The One Big Mistake Independent Professionals Make

By Matt Craven, client acquisition and winning-work expert at CVIA

With years in contract recruitment, leading an award-winning contractor services business, and wearing the hat of an employer for nearly two decades, I’ve garnered a holistic perspective on what contributes to success and failure, especially when it comes to winning work in the contract market.

At the heart of this is the concept of ‘promotion’. Here’s what I mean…

It’s common knowledge how businesses grow: primarily by crafting and implementing robust sales and marketing strategies. Few businesses can win new clients without actively ‘promoting’ their services.

Delving deeper into this ‘promotion’ activity, successful businesses cultivate a brand identity, secure a unique place in their market, and present products or services that bring tangible advantages to their clients (that’s the core intent, at least).

In essence, they’ve pinpointed their identity, their offerings, their target audience, and the benefits they provide.


But do contractors follow suit? In my experience, not always!

Prospective clients are keen to discern who you are, which industries you’re well-versed in, what you bring to the table, and how your expertise adds value.

It’s strikingly parallel!

So, what holds numerous contractors back from actively promoting their prowess or investing in promotional tools?

If we look at this from a sales and marketing angle, your CV and LinkedIn presence are your virtual storefronts, while the interview acts as the negotiation table.

Would you ever turn up to a business meeting with a DIY business card? No business boasts about having a makeshift website. And any sales person tasked with winning a major contract would undoubtedly go above and beyond a few hours of groundwork.

Compare that with your sales and marketing efforts as a contractor.

Here’s my golden nugget: envision yourself as a supplier vying for a big contract. To focus the mind, multiply your daily rate with the contract duration. This helps contextualise the magnitude of the deal you’re contending for, relative to the effort you are putting in.

To win this substantial contract, your CV, digital persona, and interview narrative should underscore how you guarantee a return on the client’s hefty outlay. They should project a business case highlighting the milestones and benefits you’ve achieved for past clients.

When you channel your energy into sculpting your brand image (Personal Branding), refining your promotional tools (CV and LinkedIn profile), and honing your negotiation acumen (the interview process), you position yourself much better to land the top-paying roles in your domain.

For more insights on winning high-paying contract roles, join us for our next webinar on Sep 13th at 12noon (live) or 7.15pm (replay)

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