For most contractors and freelancers, marketing their business is a task that falls to themselves. At the end of the day, you have to let people know you’re out there and get yourself seen by the right people.
If you’re new to contracting or freelancing, you may still need to set up your marketing channels. If you’ve been contracting a long time, you may of course be able to rely on word of mouth, but surely it can’t hurt to add increase your visibility a little more? We’ve put down some of the essential ways contractors and freelancers should be marketing themselves in 2018.
Practically anyone can build their own professional looking website these days, with a variety of services offering drag-and-drop or template site building, hosting and domain registration for a monthly or yearly fee. So even if you can’t afford to hire a web designer, you can still have a great looking site.
Having a website enables you to be more easily found by Google and other search engines, meaning you’re more likely to be found by the right people. It allows potential clients to find you, read about you, look at previous work you’ve completed and, crucially, contact you. So if you don’t have an up-to-date website already, you should make 2018 the year you get one.
LinkedIn is, of course, the main social network to market yourself as a business. Packed with decision makers and recruiters, you’re extremely likely to get seen on here if you have a great profile. Take an afternoon, top yourself up with coffee and get your profile up to date and looking great so you can be sure you’ll be found in relevant searches.
Other social networks
While the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter aren’t ‘professional’ social networks in the same way as LinkedIn, it can be worth having a presence. If you’re already on these networks in a personal capacity, consider setting up business accounts so that you don’t have to worry about your personal views on Great British Bake Off upsetting potential clients.
There are lots of networking organisations out there — some free, some paid — so it’s worth looking at your local options. They can be a great place to spread the word about your work, as well as meeting potential clients or people who could recommend you. Be sure to attend with a pocketful of business cards to pass out to help people remember you.
We’ve already mentioned business cards, but it’s also worth considering some of the other seemingly old-fashioned methods of drumming up business. Getting listed in your local phone book can be worth its weight in gold as people do still use them, while having posters, flyers and leaflets left in relevant places can also be great, depending on your field. Some freelancers working on smaller, individual creative projects may even find that having a card in the local shop window is a great lead generator!
However you market yourself, make sure you always have the right contractor insurance. To find out more, take a look at the Kingsbridge Knowledge Hub.