Secret tools and hacks

November 10, 2021

Last update


07 MIN.

How to Make Money as a Freelance Social Media Marketer

Most social media marketers fail at marketing themselves to their target audience. Having the right technical skills isn't enough to have a profitable career.



How to Make Money as a Freelance Social Media Marketer

Are you wondering how you can make money as a freelance social media marketer?

Don't worry, we got you covered.

Many freelancers start their careers hoping to earn a sizable income as soon as possible. The reality is that most freelancers do not earn enough to leave their day job or fully support themselves. 

Why does this happen?

Most freelancers fail at marketing themselves to their target audience. Having the right technical skills isn't enough to have a profitable freelance career. In this article, we will show you tips and strategies that will help you to increase your earning potential as a freelance social media marketer. 

PS: The tips in this article can also be used by other freelancers who want to start earning more. 

Let's get started. 

1. Specialize in specific social media platforms 

Do you want to be able to charge more money as a freelancer?

The best way to achieve this is by specializing. 

There are a ton of social media platforms available today. It is better to specialize in one or two platforms than to offer your services for many different ones. 


The trends and marketing techniques that work on each platform change constantly. It will be difficult to stay up to date if you're focused on multiple platforms instead of a few. 

Here are some other reasons why you should specialize: 

Clients want experts: Let's say you are a firm that needs a social media marketer. Will you prefer to work with marketer A who is an expert on Facebook and Instagram. Or will you work with marketer B who does Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and TikTok marketing.? 

Clients are more likely to choose marketer A because they believe they will get the most value for their money. 

Specialization leads to mastery: When you spend time working with less than 3 platforms, you develop skills and techniques that you can use over again. Even when there are new trends in your niche, you can easily learn them. 

Clients are more likely to recommend you: Because of the quality of your work, you will be more memorable to a client than a generalist. They are also more likely to recommend you to others. If your client knows someone that needs a Facebook marketer, do you think they will recommend the expert on Facebook marketing or the TikTok marketer that also does Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn?

Specialists make more money: When you are an expert, clients will see your services as being of higher value and will be willing to spend more for them. When you specialize, you will be able to increase your rate. 

2. Research your target clients

You'll need to choose the industry or niche you want to become a marketer for. Identifying your target clients will help you create effective marketing strategies.  

Begin by defining your service and then defining the type of clients that will need what you have to offer. Identifying the needs of the client is essential. You will be able to discover the needs of your client by performing careful market research.  This can include looking at forums or social media mentions of major companies in your industry. What are people saying about them? Use these discussions to learn more about your target clients. 

Tip: Another way you can learn about your target audience is by subscribing to relevant subreddits in your industry. Monitor the topics and discussions that come up frequently. This can help you identify your customer's pain points. 

Observe the marketing strategies of successful brands

A best practice for social media marketers is to follow brands that effectively use social media. Observe their successful marketing campaigns and techniques. 

Ask yourself important questions like:

  • How can I duplicate this?
  • How will I use this strategy to promote a business or product?
  • If I was in charge of this campaign, what will I do differently?

By observing other brands, you will identify what works and what doesn't. With this, you will be able to develop an effective marketing communications strategy. According to this TED Talk from Seth Godin, “You have to find a group who desperately cares about what you have to say.” To become profitable as a freelance marketer, you need clients. Clients will only come to you when they find your service valuable in the first place. 

3. Grow your social media presence

If used effectively, social media can help freelancers get new clients. Your social media profile should serve as an extension of your portfolio website. In 2020, over 3.6 billion people used social media. That's a lot of potential clients you can't let go to waste. 

To be successful on social media, do not treat it just as a customer acquisition channel. Users know when you are trying to sell to them. There are other things you should take into consideration. To help you understand this, I have broken them into parts. 

Four C's of social media 

1. Content

“Content is king.” 

To get positive returns from your social media activities, you need to post great content. Your content is what potential clients and visitors will interact with. And if they like it, they will share it. Posting valuable content will also drive traffic to your portfolio website. It also positions you as a thought leader in your niche. The more engagement your content receives, the more potential clients will start making inquiries about your services.  

2. Community and conversations

Engagement is the number one metric when using social media. Social media users will interact with you more when you engage with them. As a freelancer, join communities and conversations with people in your industry. For example, you can join Facebook or LinkedIn groups. LinkedIn groups are great for connecting with other professionals. Work opportunities are frequently shared by other marketers in these groups. If you are active, you can get referrals from your community. 

3. Channel

Your target audience will determine the social media platform you will focus on. Give priority to the platform where your prospects spend most of their time. This might not be Twitter or Facebook. Regularly run tests until you find the channels that work best for you. 

4. Conversions

Try not to focus on vanity metrics like likes, followers, or connections. Instead, look at the conversations you are having with other users. If you are actively connecting with the right people in your industry and sharing valuable content, potential clients will begin to find you organically. 

4. Start networking

Networking is one of the most effective ways to promote yourself as a freelancer. When done right, it offers several benefits that are not limited to getting new clients. Networking can help you find potential partners, discover new projects, strengthen business connections, gain career advice/support, etc.

Your goal for attending networking events shouldn't solely be to get new clients. While these events might lead to new contracts, attending them just to sell your services might leave a negative impression on attendees. 

You should aim to create genuine connections with other attendees. Show your value by engaging in relevant conversations and offering your knowledge and expertise. Offer useful tips and information to attendees that need it. When you've built a reputation for being knowledgeable and supportive, recruiters and potential clients will most likely begin to approach you with offers.  

5. Build partnerships with other freelancers 

You can earn more by partnering with a freelancer that offers a service that is complementary to yours. For example, if you are a social media marketer that handles social media advertising, you can partner with a freelancer who creates landing page design.  

Here are two benefits of complementary freelance partnerships: 

Additional expertise: When you work with another freelancer in your industry or from a different niche, you can leverage their expertise. This part of complementary partnerships is great because it makes your business model more profitable. You can offer advanced services that were otherwise unavailable when you worked alone.

New customer reach: Before the partnership, both parties had their clients and marketing channels. Through the partnership, you and your partner can promote each other's business to your audience. This will help increase the reach of your brand. 

Tip: You can run joint advertising and marketing campaigns to solidify and promote the new partnership. With more resources at your disposal, you will be able to reach a larger audience and convert new clients. 

To ensure the success of the partnership, you need to have a detailed partnership agreement. Ensure that you and your prospective partner define your service offerings and what goals you want to achieve through the collaboration. When you and your partner are well organized, you will increase sales and customer loyalty. 

6. Create a portfolio

Your portfolio is a compilation of documents that show off your skills, experience, and achievement. It shows a clear picture of what you have achieved in your field of expertise.  

Every freelancer should have a portfolio. They demonstrate how valuable you will be to the client. An ideal portfolio will describe the projects you have worked on. It should include samples of work you've handled, reviews from past clients, and reference letters. 


Using a portfolio will help current and potential clients comprehend your services and what makes you the right person for their project. When you have a detailed portfolio, you will also be confident when setting your rates.  Since clients can see the value you offer, they are less likely to haggle. 

Collect data to prove your skills

As a social media marketer, your job is to use social media platforms and websites to promote a product or service. To prove your skills to prospective clients, collect data from the social media marketing campaigns you have run for other clients. 

Pay attention to data that shows how you helped a client meet their goals. Showing your skills in terms of numerical value helps a client see your worth. For example, you can say “I was able to increase engagement rate on content by 150% in two months". 

You can use a social media analytics tool like Iconosquare to monitor the performance of your social media campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Try out the 14-day free trial

7. Apply for jobs

The simplest way to make money as a freelance social media marketer is to just apply for jobs. Look for open positions in marketing agencies. You can use the job search feature on LinkedIn or visit job aggregating websites like to broaden your search. You can also look for opportunities using freelance websites like Upwork. 

8. Create different acquisition channels

Customer acquisition channels are the methods, strategies, and platforms that you will use to attract new clients. The acquisition channels you will choose will depend on your target audience, resources, and overall marketing strategy. 

Here are some of the best methods of acquiring clients for a freelance social media marketer:

Start a blog

Blogging is an effective acquisition method regardless of your business size, audience, or industry. Running a blog will allow you to display your knowledge in your industry. Blogging allows you to engage with your target audience and build authority among your readers. When combined with proper SEO strategies, you will start receiving traffic from search engines. 

Tip: Avoid posting overly promotional posts. Your blog should be centered around helping your audience solve their problems. The more value you offer readers, the higher the chance that they will convert into clients.  


Podcasts are getting increasingly popular. Research shows that 55% of the US population listens to podcasts. That is 150 million people. 

Many businesses are jumping on the podcast bandwagon to attract new clients. You can also do the same for your freelance business. Podcasting allows you to reach brand new audiences and build more brand authority. It also offers the potential to drive traffic back to your blog. Being seen as an authority can help influence potential clients to inquire about services.

Starting a podcast is also easy. All you need is a laptop, hosting software, mic, and a decent internet connection. If your schedule won't allow you to host your own show, you can feature in other podcast shows in your industry. 

Whether you own a show or feature in one, you should always deliver value to the listeners. Let your passion shine through. If you are passionate about every podcast episode you record, you will be a more interesting host.

Run targeted cold email outreach

When done right, cold emails can help freelancers get new clients. The key is to ensure that the emails are highly personalized. Do not ever send out mass emails. They are a waste of time. 

When pitching your services via a cold email, context is everything. Only pitch to clients that require the services you offer. Before you hit send on the email, ask yourself the following question:

  • What makes you qualified to help this particular client solve a problem they are having?

  • Have you done similar work in the past? You will need to show proof of your skills. 

  • Will working with this client excite you? 


Answering these questions will help you when crafting your email. You need to show the recipient that you can deliver value to them and their business. 

Tip: When trying to land a new freelance client, ensure that you email the person that will be in charge of the hiring decision. As a social media marketer, your ideal point of contact can be the social media director or head of marketing. 


Whether you are looking for your first client or just want to increase your earnings, the tips in this article will help you get started.

Now it's your turn. 

Which of the tips in this article will you try first? 

Are you going to attend more networking events?

Or maybe host a podcast show. 

Either way, let me know by leaving your thoughts in the comments section. 

the writer


Copywriter @Iconosquare

Hi! I'm Marvellous, huge fan of Iconosquare as a product, and determined to help experienced social media marketers thrive in the various aspects of their career.

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