How to Become a Creative Consultant
If you always seem to be the one with the creative ideas, if you are the one that your friends go to for advice, and if you are full of outside-the-box ideas, then look into a career as a creative consultant.
Creative consultants are needed in a variety of industries, from film to fundraising, to provide advice on how to make a creative project work, whether it be a marketing campaign or a book. This is the ideal career for creative thinkers who can see the bigger picture, and if this sounds like you, then find out more below about a creative consultant career.
What Is A Creative Consultant?
Professionals such as advertising agencies and small businesses seek out creative consultants when they need advice on specific projects to help them achieve their creative goals.
Creative consultants are therefore often independent contractors, although most start out in a consultancy firm, and clients contact them with projects such as an advertising campaign, new product, film script, or new book.
With an artistic eye and knowledge of creative industries, creative consultants then advise clients on how they can improve their book, film script, or product, the best ways to promote their project, and how to overcome any problems they might encounter. The main duties of a creative consultant include:
How Much Does A Creative Consultant Earn?
Creative consultants earn a minimum annual salary of £20,000, which can rise to as high as £50,000 with experience, according to the National Careers Service. If you choose to work as a freelancer, you could see your earnings rise even higher if you gain a solid reputation.
What Qualifications Are Needed To Become A Creative Consultant?
Educational requirements for a creative consultant are usually a Bachelor’s degree in an area such as communications, marketing, art, creative writing, or graphic design.
A creative or advertising qualification is highly regarded in this career, especially if you have little working experience in this environment. A Master’s degree is also a fantastic addition to your CV, and some job descriptions require postgraduate qualifications or some work experience.
If you do not have a Bachelor’s degree or you have a degree in an unrelated field, then design, marketing, public relations, or business communications courses can also look great on your CV when you apply for creative consultant jobs.
If you are keen to get on this career path, then finding local consulting services you want to work for and seeing what they value in employees is a great way to decide whether you want to pursue further certifications through part-time courses.
Completing online consultancy courses or marketing courses can also demonstrate to employers and managers of consultancy firms that you are keen to delve into this career and will be more likely to work with you to get your foot in the door through work experience or internships.
What Skills Are Needed To Become A Creative Consultant?
Some of the skills you will need for a career as a creative consultant include:
A very creative mind and ability to think imaginatively
Excellent project management skills
Excellent communication skills
Good written and verbal English skills
An in-depth understanding of the project area (e.g., product design, marketing, scriptwriting, etc.)
Excellent problem-solving skills
Good research skills
Efficient IT skills for communication and design/editing software
Excellent planning and design/art skills
Does Becoming A Creative Consultant Need Any Work Experience?
The amount of work experience a creative consultant role requires will depend on your academic qualifications and your portfolio. Most creative consultants receive on-the-job training if they have a degree, so they can get straight into becoming a creative consultant.
However, any creative work experience or experience working in business can be a great advantage. For example, copywriting has transferable skills such as digital marketing and creative writing, whilst business development work experience is useful when it comes to helping a new business get its brand known.
You can also improve your chances of getting work in a consulting business by getting an entry-level role which many companies offer to graduates, or by developing your portfolio. A portfolio is a must for any creative career, as it demonstrates your creative abilities to employers and potential clients.
This portfolio can be full of designs you have created, projects you have worked on with previous clients or friends and family, and any design plans you have come up with (whether they have been used or were created for practice).
Demonstrating an understanding of the industry (be it advertising, marketing, or scriptwriting) through online courses such as business development courses and training will also make you stand out to employers and prospective clients.
Finally, any experience in a working environment is worth highlighting to employers, including retail or admin experience. This is because there are many transferable skills such as problem-solving and communication that you can highlight through your previous work experience.
Career Prospects For A Creative Consultant
Creative consultants can advance in their career by taking up training opportunities and engaging in regular CPD (continuous professional development) by enrolling on courses to stay up to date with their industry.
Connecting and networking with industry professionals is a good way of expanding career prospects, and many creative consultants work with high-profile clients on large brands or well-known films and TV shows. However, these roles often require years of experience and a proven track record of helping clients achieve their creative aims.
There are also many opportunities to step into marketing careers such as digital marketing or Management. You could also go on to become a creative director in a creative agency after many years of experience, qualifications, CPD, and a track record of achievement.