It sometimes seems like everyone has decided to become a contractor and every day your competition grows stronger. But, the truth is, competition is good. The more competition you have, the more opportunity you have to prove your worth. Because the more competition, the more your services are in demand.
Understand Your Audience
Laser focus on who exactly your ideal client is by getting to know your audience better. What problems do they have and how can you solve them? Can you create a typical audience persona that you direct all marketing toward? If not, you need to work on understanding your audience better.
Establish Yourself as an Expert
When there are a lot of contractors doing what you do, the best way to set yourself apart is to become an expert. They say it can take seven years of reading about your topic one hour per day to become an expert. You can move that forward exponentially by studying, interviewing, writing and publishing as often as possible to escalate yourself as an expert.
Be a Problem Solver
When you are a contractor, first and foremost you must be a problem solver for your audience. Whoever your ideal client is, they have problems. You have the answers to the problems, and you need to let them know you have those answers.
Study your competition, buy what they're selling, read their blogs, listen to their interviews, join their email lists steep yourself in your competition so that you can identify gaps in their coverage that you can fill, making yourself that much better and different.
Be Your Own Best Client
Whatever you say you can do well for your clients, you need to be doing well for yourself too. That can be difficult at times, especially if you've filled your client roster, but if you have not filled it, use that time to perform the work for yourself as if you're a client.
Create a Cohesive Brand via Your Online Presence
From your website to your social media accounts and beyond, you need to create a cohesive online presence so that when someone sees your picture, your name, or your words they know exactly who you are and who they are dealing with.
Create a Professional Website
If you aren't a web designer or can't figure out how to use WordPress on your own, get some help. You can get a very professional website and blog designed for less than $1,000 dollars today. If you can't afford that, today there are very good website builders that allow you to create a very professional-looking site inexpensively, sometimes for a small monthly fee.
Investing in your business automatically creates a professional appearance that can't be matched by cheap amateur-looking websites.
Have a Professional Logo Designed
You can use a graphic designer to help you design a logo for your business, or at least a professional header for your websites to use as a button on other websites and social media sites. If you cannot afford too much expense, look through Fiverr.com to find someone who has good recommendations to design something for you.
An important aspect of standing out is to create content regularly for your blog, then promote it onto social media and through your email list. Content can help you become known in your niche and it needs to be put out there on a regular basis.
Establish an Active Email List
Many contractors and service providers do not maintain well populated or used email lists, so that is a wide-open spot where can truly stand out in the sea of contractors that exist. Incentivize people to sign up for your list, add clients to a special insider's list, and remember to market to them on a regular basis.
Standing out is not difficult when you realize that most people are really bad at it. There may be a lot of contractors but few have the gumption and follow through behind them that you do. No one can do what you do in the way you do it.