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Career development tips for the self-employed

So, you’ve taken the initiative to become self-employed and, in some ways, taken your future into your own hands. You’re in control of your work. So how do you ensure that you’re still developing your career and keeping work flowing in? Here’s a few useful hints and tips…

Try something new

Once you have perfected your current trade, why not think about learning a new skill? This will not only develop your business as you have a bigger skill pool available, but it shows that you’re motivated and eager to progress and learn more.

You may want to consider signing up for a course or a local group in something you’re interested in. Even if you choose a new skill that becomes a hobby rather than work related, you’re meeting new people and widening your social circle. You never know who may need your services.

Read up on the industry

Set some time aside to read up on your industry. It is important you stay up to date with what’s going on and the latest trends so you can provide the best service to your clients.

Browse the latest news article, blog posts and websites relating to your job area and see if there is anything interesting or relevant to you. Putting the extra time in shows you’re committed, and you never know what you might learn in the process.

Communicate

Developing your communication skills is key to developing your business. Many businesses rely on word of mouth, however there are other options you can explore as well. Create an online presence for your business, whether that be on social media or via a website. Have clear links to how people can contact you such as an email address or telephone number.

Make it clear what you can offer your customers. The more open and transparent you are, the more people will trust and want to use you.

Build a strong network of contacts

Having a strong network of contacts is a highly valuable tool for building and maintaining work offers. Networking is a great way of doing this, however it can be off putting for some people. Focus on being friendly and approachable and less on trying to impress others.

Use social media to widen your contacts. People leaving reviews or talking about your service encourages other people to look into you and what you’re about. A like, comment or share can go a long way these days.

It is also worth putting the work into maintaining relationships with clients who you have worked with previously. You never know when the opportunity may occur where they want to work with you again, or the opportunities this may lead to.

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