversions, i.e., purchase or subscription of a product/service.

Email Marketing: Email Marketing is the process of acquiring leads and sending promotional emails to the acquired leads in a systematic, strategic and personalized way. The whole of email marketing is to send the right message to the right person at the right time.

Web Analytics: Web Analytics is the process of using tracking and analytics tools like Google Analytics to measure, track and report the traffic and conversions of a website or an e-commerce store.

You can build your Digital Marketing skills and get an understanding of the various concepts, modules and practices of digital marketing by taking up a course online or by joining a classroom training in a good digital marketing institute.

Build Your Personal Brand And Portfolio

A personal brand is necessary and is very beneficial for a freelance business. Personal branding is the process of establishing an intended image in the minds of your target clients or customers. A brand reflects a promise, so treat your brand accordingly.

Website of a freelancer digitlal marketer, Guy Ramsay.

 

Start with a portfolio website, a brand name (which could also be or contain your personal name), a logo, a list of the services you offer and your areas of expertise. Include case studies of your previous projects, write about the latest industry trends and produce blog content that your target clients/customers would find helpful and interesting. Your portfolio website and blog content should reflect how you can help your prospective clients reach their business goals.

Join Well-reputed Freelance Sites

In the beginning of your freelance career you may not get enough projects on your own which you can work on, but you can join well-reputed freelance sites which can help you get the projects you like from various clients and companies. These freelance sites act like a bridge between freelancers and clients.

Some of the notable freelancing sites are:

Upwork

Fiverr

The Dots

BlueTie Global

LinkedIn Jobs

Freelancer

FlexJobs

People Per Hour

Choose a good freelance site, sign up and create your profile and portfolio mentioning your skills, services and expertise, and include links to your portfolio website. Learn to pitch yourself and your services to prospective clients. How you bid them or how you pitch them will decide whether they choose you or not. Each of the above freelancing websites offer unique advantages. If you would like to see the difference between Upwork and Fiverr, check this article by Ryan on Rent My Words, Fiverr Vs. Upwork: Where Should a Freelancer Spend Their Resources?

Each freelance site works on its own way, but they all have some similar basic features. You can bid/pitch on the projects you like to work with which will be available on the site or bid on those projects which would be recommended to you based on your skills. Clients may also directly approach you if they come across your portfolio and consider working with you.

MANAGE

Identify Your Target/Potential Clients

You need to clearly identify who will be your ideal clients, especially in the beginning of your freelance career. Based on your specialization and skill-set, you need to identify what kind of businesses/companies you can serve well or what kind of business needs of a client you can fulfill better. Choose your target clients and projects based on your interests and skill-set. With experience and expertise, you can work with a wide variety of businesses and clients. 

Know How To Get Clients

You need to get clients to work with in order to run your freelance business. For that, you need to promote your personal brand and your services in order to reach and get clients across different channels. You may come across a few prospective clients at a business/professional event in your city, but the most reliable way is to reach them online. 

Promoting Your Personal Brand And Your Services

Create your profile and promote yourself, your personal brand and your services on various social media channels and professional networking channels like Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter, etc., and freelancing sites like Upwork, BlueTie Global, Freelancer, etc.

How to get your first job on Upwork freelancing platform.

 

Direct Contact Or Email Outreach

You can also directly reach a prospective client that you have come across online through direct email. Let’s say you find a company’s website which could be a startup or a small business in its growing stage and you find out that they require digital marketing services. 

Or you may find company profiles or prospective clients’ profiles on professional networking sites/platforms like Linkedin, BlueTie Global, etc., where you can find their business details and contact details as well. You can contact them on the platform itself or you can directly drop them an email pitching your service and how you can benefit them. If you do not find their email id, you can use tools like hunter.io. Remember, how you pitch yourself and your services plays a crucial role in getting clients.

Reaching And Getting Clients Through Content Marketing

More important thing is to create and publish helpful and interesting content relevant to your target clients, on your blog and social media networking channels. Write about Digital Marketing, how it helps businesses reach goals and grow their businesses, various types of Digital Marketing, industry trends and practices. Take advantage of guest blogging to increase your reach.

These are the various ways for you to reach potential clients and for your potential clients to discover you. Remember that your brand is a promise that you should strive to keep up. Your work delivery, integrity and expertise should reflect your personal (brand) values.

Bidding And Pitching Process And Strategies

Bidding on projects and pitching your services to clients play a major role in your freelance business. While the two may seem interchangeable, there is a difference. Bidding is when you offer a service or solution for a price range and time period to a client who proposes a project or a piece of work on a public domain, especially, a freelance site. Pitching is the way of approaching and proposing your service(s) to a prospective client who might be looking for the services you offer or whose business you think can get benefited and improved by your services.

Bidding
If you join a freelance site or a professional networking site where you can find clients and projects, and you see a project proposed by a client which you are interested in and can finish, then you need to bid on the project.

Before placing a bid, you need to completely and thoroughly understand the project details, deadlines, skills required, amount of work, etc., so that you can place a perfect bid. Your bid should always be attuned to the client’s needs. Rather than just mentioning your skills or experience, focus on conveying how you can help them and fulfill their need. 

A bid should be concise, clear and should convey how effectively and efficiently you can complete the project in a suitable budget in a given time period.

Pitching
Pitching is approaching a prospective client and proposing your service(s) that you think he/she might be needing or that you think can improve and grow his/her business.

The first step in pitching process is understanding the client’s business and getting a thorough idea of what stage their business is in and what can be made to grow it. Next you need to understand how you can help the prospect grow their business through your services. For example, if your client’s business website is not visible in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for certain keywords or search queries, you can offer them your service on SEO and Search Advertising.

The final step is to prepare the pitch and proceed approaching the prospective client. You need to persuade your prospect that your services can benefit and grow his business, and that you can effectively achieve their business goals.

Manage Time and Tasks With The Right Tools

You need to manage your work delivery and make sure to deliver the required work or results by the deadlines agreed upon with your clients. There may be times when you get 3-4 projects at a time and you need to assign a particular time-slot for each project based on the amount of work and the deadlines, set reminders and check and report the progress. There are some good tools to help you with that with nice and varying features at varying prices.

Trello

Trello Work Management Tool

Trello lets you work more collaboratively and get more done.
Trello’s boards, lists, and cards enable you to organize and prioritize your projects in a fun, flexible, and rewarding way.

Asana

Asana Work Management Tool

Make more time for the work that matters most
Asana is the work management platform teams use to stay focused on the goals, projects, and daily tasks that grow business.

Monday.com

Monday.com Work Management Tool

Monday.com is a platform that provides a new way to manage your work
Plan. Organize. Track. In one visual, collaborative space.

Toggl

Toggl Work Management Tool

Where did time go?
Turn your team on to productivity with Toggl, the time tracker.

Clockify

Clockify Work Management Tool

The only truly free time tracker for teams
Clockify is the only 100% free time tracking software. It's a simple time tracker and timesheet app that lets you and your team track work hours on projects. Unlimited users, free forever.

Know How to Price Your Work

Pricing is an important aspect of your freelance digital marketing business. Your pricing shouldn’t be so high that your clients feel you are charging too much or it shouldn’t be so less that you don’t get satisfied or effect your work quality and productivity.Your pricing should be at a meeting point between your clients’ comfort and your comfort. 

The best way to do it is to compare the prices of the services you offer with those on various freelancing sites and with various professionals and independent freelancers of your industry. You can use sites like Glassdoor, PayScale and other job/recruiting sites, survey sites, etc.

You can also seek advice from some of the leading and expert freelancers of your industry. Most of them keep their pricing details private, but they would help you in knowing how to price your services. You can contact them through direct email or direct DM to any of their social media channels.

Compare the price ranges, know what the experts and experienced ones are charging, and what beginners or new professionals in the industry are charging. Compare and analyse, and set a price range that you can justify. You need to justify your pricing as clients like to make sure that they are paying right amount of money and not more than what is generally expected in the market.

There are two kinds of pricing mostly followed: hourly and project-based. While hourly pricing is just an estimate of the total price of a project, it doesn’t generally justify your pricing. Your pricing should always be based on the kind of the project and the amount of work involved, and mutually agreed upon by you and your client.
 

How To Price Projects (Hourly, Project, Value Based): Panel Discussion

Social Responsibility & Ethics in Digital Marketing

 As a freelance digital marketer you are an independent professional and you need to be responsible for your work. A Digital Marketer needs to take care of these things in order to uphold social responsibility and ethics in his/her work.

Integrity & Transparency/Openness in Work
You need to be transparent and honest in your work. Transparency and integrity can make your clients more  You should strictly avoid any deceptive or unethical practices in your work as they are highly damaging to your own freelance career as well as your client’s business.  

Avoid Promoting Anti-social Elements And Frauds
Strictly avoid promoting any anti-social elements and fraud companies/organizations (frauds or scamsters; racism or communal hatred and disinformation; or any harmful or deceitful content.)

Refuse To Promote Pseudoscience And Superstitions
Refuse to promote any superstitious & pseudoscientific businesses/organisations (numerology, astrology, psychic readings, quackery, faith healing, etc.,)

GROW

Expand Your Skills And Improve Your Craft

Expanding your skills and improving your craft is a primary step towards growing your freelance Digital Marketing business. What else can sound more sensible? Learn and acquire more skills, expand your specialization and expertise by taking up online or offline courses that you find helpful in the process and constantly update yourself with the latest trends and practices in the Digital Marketing industry.

Freelancing is all about being competitive and providing exceptional services that your clients feel worthwhile. So be it.

Collaborate With Other Freelancers

Collaborating with other freelancers with complementary skills and expertise is an effective and efficient way to grow your freelance business. For eg., if you have good content creation skills, SEO, advertising, social media, you can collaborate with other freelancers who are good at website design and development, visual design, UI/UX, email marketing, landing page development and optimization, etc.

This way you can work with clients and businesses on wider projects, offer more added and advanced services, charge more and thus, grow your freelance business.

Collaborate (With Influencers) On Webinars / Podcasts / Interviews

Start collaborating with experts and Influencers in your own industry or some other closely related industry and get featured in their Webinars / Podcasts / Interviews etc. With Webinars, Podcasts and Interviews, you can reach more audience and engage with them effectively. 

You can increase your reach and brand awareness, and get more clients and projects by collaborating with experts and influencers related to your industry on their webinars, podcasts and interviews.

Use Automated Lead Capturing & Email Marketing

Another efficient way grow your freelance business is to use automated lead capturing and email marketing to get more clients and retain your client base. 

Email marketing and Automated Lead Capturing techniques will facilitate you in getting better leads and conversions which will help you so much in growing your client base and thus, in growing your freelance digital marketing business.

Use Paid Promotions

Paid promotions are another effective means of growing your freelance business. With paid promotions, you can easily target the clients based on your preferences like client budget, kind of projects, etc. 


These are the instructions that can help you to start, manage and grow your own freelance digital marketing business. Also, one can start their freelancing career while also working as a full-time employee and then, gradually shift towards freelancing with one’s growing experience and expertise. It depends on one’s choices and preferences. Remember that freelancing is all about being competitive and updated in your industry and providing your clients with exceptional services that they find worthwhile.

With these things in consideration, if you would like to build your skills and start a freelancing career in Digital Marketing, joining a live classroom training under a mentor would be the best way. Contact us on WhatsApp @9885753885 for more details.
 

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