Contractor Leads – How to Secure Them Online?
If you are a contract consultant, securing new clients and projects for your business will largely depend on you, your own resourcefulness, and the industry contacts you make. While job boards and contractor agencies can be very helpful in this respect, there are several other things you can do to generate new contractor leads and make sure that your business always has a steady stream of projects in the pipeline.
Securing sales leads with a website
To secure contractor client leads without an agency or a job board, first of all, you must build a quality website. A good business website will give you a huge advantage over the contractors in your field who do not have one. The website should not only describe your skills, but also provide some general information on your area of expertise, your previous projects, the results you have accomplished, and contractor rates for the field in which you specialize. This will be very useful to clients who have never hired an independent consultant before and the first step they take in that direction is an Internet search.
Creating content for a contractor’s website
Be particularly careful to point out what your niche is and do at least some basic keyword research to see which related terms potential clients may be searching for. Then use these terms prominently on your website. When creating content for your site, think informative, not merely functional. In the final stage, submit the site to relevant Internet business directories and yellow pages.
Use at least basic traffic tracking and analytics tools. Once the site begins to generate traffic from the search engines, find out which pages bring in the most visitors and use these pages to direct potential clients to a page that tells them what you can do to improve their business and what you have accomplished working on your previous contract assignments. Posting videos of your previous jobs may not be up everyone's alley, but a few testimonials from satisfied customers can go a long way in turning potential clients into real ones.
Establishing your contractor business as a brand
When your website is finished, take your online presence to another level. Consider, for instance, starting a blog and offering expert information and tips in your area of expertise. This will generate trust and cement your image as an expert in your field. While writing about things that seem obvious and ordinary to you may seem like a waste of time, your visitors will no doubt find them interesting, especially if they did a search for them. In the long run, an industry blog can go a long way to affirm your online presence, establish your business as a trusted brand in its niche, and secure a steady stream of contract assignments. Moreover, industry professionals routinely add blogs to their feed readers these days to stay up to date with the latest trends, ideas and everything that goes on in their industry. Not only is a blog a good daily or weekly reminder that your brand exists, but good word of mouth can always translate into new contractor leads. At the very least, it can get more people to visit your website and recommend it to their own industry contacts who, in turn, may generate new contractor leads for your business down the line. Nothing drives traffic to a website like content and blogs are the easiest way to keep adding fresh content to a site without worrying about how to organise it.
Contract leads and social networking
Once you have a site or a blog, it is important to build links to it. The number and quality of incoming links play a huge part in how much search engines trust your site and how highly they rank it. You can link to your home page or add your blog's feed to social networking sites (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn), submit the site to relevant directories, link to it when you leave comments on other sites, put a link in your email signature, or exchange links with other professionals in your field who have sites and blogs of their own.
Social networking is yet another step further to building a community around your site. If you have a Facebook account, you can join groups and contribute informative content or create a group of your own and think of ways to engage other members. Put up a poll on your site and ask the readers what interests them and what they would like to see more of. Use sites like Twitter and Facebook to stay in touch with clients and follow up with prospects. The main thing to remember is not to oversell your business, but instead focus on your audience and offer advice where you can. The web is full of aggressive marketers and, even though their approach may work for their business (or, more likely, put people off), there is no better way of building trust and promoting yourself than being helpful. Find out more about
how social networks can help your career
It is important to stay informed on what goes on in the industry and in your niche. If you haven't already, track down the most relevant industry blogs and forums and find a few minutes each day to at least skim them. If you feel that you have something to contribute to a discussion, all the better. The more people click on your link and visit your site, the better the odds are that they will recommend it to their friends and colleagues. In the long haul, the time and effort you put into promoting your business online will inevitably pay off.
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