As a contractor, or anyone for that matter who works freelance or self-employed, it is important to know that you are your own boss. For those thinking how obvious this sounds, this fact has wider repercussions as it also means that you are your own brand. In order to prosper and be successful, brands must be marketed to the wider public or to the audiences that they are targeting. This is one of the key responsibilities of a contractor; self-promotion. Working as your own boss, you don’t have the luxury of relying on a specialist department to advocate your services and win new business as you would working as a full time employee within a large organisation. Like any contractor, marketing and promotion is one of the many jobs that contractors must adopt in their working life, much in the same way as they must handle their financial affairs and insurance matters.
Promoting your services may sound a scary prospect to contractors who have absolutely no marketing experience, but the concept of selling your services isn’t as difficult as it might seem. The online world has given us new tools to help people market themselves, and is unearthing new marketing methods all the time.
For those starting out in the contracting world, here’s some useful tips to help you promote your services as a contractor.
Keep LinkedIn tidy
LinkedIn’s emergence in social media paved the way for a new form of professional networking and allowed users to enhance their credibility through the connections they made and the content they shared. However the once innovative platform has recently been open to criticism from users lately. With its endorsement and recommendation features open to abuse, LinkedIn has been regarded as an unreliable platform at times and a candidate’s profile may not be an honest reflection of their capability as an individual.
The platform still has great relevance and importance however it is important to use it sensibly. Sometimes less is more and it’s better to have a profile that shows you as a master tradesman as opposed to a Jack of all trades. Seeking out endorsements for skills that you have had minimal experience in and getting recommendations from people who you might have met just once at a conference, doesn’t always look impressive when potential recruiters are checking you out online. Ensure your profile is tailored specifically to what kind of work you are seeking. Find out what you believe are the key skills that recruiters are looking for and most importantly what you are most skilled in, and seek out endorsements for these. The same goes for recommendations, go through your employment history and single out people who you believe hold most relevance to the type of work you’re looking for and hold most influence in your industry.
Blogs aren’t just a form of creative expression. They are also important sales tools in modern marketing. Why is this? The traditional ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ selling from the 80’s is a thing of the past. People are more hesitant and less decisive over buying decisions and want to be communicated to in a more inspiring way. Sharing insightful knowledge about your industry online will make you stand out as a respected and trusted expert in your field. A potential buyer of your services can read a blog post of yours that is relevant to their industry. If they find it interesting and useful to read, this will encourage them to find out more about you and it will hopefully be the first step to establishing a professional connection that brings with it potential business.
Despite the word social, social media has huge potential in finding professional opportunities and can be a great way to advocate your services online. Social is a discovery tool and the ability to connect and communicate with others easily makes it a useful resource for contractors and freelancers to share their work with communities.
When using social for self-marketing purposes, look for conversations online that are relevant to your industry. Perhaps someone is having a challenge in their industry and you have a piece of work or blog post you can share with them that offers a solution to this problem. Simply sharing your work to certain social communities and using relevant hashtags is a great way to help new and broader audiences discover your work.
What’s your One Stop Shop or Go To Platform?
The online world has given people access to many platforms to showcase their work in many different ways and formats. Your work as a contractor or freelancer may cover various mediums such as print, digital, video and tech, and there are of course specific platforms that can be used to host these. This is of course fine, but with the numerous platforms out there to use, it becomes difficult to keep track of them all. When directing potential hiring mangers or new business prospects to platforms that advertise your services, it’s ideal to not overload them with links. If you have a portfolio of work plus social profiles, blogs and projects you want to promote, try to integrate this into one go to platform that succinctly summarises you as an individual. As amazing as the online world is, people still want a simple user experience when navigating through platforms. Bombarding people with too much content can be off putting and with people’s time extremely precious, they will want to view everything about you in a one stop shop.
iContract is the new online platform that connects contractors with recruiters. Launching in April, contractors can create relevant and tailored profiles that makes them instantly visible to an active recruiter community. Contractors can find and apply for jobs posted by recruiters that are unique and specific to their needs and skill set as a contractor, as well as being directly contacted by recruiters. This is thanks to the platform’s proprietary algorithmic matching engine that creates a better online experience for both contractor and recruiter.
Find out how iContract can help you as a contractor and pre-register today.