Networking is the key to building solid relationships. As a contractor with limited job security, it is vital to keep a solid and active network to gain access to decision makers who might be able to offer you the dream contract.
Get In Groups
There are tons of groups and pages, and getting involved in those most relevant to your line of work is a good way to get your name known. There are 3 groups on Linkedin and Facebook specially set up for contractors: Financial Service Professional Contractors; IT Contractor Circle; Independent Legal Consultants. Joining these groups help you to stay informed with the market information and to mingle with other contractors in your industry.
Participate In Discussions
Participating in discussions, commenting on others’ comments, and following-up on particularly pertinent discussions with a friend request or connection is a good way to meet other people in your industry who could open the door to the next opportunity for you.
Creating engaging social media content of your own is invaluable. This shows you as an expert in your field, and helps you attract more interest in the work you do. Create meaningful content, from posts relevant to your industry to videos, photos and other engaging media, and start to attract people to your online network.
Engaging with your network across multiple online platforms is key to the most effective results. Make sure you are represented and engaging on different social media sites, and make connections wherever and whenever you can, i.e. actively respond to a like on Facebook, a Retweet on Twitter or a connection on LinkedIn.
While the online stuff clearly helps you to reach out to people you would otherwise never have met, to expand your network quickly, networking in real world is the only way to bring people closer and to make a real connection. Combining the two together: to establish an initial contact online and to follow up in person is a very efficient way to ensure you are not just acquiring a virtual and distanced contact but to actually gain a real contact or friend in life.
To help you further, below we have listed a few real life networking opportunities and venues:
Business Groups – The FSB, The BCC
Business groups like the Federation of Small Businesses and the British Chamber of Commerce provide networking opportunities and events for small businesses, freelancers and contractors. These events allow you to meet other people in your industry face to face, so you can discuss opportunities for partnering up and working together. Websites Like Meetup.com, 4Networking
There are a number of online platforms specifically tailored to organising offline networking meetings and events. These can help you get put in touch with the right people, and can secure you that all important meeting before you even leave the house. Conferences, Training, Industry Events
In less formal settings, conferences, training days and industry events can be a great way to expand your network. IPSE hosts several training courses and conferences each year, which is a good opportunity to meet other contractors and subject experts in the industry.
iContract provides a contractor focused network to connect with each other and with recruiters instantly based on mutual interests. Through our 3 dimensional engagements: Connection search, add and updates; active group discussions; and offline meetups, it is never easier to establish and maintain a targeted and active contractor network. Coming soon…
The iContract Team