When you’re an independent contractor, you already have so much to think about. From securing clients to offering the highest quality services, submitting invoices, sorting taxes, and everything in between.
After all, the success of your career relies on you and no one else.
But with so much to do to keep your business running smoothly, finding time for progression and development can be tricky.
However, it’s so important that you are proactive and that you make time to keep growing and developing yourself, as this can be hugely important for the future of your career.
The good news is that technology has made it much easier to access information and resources from almost anywhere at any time. In particular, online learning platforms make it possible to enhance your skill set.
The hard part is finding the time and the right resources to do this.
So, in case you’re feeling far too busy to get involved in any sort of online learning right now, we’re here to tell you why you could be making a huge mistake.
Here are five ways that you can utilise online learning to grow your business and build a loyal customer base.
1. Offering more, top quality services
It stands to reason that as you learn more and more skills, you will be able to put these to good use. With that in mind, one of the top reasons that you should make the most of online training opportunities is so that you can offer a wider variety of services to your clients.
But it’s not just about the amount of services you can offer, it’s also the quality of these services. As you gain more skills and begin to feel increasingly confident in your own abilities, the higher the quality of your work you will produce.
These higher standards and services will present themselves in several ways. They can lead to branding opportunities, great online reviews, and, ultimately, better job opportunities. All of which is great news for independent contractors.
2. Standing out from competition
Imagine this: you’ve taken some time out to study, gain new qualifications and now you are an expert in your field. Next time you’re trying to pitch your services, you’ll have some great talking points, and it will be much easier to sell yourself to potential employers and win over new clients.
But more than that, in doing so, you will give yourself a competitive edge. An impressive skill set and knowledge base can help you to stand out from other contractors or professionals in your field. This can help you to win more jobs and contacts without having to fight as hard.
Plus, not only does this mean you’re more likely to secure exciting projects or roles, but it can also help you to get your name out there and get ahead in your field.
3. You can increase your rates
As an independent contractor, you set your own rates, and at the beginning, it can be tricky to know what is expected, whilst still ensuring you make a good living.
Of course, over time, your rates may change, but it is still all too easy to shortchange yourself, feeling worried that you might be overselling your abilities and, therefore, overcharging.
But guess what? Utilising online learning opportunities can help you to tackle this challenge and justify your prices.
No matter your current rates, if you take the time to learn new skills and strengthen your knowledge and abilities, you can begin to increase your rates accordingly.
And, because you can prove where their money is going, clients and employers will be happy to pay for your impressive skill set and your experience in the industry.
Don’t get us wrong, we know that money isn’t everything in your career, but if you hope to keep driving your business forward and setting yourself up for the future, your clients must feel satisfied when reading your invoices and sending payments to their contractor/freelancer, i.e., you.
4. Keep building your network
Believe it or not, these learning platforms can also be a great way for you to keep growing your professional network, something which can be hugely beneficial as an individual contractor.
Lots of online learning portals, for example, platforms like Moodle, will have various networking features that allow you to communicate with others.
These can help you to connect with people in your industry or those taking similar courses to you. It can also help you to study as part of a group and just generally get your name out there as much as possible.
Networking is important for every professional but particularly as an independent contractor when you are often looking to line up new work or projects.
And you never know who you might meet - even virtually - using these platforms, and it never hurts to get a few more names on your contact list.
5. Boost your CV or portfolio
Last but certainly not least, utilising online learning opportunities can help you boost your CV and/or portfolio in a big way.
For one thing, it gives you more talking points, which is always good. It also helps you to demonstrate your expertise and credentials on your application.
This means that next time you apply for a contract position or even if you're cold pitching your skills out to businesses, you know you can impress them.
Not to mention, a great CV and portfolio is just another way for you to stand out from the competition, win those sought-after contracts, and reduce stress for yourself.
So what are you waiting for?
If all of this sounds pretty great, why not make this year the year that you invest in yourself and utilise online learning platforms?
There are lots of great providers out there for you to choose from, with thousands of courses across a range of industries. So, if you do one thing for yourself (and your future clients), why not invest in your skills, learning, and the development of your business?
And if you want to continue reading more related blogs, you should check out our Contractor Management blogs.