How to Get Freelance Digital Marketing Jobs
Avoid the feast-or-famine cycle that's common among freelancers. Learn how to find freelance marketing jobs using passive and active strategies. These work and most of them cost next to nothing to execute.
Clients are the lifeblood of a freelance business, so every freelancer needs to master how to get freelance marketing jobs. Plan on spending half of your time serving clients and the other half promoting your services. That’s the only way to avoid the dreaded feast-or-famine cycles many freelancers complain about.
You may be wondering, “How can I start freelancing marketing?” It’s extremely difficult to get clients when you’re just starting out. You don’t have testimonials from past clients. You don’t have concrete results to show potential clients what you’re capable of doing. You don’t have a track record to speak of. You may not even be able to give away your services for free!
If that’s the case, then become a digital marketing apprentice through Acadium. In a three-month apprenticeship, you’ll gain the hands-on experience you can leverage to promote your services. You’ll generate work samples and measurable results to add to your portfolio and resume. You’ll have social proof from your mentor, who can also help you expand your network. Sign up for free here.
How do freelance marketers get clients? In this post, we’re going to cover both active and passive marketing approaches to getting freelance marketing jobs:
- Job boards
- Marketing funnel
- Social sales
- Social media
- Freelancing marketplace
These are based on what’s worked for me personally, as well as what’s working for my freelancer friends.
How to get freelance marketing jobs: Active approaches
When it comes to getting a steady flow of clients, there are two main choices: active and passive. Active marketing means you’re purposefully reaching out to ideal clients and eventually pitching your services to them.
Networking involves tapping your existing network for referrals to potential clients and continue expanding your network. Ideally, you build your network before you need clients. But if you haven’t, then the next best time to begin is now.
There are several ways to tap your network. One of the easiest is by reaching out to everyone you know: past employers and co-workers, friends, schoolmates, family members, and so on. You can say something like:
“I’m now a freelance marketer offering services in copywriting emails and social media ads for software companies. Do you know anyone who might need these services?”
Notice how you’re not pitching your services to your contact. You’re asking them for an introduction. This is a much smaller “ask” than inquiring if they need your services. And if they say no, it’s not a rejection of you.
You also want to attend networking opportunities, both in-person and virtual. Make sure you’re putting yourself out there among potential clients and not other marketers who offer similar services as you. Think of industry events where your ideal clients congregate, for example.
2. Job boards
Job boards aren’t just for employment opportunities; they also list plenty of freelancing or contractor jobs. Just note that competition on these job boards tends to be fierce. You need to have an optimized online presence, marketing materials, and portfolio to stand out.
The following job boards are good sources of freelance marketing work:
Dynamite Jobs is a job marketplace that specializes in remote work. You can filter the listing by category, sub-category, and type. To find freelance jobs, select “Short-Term Project” or “Part Time” under Type of work. Or use “freelance” or “contract” in the search field.
FlexJobs is also focused on remote and flexible job opportunities, both employment and freelance. The easiest way to find freelance listings is by using “freelance” in the search field.
Indeed is the largest aggregator of job listings. While it’s known for employment listings, it also includes freelance marketing jobs. You can set up email alerts and receive new listings automatically.
Jooble lists vacancies from all over Canada, including remote work. While most of the listings are for employment, Jooble also includes freelance work.
LinkedIn is a networking platform for professionals that includes a job board. You can sometimes find freelancing opportunities that may not be posted anywhere else.
Problogger has a job board dedicated to bloggers and other content creators. Many of the opportunities are for freelance work. This is a good place to look if you’re specializing in content creation.
As the name suggests, Remote.co lists remote jobs from the world’s leading remote companies and virtual teams. Find freelance marketing jobs by using their search engine.
3. Marketing funnel
As a marketer, consider yourself your first client and set up a marketing funnel for your freelancing services.
One of the most common marketing funnels is a lead generation funnel: You offer a free piece of content in exchange for people’s email addresses, nurture the relationship through email marketing, and then deliver offers to turn them into clients.
4. Social sales
Another active way of marketing your freelance services is through social selling. This means engaging with potential clients on various social media platforms, such as through groups and online forums. When it’s appropriate, talk about your services. Either pitch to the lead directly or ask them for referrals (similar to how you did it with your network).
Passive marketing: Find clients while you sleep
Passive marketing is about attracting your ideal clients and making it known that you’re available for freelancing. It’s also known as inbound marketing. The idea is to become discoverable by your ideal clients and make it easy for them to engage with your services. Once you’ve set this up and optimized it, you could be attracting clients 24/7 in your sleep.
Your business website is like having a brick-and-mortar store that never closes. This is no longer optional for any freelancer because you can be sure that potential clients will be checking you out online before hiring you.
Make sure your website is search engine optimized so that clients who are looking for your services can easily find you through Google.
You also need to optimize your website for conversion. This means having copies and images that resonate with your ideal clients. You should showcase samples of your work, results you’ve gotten for past mentors, clients, or personal projects, and other forms of social proof. It also means making it easy for them to hire you. Provide information about the services you offer and how to contact you if they’re interested in contracting your services.
2. Blogging or other content marketing
A blog passively gets you clients in two ways. First, it’s great for SEO. Potential clients who are doing online research are likely to discover your blog and website.
Second, a blog positions you as a thought leader and expert in your field. As readers consume your amazing content, they get to know, like, and trust you—enough to be interested in working with you. From each blog post, you can pitch your services in an organic way. Blog readers would’ve warmed up to you and are more open to your pitch.
Your blog can be your online portfolio. It can also be part of a marketing funnel.
Instead of a blog, you may decide to publish other forms of content, such as videos on YouTube. Those types of content marketing can have similar benefits to a blog.
3. Social media
You can also passively attract clients through your social media accounts. Make sure all your profiles mention your freelancing services and are linked to your website. Publish thoughtful posts that position you as an expert. Mention results you’ve been getting for your clients. Ideally, they give you permission to say their names and companies. If not, you can still use their success stories albeit anonymously. One of these success stories could be from a marketing apprenticeship you’ve completed.
Don’t be surprised if you get people inquiring about your services after seeing your tweets or other posts. One of my first clients discovered me on Twitter, and we worked with each other for eight years!
4. Acadium freelance marketplace
Another passive way to get clients is by joining Acadium’s freelance marketplace. This is a talent pool of freelancers in all the domains of digital marketing. After you’re vetted and accepted, we do the work of matching you with businesses that are looking for the services you offer. Whether you’re looking for freelance social media jobs or other types of freelance marketing jobs, we can find clients for you. This way, you can focus on serving your clients.
Find your first—or next—freelance clients
Now you have eight different strategies for how to get freelance marketing jobs. The next step is for you to go out there and employ one or more of them.
You can promote your services with confidence after you’ve had adequate experience and results you can show for social proof. A digital marketing apprenticeship can give you all that. For 10 hours per week for three months, you work on real-world marketing projects and receive mentorship. Not only are you gaining skills and experience. You’re also getting access to paid marketing tools and expanding your network of business contacts who can introduce you to other business owners.
Lexi Rodrigo is the former Content Manager at Acadium. As a marketing and communications professional and course creator, she helps remarkable brands get seen, heard, and known. She has been a digital marketer and copywriter since 2008. She's also the co-author of "Blog Post Ideas: 21 Proven Ways to Create Compelling Content and Kiss Writer's Block Goodbye." When she's not reading or writing, Lexi bakes bread, grows food, and takes long walks. Connect with Lexi on LinkedIn.
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