There are many ways for an independent contractor to market themselves and their services – be it drywalling or custom landscaping. Traditional means include print ads, Yellow Pages, billboards and the like. However, today the way to go is a website that walks potential customers around your business and provides them with all sorts of interesting information.
Being The Best
First and foremost, be very specific why your company or service is far superior to anything or anyone else who does the same thing. How many years of experience and/or education do you offer? Is your staff well trained?
Are you able to produce the product quickly (give examples, if possible)? Are you conveniently located? Do you offer pick-up and delivery services? Are your hours better than similar vendors? This is the section where you should blatantly boast.
Be sure that any claims you make are easily verified and are true, otherwise, legal action can be taken against you for making false claims and that can be very expensive.
Make A Picture
Are photographs a viable way to describe what you do? For example, if you offer custom framing, take pictures of your most unique work and include them on your website. Potential customers are always stimulated when they see an attractive painting matted in an ebony frame with five different mats. This photo might just induce them to get that print out of the closet, where it’s been for years, and have it framed so it can hang in their home’s entry-way.
Even if you are not selling a product that is appropriate for photographs, your website design might use “props” to make it more interesting and visually stimulating. Remember, the bottom line is to capture their dollars before someone else beats you to them.
Be sure that whatever photographs you use on your blogs and websites be properly credited, an improperly credited professional photograph can cost thousands of dollars.
Through your website, be sure to maintain a high level of quality as related to your product or service. Steer away from anything negative at all cost.
Keep your website simple and easy to navigate. For example, make sure that the color of your text stands out clearly against the background you’ve chosen. Don’t make your “visitors” strain to read about your product or service. Also, make sure that all words are spelled correctly and that your syntax is correct. Professional presentation is a must for any “professional’s” website.
You might consider a FAQ section if there are questions that you are always asked. For example, what are your rates (by the job, by the hour, etc.) or what are your shipping charges?
What Is A “Contractor?”
By referring to yourself as a “contractor,” is a contract actually required prior to starting work? Almost any lawyer will quickly advise you that it’s wise and best to cover yourself and your business with a simple contract that outlines the details of the work to be done or the product to be delivered. Consider a contract a safety net when it comes to all business dealings conducted via a website.
When dealing with customers and potential customers through a website, remember that the customer is still always right. If your negotiations involve “conversation” via e-mail keep your tone calm and courteous, no matter what the issue is. Not only is this important in maintaining a comfortable tone related to this purchase, it’s also important when considering a satisfied, return customer who will spread their good experience with their other Internet friends.
Keep all of these emails to refer back to if any legal action should be taken against you down the road.