For every 100 km driven by motorists in Melbourne, they lose 35 minutes to traffic congestion. Sydney drivers have it worse, losing 40 minutes to clogged roads.
Now, consider that from June 2017 to June 2018, the average Australian drove 13,400 km. That means Melbourne drivers lose about 78 hours and those in Sydney, 89 hours, due to packed roads.
So, it’s no wonder more Aussies now choose to work at home. In fact, these remote employees now consist of 30% of the AU workforce!
The freedom that comes with remote work has led to the rise of freelance marketing jobs. With more time on their hands — from escaping traffic alone — they can pick up extra “gigs” to fuel their source of income.
In total, Australia has about 3.7 million freelancers, including some of the “employed” who work at home. These folks earn a combined estimate of around $51 billion a year.
But it’s not only the money and the “escaping from traffic” that drive people to freelance. Those are definitely great, but it’s also about having a better, happier work and life balance. After all, freelancing lets you become an entrepreneur — or in short, your own boss.
Let’s take a closer look at the main reasons people freelance so you can decide if it’s also the right path for you.
The biggest drawcards for becoming a Freelance Marketer
Work In Your Own Time
One study found that almost three-quarters of Australian employees want flexible work hours. So much so that they’re willing to ditch their 9 to 5 job.
Flexible work hours is exactly what you’ll get (if that’s what you want) when you freelance. If your brain works better from 4 AM to 10 AM and 4 PM to 10 PM, you can choose to work then. If you want to work only in the morning or only in the afternoon, it’s completely up to you.
You Become the Decision-Maker
Being stuck in a job we don’t like is a worldwide dilemma, and Australia is no stranger to that. In fact, a study found that eight in 10 Aussies would be happier if their jobs had a significant meaning for them.
If you work for a bank but rather be a digital content manager, freelancing gives you that chance. If you want to be a foodie blogger, that’s for you to decide. If you want to be a virtual marketing manager, that’s completely up to you.
You can work at home, in your PJs, surrounded by your kids, cats, and dogs. You can even work in Asia, where the cost of living can be lower than OZ and still “live” in the tropics. You have 100% control over where you want to work and what you wear to work.
You Choose the Projects and the Clients
As a freelancer, you can say goodbye to working on projects someone else assigned you. You get to decide which SEO blogs to write about, be it topics on traveling, fashion, or lifestyle. You choose which niches you want to be in, based on your passion and expertise.
Best of all, freelance consulting frees you from people who make you miserable. You decide which clients to stick with and which ones to drop.
Think all these benefits are awesome? If so, then switching to freelancing may be the right career path for you to take. For that, let’s look at the technical side of the business.
The Technical Side To Becoming A Freelance Marketer
The Legal Requirements
The first step on how to start freelancing is to get your Australian Business Number. You need an ABN because you’ll pay your own taxes, goods and services tax, and superannuation.
Also, under Australian tax rules, a freelancer is an independent contractor. In short, you’ll become a self-employed individual who runs your own business. Running your own show means that you can set your own rates, policies and expectations. To protect yourself, your payments, and your IP, get yourself a solid Client Agreement (or Business Terms & Conditions). Talk to a small business lawyer for more info on this.
Setup A Showcase Portfolio
Keep in mind that a portfolio is only a preview of your resume. It shouldn’t be as long as a resume, but it should highlight your most outstanding marketing work.
Let’s say you created an ad campaign that resulted in a huge increase in your client’s web traffic. Or you wrote many marketing blog pieces for a client that generated many shares and comments. These are previous marketing experiences you should include in your portfolio.
But before you do that, be sure to get permission from your previous clients or employers first! Ask them if you can present these completed projects to new clients as part of your portfolio. Not getting permission isn’t only unprofessional; it may also be a breach of contract.
Other important portfolio details include details about how you approach each marketing project and why. If you have testimonials from previous clients, work these into your portfolio too.
Complete your portfolio with a brief bio, contact information, and call to action.
Set Your Pricing
Now comes the fun (but also difficult) part of starting a freelance business: Setting prices!
Pricing really depends on what type of marketing service you’ll offer. For instance, you can go for:
a fixed price per deliverable;
charge per hour or per project; or
Things not to forget when setting pricing:
2. Payment gateway fees
3. Your time and knowledge
4. Overheads (tech, tools, apps, staff, amenties, travel, admin, coffee!)
Don’t forget, pricing isn’t set in stone. You can change your pricing if and when it doesn’t feel suitable anymore.
There are few little things that will affect your pricing as a freelancer that are often forgotten when starting out.
Your Target Income
Simply put, this is how much money you want to make every year as a marketer. You can use your current salary as a guideline, but be sure to think of the added expenses of being an entrepreneur. Remember, you’re on your own now, so you likely won’t get the same benefits as an employed person.
For starters, there’s superannuation, phone, internet and coffee! As an employee, these are all included in your salary package. Therefore when setting your target income, consider your expenses and general salary inclusions.
There’s also rent (for an office or coworking space if you won’t work 100% at home), gas, internet, and phone service. If you’ll offer a lot of marketing services, you may need a better, faster PC set-up. You may also need video services to call clients (or your remote employees).
The Number of Days You’ll Work
Subtract vacation time, sick days, holidays, and rest days from the 365 days of the year.
Let’s say you want to take two full months off, so that leaves you with about 300 days of work.
Now, decide how many hours a day you want to work and multiply that with your total work days per year. If you’ll stick to eight hours a day, you’ll work 2,400 in a year.
Not all those hours are billable though, as you’ll spend a lot of time on admin tasks too. These include reading and sending emails, invoicing, accounting, prospect hunting, and accounting.
Once you have an estimate of non-billable hours, subtract that from your billable 2,400 hours. This’ll be your real, annual paid hours.
Pro Tip: Use automation tools wherever you can for repetitive tasks like invoicing. That’s because worldwide, the average worker spends a yearly 552 hours on such tasks alone. Automation software can help you prevent wasting these precious hours.
Calculate Your Hourly Rate
Divide your yearly target earnings by your yearly billable hours. Here’s an example:
$90,000 (yearly target income) / 1,800 billable hours = $50.
That $50 is roughly your hourly rate. But remember, this is only an example, as you can charge more for the value of your work.
Find your niche
As a freelancer, you will often wear a lot of different hats to keep your business running, but don’t fall into the trap of being #allthethings to #allthepeople.
Capitalise on your primary skillset working with the type of client you prefer, and scale your business from there.
Start Landing Freelance Marketing Jobs
So, there’s no better time to get started on your way to becoming a freelance marketer. The only thing to do is to turn those “one day”‘s into “TODAY” and just start.