If you already have a background or interest in marketing, then pursuing a career as a freelance marketing consultant may be for you. You can be a freelance marketing consultant full-time or on the side to earn some extra cash. But first, you may be wondering what exactly do freelance marketing consultant’s do?
What is a Freelance Marketing Consultant?
The scope of what freelance marketing consultants do is pretty broad and varies based on the specific marketer’s focus. In general, a marketing consultant would be hired to help the business promote and grow their brand.
This may include making an assessment of the companies current marketing plan and suggest how it can be improved. They may do market research for the client, as well as plan and implement new marketing strategies. They may train other marketers on best practices and suggest new content, workflows, or methods for reaching the companies target audience. They may also help with web design, promotion design, and product design. They usually also help the company track the success of marketing campaigns by using analytical tools.
Wondering how to get started? Read our 4 tips below.
Establish a Niche
The first step of becoming a freelance marketing consultant is determining what your area of focus is. There are different routes you can take for establishing a niche, see some examples below.
Focus on a specific area of marketing or skill:
- Social Media Marketing
- Digital Marketing
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Paid Acquisition
- Conversion Rate Optimization
- Email Marketing
- Product Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Graphic Design and Web Design
Narrow your focus even further by industry or field:
- Real Estate
- Health and Wellness
- Software and Tech
- Art and Design
Why choose a niche?
Establishing a niche is important for several reasons. It helps you target yourself to particular clients. It also prevents you from feeling spread too thin and gives you an area of expertise.
This is where the old saying “Jack of all trades, but master of none” rings true. The more specialized you are the better you can market your services as an expert in your field.
How do you pick a niche?
For some picking, a niche might be easy. For others, it may be more challenging. For some guidance picking a niche, here are some questions to ask:
- Where do your skills, interests, and values align?
- What do you want to help clients with?
- What type of clients do you enjoy working with?
- What are your ideal client’s pain points and how can you help them?
Not every client will fit your definition of an ideal client but knowing who your ideal client is, will help you figure out what businesses to target.
Remember, you can always change your niche. Just because you’ve selected a niche, doesn’t mean that it is set in stone. You can always change it as your skills, interests, or selection of clients evolve.
Establish the Basics of Your Business
Once you’ve selected a niche, then it’s time to establish the foundation of your business so you can look the part and market yourself to potential clients.
Build a website. Your professional website is where you market your brand and tell your story. It’s also a great way to appeal to your ideal client, by speaking to their pain points and demonstrating how you can solve their problems. It’s where potential clients can learn more about your work.
Focus on quantitative results to include in your portfolio. It’s alright if you don’t have these starting out, but it’s important to start collecting results from clients. This is how you’ll continue to market your services and land hire paying clients.
Establish your rates and services. To run a successful business, it’s important that you get paid fairly. For help setting rates, try our pricing calculator.
Network and Build a Client Base
When just starting out, the task of finding clients may feel daunting. Here are some tips on where to find potential clients:
Start with people you know. The best way you can spread the word about a new freelancing business is starting with your current network. You may be able to get some work or referrals to potential clients.
Check out freelance platforms and job boards. There are many platforms out there that focus on connecting businesses with freelancers and helping freelancers find work. Some of the most popular are Upwork, 99Desings, Fiverr, Freelancer, and Guru.
Market yourself on social media. Facebook has countless professional groups for every industry and freelance groups. It’s a great place for connecting with potential clients, and other freelancers to learn about job opportunities.
LinkedIn, as the largest professional network, is great for making connections, building relationships and can help pave the way for job opportunities. There is also LinkedIn Profinder, a paid service where freelancers can find work, and businesses can find contractors. Members receive notifications about opportunities and can submit proposals for work.
Try cold emailing or cold pitching to potential clients. It’s one of the most traditional methods freelancers use to find work, but it is still relevant today. For more advice on cold emailing, check out our article How to Write a Cold Email That Will Actually Get a Response.
Continue Education and Professional Development
As a freelance marketing consultant, it’s important to stay up to date in your field. It’s also a good idea to continue your education in areas that will provide value to your clients. This could be learning more about SEO, graphic design, google analytics - whatever skills that will help boost your services.
For more on the subject of getting started freelancing, check out What You Need to Know: Freelancing Tips for Beginners