▷ Become self-employed in web marketing: 6 important steps

According to the freelancer barometer Malt, web marketing freelancers are among the best paid freelancers with an average daily rate of €590. Obviously, salary isn’t the only benefit of freelance work if you’re a web marketing professional. You can also gain more freedom, flexibility or just get rid of your boss…

But to be an independent web marketing professional, it is not enough to have knowledge and skills in web marketing…

You also need to train, find your clients, manage your legal status. Yes, even if you are the only one who is part of this business!

In this article, discover the 6 most important steps in order not to miss your start as a freelancer.

Step 1 – Train before you start as a freelance web marketer

Before you start as a web marketing freelancer, make sure you have sufficient knowledge. Once you have taken on the tasks entrusted to you by your customers, you must be able to rely on a solid knowledge base in digital marketing.

There are several possibilities for this:

  • Prioritize the generalist education offered by a business school or a school specializing in digital;
  • Complete a short specialized training in a specific area (e.g. growth training for growth professions, the training in SEO offered by the Peyronnet brothers, etc.);
  • Complete your training with online courses (on Udemy, OpenClassrooms, etc.)
An overview of the growth hacking training offered by Growth Training

Step 2 – Create your web marketing expert offer

Before you recruit customers, you should first define your offer. In other words, what you are going to offer your potential customers.

To do this, you must precisely define:

  • The suggested expertise. In this phase you must define the issues on which you will intervene. If you choose a specific expertise, you will likely be able to justify higher prices. But you may find it harder to find customers. And vice versa if you opt for a generalist positioning.
  • your positioning. Are you targeting large corporate customers? SME? Are you targeting companies that are geographically close to you? Do you agree to intervene remotely?
  • your tariffs. Specifically, in this phase, you must specify your billing method (daily or flat rate) and the invoice amount.

To help you set your rates, you can start by calculating your average daily rate, or ADR.

Screenshot of a freelance web copywriter’s website. The Independent has chosen a very clear niche positioning.

Step 3 – Choose your freelancer status

In order to work as a freelancer, you must exercise your self-employment within the legal framework. Then there is the question of the choice of legal status. Among the solutions best suited to your freelance web marketer business, there are three main options:

  • The micro-enterprise;
  • Society ;
  • salary portage.

The micro company

The micro company is very popular among web marketers.

And with good reason, because it has many advantages:

  • The registration process is very easy and free.
  • The operating rules are easy to understand. All you have to do is register in the online portal and declare your sales monthly or quarterly, depending on the cycle you have chosen.
  • If you don’t have a turnover, report it but don’t pay a fee.

However, the simplicity of this regime has a counterpart:

  • The status is linked to a sales cap. Freelance web marketing falls under the provision of services. Therefore, the threshold is set at €72,600. Beyond this sum you can no longer benefit from self-entrepreneur status, you must start a business or join a transport company.
  • On the other hand, in a micro-enterprise you cannot deduct your expenses from your turnover. Renting an office, buying equipment, tools and software, so many expenses that do not reduce the basis for calculating your taxes and duties.

The trading company

To overcome these limitations, you can also incorporate a single shareholder SARL (EURL) or a single member SAS (SASU).

But the procedures will be more complex. In particular you need:

  • Write the statutes;
  • Deposit of the share capital (at least 1 euro);
  • publication of an incorporation notice in a Journal of Legal Notices;
  • Submit an application for registration at the court clerk’s office.

In addition, there are accounting obligations. You have to prepare an annual balance sheet, pay corporate tax, etc.

The key is the ability to deduct your expenses, team up and hire, or benefit from greater freedom in managing your compensation.

salary portage

You can also opt for wage portage to practice as a freelance web marketer. In this case, the parent company takes care of all your administrative procedures, tracking your invoices, declaring your turnover, etc. In return, the parent company receives a percentage of your turnover.

Portage has several advantages for web marketing freelancers:

  • administrative simplicity;
  • payslips and permanent contract (which simplifies things a lot if you want to rent an apartment or get a mortgage);
  • Unemployment when giving up your self-employment;

On the other hand, the status does not allow hiring and involves higher fees than in a micro company.

Step 4 – Find your first customers

Once all administrative procedures are complete, you can start working with your first clients.

But you still have to find her.

You can rely on:

  • Freelance platforms like Malt or Crème de la Crème where web marketing profiles are popular;
  • Social networks, in particular LinkedIn, to increase your profile;
  • A website presenting your services;
  • content strategies;
  • prospecting by email;
  • Etc.

Finding freelance clients is certainly a major concern. Don’t hesitate to develop a sustainable strategy that will allow you to attract customers on a regular basis.

A web marketing freelancer’s profile on the Malt platform

To make prospecting easier for you, it is also recommended that you build a portfolio. The latter present your marketing projects and help to convince your future customers of your expertise.

Step 5 – Launch your web marketing missions

Your first contracts are signed, you can start your web marketing missions. Congratulation!

Rigor, organization and communication with the customer are the key words for a successful cooperation.

Remember to set up a clear onboarding process to welcome your new customers. For example, you can provide a personalized welcome message or a video tutorial explaining how to get started using the tools you provide them for collaboration (Trello, Notion, Click-Up, etc.) or send in welcome gift.

At the end of the mission, you can ask them for an opinion or a testimony that you can use to convince other people to trust you.

Step 6 – Charge for your services

You have several options for billing your web marketing activities:

  • Payment of a deposit upon signature of the estimate, then payment of the balance at the end of the assignment;
  • payment of the entire service in advance;
  • billing in installments;
  • Monthly fee ;
  • Etc.

Whichever solution you choose, keep a close eye on your accounting and cash flow. The more time you give your customers to pay you, the more strain it puts on your finances.

The ideal for this is using an invoicing tool that allows you to process your quotes and invoices, but also to follow the regulations.

A screenshot of the freebe.me accounting software for freelancers

We have reached the end of the six stages!

The six most important steps to start as a freelance web marketer there are:

  1. Form ;
  2. Create a clear offer;
  3. choice of legal status;
  4. Find his first customers;
  5. Start your web marketing missions;
  6. bill for his services.

For the rest of your entrepreneurial adventure, you can retain your customers by offering them recurring services. You can also search for other customers to replace completed orders and continue to grow your sales.

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