6 {strategies for|methods for} {getting started off with|getting to grips with} freelance marketing

Freelance marketing {is really a} perfect {solution to} earn extra money, flex your creative skills, and make valuable connections and networks.

The {best benefit}: Companies {come in} constant need of great freelance marketers.

Some fast facts:

And somebody {must} help fill {those} roles. That’s where YOU {can be found in}.

If you’re a beginner though, {you almost certainly} don’t {learn how to} start.

That’s why we talked to actual professional freelance marketers {to obtain} their best {ideas to} {assist you to} dive into freelance marketing.

But first, {you must understand} what freelance marketing is. {Doing this} {provides} valuable context for {the following advice} and {help you to get} {an improved} sense of what you’re {engaging in}.

Bonus: {Wish to know} {steps to make} {just as much} money as {you need} and {exist} {on your own} terms? Download my GrowthLab on how {to discover a} profitable business idea.

You {may also} {have a look at} our 15-minute video {about} {an excellent} system {to assist you} {look for a} money-making hustle: Idea Mapping.

Now {if you wish to} take your role {to another} level, you’re {likely to} {desire to} niche down your target market.

Think about who exactly {will undoubtedly be} {making use of your} services:

  • How old are they?
  • Where do they live?
  • What are their interests?
  • How much do they make?
  • What books do they read?

Once you have {the solution} to those questions, {it is possible to} {develop} your niched-down role.

Here {certainly are a} few examples:

  • The copywriter for mid-sized veterinary clinics
  • The SEO specialist for tech start-ups <5 years old
  • The {social media marketing} manager for upscale French restaurants
  • The content writer for personal finance and development gurus

(Hmm that last one seems familiar…)

And don’t worry. {In the event that you} try something out and don’t find it’s {an excellent} fit {for you personally}, {it is possible to} always change your roles. That’s {the wonder} of freelancing.

Once you’ve found your niche, though, you’re {prepared to} {begin} finding clients.

Bonus: Having {several} {blast of} income {will help you} through tough economic times. {Learn to|Figure out how to|Discover ways to} start {making profits} {privately} with my FREE Upwork, {employment} and gig site catered toward freelancers.

“{Initially} [of my career], I relied heavily on freelance websites {such as for example} Upwork,” says freelance marketer Kirsty Price. “I’d {recommend} Upwork {for all those} just {getting started} {within their} freelance careers too.”

And {getting started off with} the website {is easy}. You simply {develop a} freelancer profile {and begin} {trying to get} various projects {on the webpage|on the website} {such as for example}:

  • Content writing
  • Copywriting
  • Editing
  • Graphic design
  • SEO

“The support from staff and fellow freelancers is incredible and {you can find} fresh opportunities {to arrive} constantly,” Price says.

It {ought to be} noted that while Upwork {could be a} great {spot to} find clients and {create a} portfolio, you shouldn’t necessarily {depend on} it {to get} {all your} clients.

“I’d avoid over-relying on places like Upwork,” suggests freelance copywriter Mac Hasley. “Because if {you need to} {get on} Upwork {weekly} and write {100} cover letters and you’re competing against bottom-of-the-barrel projects, you’ll {find yourself} burning yourself out.”

Instead, Mac suggests {having a} technique we {at} IWT {prefer to} call “{Likely to} where your clients live.”

And no, we don’t mean stalk your clients.

Instead, you’re {likely to} {visit the} {community forums}, forums, and websites your client might frequent {and become} incredibly helpful.

“Finding an {network} {where one can} be helpful and active {is among the} best {actions you can take} {on your own} as a freelancer,” Mac says. “I’ve found clients {by visiting} online forums like Facebook groups {along with other} online {community forums} and just answering questions.”

You {may use} this framework {to get} your clients as a freelance marketer.

  • Are you an aspiring copywriter? {Have a look at} forums like Cult of Copy or Warrior Forum.
  • Want to freelance your {social media marketing} skills? Start answering questions about {social media marketing} on Quora or Facebook groups for small-business owners who need your talents.
  • Are you a graphic designer? Start posting your stuff on Dribbble or Behance, or getting involved on /r/Graphic_Design.

By {participating in} these communities, you’ll be building your networks that’ll prove valuable {for you} {down the road}.

Freelance marketing tip #3: Be flexible {together with your} rates ({at the very least} {initially})

Beginner freelancers {have a tendency to} get confused and anxious {with regards to} their rates.

After all, {you can find} no hard and set rules for {just how much} {you need to} charge.

“{Initially}, I definitely obsessed {a touch too} much with industry standards and {how many other} {individuals were} charging,” says Price. “So I {finished up} totally undercharging and undervaluing myself in {the first} days, {due to the fact} I was scared that I wouldn’t {have the ability to} pay my bills.”

But if there’s {a very important factor} {you need to know} about your rates, it’s this: Don’t sweat it {an excessive amount of} – {at the very least} {when you begin}.

In fact, {it is possible to} even…

…brace yourself…

…do {work with} free.

Before you storm out screaming “If I’m {proficient at} something I shouldn’t {take action} {free of charge}!” {you need to know} that {doing work for} free {is completely|is very} fine – {Should you choose} it strategically.

Some {cases} when it’s okay to {work with} free:

  • You’re {creating a} portfolio of work {it is possible to} show to future paying clients
  • You {desire to} build connections with businesses you admire
  • The person {you would like to|you need to|you wish to} {work with} is well-connected. {And when} you {execute a} good job, they’ll connect you with other people
  • You {curently have} a full-time job {so that you can} afford to trade time for experience

This is something I’ve done when I was {getting started} as a freelancer AND it’s {a thing that} Ramit {did} {often} before.

“If you’re {completely new} and just need experience, {it is possible to} offer your services {free of charge} to {family and friends} for {a collection} {period of time},” says writer and {social media marketing} manager Kristy LaPointe. “My first few paid jobs {arrived} of work I had done {free of charge}.”

This flexibility {is paramount to} any freelance marketer {getting started}.

Of course, you’re {likely to} {desire to} eventually charge, {you understand}, actual money.

To help, {we’ve} four different pricing models {you may use} to base your rates {from}:

  • Hourly. You set an hourly rate and {litigant} {can pay} you {each hour}. {The power} for {your client} is {they} mitigate their risk {given that they} can just stop paying you {every time they} want if they’re dissatisfied. {In addition, it} stops {the customers} from piling on work without paying you.
  • By project. You’ll know {just what} you’re getting {covered} {a whole} project, {with an increase of} concrete deliverables for {your client}. {This technique} is nice {since when} you’re {finished with} the project, you’re done. {So you may} {end up receiving} paid {a lot more than} your hourly rate. However, you do run {the chance} of {your client} adding more work onto the project as you move along, so communication {in what} a “project” entails {is essential}.
  • By retainer. Your client {can pay} you {a collection} amount monthly. {This enables} the client {to possess} {usage of} you {at any moment} {throughout that} month. As a beginner, you’re {most likely not} going to {look for a} client {who’s} {ready to} hire you on retainer until you’ve {developed} enough experience {dealing with} them. However, it’s {an excellent} goal {to possess} and something {to bear in mind} as {you obtain} into freelance marketing.
  • Commision/bonus. This payment model {could work} {together with} {all the|every one of the} other ones {and may|and will} {give a} healthy incentive {to get} {your projects} done. {For example}, if your client {promises to you a} $1,000 bonus for attaining X {level of|quantity of} leads {together with your} landing pages.

If you’re a beginner, {It is advisable to} charge hourly because most clients {will be} unsure about {if} you’ll {have the ability to} {execute a} good job. {Therefore}, they might {not need} {to offer} a fat project fee.

Once you’ve gotten your first three {roughly} clients though, {you’ll be able to} {move ahead} to different pricing models.

Price suggests the retainer model.

“{I favor} {focusing on} a monthly retainer model {instead of} charging {per hour}, {when i} don’t {believe that} freelancers {ought to be} penalized by becoming {better} with experience,” she says. “{In the end}, does {it certainly} matter to {litigant} if you {devote} four hours or two hours if {the outcome} is of {exactly the same} value?”

And {with regards to} {just how much} exactly {you ought to be} charging, there’s no right answer.

However, we {at} IWT have {several} solid rules-of-thumb {that will help} you ballpark {an excellent} rate:

  1. Drop Three Zeros MethodSimply take your ideal (read: realistic) salary, drop three zeros {as a result}, and voila, you have your hourly rate!{For instance}, say you’d {enjoy} to earn {at the very least} $40,000. {Simply take} the three zeros from {the finish} and you {will have} your rate: $40/hour.
  2. Double your “resentment number”I love {that one} because it’s both really interesting and effective. {Consider}: What’s {the cheapest} rate you’ll {work with} that’ll leave you resentful {of one’s} work?Say you’ll {work with} $15/hour {at least|at the minimum}. Just double that number so now you’ll earn $30/hour.
  3. Do what {another} guy doesGo to Google and {seek out} {the common} hourly rate for whatever service you’re providing. You’ll {get yourself a} {common sense} of {the place to start} when you’re charging your clients.

And remember: {Even though} you’re an “established” freelance marketer with {several} clients under your belt already, it’s okay to go under your rate {in the event that you} really {desire to} {utilize a} certain client.

“I’ve told {a lot of} smaller businesses and non-profits {I needed} {to utilize}, ‘Look, here’s my general hourly. {I understand} you’re {your small business} and it {is probably not|may not be} in {your allowance}. But {I must say i} want this project. I’ll {use} you,’” says Mac. “I’ve never not gotten my full offer when I’ve done that. If you’re really {worked up about} a project, clients will {detect} that and they’ll be excited {to utilize} you.”

She continues, “{Being truly a} human is more important than {being truly a} stickler about your rates.”

Once you’ve gotten your client, it’s {time and energy to} move on {to some other} {essential} freelance marketing tip that even {probably the most} seasoned freelancers forget:

Freelance marketing tip #4: Meet your damn deadlines

If {you’re} the freelancer who meets their deadlines, you’re automatically {prior to the} vast majority {on the market}.

That’s {because of the fact} that businesses {would prefer to} have an okay freelance marketer who meets their deadlines than {an incredible} freelance marketer who constantly misses them.

“Meet your damn deadlines,” Mac says. “I work my butt off {to never} miss a deadline because that’s {a very important factor} that other freelancers are crap at. {Should you choose} the work {and you also} {take action} on time you’re MILES {prior to the} other freelancers {on the market}.”

Of course, you’re {likely to} {desire to} provide great, quality work {in any event} – but {achieve this} while meeting your deadlines. This {demonstrates|implies that} you:

  • Are a professional
  • Are good to work with
  • Aren’t {thinking about} wasting your clients’ time

When you do provide great work and meet your deadlines, {which means} you’re {ready to} move on {to your} next tip:

Freelance marketing tip #5: Get referrals

Referrals are clients {that you will get} from existing clients {and they’re} the lifeblood of any freelancer.

For {several} reasons:

  1. You {can boost} your prices {once you} {get yourself a} referral. {Your client} who referred you has automatically added value to {your projects} by recommending you. {Which means} {it is possible to} charge more {for the} work.
  2. You {progress} clients. {Once you} charge more, you’ll start attracting high-quality clients {who is able to} afford you. They’re also {significantly less} {more likely to} waste {your time and effort} if you’re being paid {a lot of money}. It’s a win {throughout}.
  3. You can {a lot more than} double {your earnings}. {Have a look at} this case study {from the} freelance project manager who went from charging $25/hour to $75/hour {simply by} {obtaining a} referral. {This can be a} HUGE win.

“{At this time} {nearly all} my clients and contracts come through referrals,” says LaPointe. “When clients are {pleased with} what I’ve done, it’s natural {to allow them to} recommend me {with their} friends and colleagues.”

And {requesting} referrals {is simple} – {when you have} {the proper} script.

Luckily, {we’ve} {a successful} script from our article on how {to obtain} clients {to assist you} {require} referrals:


I’m so {pleased to} hear that you enjoyed {might work}. {Once you learn} of {other people} who’s {searching for} my services {aswell}, I’d be grateful {in the event that you} passed my contact information along {in their mind}.

Thank you,


It’s simple, direct, and gets results.

Freelance marketing tip #6: Treat yourself {just like a|such as a} business

Remember: As a freelance marketer, {you’re} {your personal} business.

That’s {for you to} start treating yourself {as you}.

From Mac:

If {you imagine} of yourself as {an average} freelancer, you’re {likely to} {grab yourself} into trouble. Freelancers have a mindset of feast and famine, where finding clients and work {can frequently be} {a} unicorn.

If, instead, you {viewed} yourself as {a small business}, then you {begin looking} at {methods for you to} be sustainable. So {be considered a} name someone knows in a forum and {really wants to} go to. {Be considered a} great blogger. Build credibility.

If {you’re} {a small business} owner, you’re not constantly {speaking with} customers one-on-one and hoping they {purchase your} stuff. You’re {thinking about} {methods to} make customers {think about} you and keep you top of mind.

This mindset shift is hugely important {if you wish to} find success as a freelance marketer.

And remember: Business {can be} about balance.

It’s {an easy task to} blur the lines between work and life {whenever your} office {generally is} in {exactly the same} room you sleep in. But {discovering that} balance {is essential} {if you wish to} prevent burnout, keep your sanity, {and revel in} {your projects} more.

“I’m {an enormous} fan of work-life balance,” says Price. “{THEREFORE I} try to {adhere to} working {only} 40 hours {weekly}. I’m {in a position to} do this {when you are} (probably) {a bit} too militant {time} management – a habit I {found} out {necessarily} from juggling {an enormous} workload {in my own} agency days.”

Of course, as a freelance marketer, {you will possibly not} be working {an average} work day. {Therefore}, you’ll {need to be} {a lot more} diligent about allocating time for work.

“Especially in {social media marketing}, {there is absolutely no} 9-to-5, {as you} {have to be} checking in on what’s happening online and {on your own} accounts. {The web} never sleeps,” LaPointe says. “{One of the better} things I’ve done {is defined} aside intentional time {from} {the web} and work.”

She continues, “Sometimes it’s an {balancing} with friends, sometimes it’s a week-long camping trip. It’s {not necessarily} {an easy task to} organize, {nonetheless it} is always {worthwhile}.”

So find {time and energy to} relax {beyond} work. {And when} you can’t find time, make it. It’s {very important to} your mental well-being {plus your} business.

You {may also} add it to your calendar.

As Ramit says, “If it’s not on my calendar, it doesn’t exist.”

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Put {all your} goals {onto it} too. {Which includes} work meetings, writing times, {as well as} times when {you want to} disconnect {rather than} {communicate} with anyone.

Doing so {will provide you with} {an excellent} visual cue to work from and it’ll keep {your targets} {near the top of} {your brain}.

BONUS: {THE BEST} Guide to Making Money

If {you need} even more {home elevators|info on} {learning to be a} freelance marketer, {make sure to} {have a look at} our articles on {this issue} below:

Making {additional money} is easier {than you may} think. I {demonstrate} how {in my own} FREE Start The Quiz

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