Promoting your business as an independent contractor (IC) can be a challenge. While hanging out a shingle online with a new website is a solid start, it is only the beginning of your self-marketing journey. For professionals like couriers, truck drivers, home health providers, and others who rely on contracting relationships and word of mouth, getting your name out there for clients and businesses to find may require starting with a few essential steps.

1. Get established as a business

Establishing yourself as a business can help you avoid problems with “gig worker” legislation like California’s Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), which is affecting ICs across California and the nation (as other states and the federal government seek to follow suit). That’s because AB5 outlines 12 criteria, called the business-to-business exemption, that can clarify your independent relationship with contracting companies.

As a business, you can significantly increase your opportunities as you look instantly more attractive to companies that prioritize contracting with independent contractors who have an established business entity (which is becoming more and more common). For drivers, setting up your LLC can move you one step closer to appropriate licensing and operating authority requirements as well.

If you contract through Openforce, we can help create your business by filing the documents and getting you licensed through our Managed Business Setup program.

2. Obtain professional materials like business cards and fliers

Every professional needs materials that represent your business, whether that’s business cards or fliers, so that people you meet remember your services. The more you hand out, the better. Along with your business card, you also need to be ready to provide a very brief elevator pitch about why you’re the one they should contract with.

Discounts for professional business cards are available through your Openforce Member Benefits portal. We provide a number of business services for member ICs, but you can start shopping now by visiting the Openforce members custom print center.

3. Build a social media presence

Successful online marketing for ICs must also include social media. New social media sites pop up frequently, so find out which site is most likely to attract your potential clients and use it. After you have designed your personal branding for your business cards, use it to create a social media page; Facebook is an excellent place to start.

One of the most powerful things you can do to increase interest in your services is to post testimonials on social media, turning your current customers into ambassadors for your brand. Once you master the basics, try branching out into online video and social listening tools to further your efforts.

4. Set up a website

Another important step is setting up a professional website. Openforce members can access professional services for building a business website, such as getting a .com now from $4.99/year, 30% off all new products, or email marketing services with GoDaddy.

Remember, if you’re an IC through Openforce, we can also help you promote your business with many advanced tools and services. We have been helping ICs for almost 20 years, providing full business solutions through our technology platform. And we want to enable you to accomplish even more, from getting fully set up for business to simplifying many of your daily business processes and promotions.

If you’re an active IC and want to look into your other benefits, log into your Openforce portal, then click on Perks>Benefits in the upper right-hand corner. This will take you to your Member Benefits portal, where you can start exploring your options today.