How to start your digital marketing side hustle

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Image by Prodeep Ahmeed from Pixabay

In his book Acres of Diamonds, Russel Cornwell described how people sold off their properties in search of gold during the gold rush era, only to eventually learn that the treasure they sought far away was beside them all along! The same applies to digital marketing as a side hustle.

Most people do not realize how lucrative a digital marketing side hustle is. It has probably been overlooked as just another side hustle, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Data from Statista reveals that ad spending in digital marketing is projected to hit $679.80bn in 2023!

Reliablesoft, in an article reviewing how much digital marketers earn, projected that freelance digital marketers earn between $50 to $200 per hour, depending on their skill level. That is, an entry-level freelance digital marketer earning $50 per hour and working only two hours per day, six days a week, will have made $2,400 by the end of the month and almost $30,000 by the end of the year! In an income review by Glassdoor on the earnings of Digital Marketers on Freelancer (a platform for all types of Freelancers), it reports that more experienced freelance digital marketers (Part-time Digital Marketing Specialists) earn between $47,000 & $74,000!

Undoubtedly, there are many opportunities here for you to tap into as a side hustle. This article will guide you with useful tips on how to start a digital marketing side hustle.

What is digital marketing?

Mail Chimp defines Digital Marketing as the promotion of brands to connect with potential customers using the internet and other forms of digital communication. This includes not only email, social media, and web-based advertising but also text and multimedia messages as a marketing channel. It is also known as online marketing.

According to Neil Patel, digital marketing means using digital channels, like search engines, social media, email, mobile apps, and websites, to promote a product or service.

From the above definitions, it is clear that digital marketing involves using digital tools, such as search engines, emails, social media, mobile apps, SMS, etc., to promote a product or service. As you read this, you may be able to remember a recent email, social media post, SMS, etc., you received about a product or service. That was digital marketing in action. Note that those who use digital tools to promote a product or service are known as digital marketers. And as you may be thinking after reading through the definitions, becoming a digital marketer is not rocket science. It is way easier than you think. However, before we go into how you can become a successful digital marketer, let’s review the types of Digital Marketing.

Types of digital marketing?

The types of digital marketing are as follows:

  1. Search Engine Optimization.

  2. Social Media Marketing.

  3. Content Marketing.

  4. Email Marketing.

  5. Mobile Marketing.

  6. Influencer Marketing.

We will discuss each in more detail below.

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Ever wondered why some websites appear first in your Google, Bing, or Yahoo search results while others appear on the next pages? The reason can be summarized as search engine optimization. It is the process of improving your website or blog's visibility and ranking on search engines. It involves two aspects, basically, on-page optimization and off-page optimization.

Although both aspects of SEO may not be adequately explained in a few lines, On-page optimization involves optimizing your blog’s structure, keywords, headings, metatags, etc., to make it rank higher on search results. On the other hand, off-page optimization involves using backlinks and other relevant external factors to boost your website's visibility.

According to data published by ZipRecruiter, Freelance SEO professionals make an estimated income of about $4,000 to over $21,000 monthly, depending on their skill level. Needless to say, this is a nice place to raise that extra cash you wish to generate through a side hustle.

2. Social media marketing side hustle.

Social media marketing uses social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, etc., to promote a product or service to a target audience. As simple as it sounds, it is one of the well-paying aspects of digital marketing. On freelance platforms such as Upwork, where social media marketing is practiced as a side hustle, they make between $14 to $35 per hour.  According to Glassdoor, freelance social media managers make about $29 per hour. Sounds like an interesting way to earn while having fun on social media. Please note that social media marketing becomes a side hustle when it’s not a full-time job.

3. Content marketing.

Simply put, content marketing is a digital marketing strategy that involves the distribution of valuable and relevant content consistently to attract and retain a target audience. Examples of content distributed in this type of digital marketing include blog posts, videos, social media posts, infographics, podcasts, etc. The goal here is to get the attention of your target audience and indirectly promote a product or service you represent.

As you may have observed, there are several opportunities in content marketing for you to take advantage of, depending on your interest. If you are a good writer, blog posts would be a great spot for you to explore. Podcasts and videos are better suited to people who love to be in front of the camera and like to be popular. Infographics can be explored by good graphic designs or those that have a passion for art. The point here is that the table is large enough to accommodate different interests.

ZipRecruiter estimates the remuneration of freelance content marketers at about $60,000 per year. This is handsome pay for a side hustle digital marketing part-time job.

4. Email marketing.

As the name suggests, it is the use of emails to promote a product or service. In email marketing, you collate the emails of your target audience and properly craft a powerful email that would tickle their interest to contact you for more information that could lead to sales. Several data available out there proves that email marketing is effective and would bring a return on investment to a company. What’s more, email marketing is estimated to hit $11 billion by the end of 2023. And yes, you can get your share of this revenue if you understand how it works and are willing to start implementing it immediately.

5. Mobile marketing.

It is the distribution of promotional messages of a product or service across mobile devices. It may be via SMS, through apps or games on a mobile device, mobile websites, etc. The goal here is to ensure your marketing messages hit the audience using mobile devices and convince them to pay for your services.

6. Influencer marketing.

Are you popular or have a huge following on social media? Did you know you can convert this to a cash cow? How does this work? Simply keep growing your following on social media and boosting the engagement rate of your posts. Before long, brands that are seeking to push their products or service online will contact you to advertise their products. That’s where the bucks start coming! The more successful you are in promoting other brands, the more brand engagement side gigs you will get. Seems like a way to make good money while having fun.

How to launch a digital marketing side hustle

So, how can you become a digital marketer and tap into these opportunities? We will be answering this question in this section:

  • Identify your niche.

  • Acquire relevant knowledge and skills.

  • Identify your target market.

  • Pricing & Payment Structure.

  • Network & build connections.

  • Pitch your services.

  • Deliver exceptional work.

1. Stick to your niche

This has to be the entry step into the world of freelancing as a Digital Marketer. It is after you have identified your niche that you can go ahead to practice or even acquire the skills that will make you a high-paid professional in that field.

2. Acquire relevant knowledge and skills

Need a part-time digital marketing job? The solution is acquiring relevant digital marketing skills and knowledge. As it is in most fields, the more knowledge and skills you develop as a freelance digital marketer, the higher you earn. If you wish to earn handsomely, you must acquire relevant skills that would boost your chances.

3. Identify your target market

What type of clients do you wish to work with? Which industry would you prefer to operate in? What is the ideal size of the business(es) you would love to work with? The answers to these questions would help you identify your target market easily and go after them. This is a quick way to make money in marketing.

4. Pricing and Payment Structure

How much would you want to be paid for the services you would render to clients, and how do you wish to collect these payments? This is a critical question you must answer before beginning your business. Freelancers using Workee do not have to struggle with the financial aspect of their business, as Workee provides automated invoicing tool and also integrates with payment systems like PayPal and Stripe.

5. Smart networks and meaningful connections

Attend industry events, join online communities, and engage with other professionals in the digital marketing space. Networking can lead to potential clients and collaborations

6. Pitch your services

Start reaching out to potential clients with a personalized pitch showcasing how your skills can help their business grow. Tailor your pitches to each client's specific needs and challenges.

7. Let your work speak for itself

When you land your first clients, go above and beyond to provide excellent service and results. Positive testimonials and word-of-mouth referrals can significantly impact your success as a freelancer.

8. Automated tools are your friend

As a digital marketer, there is a plethora of automated tools that can help you deliver your jobs in quick time and better quality. however, the tools you’ll need are dependent on the niche you’re adopting. From content management systems to AI-powered software that can help you with content creation.

Importantly, you also need business management tools to help you manage your workflow and allow you to focus on timely and quality delivery. If you’re thinking of where to begin, you should get the Workee tool.

With Workee, you would never have to worry about how to manage a digital marketing side hustle. Why so?

Workee is a software platform that helps freelancers build their businesses from scratch. With its easy-to-use drag-and-drop features, freelancers can design a functioning no-codewebsite for their business and, from there, take care of the administrative aspect of their business, such as managing bookings, payments, client and work management, etc. Workee also helps you manage your business's finances through its invoicing services, account management, tax management, and multi-currency support. What’s more, you can get your freelance business started on Workee today for free and then upgrade later to a paid version to enjoy more services.

Bottom line

For those who love to work in tech and wonder if digital marketing is a tech job, yes, it is, and it is an easier way to get into the tech industry. It is also one of the cheapest ways to get into marketing without prior experience.

Starting a digital marketing side hustle can be very rewarding if done correctly. The steps and tips in this article are directed at helping you get it right as you begin your journey to a digital marketing side hustle. And if you’re interested in digital marketing courses, you may want to check out Google’s Digital Marketing Course and a few others online. 

Ihor, CEO at Workee

Excited to start with Workee? Schedule a demo with our Manager!


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