Marketing & Creative Jobs in Canada Blog - Part 2

What Skills Do You Need to Do Freelance Marketing?

When I was pursuing a BA in Communications, marketing wasn’t something I thought I would be doing. Newly graduated and full of idealism, my dream looked like this: move to New York City, live in a tiny apartment in the East Village, promote indie bands, and change the landscape of the music industry. What did I want to do exactly? That part was unclear, mostly because I loved a bunch of different things: writing, strategic messaging, design, and social media. How could I just choose one? I didn’t end up moving to New York (does visiting The City of Dreams six times count?), but I did land a job with a local music festival and concert promotions company where I had my hand in a multitude of pots and eventually became their Director of Marketing. Since then, I’ve branched out to a few different roles and freelanced as my side hustle.

What I learned along the way is that the world of marketing is huge and full of possibilities; it comes equipped with a billion definitions. Finding your niche is one way to go, but in my experience, being skilled in more ways that one can land you more attention and create more opportunities to do more of what you love.


The ability to write concisely and effectively in various forms is a skill that’s widely welcomed, but in the case of a freelancer, it’s your arsenal that’ll set you apart. Here are a few different styles that’ll help you soar in all kinds of circumstances:

  • Creative: blogs, social media copy, etc.
  • Copywriting: messaging, tags, etc.
  • Content: blogs, whitepapers, etc.
  • Persuasive: blogs, emails, proposals, etc.

There’s a reason why there are so many courses available to improve your writing, and it’s worth it to brush up on your skills no matter what level you’re at.


As you probably already know, communication is a broad topic that marketing falls under. Aside from being knowledgeable in the different modalities and mechanisms of marketing, you’ll also be adapting your communication to suit your clients’ needs. Learning how to speak your clients’ language will help you negotiate better, create trust, and ultimately make the project process smoother.

An Eye For Aesthetics

Let’s be real, we live in a vain world. Knowing what sells is one thing, but making it look good in an effortless way for a specific audience and in a particular medium is a whole other ballpark. Keep an eye out for social media posts and blog articles that garner attention, and put these skills into constant practice:

  • Photography and editing
  • Graphic design
  • Colour palettes and theory
  • Videography and editing
  • Creative storytelling

Luckily there are a ton of inexpensive/free apps these days that make production a lot easier:

User Experience

You can have an eye for pretty things, but if that isn’t paired that with creating a good experience, the product won’t sell. 88% of online customers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience, so knowing what makes a website convert customers is highly valuable.


Search Engine Optimization will likely be a major component of your strategy to get your clients noticed online. This skill is super valuable because you’ll be saving your future clients time and money by including this in your services.

Public Relations

Despite this industry dating back to the 1900s, knowing the ins and outs of reputation management is still coveted. Being tactful in what to communicate, when, and how truly is a skill.

Putting Yourself Out There

Ahh, networking; an extravert’s haven and an introvert’s nightmare. If going to networking events and socializing with strangers isn’t entirely your bag of chips, there are other ways to put yourself out there:

  • Set up coffee dates or one-on-ones with other freelancers
  • Join online communities
  • Start with your inner community and get them to put the word out
  • Make sure your website or portfolio is updated with your best work and consider starting a blog or being more active on social media so that people can see more of your personality

On another note, building your own network of graphic designers, web designers, developers, writers, etc. is something your future self may thank you for. These people are your future collaborators and sub-contractors on aspects of the project you don’t have the time for or the skills you don’t have.


Administrative tasks are often a freelancer’s least favorite aspect. It’s boring, tedious, and you’re not billing any hours! But, again, your future self will thank you for setting up a solid foundation from the beginning. There are a ton of resources out there to help you set up proper systems for invoicing, templates for contracts and creating budgets.

Ability to Fly Solo and Collaborate Interchangeably

A lot of companies are outsourcing remote freelancers for their projects. Knowing when to step in with your expertise, collaborate, and work on your own is essential.

7 Signs You’re Ready to Quit Your Job

Sometimes we’re graced with alarmingly clear signals that it’s time to find a new job. Your work environment is toxic. You’ve been laid off. You’ve hit the ceiling for growth. The company you’re working for is going through a high turnover rate. All of your co-workers have quit. But there are those times in life – arguably most often – when making the decision to quit your job isn’t so clear. You’re comfortable in your role and know it like the back of your hand. You’re making decent dough. The benefits are killer. Your co-workers feel like family. But. You’ve been feeling unsatisfied for a while now, and you can’t quite pinpoint what the problem is. Are you at a crossroads and looking for clear indicators that it’s time to quit your job and move on? Here are seven signs you’re ready to make a change.

Nothing Ever Feels Good Enough

Since you most likely have a good relationship with your manager/boss/supervisor, you’ve probably communicated some of your discontents to find proactive solutions. But, when you’ve reached the point where your boss is pretty much backflipping to make your position work for you, it’s not the job or the company, but your own general unsatisfaction. Don’t beat yourself up over it, this just shows you’re ready for a change.

You Have a Consistent Case of the Sunday Night Scaries

Even though you’ve had the best weekend ever, it still doesn’t feel long enough. As soon as Sunday evening hits, you feel a pit in your stomach and the thought of returning to work the next day fills you with dread. Has this feeling become your Sunday night ritual?

You’re Always Hitting Snooze or Sleeping In

Let’s be real. No matter who you are and how much you love your dream job–nobody jumps out of bed ecstatically every single day. On the flip side, if you’ve been going through personal challenges and your sleep pattern has been inconsistent or you’re not getting enough hours, waking up and reaching for the snooze button is common. But, sleeping in because you’re overtired versus feeling overwhelmed by the thought of work are two different things. If you find yourself needing those extra zzz’s, your subconscious could be relaying your unhappiness.

“This is the start of the discontent,” says, Thomas MacNeil, chief technology officer at eSalon. “You’ve switched from being passionate at work to feeling like you’re just trying to survive. There are always issues and problems at any job, you’re there to solve them, but whether you see them as challenges that help you grow or problems that burn you out is entirely perspective. Though you should discuss your concerns with your manager, if nothing can be rectified, it’s likely smart to seek pastures new that make you want to run to the office . . . instead of running away.”

You Find Yourself Saying, “I Just Need to Vent” to Your Partner and Friends More Often Than Not

Even if you’re living out your life’s passion, there will always be aspects of any job that doesn’t spark joy. Venting now and then comes with the gig. But when you’re feeling an addictive pull to gossip about co-worker dynamics or you “can’t help” but complain about anything and everything job-related, this tendency is a signal for, “I need to get out of here!”.

You’ve Been Perpetually Sick/Exhausted

Your body’s a powerful communicator. Existing in a state of discomfort or unsatisfaction over a long period of time can add stress to the body, and over time potentially lead to burnout. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, your physical health can be affected “if the stress response goes on for too long or becomes chronic. With chronic stress, those same life-saving responses in your body can suppress immune, digestive, sleep, and reproductive systems, which may cause them to stop working normally.”

Everybody reacts to and feels stress in different ways. While some may experience headaches, irritability or insomnia, others (especially under chronic stress) are likely to develop more frequent and next level symptoms like the flu or common cold.

You’re Feeling Bored at Work

Your to-do list is full yet boredom is still seeping in. You may feel easily distracted and find yourself cruising on Instagram more than ever. If you’ve been experiencing any of the physical symptoms listed above, chances are they’re influencing your productivity levels. In a UK study, researchers found that mental and/or physical health accounted for more than 84% of direct effects on productivity loss, as well as 93% of indirect influences.

Apathy is Creeping In

Job apathy can show up in a number of ways. Maybe you’re amped with a lot of creative ideas that’ll help improve your current marketing strategy or overall company culture, but you don’t feel motivated to share them. Perhaps you have disregard for success or progress. Or, your communication is suffering… or, you don’t have a desire to go “above and beyond” what’s expected.

So, What Now?

Now that you’ve identified these signs, first things first, be extra gentle with yourself. Most of the time, self-awareness can help alleviate some of the stress; now that you know what you’re feeling, you can begin planning your next steps.

Not sure where to begin? Here are some resources below to get you started:

How to Get a Job While Still Employed

Getting Creative With Your Job Search

Seven Ways a Career Coach Can Recharge Your Job Hunt


5 Organizational Apps Every Marketing Manager Needs

Today’s marketing manager wears multiple hats and is expected to be more agile than ever before. If you’re wondering how to balance high-level planning while tracking your team’s growth and evolving along with the expanding expectations of the workforce, this one’s for you!

According to current workforce stats, including more flexibility in the office and incorporating working from home and/or remote work structures is on the rise. This trend paired with the common expectation of balancing multiple roles and responsibilities is a great opportunity to lean on technology for support.

Before you dive into an ocean of endless possibilities, first things first, think of your department’s structure and decide what your team needs. From there, find apps that are:

  • Collaborative
  • Easy to use and simple to implement
  • Cloud-based

In this case, the goals are enhancing your team’s productivity and efficiency, while saving you time. Below are some of our favourites to help get you started.

Project Management:

Photo: Asana

Stay in sync with your team by tracking their progress on all projects, campaigns, and initiatives.

With its elegant interface and simple UX, Asana has a robust drag-and-drop system that allows you to shift deadlines and assign tasks in an intuitive manner. You can also integrate over 100 tools and pull from over 50 templates. Asana is also a great app to work with clients or contractors for specific projects.

  • Apps: web, desktop, and mobile
  • Pricing: free and paid options
  • Runner Up: Trello


Photo: Slack

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably already know that Slack is one of the most recommended communication apps out there for productivity improvement.

If you haven’t heard of Slack, do yourself a favour and read all about it! Your inbox and future remote team will thank you.

  • Apps: web, desktop, and mobile
  • Pricing: free and paid options
  • Runner up: Twist

File Storage/Sharing:
G Suite

Photo: Google

With G Suite, you get Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Meet and more. The key benefit is that Google designed this specifically for your workplace, aligning all key apps so that your workflow becomes smooth and efficient. Say goodbye to time-wasting, long hunts for files or worse yet, attachments in your emails.

  • Apps: web, desktop, and mobile
  • Pricing: free and paid options
  • Runner up: Dropbox Business

Time Tracking:

Photo: Toggl

As you juggle various responsibilities, it’s easy to lose track of what’s taking up your time–let alone your team’s. Including a time-tracker tool is a great way to boost productivity, invite focus, and improve time allocation without feeling like you’re being watched over. ‘Cause, we all know that nobody likes a micro-manager!

  • Apps: web, desktop, and mobile
  • Pricing: free and paid options
  • Runner up: Harvest


Photo: Zoom

Not every meeting needs to happen in person. Save time on your commute and money on coffee by using video conferencing for meetings dedicated to status check-ins, first or second round interviews, stand-ups, etc. With its simplistic and modern setup, this app offers quality video and audio, and capabilities such as screen sharing, recording, streamlined calendaring, and more.

  • Apps: desktop and mobile
  • Pricing: free and paid options
  • Runner up: Google Hangouts

Don’t forget, incorporating new apps into your workflow still requires communication about this new process. Taking the time to anticipate potential hiccups may take a bit longer to set up, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.

What are your favourite organizational apps? We’d love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below!

5 Secrets to Improve Your Relationships With Clients, Bosses, and Head Honchos

You don’t need to become best friends, but relationships make gigs more enjoyable and boost your chances of referrals for future jobs.

[Become everyone’s #1]


How would you describe the relationships you have with your clients or boss?


Making solid connections with your clients and higher-ups not only makes your gigs more enjoyable but also means you’ll have more referrals and recommendations thrown your way later.


Whether you’re new to the gig economy or want to level up in your department, these tips will help you build and improve your relationships so everyone wants to work with you.


Ignore this major aspect of your partnerships and you’ll find just the opposite.

Why the Health of Your Professional Relationships Matters

Clients and bosses are more than bags of money.


While certain ones can be a total pain to deal with, most will help you climb the ladder to your next awesome role if you know how to impress.


And if you foster these healthy professional relationships, you’ll give yourself:


The chance for more work. Impress decision-makers and you’ll prove you can take on bigger, more prestigious projects. If you’re working contract, this may mean extending your time on the project or taking on another.


Stand out from the crowd and become a client’s preferred vendor to work with and you’ll have more repeat business to take to the bank.


Networking opportunities. After your stellar work, your contact will recommend your skills to their network of contacts.


Free marketing. Happy clients and supervisors will gush about you. Put those testimonials on your website and they’ll literally sell your services to new leads — at all hours of the day and from anywhere in the world — like free advertising.


But the secret to nabbing all these perks takes more than answering emails and Slack messages as soon as they come in (though that’s also super important!).

5 Secrets to Improve Your Work Relationships

You may be working with several clients simultaneously or only answer to one big cheese. No matter which boat you’re in, you should always try to:

#1. Focus On Them

It’s easy to remain distant with supervisors and clients and only focus on the work you’re assigned. But you’ll miss the chance to establish a working relationship (and they may move onto someone they connect better with).


So just like you get to know someone in your personal life, try to get to know your boss or client to understand exactly who they are, what they need, and where you fit in.

[Be what they need]


This takes asking a series of questions and talking to them about:

  • Their career story
  • Their struggles and pain points
  • What they’re looking for
  • How they work
  • Their preferred communication methods
  • What’s most important to them (i.e., sticking to deadlines or error-free work, for example)


Again, no one’s saying you have to become best friends and cross the professional line into personal territory. But the extra effort to get to know someone’s needs goes a long way for better communication.


It may be easier for you to open up and care if you start practicing this next tip.

#2. Think of Everyone Like Your Partner

Treating your clients or higher-ups like your partners, rather than separate entities you’re working for, may help you become more invested in their goals.


But this isn’t just an incentive for you to perform well. It’s also a chance for them to feel like they’re on your level.


See, everyone will come to you with a problem they need help resolving. This puts them in a vulnerable position while you’ll be holding all the answers as the expert.


Many people keep these power dynamics in place so they can guarantee more work for themselves in the future.


But you can change the dynamics of your relationships and make them more collaborative so everyone feels like they have something meaningful to contribute.

[Become partners]


This mutually beneficial partnership will give you more to work with so you can further erase the pain points they’re dealing with and make them happy. You’ll come out looking like a rock star and they’ll be psyched to be part of your band.


And just like friends, you should always be upfront and honest.

#3. Communicate Honestly and Frequently

There’s a rule you should live by: Never overpromise and underdeliver.


This means when clients or supervisors have unrealistic expectations, you need to be the one to bring them back down to earth.


Instead of shooting down the idea immediately, try to explain why certain elements of the ask won’t work and always suggest a better option.


Clients would rather have someone tell the truth and put forth a realistic workaround than someone who yesses them and fails to deliver what was promised.


The same honest approach goes for projects you’re already working on.


Mistakes happen — it’s how you deal with them that makes all the difference.


Do not ghost your client or boss when there’s a problem. The longer it takes you to address the issue, the more distrust you’ll sow.


If you’re going to miss a deadline, let them know sooner than later so they can plan around it. Though they may still be disappointed, they’ll appreciate the honest heads up a week out versus the day of.


With these open lines of communication, make sure your clients also feel the same level of comfort. They should see you as friendly and approachable; someone they can bounce ideas off or ask questions without feeling dumb.


This may become easier if you keep them in the loop (and the technical jargon out).

#4. Keep Them In the Loop and KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid)

When you discover your client’s preferred way to get in touch, stay in contact every step of your process, or every few days.


Clients and managers like to know what to expect from the people they work with.


Since they’re not experts in your line of work, they don’t know what to expect other than the vision of the finished product they have in their heads.


Ease their anxiety and confusion and they’ll be more confident in your ability to deliver.


Make your process transparent and touch base often to mention what you’re working on and what issues you may be dealing with. Don’t complicate your conversations with technical terms and keep it simple so everyone’s in the loop.



[Stay in touch]


You’ll build trust quickly and avoid clients sending frantic emails and Slack messages asking what’s up.


When your project or contract wraps, continue the honest dialogue by asking for feedback.

#5. Ask for Feedback

It’s helpful for all parties involved to discuss what went right and what could be improved after each project or contract ends.


So send out an email about much you enjoyed working together. Highlight the good and take ownership of areas you wish went better.


Clients and bosses respect someone who can admit their mistakes and pledge to work on them.


If you’re brave, send out a quick survey using something like Google Forms to ask for feedback and what you can improve for next time.


This feedback loop tells clients and higher-ups you really care. They’ll want to work with you again if you’re a good listener and actually follow their advice.

Win Over Clients and Bosses As You Rise to the Top of Your Game

With fire communication and relationship-building skills, you’ll have no trouble earning repeat business from clients and neverending praise from your bosses.


Follow these tips and word about your work ethic will go viral, your calendar will fill up, and a promotion may be in your future.


Did you know FreshGigs has both contract and full-time jobs?


Check them out here and use your new intel to start your work relationships on the right foot

Why the Most Creative People are Also Usually the Most Productive

Don’t wait for inspiration to strike; steal these secrets to build a productive life where creativity flows naturally.

Does creativity depend on productivity?

Or does productivity require a bit of creativity?

The truth is, you often can’t be successful at one without the other. Creativity gives you the idea, but it’s productivity that determines what you’ll do with it.

So can you increase creativity by simply being more productive?

Creativity and Productivity are Intertwined

People may be born with different degrees of creativity, but everyone has the power to be more creative.

You may not be painting landscapes like Bob Ross, but you still need creativity to:

  • Create content
  • Write persuasive sales copy and calls to action
  • Brainstorm new marketing campaigns
  • Reach out to customers on social media
  • Develop a portfolio to outshine your competition


Since jobs in design, social media, marketing, and more all require an endless stream of creativity, you can’t wait around for inspiration to strike.


The only problem is creativity tends to disappear when people aren’t productive.


Without productivity, or the physical act of producing something, all your ideas and everything inspiring you to connect with others, will simply stay in your head.


And if your brain’s not rewarded for coming up with interesting ideas, you’ll stop having them.


That’s why you must not only find a way to boost your creativity, you also need to create a follow-up plan to transform it into a tangible product.

The good news is besides sharing your idea, content, or masterpiece with people who need it, an Adobe study says creators earn 13% more than non-creators[*].

And you know what’s even better?

You can boost creativity and productivity at the same time.

Secrets to Greater Creativity and Productivity

You don’t need separate to-do lists to spur your creativity or kick your butt into being more productive.

These tips will allow for greater productivity and higher creative thinking to enter your life simultaneously:

Carve Out an Uncluttered Space to Thrive

An artist doesn’t begin painting with bills, to-do lists, and cat toys hanging on their easel. So you shouldn’t let your workspace become a giant mound of mess either.


Clutter is the enemy of creativity and productivity and[*]:

  • Bombards your brain with excessive stimuli
  • Drains your attention
  • Makes it impossible to relax physically or mentally
  • Causes anxiety and creates guilty feelings
  • Tells your brain your work is out of control/never done


That’s why you need a clean, open space to brainstorm your ideas and solve problems.


It should be free of distractions, filled with inspiration (like motivating quotes, happy pictures, or a window to look out of), and closed off from loud, busy areas.


Free up this space and you’ll also free up space in your brain for creative ideas and questions.

Ask More Questions

Creative people are inherently curious. They’re interested in everything — and find everything interesting.

Science says creative people use both sides of their brain when analyzing the new experiences they have, a skill most people don’t practice often enough[*].


To cultivate this ability, expose yourself to new places, people, and things, and ask lots of questions about them — as often as you can.


Simply thinking more about what or who you encounter will feed your brain and spark inspiration, which can then fuel your creative train of ideas.


So when you’re stuck on a project, ask yourself a series of questions to let creativity unblock you, such as:

  • What’s the ultimate goal?
  • What’s the first step I need to take? And the second? And so forth.
  • What makes this unique or interesting?
  • Why is this important?


With these answers in tow, you’re sure to find greater clarity and inspiration to get your work accomplished. It also creates a mini checklist of steps you need to get done to further increase your productivity.


If you’re stuck here, your way of thinking may need an adjustment.

Practice Lateral Thinking

Lateral thinking, a term coined by Edward de Bono in 1967, is the practice of “moving sideways” to solve a problem rather than tackling it head-on[*].


In De Bono’s system of Six Thinking Hats, he encourages people to use different ways of thinking as a checklist for solving a problem[*]:


  • Blue for managing and identifying what you have
  • White for using facts and information
  • Red for using emotions, intuition, and gut reactions
  • Black for the downsides associated with the idea
  • Yellow for the positives associated with the idea
  • Green for out-of-the-box alternatives



While you may think this approach seems counterintuitive to productivity, it actually stimulates your creative thinking and forces you to see situations from multiple angles.

Put on each hat and think about the idea you have. Seeing an issue from all sides will inspire creative solutions. And it keeps your productivity rolling when you get stuck.


This unique approach can help you with everything from upgrading your design skills to helping you stand out from your peers in a crowded market.


Set deadlines for uncovering these answers and you’ll be even further ahead of the game.

Follow a Schedule and Set Deadlines

A schedule can be one of the greatest productivity hacks people forget about.

When you follow the same routine, your brain doesn’t have to worry about when lunch is or what you’re going to be up to after your workout. It gets in the habit of being creative and productive at specific times during the day.


While many think creativity can’t be planned or doesn’t do well under pressure, creativity is greatest when constrained[*]. Setting a deadline will force your brain to make those connections sooner by concentrating all your attention on one task.


Sticking to self-imposed deadlines is also amazing for your productivity. Not only does it improve your time-management skills, it helps you prioritize and accomplish more.

Are You Using Your Creativity Productively?

The opposite of being productive is procrastination, or putting off a task you need to do.


Most procrastination stems from feelings of inadequacy or anxiety, which may make you too scared to tap into your creativity or start a big project for fear of failing.


If you’re not in a role where your creativity is being supported, your mountain will be much harder to climb. So it might be time to find a job where your creativity is valued, appreciated, and celebrated everyday.


Check Fresh Gigs for the best marketing, design, and tech jobs in Canada and connect with people who will pay for all your brilliant mind has to offer.


Follow these tips and your creativity and productivity will be unstoppable.

The Secret to Pitching Clients 24/7? The Right Referrals and Testimonials On Your Site

Whether you’re looking for gigs or an in-house position, knowing how to ask for and get the right testimonials about your work will be a game changer for your career.

Does your website have glowing referrals, case studies, and testimonials from people you’ve worked with?


Even if you’re not in sales, having references like these can help you network into the full-time job or freelance gigs you’re chasing.


The trick is learning how to snag blurbs for your website or social media promotion at the right time — and from the right people.


Why Testimonials and Reviews Matter So Much

Could you land the job of your dreams without client testimonials on your site and an outstanding design portfolio alone?




But endorsements and case studies will help you:


Establish your niche market. When visitors of your site see what you’ve done for businesses with similar problems, they’ll know you have the expertise to handle their specific issues too.


Highlight your diverse range of skills. You flex different muscles tackling every project you take on; let visitors see what an awesome job you did via the words of your happy customers. This will definitely help you stand out in a crowded design market.


Establish trust with future clients. A testimonial from a customer shows you deliver what you promise and says you’re trustworthy.


These case studies and testimonials will become your ultimate sales machine, selling your skills and convincing visitors of your site to contact you with work opportunities.

Where Should Your Testimonials Come From?

You should ask for a review or recommendation from anyone who can sing your praises relative to the type of job you want.


Asking for this is hard, and even those in sales get this step wrong. In one survey, only 11% of salespeople asked for a referral when 91% of customers said they would have given one[*].


Chances are you’ve worked with all types of people, paying or not, who can vouch for your professionalism and creativity while you’ve been leveling up your marketing skills to this point.


So try starting with your:

  • Friends and family members
  • Former and present coworkers
  • Past and current clients
  • Social media followers and people within your network or industry


Create a list of contacts and follow this plan to get the website blurbs you need without the stress.

How to Ask for Testimonials (and Actually Get Them)

Asking for references doesn’t have to be complicated. Follow these tips and you’ll have a foolproof follow-up plan:

Create a Testimonial Template

Make your life easier by automating the testimonial process with a template. This productivity hack will streamline the process and help you get more accomplished.


Whenever you’re considering asking for a case study or review:

  1. Time your ask right
  2. Keep in touch until you receive your testimonial
  3. Thank your contact
  4. Fine-tune the process and repeat for the next client


Email is often the most preferred way to ask for a reference.


It’s unobtrusive, gives you the time to write a personalized message, and lets your contact reply on their time.


Here’s a general gist of what to include in your ask email:

  • First, thank your contact for the chance to work together.
  • Then, lead with the positives of your collaboration and highlight key goals you accomplished together as a team to jog their happy memories.
  • Ask for the reference and mention how you appreciate testimonials because they’re how you’re able to grow your business and help people like them.
  • End with a strong call to action so your contact feels compelled to write something back ASAP.


Craft a few versions of an email containing all this information and save it as a template. Then you can quickly send a personalized message to each client every time you want a referral.


When should you ask for a reference?

Timing is Everything

Experts say the best time to ask for a testimonial from a client happens during what’s known as the “honeymoon phase.”


In this glorious time after a big project wraps or a deal is made, your client will be most pleased with your work and you’ll feel super confident with your accomplishment.


So stick to this schedule to time your ask right:

  • When the project ends, send a thank-you email to your client praising the positive collaboration and what you were able to accomplish together. Let them know how appreciative you’d be of a testimonial for your website.
  • One week later, send a follow-up email to either thank your client for their review or gently nudge them to make one with a testimonial cheat sheet (more on this next).
  • Continue to stay in touch with your client to remain top-of-mind when upcoming projects or potential leads for you cross their path. Ask if you can add them to your email list.


If your contacts don’t immediately jump on board with a testimonial in the first phase, you may want to give them a cheatsheet to speed up the process.

Give Out Testimonial Cheat Sheets

Besides not having the time, many people simply don’t think they have the right words to leave a testimonial on your website for all your visitors to read forever.


So create a few sample reviews, blurbs, testimonials, or case study outlines to send to your contacts for inspiration. You can even attach actual screenshots as examples.

When you give your clients exactly what you’re looking for using these templates, they’ll be less overwhelmed by your ask and more likely to do it.

Properly Thank All Who Follow Through

You should always go the extra mile to thank someone who takes the time to write something wonderful about you. This means sending a handwritten note, or a small gift, to show your appreciation.



To sweeten the pot and encourage more repeat business, you can also offer a piece of free, exclusive content or a discount for their next project with you.

Now Get Ready for All Your New Job Offers

Having a website that converts visitors into paying gigs is just as important for your career as knowing how to use your social media to land jobs.


So check out the skills hiring managers are looking for by browsing job postings on Fresh Gigs, Canada’s top destination for design, marketing, and tech jobs. Then make sure all your testimonials hit those keywords and demonstrate those abilities.


Keep applying for positions and when decision makers check out your site, they’ll see all your glowing endorsements and move your resume to the top of the pile.


How To Brand Yourself and Market Your Talent Just Like One of Your Products

You create marketing strategies to launch products and services for other people and businesses. Do the same to impress hiring managers and land more job offers for yourself.


When was the last time you converted a website visitor or new social follower into a paying client or employer?


If you’re in the marketing world, chances are you’ve created successful campaigns with customer conversions like these for other businesses.


But what about for yourself?


Since more businesses are hiring remote, your website and social media platforms need to market your brand and sell your skills to potential clients and hiring managers before they ever meet you.


Do this right and you’ll have gig requests and job offers filling your inbox rather than pitching your services to cold leads.

The Marketing Strategy to Brand Yourself Online

To outshine your competition and stand out, you’ll need to do more than fill out the basic requirements of your profiles and website.


You need a strategy to launch yourself as a product a company or client can’t be without.


Follow these tips and you’ll have more work headed your way:

Figure Out and Promote Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Your value proposition, also known as your USP, is what differentiates you from your competition. Think of it as your own unique selling point decision makers will remember about you.


Your USP needs to be the foundation of your marketing strategy.


It should give visitors an idea of what you’re like and what you’d be like to work with.


To find your USP:

  • Identify your niche, or what you’re passionate about
  • Determine the specific value you provide to your industry, and to a company
  • Think about what people say you’re good at
  • Figure out what makes you different from your peers


Answering these questions will help you phrase all the copy on your website and social media pages to reflect what makes you special.


This isn’t the time to be shy about your achievements; banish your imposter syndrome and show off all the traits necessary for the jobs you’re seeking.


Blank page syndrome?


Follow this next tip.

Identify and Learn from Your Competition

The more you understand your competition, the easier it will be to stand out from the crowd.


So research and check out the people crushing it in your niche.


These are who you’ll be competing with for gigs.


When you find peers with similar experiences and skills, perform a SWOT analysis to determine how your traits compare to their:

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats


These will help you position yourself as a better candidate.


And if that means leveling up your skills, start sooner so you can advertise them later.


As you get more comfortable, you’ll start to develop your own brand voice readers will connect with.

Establish a Consistent Brand Voice

Your website and social media pages should create a cohesive picture of who you are.


Visitors will immediately know when you’re not being genuine or authentic so write all your copy in your own, natural voice.


Let your personality shine through and you’ll establish trust and credibility with your audience right off the bat.



If you try to sound like someone else, visitors will never get a true sense of who you are and why you’re different.


This consistency should also carry over to the aesthetics of your platforms; try using the same color scheme, logos, font, bio pic, etc. to tie everything together as one cohesive brand story.


Understanding your audience, or the companies and people you want to work with, will also help you speak directly to them.

Know Your Customer (i.e., Companies, Hiring Managers, and Decision Makers)

Just like the best products serve a specific type of customer, your skills should be a valuable piece of a client’s puzzle.


The trick is finding that niche and showing decision makers you’re the missing piece.


So think about what your ideal company looks like:

  • Are they a startup with a limited budget or a huge company with lots to spend on your marketing ideas?
  • Do you want a solo gig or do you like brainstorming on a team?
  • Would you rather work remotely or in a swanky office with lots of perks?


When you know who you’re writing for, you can research where these types of decision makers typically hang out and the type of content they’re engaging with most often.


Then you’ll need to choose your digital channels wisely to make sure your content winds up mingling in the same online circles.

Pick the Best Digital Platforms In Your Niche

If you’re on every social media platform indiscriminately, it’s going to be impossible to actively engage without spreading yourself too thin.

Part of the secret to using your social media to land gigs is knowing where to invest your valuable time.


And that comes down to knowing:

  • Where your audience is most likely to hang out
  • What your competition is using
  • The type of content you like creating (i.e., tweets, vlogs, micro-blogs, etc.)
  • The type of content you’re good at
  • What followers connect with



You should participate in at least two different social platforms: one for your content and another for promotion.


Before you start creating content, you’ll want to give visitors an idea of your industry experience first.

Create a Clickable Portfolio of Projects

After reading your bio or brand story, visitors (especially hiring managers) will want to see your real-world experience before spending their time on your content.


So create a portfolio visitors can click through and see all your accomplishments and achievements.

If you’re just starting out, this may mean adding all the projects you’ve worked on so far. This should include the client’s ask, your plan, the results, visuals, links, a small write up about what you learned, etc.


If you have more experience, you’ll want to add projects to your portfolio more strategically.


Highlight the most successful ones first and then add projects to diversify your skillset or give visitors an indication of what you’re currently interested in.


Check out these tips for creating an awesome portfolio later for more inspiration.


When visitors see you know what you’re talking about, they’ll be more eager to tune into your content.

Create and Share Relevant Content

While your portfolio will show visitors what you get paid for, your content should display what you’re interested in and what you think others in your industry may also want to learn.


This relevant content won’t just drive organic traffic to your site, it will also position you as someone in-the-know within your niche.


Knowing what to share takes a bit of research and experimenting, but once you learn what your audience connects with, it will be easier to create content to keep them coming back for more.


Whether that’s sharing work challenges you overcame, your own hacks for greater productivity, or insight about emerging trends in your niche, your content will represent your own ideas and brand voice.


This goes a long way with hiring managers; if you’re willing to put in the work to get your content out there (for free), you’ll probably go above and beyond when you actually get paid to share and promote products, right?


Unfortunately, posting and sharing isn’t the final step of your content marketing strategy.


You also have to engage with your followers and community.


Start conversations and network with people in your industry.


Respond to readers who message or comment on your posts, tweet back if you’re retweeted, and reply to content posted by other influential thought leaders.


The more you get your name out there with valuable dialogue, the greater your chances of widening your network and landing more work.

Include Links to Your Sites When You Apply for Jobs

Creating your online brand will pay off when hiring managers, recruiters, and clients start offering you projects.


So whether you want to transition from full-time work to contract gigs or find a position at a large company, always include links to your website and social channels in your application, resume, and prospecting emails.


And don’t forget to check Fresh Gigs for the newest jobs in marketing, design, and technology in Canada.


Follow these tips and you’ll be miles ahead of your competition vying for the same in-demand positions.

Learn the Marketing Coordinator, Manager, and Director Hierarchy Before You Apply

Find out what makes each role different and see which skills you’ll need to highlight for hiring managers to snag these in-demand positions now.

What’s the difference between a marketing coordinator, marketing manager, and director?

They each share similar goals like creating campaigns and promoting products and services in a company’s marketing department.

But their roles, salary, job qualifications, and day-to-day duties are totally different.

You’ll want to know where your skills and experience fit in this marketing hierarchy before you apply for an open position.

Let’s start with the first rung on the ladder.

Level One: Marketing Coordinator


Most marketing coordinator jobs are entry-level positions requiring between one and three years of industry experience and a Bachelor’s degree in marketing or business.

A marketing coordinator is responsible for completing all the work necessary for the department to reach its goals, such as:

  • Creating content for the website
  • Publishing content to social media
  • Email marketing
  • Promotional material (i.e., flyers or brochures)

Marketing coordinators can work in teams or on their own and usually report to the marketing manager without any subordinates.

They must also have these necessary skills.

Skills a Marketing Coordinator Needs


To be successful as a marketing coordinator, and show hiring managers you have what it takes to crush it, highlight your:

Creativity. Since you’ll need to create memorable promotions and engaging content regularly, you can’t be the type to wait for inspiration to strike; you must be able to think imaginatively all the time.

This creativity is what will help you create a dynamic portfolio that stands out.

Amazing written and verbal skills. Being responsible for all the written and promotional copy your company sends out means you should be confident in your ability to write and proofread words your audience connects with.

You’ll also want to understand SEO best practices for copywriting as well.

Familiarity with social media promotion. You’ll need to know the basics of posting on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, etc. and have experience with tools to scale your duties on a mega level, such as Buffer, MailChimp, and more.

Here’s where using your social media channels the smart way can really impress clients and hiring managers.

And if you have the skills and persistence to surpass your campaigns’ goals and objectives, you may set yourself up for a promotion from marketing coordinator to marketing manager.

The Marketing Manager: Liaison and Overseer


The marketing manager oversees all the marketing coordinators and reports to the marketing director.

As the direct liaison between upper management and the marketing staff, managers must know how to translate high level goals into actionable plans of attack using the resources within the department’s budget.

Marketing managers generally hold between two and five years of experience and a Bachelor’s degree in marketing or business, in addition to these skills:

Skills a Marketing Manager Needs


A marketing manager should boast all the skills a marketing coordinator possesses and:

Excellent people and communication skills. You’ll be a team leader for all the marketing coordinators and the voice relaying the marketing director’s goals and desires.

Project management. Being a manager means watching over both your staff and the projects they’re working on.

You’ll not only need to organize tasks, but you’ll need to assign them, facilitate communication between coordinators, and make sure milestones are hit on time to avoid missing deadlines.

As a manager you’ll also want to help your staff troubleshoot issues and teach them time-saving productivity hacks to accomplish more together.

Critical thinking. Managers set key performance indicators (KPIs) and analyze all the data generated by the marketing coordinators.

Marketing managers are problem solves who like understanding their data so they can predict where improvements should be made to capitalize on what’s working and tweak aspects which may be underperforming.

Measuring website traffic, the success of your paid ads, social promotions, etc. all fall under the manager’s jurisdiction — and you’ll need to answer to the director if they’re less than stellar.

Experience with all these daily tasks for a few years will help you level up your marketing skills and qualify for a new position as a marketing director.

Marketing Director: The Final Boss

When you’ve proven to be a successful marketing machine, you’ll be in line for a marketing director job.


Most marketing directors have between 10 and 20 years of industry experience before landing this high level executive or senior partner role.

Skills a Marketing Director Needs

To get to the top of the marketing ladder, you’ll need these traits and skills:

Budgeting. Marketing directors oversee the marketing budget, which includes figures for salaries, bonuses, campaign needs, department spending, etc.

Fresh marketing insight. The marketing director creates the goals and strategies the manager puts in place for the coordinators to follow.

They must balance the needs of their customers with the goals of their business.

Outdated best practices will drive the department in the dirt so the director must be on the cutting edge of what’s new and trending in the industry.

Accountability. Though the marketing director banks the highest salary of all three positions, this extra cash also comes with the added weight of responsibility.

Marketing directors have the first say and the final decision when it comes to everything that goes on in the department. It’s their strategizing about campaigns which will cause the department to sink or swim.

Yearly marketing goals will be defined within the larger needs of the company and the director will be held accountable for meeting, failing to, or exceeding them.

Since they’re ultimately in charge of the company’s entire marketing strategy, they’re on the chopping block if the department doesn’t do well.

Promotions on the horizon for a successful marketing director include vice president of marketing and even executive director.

How to Land the Right Marketing Job for You


Now that you know the difference between a marketing coordinator, marketing manager, and marketing director, you’ll know which jobs to apply for with your experience.

You’ll also know exactly which skills to highlight on your resume and cover letter as you talk up your achievements.

No matter which role you’re searching for, you’ll find thousands of marketing and design jobs across Canada on Fresh Gigs every day.

One of them could be the first step you take — or the next rung you climb.

Learning to Hold Yourself Accountable for Your Career Goals Starts Now

If you want to be successful in a creative field like design or marketing, you need to know how to set goals and find the discipline to reach them all on your own.

[Image source]

Wish you could find the motivation and discipline to tackle all your career goals?

If you want to stand out in a crowded design market, it takes a lot of hard work off the clock to show clients and hiring managers what makes you extra.

And that can mean everything from creating an online portfolio to attract more gigs to using your social media accounts to land jobs.

So how do you complete these tasks when you don’t have an immediate paycheck or your boss’s wrath as motivation to get them done?

You learn how to find more discipline and hold yourself accountable.

What Does It Mean to Hold Yourself Accountable?

It may be easy for you to excuse your less-than-stellar work ethic if you convince yourself you’re too busy or too tired to tackle your career goals on top of a full-time job.

But the only one to blame for not reaching your career goals is you.

And that’s why only you can hold yourself accountable.

Accountability Implies a Sense of Ownership for Both Positive and Negative Outcomes

When you hold yourself accountable, it means you take responsibility for your failures and achievements.

Having accountability keeps you in control of the tasks that matter most.

You’ll set goals with specific intentions and consistently work on achieving those goals without excuses getting in your way.

[Image source]

The more goals you accomplish, the more you’ll want to stack additional goals to build momentum.

As one win leads to a shift in your behavior, you’ll eventually be able to totally transform your professional life for the better.

But if you don’t always have discipline to manage your goals, that ends today.

How to Find More Discipline and Hold Yourself Accountable

These tips will help you become a more successful version of yourself:

First, Distinguish Between Goals and Expectations

Did 10-year-old you think you’d be a millionaire or famous by your age now?

While you’ve probably always had an expectation of success, expectations are not the same as goals.

Expectations aren’t grounded in reality; they’re just a very strong belief you may have for yourself.

Goals are desired results.

And you’ll only score those results when you keep your stick on the ice.

Why does this distinction matter?

[Image source]

Because when you don’t meet an arbitrary expectation, like becoming Instagram famous, you may see yourself as a failure, lose motivation, and abandon your goal of success.

But when you set a realistic goal, you can focus on the progress you’re making towards your end result.

This forward momentum will help you dominate your goals instead of giving up.

Speaking of which, it’s also crucial to set goals the right way.

Set Personalized SMART Goals

SMART goals give you more direction and make it easier to hold yourself accountable.

A SMART goal is:

  • Specific. So you’ll need to zero in on exactly what you want to accomplish by being as detailed as possible. Example: I want to create a design portfolio to show off all my work and link to my social media accounts.
  • Measurable. This is how you’ll know when you’ve made progress or achieved your goal. Example: I want to grow my email list by 500 new subscribers.
  • Attainable. Goals have to be realistic. If you only have 25 Twitter followers and you want 100k by next week, you may be setting yourself up for failure instead of setting yourself up for a win.
  • Relevant. You can set as many goals as you want, but they should be tied to your larger career aspirations and work well with other goals in your long-term plan.
  • Timely. How long should it take to complete your goal? A concrete deadline not only gives you a sense of urgency, it also gives you a way to hold yourself accountable if you meet or fail to meet the due date.

After you set your SMART goals, you’ll need to prioritize the order in which you knock them out.

Prioritize Your Goals and Only Focus On One at a Time

You probably have a lot of career goals for yourself. And there are numerous tasks associated with completing those endeavors.

So rather than simply writing a to-do list, create a list of to-dos ranked by priority.

[Image source]

When you know which tasks need to be accomplished first, you can:

  • Create a game plan. With a clear start and end in sight, you’ll know what to do every step of the way, won’t let distractions creep in, and be able to hold yourself accountable.
  • Focus on one specific task/goal at a time. This helps you stay on track and prevents you from taking on too much work at once.
  • Minimize multitasking, which science says is terrible for your brain and productivity[*].

This approach helps you organize your tasks so you don’t work haphazardly and instead maintain steady progress.

Improving your design and marketing skills doesn’t happen overnight; it takes hours of hard work, dedication, and a consistent routine to follow.

Get Into a Consistent Routine

Even though you may be able to set your own work hours, a routine will make sure you’re in the zone during a specific time most productive for you.

Having too much freedom with your hours allows for distractions to derail the work needed to complete your goals.

So try to wake up at the same time everyday (or set a specific window of work time later) and then create a ritual designed to get your brain into work mode (i.e., making coffee, stretching, checking emails, etc.).

Along with a consistent schedule, you’ll also want a dedicated space where you won’t be distracted from completing your tasks.

Establish a Distraction-Free Workspace

One of the greatest productivity hacks for remote workers is roping off a designated workspace where goals are accomplished and distractions are few and far between.

So think of your work space as an office with other people in it.

While you may be able to shop in a new tab when you’re alone, you’d never do this if eight other coworkers could peep over at your screen and see what you were up to during work hours.

[Image source]

But if you find yourself more excited by distractions than your actual work, you may have another problem on your hands.

Find Real Excitement for Your Work

Still can’t find motivation to complete your career goals?

Maybe you’re just not that into them.

A lack of discipline can also stem from a lack of enthusiasm and passion.

So see what else is out there on Fresh Gigs, Canada’s best place for marketing and design professionals to find jobs all across the country.

If you stumble upon a gig you can’t wait to update your cover letter and resume for, make that the first of your new career goals to accomplish now that you have the discipline and accountability to do so.

Stop Letting Imposter Syndrome Hold You Back from the Big Bucks

Imposter syndrome can do major damage to your professional life. Practice these tips and you’ll have more confidence to apply for lucrative high-profile gigs now.

[Image source]

Do you ever feel like you don’t deserve all the professional success you’ve earned?

If you ever face self-doubt, insecurity, or worry about higher-ups discovering you’re not as awesome as they think you are, you may be suffering from imposter syndrome.

And this severe lack of confidence can really damage your career goals.

What is Imposter Syndrome?


Imposter syndrome (IS) was first identified in 1978 by psychologists Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes[*].

They defined IS as believing you’ve only been successful in your career due to good luck and circumstance rather than your talent, experience, and qualifications.

One report estimates up to 70% of professionals will experience imposter syndrome in their professional life at least once[*].

IS can affect men and women equally and can manifest either early on in your career or well down the line[*].

Here’s what to look for:

Signs You May Have Imposter Syndrome


Imposter syndrome can be generally defined as not being able to own your success and accomplishments.

It frequently shows up as:

  • Feeling unworthy of your accomplishments, salary, accolades, or high-profile job title
  • Fear of being discovered as a fraud or fake
  • Thinking your success only comes from luck
  • Believing you could do better
  • Not being able to take a compliment
  • Downplaying your achievements
  • Fearing you’re charging too much for your work/services

[Image source]

What’s frustrating here is even though you may be wrestling with these demons, there’s no evidence any of these fears are true or legit.


And that disconnect may be keeping you from leveling up your design and marketing career.

How Imposter Syndrome Damages Your Professional Life

People with imposter syndrome:

Strive for unrealistic perfectionism. Even though you may set high expectations and accomplish 99% of your job perfectly, if you mess up even in the smallest way you start doubting your skills and abilities completely with IS.

Feel as if they must be experts. If you have IS, you may constantly seek out training and certifications to level up your design and marketing skills and prove you’re capable and knowledgeable in your field.

But this may also prevent you from applying to certain jobs just because you’re missing one small qualification or believe you’re not “good enough” to succeed in that role.

May give up when work gets tough. Those with natural talents and abilities don’t have to work hard at tasks that come easily to them.

However, if you encounter a situation where you must put in more effort, you may feel inadequate or like an imposter because the work doesn’t come as easily or naturally as you’re used to.

[Image source]

Tend to use solo mentality. Sometimes when you have IS, you get caught up in thinking you must do everything on your own to prove your worth rather than relying on team members for their assistance.

Add extra work pressure to their plates. You may overcompensate for feeling inadequate by working harder than everyone else on your team or in your department.

You may think this protects you from being discovered as the weak link you fear you are, but striving to prove this causes stress and unhealthy work relationships.

It can also force you into becoming a workaholic and damage your relationships with your family and friends too.

So what’s the cure for imposter syndrome?

How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome will hold you back from accomplishing your professional goals.

So whether you want to become a killer digital strategist, negotiate a higher salary, or stand out in a crowded design market, you can overcome IS when you:

Realize When You’re Falling Into IS Patterns

Instead of letting your thoughts take over and feed the imposter syndrome cycle, identify them when they creep up so you can counteract the way they make you feel and behave.

By not ignoring these, or giving in to them, you’ll be able to put your feelings in perspective and ask yourself whether they’re helping or hurting your day/project/career.

And that may require you to…

Think Realistically


Honestly, is there ever a flawless work project? Or an employee who’s never made a mistake?

These don’t exist in the real world.

So if you’re setting unrealistic expectations for yourself or your projects, you’re always going to feel unworthy for not meeting them (even though they were impossible goals anyway).

[Image source]

The sooner you focus your effort on continual improvement and not perfection on the first try, the faster you’ll be able to think on your feet when issues do come up.

Rather than feeling as if you’ve let yourself down, you can accomplish more by solving these problems and increasing your productivity.

And if you do make a small error, go easy on yourself like you’d give your best friend a break for doing the same.

Talk to Yourself As If You Were Talking to Your Best Friend


Whenever you’re feeling imposter syndrome rear its ugly head, think about what you would tell your best friend to help them out of the weeds if they were in the same boat.

While you may internally beat yourself up over a mistake, chances are you’d give your best friend a pep talk and remind them how amazing they truly are and that no one’s perfect.

So be your own best advocate and remind yourself of these facts too.

And if you can’t tell yourself these truths, let your best friend do it.

Or Actually Talk to Your Best Friend


Don’t isolate yourself when you’re feeling less than shiny about your work life.

Connect with your support network and they’ll be able to address your feelings of insecurity and let you know how irrational they are in reality.

[Image source]

Having someone you respect and admire boost your confidence by reminding you of all your strengths and abilities will give you the push you need to dominate your career goals.

And since your friends love you for who you are, they’ll also show you that your self-worth is not tied to your projects’ success or fail rate.

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

People suffering from imposter syndrome only feel less than adequate because they’re constantly measuring themselves up against other successful high achievers.

High achievers are used to competing with others and being rewarded for coming out on top.

But when you’re constantly comparing yourself to others, you’ll always fear others are doing better than you are or are accomplishing greater goals. You never see their struggles or missteps even though they certainly exist.

Set your own professional (and realistic) goals and only hold yourself accountable to those.

And when you do reach these milestones, don’t forget to make a note.

Keep Reminders of All You’ve Already Accomplished


Most feelings of imposter syndrome stem from a lack of pats on the back — not just from upper management and your boss, but from your inner critic.

Keep track of your professional accomplishments by adding each achievement to your portfolio or updating your LinkedIn profile to reflect these big wins.

If you want to keep a career journal detailing these milestones, make sure to also note any network connections who may have helped you, good luck on your side, and any other factor you may attribute your success to.


[Image source]

A mental refresh through these times or physically scrolling through your social media portfolio for work will help you recognize your own talent. And you can take time to reflect on the long road you walked to get where you are today.

You’ll also find luck and other coworkers probably only played a small role in your achievement when all is said and done.

Practice Owning Your Greatness


You may not totally rid yourself of imposter syndrome, but the more you practice these skills, the faster you’ll be able to pull yourself out of an IS rut and get back to being awesome.

Once you feel amazing about yourself again, you may have the confidence to go after a promotion or apply for that high-profile marketing or design job you never thought you’d be good at (but will totally crush).