How to Go From a 9-5 Marketing Job to Starting Your Own Thing

Business.com / Careers / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Here are a few tips if you want to go from working for someone else to starting a business for yourself.

Many people who have worked in a marketing agency want to branch out and do something on their own.

This could be starting a company themselves or just wanting to get out of the hustle and bustle of agency life by freelancing. Whatever the reason is that you are transitioning, there are plenty of things to do and know before any decision is made.

The worst thing that can be done is to go out into the world of unemployment/entrepreneurship without a plan of action. The following are just a few of the many things you should take care of when transitioning from agency life to working for yourself.

Check Out Any Kind of Employment Paperwork You Have Signed

A a lot of people tend not to read their employment paperwork as they are happy to have the job. This can bring up huge problems, especially if you have signed an NDA and non-compete contract that forces you to work outside of the industry for a period of a few years.

However, marketing is an industry of favors and frequent company change so many employment contracts aren’t too bad. Discussing  yours with an employment lawyer or someone who is an HR professional will allow you to understand what you can and cannot do after terminating your employment.

Related Article: Recent Grad to Entrepreneur: 10 Must-Know Tips For Starting Your Own Business

Get the Documents Together That You Will Need

Many people do not realize the number of documents you need to have in order to get a startup off the ground. Different things need to be in order before you can apply for LLC status. Most contracts you will send out will be a template in which amounts, as well as services, are ordered.

Asking a few companies to see their contracts can be a great way to save some money and take the best bits and pieces of their agreements to combine them into one.Sales material will have to be in order whether you are starting a company or freelancing.

Freelancers can have case studies but most of the time past work in content writing or web designing usually sell themselves. A company will need sales material to send out to potential clients. This is one of the first things that a company asks for whether it is a case study or other sample of work. A great piece of sales material will have this and much more.

Utilize LinkedIn to the Fullest

LinkedIn can be a great place to connect with people you have worked with in the past. Even if you do not pitch them or ask them to work with you, another great tactic is asking for an introduction. LinkedIn introductions are great as well as reliable as you can see when a person has viewed your profile. Reaching out to those who look to be in the same position as you as they are freelancing or starting their own company is important.

The knowledge that can be passed back and forth can allow you to build a relationship which might provide you with work in the future. Finding potential employees or contractors on LinkedIn is extremely easy. Freelancers that have agency experience can be perfect hires as they know what is expected and can work remotely.

A great tip is taking a look at the person’s recommendations as this is basically a referral with a footprint. The skills that are endorsed can be asked for so these mean much less than that of the custom recommendation.

Related Article: Are You Ready to Start a Business? 5 Burning Questions You Need to Ask Yourself

Have a Base Set Up Before Taking The Plunge

Freelancing allows the freelancer to have unlimited freedom when it comes to location and schedule. Before leaving a steady paying job it is important that you have some sort of income stream.

There are so many different marketing jobs freelancers can pick up that nearly every skill level is needed. Writers and web designers/developers are always in need and can start picking up projects immediately. The fact is that you will have to work after your regular job for a few months in order to stabilize your income. Once you have a few clients and leaving your original job has been cleared, you can start to set up your base.

How to set up this base:  

  • Try freelance websites like Upwork or websites your agency has used to hire freelancers in the past.
  • Visit message boards like Wicked Fire and Warrior Forum as this is a huge marketplace to order and contract out services. Building a great reputation on these sites will provide clients on a regular basis.
  • Reach out to contacts that you have made in the industry in the past. Do not reach out to these people if your agency is still in contract with them as this is in poor taste. A contact that your agency never worked with as contractual details couldn’t be hammered out is fair game though especially if you developed a rapport with them.
  • The agency you work for might be willing to provide you with work as a freelancer. This is why it is important to not burn bridges or try to lure any clients away. One of your largest clients could be your old agency as you are at the top of the list of freelancers because you have a personal relationship with the company as well as staff.

Related Article: A Strong Foundation: 3 Books to Read Before Starting Your Business

Leaving a job to go into business for yourself takes courage but it also takes quite a bit of preparation. Do not leave things up to chance when you have the ability to control them. The freedom that owning your own business or freelancing gives you is almost unequaled so enjoy your new life.

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