Contractors may use the services of an agency to find their next contract, but those going it alone will need to learn how to create a killer marketing strategy to find and win the contracts they love.

For independent contractors, marketing in a downturn can be a tricky task. Often with limited time and resources, it can be easy to let your marketing strategy slip to the bottom of the pile. That’s why in this handy guide, Umbrella Broker has outlined an easy-to-implement marketing strategy, to help every contractor get noticed, bring in new leads and outshine the competition.

Understand the Market

To create an epic marketing strategy, you need to fully understand the market. Only then can you identify and highlight your unique selling point to the client.

To do this, focus on:

  • Researching your sector to gain a full understanding of the current industry and business environment
  • Pinpointing potential clients within your industry
  • Uncovering what skills are most in-demand in your industry
  • Outlining what the client requires
  • Keeping an eye on current development and trends in your area
  • Understanding the competition

In an ever-changing marketplace, it’s important to keep up-to-date in order to market yourself like a pro.

Show off your unique selling point

Having identified what skills are most in-demand in your industry, you can work towards gaining these skills and marketing yourself in this niche. With 90% of clients using the services of contractors to gain access to key skill sets, contractors that can highlight their unrivaled skill-set will stand out head and shoulders above the competition.

After all, those that can flaunt a unique selling point will show that they can give the client something that no one else can.

Once you’ve identified your unique selling point, it’s time to spread the word:

  • For contractors with a website or LinkedIn account, utilize these platforms to show off your USP. It is also a great idea to write a professional blog and LinkedIn articles to highlight your expertise.
  • Ensure your skillset shines through on your CV – as this is often one of the first things a client sees, make sure your skills are super obvious.
  • Join online industry-specific forums or groups and actively engage in conversations on your specialist subject. Again, this shows you off as an authoritative industry leader.

Utilize LinkedIn

With thousands of potential clients, contracts, and network opportunities readily available on LinkedIn, this professional platform should form a critical part of every contractor’s marketing strategy.

70% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates for contracts, making LinkedIn the perfect platform for contractors to market themselves with a professional profile, connect with relevant clients and industry contacts and find and be discovered for new opportunities.

To make the most of LinkedIn, contractors should ensure they:

  • Have a fully optimized contractor profile: ensure your profile is complete and up-to-date, listing all relevant experience, qualifications, and skills.
  • Pay close attention to their LinkedIn headline: this will be the first thing a client will see and can also impact your ranking in searches. Ensure your headline is clear, and concise and communicates the value you can offer to the client. Include your job title, industry, location, and experience level.
  • Try your hand at LinkedIn InMail: for those with the budget, this paid feature allows users to send direct messages to profiles they are not yet connected with. The great thing about this feature is that it has a 300% higher response rate than traditional email and lets you get your name out there to people who would otherwise not hear about you.
  • Use LinkedIn’s Contractor Targeting feature: this allows contractors to privately notify recruiters that they are open to being contacted about new opportunities, without broadcasting it publicly, helping clients and recruiters easily search for contractor talent. Another handy element of this feature is that the LinkedIn algorithm can scan and analyze thousands of contractor profiles to discover the perfect match for the client.

Get Social

There are plenty of benefits to setting up professional social media profiles for contractors. After all, 15% of self-employed workers have found new opportunities through social media platforms.

Whether you set up a professional Facebook page or Twitter profile, this is a great way for contractors to get discovered, market their skills and services and connect with potential clients.

It is important to keep your contractor’s social media platforms strictly professional. This is a space to show off your unique selling points to clients online, not post pictures of your dog.

Update your CV

A contractor’s CV is a key element that will determine whether they will be offered an interview or not. With the average recruiter spending a mere 7 seconds scanning a CV, it’s important to make your CV the best reflection of you, your experience, and your skills.

Our top tips for a killer contractor CV include:

  • Present a punchy profile: write a killer profile geared towards your industry and the client. Taking this information into account, create a profile tailored towards the contract.
  • Sell yourself: shout about relevant skills, experience, and how you are suited to a contract, client, and company.
  • Show off your niche: highlight your niche skills, showing how you can provide a solution to a problem or fill a temporary skills gap for the client.
  • Back up the facts: explain how you have achieved results or provided solutions for clients in the past with specific examples.

Network, network, network

Networking is a great way for contractors to get out there and market their skills and services. This is a foolproof way of growing your business whilst staying on top of industry trends.

There are several ways contractors can network, including:

  • Attending events: this will help you forge real connections with fellow contractors and potential clients, let you learn about new opportunities, and market yourself face-to-face.
  • Using LinkedIn: contractors typically have more than 2x more connections than the average LinkedIn member. This is a great platform for networking with new and existing contacts.
  • Joining Facebook Groups: joining and being active in industry-relevant Facebook Groups is a great way to get your contractor’s name out there.

Use the services of an umbrella company

By making use of the services of an umbrella company, contractors can free up more of their precious time to dedicate to crafting a killer marketing strategy and winning the contracts they love. At Umbrella Broker, we compare the best umbrella companies online, helping contractors find the right one for them. Why not see what we can do for you?