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The Marketers Guide to Freelancing

Posted by Victor Vo on October 18, 2016


So you haven’t yet been able to land the marketing job of your dreams. The truth is that you’re not alone. It’s a tough job market out there with many skilled candidates competing for the same positions.

While it may seem easier to just throw your lot in with the rest and get a job at your local coffee shop, there’s another route well worth considering -- one which can set you on a path toward becoming an irresistible job candidate in the near future.

We’re talking about freelance marketing. Here’s what you need to know.  

The Backstory

A widespread perception exists that we’re living in a “well-educated barista economy.” While it’s true that the job market may not be the best it’s ever been for college grads, the picture isn’t as bleak as most people think -- at least according to a brand-new National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) working paper on the early careers of college grads post-Great Recession. The findings? That many new grads are starting out in career-related part-time or temporary positions before transitioning to full-time jobs.

In other words, while it's true that college grads may not immediately be securing their dream full-time jobs, it's also true that many are simply taking an extra stop en route to their goals. Would you rather that stop be one that further builds out your candidacy, or that simply passes the time? If your answer is the former, then striking out as a freelancer may be a smart solution.

Freelancing allows you to fill your time and gain valuable experience while you’re looking for that perfect marketing job.

Side Note: I freelanced for a few months after I graduated from college until I landed my first full-time marketing job here at DCI. It helped me build out my portfolio and ultimately is the reason why I was hired!

What is Freelance Marketing?

While many large companies have in-house marketing teams, an increasing number of smaller, budget-conscious companies are turning to freelance marketers to meet their marketing needs. The benefits of this approach for clients? They gain access to all of the advantages offered by a skilled marketing professional while trimming operational costs.

So what do freelance marketing professionals do, exactly? Many of the same things that regular full-time marketers do, beginning with the overarching goal of identifying the needs of their clients and implementing targeted promotional campaigns aimed at strategically building their businesses.

Specific freelance marketing tasks may include everything from creating marketing materials,  such as press releases and pamphlets, to building social media presences for the clients they represent. Market research, product launches, image building, channel creation, and sales force training are all areas which may fall under the umbrella of a freelance marketer. You might start out running a client's social media channels then add on more work of writing for their blog or executing email campaigns. 


Getting Started in Freelance Marketing

Now that you know the many upsides of getting into freelance marketing, you may be wondering how to get from here to there. Of course, the right background is essential, and should include demonstrable skills acquired in both the classroom as well as in the field.  There’s also no substitute for having a strong social network. In our peer-to-peer world, the expression “it’s not what you know but who you know” has never been more accurate.

One of the best ways to leverage your social network, knowledge, and real-world experience into a freelance marketing gig? Wow employers with an amazing digital portfolio. After all, employers aren’t going to simply trust that you have the skills and talents for which they're looking. Rather, they want tangible proof, and a digital portfolio provides exactly that.

One final thing to keep in mind? Many people avoid getting into freelance marketing work because they’re intimidated by how to price themselves. Research can help you overcome this pitfall and come up with a plan. This infographic from Creative Live takes the guesswork out of the equation and is a great place to start.

If you're ready to hit the ground running as a marketing professional but you haven't yet gotten the perfect offer, your future doesn’t have to include pulling shots at the local coffee shop. By pursuing a career as a freelance marketer, you position yourself to be a more desirable candidate for full-time jobs while continuing to learn and grow along the way. Not to mention -- what better way to enhance your skills, build your resume, and earn a paycheck than by working for the best boss ever….yourself!

Are you looking for that full-time marketing job in San Antonio or Austin? Check out our listings for a few entry-level marketing roles today!

Marketing Jobs in San Antonio

Topics: For Recent Grads