Making a living as a contractor is the new big thing. One study found that 37% of the US workforce is part of the gig economy, as more and more people become independent contractors.
The bad news is that it isn’t easy to make a living in the gig economy. You need to build the right connections and work hard to earn leads.
As more and more companies hesitate to hire full-time staff to save money, the gig economy is growing and many businesses are turning towards contractors and freelancers as a way to provide work they need to stop the gap in their business. How do you rise above the rest? For those that are just getting started, here are 4 ways to get your foot in the door and land that next job.
1. Do your research and build relationships
Connections are huge, especially when it comes to the gig economy. Make sure you do your research into companies and external recruiting firms that have the positions you are looking for. Get to know the companies well, what they stand for and what recruiters are specifically looking for. Try reaching out and connecting with them. Leverage the “give to get” strategy and take an unconventional route. Instead of trying to email them, phone them, or connect with them on LinkedIn, take a risk and stand out. Show you’re interested and offer them something of value that makes you stand above the rest of the candidates. A good way is to create a deliverable that relates to your position and show them that you have the experience to take it on.
2. Connect online.
More and more jobs are being found online. As the digital arena for recruiting and job search grows it is important that you find a way to connect with hiring managers online or find someone that knows the individual and request an introduction. LinkedIn is a great channel for this. It gives hiring managers a look into your specific connections, recommendations as well as experience in an easy to read format. But don’t just connect with them, serve them. When you approach a potential client or managers, try requesting a networking contact while offering something of value to them. This will allow you to jump above the other people claiming for a connection.
3. Follow the company on social media and engage with them
With the growing prominence of social media for a brand, it is important that you interact with that brand online. Whether that is Facebook, LinkedIn, Google or even Twitter – follow the company and engage in the conversation that matters to them. Like their posts, retweet the conversations and bring your own enthusiasm to the table by interacting with the company, its community and people.
4. Ask to grab a coffee for an informational interview
This is not an interview but rather an interview that gives you the opportunity to ask questions about the employer and occupation. It’s an opportunity to get answers for things you may not necessarily find on the website. This shows that you’re proactive and creates space for you to show employers of what you have to offer. For example, telling employers you already have contractor insurance, a portfolio or networks lets them know you have things ready to go. It’s one less thing they as a company have to worry about.
Contracting is a risk but it’s a worthwhile risk when done right. Take these small steps and get ready to dive into your business and entrepreneurship feet first. Make sure that you can show how you drive value.
Start Building Relationships and Start Earning Leads
Building a successful business takes time. You are going to need to invest in building strong relationships if you want to start earning revenue. Don’t worry – once you follow these tips you will start seeing new customers come through the door!