How to transition from freelancer to CMO

Transition from Freelancer to CMO and Reclaim Your Time as a Freelance Mom

If you're reading this, you've likely already started establishing a freelance business, but have you ever considered elevating your role from a freelancer to a leadership role?  Something like a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) or Director of Marketing (DOM)? This transition is more than just hitting your next career milestone; it's about overcoming the common hurdles many freelancers face – feeling stuck, unable to scale, and lacking direction. In this blog, we aim to guide you through what this transformation can look like and set you on a path to elevate your business and boost your confidence while achieving the work-life balance you've been striving for.

For many freelance service providers, particularly those who are Virtual Assistants (VAs), Social Media Managers (SMMs), Pinterest Managers, and Director of Operations (DOOs), the dream is to have a business that aligns with their personal and professional goals. You might have started your freelance journey seeking flexibility and freedom – the freedom to choose your hours, to be there for your family, and to break free from the rigid corporate lifestyle. But as you've grown in your freelance role, you might have yearned for more opportunities to grow, more challenging projects, and, significantly, more income. This blog post is dedicated to you – the freelance mom ready to take her business to the next level.

As we dive in, remember that transitioning from a freelancer to a role like CMO or DOM isn’t just a job change; it’s a mindset shift. It's about seeing yourself as a service provider and a strategic partner to your clients. It's about recognizing your value and being confident to charge for it. This blog post is here to empower you and show you that with the proper guidance and community support, you can level up your business and earn like a CMO, all while setting your hours and maintaining that precious work-life balance.

Freedom in Freelancing: Back to Basics

That first step you took on your freelance journey was a leap towards a life filled with possibilities. It was a decision fueled by the desire for freedom – the freedom to choose when and how you work, to build financial independence, and to balance your professional aspirations with family life. You sought an escape from the rigid 9-to-5 routine, aspiring to carve out a service where your skills could provide value to others on your own terms. You've mastered the essentials of freelancing, tackled the challenges of managing your own business, and reached a pivotal moment in your career.

Now, you find yourself at a plateau in your freelancing journey, where the initial thrill of independence meets the craving for something more significant and impactful. It's a moment of introspection and realization that you have more to offer than you've been doing. The potential to evolve from a freelancer into a strategic marketing leader is calling you. This isn’t just a step up in your career; the transition opens doors to more significant opportunities and challenges. It's about making the best use of the skills you have been acquiring, the experiences you've had, and the network you've built so that you can take on a more prominent and more impactful role. As you contemplate this shift in your business, you must recognize the value you can bring to companies and clients. You're no longer just a service provider; you're a strategist, a visionary,, a thinker, a planner – someone who can shape comprehensive marketing strategies and influence key business outcomes.

The leap to becoming a strategic marketing leader, such as a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) or Director of Marketing (DOM), takes you from executing tasks to conceptualizing, building, and implementing strategies. This role requires a deep understanding of the market, the ability to foresee trends and the skills to craft strategies that resonate with target audiences. It's a transition from the operational side of marketing to its strategic core, where your actions and decisions have a far-reaching impact. As you make this shift, remember that the freedom you aspired to when starting your business isn’t going anywhere; it is evolving with you into this new leadership role. It is no longer just about choosing your projects or setting your hours. It's about the freedom to influence and drive marketing strategies, make decisions that resonate with your ambitions, and mold the marketing landscape for your clients. This chapter in your career is not just about continuing your freelance journey; it's about redefining it on a larger scale, where your impact extends beyond individual projects.

Director of Marketing Roadmap

Director of Marketing Roadmap

Stop asking yourself “do I know what I am doing” and learn the skill set that will take you from service provider wanting more, to marketing authority breaking through the income ceiling.

Earning Like a CMO

The transition from freelancer to CMO or DOM isn’t just about changing job titles; it's about transforming how you view and value your work. A Chief Marketing Officer or a Fractional CMO isn’t just another rung on the corporate ladder; it’s an important role that combines strategic thinking, leadership, and a deep understanding of market dynamics. It’s about guiding a company’s marketing efforts, aligning marketing strategies with business goals, and driving growth. As a freelancer, you have a unique opportunity to position yourself as a CMO or DOM, offering high-level strategic support beyond your current basic services.

But how do you set your prices to reflect this new level of responsibility and expertise? The key is to understand the value you bring to your clients. As a DOM or CMO, you’re not just completing tasks but providing insights, strategies, and solutions that can transform a business. This demands a pricing strategy that reflects the high caliber of your work. Your pricing should communicate the value you add, the results you can achieve, and the unique skills you bring. Remember, when you price your services, you’re not just selling time but expertise, experience, and results.

So, who needs a CMO? 

The answer might surprise you. It’s not just large corporations but small and medium-sized businesses, particularly those earning substantial revenue, who need someone to steer their marketing ship. With the current economic climate leading to a consolidation of large marketing teams, the demand for fractional or part-time CMOs is rising. This shift presents a golden opportunity for freelancers like you. To position yourself as a CMO, focus on developing skills in high demand – strategic planning, digital marketing expertise, leadership, and a deep understanding of analytics. This is where programs like the Director of Marketing Program come in, equipping you with the skills and knowledge you need to transition.

Positioning Yourself as a CMO

Transitioning from a VA or SMM to a CMO/DOM means enhancing your skill set. It's about understanding marketing at a strategic level, making decisions that impact the business's bottom line, and positioning yourself as an indispensable asset. The question is, how do you bridge that gap? It starts with a mindset shift and a commitment to learning.  You must see yourself not just as a freelancer completing tasks but as a strategic thinker capable of guiding a company's marketing vision. 

Bridging the gap between where you are now and where you aspire to be is scary and involves a dedicated commitment to learning and growth. This means immersing yourself in strategic marketing, understanding consumer behavior, market trends, and the intricacies of brand positioning. It's about moving beyond the day-to-day tasks and seeing the bigger picture. You'll need to develop skills in areas like market research, data analytics, and strategic content. It's also crucial to understand the financial aspect of marketing - how your strategies and campaigns contribute to the company's revenue and growth.

You must also enhance your communication and leadership skills to position yourself as a CMO or DOM. You'll be expected to articulate your marketing vision clearly and lead a team toward achieving common goals. This requires confidence, clarity in communication, and the ability to inspire and motivate those around you. Networking and building professional relationships are also crucial elements of this transition. Connecting with other marketing professionals, attending events, and participating in relevant online forums can provide insights into the role and expectations of a CMO or DOM. These connections can also open doors to new opportunities and collaborations.

In summary, transitioning to a CMO or DOM role requires you to think and act beyond the confines of traditional freelance tasks. It's about developing a strategic mindset, continuously expanding your knowledge in the field of marketing, and enhancing your leadership and communication skills. By doing so, you position yourself as an indispensable asset to any business, capable of driving significant impact at a strategic level.

What’s Holding You Back?

In your journey as a freelancer, it's common to hit roadblocks. You might feel stuck, need help figuring out how to scale your business or take the next steps. The key to overcoming these challenges lies in identifying what's holding you back and strategically addressing these issues. For many, it’s a combination of feeling lost, overwhelmed, and lacking confidence in their skills. It's crucial to remember that these feelings are part of everyone's journey and a completely normal place to be.

Let's talk about productivity and working smarter, not harder. As a freelancer, your time is your most valuable asset. Learning to delegate tasks and outsourcing where necessary can free up your time and energy to focus on strategic growth. This is where productivity tools and techniques come into play. Embracing tools like ClickUp or Asana can help you manage your tasks efficiently, ensuring you spend time on high-impact activities. Additionally, consuming content that enables you to expand your mindset can help you feel less alone in this jump, such as listening to The Business Playdate Podcast, which offers practical tips and insights on working more effectively as a marketing service provider. 

Ready to leap?  The Director of Marketing (DOM) Program is designed to equip you with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to offer high-caliber marketing services. It's more than a course; it's a transformative experience that prepares you to take on high-value clients and make an impact. It’s a mentorship journey that equips you with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to take your business to the next level. You're not alone in this journey. Our community is a testament to the success stories of women who have made this leap.  This program is designed to help you break free from being stuck, give you the direction you need, and boost your confidence to take on higher-level roles.

Director of Marketing Certification

This certification program provides you with the framework, education, and templates you need to uplevel your offer and take back control of your business. You are ready and capable of marketing leadership; you're not just learning – you're thriving.

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Learn the proven tactics that consistently drive engagement, conversions, and growth, turning past frustrations into a track record of success.

Conclusion: Embrace Your Journey

Your journey as a freelancer is unique filled with wins, learning curves, and growth. As you contemplate this exciting transition, remember that each step, big or small, is a stride towards a future where you earn like a CMO, set your hours, and enjoy the freedom you started this journey for. Elevate your business, join the DOM program, and let's turn your dreams into reality.

P.S. Ready to dive deeper and see real-life transformations? Tune into The Business Playdate podcast for insights from fellow mompreneurs who've walked this path. Join us and redefine what success looks like for you.

Lindsay White

Hi, I'm Lindsay!

After working as a Director of Marketing for the last 7 years (5 in corporate, 2 while freelancing), I have figured out the exact skills it takes to create a fulfilling life as a marketing authority while earning the income of a CMO, oh yeah and still being a park-going, snack holding mama.

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