Can I tell you… This is now the third time I’m recording this video. The first time, my battery died right
in the middle of it, and then I couldn’t remember what I was saying. The second time, my mic wasn’t
recording. The third time is going to be the charm.
I don’t know if that’s a sign from the that I should record this or that I shouldn’t. I’m going to go with I
should. I’m going to say, like, this is my hero’s journey to tell you how to fix your digital marketing. So
let’s go. Hey, guys, I’m Megan.
Thank you for joining me today. I’m a Five-time award-winning advanced digital marketing strategist
and freelance writer. And I am here to help you create, ride or die fans for life through organic
marketing. So thank you for joining me. Glad to be here with you for the third time.
We’re going to do this. We’re going to nail this one. It is so rough out there for freelancers, right?
You’ve got to do it all. You’ve got to be the finance person, the marketing person, the customer
service, the production.
It’s a lot. And when you’re down in the trenches, it’s really hard for you to see whether or not the
tactics you are using are working. And I get that completely 500%, especially when it comes to
something like digital marketing, because it’s not like you invest $5 and you get five Instagram
followers. There’s no tangible, direct ROI. So it’s really hard when it’s just you or you’re on a bootstrap
budget to figure out whether or not your digital marketing is working.
There are a lot of moving parts to digital marketing, believe me, I get it. But it doesn’t have to be as
overwhelming as you think. In fact, if you focus on the right things, you can see a real difference in
your bottom line. But I know that’s easier said than done, right? So if you’re feeling totally
overwhelmed, I got you.
Today we’re going to cover four signs that your digital marketing isn’t working and six things you can
do to make it better. But first, if you want more marketing tips that can help you grow your freelance
business, subscribe to my channel because I release content like this all the time and I’m a super nerd
for marketing, so I’d love to help you. So just why should you listen to me? These tips have given me
the ability to pivot from a 9-5. Although it’s 8-5 now, isn’t it?
Like, who gets 9-5 anymore? An 8-5 director of marketing office job into the digital marketing
strategist and freelance writer that I am today. I cannot function well in office settings. I have ADHD
and honestly, just I have to do everything I can to make sure that I stay a freelancer and self-employed
because I can’t go back to office life, which I’ve probably just doomed myself into never going back.
Because if I ever do, someone will google this.
Someone will Google me and see that I said these things. I digress. I guess I’m burning the ship so I
can’t go back. I will stop rambling. Let’s get to it.
Signs your digital marketing isn’t working. One, you aren’t earning enough money. Now, I will give you
grace if, let’s say, it’s the first six months of your freelance business and you haven’t gotten enough of
an income to support yourself. I agree that when you’re beginning, that’s a really unfair metric to have.
And so let’s say if you’re in your first six months, you got a little bit of grace, but you still should be
You should have some sort of verifiable proof that you are fulfilling a need in the marketplace. I don’t
care if that means you made a dollar this month. That is still tangible proof that you are able to cause
a transformation for a client, which is what your marketing is supposed to convey. Now, when I
started freelance writing, I had just gotten fired from my marketing job. Thankfully, it was one of those
things where I didn’t have the balls to quit.
And so I was so thankful that they fired me and I was deciding, what is it that I want to do? Well, I’m
really good at marketing despite being fired, and I know how to teach other people how to do it. But I
also like writing. I originally went to school to be a writer and then ended up with social sciences,
which is just as useful as a degree. It’s actually been a really useful degree to have in my field
I would say the first, I don’t know, maybe three or four months, I was earning maybe like $200 a
month, maybe. And that was because I was still finding my niche and I was building my portfolio as a
freelance writer. Now I specialize in personal finance content, so I now know my niche after two and a
half years. But the first couple of months, I was not making enough money, but I was still making
money. If you are not earning enough money to get by or earning enough money that it is a viable I
don’t want to say job that it is viable as a business model for you.
That probably means you’re not connecting to the right people and your digital marketing isn’t
working. Again, if you don’t want to earn a full time income from this, that’s totally fine. So that’s not a
good benchmark. But if you’re not earning enough where you can say, like, my time is being
adequately compensated, then it’s probably a sign you’re not reaching the right people. Two people
are contacting you for the wrong reasons.
And I think a big telltale sign of this is if it’s kind of in your field, but it’s not your specialty. So for me,
like I said, I’m a personal finance writer. So if someone was contacting me for social media posts or
pet care blog posts, like those are kind of in my space, but they aren’t what I do. They aren’t my
specialty. And while I could write them, it’s not going to be as good as it is when I’m a personal
When I’m doing that kind of content that I’m good at, I’m experienced with, I’m in the zone. And so if I
wasn’t getting enough clients looking for me for personal finance, but instead we’re looking for these
other topics that would say to me that I am not adequately showing people what it is I do and the
transformation that I cause. Now, you will get some people who don’t care. They don’t care that you
are an illustrator. They want social media posts and they don’t care they found you.
You’re a warm body. You’ll do. That’s a judgment call you’ve got to make. But my point is, if you are
getting more than people who don’t care that are just looking for people, if you are getting people who
specifically come to you thinking that you can provide a service that you don’t, that’s a sign that you
are not adequately conveying in your marketing what it is you do, who you serve in the transformation
that you cause. Three, you’re getting requests for rock bottom prices.
Now, this is a matter of opinion. I will give you that. It’s my belief you should be transparent about how
much you charge on your website because it will get rid of people, the majority who are looking for
bottom prices or who are looking for something really cheap. I understand why some people will say
you shouldn’t do that. You should leave it open for negotiations, those kind of things, and fair.
But I think putting the pricing on your website stops you from having to have that conversation and
can really get rid of the awkward conversation for people who want to pay $30 for 9000 words or
something like that. Like the more transparent you are in your marketing about, I am good at what I
do, I deserve to be paid for it, I will charge accordingly, the better you’re going to be at this. Now, if you
do have a business model that is the Walmart pricing of I’ll beat anybody, that’s a different
conversation. But my point is, if people are coming to you misunderstanding either your pricing or
your transformation, what you do, then that’s a sign that your marketing needs to be better. It needs to
come across better.
The fourth sign that your digital marketing isn’t working is that you’re overwhelmed with worrying
about what to do. And I think that that can go a lot of ways, right? That’s a pretty vague thing. What
I’m trying to say about that is you don’t know if you should be on Instagram or LinkedIn or Facebook
you don’t know if you should be doing a podcast or you’re not sure how you can connect with your
clientele, should you be on upwork five or should you be doing things alone on a website? These kind
If you don’t know the path that you’re supposed to take, that means that you don’t have your digital
marketing strategy down. And also, frankly, you probably don’t have a very good grasp on who your
ideal customer is. That’s the first step you’re always going to do is figure out who you’re trying to
target. Their pain points, the demographics, the transformation that they’re looking for, all of that
stuff, so that you can convey that in your marketing of. My name is Megan.
I’m a freelance writer specializing in personal finance. My content teaches people actionable steps for
how they can transform their finances, get out of credit card debt, that kind of stuff. So the more you
understand who you’re trying to serve, the better off you’ll be conveying your digital marketing and the
less overwhelmed you’ll feel about what kind of strategy you’re going to need. Does that make sense?
If this does, hit the like button so that I know I’m doing a good job.
Now, we talked about all the bad. Let’s talk about the good. Let’s talk about six things you can do to
improve the digital marketing for your freelance business. Number one is learn SEO. And I guess, I
mean learn better SEO.
I don’t expect you to become someone who does, you know, like backlink strategies and all of these
things. I don’t expect you to become an SEO expert. I don’t want you to do that unless that’s your job,
then go do it. But my point is, I want you to learn the basics of SEO, because the nitty-gritty changes
all the time. Google and Bing, they’ll update their algorithms.
We don’t know what they are, but we kind of do. But we don’t. The more you know how people can
find you, the better off you’ll be creating digital marketing content around that. So what I mean by that
is when you’re building your upwork portfolio or your website, your fiverr profile, whatever you’re on,
you need to understand the verbiage people use or the vernacular people use to find services like
yours. What are people searching?
If people need a personal finance writer, how are they going to come to me? What are the keywords
they’re going to search with? What is the information they’re looking for? The more that I can provide
that, the better SEO I’ll have. The more Google will favor me, the higher up the rankings I’ll go.
And the same goes for you. Like I said, I don’t care if you learn long tail keywords versus short. I don’t
care if you learn about backwings. I don’t care about that kind of stuff. I care about you understanding
how people look for the service you provide and building that into your portfolio or your website.
Number two, remove yourself from social media platforms that do not work. So many freelancers
have this feeling that they have to have like a buckshot strategy of they have to be everywhere
because someone could find them anywhere. And while that’s true, it’s a big disservice to dilute your
efforts by going on multiple social media platforms. Back when I was a director of marketing, I got in
fights like, “Megan, please go in your office and take a timeout” fights with the sales teams because
they wanted to be on Instagram. Now, both companies I had been a director of marketing for were
So one was recruitment firm, and the other one was like professional education. Like if you wanted to
go become certified in Python coding or something like that, you’d come to us. Nobody’s going on
Instagram looking for jobs, and nobody’s going on Instagram looking for Python certifications. You
know what I mean? So no one cares about pictures from our holiday party on Instagram except for
the employees that are forced to like the page.
Nobody cares about that. And you’re wasting your time trying to be there. To create content, you need
to be where your customers are using the platform the way they use it. So for the recruiting firm, we
needed to be on LinkedIn. Same thing with the professional education.
We needed to be on places where our target demographic was looking for services like ours. Were
they on Instagram? Probably. They were probably, but they’re on Instagram for puppy pictures and
plant info and stuff like that. They’re not there for the reason we need them to be.
So same with you. If you know your target demographic, then you know where they’re looking and you
know where they’re trying to find stuff like yours. So be there. Don’t be everywhere. I always
recommend to clients picking one social media platform, but I’m a realist, and I know that that’s a
pretty big bet to make.
So pick two platforms that you think that would be most effective and go hard on them. Don’t be on
clubhouse, twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok. Don’t be everywhere. Be on one or two platforms and
rock the hell out of those. Number three, streamline your website.
I think that a lot of freelancers get into the weeds about what needs to be on their website when all
you really need is an effective one page. You need who you are, what you do, the benefit that causes
over the transformation, who you serve, testimonials, in my opinion, how much it costs and how to get
in touch with you. That’s it. You don’t need dozens of blog posts about me pages, coaching speaking.
You don’t need all of those things.
Have you ever been to like, a giant corporate layout? They’re hideous. They are so bad. And so many
big companies have like, Web 1.0 websites where they just don’t care. It doesn’t work on mobile
there’s like, weird characters all over the place.
You don’t have to have that kind of website, but you don’t have to have the latest and greatest
WordPress theme. You just need one that works. You need one that is functional, but get your
message across. That’s it. That’s all you need.
Don’t overthink it. Number four, utilize your network. I think this is a really scary one for a lot of people,
myself included. It’s hard to ask for help, right? You’re probably here because you don’t know what to
do, or you like, you have an inkling things aren’t going well, and you’re looking for solutions, right?
What you’re not doing right now, I assume, is reaching out to your network on LinkedIn and asking
people if they know anybody who’s looking for services like yours. And it’s hard. It’s hard to be that
vulnerable. But I think word of mouth marketing is always the most effective, right? It’s the
standalone, the cream of the crop.
It’s the one that always works the best. And by not utilizing that and not asking for help, I think you
just put yourself at a big disadvantage for no reason. Now, if you’re too self conscious about that, I
have a tip for you. All you need to do is go through your contact list, and that can be LinkedIn, that can
even be like, email addresses in your Gmail, whatever, and just let people know what you’re up to. You
know, like those, I never got them, but I know they used to send, like, Christmas letters.
Families used to send Christmas letters of updates. I think that the spirit of that is something that is
really effective for digital marketing too, in the sense that nurturing your network and just letting
people know. Hey, Missy, I know it’s been a while, but I just wanted to let you know that I am now a
freelance writer. I specialize in personal finance content. I don’t know if you know anybody who’s
looking for something like that, but I’ve always really admired what you’ve done and I thought maybe
it’s worth a shot to ask.
So that’s what I’m doing. That’s all. You know, there’s like a little bit of, like, you know, I like you kind of
like fluff massage there. You should really like them. But it’s you just talking to people you already
know, letting them know that you’re open for clients.
And the more you do it, the better you’ll get at it, the less terrifying it will be. It’s the same with
newsletters or DMs or something like that. The more that you do it, the better you’ll start to refine your
message, and then you’ll start to do follow ups and things like that, and you’ll really start to build a
better network of resources. And then people start coming to you for resources that you can be a
resource. And it’s a really cool feeling to kind of have that back and forth.
So step out of your comfort zone and email three people in your network to let them know what you’re
up to and that you’re open for new clients. And if you’re feeling really bold, ask them a direct question
of could they help you, number five, diversify your presence. I know I told you, don’t be on every social
media platform possible. I’m sticking by that, by the way. What I mean is, don’t put all of your eggs in
For freelance work, you’re only on Upwork or Fiverr or your website or some other kind of platform.
You are beholden to that one stream of revenue. And if that changes to where it’s untenable, like
Upwork changes their fee structure, the clients that you’ve had there go away, something like that,
then you’re essentially just back on a hamster wheel where if you diversify your presence, you have
multiple buckets flowing into the same pot. Is that a weird analogy? You know what I mean?
So I challenge you to think about the main platform that you’re on. What could a platform one be? And
I don’t know the answer to that, to be honest, on which stream you should go to next. I think it really
depends on what your comfort level is in terms of how much effort you want to put into it. So upwork
fiverr, obviously, there’s a price to enter in a way, right, where you have to sort of build your portfolio
up there to get better clients and things like that.
There are, of course, ways that you can just go straight in, but you still need to get those testimonials
and that social proof on those platforms before people will start trusting you enough. If you have a
website that’s just, you know, like a onepage WordPress or something, it’s very difficult for you to get
seen right away unless you’re really good at SEO. But once you front load that and build that, it’s kind
of passive. And it’s as passive as you want it to be, honestly. And you can always fall back on that too.
So I can’t tell you if you should go on to another platform or build your own website as part B, but I can
tell you that you should diversify. And the sooner you do that, the sooner it will be over with and you
won’t have to think about like, oh my God, up, or change their fees. I can’t handle this. I have to start all
over on fiverr. It’s like clients too, right?
Like, you can’t rely on one big client. You can’t rely on one big platform. You have to diversify. So I
challenge you to do that, to do one diversification of your presence online. And again, I don’t mean
I mean the ways that people can contact you and see your portfolio and stuff like that, which I guess
could be social media. I guess that works too. But I would more challenge you to do, like, a website
instead of an Instagram profile. Number six, the last one, the one it’s so hard to do, and that’s to give
yourself some grace and time. It’s so hard to be in the trenches and to be a freelancer just starting
out, and you feel like you need to be everywhere.
You’re not doing it right. Nothing’s working. Are you charging too much? Are you not charging
enough? Why won’t this client give you a testimonial?
Why won’t this happen? Why was that? It’s hard. It’s a hard learning curve that you’re on your own
with, and it can be tough. So I challenge you to be nice to yourself just a little bit and understand that
these things take time.
A lot of this digital marketing has to marinate and sort of get into those tickets and things and so that
it can grow and grow with you. Now, that said, don’t wait too long, right? I usually recommend that my
clients, they give themselves about a quarter of time to work on something and see if it works. If after
Q two, your Facebook marketing hasn’t worked according to plan, then you can switch it up. But you
have to give yourself some time, and you have to give your marketing some time.
We all have been there. We’ve all made mistakes. Oh, my God, so many mistakes I’ve made. I won’t
talk about that right now, but you will too, and that’s okay. You’re allowed to do it because you’re on a
journey, and that’s awesome.
So, that said, I hope this was helpful for you. Leave a comment and let me know if there’s a sign that I
missed that. Someone needs to know that their digital marketing isn’t working. So is there like, a
benchmark that I should have covered on this? Leave a comment and let me know.
I’d love to hear your feedback, and I will see you in the next video.