Digital Marketing has been on a high growth trajectory for more than a decade now and the trend is only getting stronger with each passing year. Which is a great news for freelancers like us because it means our skills are in huge demand, placing us comfortably on the demand-supply curve!
I’ve managed to work from the comforts of my home, on a schedule that I’ve worked at my convenience for more than 5 years now. And this has been possible all thanks to DIGITAL MARKETING…..Being at the right place at the right time matters a lot and the online world is the place to be at to steer your freelancing career in the right direction!
Finding success as a digital marketing freelancer also depends a lot on the kind of skills you possess and also on the market’s demand for those skills. And each of them is equally important. There isn’t any point in being freaking good at any skill if there’s hardly any demand for it. At the same time, being a jack of all trades and master of none doesn’t really cut much slack as a freelancer. You need to be really good at what you do and have the capabilities of making a difference to the client’s business.
So to begin with, you need to understand the digital marketing marketplace, find out the most in-demand skills and then figure out where can you add the most value. While starting out 5 years back, I scanned the digital marketing market for freelancers and realized that SEO, Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+), promoting eBooks on Amazon and content writing were the most in-demand skills. I ruled out SEO as I felt it was a bit too technical for me and decided to focus on the other 3.
I went about developing my skills for Social Media marketing, content writing and promoting eBooks on Amazon. I took up courses on Udemy, saw a lot of tutorials on YouTube and also read a lot about these topics. This process has worked out quite well for me and it can work out for you too!
So, let me list down the most in-demand Digital Marketing Skills for Freelancers in 2018
- Instagram Marketing – There is a soaring demand for Instagram marketing specialists, with more and more businesses looking at social media to fuel growth and connect with their audience. Instagram is increasingly becoming the most favored choice for most marketers because of increasing popularity across all audience groups, it’s user base growing faster than even Facebook and Twitter. So, if Social Media is your area of expertise, Instagram Marketing skills should definitely get on your list for 2018.
- Video Editing – The demand for video content is huge!! Though written content and images, infographics are still popular, it’s the videos that are taking a giant share of the viewers time and attention. Needless to add, this has lead to a huge increase in the demand for video editors as well. Not surprising then, Apple’s professional video editing app – Final Cut Pro X recently hit two million users and continues to remain one of the most sought-after skills in 2018. Definitely, a place to keep close tabs on!
- HubSpot Marketing – Marketing a brand or product today requires a lot of work in terms of collecting and analyzing huge sets of data. This increased accessibility to data has led to a huge increase in demand for data specialists who can work on platforms such as Hubspot that can help you manage your inbound marketing in a modern, data-driven way. Also, it’s important to point out that Inbound marketing specialists who can work on niche platforms like Hubspot are not many in number and this is one expertise where you can easily earn upwards of $50/hour!
- SEO Experts -The demand for SEO experts is going to move in only one direction and that is, North! Seriously, every website owner knows the importance of appearing on the first page of google and with the number of websites burgeoning with each passing day, this is one skill that will make you indispensable for innumerable clients for the next 5 years at least. And as far as the money is concerned – it is all your’s as long as you can make to the first page of Google for your clients!
- Content Writers– Freelance writes have been and continue to be in high demand. The millions of websites dotting the online space are clamoring for content that is compelling, isn’t run of the mill and can help hem click with their target audience. It is one of those niches in freelancing where the barrier to entry is quite low but the competition is equally stiff. So, if you are pretty sure that your writing skills are cut way above the rest, you can definitely give content writing a try.
- PPC Ad Expert -Nothing drives high-quality leads to one’s business better than a well-designed pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaign. Google and Facebook are driving a major share of the ad revenue, followed by Bing, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. The demand for Facebook ad specialists is HUGE! Vist any of the Top freelancing sites and you will be surprised to see the number of projects looking for PPC specialists who can drive results, gain maximum impact from the campaign and generate a good ROI for their business. One key thing to understand here is the importance of certifications. Being Google AdWords certified is really important and can help you build credibility with your clients. Equally important is having hands-on experience. So, wherever you learn PPC from, make sure they give you live projects or simulation exercises to work on. Also, clients will be easier to convince if you can show them some good results from past campaigns. So, see if you can work as an intern, or work with an experienced partner to gain some experience before hitting it out solo.
- Social Media Consultation – Social Media continues to remain popular with consumers and so does the demand for social media managers. Every brand, big or small, needs to have a presence on social media and the quality of the content you put out there conveys a lot about your business, it’s focus and your commitment towards reaching out to your existing/potential customers. As a social media manager, you will be responsible for managing client accounts in terms of posting content, driving engagement and growing their social media followers. The spectrum of required expertise is also wide, with some clients requiring only regular posting on their accounts while at the other end you have clients who are driven by numbers and want to see month-on-month growth in their social media statistics. So, you’ll have to figure out your own level of expertise and see the kind of clients or projects you can successfully service.
These are my top picks for 2018. Do let me know if there’s any other skill you would like to add to the list. Also, would love to get your feedback!