Marketing: how to promote yourself as a contractorBy admin | Comments: 2 | December 20, 2016
Operating as an IT contractor, you yourself will play a vital role in reaching out, locating opportunities and building client relationships. If you were an employee of a firm, they might dictate all of this for you. But contractors have the potential to harness this power, and the only person that is going to sell your expertise is you. Still, this won’t be an unbearable struggle, as we know demand exists in many industries for available contractors, provided that they have a proven record of reliability.
1. Set up social media accounts
A basic step is to setup and maintain social media channels for your professional persona. Whichever route you choose, LinkedIn will be crucial – be sure to set your location as the area in which you want to work and then join LinkedIn groups around your industry. You can view contracts on LinkedIn that would be ideal for you, and then tailor your profile to target the same keywords. Is it easy for recruiters with attractive propositions to find and contact you?
2. Encourage engagement
Always encourage clients to leave you reviews and testimonials as these will be verifiable to prospective connections – building instant trust. LinkedIn has a feature built-in for this, or you can include a section on your invoices linking satisfied clients to where they can leave a review on your own website.
3. Update your skills
Be willing to constantly develop and update. Your skills will need to progress every year with extra learning, perhaps even certification and this is something you can promote via your personal online brand.
4. Do your market research
Know your market and keep tabs on current trends. What are other contractors doing and what effect is it having? Have you researched other top-rated contractors both online and in person? This research will also help you set reasonable fees by positioning yourself competitively alongside other available contractors.
Finally, a little networking will go a long way. Though many feel uncomfortable with the idea of actively selling themselves, think of this task more as building industry relationships. After meeting someone at a work function, make a follow up call to continue the conversation. Ask satisfied clients for referrals rather than assuming they will do this naturally. Consider contacting ex-colleagues or people you have studied or trained with for broader introductions.
Keeping in mind these few steps will help you build connections and start to generate an online brand. In time, this will make it easy to work with both recruiters and new clients alike. There’s no time like the present to make yourself publicly available as a contractor.