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Since 1995, we’ve been providing A1 accountancy services to our clients, steered by our watertight values and principles.



With three comprehensive packages and a number of add-ons, we can equip you with everything you need to help you ride the waves of contracting.



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How to Become a Marketing Consultant

There’s a whole world wanting marketing contractors — could you become one?

For a business to grow and expand their client base they need to have a successful marketing strategy. Without marketing, a business could offer the most fantastic products or services in the world, but potential customers wouldn’t know about them. Marketing is all about measuring figures, which prove whether a campaign or marketing activity has been a success. Testing different marketing activities must have quantifiable results to show that it has provided a strong return on investment.

Whether your expertise lies in digital, management, or direct marketing, working on a consultancy basis allows you to provide an expert, unbiased viewpoint on a company’s marketing activity; which is essential in implementing necessary improvements, that ultimately increases sales.

As a marketing consultant rather than working in a permanent role, you could work with multiple clients on a contract basis. This article will discuss the benefits of working as a marketing consultant, how to secure work, rates of pay and the best way to operate as a consultant.

Benefits of becoming a marketing consultant

From higher rates of pay to greater skill development, there are many reasons why marketing consultants prefer working on a contract basis. Some of the benefits of contracting as a marketing consultant include:

  • Higher earning potential – the opportunity to command higher daily rates is one of the main reasons that many permanent employees make the switch to contracting. In fact, in our latest contractor survey, 79% of respondents stated that higher rates of pay were their biggest deciding factor, with 66% stating they currently earn a daily rate of around £443, correct October 2015.
  • A variety of work – Consultancy can bring you opportunities to work for a variety of companies, which will provide you with different experiences and further develops your knowledge.
  • Flexibility – Consultancy based work does not adhere to the same rules as a permanent role does, and allows for the flexibility of choosing what you work on at any given time.
  • Freedom of control – Tying into the previous point, being a consultant also allows for the freedom to decide how, when and where you work, as well as what contracts you take on.

How to find work as a marketing consultant

Here we have a few tips on finding a contract, and what you should do next.

First and foremost, research into contracts and firms in your local area. Once you have done this it will be easier to determine what contracts will be best suited to your skill set and interests. An introductory email can then be sent, informing them that you are available for contracted work within your respected field.

If there has been no reply, a follow-up call can be made a few days later, which is a lot better than initially cold calling. This is useful as sometimes emails can be lost or have been sent to the wrong person/department. Also by emailing the company they can decide whether they need your services and contact you accordingly.

Keeping notes on when who and what was said to the firms can keep you organised so you don’t mistake one for another when talking to a potential client. Also, keep notes on if a follow-up call or meeting is required and the date and times.

Recruitment agencies and job boards

  • Technojobs: Technojobs is a popular job board which works with well-known companies
  • Only Digital: Only Digital is another good resource for finding marketing consultant contracts
  • Reed: Reed is one of the most well-known job boards for both permanent and contract jobs

Contract marketing daily rates

Daily rates for marketing consultants will depend on your skill level, reputation, qualifications, experience and the location of your contract. The average daily rate for marketing consultants in the UK is around £400 per day (October 2015).

For the higher-end contracts you should have:

  • 5+ years experience
  • CIM diploma
  • Reporting skills
  • Experience in integrated marketing campaigns
  • Management and leadership skills

Your daily rate will, of course, be subject to tax and national insurance, if you have already secured your contract you may want to use our contractor calculator for a better idea of how much you could be taking home from your contract.

Marketing consultants and IR35

A contract can last anytime and is dependant on your client’s requirements, the length of your assignment will be outlined within your contract. When working on a contract basis you should be aware of IR35, which is government legislation that was put in place to combat what HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) deem to be disguised employment. We would always recommend that you get your contract reviewed by a specialist to ensure that you comply with IR35. For more information, you may find the following pages useful.

Limited company or umbrella

Once you have decided that contracting is for you, the next step is deciding whether to operate under an umbrella company or form your own limited company. You can find out more in our comparison guide, however, most contractors decide that forming their own limited company is the most beneficial option for them.

How does an umbrella company work?

Working with an umbrella company means they act as your employer and details such as expenses must be provided to them directly. The Umbrella Company will then collect payment from the client, take a percentage and pay you.

Working through an umbrella company can be viewed as an easier method and is ideal for temporary contractors expecting to work for less than three months, however, there are drawbacks such as, working in the least tax-efficient way and being subject to the same rules as a permanent employee.

A limited company is one of the best ways to operate in a tax-efficient way and means when you form your own business, you can select a name to operate under. Once you have a copy of your incorporation certificate, which Nixon Williams can help you with through our new business team, you can begin trading immediately.

Forming a limited company allows you to have more control over your day-to-day life and many more benefits such as:

  • Tax efficiency
  • Low financial risk
  • Expenses covered
  • Freedom of choice
  • A higher rate of take-home pay

If you’re still unsure or would like more information on how umbrella companies operate, our guide to umbrella companies can point you in the right direction.

How to form a limited company

Setting up a limited company isn’t as scary as it sounds. All you need to do is decide on your limited company name, company address, a minimum of one company director and we can set up your company within three to six working hours.

Clients of Nixon Williams are offered a free set up of their limited company, this includes registering for PAYE, VAT and Corporation Tax. We will also assist you with support in opening a business account with Metro Bank.

Appointing an accountant

Once you have formed your limited company you may want to consider appointing an accountant to take care of your taxation requirements. When choosing an accountant you may want to consider appointing a firm that specialises in the contractor market and has experience dealing with the issues that affect contractors, like IR35.

Here at Nixon Williams, we can make the transition seamless. We’ll appoint one of our accountants who will provide advice on the most tax-efficient way to operate and claim on expenses, communicate with the relevant authorities on your behalf, take care of your bookkeeping, and complete your year-end accounts.

As a part of our Platinum and Professional packages, we offer a switching service so you can move to and from limited and umbrella, depending on your assignment. For more information on the services that Nixon Williams provides, please visit our services page.

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