Following fast on the heels of our first ultimate guide about How To Start an Online Business....
Thrive Themes is proud to announce our next release in this mega series of deep-dive guides:
This was a gigantic undertaking and we’re extremely proud to bring you what we believe to be the definitive guide to starting a freelance digital marketing career.
If you’ve ever contemplated freelance marketing, or you’re currently serving marketing clients as a contractor, or you’re simply looking for new tricks to scale your business, you’ll find what you’re looking for in this guide.
Basically... in this giant guide you’ll get everything you need to know to start, run, and grow a freelance marketing career.
Who The Freelance Digital Marketing Guide Is For & Why We Created It
We created this guide for anyone starting a new freelance marketing career, or current freelance pros that want to learn some new tricks and strategies to level up their business.
At Thrive Themes we’re all about helping digital entrepreneurs build and grow their businesses, and since many of us on the team have been freelance marketers at some point in our personal journeys...
We thought this would be the perfect topic for our next comprehensive guide.
We’ve laid out each chapter to cover a fundamental aspect of freelance marketing in-depth, giving you the blueprint for mastering every corner of your new freelance career...
It’s practically a book, so strap in and get comfy, because you’re about to explore the inner workings (and outer limits), of the rapidly expanding solo-entrepreneur opportunity that is Freelance Digital Marketing.
Here’s an overview of what we’ll cover in each of the guide’s chapters...
The word niche gets kicked around a lot online...
Experts are trying to “niche down” and beginners are trying “find their niche.”
That’s why this chapter laser-focuses on niche selection and positioning for freelancers of all levels.
And whether you’re brand new to this or an old pro at freelancing, you’ll find something of value in this chapter.
If you’re just starting out as a freelance digital marketer, then this chapter is going to give you everything you need to figure out your starting point.
If you’re already established, you’ll explore new ways to research, serve, and hone in on your chosen niche.
One of the biggest decisions you will make as a freelancer is who to serve, what services to provide, and how to position yourself as the go-to expert in your chosen field.
And this is important because getting this wrong early on is a career killer.
In Chapter 1 you’ll learn:
- The various types of digital marketing you can specialize in
- How to choose the perfect niche for your new business
- Why it’s so important to niche-down in the early days of your freelance career
- How to research your chosen niche to gather market intelligence on your chosen niche
- How to become the GO-TO expert in your niche
Ahh... figuring out how to price your services as a digital marketing contractor...
...how do you choose?
- Hourly pricing
- Per-project pricing
- Value-based pricing
- Pricing by deliverables
Honestly, there are so many pricing options, and each one has their pros and cons.
Most new freelancers default to hourly pricing or pricing out their services on a per-project basis without ever considering the ramifications of this critical decision.
Because the truth is that getting this right helps you scale into a profitable freelance enterprise versus the downward spiral of profitless projects that eat up all your time and resources.
In Chapter 2 you’ll learn:
- All the different ways a freelancer can price their services
- How to choose the right pricing options for your business
- The pros and cons of all the various freelance pricing models
- How to protect yourself from clients that don’t pay (Yikes!)
- Plus you will get: Freelance invoice templates, and all our recommendations for creating an air-tight pricing strategy.
Next up is how to find and win clients in your ideal target market (because isn’t that what this is all about?).
We hit the Internet Highways to find the most actionable, achievable strategies for client acquisition for freelancers of all levels and distill them into a blueprint for growth in this chapter.
Whether you’re brand new and looking for ways to land your first client, or a freelance pro looking for ways to reinvigorate your client acquisition efforts...
This chapter is for you.
In Chapter 3 you’ll learn:
- The best way to target and win potential freelance clients
- Game-changing strategies for locating your ideal customers online
- How to pitch those leads, win their trust, and get a signed contract FAST
- How to create freelance project proposals that stand out from the pack
- How to quickly create a one-page freelance website (and why you need one)
As you start bringing on clients, and your business starts to grow, everything changes.
Suddenly you’re dealing with the day-to-day realities of running a business and the glamor of being a “Freelance Digital Marketer” will be replaced by the minutiae of operations.
You’ve got to track your time for clients, manage your own time effectively, create a schedule and working environment that helps you be more productive, and navigate a million tiny tasks that threaten to eat away at your time and bandwidth.
And that’s exactly why we wrote this chapter, so you can create a freelance operation that purrs like a well-oiled machine.
In Chapter 4 you’ll learn:
- How to create a freelancer routine that helps you be more productive
- How to manage your time like a pro so you stop wasting time and money
- Our recommended software tools to up your operations game
- 3 huge mistakes newbie freelancers commonly make (and how to avoid them)
The next chapter in the guide is all about “keeping your clients happy....”
So they stay with you for the long term and keep paying you!
Ever heard the expression, “why continue to fill up a leaky bucket?”
Well, if you find yourself bringing on new clients, while your current ones are throwing in the towel and cancelling your contracts...
Then you might have a retention problem, AKA, your bucket is leaky!
The truth is that it’s actually much cheaper to retain your current clients than to constantly be acquiring new ones.
That’s why we’ve dedicated an entire chapter to giving you strategies to keep your clients happy, your projects on track, and build a customer service system that helps you keep your clients paying for years to come.
In Chapter 5 you’ll learn:
- Why it’s time to start treating your freelance enterprise like a business and not a side hustle
- How to keep the scope of your projects under control so everyone is happy
- How to turn customer service into an integral part of your business
- How to manage client expectations from the start so you won’t have to worry about misunderstandings (or frustrated clients)
At some stage in your freelance business you’re going to ask yourself:
“Should I grow the heck out of this thing, convert it into an agency, or just continue as a solo freelance operation?”
And if “grow the heck out of this thing” is where you’re headed...
We’ve got all the details on scaling your freelance business in this final chapter of the Ultimate Guide.
In Chapter 6 you’ll learn:
- What it means to scale your business, and the best options for freelancers
- The right time to scale your business (and if you actually should)
- The 7 best ways to scale your freelance business (like converting to an agency model)
- How to outsource work and hire a team to grow your services
- Tools we recommend to help achieve scale in your freelance business
Ready To Launch Your Freelance Digital Marketing Business?
So there you have it.
The ultimate guide for creating a freelance marketing business.
We’d love to hear what you think of this guide, the new ideas it gives you for your own freelance business, and if you plan on implementing any of the strategies presented in it.
Join the conversation in the comments below and we can’t wait to learn more about your freelance digital marketing journey!
I like this! So, from a producing/meta perspective, would you call this a blog post or a web page? There’s no sidebar, but it has sharing capabilities. It’s almost like an eBook, but in website form. Tell us more!
Thanks for checking it out Andy! We’re calling these our “Ultimate Guides”, and yeah they do live in a grey area between blog post and ebook and web page. They’re built on WP pages (as opposed to posts) because they’re meant to be more evergreen content on the main TT site, and since they’re so huge in terms of content we felt structuring them more like an ebook (vs blog posts) would be easier to navigate and consume.
We’ve used Thrive Architect to add sharing widgets and design the pages so they read very much like a post.
Thanks for this. Looking forward to diving in.
Thank you! Let me know your thoughts as you dig in! – Sam
Welcome to the Thrive Themes team! 🙂 I’m a huge Thrive fan and use Thrive for everything! <3
It's great to see someone from my area… at least we're on the same coast! 😉 I'm in SoCal!
Great guide! I've only had a few minutes to browse through it, but it looks great so far!
I'm sure I'll have some additional comments once I have time to do some more detailed reading!
Thanks for the hard work! 😀
Thank you so much Karen, and it’s always great to see a West Coaster (from the Bay Area originally).
Thank you for your kind words and looking forward to your feedback!
Great guide Sam, just thought it would be helpful to gain an understanding of how to use Thrive Themes agency liscence with regards to hosting to manage client sites. The hosting of sold client sites and future management confuses me.
Thank you! I appreciate you stopping by and checking it out 🙂
For your question, the fastest way to get accurate info on this would be to check out the Agency License below https://thrivethemes.com/membership-pricing/#getitnow and if that doesn’t resolve your question, please open a ticket with [email protected] and let them know your specific use case and plans for your client sites and hopefully they can get you everything you need.
Hi Sam, a quick question. I noticed you have embedded gifs within this guide. I have asked a few people in support but still can’t get a clear answer as to what is the best way to embed. Do you just use the social embed code or do you download and host on the Thrive site? Thanks again.
For this guide I uploaded the .gif files to the WordPress media gallery on the Thrive site and inserted them via Thrive Architect image elements. I then provided a link back to the original source wherever possible for proper attribution. I hope that answers your question!