The internet has moved business online and fewer people appreciate traditional networking any more. However, taking the search for your next contractor role offline can yield some surprising results. According to a recent survey by HubSpot, 85% of all vacancies are filled through networking. Whilst 25% of the people surveyed admitted to not networking at all, 68% of professionals valued face-to-face networking over other marketing techniques used online.
The number of self-employed people is rising in the UK, and building a useful network of contacts is the only way to stay ahead of your competitors. As a leading provider of hassle-free payroll solutions for contractors and recruiters, we help our clients embrace the perks of contract work, whichever market they frequent. Read on to discover the online and offline networking tips that will lead to a steady supply of contract work and a successful career.
Make networking a part of your routine
Most people only start networking when they’re job hunting. But by making networking an important part of your daily routine, you can build a contracting network and embrace opportunities as they arise. If you’re new to contracting, start your networking efforts closer to home. Contact family, friends and ex-colleagues for job openings and referrals – you might just be surprised by the outcome.
Attend networking events near you
Wherever you live and whichever market you work in, attending networking events offers a number of plus points. As well as providing essential opportunities for securing new contract work, networking events can make the often lonely life of a contractor a tad more colourful. At networking events, you can liaise fellow contractors as well as clients. This gives you the chance to build relationships within your industry, alongside the connections you need to deliver a more complete service to your own clients.
Being preparing before you attend networking events is essential, as CDI Corporation details:
“Before attending any professional or social gathering where contractors may meet people from their industries, they should make sure they have copies of their resumes and business cards they can share. While simply swapping email addresses with potential connections is alright, having these tangible documents ready make contractors appear motivated and serious.”
Present a complete picture
Your online presence is likely the first thing a potential client will look at. Even if you supplied your details face-to-face via a networking event, it’s likely that a follow-up, online search will be undertaken to check your credentials. By building and presenting a complete profile you can make the right impression on potential clients.
If you have a website, make sure it’s up to date with the latest version of your CV, recommendations and testimonials. Keep your blog active and full of market-focused insights to showcase your expertise further. The same theory applies to your social media accounts.
Developing a marketing plan for your on-site and social media presence is an excellent step to showcasing your abilities as a contractor.