How to Start A Freelance Marketing Side Hustle

Freelance marketing

Today, there are close to 2 billion websites on the internet. Many receive hundreds of visitors each month. Others, receive tens of thousands, if not millions. Some sites are bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue. Others, close to zero. The winners have mastered one thing - marketing. The beauty? You too can tap into the revenue being earned online via freelance marketing.

What sets these sites apart? A lot. For instance, relevant and helpful content. Having a tribe of true fans and products or services that generate revenue. Each one of these components requires one or more elements of freelance marketing to be successful. As a result, freelance marketing can open up a world of endless opportunities for you to pursue. Keen to learn more? Let's dive in!

Why freelance marketing

According to ZipRecruiter, freelance marketing can earn you $68,970 based on the national average. Aside from the monetary perks, it can also come with additional benefits. Looking to quit your 9 to 5? Freelance marketing can help you do so giving you the ability to work from home plus build a successful business and you'll never have to explain a gap in your resume again! Interested in building a diverse portfolio of clients? The world is your stage with freelance marketing. Excited about social media and how to generate traffic? Freelance marketing will help you do just that. Are you a stay at home mom looking to earn extra income? This is a great side hustle to start!

The pros of freelance marketing are many and one of the biggest draws for many in this generation has been the freedom to do what you want from wherever you want. Additionally, marketing is so pivotal to businesses of all shapes and sizes. Marketing is key for brand awareness, lead generation, and content creation. And the reality is, most companies need help doing it.

If you're new to this, you might be wondering what exactly a marketer does. Understanding this will be the first step in helping you find your corner in the marketing world and help you to add maximum value to companies.

What a freelance marketer does

There are many niches in freelance marketing. At the core, a freelance marketer is someone who helps businesses to grow their brand.

Common paths freelance marketers take include:

  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Product Marketing
  • Ecommerce marketing
  • Content marketing
  • SEO

As you can see, there are many paths you can take to become a successful freelance marketer. In the beginning, it may be wise to learn as much as you can about generating traffic to a brand new site, building an email list and growing a social media platform. As you do this, you'll soon find different areas of interest where you can focus your efforts.

Determining your freelance marketing focus niche

As noted above, marketing is a very broad field. You can specialize in different aspects of it. Specifically, you can find your niche using very simple criteria. If:

You love writing

If you're a wordsmith, you'll want to check out content marketing. Content marketing involves putting together blog posts, writing press releases, web content, and white papers. Companies hire content marketers and freelance writers on a full-time, part-time and freelance basis. They may also find content marketers through agencies.

You're a social genius

Do you have a knack for creating viral social content? You'll definitely want to check out social media marketing. Nowadays all companies must have a social media presence online before anyone can take them seriously. Many are paying top dollars to build a platform where their audience can find and engage with them.

You have an analytical mind

If this is you, SEO might just be your cup of tea. Arguably one of the hottest topics in marketing, SEO is a top priority for many companies. Good SEO ensures that companies find themselves on page 1 of Google's search results. If you can figure out how to get a company on that coveted spot, you'll be golden.

Where to find freelance work as a freelance marketer

OK, so you know the what and the how but you may be wondering where? Where will you find freelance work? It may feel daunting at first glance, but you'll be glad to know that freelance marketing work is readily available through various channels.

Leverage your community

One of my favorite ways to do this is to start with your community. I used to hate hearing this suggestion when I first started because I thought of everyone in my phone book and I was sure that 99% would have no need of a marketer. This left me frustrated. However, I quickly realized your community is all around you. What Facebook groups are you on? Do you participate in meet-ups? Do you have college friends working in your areas of interest? There's always work available around you.

Via LinkedIn

Another great place to find clients is on LinkedIn. There's no shortage of businesses from Fortune 500 companies to entrepreneurs there. It's the world's largest professional network and it doesn't get any better than LinkedIn. The beauty of the site is that you can research companies right from the site and send them messages / find key contacts to help you.

Upwork / Fiverr

My least favorite way to find clients is on sites like Upwork and Fiverr. Are they worth exploring? Sure. However, there are so many people from all over the world competing for the same jobs. Most of the time, you end up competing on price and chances are you might not win next to a highly qualified person overseas who is charging $10 for a $50 service.

Average pay and deciding your rates

How do you determine a fair price for the services you are offering? It can be really hard to tell. As mentioned above, you might be competing with people overseas who have a much lower cost of living than you. Or you might feel intimidated when you look at the established "pros" in your field. Whatever the case, know one thing: rates are more of an art than a science. Think about it.

When you shop for paperclips, you're probably expecting to pay AT MOST $5 right? Well, not at Tiffany's. For one gold paperclip bookmark, you'll shell out a cool $1,500. Yep, that's right FIFTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS. It's an extreme example but it goes to show that for any service you have providers who charge $5 and others who charge $500.

Personally, I believe in some cases there is no difference in the quality of service between the two. Instead, what sets the two apart sometimes is the perceived difference. However you need to be smart in your approach - go too high, you lose business and price too low, you undervalue your skillset.

Hourly vs. project pricing

When it comes to pricing you can take one of two approaches - per hour or per project. If you price per hour, the faster you become, the less you actually earn. If you price per project, the faster you become, the more you earn.

The surest way to determine your rate is to really do your research. See what others in your space are charging. Ask friends and colleagues, search Facebook groups, look up other freelancers who post their rates on their websites and also check out professional organizations that publish state of the industry reports.

Building a client base

Once you start building your portfolio, you're well-positioned to build your client base. A great way to do so is to ask for referrals. Do a great job for your clients, and you'll b guaranteed a stream of referrals that will keep you busy.

Tips for juggling multiple clients

Let's be honest, freelancing is no walk in the park. The hours can be long. As more and more clients discover how much of a rockstar you are, they'll tell their friends about you. Those friends will tell more friends and before you know it, you'll be high in demand. However, there are only so many hours in a day. You'll have to stay really organized. A few quick tips:

If you don't already, use a planner

Planners are a great way to have a visual image of the tasks in front of you. You can do it on paper or electronically. I love a good digital plan using platforms such as Asana or Trello or even purchasing digital planners on Etsy for use on an iPad.

Set realistic deadlines

When you're juggling a 9 to 5 and side hustling, the hours can quickly disappear. To get ahead, you'll want to set deadlines for your projects. Not only will this help with your workflow, but it will also help you manage client expectations.

Work within your niche

It's exciting to be the jack of all trades. However, if you want to be most efficient with your time, focus on working with clients in one niche. This will help you build deep knowledge in your space and provide higher value to them.

Educating yourself for success

Last but not least, freelance marketing is an ever-evolving field. You have to stay on top of it. The best way? Check out your own habits. What courses or products did you recently purchase? Can you trace how you came across information about them? Did you attend a webinar? Stumble across it on YouTube or were you aware of it from other influencers you follow?

Whatever the case, the funnel that got you to buy likely got thousands of others to make the purchase too. As you monitor this, you'll quickly see that there are many ways to market. Aside from looking at your own behaviors, you can also observe successful and not so successful companies. What are the winners doing? What kind of content are they producing? Which pieces of content are you reading to the end? If you'll do this, you'll quickly find inspiration and you can reverse engineer their results.

In closing

In conclusion, freelance marketing can be an excellent way to build a rewarding career. As build your side hustle, don't forget to create a plan for your business finances and savings so you can truly reap the financial gains of this opportunity. With the right strategic approach, you'll be well on your way to success with it!

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