How to start advice from a freelance translator

If, like me, you are passionate about internet/digital marketing and have made it your job (or aspire to make it your job), you have two career options: working for a company (advertiser or agency) or freelance. Everyone is going to make their own decision, it’s totally personal because they are two completely different styles…

Personally, for 4 years, I have been wage and independent work (evenings and weekends). About 6 months ago, I gave up my salaried activity and am 100% self-employed. So, I wanted to write an article to help digital marketing professionals who want to start freelancing.

natural fears

Are you hesitant or anyway thinking about becoming a freelancer in digital marketing? It is very likely that you have many concerns. It’s totally normal don’t worry, we all go through this stage!

You may worry about:

  • You no longer have any income, and therefore you find yourself in a precarious situation;
  • Not knowing how to run a business and manage;
  • not knowing how to find clients because you are afraid to search;
  • You don’t thrive, and you don’t learn anything compared to a job in a company.

All of these fears are normal, however, with good preparation, you can avoid most problems.

Be aware that the needs of businesses in terms of digital marketing are enormous, so there are very great opportunities to seize. More and more companies are using freelancers instead of agencies when they need professionals on an ad hoc basis. The market is very interesting for the self-employed.

Together we will see the different steps that an internet marketing professional must follow in order to start a freelancing business.

Your work and skills

Firstly, when you finish your studies in internet marketing or work in digital marketing for a company, it is not uncommon to be a ‘Swiss army knife’ i.e. we have had to manage quite diverse tasks. For example: doing SEO-optimized writing, managing community management for your company’s social networks and advertising campaigns on Google Ads.

It’s great to be an expert in so many fields, however, it seems important to me to be a specialist, even an expert in a particular field. The reason is simple: as a customer, we will pay more and will have a lot of trust in someone who is perfectly skilled in their trade.

So you will have to choose your position.

You don’t have to be a “digital marketing expert”. Anyway, not at first. This means nothing and you will have a hard time finding good clients.

Choose to focus on the tasks you prefer to manage. If it’s social networks, then you should become a community manager. If it’s about SEO, be an SEO expert, and if you love writing, be an editor!

Once you have chosen your profession (you can always change in a few years), be sure to master this profession perfectly, if not, train yourself more. If you already have a lot of experience in this profession, you will not have a problem.

If you haven’t done so already, you’ll need to monitor your work.

Prepare the ground: your base camp

You can quickly prepare the ground for your future independent life. Here’s what you should do.

Update your social networks : Make sure you update your LinkedIn and Twitter profiles and possibly create a professional Facebook page. Optimize your profiles well, you are a professional in internet marketing, customers should feel that you have complete control over social networks even if you are not a community manager.

Create a portfolio and blog : Any good freelancer has at least one show site. On it, you can present your skills and publish content about your job on a part of the blog (WordPress installs in a few minutes). This is important, it will prove your expertise.

Start as a small businessman : Starting a business can be intimidating, especially in France. You probably know it, but micro-enterprise mode exists specifically for entrepreneurs who practice their profession alone. The access conditions are very simple and the fees are calculated according to the spin: if you don’t earn anything, you pay nothing or almost but don’t assume you won’t earn anything!

Administrative

Usually, you can create your own small project on the official URSSAF website: https://www.autoentrepreneur.urssaf.fr/portail/accueil.html

If the forms really bother you, know that there are new banks that focus on the self-employed. In particular, Shine, who offers you the interest in setting up your own small business for 34.90 € (https://www.shine.fr/declaration-auto-entrepreneur/) and providing you with a bank account dedicated to your activity (4 .90 € / month). The bank account dedicated to your activity is not mandatory for less than 5,000 euros of turnover, however I recommend it to you.

Next, you will need to equip yourself with a solution to adjust your bids, invoices, and maintain your accounts. On a small business, accounting is very simple: keep a ledger of receipts (money inflows and outflows).

There are many solutions for the self-employed, and I personally recommend Freebe: https://www.freebe.me/. The tool is 7 € / month and allows you to modify your great quotes and invoices, link your bank account, calculate your social fees, advertise your sales volume on the URSSAF website (without contacting you), to allow your bills to be paid online, etc. In short, it saves a lot of time and time is so precious when you are freelance: what you want is to spend time on client projects!

Find clients

That’s it, you are officially administratively independent, you have a well-defined job and you are ready to take down your first tasks. It’s ultimately the most complex.

Personally, when I started offering to create a WordPress website, I found my clients on LeBonCoin, in the Orders section. Honestly, it was not my pleasure but I found my first clients there.

I have since found other solutions (fortunately). I will present them to you.

the network : This is the first thing you do, activate your network: family, friends, professional relationships, Linkedin … Send an email and post on your social networks: Advertise that you are working independently by making clear what you offer. I assure you that even with a small network, you will get feedback! We all know someone who knows someone who knows someone…

The freelancing platformss: I talked about it in a blog post: Best Freelance Platforms, but here I’ll focus on digital marketing careers. In general, I recommend signing up with Malt and A Line. These two platforms have the advantage of saving time. You create a profile and then the tasks come to you. At the same time, you can sell your services in the form of a “bundle” / bundle on platforms such as 5euros.com and Kang. For example, I sell advertising campaigns there (Google Ads). Multiple non-consulting assignments can be sold as one package.

sort : I hate collecting votes, I’ve done very little of it. However, in the event of an off-peak period, it is better to dig a little rather than do nothing if you urgently need quests. Since I have little experience with checking votes, I recommend simply going with the most effective: emails and LinkedIn. Avoid the phone: We are always jamming the phone! On LinkedIn, the best way is to prepare pre-recorded presentation messages and then add leads in a contact (maximum 50 per day). The message should be friendly, briefly identify your skills and include a call to action such as “I am available if you would like to discuss this.”

internal marketing Any good digital marketing professional should apply the Inbound Marketing methodology. This means that you will have to bring clients to you. Of course, it will be difficult at first to get good results. However, over time you will continue to be active. Be active on social networks by sharing content: articles, infographics, tutorials, videos … whether you create them or simply by curating effective content.

SEO : This joins Inbound. Via your blog and thus your site, you can try to refer yourself to search engines. This crane brings me a lot of clients especially on a regular basis. In the first year of my blog existence, I had little traffic, but now I have a lot. The most important thing is to help your potential clients. Usually, if you run ad campaigns on Facebook for example, write articles about the latest features or about problems that you might encounter (which you found a solution to). Your prospects will face the same problems: by giving them the solution, some will contact you to assign you a task.

For more

With all that said, you should be able to get off to a great start. The great interest of the freelancer is the multiplicity of different projects. Doing digital marketing for the same company for several years has quickly become routine and you no longer feel like you’re evolving. Freelance work, working with very different clients in very different fields, no two days will be the same!

In addition, I would also say that the freelancer will allow you to pay for your commitment, which rarely happens in the world of recruitment.

On the other hand, be careful, you will have to manage your days, subjecting yourself to a certain rigor, which is not given to everyone. The hardest thing is in time. The big problem with self-employment is vacation management: it doesn’t get paid. And since every day he doesn’t work is an unpaid day, you can get overwhelmed quickly and never stop. While in the beginning, a freelancer has the advantage of being able to manage their time, you need to know how to say “stop”! You can do very well 5 hours or 4 days a week!

Going forward, many freelancers do training, and give courses. It is a good way to further advance your career and allows you to diversify your sources of income. Whether in school or online through e-learning platforms like Udemy, training fits right into the life of a freelancer.

Finally, self-employment is a lifestyle choice, but it is not final. It’s a safe bet that you’ll one day return to the corporate world, but the two can be complementary. As I told you, for several years I have been freelance and employed, which has been very satisfying!

And you, are you ready to start freelancing?

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