How to Become a Freelance Digital Marketer in Malaysia
This is the only guide you need to become a freelance digital marketing expert in Malaysia. Learn what is digital marketing, how to get started, how to acquire necessary digital marketing skills, and how much you can earn as a freelance digital marketing professional.
In this guide, we will show you exactly how to become a freelance digital marketer in Malaysia. Whether you’re new to freelancing or looking to make a career change and dive into the digital marketing industry.
We will cover the following topics in this guide:
- What is digital marketing?
- What is freelance digital marketing?
- What does a freelance digital marketing specialist do?
- How to become a freelance digital marketer in Malaysia?
- How much does a digital marketing freelancer make in Malaysia?
- Where to find freelance digital marketing gigs?
If you want to learn how to become a freelance digital marketer in Malaysia, keep reading and make sure to take note.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is defined as any marketing effort that uses electronic devices to deliver promotional messages and measure their effectiveness. Digital marketing refers to marketing campaigns that get in front of potential customers on a computer, laptops, smartphones, tablets, smart televisions, and other electronic devices.
We can also define digital marketing as the promotion of brands to reach potential customers using the Internet. Digital marketing includes various disciplines which include:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Pay Per Click Advertising
- Affiliate Marketing
- Email Marketing
What is freelance digital marketing?
Freelance digital marketing refers to the digital marketing services offered by freelancers to their clients. Digital marketing freelancers often work from any part of the world. They often help businesses with various digital marketing tasks with the main objective to make more money for the business.
According to We Are Rosie, only 36% of digital marketers believe that full-time employees are more valuable than freelancers. This study shows that organizations prefer working with digital marketing freelancers compared to full-time digital marketers.
This is because when an organization outsources its digital marketing work to freelancers, it can help them uncover new perspectives and result-oriented strategies that their in-house team might be lacking.
The demand for freelance digital marketing jobs in Malaysia is on the rise and is considered one of the best career options for fresh graduates with business degrees. As a digital marketing freelancer, you will have the flexibility to choose whom you want to work with. Moreover, you can also choose the type of digital marketing discipline you can specialize in.
Even if you choose to stop being a freelance digital marketer, you and utilize your knowledge, experience, and skills to start your own online business. You can also start a digital marketing agency or secure a high-paying digital marketing job.
What does a freelance digital marketing specialist do?
There are hundreds of freelancing jobs in the industry, but freelance digital marketing is unique and provides the ability for professional marketers to choose the one they want to work with.
Digital marketing has several disciplines which require different skill sets.
You can learn more about different digital marketing skills from the following resources:
- SEO – The Definitive Guide to SEO in 2021
- Social Media Marketing – Social Media Marketing: The Ultimate Guide
- Pay Per Click – The Ultimate Guide to PPC Marketing
- Email Marketing – Email Marketing: The Definitive Guide
- Affiliate Marketing – Affiliate Marketing: A Full Step-By-Step Guide
- Content Marketing – The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing Strategy
In addition to digital marketing skills, as a freelancer, you also need to learn other essential skills like project management, basic accounting, client proposal development, and reporting.
The following digital marketing tasks are the common ones accomplished by freelance digital marketers.
- Shortlist job boards and Facebook groups to stay updated with new job postings for new digital marketing project opportunities
- Create and send quality freelance job proposals to secure clients.
- Communicate consistently with new and existing clients for a long-term commitment
- Responding to client enquiries via email and phone
- Network with other freelancers or participate in freelancer communities
- Build your branding
- Optimize client website for local search (Google Maps)
- Run paid search campaigns like Google Ads and Bings Ads
- Execute paid social media ads on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn
- Plan and execute email marketing campaigns
- Develop content for digital marketing campaigns
- Audit client website and create action plans for generating quality leads.
- Prepare monthly reports
- Develop proposals for potential clients
- Issue invoices and get payment from clients
Sometimes it may look like a lot of work, but with the right approach, you’ll be able to manage them with the right skills and mindset. It’s all about getting your tasks done professionally in a timely manner.
How to Become a Freelance Digital Marketer in Malaysia?
These are the exact steps you should follow to become a freelance digital marketer in Malaysia:
- Build preferred digital marketing skills
- Develop your personal website
- Start a blog section on your website
- Focus on building a personal brand
- Connect with other freelancers
- Choose your expertise
- Learn how to create winning proposals
- Set your rate
- Register your freelance business
- Choose the right tools
- Learn how to get your first client
- Get testimonials from clients
- Develop case studies
- Organize your time
- Plan your future tasks
Build preferred digital marketing skills
If you want to work as a freelance digital marketer, you need to have the necessary skills needed for the work.
When you work in a traditional job market, you will have senior members who can guide you to learn the necessary skills for the job. Moreover, the company you are working for will provide training to develop your skills. But this is not the case with a freelance business.
As a freelancer, you need to find the right resources to learn the necessary skills related to digital marketing. Following are some of our recommendations:
- Digital Marketing Courses by Digital Marketing Institute – Paid courses with certificate
- Google Digital Marketing Courses – Free with certificate
- SEMRush Academy – Free with certificate
- HubSpot Online Marketing Courses – Free with certificate
- Simplilearn Digital Marketing Courses – Paid with certificate
- OptinMonster University – Free
- CopyBlogger Online Marketing Course – Free
Freelancers are solo entrepreneurs who don’t have the budget to outsource some of the work to other freelancers or companies in the initial stages. They are often in the position of providing the right solutions for their client’s problems without any external help.
Apart from the courses listed above, there are a few ways to build your digital marketing skills:
Work for an experienced digital marketer or digital marketing agency
The most effective way is to work for an experienced digital marketer or digital marketing agency. You should focus on getting entry-level digital marketing jobs. But make sure you know the basics of digital marketing.
You can go through the above-mentioned courses and get a few certifications first. Having certificates will help you secure an internship position or a junior digital marketer position.
Once you start to work as a part of a digital marketing team, you will learn everything about digital marketing and get the knowledge and experience you need. Try to document the processes they use for their clients and analyze how their digital marketing strategies work.
Remember that your goal is to learn as much as you can and have a deeper understanding of digital marketing and how it works in generating traffic and bringing in more revenue for the clients.
When you had the opportunity to work on multiple projects and feel you’ve learned enough, you’re ready to quit that job and start your freelance digital marketing career. You need to have confidence in delivering results for your clients as a freelancer.
Experiment with your web properties
If you don’t want to work for someone, there is another way to acquire the necessary digital marketing skills.
Start experimenting with various digital marketing strategies on your websites.
We are not talking about the website you build for your brand. To put your digital marketing knowledge to test, you need to create websites to test and experiment to understand and identify the strategies that work.
For example, to learn how social media marketing works, you need to create a website that sells any products or services. To learn affiliate marketing, you need to know how to write product reviews and rank your content for the right keywords.
The process of self-learning will take time. If you’re a beginner at digital marketing, it’s going to take more time to acquire the necessary knowledge and experience. But it’s worthwhile as it will help you have the confidence to offer it as a service to your clients.
Just imagine your own websites are making money from your digital marketing efforts. It’s your unique selling proposition (USP) when you approach potential clients for freelance digital marketing opportunities.
Develop a personal website
This is one of the most crucial steps that most people looking to become digital marketers miss out on. It is important to develop your personal website while building your digital marketing skills. People don’t like to work with people who don’t have credibility.
Your website will help you enhance your freelance marketing career. It’s the best place to show your services, achievements, and the channel for your potential clients to contact you. The website should be simple, organized, and optimized for search engines.
We will suggest avoiding developing a business website as you’re not running a digital marketing agency. A personal website is much easier to promote as a freelancer. And make sure to use your name for your website as it will help in improving your personal brand.
If your goal is to start a digital marketing agency in the next 3 or 5 years, you can consider building a business-oriented website. But if you want to position yourself as a freelance digital marketer, it’s difficult to promote yourself as you’ll be focused on promoting your agency.
Just focus on developing your personal website first. Once your freelance digital marketing career grows with a huge number of clients, you can start building your agency and have a team to manage all your clients.
The following resources will help you build your personal website:
- The Complete Guide to Setting Up Your Freelancer Website
- How to Create a Freelance Website (Step-by-Step Guide)
Start A Blog Section on Your Website
It doesn’t matter which digital marketing skills you’re learning, as a freelance digital marketer you need to start blogging. And you need to get serious about blogging and it’s a big NO if you want to skip.
Start a blog section on your website. Publish content that will help your audience (potential clients) understand digital marketing and how it can help their business grow.
There’s a lot of buzz that blogging is dead, and doesn’t work anymore. That’s not true. According to a research study conducted by SEMRush, blog posts are the most popular content format among content marketers where 86% of them are using blog posts as part of their marketing strategy.
Many digital marketing freelancers have mentioned that their content is the best “lead magnet” in closing clients without needing to hard-sell their services. And the best part of blogging is that you don’t have to rely on paid advertising to generate leads for the services you’re offering.
When you start writing, cover the topics related to the services you offer and indicate the problems businesses are going through. For example, if you’re offering email marketing service, you want to write about how to monetize email list or how to build an email list and make recurring income from it.
If you provide the solution to your potential customer’s problems, they will trust you and hire you to get the job done.
On the other hand, consistent blogging will grow your traffic and you can recommend products to your audience and make significant commissions from them. It becomes an additional stream of income for you.
So, you need to start blogging from day one to position yourself as a trustable freelance digital marketer that clients want to work with.
Focus on building personal brand
Apart from publishing content on your blog, you should also focus on building your personal brand on other digital marketing channels like social media and other websites (through guest posting).
You need to get your brand out there to your potential clients. If no one knows you, how do you expect them to hire you to manage their digital marketing initiatives?
One of the best ways to improve your personal brand is to get your content published on high-authority websites related to the digital marketing services you offer. You simply need to guest post.
Some of the top digital marketing experts suggest publishing content on your own blog and avoiding guest posting. However, there is a huge competition when it comes to digital marketing niche in the global market and it’s hard to get the content you publish on your blog ranked and reach your potential clients.
So, adding guest posting as one of the ways to improve your personal brand offers great benefits:
- Position yourself as a digital marketing expert: Top websites in the digital marketing industry only accepts guest post that adds value to their audience and expects the best from their contributors. These contributors are regarded as “experts” on the topic they write about.
- Quality traffic to your website: The best websites on digital marketing get a few hundred thousand visitors per month. If those visitors find your content beneficial, they will visit your website to get to know more about you and the services you offer.
- Quality links to your site: Having guest posts published on high-quality websites with a link back to your site will improve the authority of your website and increase your ranking on search result pages.
If you’re just starting with your freelance digital marketer career without any content published on your blog, you will have a hard time getting your content published on top websites. To be considered an expert in digital marketing, you need to consistently write blog posts on your website and exhibit your expertise.
You also need to be active in social media groups and communities. People in your industry should recognize who you are and what you do. Consistently sharing your opinion and thoughts on relevant groups will help you position yourself as an expert and easily get your contribution accepted on top sites.
Connect with Other Freelancers
We do accept the fact that most freelancers are introverts and often have problems connecting with others easily. It is important to connect and build a good relationship with other freelancers. Not only with the ones in the digital marketing industry but also with the ones from other industries like designing, development, copywriting, and more.
When we talk about connections, it’s not about sending a friend request on Facebook to become friends. We are talking about business connections here. These connections will help you grow your freelance career.
These are some of the reasons why you should consistently connect with other freelancers:
- Share ideas and experience with freelance professionals
- Promote your services and ask whether they can refer any clients looking for your services
- Outsource certain freelance services requested by your clients
- Keep yourself updated with the current trends and happenings in the freelance industry.
LinkedIn is one of the best platforms to connect with like-minded people. Approach them with a personalized note by introducing yourself. Tell the reasons why you’re looking to connect with them. Don’t ever send a bulk request with the same note. Try customizing your note after analyzing their profile and what kind of jobs they are offering.
After making a few good conversations you can endorse their skills if you believe they are good at what they are doing. Slowly you can start exchanging ideas and share their content with your connection and surely, they will do the same.
Just make sure to connect with people that can add value to you. With the right connection from your industry, you can grow your freelancing career to the next level.
Choose Your Expertise
There are so many disciplines in digital marketing. It is hard to learn and specialize in each discipline with a limited time. You can have a basic knowledge of how every digital marketing processes work. But if you want to work on everything, you won’t be able to specialize in something.
You should avoid wearing many hats. It’s better to choose specific expertise in a few areas of digital marketing.
Once you gain more experience working with a variety of clients, you will know what kind of digital marketing services are in demand in the market. On the other hand, you need to see the type of services that brings you more profit with your efforts. You don’t want to work 24 hours with little to no profit.
Following are some of the digital marketing disciplines you can specialize in:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Social Media Marketing (SMM)
- PPC (Pay Per Click)
- Email Marketing
- Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
To become an expert in the digital marketing area of your choice, just refer to build preferred digital marketing skills. You can create an easy-to-follow checklist to apply the same digital marketing strategies when you work with your clients. Just make some changes to suit your client’s business nature. Having a documented process of the digital marketing services you provide will help you stay organized with your work and produce great results for your clients.
Learn How to Create Winning Proposals
Creating proposals for your potential clients is a part of your freelance digital marketing job responsibilities. As a freelance marketing specialist, you need to know how to write winning proposals for your services to potential clients.
Writing proposals from scratch for each potential client can be time-consuming. Preparing templates of proposals for the services you offer will help you easily customize your proposals based on the client’s request.
Any digital marketing service proposal will have the following common sections:
- Description of service offered
- Portfolio or Case Studies
- Terms and Conditions
Prepare a couple of templates and make them easily editable. You can improve them if needed. For example, once your potential client agrees to hire you for the digital marketing services you’re offering, you need to sign an agreement or contract. As you need to have access to their advertising accounts or websites, you need to provide them with clear instructions using PDF documents or Google Form.
Time is important for freelancing businesses as you don’t want to spend your time on irrelevant tasks that negatively impact your overall business. Make efforts to create proposal templates and onboarding documents from the start to avoid wasting time on activities that don’t make you money.
If you have the budget to invest in proposal management tools, you may want to check them out:
Check out the following resources if you want to learn how to create winning freelance proposals:
- Complete Guide to Creating Freelance Proposals That Win Three Times More Deal
- Writing Proposals as A Freelancer – Tips and Tricks
Set Your Rates
The next important thing you need to do in your journey of becoming a successful freelance digital marketer is to set the right pricing models for your services.
“What is your rate?” or “How much do you charge?” are the most common questions you’ll be hearing from your potential clients. Rather than answering them “it depends”, it’s better to have your answer ready.
There are various pricing models you can focus on:
- Hourly pricing
- Project-based pricing
- Retainer pricing
- Performance-based pricing
Not all clients are the same. Different clients have different digital marketing needs and they look for the right pricing model that works for them.
So, whether it’s a monthly retainer, hourly pricing, or project-based pricing, you need to decide on your hourly rate first. Determine how many hours you need to work to complete the digital marketing tasks for your client. This will help you come up with the right pricing for your services.
It doesn’t mean your potential client won’t hire you if you’re charging higher than other freelancers in the industry. You need to treat freelancing as a real business. What’s the point of working so hard as a freelancer if you’re not making profits from your services?
As a digital marketer, you’re adding value to your client’s business. But, if you’re a beginner you can’t charge higher than the market pricing because you don’t have enough experience or portfolio to show your potential clients what you’ve done and what kind of value you’ll bring to their business.
Check out what other freelance digital marketers in Malaysia charge for their services. Just don’t go too low to get clients. You’ll get burned for work you’ll be doing without getting the pay you deserve.
According to Upwork, the median hourly rate for a digital marketer is $25 (RM100). The range is between $15 (RM60) to $45 (RM150) per hour. You can use them as a benchmark.
Register Your Freelance Business
Once you start working with your first client, you’ll be super excited and work on getting more clients. Although you can get your payment made to your personal banking account, it is not the same if you treat your freelance job as a business.
You should not forget the basics. This is because you don’t want to face issues when you want to purchase a new car or a new property in Malaysia. You need to show the financial institution that you’re credit-worthy.
You need to establish your freelancing as a business by doing the following:
- Register your business in SSM (Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia) as a sole proprietorship.
- You need to choose a name for your business. As a freelancer, you can use your personal name. If you have a specific business name, you can use them as well but they will check and approve the business name only if it is available.
- Registering your personal name will cost RM30 per year whereas a trade name will cost you RM60 per year.
- You can apply for a current account once you’ve registered your business. You can consider opening your account at CIMB, Hong Leong Bank, or Alliance Bank.
- If you’re working with overseas clients, you might want to register for online payment accounts like PayPal or Stripe.
- Have an invoice processes system like Zoho Books or Freshbooks. If you don’t have enough money to invest in them yet you can either use Google Docs or Microsoft Word for invoicing purposes.
Even if you’re just a freelance digital marketer working from home and not a full-fledged business, you need to treat it like a business from day one. If you neglect this, you may face problems in terms of tax and credit ratings in Malaysia once your income grows. So, get it done at the start of your freelancing career to get everything in place to avoid future problems.
Choose the Right Digital Marketing Tools
Digital marketing tools help digital marketers perform their tasks efficiently. As a digital marketer, you need to track relevant metrics and analyze data to provide the right solutions for the clients. Without the help of digital marketing tools, you’ll be wasting your precious time.
Digital marketing tools are not cheap. That’s why most freelancers are sceptical to spend on tools. We understand that you want to keep your expenses low. But just imagine this, you’re spending more hours in keyword research by doing it manually. What if you used tools like Ahrefs or SEMRush? It will save you time. And you can use that time to acquire more clients instead.
You don’t have to spend on individual tools. Just get access to platforms that will help you do a lot of things with an affordable monthly subscription.
Some of the best digital marketing tools offer training courses on how to use their tools. You will have free access to these training courses. Once you discover the full potential of the tools, you’ll be efficient with your freelance gigs.
For freelance digital marketers, the following tools are the best ones you should use:
Grammarly: Digital marketers need to be good at writing. Even if you’re not focused on SEO, Content Marketing, or Email Marketing, you still need to fix your grammar and spelling errors when you communicate with your clients. Grammarly is affordable and you can easily integrate it with Outlook or Google G-Suite.
Mailchimp: This is one of our favourite email marketing tools to build an email list and send newsletters. We’re using Mailchimp for Freelance Malaysia as well. It is free up to 2,000 contacts with limited features and the paid plan starts at $9.99 (RM40) per month.
SEMRush: One of our favourite digital marketing tools. SEMRush is an all-in-one digital marketing platform that allows you to perform multiple tasks like keyword research, competitor analysis, backlink analysis, website audit, optimize PPC campaigns, monitoring social media account performance and many more. The basic plan starts from $119.95 (RM480) per month. It may look expensive but it’s worth it if you’re handling more than three digital marketing clients.
Google Workspace: We’ve been using Office 365 for our organization as we’ve been using it for a few years now and are comfortable with it. Google Workplace is suitable for freelancers as it is affordable and offers great features. You can easily manage your documents and set up a business email. Their plan starts at RM20 per month.
Other than these paid tools, make use of these free tools:
- Google Analytics – to monitor and analyze traffic to websites
- Google Data Studio – to create a visualization from digital marketing data set
- Google Search Console – to monitor website technical issues and website performance on Google.
- Bing Webmaster Tools – to monitor website performance on Bing
- Canva – to create stunning images for social media and blog posts
- Hotjar – to understand visitors’ behaviour with heatmaps, clickmaps, and scrollmaps
- HubSpot CRM: to manage your leads effectively and convert them to paying customers
Learn how to get your first client
If you’re ready to get your first client, then it shows that you’ve mastered your digital marketing skills and offer them as services to clients.
But how do you land get the right clients to work with?
Where can you find quality leads and turn them into your long-term clients?
There are three ways to get clients for digital marketing services in Malaysia
- Offer your digital marketing services for free to selected clients: If you’re new to the digital marketing industry and you don’t have prior experience working with a client, this is the best method we recommend. Instead of rushing to get your first paid client, it’s better to offer your service for free and build your portfolio. Even if you manage to find clients, it’s easy to get lost without prior experience working with a client. It’s all about adapting to the new reality of working with clients and delivering them real-measurable results. As digital marketing takes time to work in most cases, it’s better to build your reputation before jumping in to work with real clients.
- Convert your blog into a lead generation powerhouse: We have explained the benefits you’ll be getting with blogging. Blogging is one of the best ways to get qualified leads without spending anything on paid advertising. But it will take close to 6-12 months to generate quality traffic from search engines. However, you can share your blog posts on social media accounts. Try sharing your blog posts on Facebook groups related to digital marketing because some business owners are actively looking for freelance digital marketers on those groups.
- Apply for digital marketing freelance gigs: We will talk more about applying for freelance gigs below and how you can increase your chances of getting those gigs. But it is hard for beginners without portfolios or previous work to successfully land those freelance gigs.
Other than these methods, you can try approaching your friends and family that are running small businesses. Offer them your digital marketing services for free. You don’t have to pressure yourself to meet the deadline or focus on getting results quickly. You can take your time to learn how the digital marketing strategies you’re implementing are working for their businesses.
Just learn the mistakes you do, understand the process, and make sure to document them for future reference. Once you have a portfolio to show your potential clients, it is easier to secure paid clients. If you have the confidence to handle your client’s digital marketing work, take up the challenge and start producing the best results!
Get testimonials from your clients
To get more clients, you need to exhibit your portfolio and list of clients on your website. Encourage your current clients to offer genuine reviews about your digital marketing services.
Make sure to add your customer name and website to the testimonial page. You want to be as transparent as possible to your potential clients and show them that you’ve worked with clients in improving their online presence with digital marketing.
Rather than waiting to complete the entire digital marketing project for your client to ask for their testimonial, you can do it if the client is happy with your work and the results they are getting. By doing this you can start getting more clients.
Develop case studies
Everyone likes to read case studies, especially your potential clients. It gives them the confidence to work with you and the type of results to expect from your digital marketing services.
You don’t have to include every single detail of the digital marketing project you’ve worked on. Just include what you’ve done for the client and what kind of results you’ve helped them achieve.
If you’re not sure how to develop digital marketing case studies, you may want to check out the examples below:
- How Cardinal helped a behavioural healthcare firm scale marketing for 20+ regional groups
- How Bluesteak helped Athreya to reach more than 3M reel views and 10,000+ followers in a month.
Organize your time
A freelance career is not easy as it sounds. Things may look exciting in the beginning but soon you’ll get stressed because you’ll have a hard time managing your time.
As you grow your client base, you will have more work to do for your clients. You need to reply to more emails, handle more invoices, etc. If you fail to manage your time, it will have a great impact on your mental health and freelance career.
These are some of the best tips your can follow to organize your time:
- Spend time on revenue-generating tasks and minimize tasks that don’t bring you any revenue: Do you need to scroll through your TikTok for more than 10 minutes per day? Do you need to reply to all your WhatsApp and Facebook messages? Just focus on the work that will generate more money. Time is money and you don’t want to waste them on irrelevant activities. It’s not that you should not watch TikTok videos, but don’t do it when you have important tasks to finish. You can always allocate time for entertainment purposes.
- Schedule your important tasks in the morning: People like to be productive in the morning. Only the rare ones are productive in the afternoon or evening. Whether it’s morning, afternoon, or evening, use your most productive hours to work on your client’s tasks. For other tasks like meetings and administrative tasks, you can schedule them at your least productive time.
- Have a documented process for each client: The number one tip to generate the best results for your clients is to create a documented process of the digital marketing tasks you’ll be doing for them. Even when you have a pool of clients, you can easily replicate your strategies with little customization depending on their niche and target audience. On the other hand, create a to-do list for each of your clients. If you come up with a new strategy for their business, you can add them up to your document and make recommendations.
- Allocate time to publish content on your blog: Most freelancers often ignore their blog once they start working on their client’s project. Don’t make this mistake. Your blog is one of the most important online assets for your freelancing career. And that’s why you need to allocate time to work on your blog. It’s better to spend an hour or two daily with your blogging initiatives.
- Allocate time for skills upgrading: As a freelancer, you’re responsible for upgrading your knowledge and skills. The digital marketing industry is growing rapidly, and you need to adapt to the changes to stay relevant in the industry.
- Get adequate rest: Freelancers have flexible working hours. When you’re working on your freelance projects you might just get carried away and work for long hours without rest. We understand you enjoy what you’re doing. But it is important to have good sleep to stay healthy and active. You don’t want to end up with health-related issues.
What are you going to do next?
As your freelance digital marketing career grows with a huge number of clients, you need to plan your next steps.
You’ll be in the position to decide whether to keep doing what you’re doing or provide more services to your existing clients and increase their lifetime value. Following are some of the things you can do moving forward:
- Continue as a freelance digital marketer: If you choose to continue being a freelance digital marketer is perfectly fine. But now you can choose the clients you want to work with and don’t have to go low on your rates. You set the price for the services you’re offering. You can upgrade yourself to a consultant and start making more money for digital marketing consultation rather than focusing solely on monthly retainer-based services.
- Create a small digital marketing team: It’s tiring if you want to work on everything on your own. The most successful freelancers outsource some of their work or build a small digital marketing team to handle big clients. You need to hire people that can add value to your clients. If you choose the wrong people, you’ll end up losing your money with zero productivity or contribution to your client’s growth.
- Start a digital marketing agency: This is the goal for any digital marketing freelancer. And many digital marketing agency founders started as freelance digital marketers. The big difference between starting an agency and creating small digital marketing is that for the digital agency you will spend more time hiring talents to run your business. The only drawback with digital agencies is that you will have more operating costs to cover. So, it is important to focus on continuously growing your business and focus on different areas of digital marketing.
How much can you earn as a freelance digital marketer in Malaysia?
This is one of the questions asked by beginners before starting their freelance careers in digital marketing.
There is no specific answer to this question.
If we’re talking about digital marketing specialists working in companies, they can earn between RM56,983 per year to RM97,113 per year depending on experience and skill set. Freelance marketers don’t have a fixed salary and the amount of money you can earn depends on whether you want to charge your clients with an hourly rate, monthly retainer, or project-based price.
Most freelancers like to work on hourly rates or monthly retainers. However, it depends on your experience and the type of results you’ll be delivering to your clients. As most clients want to see positive ROI from their investment, you need to know how much your potential clients are willing to pay for your services.
Once you have several clients in your portfolio, you’ll have the power to set your rates. And you can choose the clients you want to work with. If you’re starting your career, then you may have to work for a lower rate.
We would suggest going with a monthly retainer when you work with clients in Malaysia. This is because it is hard to negotiate high hourly rates with Malaysian business owners. Just calculate the number of hours you will be spending for the specific client in a month and multiply it with your hourly rates.
For example, if your hourly rate is RM35 and you’ll be able to complete all the tasks by working 3 hours a day. So, RM35x3= RM165/per day
How many days in a week should you work to complete their task? Maybe 3 days a week. So, RM165 x (4×3 days) = RM1,980 will be your salary based on the hours you’ll be working. You should not charge your clients RM1,980 per month as you’ll be using some paid tools to complete your tasks. So, you may want to include the tool cost and round it up to RM2,400 or RM2,500 per month.
This is just an example. You can expect to earn at least RM1,000 to RM1,500 per month as a beginner in Malaysia from one client. However, it depends on the type of digital marketing services you provide. If you’re offering a combination of services then you can charge higher.
Digital marketing is one of the fastest-growing industries in Malaysia. There is a high demand for digital marketing freelancers, and it is expected to grow in the next few years.
Where to find the best freelance digital marketing jobs in Malaysia?
It takes time to build your reputation with content marketing. Meantime you should search for your potential clients on different platforms. There are many global freelance marketplaces and job portals available for you to find a freelance job.
You can find hundreds of digital marketing gigs from the following sites:
Note** These are global sites to find freelance digital marketing jobs. We did not include Freelancer.com in this list because the platform is oversaturated with freelancers from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh who offer extremely low rates. It doesn’t make sense to compete with them.
You can use the following tips when you’re applying for a freelance job or gig:
- Filter the jobs that suit your skills and experience: You can check out the sites we’ve listed above and shortlist the ones that suit you the most. Look at their requirements and customize your proposal templates. Just make a quick analysis of every job and prepare your applications to email or apply directly.
- Don’t delay on your application: On average a freelance job application receives 40-50 applications or more in an hour. Sometimes the person who posted the job might not look at the full list of applicants. They would just look at the first few applicants and choose the one that matches their criteria. So, you should send your application right away without any delay.
- Customize and personalize your application: If you’ve been reading this article from the start, you should have your templates ready. Personalize them based on the requirements. Don’t copy-paste without customizing or personalizing them. It is easy for employers to identify template-based replies and it will surely turn them off.
- Read the job postings thoroughly: Sometimes employers add some questions for the freelancers to answer. This is to make their screening process easy. So, make sure to read the job posting thoroughly before sending in your application. Don’t be careless and lose your opportunity in securing a freelance job. Just provide appropriate answers to the questions.
- Mention that your rate is negotiable: We must agree that you will get more opportunities to land freelance digital marketing opportunities if you keep your rates low. However, you need to mention that your rates are negotiable. If the employer is interested, you can persuade them with the quality of services you provide and negotiate for the best rate.
The need for freelancers is increasing in Malaysia as the country is moving towards empowering the gig economy. This is the best time for you to make a career switch if you have a deep interest in digital marketing. Digital marketing is something you will never get bored with.
However, the freelance digital marketing profession is not for everyone. You need to have self-discipline and a high level of confidence to become a successful digital marketer. It can be stressful if you’re unable to manage your time efficiently.
You just need to have a solid plan. First, build the right digital marketing skills. To provide the best digital marketing services for business owners, you need to master certain areas of digital marketing. It’s not going to happen overnight, but you can specialize in executing the strategies you learn.
Once you add some successful digital marketing clients to your portfolio, you can sit down and enjoy the adventurous journey of your digital marketing career. Just don’t stop learning. Digital marketing is all about continuous learning and experimentation.
Don’t rush. Take it step by step. Understand the fundamentals and move forward. Once you understand the beauty of the digital marketing industry, you never want to leave the industry and start exploring new opportunities within the industry.