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Becoming a Freelance Digital Marketer from Scratch: A Beginner’s Guide

Ruul Content

Becoming a digital marketer is lucrative in an age where marketing is primarily online. 

Here is why:

Our world today is constantly hungry for fresh content, and digital marketers bring this content to you. 


Via search engine ranking, email marketing, social media, and even influencer marketing!

You can become part of that growth by joining freelance digital marketing. But how do you become one? What does a freelance digital marketer do? And how does one become the best?

This piece aims to answer all these questions. We’ll start from the grassroots, offering you the nitty-gritty of the profession and everything in between. So strap up and get ready to learn how to do freelance digital marketing from scratch.

Introduction to Freelance Digital Marketing

Welcome to the world of freelance digital marketing. In this universe, you learn to become an independent online salesperson. Digital marketing will teach you how to frame services and products to attract your target audience. 

But it does not stop there!

It also entails learning the fundamental skills and tools to keep your services consistent. 

A freelance digital marketer helps companies, organizations, and individuals meet their goals. You work remotely and are typically self-employed.

Some of the tasks for freelance digital marketing for beginners are:

  • Content marketing strategies include making videos, podcasts, blogs, or social media posts.
  • Social media marketing for freelancers is developing and executing social media plans for clients.
  • Brand marketing by helping clients build and maintain their brand identity.
  • Email marketing campaigns by developing and executing email campaigns to engage with customers and potential leads.
  • Search Engine Optimization to boost site visibility in search engines.
  • Website and channel maintenance of blogs, websites, and social media profiles.

After honing the skills and tools comes the question of salary. 

In the US, the average yearly salary of a freelancer is around $50,000. However, this amount falls and rises based on your expertise in the industry. The wages of freelance digital marketing for beginners will be lower than that of pros. 

Essential Skills and Tools 

To succeed as a freelancer, you must master general skills first. These are like time management for freelancers. Besides the surface skills, you also need to educate yourself on:

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is changing all marketing sectors. Today, SEO, content, and social media marketing are different because of AI. Thanks to AI, the processes are shorter, the service is better, and the results are instant — or predictable!

The AI tools responsible for this shift are predictive analysis, content generation, and chatbots. 

These tools efficiently analyze vast data sets and use the insights to personalize marketing. They also automate repetitive tasks and improve your clients’ return on investment.

Search Engine Optimization 

SEO is learning the nuances of how search engines work. This essential skill optimizes content to rank higher on organic searches. 

Some of the tools that help SEO for freelancers are on-page SEO, backlinks, and keyword research.

Email marketing

Email marketing is an essential skill you learn to maintain client relationships. It is also a tactic for freelancers to acquire clients. This client acquisition method entails segmenting audiences for personalized interactions. The email marketing tools measure open rates, click-through rates, and conversions. 

Social Media Marketing and Advertising

A digital marketer must also master social media marketing for freelancers. This skill entails exploring the different social media platforms to create resonating content. It’s through this skill that you understand customer behavior and trends.

Customer Relations Management (CRM)

CRMs are systems you use to manage customer interactions. The insight you gain from learning this skill helps you further personalize all your marketing efforts. This skill set also helps improve the customer journey and satisfaction.


Analytics are a digital marketers’ markers of success. Using tools such as Google Analytics helps one track website and content performance. It helps one understand metrics such as customer satisfaction and user behavior. Most of all, analytics quantify the conversion rates, helping you make accurate conclusions about whether your client’s content is making the impact it’s supposed to.

Copywriting and Graphics

A digital marketer may also learn to create compelling copy or graphics that meet the client’s goals. These goals include attracting subscribers, selling more, or building brand awareness.

Building Your Portfolio

After knowing what kickstarts your journey to becoming a freelance digital marketing pro, you build your portfolio. Your portfolio is the first touchpoint between you and a potential client. It helps you sell your services in the best light and convinces a brand or individual to collaborate. 

But before you proceed to create one, since you are a beginner, commence with:

Picking a Skill and Mastering It

As you’ve seen, digital marketing encompasses numerous disciplines. We mentioned some of the things above, but we didn’t mention others, such as pay-per-click and mobile advertising. 

You may master each in small bits, but pick a niche to make significant strides in becoming a successful freelancer in this industry. 

Sometimes, you could do two simultaneously and keep incorporating other elements as you grow. Still, be a master of one at the beginning.

If you bite what you can chew, you will slowly grow and become a master of all, but that will take time. So, as a beginner building their initial portfolio, pick a skill and master it.

Practice every instance you get as you gain experience. Be patient because this stage might take a while. If you are self-learning, it could take you a few months to a year. If you take digital marketing courses, the learning duration will vary depending on the curriculum.

These initial interactions will offer you grounds to create a portfolio following these steps:

Set Up a portfolio website

Start by researching the best online platforms to create your portfolio. Create an account on platforms like WordPress or Squarespace. If you can purchase a custom domain to set your portfolio apart, do so.

Create a Compelling Homepage

On the homepage, describe your services. Use infographics and utilize white space to elevate the visual appeal. Use high-quality images and attractive brand colors, and have clear call-to-actions within your content.

Create an About Page

Next, proceed to the About page. Here, give a snippet of your story. Share your freelance digital marketing journey to connect with your clients. Highlight what sets you apart by listing your skills and certifications. You may also include testimonials from past clients, mentors, or colleagues.

Display Your Samples

This section perplexes most in the freelance digital marketing for beginners’ journey. This is because you may have yet to have any past samples. But there are ways around it.

One way is to create and post content on public pages for others to see. For example, a copywriter can create a sample marketing copy and post it on social media or LinkedIn. You can also create graphical designs and post them on the appropriate community sites. Then, repeat with different content on various topics.

Then, take those links and post them on your portfolio. You can paste a snippet of each content type in the portfolio. The link guides them in getting the whole picture. 

Provide Your Thought Process

For each project, briefly describe the client’s goals, the challenges, and how you overcame them. Include how you carry out your research and how you create your work. Finish by displaying metrics like viewership, shareability, and social media engagement to build credibility.

This gives clients confidence that you work effortlessly to reach their goals.

Optimize your Contacts

Remember the call-to-actions we mentioned above; let them nudge clients to reach out. However, ensure you clearly state your contact information. Display your email, LinkedIn profile, phone number, and other relevant contact details.

Finding Clients 

When it comes to client acquisition for freelancers, here are some of the routes you can use to secure a work relationship:

  • Use freelancer platforms like Upwork or Fiverr.
  • Cold pitch to clients you’ve established need your service.
  • Reach people and brands through social media.
  • Use networking platforms.
  • Offer free consultations.
  • Ask past clients for referrals.

Setting Your Rates 

It’s quite a climb from zero to $50,000 and above, but it is not impossible. Knowing how to get into freelance digital marketing is the first step you already know of it. However, your rates will dictate how fast you climb this ladder.

As a freelance digital marketer, you can set your rates based on the following:

  • An hourly rate.
  • A per-project compensation.
  • A milestone arrangement.
  • A monthly stipend for a long-term or contractual engagement.

Ensure you set your rates to match the service you offer. Also, use trusted invoicing and payment platforms such as Ruul to receive timely payments. To safeguard yourself, ensure you draw contracts and have the client comply with the terms before taking on any project. 

Tips for Success

It might seem like a mountain, but taking one step at a time will make it feel like a hill one day. Freelance digital marketing is lucrative, but you must always put your best foot forward. Start by curiously finding a niche and practicing to master it.

Follow through with the dedication to create a portfolio, find clients, and set rates that match your services. Your patience should be in play as you wait to build your clientele. Doing it right will grow your numbers.

Finally, consistently offer high-quality work and stay open to learning more about digital marketing.

If you get all these right, you will have aced how to become a freelance digital marketing guru.


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