– Post updated 28 January 2020 –
So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and sign up as an independent support worker on Mable. As the most successful workers know, it’s not just about creating a great profile and waiting for the emails to come in. But what are the secrets of those in-demand workers? We’ve spoken to the team to get the inside scoop.
Marketing Manager at Mable, Alex suggests that it’s important to be proactive about finding clients, rather than just signing up and waiting for them to come to you.
“It’s about shifting to a small business mentality. Like any small business, you need to market yourself. Start in your local community. Public libraries, community spaces, shopping centres or hospitals will often have community notice boards where you can post your Mable flyer with a link to your personal profile.”
You don’t need to limit yourself to the Mable clients who are already using the website. In fact, there are many of benefits to bringing your own clients to the platform. When thinking about how to get started, Alex also suggests you don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth.
“Use your social and real-life networks. Tell friends what you’re doing, and ask them to tell their friends. You’d be amazed how many connections start this way.”
Understand the system
There’s no doubt that the aged care and disability support sectors are challenging to navigate. In aged care in particular, support is typically only considered after a crisis like an accident or illness. Families will rarely have a plan in place.
Understanding how the system works, and being able to share this knowledge with your clients can help cement you as a crucial member of their support team.
But it’s not only about better servicing your clients. It’s about finding new ones. Mable co-founder and CEO, Peter Scutt encourages workers to have an understanding of how Mable can help them to access more support with their funding.
“By hiring you directly, they can get more hours of support, rather than spending a bulk of their funding on administration fees that they might pay a traditional provider. By being able to explain how it all works, you can bring clients to the platform and grow your business.”
Location, location, location
Customer Engagement Manager, Amanda recommends setting yourself a reminder to revisit your Mable profile once a month to ensure your availability, work location, skills and experience are up to date.
“The online profile is really the first opportunity people get to make an impression. You can really tell when someone has taken the time to write a profile that’s well thought out and professional, while giving a taste of who they are as a person.”
In doing this, she urges workers to think carefully when setting location parameters on their personal profile.
“I can’t stress this enough. Location settings determine which job ads workers see, how often they turn up in clients’ searches. Consider traveling a little farther for potential jobs. You can always discuss a slightly higher pay rate or minimum shift time with your client to make sure it’s worth your while.”
Community Engagement Queensland State Manager, Jodie believes that workers who are actively looking to enhance their skill sets have the greatest opportunities.
“Mable’s advanced search filters now allow clients to search for workers based on specific skills and years of experience. If someone can demonstrate a focus in a particular area like dementia care, or person-centred support, it can really give them an edge.”
As independent workers, additional training and courses related to your profession are tax deductible. And they don’t necessarily have to come at a big expense. The NDIS runs a number of free or subsidised courses throughout the country. Free online courses and workshops can also be found in topics such as palliative care, dementia care and culturally diverse care.
Right on time
For Mable’s Product Director, Yaniv, a simple first step for all workers on the platform should be to download the Mable app to their iPhone or Android device.
“It’s designed to make life easier for our workers. But if for nothing else, it will allow you to respond to messages quickly and easily, which directly impacts the ‘response rate’ listed on your profile.”
Clients looking for support don’t want to have to wait days for a response. Your ‘response rates’ indicates to potential clients how quickly you might get back to them. Added to that, workers with the best response rates are automatically pushed to the top of the list in client searches.
Life as an independent support worker can be busy, and it’s not always possible for you to be on your phone if you’re working or moving between jobs. But if you are actively looking for jobs, Natasha from our marketing team suggests that it can be useful to have a standard response drafted for any relevant job ads or client enquiries that come through.
“Kind of like a cover letter which briefly introduces yourself, you can pull it up, add any necessary edits and send it out without too much delay.”
She also suggests using a personalised ‘work’ message on your phone to give yourself that professional touch.
“It can be comforting if a client is met with a phone message that’s clear and professional. Gain their trust and give the impression of reliability even before you’ve started a working relationship.”