Looking to start your freelance marketing career?
Here’s the good news: the Upwork marketplace offers thousands of opportunities for marketing consultants. The bad news is that you’re only one person, and it’s impossible to review (not to mention apply for) them all.
As part of my series about how to find freelance jobs, this post offers tips specifically for aspiring marketing consultants. Below you’ll gain access to the pre-filtered links I would use to identify quality opportunities in the areas of:
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- SEM & Display Advertising
My Thoughts on Using Upwork Filters
As anyone who reads my articles knows, I’m a big fan of the Upwork platform. I’ve built my own marketing consulting business using it, so naturally I enjoy telling others about the world’s top freelancing marketplace. As time has gone on, Upwork Global Inc. has incrementally added even more power to its prospecting toolbox. This is especially true when it comes to job filters.
Upwork jobs are essentially divided into two camps: fixed-price and hourly. For marketing consultants, fixed-price opportunities can be an excellent way to get your foot in the door with a new client. For example, I routinely provide new clients with what I call a “marketing audit” in exchange for a flat fee. Once you’ve impressed clients with your smart-ness (ironic choice of words), you can then pitch them on retaining you for an ongoing hourly engagement. That’s how I’ve done it at least.
On the other hand, some clients are looking for an hourly consultant from the get-go. Generally speaking, hourly contracts tend to be longer-term in nature. Landing a few hourly projects can quickly build a solid revenue stream for your business.
I’m sure you’re thinking that this sounds great, but how does one go about identifying worthwhile job opportunities (while filtering out the noise). Using filters in your Upwork Job Search screen, you can refine the metadata to arrive at a smaller list that more closely meets your goals.
In my opinion, serious consultants should filter marketing opportunities as follows:
- Exclude all “Entry Level” opportunities
- Only view opportunities posted by clients with at least a few hires
- For fixed-price jobs, start your lower threshold at $250 (you can always lower it later, but give yourself some credit)
- Always start off your “sort” by “Client Spending” – this will show you the clients who have spent the most with Upwork freelancers
With these rules in mind, let’s see what kind of opportunities are out there.
SEO Jobs (Search Engine Optimization)
The term “SEO” can mean a lot of different things to people. In reality, search engine optimization is a very complex and strategic endeavor that requires a team approach. The team should consist of a high-level marketing consultant to design the program, several content writers, a skilled web developer, and at least one link building expert. Before you begin applying for SEO jobs, try to determine which role(s) your skill set best accommodates. This can help you identify jobs worth applying for.
Email Marketing Jobs
In my opinion, email marketing is one of the most cost-effective things that a small business can do to increase engagement and drive new business. Newsletters, proactive email blasts, and nurture sequences are effective uses of time. Email marketing projects typically require two distinct skill sets: 1. writing and 2. basic HTML layout. To apply for email marketing projects, you may not need both skills, but it probably can’t hurt. In my case, I’m a skilled writer who had to learn basic HTML. This way, I can offer clients the entire suite of skills to pull off a successful email marketing campaign.
Social Media Jobs
Clients love to talk about social media. They see it as a unique opportunity to build a tribe of followers who engage on a very personal level. Although B2C brands are more prone to engagement, B2B brands would be crazy not to have some social presence. At a very basic level, social media is a reflection of a company’s branding. Therefore, most companies are looking for consultants who can build effective content plans and drive engagement.
SEM & Display Advertising
If you had to ask me to explain the difference between SEM (search engine marketing) and display advertising, I’m not sure if I could give you a coherent answer. Suffice to say, they both involve advertising on the major search engines. There is a strong demand for consultants who can help clients gain the maximum ROI from their online marketing spend. This is especially true in highly competitive niches where CPC can exceed $20.
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