If like me you are passionate about webmarketing / digital marketing and you have made it your profession (or that you aspire to make it your profession), two professional choices are available to you: working for a company (advertiser or agency) or start freelancing. Everyone will choose, it’s quite personal because they are two very different lifestyles …
Personally, for about 4 years, I have been both salaried and freelance (evenings and weekends). For about 6 months, I have given up my salaried activity and I am 100% freelance. So, I wanted to write an article to help digital marketing professionals who, like me, want to go freelance.
Are you hesitating or in any case thinking of becoming a freelance in digital marketing? It is very likely that you have many fears. It’s completely natural, rest assured, we all go through this stage!
You may fear:
- No longer have any income, therefore finding yourself in a precarious situation;
- Not knowing how to manage a business and the administrative;
- Not knowing how to find customers because you are afraid of canvassing;
- Do not flourish, learn nothing compared to a job in a business.
All these fears are natural, however, by preparing yourself well, you can avoid most of the problems.
Be aware that the needs of businesses in terms of digital marketing are enormous, so there are very nice opportunities to seize. More and more companies use freelancers rather than agencies when they need professionals on an ad hoc basis. The market is very interesting for freelancers.
We will see together the different steps that a web marketing professional should take in order to get freelance.
Your job and your skills
Firstly, when you have completed your studies in web marketing or have worked in digital marketing in a company, it is not uncommon that you are a “Swiss knife”, that is to say that we had to manage quite varied tasks. For example: do SEO-optimized copywriting, manage community management of your company’s social networks and Google Ads advertising campaigns.
It’s great to be competent in many areas, nevertheless, it seems important to me to be a specialist, even an expert in a specific field. The reason is simple: as a customer, we will pay more and we will have much more confidence in someone who has a perfect command of their trade.
You will therefore have to choose your positioning.
You don’t have to be a “digital marketing expert”. In any case, not at the beginning. It doesn’t mean anything and you’ll have a hard time finding good customers.
Choose to focus on the tasks you prefer to manage. If it’s social media, then become Community Manager. If it’s SEO, become an SEO expert, if you like writing, become a writer!
Once you have chosen your profession (you can always change in a few years), be sure to master this profession perfectly, if this is not the case, train yourself more. If you already have a lot of experience in this business, you will have no problem.
If you have not already done so, you will need to monitor your trade.
Prepare the ground: your base camp
You can quickly prepare the ground for your future freelance life. Here’s what you should do.
Update your social networks : be sure to update your LinkedIn and Twitter profiles and possibly create a professional Facebook page. Optimize your profiles well, you are a web marketing professional, customers must feel that you have a perfect command of social networks even if you are not a community manager.
Create a portfolio and a blog : all good freelancers have at least one showcase site. On it, you can present your skills and publish content on your profession on a blog part (WordPress installs in a few minutes). This is important, it will prove your expertise.
Get started as a micro-entrepreneur : creating a business can be scary, especially in England. You probably know this, but the status of micro-enterprise exists precisely for entrepreneurs exercising their profession alone. The access methods are very simple and the charges are calculated according to the turnover: if you earn nothing, you will pay almost nothing but do not assume that you will not gain anything!
Normally, you will be able to create your micro-enterprise on the official URSSAF website: https://www.autoentrepreneur.urssaf.fr/portail/accueil.html
If the forms really bother you, know that there are neo-banks that focus on freelancers. In particular Shine, who offers to take charge of creating your micro-enterprise for € 34.90 (https://www.shine.fr/declaration-auto-entrepreneur/) and to provide you with a bank account dedicated to your activity (4 , 90 € / month). The bank account dedicated to your activity is not mandatory below € 5,000 in turnover, however I recommend it.
Then, you will need to equip yourself with a solution to edit your quotes and invoices and keep your accounts. In a micro-enterprise, accounting is very simple: keep a book of receipts (cash inflows and outflows).
There are many solutions dedicated to freelancers, I personally recommend Freebe: https://www.freebe.me/. The tool is € 7 / month and allows you to edit super quotes and invoices, connect your bank account, calculate your social charges, declare your turnover on the URSSAF website (without you connect to it), allow online payment of your invoices, etc. In short, it saves a lot of time and time is very precious when you are a freelancer: what you want is to spend time on client projects!
That’s it, you are officially administratively freelance, you have a well-defined profession and you are ready to go and get your first assignments. It is ultimately the most complicated.
Personally, at my beginnings I proposed the creation of WordPress website, I found my clients on LeBonCoin, in the “requests” part. It was frankly not joy but it was there that I found my first clients.
Since then, I have found other solutions (luckily). I will introduce them to you.
The network : this is the first thing to do, activate your network: family, friends, professional relationships … send an email and publish on your social networks: announce that you are going freelance by detailing what you offer. I assure you that even with a small network, you will get feedback! We all know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone …
Freelance platformss: I talked about it in a blog post: the best freelance platforms, but here I’m going to focus on the digital marketing professions. Overall, I would recommend that you register on Malt and A Line. These two platforms have the advantage of saving you time. You create a profile and then these are the missions that come to you. In parallel, you can sell your services in the form of a “package” / package on platforms such as 5euros.com and Kang. For example, I sell advertising campaigns there (Google Ads). Many missions which are not of the council can be sold with the fixed price.
Canvassing : I hate canvassing, I’ve done very little. Nevertheless, in the event of a slow period, it is better to prospect a little bit than to do nothing if there is an urgent need for missions. Having little experience in canvassing, I would simply recommend going to the most efficient: emails and LinkedIn. Avoid the phone: we always disturb on the phone! On LinkedIn, the best way is to prepare pre-recorded presentation messages and then add potential customers in contact (50 max per day). The message should be cordial, present your skills very briefly, and include a call to action such as “I’m here if you want to discuss this.” “.
Inbound Marketing : Any good digital marketing professional must apply the Inbound Marketing methodology. This means that you will have to bring customers to you. Of course at the start it will be difficult to get good results. However, over time you will perpetuate your activity. Be active on your social networks by sharing content: articles, infographics, tutorials, videos… whether you have created them or simply by performing effective content curation.
SEO : This joins the Inbound. Via your blog and therefore your site, you can try to reference yourself on search engines. This lever brings me a lot of customers and especially on a regular basis. The first year of my blog, I had little traffic, but now I have a lot. The most is to help your potential customers. Typically, if you run ad campaigns on Facebook, for example, write articles about the latest features or the issues you may be having (which you’ve found a solution to). Your prospects will encounter the same problems: by giving them the solution, some will contact you to entrust you with a mission.
With all of this, you should be able to get started. The main interest of freelance is the multitude of different projects. Doing digital marketing for the same company for several years quickly becomes a routine and it no longer seems to evolve. Freelance, working with very different clients in very different sectors, no day will be like the other!
Besides that, I would also say that freelance will allow you to be paid up to your commitment, which is rarely the case in the world of employment.
On the other hand, be careful, you will have to manage your days, be bound by a certain rigor, which is not given to everyone. The hardest part is time. The big problem in freelance is managing holidays: they are not paid. And since each day not worked is an unpaid day, we can quickly let ourselves be overtaken and never stop. While at the start freelance has the advantage of being able to manage your time, you have to know how to say “stop”! You can do 5-hour days or 4-day weeks!
To go further, many freelancers do training, give courses. It is a good way to continue to progress in your profession and it allows you to diversify your sources of income. Whether in school or online via e-learning platforms like Udemy, training fits perfectly into the life of the self-employed.
Finally, freelance is a lifestyle choice, but it is not final. It’s a safe bet that one day you will return to the corporate world, but the two can be complementary. As I told you, for several years I was both freelance and salaried, it was very fulfilling!
And you, are you ready to start freelancing?