The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Digital Marketing Freelancer

The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Digital Marketing Freelancer.jpg

When you think of marketers, you likely think of staff at an agency. A space full of busy keyboards; the soft murmur of client consultations overheard in swanky meeting rooms nearby.

But what if I told you that there freelance digital marketers?

Becoming a marketing freelancer means you choose to work alone, or with a small team of fellow marketers. And you would do everything you would expect, from setting up Facebook or Google Ads, to scrutinizing a company’s branding.

The main difference is that instead of being employed by one company who manages all the client contracts, freelancers do the managing themselves. It’s a B2B relationship, without the middleman.

And for this same reason, freelancers have to bring their A-game. They have to continuously prove their worth, improve on what they already know, and showcase why people select them to do their marketing.

If you’ve been toying around with the idea of becoming a digital marketer yourself, then this guide is for you. We’ll be discussing everything it means and takes to be a freelancer.

Let’s get started.

 

Types of Freelancing

First thing is first: digital marketing isn’t just one thing. It involves an array of talents, like copywriting for blogs and landing pages, designing graphics for advertising and knowing how to improve your SEO, to name a few things.

When one person, one freelancer, can do all of them, it’s a relic. Consider that an exception to the rule. That’s why so many entrepreneurs who hire freelancers often work with a few digital marketers at a time.

That is unless they choose to work with a small team of marketers who can deliver on all fronts. But that may or may not get sticky, as one or two of those freelancers would get the bulk of the consistent work, rendering the rest moderately useful on a sporadic basis at best.

Still, many ways to approach this. For now, let’s touch base on the most basic step in becoming a marketing freelancer―figuring out which type you want to be.

  • Media Buyer - this revolves paid acquisition, as most new companies have absolutely no traffic, no content, and maybe even a complete lack of audience definitions.

  • Content Writer - those who work creating everything from basic website copy, to ebooks. They write blog posts, landing pages, newsletters, even video scripts for YouTube. Anything that involves writing for a brand, they can do it. In essence, they develop the style for everything moving forward.

  • Marketing Consultant - comes in to assess everything the business already has established, defines company goals, and then develops a plan for how to get there. This person needs to know the ins and outs of most areas of marketing, even if they don’t do it all themselves for their clients. They should be able to point at something and tell whether it’s going to work and why.

  • Social Media Marketer - this freelancer handles all of your social media accounts, including Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. They can post for you, schedule posts, and create original, on-brand content. They develop the public persona for you and your brand, either based on your target audience, or on your specifications, which is great for any type of business, but especially eCommerce.

  • Backlink Specialist - backlinking involves establishing relationships with other entrepreneurs, and leveraging content. That means they will reach out to many people in an attempt at getting client content linked to within their blog posts, their websites, social media, etc.

  • SEO Specialist - people can only make it so far without SEO, and as it turns out, it’s about as far as creating an empty website with no traction, and a low ranking on search results. A specialist will ensure it’s all set up, that keyword research is complete, and that your writers know exactly what to do moving forward, so your search ranking skyrockets.

  • Affiliate Marketer - revolves around managing affiliates, to ensure that products are marketed in the best possible way. They will provide links, images, and even content tips and ideas, so that affiliates can promote business products and services in a way that is reflective of both quality and the brand itself.

  • Community Marketer - these freelancers know how to bring people together through client forums, conferences, events, you name it. One of the most popular ways is to build a Facebook Group that revolves around a product or service, perhaps even a niche.

  • PR Coordinator - reaches out to journalists and publications that are industry, maybe even niche specific, and focuses on drafting press releases. Then figures out a way to get their client more news coverage, hence more exposure. Visibility is everything for a business, so this is critical.

  • B2B Demand Specialist - B2B lead generation takes time. It requires messaging, the right timing, the right blend of automation and hands-on approaches, all carefully thought out and conducted through a client’s sales funnel. It’s certainly the highest paid role here, but that’s because you’re typically working with some pretty high-paying leads.

  • Marketing Automation Specialist - this marketer comes in, assesses everything that can be automated, and then sets it up so it saves business overhead. They may even set up a chatbot, if you want someone to still answer basic questions, like store hours, long after EOD.

  • Engineering Marketing Specialist - not the most creative of people, they are called in when businesses need a techy freelancer to create software additions and the like. The goal is to increase demand generation.

 

The Day to Day

becoming a marketing freelancer

The beauty about being a freelancer is that no one’s day looks the same. When you work for someone else, say in an office, everyone generally has the same day outline. Everyone commutes, shows up to work, gets in front of their computer, and starts typing away on something.

But a freelancer? They may choose to work from a coffee shop, or their living room couch. They may decide to work a 4-day week, and tack on extra hours one day or two to clear up their Friday.

So, when we discuss the freelancer’s day-to-day, keep that in mind. No two freelancers have the same daily routine, this is just a general overview of what it could be like. Should you go about building a freelancing career, it may be entirely different than what’s outlined here.

One day may look like this:

  1. Wake up, get ready for the day: this may include everything from hitting the gym first, or showering, or just enjoying a cup of coffee.

  2. Check email, any phone calls or pending Skype messages. Slack conversations, social media, etc.

  3. Ideally, network with people in your industry, since it’s never a bad idea to get advice, leads, or even just insider knowledge that may help.

  4. Create a digital marketing strategy, either for your clients, or even for your own brand.

  5. Send monthly reports to clients, so they know what’s going on. These reports should include the work you’ve done, the timeframe it’s taken you, and any numerical results you can measure.

  6. Take a lunch break somewhere in here, unless you decide to eat while working. This is why so many freelancers tuck themselves into a comfy coffee shop or deli corner―easy access to food, gets you out of the house, and ensures no one disturbs you for hours.

  7. Tweak your landing pages.

  8. Create things like eBooks, PDFs, graphics, newsletters, infographics, Google and Facebook Ads, etc. Even website copy.

  9. Pack things up and head home, unless you already are.

Another day may look entirely different:

  1. Wake up, have coffee.

  2. Check email, text messages, missed calls, Slack messages, etc.

  3. Design case studies.

  4. Work on some A/B testing.

  5. Market yourself on YouTube.

  6. Have a lunch break. Maybe take a shower during this time, since you didn’t before.

  7. Build a marketing funnel, which takes time, so this pretty much takes up the rest of the work day.

  8. Tweak anything quick that you can, anything like CTAs which can be easily rephrased in a matter of seconds on a landing page, or website. These changes should be reflective of your marketing funnel, obviously.

  9. Close up shop for the day, and head home, which may or may not involve walking out of your home office and diving right into home life.

Later on in the week, the freelancer may focus on other projects, like planning out social media content, planning product launches, or pitching themselves to new clients. But really, anything related to business, content creation, or measuring tactics, is on the to-do list. It’s consistently on rotation, so literally, there’s something they could be doing at any minute of the day. This is why time management and careful planning are so important.

 

Ongoing Education

A side note here, whatever the freelancer decides to do on any given week, it’s absolutely critical that they tack on at least one educational task regularly. It could be reading a marketing book over the weekend, listening to a marketing podcast every night, taking an online photography course over the span of several weeks, or even tinkering around in Photoshop.

This is important because it keeps you sharp, allows you to learn new things all the time, and therefore, sets you apart from your competition. The more skilled you are, the higher your going rate can be!

Becoming a marketing freelancer doesn’t mean your days are filled with nothing more than pj’s and lounging on the couch. It’s a lot of work, especially if you’re going about it solo. But by prioritizing your education, only second to deadlines of course, then you’re going to have a much easier time in the long run. It will keep your competition a step behind, and please clients from the start.

 

The Logistics

There are many aspects to freelancing. Once you figure out what you want to do, and plan out your daily routine, or a weekly one, then you need to get realistic about everything you need to do to get clients.

And that involves proposal writing, setting up a proper portfolio, signing up for freelancer platforms, and pitching to people. Even tapping into established connections can help.

Let’s dig deep with this one to see how to get from point A, the origin, to point B, the freelancer’s dream.

 

Getting Hired

When entrepreneurs hire freelancers, they can go about it in multiple ways. They can either research and find the top talent within their industry, or respond to any cold emails (proposals) that freelancers may have sent prior, or they can work with vetting platforms, like UpWork.

These platforms serve as middle men, essentially collecting a freelancer’s past experience, reviews, testimonials, and work all in one easy-to-read format. They’re rated, so you can filter by not only skill type, but by the quality of their work. The higher the freelancer’s review is, the higher the rate they can command.

But as we all know, you really do get what you pay for. Hiring someone who charges a low rate won’t exactly result in top-notch work, let alone timely project submissions.

A freelancer can also use the platform to apply to projects they’re interested in, and can attach a nice message, a cover letter and resume, or even a link to their portfolio.

 

About Proposals

Setting up a portfolio or your account on a platform is only the beginning. As a freelancer, one of the most important things you’ll do is write proposals.

Consider them to be the formal greeting that tells potential clients who you are, what you offer and for how much, and what they would benefit from working with you vs. the competition. They are a pain to write, but fortunately, once you have a good base, it’s easy to change up the minor details, and tailor it to different client needs, much like people do with their resumes when job hunting.

Here are some tips to consider:

  • Try not to elaborate too much on who you are what what you do. Keep this part brief, and instead focus on the numbers. This is what business is all about, after all―the bottom dollar.

  • Define the scope of the work carefully, so they know that you read their list of needs, and show them that you can deliver. If you’ve done similar work in the past, link to it. If you have a portfolio they can look through, show them.

  • Keep the legal stuff short. It may sound terrible, and it kind of is, but when a big wig company decides not to pay a freelancer, well, that’s kind of it. It means the freelancer should recover costs somewhere, somehow, but taking clients to court isn’t always a bright idea. Not only does it give freelancers a bad rep, it also is one of those cases where the big companies can probably afford way better lawyers. The good news in all of this is that this isn’t a typical case. If you work with established companies, trustworthy ones, you should never have to deal with issues like not getting paid.

  • Clearly detail out costs. This means time logged, work completed, the going rates for each, and a total per day. This means payday easier, and gives the client a complete view of how much they’re being charged, and why. There’s no room to dispute when it’s all clearly laid out, and it shows you have nothing to hide, which in turn builds trust.

  • Be super transparent. If you’re a one-man or woman machine, being hired by several clients at one time, there may or may not come a time when you have to outsource work. If this happens, let clients know upfront, and let them decide whether they are okay with that, or whether you should keep on track with them yourself. If they opt to stick with you and only you, new clients could benefit from getting work that’s created by your outsourced talent.

  • In the spirit of full transparency, feel free to highlight costs of things like software that you’re using to complete projects, that way clients know why you’re charging what you’re charging.

  • Go over ROI details with your clients. What can they expect to see in terms of results? This should be hard numerical values, if at all possible. Now, depending on your line of work, you may be able to provide these details, but for certain things, like copywriting, it may be a little less concrete. Do what you can, and if you’re not sure, figure out where traffic is for your clients. If it goes up after a solid 3 months of regular blog posting, for instance, then you’re doing your job. And if you’re flexible and have no problem providing the content that you’re being asked for, even better. Especially if you can provide genuine advice, evaluations, and idea suggestions.

 

Setting Up for the Long Term

Many freelancers are content with working on several one-time projects, but the vast majority will balance those with ongoing projects. This ensures there’s a steady revenue stream, something they can more or less count on, rather than simply banking on the hope of finding enough single, one-off projects month after month.

The more the freelancer knows about things like business development, customer service, and design, the more valuable their skills are to entrepreneurs. Tack on a nice personality, and the ability to be easily reached through things like email, text, calls, and social media, and you have yourself a goldmine of a potential freelancing career.

This will help businesses save time and effort on things they can’t fathom tacking onto their to-do list, essentially scaling their time. Work for them long enough, and deliver quality work, and you’ll establish trust, which is absolutely critical. Without trust, there is no such thing as a valuable relationship, especially in business.

But how does this all fit into a day-to-day routine? Simple: freelancers can use platforms like UpWork for new client leads every morning, or afternoon. They can tweak their LinkedIn, their UpWork profiles, and curate their best work to showcase on a digital portfolio. If they dedicate even 10-20 minutes per day on this, five days a week, they can wind up with excellent resources that are sure to land them better, higher-paying clients.

 

Client Retention

Much like building a house, starting off with the right foundation is key to client retention, interactions, everything. And your foundation is composed of two things:

  1. Never making promises you can’t keep…

  2. And detailing exactly what they’re going to get from you, for how much.

If you can do these two things, and deliver quality work that meets your client specifications, chances are your client will want to continue your project.

It far easier to find unsuitable freelancers than it is to find one that’s friendly, flexible, and skilled enough to handle your business content, automation, community management, PR, SEO, etc. So once they find someone they know they can count on, you’re kind of in it for the long haul, unless their budget hits a serious snag.

 

What to Charge

The thing about being a freelancer is that many people who aren’t familiar with the career path, let alone your industry, will assume you’re earning next to nothing for your work. They’ll see you working from home, having “all this time” on your hands to do laundry while you get projects done, and automatically deduce that you are selling yourself short.

So, if you’re okay with always being overlooked by, say family members or friends who simply don’t understand, then read right along.

The truth is that while starting out can be rough for a while, it eventually hits a nice sweet spot where you actually earn a respectable living. And you can continue to grow from there.

Which makes sense―a freelancing career is a business. You do your own branding, write your own marketing content, and ensure everything is put together. It’s how you attract clients and earn a sustainable living.

And no one starts off a business making thousands, upon thousands of dollars right out the gate. It takes time to build up something profitable, but as long as your business model is good, and your skills match, you’re set up for success.

On average, a digital marketing specialist makes $72k per year, but the range is roughly between $45k and $102k here in the United States. Some may earn less, than that, starting out, while others who are long established may find themselves earning far more than $102k.

And again, as your own business, you decide your hours, and your rate. If you want to earn $55k a year, you can rate your projects accordingly, take on more hours, more clients, more projects, or just scale down to solely focus on the high-paid projects. The choice is yours. Just keep an eye on everything going in and out, every conversion, sales funnel mishap, etc. The more detail you have, the better you’ll be at finding indiscrepancies and opportunity for financial growth.

 

Retainers

Now, in this line of work, retainers are common. This is when a client pays in advance in exchange for your services. It’s essentially the act of retaining you for an extended period of time, keeping you from giving that time slot to any other client, hence the name.

And the client can make recurring monthly payments that way, or pay the sum upfront for 1-3 months at a time.

And while this is pretty much a norm for big client projects, big household names and the like, you’ll find that your lesser known clients don’t have the budget to pay a retainer. They will likely opt for a results-based work arrangement, where they pay for the work you complete, either at the end of the week, every two weeks, or even at the end of the month.

Two things here: 1) ensure that trust is established either through prior work together, or by researching the client and ensuring that their word is their bond, and 2) don’t assume that the lesser known clients won’t pay you a perfectly respectable amount. Just because they don’t want to pay upfront for work, it doesn’t mean they won’t pay you for all the hard work and effort you put in. Again, you decide on your rates. And when you do that, and stick to clients who can pay that rate, you’re going to do just fine.

 

Tools of the Trade

becoming a marketing freelancer

One of the main things that freelance digital marketers do is obviously creating marketing campaigns for their clients. That is, unless the clients already have campaigns underway, or want to tackle the campaign planning themselves. If that’s the case, the freelancers come in and get the tasks done, according to client specifications.

For the sake of argument, however, let’s take a look at some of the tools that freelancers love to use to both plan and execute a digital marketing campaign.

 

Planning

Consider this the stage prior to the good stuff. It’s what you have to do in order to make your actual campaign execution go off as smoothly as possible. Skip it, and you’ll have more work on your hands later, making the whole process much more complicated than it needs to be.

And frankly, when you’re doing this repeatedly for a multitude of clients, and even for yourself, you’re going to want to keep things as easy as you can.

 

Slack

The absolute best way to run a virtual office, of sorts. Different channels of communication act like everyone’s own personal office. Click on someone’s name, direct message them in a personal conversation, and it begins to feel like you just walked into their office. You can even set a channel for the whole team, so it acts like a water cooler or break room.

More than a means to an end, Slack allows you to build a sense of community with your team, keep in touch with people in a super easy way, and share things like files, project prototypes, images, links, etc.

 

Airtable

Consider this like Google Docs, if the tool was more versatile than it already is. Oh, and also paid. You get 2GB for free, but that goes quickly. If you need more than that, you’re looking at 5GB for $10 a month, or 20GB for $20 per month. There’s also a 1000GB for business, but there’s no public pricing details on that―you’d have to contact sales.

Granted, it lets you organize everything in what’s essentially a spreadsheet of the future. You can also make calendars, checkboxes, dropdowns, links to other tables, drag and drop file attachments, create galleries, and share forms.

Consider this the go-to tool for organizing all of those influencer marketing leads, any list of pending changes you have to make to your sales funnels, or even community and growth hacking ideas.

 

Google Calendar

Google Analytics isn’t the only helpful Google tool available. Everyone has this for free, so long as they have a Gmail account, which makes it super easy to set up. It’s also easy to sync it with other calendars, like Outlook or Apple Calendar. And once you’re good to go, you can begin adding events like personal appointments, client meetings, coworker meetups, deadline details, upcoming events, flight details, etc.

The good thing about this handy tool is that it basically eliminates any need to use a physical planner or agenda book. And when paired with something like Trello, the next tool we’re detailing, you can basically organize your entire life digitally, which means you have access to anything you need right from a touch of your iPad, phone, computer, etc.

 

Trello

This tool is ideal for project management. If you want to handle it as a way to organize your day, or keep track of deadlines, you can. But otherwise, you can organize and detail every step of a project as well. And by adding people to your boards, each board being its own topic/project, you can then delegate tasks, check on someone’s progress, and more.

It’s a free tool, which makes it even better, but you can also opt for Trello Gold, between $3.75 and $5 a month if you want to add attachments larger than 10 megabytes, get elevated color customization, or use additional features and integrations.

To be honest, this isn’t necessary, considering there are so many free tools that are easily integratable on the platform, even for free users.

 

Executing

Once you’re ready to move beyond the organization stage, it’s time to get to the actual campaign. If your planning stage went well, and you covered everything, this should be a good experience.

And these tools tend to help:

 

Canva

Infographics, social media images, blog graphics, website headers and such. Any graphic design needs can be met through Canva, even creating your own templates for your team.

 

Phantombuster

This tool is great for growth hacking. It’s an entire platform of APIs prime for collecting data, making it a great project resource.

 

Zapier

One of the most popular automation tools available out there, Zapier is well-known amongst entrepreneurs for its ease of use. It makes life simpler by automating just about anything, which means freelancers who do a lot of admin work for clients really benefit from using the tool.

 

Lemlist

Speaking of automation, Lemist sends out automated sales emails. The difference between this and any other email tool is that this one also uses images and videos within the email, which captivates audiences more. This is a great way to improve click-through rates.

Marketing consultants love Lemlist for obvious reasons. They are actively looking for new clients, business to help, and the more personality an email has, the more it stands out. Furthermore, they can easily transition to educational emails with the tool, allowing them to really make things like courses and other lead magnets shine.

 

Conclusion

becoming a marketing freelancer

Freelancing is one of those things that everyone, to some degree, wants to do, but is often scared of. It seems like a distant dream, really. One where you can work from anywhere, make your own hours, determine how much you want to earn, even work from the comfort of your pajamas if you want…

But it takes hard work, dedication, and plenty of planning. Without that, you can’t scale your business, nor make a sustainable living.

You’ll have to be prepared to work overtime in order to clear up vacation days, save up enough to pay taxes and health insurance, and most of all, talk yourself out of the hole when things get tough.

Because it will get tough, it always does. You never know when you’ll lose a client, it could even happen overnight.

That being said, it’s an adventure, one that’s purely determined by how much effort you put into it. Make it a serious focus, and you can get anywhere and accomplish more than you dreamed of.

So, did you learn anything from this guide? What shocked you the most?

Let me know in the comments below, I love getting feedback!

The Ultimate Guide to SaaS B2C Marketing

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SaaS B2C marketing is one of those things that you don’t even try your hand at unless you really are in the IT space. It sounds so intimidating, so daunting, even for the people who actually have to do it day after day.

But the truth is that SaaS can be quite approachable, even in a B2C setting where the marketing is notoriously more difficult than the alternative (B2B).

Much like with everything else in life, all it takes is a little strategy. Knowing what to focus on, which tools to use, and why, is of the utmost importance to any marketer, especially when it comes to software solutions, something which could potentially change how people complete daily tasks as we all know it.

This guide will focus on everything relating to the subject, from detailed definitions and must-haves, to pro tips to swear by.

Let’s get started.

Defining SaaS Marketing

Software as a service, better known as SaaS, is a common acronym thrown around the digital marketing space. It involves providing software solutions online, rather than having people download anything onto their computers, phones, or other devices, essentially making it easier for the customers.

Putting it into perspective, just 20 years ago, back in the 1990s, people had to purchase physical versions of software in order to solve what we would consider pretty basic hurdles today. And now, we have new PC models with no optical drive, because CDs and DVDs are almost obsolete, with the rare hipster and collector exceptions, of course.

So, SaaS is what we have to thank for many quality of life changes we take for granted these days, and it’s only possible because of the internet. It allows us to log into accounts and stay logged in, rather than having to sign back in every time. It’s made it possible to connect with clients and customers at any point in time, without having to use more ancient methods, like email.

And the pay-per-use model that so many businesses use? That’s SaaS, and it means companies have lower initial investments, because they don’t have a giant software package purchase to make.

B2C vs. B2B Differences

That’s all well and good, but now you’re wondering what the difference between B2C and B2B is in terms of SaaS marketing. Well, there are quite a few:

  • B2B is always easier, as you’re a company selling a business solution to another company. You understand their needs, because you likely have many similar ones yourself. With B2C, you’re having to be more persuasive, because although you probably understand their needs at your core, oftentimes you’ll find that people need help realizing those needs.

  • B2B social channels tend to lean more toward LinkedIn, but B2C loves Instagram and Facebook.

  • Impulse buys are basically non-existent in B2B. No one ever buys an iPad, or a professional camera, a new computer, or software solutions on a whim when they’re running a business. But there are plenty of impulse purchases on a B2C scale, which means the sales cycles look different.

  • In B2B, budgets for SaaS are usually set aside as essentials. But in B2C, most people don’t want to pay upfront for things that they might end up disliking, hence why so much of that marketing is based on trials and free versions. B2C is all about increasing repeat purchases, an indication of customer loyalty. Community building is of the utmost importance.

  • The marketing goals are completely different for the two. B2B goals tend to be all about increasing the list of qualified potential buyers. The focus is quality. Because the goals are different, so is the content marketing. B2B takes on an educational tone, while B2C is about entertainment and brand representation.

  • Because all of these factors are different, it should come as no surprise that B2B and B2C have completely different sales funnel styles. In B2B there’s product demos and contract proposals, where as in B2C there’s an online shopping cart and product reviews.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more differences to be had, but the point here is this: when you’re doing B2C marketing, you have to make sure you stay focused on your audience, your objectives, and your product. As long as those three are consistently aligned, your messaging can’t get muddled along the way.

It sounds simpler than it is though, so take this point to heart. After weeks, months, or even years of marketing, it’s all too easy to lose sight of the big picture.

SaaS Marketing Must-Haves

saas-b2c-marketing

The thing about SaaS marketing, as we established in the very beginning, is that knowing what to focus on, and which tools to use, is critical. Knowing what to use, when and why, can make the difference between terrible marketing, and a smooth ride.

Social Media

First thing’s first, one of the major aspects of B2C marketing is that social media plays a major role. That means Twitter, Instagram and Facebook should be your go-to tools.

This is because these platforms are consumer-driven. Unlike LinkedIn, where everyone is looking for professional leads, career networking, and potentially job hunting, platforms like Twitter are filled with entertaining tweets and jokes about the news.

This audience, your core audience, will be much more receptive to learning about your software solution when their guard is down, they’re having fun online, and they see an ad that pulls them in with a clear cut solution to a common problem they’re currently struggling with.

And although your product may not have an audience just yet, the company behind it should be focusing on building a presence online to set that stage. Eventually, the goal is to have recognition on both fronts.

Here are some tips to help along the way:

  • Give away free trials on social media, where your customer base hangs out. The free trial strategy is great for acquisition.

  • Understand that the sales cycle will be super short. Once people see your software, and how it works, they’ll either buy it or uninstall.

  • That’s why it’s important to offer really good customer support. In fact, if you focus on anything outside of your product, let it be customer support and social media. The two can even go hand in hand, with your account being a means of contact, or linking to the customer support page.

  • Partnering with relevant influencers, hopefully ones who genuinely love your product after they use it, would be a great way to tap into a pretty wide audience. Relevant influencers would be promoting and reviewing other software as well, maybe even some areas of tech. That means their YouTube audience would be interested in what you have to offer, provided it’s honestly reviewed and liked by the influencer.

  • The more visual your content is the better, since it’s software. People want to see it being used, see how it works. This tells them whether it’s easy to use, and whether it’s something they can imagine themselves using day after day. In other words, Twitter is useful, but focus your efforts more so on Instagram and Facebook.

  • Speaking of Facebook, use retargeting. Facebook Ads makes it so easy to re-engage people who have already displayed potential interest in your product. So, do something with those potential leads. Clarify your standing with them.

Advertising

Since we pointed out Facebook Ads, let’s highlight the use of advertising. Yes, it’s a valuable tool. Along with a great product and customer service, you pretty much can’t go wrong…

But advertising for a massive audience really depends on two things:

  1. How long it takes you to recover your investment cost…

  2. And how loyal your customers truly are.

For example, suppose you’re selling a cloud storage solution, much like Google Drive or Dropbox. Say it takes you a million dollars to create it, set it up and polish it for customer use. Obviously, the initial cost is inaccurate for something as large as a cloud storage solution, but it’s just an example. Hang in there.

Now, you’re focusing on marketing and customer service, making sure that everything is ready to go. You finally get it to a point where things are running smoothly…

But it still takes you 2-3 years to recoup your initial investment.

That means your main focus during that time is to grow your audience and recover costs faster, as well as retain that audience.

If you can prove you have high customer retention, then you’ll have a much easier ride.

But how does all of this relate on advertising?

Well, until you recoup your initial investment, you’re not likely to have a very big budget for ad campaigns. And that means you have to get a little creative for the first 2-3 years of your business venture.

And yes, that’s a bit of a dilemma. After all, you’re supposed to get people’s attention, but you can’t overspend on ads.

So here’s the best course of action:

  1. Do a little math and figure out how much your customers are worth to you on average. It’s a surprisingly easy math problem, simply divide your annual revenue by your customer base. So, if you made $900,000 and you have 7k users, then your average customer is worth $128.60.

  2. Then look at your social media following, your product downloads and installs, anything indicative of is likability and popularity. Are the numbers increasing, or declining? Because if the numbers show you’re losing your customer base, you need to rethink your marketing, or implement changes to your product. Unbiased customer reviews are a great way to get insight on this. If many people echo the same sentiment, it may be time to listen.

  3. From there, be realistic. Are you in a position where your customer base is stable, and your average customer worth is at least halfway decent? If so, it’s time to look at ad campaigns. And you don’t need to spend a ton of money to do it. You just need to analyze the effect of ad spend on sales.

  4. The rule of thumb here is if you spend X amount on advertising on a platform, the influence from other channels could bring that cost down significantly. To highlight this point, sometimes spending more on advertising on platforms where you perform the best will lead to a significant increase in the amount of traffic and sales you get. Just make sure you don’t overspend. You still want that extra boosted increase to count for something, afterall.

  5. If this seems too difficult, if there’s too much data for you to sift through realistically, outsource someone to do it. Digital marketing consultants are well-known for analyzing a company’s resources in an effort to craft a goal guideline.

Content Marketing

As previously mentioned, B2C Saas content marketing is entertaining and on brand. Unlike B2B, which is more educational in nature, your content marketing on the B2C side of things needs to play up your objective, which is likely something along the lines of solving a common problem that your customer base suffers from on a weekly, maybe even daily basis.

Maybe you’re trying to simplify something that currently takes up way too much time to accomplish. By streamlining the process, by offering your product, you’re hoping to change how people complete this goal, effectively rendering the old method archaic, much like what happened with optical drives once people discovered the glory of downloading what they needed without having to leave the house.

So, start by visualizing what that looks like. Does it involve sitting on a stool at a coffee shop, and smiling at the thought of all the time you’re saving? Is it something anyone can do without having to leave the comfort of their bed? How about completing this task on a phone, while walking down the sidewalk?

Whatever it looks like, make sure to visualize it, and make it happen. After all, Instagram and Facebook Ads, even Google Ads, are built on visual content.

And don’t forget to regularly post blog content. Push influencer review videos, link to your magazine and blog features, ask people to share their thoughts about your product.

Whatever you decide to do as content marketing, do it with the aim of showing people how your product can benefit them, and simplify their life (the objective).

Here’s a small example:

Evernote helps people digitize their piles of papers, junk, recipes, photos, notes, journals, planners, etc. All of those clean, neat office spaces and homes are perfect results of Evernote, probably.

And looking through their content marketing, it becomes clear that their main objective is to help everyone feel organized, wherever they may be.

Their blog is a collection of posts that highlight their templates (purchase trackers, weekly planners, monthly calendars), show people that it’s possible to organize an extensive book collection using Evernote, encourage families to plan their vacations with the tool, etc. Across the board, there’s a post or two for just about everyone’s life, proving that the tool can help make daily living, working and planning a seamless, easy process.

Ranking Faster

Of course, once your content marketing is underway, you still need to rank―the faster the better. And lucky for all B2C SaaS creators and marketers, customer support is the Ace up the sleeve.

When you have a product that no one can really see or understand until they try it themselves, marketing gets tougher than it is generally. But see, using all the tips discussed already, we can drive people to try the product. Things like beautiful social media feeds, smart blog copy, and free trials or versions can really drive that traffic…

But it’s the customer service that keeps them there. The minute that there’s something too complicated, it begins to seem like more hassle than it’s worth. Remember, the objective is to simplify people’s lives here.

And there are many ways to incorporate customer service into content. For instance, you can link to the customer service page from within your copy. If you have an app, or website, you can make customer service contact a breeze. You can even use landing pages to get people to “learn more” about your product. Talk about crafting a high-converting CTA!

Then there’s of course the act of writing blog posts that explain the solutions to common user problems. How-to articles are usually associated with B2B SaaS marketing, but when it relates to customer service, B2C can use blogging as a way of answering questions well beyond their live support chat, FAQ page, or chatbot.

As an added bonus, you can always link to certain key content within your emails, releases, or other communications with the press. It can help them when preparing for interviews with you, or even as they write news pieces. They may even be inclined to link to it within their stories, hence making you rank higher.

Word of Mouth

The final must-have for B2C SaaS marketing is word of mouth, which encompasses everything from product recommendations, to reviews and testimonials.

Assuming they’re unpaid and unbiased, reviews can shed light on people’s personal experiences with your product, for better or worse. And if they’re leaning toward the worse, and the same complaints keep getting repeated, you can take that as a cue to revamp your product with some much-needed fixes and tweaks that make people sing a different tune. Consider it a tool for both feedback and marketing itself.

If you want good reviews, don’t offer to pay, just change the things people don’t like about your product. Do that, and you’ll have an honestly good product that meets its aim: simplifying lives.

Get enough positive reviews, and you can start incorporating them as part of your marketing. Add them to landing pages, to your home page, or a store page, for instance.

If people like your product enough, start an affiliate program. These people will promote your product for you, in your branding style, in exchange for small rewards and free gear or merchandise.

And let’s not leave out the influencers, whom are still ever so popular and useful. Providing free copies to them will ensure they have time to tinker around with your product and learn the ins and outs before sharing it with their related audience.

In layman terms, sure, the world has become this network of digital communication through several avenues, but word of mouth and human interaction are still just as important. People are inclined to try out the things they hear the most about. Just because the way we communicate has changed, it doesn’t mean human opinion is any less important.

Saas Pro Tips

Now, hopefully by now you understand that marketing in general can be pretty difficult. A lot of it is a guessing game, experimentation, and the act of hoping that people care enough about what it is you’re offering.

Well, B2C SaaS marketing is harder, largely because you’re having to convince people that they will benefit from what it is you’re offering. It’s always easier in a B2B setting where a business has specific needs, and a want to meet those needs with the aid of tools the relevant staff can use easily.

So, every pro tip available should be treated like a gold mine, because it basically is. If you can keep these tips in mind moving forward, in every step of your marketing, then you’ll be just fine with your B2C SaaS marketing.

  • You have 3 sentences - Ideally, you should be able to explain your product in no more than 3 sentences. This is because anything that is meant to simplify people’s lives tends to be simple to explain. If it requires extensive explanation, then it’s probably not very streamlined or user friendly.

  • There are several decision makers, usually - For example, maybe a woman wants to use Google Drive as a tool for home project organization. But chances are, she’d have to talk about it with her husband, who really has his heart set on a B2B tool, like Trello, because he knows there’s going to be many contractors involved in the process. Meanwhile, the contractors themselves might have their own ideas for project management that don’t even involve the home owners with the exception of design decisions.

  • The decision always gets made without engagement from the vendor - Continuing on with the example described, no representative (vendor) from Google Drive, nor Trello, will be involved in the project management tool selection. It’s purely between the homeowners, contractors, and possible designers.

  • The more recognition your brand has, the better your odds are - It goes without saying that people stick to what they know. Anything unknown has yet to be proven, and requires a certain level of trust, willingness to gamble, and time consumption on behalf of the user. When a user is looking for a quick, effective solution, they will focus on the brands that come to mind, all recognizable. So, if you want to be one of those solutions, you need to boost your visibility, your content marketing, social media presence, everything.

The Product Marketer Is Everything

saas b2c marketing

As an entrepreneur with a new business venture, you might be itching to get your product into as many hands as possible. And yes, things like paid marketing, content marketing, SEO, keyword research, marketing trends and social media are all critical in that process.

As pointed out, they’re absolute must-haves.

But before you do anything, you absolutely must hire someone who will specifically champion your product, better known as a product marketer.

This is the person that will come in and learn your product inside and out, in an effort to understand it and its potential uses. They will think outside the box and translate the tool into real life, and all of its prospects. You may be creating a product that’s geared toward home organization, but the product marketer will tack on all the other ways that your product can be used, ways you didn’t even imagine before.

To add to this, the product marketer will have a strong background in just about everything marketing related. Think copywriting, handling Google Analytics, A/B testing, understanding CTAs and business growth, increasing conversion numbers, SEO, etc. They know what it takes to create viral content by emphasizing the best aspects of a product or service.

As a result, this is the marketer you will be setting your marketing stage with. Together, you’ll plan out a strategy that caters to your target audience as well as related audiences, and then map out the step-by-step marketing process that everyone you hire on will adhere to. Consider it a road map for your marketing.

Hypothetically, if you were to skip hiring the product marketer, there would be a massive hole in your business. You’d go about your marketing with everyone else, but you would be the person in charge of all of the marketing strategy design, which means you either need to be well educated in the subject, or you’re going to aimlessly fumble in the dark. Everyone you hire on to do your content marketing or social media marketing will be following your jumbled orders, and so the end result would probably be a collection of muddled attempts at proper marketing.

Nothing says amateur like marketing that’s all over the place. Marketing should connect on all sides, everything working together to achieve the same goal―increasing conversions and retention.

So, how do you know when someone is right for the product marketing position? Simply ask the right questions and don’t settle for anything less than the right answers. Here are some interview questions you should consider asking:

  • How will advertising and marketing change in the next 3-5 years? - If they have a pretty detailed, or at the very least clear answer for you right away, then they’re good candidates. Good marketers are always thinking of what’s next, and are preparing to change course to meet those requirements head on.

  • Can you create a list of actions you’d take to see this SaaS product to market? - If this person already has a gameplan in mind, a way to potentially complete the task at hand, then they’re serious about the position. If not, then you’re just one of many applications submitted.

  • Which campaign last caught your eye and why? - You want a marketer who stays up-to-date on campaigns floating around. Do they notice the branding, do they notice the results or the feedback people give these campaigns? The more detail you get from this answer, the better.

  • Was there ever a product launch that didn’t go well? How did you handle that? - Sometimes things just don’t go well, regardless of the planning and time spent. It happens to everyone at some point, so the best thing to do is to focus on how people handle when that happens. If they can keep it together in a stressful situation, salvage anything, and turn things around for the better, you’re in good hands.

  • What makes up a product that gets users, including yourself, excited? - This will provide insight on what the product manager considers a noteworthy tool. If they vouch for something, chances are the public will have a similar reaction.

  • What is one thing you’d change about my product and why? - This one is assuming you’ve let the product marketer tinker around with your product for a good 24 hours in advance to the interview, which you definitely should do. It’s an insightful way to establish both clarity and openness with the candidate, so they know what they’d be pushing. As a bonus, they’d be able to pinpoint something that you may want to change in the future.

Conclusion

B2C SaaS marketing isn’t exactly easy, but knowing what to do, when, and which tools to use can really make a difference between wasted time and successful marketing. Steps like knowing where to find your audience, what to post, what to blog about and why are not to be overlooked.

The more time you spend looking at similar campaigns, and learning from their mistakes and successes, the better off you’ll be at making the right choices for you. It will also give you more of an idea of what to expect along the way.

And if you’re overwhelmed with the amount of effort involved, remember that your product marketer will guide you through the process of finding the things that make you stand out above your competition. Anyone you hire on, whether they’re content marketers or social media managers, should be able to point out any flaws as well.

And as always, consider a digital marketing consultant. These marketers work with businesses to define goals, asses the tactics and resources used, and then craft a step-by-step guide to help meet those goals. They can even work in tandem with product marketers to establish the best courses of action.

So, which lesson from this guide stood out to you the most, and why?

Let me know in the comments below, I love hearing from you all!