Freelancing in India has evolved a lot in recent years. Most of the industry statistics and studies have suggested that freelance business in India is growing at a rapid pace with an increasing number of opportunities. Owing to flexibility and freedom of working with a freelance digital marketing consultant, many of the established organizations and startups are seeking their services. This helps in making freelance digital marketing consultancy a lucrative career option.
One can select their field of freelancing based on the knowledge, skill set, and interest. You need strong know-how and proficiency to start your career as a freelance digital marketing consultant. Also, digital marketing is one of the ever-growing fields with regular new updates. You need to constantly upgrade yourself in order to ensure steady revenue and continuous businesses from the clients.
It is also necessary to create a personal brand in the online space as a digital marketer. This will help you to get a regular flow of business from a diverse range of customers.
The following are some of the guidelines using which you can create, manage and scale up your freelance digital marketing business.
How to start as a freelance digital marketing consultant
1. Identifying your digital marketing skills
The first and most critical thing to start your career as a freelance digital marketing consultant is identifying the particular field of operation. You should classify your expertise and specialization before venturing into freelancing.
There are diverse types of specializations in digital marketing:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
Search engine optimization is the mechanism using which the popularity and the ranking of a website are improved in the search engine results pages. This is done based on specific keywords and key phrases.
Social Media Marketing (SMM):
Social media marketing is essentially the process of reaching out and engaging a company’s target consumers through different social media platforms. It increases brand recognition and helps to promote the products and improve their sales.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM):
Search engine marketing is to run paid ads on search engine results pages. This is most often used for the marketing and promotion of brands or companies.
Content marketing is the process of generating and publishing particular content into digital platforms. It helps to engage and drive a specific audience base towards any particular product or service.
Email marketing is one of the most targeted forms of digital marketing. It is the mechanism of creating and sending the promotional emailers to defined databases.
Video is the new growing form of web search with more than 33% of total online users are spending their time watching videos. Using video marketing one can create, optimize, and promote their video content.
2. Create your individual brand and work profile
A personal brand is very important to grow as a freelance digital marketing consultant. Because personal branding helps to create the desired identity in the minds of the target customers.
At the very beginning, You need to build your company logo and brand name to create a positive impact on the mind of a customer. Next, you should develop a website featuring all your works and testimonials from different clients.
You are also required to publish informative and relevant blogs on your website for steady traffic. All your portfolios should inform customers about how your service can add value to their business.
3. Get registered to the leading freelance websites
As a freelance digital marketing consultant, you should join some of the leading freelance websites. These freelance sites essentially work as a connecting platform between business organizations and freelancers.
Check out some of the most prominent freelance websites:
4. LinkedIn Jobs-https://in.linkedin.com/jobs
5. The Dots-https://the-dots.com/
6. People Per Hour-https://www.peopleperhour.com/
7. Blue Tie Global-https://www.bluetieglobal.com/
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You should select one or all of them based on your preference. Once you sign up on any particular site, you need to create a profile and portfolio on those sites. Each of these sites offers unique benefits.
You can search for different works based on your skill sets and bid for the desired project. When your skill-set and experience matches with their work requirement, the customers can also get in touch with you through these websites.
Managing your freelance digital marketing business
1. Identification of your target customers
You need to identify the potential client for your business based on your expertise, knowledge and skill set.
2. Reaching out to the target customers
Once you identify the target customers, the next step is to reach out to them. There are different ways to attract potential customers or getting discovered by them. Create a strong profile of yourself in the online domain and promote it through various freelancing websites.
You can also generate and publish interesting and relevant content on different online platforms. This will help you to increase the reach among a larger audience base.
3. The process of bidding and pitching
Bidding and pitching are two important mechanisms to get business as a freelance digital marketing consultant.
There are multiple projects available on different freelance sites. You should choose the projects matching with your skill set and field of operations. One can bid for single or multiple projects depending on the rules of a particular website. A bid should be short and transparent. It should also demonstrate how your knowledge and experience is the ideal one for the project.
Pitching is the process of reaching out to prospective customers. You can take this approach when you feel that the client has got the requirement that matches your skill set.
4. Managing time and tasks
It is very important for you to deliver the service as per the agreed timeline as a freelance digital marketing consultant. Sometimes you may need to deliver multiple projects at the same time. In such cases, you need to maintain a particular time schedule for each project. You can also set reminders so that you do not miss any deadlines.
Find out some of the most exciting tools which you can help you to manage your freelance digital marketing business:
Clockify is a truly free time monitoring app. Basically, It is a timesheet application that allows you and your team to track work hours. Also, on this platform there are no restrictions on the number of users.
Trello helps you to work better by managing your timeline and tasks. On Trello, the boards, listings, and cards allow your projects to be organized and prioritized in a unique way.
Monday.com is a forum for handling your job schedule in an offbeat way. It manages your work by organizing them and by keeping a time track.
Asana is the forum for work management. You can also administer your project objectives and daily timelines using this tool.
You can use Toggl to improve your productivity using its simple time tracking features. It allows you to graph daily activities and across multiple platforms, along with options to optimise and channelise workflow on the basis of identification of improvement gaps.
Remember, as a freelance digital marketing consultant you should set the pricing at the optimum level. Your pricing should suit the project objective of your customer. It shouldn’t be so high that clients feel that you are charging them more. The best way to fix pricing by comparing your skill sets and pricing with other freelancers. You can get this data from different freelance websites.
There are primarily two forms of pricing: hourly and project-based pricing. Since hourly pricing is just an approximation of a project’s overall cost, it usually does not justify the price. You should set your pricing based on the type of project and time frame involved.
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Scaling up your freelance digital marketing business
1. Improving your skill sets
Digital marketing is an ever-evolving business. Being a freelance digital marketing consultant you should always focus on developing your skill sets and knowledge. Also, You can enroll in various online and offline courses that can help you to keep updated with the latest tools and technologies.
2. Collaborating with other freelancers
This is one of the most effective ways to expand your business. You can collaborate with other freelancers who are having separate skill set but in a related field. Like, in case you are a content marketer, collaborating with a website designer will help you to serve a larger client base.
3. Communicating with experts and influencers
As a part of the outreach program, you can also collaborate with influencers and experts in your field. These activities will give you a chance to get featured into their channels, podcasts or webinars. As a result, you will be able to increase your reach and target a wider market.
4. Email marketing
It is very important for you to retain existing clients as well as getting new clients as a freelance digital marketing consultant. You can use email marketing for both purposes. It helps you to maintain relationships with the current customers as well as reaching out to new customers
5. Paid promotions
Another successful way to develop your freelance digital marketing business is paid promotions on different online media. You can choose the audience base and target your ad campaign based on the budget and type of project.
Get going as a freelancer
These are the guidelines to start, manage and grow as a freelance digital marketing consultant. You can also start your career as a freelance digital marketing consultant along with your full-time job. With increasing experience and exposure you can slowly shift towards a comprehensive freelancing career.
Remember freelancing is all about having the required skill sets and updated knowledge. Once customers find the best quality solutions at an optimum price, they will always come back to you.
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Q. How much do freelance digital marketers earn on an average?
A. Entry-level individuals with an average level of skills and expertise make around 4-5 lakhs per annum. Going forward, the number increases on the basis of contacts, experience and skill-sets developed.
Q. Should a digital marketer have hands-on experience at coding and the technical requisites as well?
A. Necessarily, they don’t, but it is always an added advantage if digital marketers know the nitty-gritty of coding as well.
Q. How much time do you need to become an efficient digital marketer?
A. Digital marketing is a process to be acquired in time. People learn it in stages and in the process of marketing at whole. But there are some course available online and offline, that can help you become a digital marketer as well.