15 Tips on Landing Your First Freelance Digital Marketing Consultant Job
Hey there! I am so excited to have an incredible guest post today by Grace F Kim who is a digital marketer and blogger behind GraceFKim.com
Grace is a Korean-American born and raised in New Jersey. She is a solo female travel blogger and backpacker who has an undying passion to explore the depths of the world and expand her passion within digital marketing. Grace is currently balancing two full-time jobs as a Paid Search Marketer during the day and a travel blogger at night. She has an obsession with sharing whatever runs through her mind as her overall mission is to help people take action with their lives and inspire them to travel more often.
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After hours of time and research, you finally figured out new capabilities of a product that has the potential to topple your competitors within your niche. You’ve sacrificed months into creating this exclusive product, overly confident that it will sell in the market, and believe in your gut that it has the potential to improve a customer’s quality of life.
Without great marketing, it is almost impossible to scale your business and get to the top. Branding and product delivery are mere reflections of your overall digital marketing strategy, and by far is probably the most important aspects of your business. You can have a low-quality product but with great marketing, you have so much potential to grow. On the flip side, if you have a great product with bad marketing, it’s a lot harder to scale.
But what if you have absolutely no marketing experience whatsoever? What if you’re completely new to the concept of marketing? In this case, what do you do?
Let’s break down exactly what digital marketing is.
Digital marketing is the way of electronically marketing your products or services using the internet or any other digital medium.
If this is your first time actively researching about digital marketing, you know more than you think you know. Everything you see on social media is a reflection of digital marketing. Ads that you see popping up on Facebook and planning Instagram posts are examples of the execution of what someone is testing within digital marketing.
Living in the 21st century, everything you see, feel and touch has shifted over to digital. Hundreds of universities even offer Digital Marketing as a major because of how rapidly it’s growing within the job market. Endless opportunities have opened up within the digital marketing realm, giving you more options to become a successful digital marketer.
What are the benefits of digital marketing jobs?
For a start, digital marketing has countless avenues for you to choose from. You can become a freelance digital marketing consultant that will allow you to work remotely on an island in the Philippines; or, if you’d rather stay at home and work on your bed, have the luxury of working in your pajamas since there are hundreds of digital marketing home-based jobs. As long as you have a laptop and a reliable WiFi connection, you are golden!
So if I’ve convinced you enough to explore the depths of becoming a potential freelance digital marketing specialist, where and how do you start?
Here are a few tips that helped me land my first digital marketing job:
Learn how digital marketing works
Simple as that. If you don’t want to commit to your 9-5 desk job anymore and would rather consider the number of remote marketing jobs, start learning how digital marketing works. In this day and age, you can become a digital freelancer who has the luxury of working anywhere in the world. Let me emphasize on anywhere. How amazing is that?
Learn the overall concepts of digital marketing and start asking questions. I have been working in the digital marketing world for 5+ years, but learn something new every day. I am constantly researching and asking marketing questions that have only fed my growth. And, because digital marketing trends are changing by the day, you need to make sure that you’re up to date!
Start acknowledging the different types of digital marketing platforms
Think of digital marketing like a funnel. There are so many outlets to digital marketing that I cannot pinpoint the platform that is the best for you. What are your business goals? What type of content do you want to be producing? What’s your budget? Start by asking yourself these types of questions. Jot down the pros and cons of the different digital marketing platforms out there, test them out, track your analytics, and figure out which platform suits you and your needs the most!
If you want to expand your photography portfolio, consider Instagram. If you want to get into paid advertising, consider Facebook or Google. If you want to get back into travel blogging, consider blogging and SEO.
Depending on your goals, weigh out the pros and cons of a few potential platforms that can potentially help you rise to the top. No, you don’t need to be an expert in all these platforms. But rather learn to diversify yourself within the capabilities of these potential platforms for you and your digital marketing growth.
Practice gratitude and gratefulness
What are you thankful for? Do you acknowledge things to be grateful for? And if you haven’t recently, that’s totally fine. But before I go further, let’s actually take a few steps back into figuring out how to land your first freelance marketing job. Let’s gear your mind to start focusing on the smaller things you appreciate. There are going to be road bumps in the process, and you will most likely experience burn out. But I want to prepare you if that time comes. Start introducing small habits, such as acts of gratitude. Simple practices like this will only help you overcome your future battles.
When you start giving thanks and being more appreciative of the little things in life, life starts to become sweet. Start giving thanks for things you are grateful for, such as having a home to come back to after traveling for months or being thankful for the person who opened up their home for you while you’re couch surfing. Be grateful for being fit enough to walk 10+ miles in another city you’ve been exploring. Be grateful for having the opportunity of catching the sunrise and sunset every morning in a new city. There are so many things to be grateful for that once you make it mandatory to start appreciating the smaller things in life, your entire lifestyle starts to shift. Your attitude starts to change and you start becoming more open-minded. And when you realize how blessed you are to live such a privileged life, things that once stressed you out start to become a lot more habitual.
Once I started practicing daily gratitude, I started giving back to my community. Now, I’m able to scale my message with more people than I could’ve ever imagined was within my reach. My audience fuels my drive because of how many people I’ve been able to impact. I’ve become an online freelance digital marketer, and I couldn’t have gotten to this point if it weren’t for the small habits I’ve picked up of gratitude and grace.
Become obsessed with digital marketing
If I wasn’t hungry to learn digital marketing, I would not have half the knowledge I know about the industry today. I have an undying interest and desire to learn about all of digital marketing that I make it mandatory to feed myself enough marketing information every single day.
And you might be thinking, “but what if I’m not born with a passion for digital marketing?”
Well, you took the biggest step, and that is learning the things you should consider before landing your first digital marketing job. You read this far for a reason. You want to learn about branding; you want to grow your business to the next level; you are hungry for marketing growth. And now that you see that there are free resources out there to help you reach your dream goals, you will naturally get obsessed with learning all there is to know about digital marketing. Trust me. That’s how I landed my first digital marketing job.
I went on Indeed.com and searched online digital marketing positions near me. I found and applied for a Paid Search position, and guess what? I landed my first online digital marketing job. I am still currently at this job and I have been learning everything that I’ve been yearning to learn about Paid Search since. Just from a little bit of curiosity and desire, I’ve been able to reach my goal of landing a digital marketing position.
Organize your content
Let me warn you in advance that once you start creating content, you will probably start finding your content in different locations. You have written posts in your Notes Section in your phone, drafts open in email, and docs saved in a Google Drive or on your desktop and you’re just trying to find the best way to organize and consolidate all your content.
Once I started writing consistently, my content was all over the place. I watched a Youtube video titled How To Batch Your Content For Youtube by Vanessa Lau, and she recommended using a website called Asana. Asana is a site created to help digital marketers like me and you with content organization, and it works! I now have pre-planned topics I want to write about batched in the upcoming weeks, and if you want to share your content with your online virtual assistant, there are sharing features on Asana.
Play around with all the functionalities that Asana offers. Depending on your preference, you can create the layout of your organization in different viewpoints. I use the Calendar and Board view the most – below is a screenshot of my Asana page in Board view.
Write everything down on paper
This is probably the most crucial tip on your digital marketing success. Write everything down. I get it. Maybe you haven’t carried a notebook around with you in years as you prefer to keep all your notes digitally. And I understand that everyone has a preference. But the reason why I recommend writing everything down on paper is so that you can physically see your thoughts.
Many times, when I’m in the middle of doing something and I randomly ‘remember to complete a task’, I tend to forget to do it or jot it down in my phone and I don’t get back to it. Sometimes it will take me days or weeks to complete. But when I write something down, I need to get it completed. As a result, I end up finishing it within a day or two since it’s fresh in my mind.
If you overdo it like me, I bring my journal around with me everywhere I go, I keep a notepad on my desk at home, and I keep hundreds of sticky notes on my desk at work. So, if you are trying to pursue an online marketing job, this is one best practice you want to get in the habit of doing. Especially if your goal is to work on multiple freelance jobs at home, you need to make sure that you’re hitting all your deadlines!
Set weekly goals and compartmentalize your day
With your busy schedule, setting weekly goals and compartmentalizing your day is key. When I first started off my digital nomad career, I was experiencing major burn out because I was setting really hard personal deadlines. So burnt that my creativity wasn’t flowing through me anymore and I wasn’t pushing out quality content.
So, if you want to avoid burnout and maintain quality content, I want you to verbally state the three things that you want to accomplish for the day. And at the very end, proclaim that “you will complete these things.” I know it sounds a little silly and you might feel awkward doing it the first couple of times, but there is so much power when doing this. Try this exercise when you’re walking to your car, during your lunch break, whenever. And once you make this more of a natural habit, I promise you will start feeling a shift in attitude and productivity.
Subscribe to Digital Marketing Newsletters
I know you’re sick and tired of receiving hundreds of emails from sites that you’ve bought something from once, but I’m going to ask you to purposely subscribe into a couple of digital marketing newsletters. Marketing trends are changing by the day, so the last thing you want is to miss out on new, updated information within the industry.
A few newsletters that I subscribed to are:
- If you like quick reads, Wordstream newsletters are a good fit for you. I love Wordstream because it gives one daily update so that you’re not overwhelmed with information.
Daily email example from WordStream:
- Search Engine Land provides a lot of digital marketing information that will keep you updated with all the trends if you want to become a successful freelance online digital marketer. The newsletter doesn’t only update you with one digital platform, but across all channels (i.e., SEO, Paid ads, Marketing Events, etc.)
- As a travel blogger, I get inspired by reading other travel bloggers’ work. I came across Anna Everywhere’s blog through her husband, Matthew Karsten, also known as the Expert Vaga Bond. They have been traveling the world for years now as they are able to afford their expenses from successful execution in digital marketing.
Execute content and campaigns on social media
Anyone can give you all the tips and advice you need on becoming a successful freelance digital marketing consultant. But how do you know which social channels work best for you? Get your hands wet and instead of only taking information in, try to implement one or two things you learn every single day.
For example, if you watched a YouTube video on Keyword Research, conduct a keyword research within your industry. See what’s currently trending in your field and see how you can create your content around those keywords, or outperform your competitors’ campaigns.
When I started out on my online digital journey, I was pushing out content 3x a week on my Instagram and Youtube Channels. Was I an expert? No, but because I was able to execute all the information I was taking in, I was able to pinpoint which media platforms worked best for me.
Land an online freelance digital marketing job
At this point, if you’ve been following the steps to being on freelance digital marketing consultant, now let’s land you your first online marketing job. Since now you understand that digital marketing offers a lot of roles and positions that need to be filled, let’s niche down even further.
You want to further your skills in content writing, SEO, and brand awareness on social media. Start guest writing for other digital nomad travel bloggers within your niche, videos, podcasts, etc. Learn how to scale and utilize SEO to start ranking on Google. Create beautiful feed posts on Instagram that grab users’ attention. The more you know, the more doors will open for you to land your first online freelance marketing job.
Don’t be intimidated to reach out to successful digital marketers
If you found a digital marketer online through your interests, that marketer did something right. Whenever I am interested in learning something new, I look up the topic of interest in a search engine. Usually, I’ll get results from top influencers and entrepreneurs within the space, absorb their content and, if I truly feel like I’ve found value from their work, I’ll reach out to them without hesitation. You’d be surprised at how many people respond to your initial message and are open to helping you out because they were once in your shoes. And from my desire to learn, I’ve exchanged countless emails and phone calls with some of the top successful digital marketers and digital nomads out there.
Believe it or not, I’ve reached out to 6 of these digital marketing experts and the two that responded back were Mike Dillard and Derrick Struggle. They are both online digital marketing experts and shed a ton of value within the entrepreneurship space. Through Mike Dillard, I have been introduced to countless online entrepreneurs and digital nomads. And I cannot thank Mike enough for all the value he’s provided on his podcast, The Mike Dillard Podcast
Shadow a Digital Marketer
Once you’ve stepped out of your comfort zone and received some of the best advice from all these digital marketers from around the world, now it’s time to shadow one of them.
But what if the ones that you’ve already been in contact with lives across the world from you? That’s totally okay! I promise that if you just look up ‘digital marketers near me’ in a Google Search, locating their contact information is easy. Follow the same structure you did when getting the initial contact with digital marketers in step #5 and step #6 will be a piece of cake for you.
Join Digital Nomad and Digital Marketing Facebook groups
If you’re a millennial like myself, you probably don’t use Facebook as often as you used to because you migrated to Instagram, right? Yes and no. I like to think that other millennials are more active on Instagram BUT what keeps Facebook alive is its Facebook groups.
Ever since I started my digital nomad journey, I’ve connected with so many other nomads and digital marketers by joining multiple Digital Nomad and Digital Marketing Facebook groups. It warms my heart to have the opportunity to virtually meet other digital nomads and freelance digital marketing consultants who have the same interests and passions as you from all around the world.
Here are several Facebook Digital Marketing Groups that can help level up your skills:
Digital Marketing Q & A Forum: this group helps digital marketers, entrepreneurs, and students to connect and share their knowledge with others.
Marketing Solved: Kat Sullivan created this group to help support and train small business owners and marketers.
Digital DEFYND (digital marketing and learning hub): this group brings together industry specialists and newbies who will ‘learn, share and grow’ together.
If you can’t commit full-time, look for part-time Digital Marketing Jobs
If you want to learn about digital marketing but can’t fully quit your 9-5 desk job yet, find part-time online digital marketing jobs. Contact small businesses who will agree to have you as their digital marketing consultant. Offer them a 30-day trial contract, show them your results, and if your numbers speak for you, ask them to compensate you for the following month. If you show them the results they were looking for and agree to start paying you afterward you now have two streams of income coming in. You didn’t have to quit your first full-time job and look, you have now become a part-time digital nomad!
Listen to Digital Marketing Podcasts
My commute to and from work totals at least 2 full hours without traffic. If you think about it, you spend ⅓ of your day sleeping, another ⅓ of your day at work, but what about the other ⅓ of your day?
If you are trying to become set free from your 9-5 day job and pursue a 100% digital marketing nomadic lifestyle, feed yourself digital marketing information during your commute. Instead of scrolling through your feed on Instagram or watching a YouTube video, why not feed your knowledge within the digital marketing space? As a matter of fact, I thought about fact #15 because I am currently writing this on the train commuting back home.
So to all my nomads out there, I hope you now have a better grasp of digital marketing and understand a few things that you should consider before landing your first freelance digital marketing consultant job. There are tons of resources out there that will teach you all you need to know about digital marketing, but if you don’t get your hands wet, you will never learn what works best for you. But as long as you are hungry and put in the time to learn the ins and outs of the marketing world, in a matter of no time, I am sure that you will find yourself traveling the world as a digital nomad.
Digital marketing is all around you, whether you are consciously looking for it or not. The ads you skip on YouTube, the bright banners that flash in Times Square, or the commercials you can’t skip at the gym. These are all forms of digital marketing but entail a different level of understanding and use of digital channels.
Remember to find your interests and turn them into passion within digital marketing freelance work, and I hope that you can experience total life freedom that digital marketing offers.