Contractors are like small businesses. You are entirely dependent on yourself to find the next contract and to sell yourself as a candidate and recruiter. Could you benefit by marketing your business more effectively?
Here are some tips and tricks from the ITContracting Team on using an old and new method mix to increase your visibility and attract new work.
How to promote your contracting business
- Connect – Stay in touch with your colleagues, contractors and clients. This has never been simpler, thanks to the prevalence of social media websites. LinkedIn is a great way to showcase your portfolio and skills and build your network.
- Show off your expertise to let people know your skills and how they can benefit from you. Use LinkedIn groups to ask questions or answer questions. Write articles for industry bulletin boards and information sites.
- Web Presence: All professional contractors must have some online presence. This can be in the form of a company website or blog. Your online presence can be used as a portfolio or to showcase your CV. You could also use it to provide your guides and services. You can do almost anything with a shared hosting plan, a domain, and WordPress as your template.
- Social Media: It is hard to keep pace with the rapid social media and cloud computing advancements. However, there are many benefits to having accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn (and a separate business account). Google’s ranking algorithm is increasingly based on social signals, so the more you build up your social network online, the better off your blog or website.
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- Search engine optimisation, once the domain of the elite, is now essential for many web-based contractors. Google is the dominant search engine, so you must take several measures to improve your website’s ranking. It is necessary to build several relevant and robust backlinks from sites within your industry. You should also regularly update your website with high-quality content. Start with the SEOMoz Beginner’s Guide to SEO.
- People are branding themselves in all walks of life – consciously or unconsciously. Create a name for your business (or a freelancer if you are self-employed) and a logo that will attract clients but not overshadow your offer.
- Email Etiquette: If you are applying for a job or contacting a client via email, your message should be as concise and professional as possible. Each day, we receive dozens and dozens of emails from small businesses that offer services (primarily SEO but other more substantive ones), and 99 per cent of them end up in the trash. Subject lines, greetings, content and signatures attract potential clients’ attention. When designing your emails and documents, tailor them carefully for the recipient.
- Review – Request testimonials from clients or colleagues for use in social media and as references to recruiters/clients. LinkedIn is a great place to start. You can choose the recommendations you want to include on your profile.
- It’s time to go old school – With all the technological advances over the last few years, we must remember that people still buy from others. While it’s easy to hide behind a laptop and communicate almost exclusively via the Internet, traditional networking and informal meetings are still essential for making an impact and discovering what other contractors have been up to.
- You are your business – Remember to market yourself to get new contracts. You must be the company’s director of sales, marketing, and PR and be the breadwinner.