15 Skills Freelancing Marketers Need

Posted on Posted in Online Marketing Tools

I think you’ll agree with me when I say:

It’s REALLY hard to convert a potential client into a long term client when you’re working independently.

Or is it?

Well, it turns out that with some of these 15 skills, you can drastically increase your chances at landing that dream client or job.

When it comes to marketing skills, we are not simply talking about having a marketing degree and know how to apply it, it goes beyond that. In this post, we’ll talk about the tools, the emotional intelligence, and the management skills a savvy freelance marketer needs in order to be successful with projects and clients.


There are 3 important things to keep in mind.

a)  Marketing freelancers  require a t-shape skill set
b) SEO is very much a practice of bricolage, in that the development or creation of a work many times come from the availability of diverse range of tools and skills that emerge through out the project’s execution.
c) Digital Marketing is a cross functional job. You and everyone in that job should know this at the beginning of any project [see infographic]

The 15 Skills:

  1. Time management:
    The best and easy way to learn about Time Management is by watching Lynda’s Time Management fundamentals.  The course comes with free videos and some or pay-per -view. It is a great resource with well-explained techniques to manage time.
    Another free source is the video below. It will get you yoo get you started on Time Management.

  2. Task management, there are many tools available such as trello.com  or cloud software like Asana for tracking tasks within teams, but make sure you understand the basics of task management.
  3. People skills: know when to be nice and when to say no can make a huge difference as a freelancer. Know how To Speak to Clients To Reach An Actionable Outcome, is a skill that most successful freelancers have. And lastly, learning how to develop a rapport with your client is called Emotional Intelligence, must people do this naturally, but others have to make an effort to learn the skill of persuasion and reading your clients intents and needs.TEAMS: If you need to work with teams in the organization, a freelancer must have an understanding of Why teams Go Bad?
    Many times when team conflict arrived, it’s often because of a phenomenon called Groupthink, a team norm that contaminates team projects. Perhaps your project’s conflict it’s not people skills related, but more to do with the Four Contextual Factors, which provides a roadmap to pinpointing and fixing problems in your project.
  4. Know how to draft contracts and ask for down payments before starting your projects. The easiest way to approach setting up payments is by including this in your proposal. Here is a free sample.
  5. CRM and team collaboration software like BaseCamp is ideal for organizing, managing projects, groups, and client work, or apps to help you run your freelance projects like Freelancer app.
  6. Learn SCRUM, which is an Agile marketing approach which takes prioritization on being open and responsive to changes within a project. SCRUM methodology is part of the Task and Project Management arena – Watch Video
    1. (Information about getting certified as a SCRUM master is available at the Scrum Alliance institute).

      Here are Free samples of the docs used in a sprint (all sensitive data removed):

    arrow    Here is a list of some Agile Project Managment (SCRUM) tools

  7. Assess your clients needs very well by asking upfront questions and design a marketing roadmap with new clients, and so Setting Up SMART Marketing Goals.
  8. Know how to Design a project scope and a project charter.
  9. Know to identify who is a bad ETHICS client and know how to deal with a difficult client (do you keep him or drop him?)
  10. Understand Contextual Factors. Be able to differentiate if the client is difficult or it might be something else that is causing the project to become difficult. i.e. Contextual Factors.
  11. Establish communication rules from the get go, in order to avoid conflict or misunderstandings. A project charter or project scope can assist with this.
  12. Copywriting is the search marketing must-have skill of 2017.  Knowing persuasive writing techniques to apply to websites, email newsletters, videos, social media campaigns, landing page copy, pay-per-click ad campaigns, and so onAs a marketer, being a good writer is a plus, knowing writing techniques such as storytelling (not for all audiences) is ok, but copywriting will set you apart.

    I recommend digging into copywriting and learning persuasive writing techniques like:

    a) Bucket brigades

    b). Benefit-driven Sub-headers and small paragraphs

    c) The APP formula or AIDA Model


  13. Finance and math: Learn how to invoice and get pay with PayPal, and also Learn how to get pay and invoice international clients.
    Also,  being able to run KPIs and Analytics data and reporting is a must for any marketer.  There is an excellent site that provides dozens of KPI Examples called Klipfolio.
    Google offers a quick crash course called Digital Analytics Fundamentals, and if you want to go further study for the Google Analytics certification.
  14. Project Management skills:  Knowing how to set up and run projects with teams is a must. There are tons of ways to run projects,  so try to find your own system that matches your needs and your style. In this video from moz.com you a get the basics of project management. Again for task and project management, I would consider learning the methodology called SCRUM.

  15. Equipment: Last but not least, have a decent internet connection at home (at least 100 Mbps down speed), a clear phone line, a strong computer with good audio and video software. You might need to use Skype, get a good external mic (CAD U37 is a very popular one for the use of youtube and skype calls), and have a room with good lighting (please try to dressing professionally for video conferencing meetings).
    There is a fantastic video by celebrity Photographer Matthew Rolston called How to Look Good on a Webcam.  The video teaches you simple, but important steps to take to conduct video conferencing that looks professional.

There are more skills that can be added up to this list, so please feel free to add suggestions in the comment section.

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By Mary

Head of Integrated Digital Marketing and International Outreach
Maris Pozo is an Integrated Digital Marketer and member of the American Marketing Association, with over 9 years of experience on the agency side-and has worked with clients such as HP, LATimes, and Monster.com--In bilingual markets in Spain and U.S.

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  • By Mary