One of the best parts of having a self-employed IT contract job is that it allows you to have complete control over when and where you will be working. However, it also means that you will be spending a lot of time trying to get clients in the first place – nobody will do it for you. Without a sufficient size of repeat clients, you’ll struggle to get by. So, how can you go about bringing in a greater list of clients for yourself in the future when trying to secure an IT contract job?
One thing that you need to make sure you provide is definition about what you offer – there should be absolute certainty about what you can offer your clients. Once you know what you actually offer, and you can state this clearly, it becomes much easier to actually find clients who need and can benefit from your services.
If you don’t already have a website and use social media to boost your presence and your chances of bringing in work, then you aren't maximizing your opportunities. To help make sure that you get considered for an IT contract job, it’s important to have your name out there in plain sight for any potential clients to find out more about you. Create a blog on your website, too, and make some power content (content of more than 1,000 words) that accurately describes your industry and the benefits. This helps to build authority and ensure clients will want to come back for more, as you can give them valuable tips and information.
An important thing for any IT contractor is to ensure that you are in line with the typical pricing standards of the industry that you work in. Look at your competition and even people in nearby cities and countries and see how they price their services, and work accordingly to fit yourself around that spectrum. One thing to always remember, though – you should never price yourself too low. While being too high increases pressure and expectation, and isn't recommended either, it’s better to miss out on a job for being too high rather than being seen as a fraudster for being too low. Don’t sell your own expertise short.
Referring back to the blogging aspect of networking and improving your chance of picking up jobs, start producing content for websites and blogs across your industry. Look at industry-related websites and directories that tend to see a lot of traffic each month. This lets you get a bit of history in other parts of the industry, and makes it easier to research and learn about what you can offer as a contractor. It also helps to build trust, as if you are seen as a reputable source by your fellow professionals, it can only speak volumes about the quality of your work.
One thing that you might struggle with is dominating in the local area, because most of us don’t believe there is enough value to this – especially when you are involved in IT and can work for virtually anyone. However, gaining traction in the local area lets you build up a nice volume of repeat customers in the future. Contact local businesses and see if you can organize a consultation with them to come and have a look, and see how you could help them out. Present a bespoke package that informs them of your services and really highlights the benefits of having it carried out. It might be tough going at first, and you might get a lot of knockbacks, but it’s a great way for getting your name out there in the local area.
One thing that you might be tempted to do is take on work that you aren't sure you can complete, as the financial incentives are so good. Never take on anything you don’t think you could do – it’s never a good idea, and could lead to no or negative referrals from the client down the line. If you want to try and find out even more information about improving your own prospects of landing a long run of great IT contract job opportunities, sign up to Going Contract. We provide great information, tips and advice of how you can improve your financial situation and get a long-term stream of clients ringing your office for help.
Software Architect, Programmer and Technologist Jon Jones is founder and CEO of London-based tech firm Digital Prompt. He has been working in the field for nearly a decade, specializing in new technologies and technical solution research in the web business. A passionate blogger by heart , speaker & consultant from England.. always on the hunt for the next challenge