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Making the switch to freelance marketing consultant? Here's what you need to know about setting up your business
As a marketer, the prospect of going freelance brings up plenty of potential pros and cons. The whole process can be daunting but pays dividends in the long run.
Marketing consultants who are tempted to ditch their typical 9 to 5 for a whole new approach to their career will be faced with wholesale lifestyle changes — there may be no more commuting, extremely flexible working hours, and at the same time, much more independence that can help you to plan your life around your deadlines.
However, many marketing consultants that find themselves sitting on the fence over whether or not to take the plunge into a freelance life are put off by the lack of job security, concerns over whether or not they can find enough clients to pay the bills and worries over the administrative burden of going it alone.
Here, we’ll weigh up the industry advantages for marketing consultants deciding to go freelance while taking a look at what you’ll need to know while setting up your business.
The importance of motivation
In a traditional 9 to 5 role, you’ll often find yourself in a position where you’re catering to established clients, where your company has long established an understanding of their requirements and expectations. As a freelancer you’ll need to be motivated enough, and pro-active enough, to perform your own networking and build contacts up yourself.
You’ll also need to dedicate yourself to establishing a brand that will be both original and instantly recognisable to your prospective clients. This process not only involves a clear marketing strategy but will also require consideration into the kinds of brands you’ll work with also.
The practicality of choosing the freelance life
In order to give your new career path the best chance of bringing you industry recognition, you’ll need to market yourself both practically and strategically. Make sure you get the word out about your services and find the appropriate platforms that can provide you with the best chance of finding clients.
Take a look at the sorts of clients you’d want to attract and be sure to take advantage of the websites and social media networks they’re most likely to use. LinkedIn is a great way of appealing to industry professionals, while sites like Twitter can be well utilised for younger, recurring clients.
There are plenty of forums to spread the word of your endeavour, too. Freelance friendly platforms like PeoplePerHour, for instance, are designed to help newcomers to find suitable work.
Another practical issue to overcome is making sure you have the correct licenses and certificates to get your business up and running. Certificates of incorporation and share certificates significantly help in legitimising your personal business while adding an air of authenticity for would-be clients at the same time.
There’s also the necessity of registering your business for VAT as another small but essential hurdle to cross.
When it comes to setting yourself up for a freelance career, there’s plenty to consider in terms of how you plan to go into business for yourself.
Setting up as a limited company
It’s important to have a recognisable brand, and by setting up a limited company, you’ll be in full control of your own unique business name under which you can operate. You can also ensure that you’re paying the correct level of VAT to the HMRC through this method too, ensuring that you’re maximising your earning potential.
By taking the chance to formally set up a limited company for your freelance endeavour, you can also manage your pay much better. Through this process, you can allocate yourself a salary and arrange expenses to go back into the company for taxation purposes.
The process of forming your own company can be a daunting one for many would-be freelancers, so it’s important to feel comfortable when creating your brand and to help you along there are many organisations that are designed to make the rigmarole of setting up a limited company much more manageable.
The bottom line
Delving into the world of freelance can be a daunting prospect. While the career path carries an increased degree of uncertainty, the freedom to work on your own terms certainly holds appeal to the many workers who are making the switch. If you feel like freelancing is the life for you, it’s important that you set up properly in order to start out on the right foot.
If you’re interested in setting up as a limited company, or if you need any other formalities handled like VAT registration, our formation packages can take the stress away from the formal parts of setting up your company. If you’re interested in finding out more, just head over to our register a limited company page for more information.