Contractors are a lot like small business owners and face many of the same challenges when it comes to finding a steady stream of work or customers. You are not only delivering the service, but you are also responsible for the marketing, sales, and PR needed in order to secure your next contact.
Marketing for contractors is absolutely essential, and in the digital world, it requires a variety of approaches and tactics to ensure success. Of course, old fashioned referrals, face-to-face networking, and maintaining professional relationships will always be crucial, but the online world of marketing has evolved at an incredible rate. Here are six tips to help contractors increase their visibility and find new clients.
Show Your Expertise & Confidence
Use social media and industry forums to promote yourself as an expert in your field. You can do this by contributing to discussions, adding comments, asking, or answering questions. You could also contribute articles or blog posts to relevant websites which will include your byline. Show your potential customers that you are professional, committed to your career and the business’ ongoing success by taking out contractors liability insurance which will cover them should an accident occur.
Build Your Brand
You’re an individual, of course, but you’re also a brand. Consider naming your company in some way which will capture the services and skills you offer and will be memorable to clients. Work with a designer to create a professional logo which you can use throughout your marketing.
Create & Optimize a Website
If you don’t already have a website or a blog, you should. An online presence is essential, and while you can establish this through social media to an extent, you need somewhere to host your resume, present a portfolio, detail your services, and give your contact details. It’s relatively simple and inexpensive to do by using one of the many website building services. Once your website is up and running, you should give some consideration to optimizing it for search engines. This is known as SEO (search engine optimization) and when done successfully, it will mean Google prioritizes your content in search results when users search for relevant phrases and keywords. Visit the Moz beginner’s guide to SEO to get started.
Get Active on Social Media
Social media platforms (such as LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook) can be used to a contractor’s advantage if used appropriately. You can set up an account to connect with other professionals in your industry, share relevant and interesting content, and try to gain followers. You never know when a small action on social media can snowball into a professional relationship, which then leads to a contract. Social media also gives you another way to stay connected with clients, colleagues, and other contractors.
Hone Your Email Approach
If you are planning to approach a potential client by email or are sending an application for a contract, try to keep your email as concise and clear as you can. Businesses receive dozens if not hundreds of emails every day, and some may be filed as trash if they are too long, poorly written, or fail to grab the attention. Consider your subject line and sign off as well as the main content and be sure to tailor the message to the recipient; most people can spot a generic email from a mile away.
Publish Your Positive Reviews & References
One of the biggest lessons to learn in marketing is that often what others say about us is far more important than what you say about yourself. While your online presence should portray you in the best possible way, references, reviews and testimonials from people who have used your service or worked with you can be incredibly effective. You can publish these testimonials on social media accounts and professional networking sites like LinkedIn as well as your own website.