November 21, 2022
Networking is a crucial key to success when freelancing, but new freelancers may find this intimidating. After all, connecting with people isn’t always the easiest thing to do — but you can’t be an island in the world of freelancing. It is through building a network that you’ll find not only clients for work, but also opportunities for collaboration, potential mentors, and even a support system of like-minded peers.
Needless to say, networking is important for freelancers. Fortunately, there are some tried-and-tested ways to network effectively. This handy guide will clue you in on these methods. Take a look:
Have a professional presence both online and off
Long-time freelancer Travis Flastad lets the world know that he’s a professional by carrying around business cards, maintaining a website, and staying active on social media. You should do the same, with the goal of identifying yourself as a professional. This will help you land more business, and even get competitive rates. An added tip: Have someone — preferably one who doesn’t fully understand what you do — look over your card, website, and accounts. Then, ask them if they got a clear grasp of what you’re offering by perusing your materials. If they point out something unclear, work with them to make the necessary changes.
Work in a coworking space
While it’s possible to look for networking opportunities online, there are plenty of opportunities in a variety of physical locations too! Places like coffee shops or even libraries are potential grounds to network, but for maximum networking opportunities, coworking spaces are the place to be.
Case in point, the coworking spaces established by Industrious all across the U.S. are gaining
recognition as they are perfect for freelancers, given that they offer not only a range of top amenities, but also hospitality-driven workplace experiences. Common areas provide lots of opportunities to rub elbows with fellow freelancers or other professionals — so take advantage! Many spaces will also offer networking events that are designed to get budding freelancers mixing and talking. Don’t just see coworking spaces as a place to put your head down and work, be active and connect with the people there.
Be the gift that keeps on giving
Giving is the core of good networking, not asking — this is a networking philosophy shared by entrepreneur Nick Schäferhoff. In other words, always be ready to lend that helping hand, and be willing to help even without monetary gain. This help doesn’t even have to be something big. For Schäferhoff, helping can be as simple as answering a blog comment, or replying to an email or Twitter question. But if you can do more to propel others to success, then do it. In time, you will be noticed for your skills, abilities, generosity, and selflessness. You’ll even get word-of-mouth press that will connect you to more people.
Befriend your peers
It’s normal to view other freelancers as competition — but you shouldn’t.
Instead, you ought to consider them as potential collaborators.