How to find work as a self-employed paid carer
If you have decided to start working for yourself as a paid carer, getting your business off the ground means finding some clients to add to your books. You might already have some regular clients lined up, or you might be looking for that elusive first step, but we have some advice to help you build a solid client base.
Good planning is key to any successful business. As a paid carer, it is worth spending some time deciding what kind of client you are looking for. Are there certain tasks that you don’t want to perform or that you particularly excel in? Do you have a qualification, training or experience with a certain condition or illness that might help you stand out from other paid carers in your local area? Do you want to work with younger people with a disability, or elderly people struggling with daily tasks as they get older? Having a clear idea of the kind of client that you want will help you to target your marketing towards the right places to give you a greater chance of picking up work.
Once you have your ideal client in mind, you can start to think about ways of reaching potential new service users. For example, if you are hoping to work with younger people, then you might want to consider setting up a Facebook page or website, to make sure that you can be found online. Many people will want to research you and your credentials online before meeting in person. The website or Facebook page doesn’t need to be complicated; it needs to have some information about yourself and your qualifications. If possible, some testimonials about your work from past clients or employers gives a sense of confidence. Make sure that your contact details are easy to find as well, and ask friends and family to share the links to your online presence – word of mouth, particularly via social media, is the most powerful marketing tool you have.
For finding older clients, it does still pay to have some kind of online presence, as often it will be the children of the service user who will be looking for a paid carer and the may also use the internet to research. However, you can also use traditional marketing techniques to directly reach potential new clients. A leaflet is a good way of selling your services (we have a template in our online shop that you can download and customise to suit your needs) and these can be left in places like church halls, community centres, doctor’s surgeries and the like. You may need to ask permission before leaving leaflets, so do ask first. You can also try dropping leaflets through doors in your local area, as this could make people aware of what you are offering – just be mindful of any ‘no marketing’ signs on letterboxes. If you have a budget to do so, you could also advertise your services in the local paper. A simple text-based advert doesn’t usually cost too much, but it will reach people in your immediate area.
And finally, ask around. Sometimes simply talking to people can be a great way to find out about people who are looking for paid help, and a conversation with the right person can lead to a job.
Read our article on 7 ways to market your care services for more advice.