Galang Marufa

Galang Marufa

How I Became A Freelance in Digital Marketing


In this article, you won’t find tips on how to be rich by doing freelance, since I haven’t been able to own a Lamborghini – yet. I also won’t suggest you quit your job right this moment to start freelancing, since it’s a risky move. But, if you want to start freelancing, know how to sell your service, or make people acknowledge your skills to help them in their business or company. I hope this article will find you grateful.

Photo by Magda Ehlers via Pexels

How I Started My Freelance

I started my career as a reporter in my sophomore year in high school. I love to write, craft stories, and interact with people through my writing. But, I found it was quite challenging to be a reporter when you are an introvert. So 5 years later, I realized it was just not my true calling and tried my luck in digital marketing after I graduated from college. After that moment, I became a copywriter in a social media agency.

I’ve learned a lot while I was working in an agency. I’m not only writing a copy, but also making analytic reports, running advertising campaigns, competitive research, developing strategic plans, and building a temple overnight – the last one was me just being hyperbolic.

I know. I know. Don’t blame me – or my boss – for doing as my boss told me what to do. I was just doing it out of curiosity and eagerness to obtain new skills. As long as you – and your boss – know your limit, I think doing things apart from your job desc is not a bad idea. Especially if you are a fresh graduate or just started your career. Take it as a learning phase to prepare when life becomes harder and harder as it progresses. Just know the limit.

After 3 years working as a Performance Marketing & Digital Analyst – it was my last title – in the agency, I decided to resign and move forward. While I was updating my CV & resume, and applying for jobs, some of my past coworkers, and acquaintances, reached out for a freelance opportunity and I thought, “Why Not?”

Long story short, I have been a full-time freelancer in digital marketing for around 2 years now – and still counting – helping almost 50 brands boost their business, 5 plus years of experience in digital marketing, and partnering with 5 agencies. And now I can work anywhere and at any time I like.

It felt like a roller coaster. But, one thing I realized there is one essential factor that brought me to this.


How to Build Networking and Nurture It

Before I dive further into this topic, I just want to disclaim that freelancing can come in different ways. You might be a freelancer in photography, content writing, web development, graphic design, illustration, digital marketing, and more. Keep in mind that different fields might need different strategies.

I personally haven’t tried freelancing platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer, but it doesn’t mean you don’t need them at all. It might come in handy for you, cause I knew few people who earned large amounts of money from these platforms.

I’m maybe – and definitely – not the one who has the longest experience in freelancing, but I already feel grateful to whoever helped me in this journey. Networking plays a really major aspect in my career of freelancing.

Here are a few things you might want to notice when you start to build networking:

1. Find your “why” to networking

It might sound cliche, but your “why” on networking can change how you play this marathon game drastically. Let me ask you a question, if one of your friend reach you and asks for your help to do digital marketing campaigns for their brands, but they have a low budget and can’t meet your fee expectation. Do you accept the offer?

For a starter, you might want to accept that opportunity. But the real question is, why do you accept it?

  • Do you accept it because of the money no matter how small?
  • Do you accept it because you want to gain experience from the project and use it as a case study or portfolio for your next project?
  • or, do you accept it because you just want to help your friend and appreciate them who make time and effort to consider yourself for this project?

If your answer is the latter, then we’re in the same boat.

I find it difficult to give my maximum capacity when doing projects for money or for a portfolio because sometimes we might not be satisfied when the fee is just not enough, or the project seems off track to your dream portfolio. That’s the reason for my “why” which I want to help them and appreciate their effort for considering me, regardless of their situation.

So, understanding your “why” before you start networking is crucial.

2. Do Your Best in Every Situation

Word of mouth is a powerful “weapon” for every freelancer I know. And how to earn it?

If you’re a marketer – like me – I think you’ve already known what word-of-mouth by definition is. But let’s quote its meaning from Shopify, “Word-of-mouth marketing is a form of marketing that focuses on getting consumers to talk about and share their positive experiences with a product or service with other people.”

So, essentially getting people to talk about your service or business is word of mouth. Follow-up question! How to get them to talk about you?

This is a simple, natural, yet powerful strategy, to get people’s reference for your service.

By doing your best in every situation.

Imagine how a business can grow exponentially, it usually has great products that solve customers’ problems – right? And are so great that their customers voluntarily recommend your product to their family, friends, and spouse, or even share their reviews on social media. How do you do that? One way is by making sure you have the best product for the right customer, with the best service and a great after-sales experience. Let your customer have a positive experience.

The same principles apply if you want to get a reference for your freelance services. Let’s do our best every time we’ve got project opportunities. Will you?

3. Treat People The Way You Want To Be Treated

I assume not everyone knows the definition of “Do your best” – sometimes neither do I. That’s why I came up with this one. Because, when we were considered giving the best service by one client, doesn’t mean another client will feel the same. Let’s agree that different clients may have different teams, treatments, workflow, environments, and company rules.

But, how does treating people the way we want to be treated has something to do with doing our best?

Let’s imagine we’re in a situation where you’re a parent with a kid, you might not want to scold them too much for simple matters, as they might scold you back in the future or give domino responses like being stubborn or even ignoring you. It might happen because the way we treat people may affect how they treat us as well. People’s behavior is a reflection of their environment, so let’s become a positive environment for our clients – even if they can be a Godzilla sometimes.

Those are my 3 keys to building networking and nurturing it. Networking has been my main power source for my freelance opportunities. I think I might need to cover related topics such as how to get a new network or how to do networking if you’re an introvert. Until then, I hope this writing will find you helpful! See you on my next writing! Good Luck!

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