How to become an independent digital marketer in 2024

Digital marketing top job of 2024

Your favorite shoes, TV shows, music, and websites all have one thing in common: they are all related to the digital marketing industry. That's why everyone wants to become a digital marketing freelancer and help more companies and people find the right fit. It's an interesting and dynamic job where you get new experiences on a regular basis.

What is a digital marketing freelancer?

Digital marketing freelancers are digital marketers who run their own business helping clients. This category is broad and can include all types of marketing commonly used today. Digital marketers often wear many hats, and some of the most common activities include:

  • Creating content for blogs, websites, and social media;
  • Assisting with website development and design;
  • Managing social media accounts and communities;
  • Producing advertising, including text and visuals;
  • Visual design, including infographics;
  • Video production and editing;
  • Organizing webinars and podcasts;
  • Launching advertising campaigns and managing advertising budgets;
  • Developing client campaigns and marketing strategies;
  • Sending emails to clients and managing email marketing campaigns;
  • Generating and screening prospective clients;
  • Introducing new clients and organizing meetings with them.

The day-to-day tasks of a digital marketing freelancer are varied. Some freelance digital marketing specialists and digital media consultants focus solely on brand strategy. Others work with in-house staff to create ads that are part of an advertising campaign. Most digital marketing specialists work with clients on a daily basis and communicate regularly. Some specialize in niche areas, such as writing or market research, where they are only contacted a few times a week.

What are the pros and cons of freelancing?

Freelancers and digital marketing professionals have many options and specific areas of expertise that they can pursue as part of their work. This means that if you decide to become a digital marketing specialist, you will have a wealth of experience. It's worth considering the pros and cons of working in this field as an independent professional.


  • The ability to work anywhere and anytime, and to travel or relocate at any time; although some marketers have had their remote work temporarily interrupted due to COVID, freelancers have always had this opportunity due to the digital nature of this field.
  • Job sites like Upwork allow you to meet a variety of digital marketing clients with different needs. You can choose the type of work, industry, and company.
  • You can work at any time, as long as you meet deadlines.
  • You can use your own equipment and favorite tools.
  • You can enlist the help and knowledge of other freelancers and learn as needed.
  • You can use a service that offers escrow services and get paid instantly.
  • You can work with clients wherever you are. This gives you access to large markets and big companies outside your area that can charge a higher price for your work.


  • You need to do a lot of work to run your own business, including preparing tax forms and obtaining licenses.
  • You also need to bill, manage, communicate with clients, and do your own advertising, but you can't bill those hours.
  • You are only paid for what you work. Income can fluctuate during sick days or weeks with few projects.
  • All paid vacations, insurance, and other benefits must be paid for by you.
  • Some people get stressed out by having to constantly look for clients.
  • Becoming a freelancer can be challenging. Fortunately, there are many opportunities to collaborate with others in the community. Local and online groups, forums linked to job portals, and national organizations can help you find other freelancers to answer questions, offer business suggestions, and help solve problems you're facing.


Remember the list of different skills we just reviewed? Having such a range of skills in a career means that independent digital marketers earn a very diverse salary; according to ZipRecruiter, freelance professionals in the U.S. earn annual incomes ranging from $22,500 to $127,000 dollars. The average salary in the U.S. is about $69,000 per year, or about $33 per hour. The more you specialize, the more you will be paid. It's also a good idea to focus on areas of influence, such as managing large-scale campaigns for an enterprise or learning artificial intelligence tools for marketing analytics.

Upwork allows you to quickly find digital marketing freelancers at a wide range of prices. Beginning marketers are usually paid between 20 and 30 dollars per hour. Those with more experience and knowledge can earn up to 80 dollars per hour. Top professionals often charge more for specific projects, such as creating a ClickFunnels campaign from scratch - 125 or 150 dollars per hour, and in some cases even 300 dollars.

What kinds of jobs are involved in digital marketing?

Despite the wide range of skills and tasks required of marketers, job listings indicate that they focus on a few areas. Let's take a look at five of the most popular areas for freelancers today.

1. Facebook and Instagram advertising

Since Facebook owns Instagram, you can manage ads on both channels from one account through Facebook Ads Manager. Expertise in this area is a great advantage, as many small businesses only advertise or find customers through social media. Mastering advertising campaigns on these platforms will help you work with a wide variety of companies, as small businesses often need freelancers rather than full-time employees.

2. SEO Consultant

Search engines generate significant traffic and sales for companies, and SEO (search engine optimization) work is done on websites with current best practices to help website pages perform better in user searches. Unlike paid advertising, organic ranking benefits all companies.

3. Chatbots and customer service

Chatbots are becoming an increasingly popular customer service tool because they integrate easily with websites and Facebook accounts. Business owners often need help with everything from setting up these tools and creating responses to optimizing them for sales. New professionals can find plenty of work on platforms like ManyChat.

How does Google Ads work?

4. The process of reaching sales goals

Digital marketers need to master online sales. This often means repeatedly reaching out to customers and creating a website designed to give visitors what they need to make a purchase. The entire process of interacting with people through ads, emails, and website content to achieve a purchase is called a sales funnel. A landing page is the specific page that people land on to make a transaction. Marketers create both of these pages to help businesses grow.

5. PPC and Google ads

Pay-per-click advertising is a type of advertising model that places ads on websites, especially search engines, and pays publishers when someone clicks on the ad; PPC campaigns can have a flat fee or require bidding on keywords. The best known PPC network is Google Ads. It is easy to manage and works with almost all ad campaign tools, making it one of the most popular tools for marketers creating and running search advertising campaigns.

Google's advertising program was originally called AdWords in 2000 and changed its name to "Google Ads" in 2018.

How to Begin?

The demand for digital marketers is high and freelancing is a good starting point, but you'll have to do the hard work of offering your services to companies. On the other hand, you won't have to deal with HR or go through multiple interviews; you can simply get in touch with a team leader who needs specific help. There are some general steps you can take to begin the process and get a company selected. Here are seven things you need to do to begin working as an independent digital marketer:

1. Take a course and familiarize yourself with the news

There are many digital marketing courses available. Some are offered by small digital marketers and freelancers, while others are offered by universities and leading marketing agencies. You should look for courses that can teach a variety of options and indicate when the material was last updated. Information from a few years ago may no longer be relevant to you. For example, if you are taking a course on a particular product, you need to know the latest version of that product to understand its features. Certification from a reputable organization can be very helpful to give you confidence that you can do what your customers need you to do.

2. Identify your skills

Once you've researched and understood what digital marketing does, it's time to get into it for real. You may be given an idea of your skills in a class. If that's the case, take a test or program to see what you're good at. Fortunately, there are plenty of free social media management tools available, and most advertising platforms offer a small amount of free credit to try out their systems.

Test, rehearse, ask colleagues and teachers to look at what you've created and see where it worked. Make a list of skills that others have evaluated. Then make a separate list of tasks or skills that you liked. Note any skills that overlap in both categories and add them to the list of new services you can offer.

3. Choose an area of specialization

Digital marketing requires both technical knowledge and passion for your work. By focusing on an area that you enjoy and are skilled enough in, you will be able to turn freelancing into a career that you will enjoy for a long time. This way, you can minimize the stress caused by the "disadvantages" while maintaining the "advantages" mentioned above.

Specialization also allows you to minimize your workload. You'll discover a few skills that need to be honed, and you'll know how to narrow your job search to those elements. When companies interview you, you will know what to emphasize and demonstrate. This way, you won't have to learn everything or look for a job that isn't a good fit for you.

4. Turn to professionals for ongoing support

Freelancers often don't have the opportunity to receive on-the-job training or ask for help from a supervisor. However, you can find plenty of mentors online, as specialized LinkedIn digital marketing groups, forums, Reddit, and local communities often help newbies learn the basics and avoid mistakes. Create a community of people who do similar work as you and to whom you can ask questions. This can make a big difference when a client asks for something new or the right tool isn't available for a particular task.

Freelancers should also find a mentor who is familiar with running a business. They are likely to encounter issues specific to where they live and work, such as how to approach clients, manage their time, and pay taxes. A broad community can help you find answers to these questions or connect you with experts who can help you solve problems and make your business successful.

Reddit for professional activities

5. Follow blogs that focus on your area of expertise

Digital marketing methods change regularly. New platforms and social media channels are constantly emerging. Search engines are revamping websites and some advertising is becoming too familiar to be successful. Media usage is probably different than it was five years ago, as is all the marketing that surrounds it.

Experts in the field do two things: they create blogs and they follow the blogs of other experts in their field. Blogs provide a forum to showcase expertise and discuss the latest trends. Reading blogs regularly will help you stay on top of changes and discover new opportunities.

You can also learn about research that can influence the way you advertise. For example, data collected by a number of popular blogs at the end of 2020 showed that people are looking for specific companies and products "closer to home" than ever before, despite the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

6. Create a profile

Once you have a full body of knowledge, it's time to put it into practice. Create a portfolio and freelancer profile to show who you are and what you offer. Tell a story about your skills and talk about what you've already done. If you haven't found your first job yet, use the one you created in school or online courses, or create your own to showcase your skills.

A service like Upwork can make this process easier, as they have a ready-made portfolio template. You can also look at how other marketers describe their skills and services. You can find out what works and what they don't like. At the same time, you can look at job postings to see if your profile has the skills and software that your clients need most.

7. Start applying for entry-level jobs

Once you've honed your skills, prepared an up-to-date lesson plan, and created your profile, it's time to apply for job openings. Advertise your digital marketing services on job sites, LinkedIn, and via email. Find a company that has a job opening and apply. You should respond to requests for information, samples, personal notes, etc. Don't send the same response to everyone in a row! Each offer and response should be individualized. This will help build trust and help them understand you better. It may take a few tries, but you'll soon find the perfect place to begin your new career.

How to find and communicate with clients?

Communication is an important skill when it comes to finding clients and getting the job done. In digital marketing, especially for new hires, you need to constantly work with clients to understand their business and audience. You need to research people, create personas, find the best channels and times to connect with your audience, and know who your clients think are their most profitable customers. To do this, you need to interact, ask questions, and listen.

One of the best places to do this is in your operations and contract management system. You can communicate via email, Slack, etc., but messages often get lost and it's easy to miss deadlines, changes, and other contract requirements. Platforms like Upwork allow you to find clients, make contracts, send messages, update milestones, etc. Create a simple area to manage everything in one place by gathering all of these elements in one place for easy searching. Search will be convenient.

Beginning with such a platform will make your work easier. Going to a freelancer recruitment page and using the same site for everything else will avoid confusion and missed communications at the beginning of your career. It's also one of the best tools for digital newbies because of the built-in ability to get feedback.



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