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What is a freelance marketing consultant?

A freelance marketing consultant is someone who helps businesses with their marketing activities on a freelance basis. In other words, they are self-employed. Freelancer marketers are more common than you might think. In fact, you can practically do any job freelance instead of working for an employer.

How to become a freelance marketing consultant?

Usually, you start life working for a company under an employer. Once you’ve built up enough contacts that will become your client base, you can take the plunge and go it alone.

But there are some key differences between being employed and self-employed that you should be mindful of. 

Self-employed

  • You decide when and where you work
  • You choose your clients
  • Your rates are set by you
  • Taxes are your responsibility to pay
  • You don’t have benefits like sickness or holiday pay

Employed

  • Where and when you work is dictated by an employer
  • Your employer controls what you’re paid
  • You’re paid sickness and holiday pay
  • You benefit from whatever employee benefits your work offers e.g. free healthcare
  • You’re protected by employment law

One of the important differences between marketing as a freelancer versus as an employee is control. When you’re self-employed, you have more control over your working life. Or so you’re led to believe. But the reality is that when you first start out freelancing, things aren’t always as rosy as you might expect. You’ll probably end up working longer hours and for less money initially. This is because building a loyal network is crucial to being a freelance marketing consultant, but it takes time to build.

That said, whilst it may be a slog at the beginning, it will be worth it if you can turn your business into a success. 

How does self-employed tax work?

There are a few things to remember when it comes to paying your taxes yourself:

  • They are calculated based on the tax year – 6th April – 5th April
  • You have to declare your untaxed income to HMRC via a Self Assessment
  • You’re allowed to deduct your business expenses 
  • The amount of tax you pay depends on how much you earn

If you do freelance marketing as a side gig alongside your full time job, you can earn £1000 tax-free through the Trading Allowance. However, if you claim this allowance, you’re not allowed to deduct expenses. 

If you’re freelance marketing as a full time role, the tax-free allowances are a little different. They are based on Income Tax and National Insurance rates. Below is a table of earnings and the tax you owe on them:

IncomeTax rate
Up to £12,5000%Personal allowance
£12,501 to £50,00020%Basic rate
£50,000 to £150,00040%Higher rate
over £150,00045%Additional rate

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