Securing contracts is the lifeblood of freelancing. Without a new contract you are, in effect, out of work and as most contractors operate on a temporary basis, it is always important to have one eye on what’s next.
There are certain factors that are quite important when it comes to landing a new contract and as you become more experienced as a contractor this process will become almost second nature.
However, it never hurts to go over a few top tips that could be the difference between securing your dream project and settling for one as a means to an end.
Success in the contracting business is, after all, determined by your ability to land the best contracts on a fairly regular basis.
The importance of your CV
A good CV is important for anyone who is looking for a job. However, for a contractor it is essential that your CV is focused and that it showcases all your relevant skills.
After all, this is the first thing a prospective client will see and if they cannot find the relevant information they are after, chances are they will move onto the next one in the pile.
Therefore, your specialist skill set should be summarised in a concise manner early in the document. Each individual attribute should also be accompanied by a brief description of your experience in this area.
Most good CV’s are no longer than two pages in length, so keep it snappy! A document that is dense in text is only likely to put off the person who is reading it. Setting out your CV in a clear manner will help the reader find what they are looking for quicker.
Using an agency
Agencies already posses a large database of potential business contacts and can therefore be your easiest way to find work.
What’s more, they will have clients that are specifically looking for contractors with a certain set of skills, so submitting your CV to relevant organisations could save you some time in your job hunt.
Your CV is still hugely important here as an agent will be looking for the same thing the client wants. They are looking for the best person for the job and so your CV has to demonstrate clearly that you are this candidate.
A client or company may choose to enlist your services as you can provide something their normal work force cannot. Therefore, knowing how to negotiate properly is vital to ensure that you get a fair price for your time and skills.
Chances are if you are a seasoned player in the contracting game you will already have a fairly strong idea of what type of income your skills can command. However, for those who are unsure a contractor salary calculator can help you to work out your potential take home salary.
It is important to know what you are worth before you enter contract discussions as it gives you a reference point to begin from.
The main point here is not to be afraid of entering into negotiations as this is a key part of contracting life.
By maintaining a professional relationship with a previous client you could significantly increase your success when looking for a contract. Building a network of clients and other contractors is important as helps you keep up with what is going on in your sector.
As well as this, a recommendation from a previous client goes a long way when looking for work, so keep this in mind when working on your current contract.
Whether you are using an agency of contacting a client directly, always chase up the potential contract! There is no harm following up a lead with a phone call. It will put you in the client’s mind and also show that you are eager to obtain the contract.