As an interim marketing specialist I take particular interest in
issues concerning the ’flexible worker’. More often than not the
discussion centres on the 30-something professional with increasing
family commitments and no let-up in their workload.
This, however, only serves to simplify the issues and restrict the
debate to the whys and wherefores of negotiating a flexible working
What is being neglected is the broader spectrum of flexible working and
the opportunities open to the marketer as a self-employed
An experienced marketing practitioner will at some point consider
leaving the traditional working hierarchy to market their own services
to outside clients. At the moment the market for these services is
Trends indicate that in more and more circumstances businesses are
out-sourcing aspects of their marketing just as they had previously in
more traditional areas such as IT, finance, or facilities.
There can be numerous reasons why a company will appoint an interim
marketing specialist, and all concern organisational change. A position
may have become vacant due to maternity leave, or management succession
could be playing a part. The client may be over-stretched or
under-resourced, or they may simply have never carried out that task
The opportunities certainly exist for the freelance marketer, but
exercise caution - a flexible arrangement does not necessarily mean an
Becoming self-employed is an extra commitment in itself. The interim
takes on two jobs.
The first is the job you are signed to do. The second is the job of
business development - that is identifying your next client and winning
Not to mention the administrative demands of running your own
Business development is the key to success - this is where networking
and the use of intermediaries comes in. My current assignment came as a
result of the expertise of an intermediary agency, The Resource
Being a specialist recruitment consultancy that has extensively
researched flexible working patterns, they have the relevant experience
of interim management and could therefore help me achieve my aims.
The importance of such agencies must never be underestimated by the
self-employed marketer - they are central to continuous and successful
Something of a pioneer spirit must also be adopted by the interim
You may well be the first exposure the client company will have of
flexible working in practice. Not only are you selling your own skills,
you are selling flexibility as a viable concept. It is a double
challenge not for the faint-hearted.
Kevin Price is director of Perky Outlook.