How Thought Leadership can help contractors maximise daily rates

In between me reviewing contractor CVs and planning for a chocka webinar on Thought Leadership for ContractorUK readers tomorrow, I spotted a recruiter’s LinkedIn post urging women job-seekers to “raise their rates”, writes winning work expert Matt Craven, founder of The CV & Interview Advisors.

The recruiter pointed out that there appeared to be a big difference between the asking salaries of men and women with comparable experience.

Now, the gender pay gap is a topic in its own right, but this underestimating oneself is a problem that a little investment in Thought Leadership can fix, or even head off so it never bothers you, the candidate, whatsoever.

We all tend to undersell

Contrary to the recruiter’s post, it’s not just women that undervalue themselves! Not giving ourselves our dues is a charge that could be levelled at many job-seekers and contractors across the board.

Valuing your knowledge, track record and achievements is the key to maximising rates, and a state of mind harbouring anything from a lack of confidence to the advanced signs of imposter syndrome can hold contractors back from optimising their daily pay.

The Stella Artois theory

The other end of the spectrum is where those people comfortable enough to present themselves as industry experts lie.

Getting perceived as sitting at the end of the spectrum, and being regarded as a Thought Leader, will give you the edge. Consider; if I’m a client, I don’t want to engage the services of a bargain-basement, under-confident business. Quite the opposite. I want the services of a business that exudes confidence in its ability to deliver the services that I require. To exude confidence requires the business to sell itself, to pitch itself as an expert, and to price itself accordingly. Exactly as Stella Artois successfully declared, with no deviation at all from the early 1980s to the late noughties: “Reassuringly Expensive.”

Thought Leadership activities

Presenting yourself as an authority in your field and indulging in a modicum of thought leadership all greases the wheels to shape how your clients view your business. Writing articles, delivering talks, producing whitepapers, contributing to research and running webinars. All these count as valuable thought leadership activities that push you further towards expert-status and allow you to justify a higher rate.

How long to wait?

You may be wondering how long to wait before you refer to yourself as a Thought Leader -- if at all. Well, the safe bet is to refer to yourself as an “expert.” After all, “Thought Leader” was last year voted as one of the most annoying buzzwords!

But get stuck into some thought leadership activity and there may be a point where you naturally feel it’s ‘right’ to refer to yourself as a ‘Thought Leader.’ But the title is not the crux of Thought Leadership -- it’s not so much what you call yourself, it’s more about the professional signals that you give off. It’s more about walking the walk than talking the talk, even though in the case of Thought Leadership, walking the walk may be giving a talk!

Finally, here's your invitation to learn how to become a ‘go-to’ expert

For more nuances, strategies and techniques on becoming a ‘go-to’ expert able to command higher daily rates, you may wish to reserve a spot on our free Thought Leadership webinar tomorrow (Thursday Feb 17th).

It’s at 7.15pm, and we will be sharing our very own expertise on the subject! Bring your questions. Look forward to seeing you there!

Wednesday 16th Feb 2022
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Written by Matt Craven

Matt is the Founder of The CV & Interview Advisors and Incredibly Linked. He is considered to be a thought-leader in Personal Branding and is regularly engaged as a public speaker to deliver advice and guidance to global audiences on all things related to CV authoring, career advancement, LinkedIn, personal branding and thought leadership.
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