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The idea of being your own boss is what drives many people to consider freelancing. Being in charge of your own career comes with a range of benefits, such as choosing clients you resonate with, working on your own schedule, and making money for yourself.
One of the most popular choices for those wanting to start a freelancing career is digital marketing. Because let’s face it, we live in the era of connectivity, and the internet is almost indispensable to us.
If you have been thinking of taking your digital marketing career to a different level and try to make it on your own, then this guide is just what you need. People make a lot of beginner mistakes at the start of their freelancing career, but by following our tips, you will learn how to stay clear of them and start making money as a digital marketer.
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Work on building and improving your skills
If you have experience with digital marketing, then this step is going to be a lot easier for you. Normally, in a traditional office job, the employer would be responsible for your training. As a freelancer, however, you are going to be the one in charge of your own professional development.
A big part of making it in the digital marketing industry in being up to date with the market, which is changing very rapidly. You will have to invest in courses, seminars, and other learning tools that will help improve your skills or develop new ones.
Another way you can improve your skills is through practice, so don’t be afraid to take on challenging clients and get out of your comfort zone.
Shift to a business owner mindset
One of the biggest mistakes that beginner freelancers make is they continue to think from an employee point of view. As an employee, they are accustomed to following the decisions others make, whereas now, as a solopreneur, they should be trying to take initiative and start making decisions on their own.
You are now a business owner, so you will have to start thinking like one. By consciously switching your mind to business mode, you will always think about your next step and learn to become proactive. If you keep thinking as if you were an employee, always looking for approval from a superior, your progress is going to be much harder.
Invest in some good tools
In a typical office, again, your employer would be the one in charge of providing you with the tools to do your job the best way possible. As a freelancer, you will have to invest time in researching good tools, and money in subscribing or purchasing these tools.
Follow other marketers and see what tools they recommend, then do your own research and choose some apps that suit your needs. Ideally, you should invest in a grammar tool, a project management tool, an email marketing tool, as well as some performance analysis tools, depending on the type of digital marketing you will be specializing in.
Set your pricing model
As a solopreneur, you will also be in charge of your own price offer. You need to start deciding on a pricing model, as well as a price. This means you need to evaluate your work and efforts very well so that clients won’t catch you by surprise when they ask for the bill.
Start by studying the market and learn how much marketers with similar experience and skills earn. You will typically find a variety of pricing models, including prices pe hours, per month, per project, or a combination of any of the options above.
Because each client is different, you will have to come up with multiple pricing models and rates. Start by deciding on an hourly rate, then you can work things out from there. For example, when a client asks for a price per project, you can make a quick estimate of how much time it will take to get done, then match this with your hourly rate. Same can go for a monthly rate, depending on how many hours you will be working during that month.
Build your personal brand
As you probably know, if you have some basic knowledge of digital marketing, building your brand is very important if you want to be successful. Whether you decide to do freelancing under your own name, or consider choosing a business name, building your brand is equally as important.
One of the best ways to do so is by guest-posting on websites with a lot of traffic, which are known by everyone in your niche. This will prove you have knowledge about the subjects you are approaching and convince clients you are a professional.
If you have a website, link it to your articles, so that you can get new visitors and potential clients. This will also help your off-page SEO.
Just because the freelancing world is so competitive, it does not mean your competition is necessarily your enemy. Don’t make the mistake of taking on a you-against-the-world attitude. Go to meetings and events, make valuable conversations and connect with like-minded professionals.
These connections will help you grow your personal brand, learn to see new perspectives and, find out about interesting ideas, or even find a potential business partner.
You can also connect with fellow marketers over social media, then maybe meet in person to exchange ideas or propose a collaborative project if the case asks for it.
Organize your time well
As we mentioned, being your own boss comes with a lot of advantages, but you also need to learn how to avoid the traps of working on your own schedule. When no one is there to ask “How are we doing on that project?” procrastination can easily set in. At the same time, when no one is there to turn off the lights in the office, you can lose yourself for hours in front of the computer.
Learn how to keep a balance between your professional and personal life, and try keeping a consistent working schedule. This does not mean you need to start at 9 AM and finish at 5 PM every day, but clients will appreciate your professionalism if they knew when they could find you available.