Freelancing has always been a preferred career path for those with an entrepreneurial mind. It’s rightly so. After all, it offers you a ton of independence as a professional.
A study by Harvard Business School found that most of the top business leaders have started preferring freelancers. Businesses are focused on capitalizing on the potential of freelancers as they offer flexibility and autonomous work management.
Certainly, if you want to become a freelancer, no time is better than now. This article will throw light on some of the skills you should know before you become a freelance digital marketing professional:
Table of Contents
Digital Marketing Skills:
Before you start offering your services as a freelancer, be sure that you’re an expert in the most in-demand digital marketing skills of the industry. That way, you can easily bag high-paying freelance jobs and stand out from the competition.
1. Video marketing
Video marketing has become the most powerful tool in today’s digital marketing. Social videos garner 1200% more shares than image and text content combined. On top of that, 51% of marketing professionals across the globe recognize video as the content type with the best ROI. Similarly, 87% of online marketers employ video in their marketing strategies.
Hence, you should be an expert in video marketing. This means you should be familiar with video production, the editing process, the necessary tools, and the recent industry trends (which videos your audience prefers). While you don’t have to be a video producer, you should be well-acquainted with what makes a video ad successful and what doesn’t.
2. SEO and SEM
SEO stands for search engine optimization, and SEM stands for search engine marketing. In SEO, you focus on making your site rank higher in search engine result pages for specific keywords. On the other hand, in SEM, you run paid ad campaigns on search engines to rank for the required keywords.
Both of them are crucial for increasing traffic to the target website. Not only should you be familiar with the fundamentals of SEO and SEM but also the various tools used for them, such as Ahrefs and SEMRush.
3. Social media marketing
In 2021, no company can grow online without social media marketing. Hence, you should know about popular social media platforms, including Facebook, Tik Tok, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat, etc.
Different social media platforms prefer different kinds of content. For example, Tik Tok is suitable for short videos, while YouTube is more suitable for longer videos.
Similarly, you should have an idea of the distinct highlights of every platform. LinkedIn is a professional networking platform, so you’d have to follow a formal tone there. On the other hand, Instagram is a platform for sharing pictures and gives leeway to be a little informal.
You should also know how to run paid ad campaigns on these platforms and promote your brand.
4. Content Marketing
In content marketing, you create, publish, and distribute content for your targeted audience. Here, you have to understand the requirements of your audience and publish the content which matches them.
Content marketing allows brands to instill trust and boost their online traffic. 60% of digital marketers create at least one content piece every day.
You should be well-acquainted with the basics of blogging, keyword research, content creation, and content optimization. As a freelance digital marketer, you’d also have to develop a content strategy for your clients. A content strategy gives a detailed plan for performing content marketing.
5. Analytics and planning
Digital marketers rely heavily on data. They use various analytics tools to generate actionable insights that help them create their marketing strategies.
Analytics tools help digital marketers in measuring the progress of their ad campaigns and evaluate their performance. With data at hand, you can determine which marketing efforts yielded positive results and what factors helped them perform better than the others.
As a digital marketer, you’d need strong planning abilities. You’ll have to plan the content your client will publish, the ads they will release, and modify them according to your clients’ requirements.
Freelancing comes with a lot of benefits. You can choose whom you will work with, what kind of work you’ll do, and when you’ll work. Such independence is rarely available with a traditional job.
To succeed as a freelance digital marketing professional, develop the following skills:
Strong sales skills are a must to succeed as a freelance professional. You’d have to find potential clients, send cold emails, or meet with them to make your clientele.
Finding clients has become quite simple, thanks to the various freelancing platforms such as Upwork and Toptal. However, you’ll still need good persuasive and closing skills to get ahead of your competitors and get the clients you want.
Working by yourself can be quite overwhelming. As a freelancer, you are your own boss. However, it also means that you have to carry out the responsibilities of a manager. You’d need to organize the different aspects of your business properly, such as accounting, invoicing, marketing, meetings, etc.
When things are well-organized, you don’t get overwhelmed. It would help you function smoothly and efficiently, enhancing your productivity considerably.
3. Time Management
Another crucial skill for any freelance digital marketing professional is time management. You’d have to manage your services, your schedule, and all the necessary business processes.
Proper time management skills would enable you to remain productive and efficient. On top of that, freelancers have to meet strict deadlines and manage multiple projects at once. That’s why time management is an imperative skill if you want to succeed as a freelancer.
Effective communication skills are necessary for every professional role, but their importance increases substantially when you’re a freelancer.
You’d have to persuade prospects into becoming your clients. Moreover, you’ll have to understand your clients’ requirements to make their vision a reality. Without proper communication skills, it would be quite challenging to do so.
5. Knack for learning
As a freelance digital marketing professional, you must constantly stay up to date with the latest industry trends. This means you’d also have to keep updating your skillset so you can stay ahead of your peers and get the desired clients.
It’s necessary to have a knack for learning when you’re a freelancer. You’d have to learn about the latest technologies entering the market and keep expanding your knowledge of the industry as a digital marketing expert.
How to Become a Freelance Digital Marketer
You know the necessary skills to become a freelance digital marketer, but you might wonder, “How do I develop those skills?”
Learning so many skills and concepts by yourself can be excruciating. It would be best to learn under the guidance of industry experts as it would ensure that you understand the required concepts quickly and properly. Moreover, when you’re learning from a mentor, you can easily resolve doubts and avoid getting stuck on problems.
That’s why we recommend joining our Advanced Certificate in Digital Marketing and Communication program. This course offers you certificates from MICA and Facebook.
It’s a 6.5-month program and teaches you all the important subjects, including content marketing, SEO, marketing analytics, branding, social media marketing, and much more.
You only need to have a bachelor’s or equivalent degree to be eligible for this program. upGrad has over 40,000 learners in more than 85 countries, allowing you to network globally. You’ll receive dedicated mentorship, interview preparation, resume feedback, and personalized support during this program.
Starting your career as a freelance digital marketing professional is quite easy when you know the process. If you’re interested in becoming a digital marketer, then be sure to check out the course we mentioned above. It will help you develop the necessary skills and advance your career as desired.