As with any other business, marketing is extremely important to independent contractors. Without a decent marketing strategy, contractors can struggle to find work and earn income. Without income, they’ll be unable to continue operating their business. 

This article will look at a few different methods for marketing the services you offer as an independent contractor. We’ll also provide a few bookkeeping tips to help you run your company. The topics this article will cover include:

  • Create a website
  • Use social media
  • Identify your target market
  • Bookkeeping tips for independent contractors

Create a website

An important first step in marketing yourself as a contractor is to create a business website. A website is essential because many of the best marketing tools (like social media or freelancing sites) are only available online. If you don’t have an online presence (i.e. a website), you’ll not benefit as much from using online marketing tools.

A website also provides a hub to store all of your contact information, like social media links, phone numbers, and email addresses. This means that customers can easily get in touch with you after finding your website.

Building a website does require some technical skills, so you might consider hiring a professional to help create the perfect website. There are also a lot of easy-to-use website builders out there that you can try if hiring a professional is too expensive.

SEO

As handy as a website is, it’s not much use if no one can find it. This is where SEO comes in. SEO stands for search engine optimisation: it refers to the process of improving your website so that it ranks higher on search engine results pages. 

Common SEO tips include:

  • Making your website easy to navigate.
  • Making it load quickly.
  • Using relevant keywords in your content.

Because of the complexity of search engine technology, thousands of things can affect your SEO, so make sure you look into a few SEO tips while building your website.

Social media

Using social media is one of the common ways to market yourself as a contractor. This is because it’s free to start a profile on most social media websites, and once you build up a following, you’ll be able to promote your business to a huge audience.

The tricky parts of marketing your business on social media are creating engaging content and consistently posting that content. You can solve the problem of posting consistently by creating a schedule for when to post and setting reminders or alarms, but you need to stay disciplined to adhere to that schedule.

Engaging content is different for every business. For instance, as a contractor, engaging content might mean writing blog posts about the services you offer or interesting jobs you’re working on. You might also make video content to show off your skills and teach viewers how to do simple DIY jobs.

Identify your target market

A target market is a group of people you’ve found to be interested in your services. If you don’t identify your target market, you might struggle to market your business effectively.

You can identify your target market by creating a customer profile. This is a document that lists all of the characteristics you expect to find in your company’s potential customers, like their location, job, interests, and shopping habits. Once you create the profile, you can research the characteristics of your actual customers to see how the profile matches up. 

By combining the theoretical characteristics of the profile with the actual characteristics of your past customers, you can identify your company’s target market. This knowledge allows you to adjust your marketing to promote your business directly to the people most interested in it. 

Bookkeeping tips for independent contractors

Invoicing 

Invoicing is a major part of any contracting business for several reasons. The obvious one is that invoices act as a request for payment, so many companies would not be able to continue running without a steady stream of customers paying invoices. This is only one of their purposes, though.

An invoice also works as a binding document, as you are legally owed money for the work you do, or the customer can face legal consequences. Their legal importance means it’s good practice to keep a copy of the invoice for your records once you send one to the customer. This is a simple job if you use digital invoices, as you can easily save a copy to your device before emailing out the invoice.

Tracking expenses 

Carefully tracking expenses is a great tip for contractors as it helps with a lot of other financial tasks, like budgeting and filling in a self-assessment tax return. Budgeting is easier when you track your expenses as you’ll know exactly how much you spend on certain supplies, so you’ll know how much to set aside each month for purchasing those supplies.

Tax returns are easier because you’ll have a clear list of business expenses to put onto the form. If you claim purchases as business expenses on your tax return, HMRC will deduct the value of those purchases from your overall tax bill.

Using a business account

One of the best decisions you can make as an independent contractor is to start a separate business account to conduct any business-related transactions. 

The account will provide a place for you to store all your company’s financial information, which keeps your data organised and easy to refer to when you’re paying taxes or working with an accountant.

Some business accounts even come with software that makes financial management easier. For instance, Countingup offers a business current account with built-in accounting software. 

Features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights allow you to confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also instantly share your bookkeeping with your accountant without worrying about duplication errors, data lags, or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here.