When working as an independent contractor, it’s important to remember that you represent not only yourself, but also a company, a brand. This plays hand in hand with the success and growth of your business. Always make it as clear as possible what services you offer and be sure to advertise your area of expertise.
After you’ve brought awareness to your brand, next is showcasing the value in what you offer. Make sure to shine a light on what differentiates you from the competition, such as innovative techniques you use or rare services you offer.
Take the following steps when building your personal brand.
Staying consistent throughout your marketing efforts is a great way to have prospective clients remember your brand. This means sticking with the same theme (visual components and design elements) and message throughout your business cards, website and company logo.
As an independent contractor, you must remember that you are representing your brand at all times, even on personal social media pages. Owning a business means that your personal life and your professional one goes hand in hand. Failure in acting as such, can lead to a perception of dishonesty or lack of trustworthiness to clients.
Build A Reputation, Not Just A Name
Making an impression is more valuable than simply getting people to remember your company’s name. Here’s how you can create an effective message for your brand:
1. Focus on one area of expertise throughout your branding message.
2. Use online outlets to share valuable industry information that educates or informs your clients. This can be done through a company blog and/or the company’s social media networks.
3. Offer industry knowledge through online forums like LinkedIn, Answers or Quora.
4. Offer to speak at networking events or forums, or, better yet, host your own.
5. Encourage word of mouth promotion by requesting referrals from clients with whom you have established strong relationships.
Relationship management is vital for continued work with all buyers. Don’t raise expectations that you know you can’t meet. Create trust with honest branding. Be clear who your company is and be true to the values that drive it every day.
Successful relationship building can lead to repeat business from one client. This can then lead to more referrals from this loyal customer. Exceeding expectations on first time work orders can grow your business tremendously.
When you schedule a first visit with a potential customer, remember that first impressions are everything. There is no need to show up with work site attire if you’re not there to work. With that said, don’t feel the need to pull out the fancy three-piece suit either. Something simple yet professional will do. The way you are dressed should communicate to your client that you are a professional who knows the business.
Work Day Essentials
Reading through a work order meticulously to ensure you’re fully equipped is a must before heading to any work site. Gather all necessary tools to complete the job. This may seem obvious, but a surprising number of contractors overlook an equipment or two and show up onsite unprepared.
Also, be sure to have your safety wear at all times, i.e. hard hat, gloves and goggles.
Acknowledging that as an independent contractor, your personal life and your professional one go hand in hand is the first step. Next is building your brand, which consists of being consistent, building a name and relationships and being prepared on and off the work site.
What are some tactics that you’ve used to build your brand? Let us know in the comments below.
This article was written by Dorcy Castillo.