If the idea of being your boss has always caught your fascination, freelancing might be the way to go. Freelancing is pure entrepreneurship no doubt, and as a freelancer; you get to make the call –the success of your business is entirely up to you.
A freelance career has so much to offer; unlimited freedom, a chance to travel the world, earnings determined by the amount of effort you put in – the list is endless. Interesting huh! I would be lying if I told you building a successful freelance career is easy. It gets even harder when you have got no experience or skill at all.
But here is the thing; as uneasy as it may be, building a successful freelance career is very much doable whether you’re experienced, skilled or not. At least I had no experience when I started.
Let me share with you tips that will help make taking the leap into freelancing easy.
1. Set your mindset right
You might have heard lots of scary stories about freelancing. When I first got into freelancing, I read stories of freelancers who went for months without work – I almost freaked out. Well, I have been freelancing for two years now and till date, no day has gone by without me finding work to do.
To succeed as a freelance digital marketer, you must first believe you can achieve success with freelancing. Reading the success stories of other successful freelancers will help you greatly.
Additionally, you need to prepare yourself to take on challenges that will arise in the future. No successful entrepreneur ever built a business without overcoming sets of challenges. Freelancing has its thorny side – preparing yourself ahead of time is the best thing you can do.
2. Read like there is no tomorrow
So, you were finally able to convince yourself that building a freelancing career would work. Heck…where do you even start? It is easy to get overwhelmed when trying to figure out how to launch a freelance career in digital marketing. To avoid getting bogged down, read as hell.
While conventional wisdom demands you seek internship opportunities to acquire some experience, you don’t necessarily need to. Before I got into SEO, I didn’t even know what SEO stood for. Seeking internship position was out of the question because I knew it would take me years to get one. So I got my spade and started digging the internet – I read all I could about SEO – it worked!
As a fresh grad with no sort of experience, you will need to read all you can about digital marketing. Follow related blogs, sign up to forums, subscribe to digital newsletters – your ultimate goal is to acquire knowledge in digital marketing.
3. Start with freelance writing
There are many routes to building a freelance career. Some freelancers prefer working for some time to acquire experience before hitting the road. Some others start from ground zero up, acquiring experience and knowledge along the way.
Now, while I am totally not against acquiring experience before delving into the world of freelancing, I strongly recommend getting started with freelancing right from day one. The easiest way to get started is by giving freelance writing a shot.
Some successful digital marketers I know of today started with freelance writing. Brian Dean of backlinko.com is one of them. The good thing about freelance writing is that you need no sort of experience to start, and finding work is relatively easy.
Fiverr is a good place to start – that is where I started. You can also try your hands on Upwork, Freelancer, People’s Per Hour etc. If nothing works, research content marketing companies and cold pitch to them.
4. Sign up for digital marketing courses
Becoming a successful digital marketer is all about learning and putting to practice what you have learnt. While there are lots of premium digital marketing courses out there, starting with the free ones will be your best bet.
I stumbled upon a free course put together by The Digital Garage, a digital agency that offers free training to budding digital marketers when I was searching for free digital marketing courses. Why not give it a try; just google up “The Digital Garage”, or better still “free digital marketing courses”.
For graduates, DigitalGrads is one of the options. The training course offers first jobbers, students and graduates to gain a solid foundation in the digital marketing industry. Participants can put their knowledge into practice and work on a live campaign with a potential employer.
5. Build a portfolio
Nothing convinces a prospective client than a stellar portfolio. As a newbie, your portfolio will be empty, most likely. This shouldn’t get you worried at all. The fastest way to populate your portfolio is by offering your services for free and in turn asking satisfied clients for a testimonial.
You can also show off some of your best-written articles on digital marketing. Doing this will at least show you have some sort of expertise in digital marketing.
Entrepreneurship is scary but at the same time rewarding, provided you play the game well. Set yourself apart from the pack today by launching your freelance career – the steps have been shared, it is left for you to follow them.
Time to kick start your career. If you want to be a freelancer as a career, sign-up to take our training and learn from working on a real-life to see if it’s something you enjoy.