In this article we’ll unpick everything you need to know about freelance marketers, including what freelance marketers do, the different types of freelance marketers, how to become a freelance marketer and how to manage a successful freelancer. So, if you’re a digital marketer interested in pursuing a freelance digital marketing career or a high-growth start up considering working with freelance talent, keep reading.
What Exactly is Freelance Marketing?
A freelance digital marketer is a self-employed marketing consultant who specialises in one or more marketing channels. Their role, depending on their experience, is to devise and implement innovative marketing strategies and campaigns to help businesses reach new audiences, keep existing customers and grow their business/ revenue. Most freelancers work on a short-term basis, delivering client projects or campaigns within tight timelines, however, some choose to support companies with long-term projects. More often than not freelancer digital marketers also enjoy more flexible hours.
What does a freelance marketer do?
Every freelance digital marketer day-to-day differs due to their differing skill sets, clients and experience. For the most part freelance consultants complete some or most of the following digital marketing services during their working week:
- Analyze audience insights, sales data and engagement
- Monitor and review market trends
- Design digital marketing strategies
- Set up and evaluate key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Engage with current and prospective clients
- Invoice for their services
- Lead content creation
- Review current/ previous marketing campaigns
- Send monthly reports to clients
- Optimizing blog content to ensure decent traffic
- Manage social media platform, lead community management and content for affiliate marketing
- Creating brand assets
Types of freelance marketing
Marketing is a very broad field, meaning there are lots of different areas for amazing freelance marketers to become subject matter experts. We’ve broken down the most influential digital marketing skills below.
Content Marketing involves creating and sharing relevant online material such as blogs, podcasts, e-books and newsletters to promote a brand and generate trust in its services or products. Generally speaking, content marketing is about educating people to help promote brand awareness and drive purchase consideration, moving them along the sales funnel. The three main goals for any content marketer include improving the customer experience, generating new business leads and supporting the organization's goals (namely in terms of growth).
Social Media Marketing
A Social Media manager uses social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok to promote a product or service while improving engagement with new and existing customers. Published content can be organic (e.g. user generated content, giveaways) or paid (e.g. influencer marketing), however, most brands push out both to ensure a more personable online presence. In recent years social media marketers have helped social media move beyond brand awareness to encompass the entire customer journey from acquisition to retention.
Performance marketing refers to digital marketing campaigns where businesses only pay marketing platforms after they achieve the results they’re looking for (e.g. clicks, conversions, downloads, etc.). For the results to count they are pre-determined and based on the objectives of a business - hence the name “performance marketing”. Generally, the success rate of performance marketing is higher as the campaigns are extremely targeted.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves improving the quality and quantity of organic traffic to a business or personal website from search engines such as Google. SEO marketers aim to help businesses rank on the first page of Google by optimizing their website using keywords, meta descriptions, images, blogs, backlinks and more. Businesses who hire SEO marketers often see the benefits of improved sales revenues, greater customer retention and increased customer loyalty.
“SEO allows startups to connect with highly targeted audiences while they’re in research mode. This makes it a sustainable way to establish online presence, build brand awareness, and ultimately generate new customers.” -Will Bradley, SEO Specialist at Passionfruit
Copywriters are responsible for writing clear, easily digestible and motivational copy to market products and services. Examples include writing copy for landing pages, email marketing campaigns, etc. More often than not copywriters work closely with SEO marketers to ensure the copy they write is optimized to ensure ranking on Google as well as email markers to ensure successful email marketing campaigns
An Influencer Marketer works with third parties to promote a product or service to their audience. For example, you could choose to work with a well-known social media star or celebrity to conduct influencer marketing or set up a commission on sales from their activity for affiliate marketing purposes.
Email marketing also known as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) involves sending a commercial message to people via email. CRM can be used to share news of discounts and new products while also maintaining and enriching customer relationships. One of the best things about email marketing is that it can allow businesses to split their audience based on engagement to deliver targeted marketing campaigns. Similar to hiring a social media manager, hiring an email marketer is a great tool for businesses looking to humanize their brand.
A Public Relations (PR) specialist connects brands with publications across a mix of different media including national newspapers and consumer magazines. The aim? To encourage relevant journalists to cover the latest news about the business they are supporting, helping to drive brand awareness.
How to Hire a Freelance Marketer.
If you’re a business owner looking to take the first step in hiring a freelance marketer this section is for you. The key to getting this right is working out where a successful freelancer might fit within your business. While freelancers provide immediate access to talent to support a wide range of specific business requirements or projects you may find you need to hire a full-time employee to meet your business needs. If you’re not sure about hiring, read our blog post on How to Hire Freelancers. Here you’ll find tips on what to look for when hiring and where to find the best freelance talent, starting with Passionfruit.
If you do choose to hire a freelancer it’s important you take the time to identify what it is you need them to do. That means creating a detailed scope of work. Nailing this will also help to ensure you identify the necessary skills and level of expertise required to complete the task in hand. For more information on How to Manage Freelancers check out our recent blog, it has everything you need in order to be successful onboard and communicate with freelance marketing consultants.
Don’t forget that because freelancer workers pay their own taxes and overheads, their rates are often higher on average than in-house employees. Looking into the average hourly rate can help you to determine what is and isn’t acceptable.
How to Become a Freelance Marketer
And, if you’re a beginner freelance marketer ready to take the plunge into the world of freelance marketing, listen up. The first thing you need to do is choose your niche. That means deciding what part of the marketing mix you want to focus on or aligning yourself with a specific industry.
Before you get started as a freelance marketing consultant it is worth taking some time to define your audience. Thinking about the types of businesses you are looking to target can help you to tailor your networking and promotion efforts - the area/ industry you have chosen to specialise in will also help to do this. The next step is to design a freelance website that allows you to showcase your expertise and achievements as well as allow prospective clients to find, research and contact you. You can use platforms like Squarespace and Wix to help share your freelance services. You could also use social media posts to showcase your services to clients.
You’ll also need to pull together a marketing portfolio, including examples of all the marketing skills you provide (e.g. copywriting, SEO, web design etc.). You can also use your website to create an online portfolio and showcase your experience. After you have done this you can begin to outreach to potential clients. Networking is one way you can find freelance jobs or potential business partnerships. Try joining online forums and groups relevant to the audience you’re looking to target. If you already have connections with businesses you’d like to target, make sure to keep in touch - you never know when they might need you to support you with future projects. That said, it is typically much faster to find freelance work using platforms like Passionfruit. To kick-start your search, register today.
Regardless of your background or level of expertise, digital marketers should take time for training and continue to develop their skills and understanding of both the industry and market trends. A great way to do this is by subscribing to an email newsletter. At Passionfruit we love The Drum, The Daily CTA, Growing Viral, Demand Curve, Marketing Examples and of course, The Passionfruit Pulse.
How Much Does a Freelance Marketer Charge?
Working out how much to charge as a successful freelancer can be difficult, especially when you’re just starting out (and leaving behind a full-time job and salary). That’s why it is so important you do your research, find out what fellow freelancers are offering or use online resources like LinkedIn to find out what standard industry rates are. From here you can work out what you should be pricing yourself at and whether you should be charging for time on client work by a monthly or hourly rate. If you have chosen to work on a long-term project, you might wish to charge on a monthly basis instead depending on the amount of time on tasks set.
If you’re employing a freelancer don’t forget that they are responsible for covering overhead costs traditionally paid for by you, the business owner. So whatever their billable hours, remember this figure includes things like income tax, their pension and other relevant costs specific to their role (e.g. marketing tools like Roxhill or Later).
A career as a freelance digital marketer is hard work, you must be a self-starter and deliver results that ensure release work. That said the positives often outweigh the negatives so if you’re keen to start work as a freelance digital marketer make sure to take note of the advice above and register with Passionfruit to kickstart your digital marketing career journey. And, if you’re a business owner ready to make your first freelance hire, good luck - we’re here to help you hire the right freelancer to support your business. Simply click here to get started.
Ready to partner up with a freelancer?
Whatever project it is, here at Passionfruit you’ll find the passionate, knowledgeable and fun-to-work-with freelancer that will turn it into a success. So…What do you need?