Networking for freelancers is always going to be one of the toughest tasks you’ll face.
As a freelancer, you’re bound to spend a lot of your time alone – it comes with the job description. The lack of social interaction, unfortunately, does not bode well for freelancers looking to build their network.
As a freelancer for any niche, your network will be the most contact you have for potential clients. Now, it may seem daunting but when you boil it down, networking is simple. It’s communication between two people interested in the same subject – a conversation that could happen quite literally anywhere.
But where is “anywhere”? Today, we’ll be talking about the best places to find new clients.
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5 Best Places For Networking For Freelancers
Networking for freelancers isn’t much different than networking for everyone else. Here are some ideas to help you start building your network today.
With everything moving online, social media has become the number one option for freelancers to build their online brand. Not only is it free (unless you pay for ads) but millions of people are on social media every day. If you take the time to build a following and create a name for yourself as a respectable authority within your industry, you not only justify charging higher rates for your work- but you’ll receive more inquiries than you can handle.
When you’re networking through social media, don’t come off as a marketing guru only looking to make their next sale.
Be genuine. I can’t stress that enough.
Offer free value and legitimate advice and you’ll definitely find someone willing to listen.
Whether it’s with friends or family, dinner parties have to be one of the easiest, most natural ways to bring up your business. On the other hand, it could also come off as uncomfortable when that’s all you talk about.
Regardless of how you bring up work, keep it simple and ask around if anyone needs services similar to that you offer.
Are they trying to start a brand? Mention that you do videos or build social media accounts. Did you find out that someone is trying to be a motivational speaker? Write scripts for them and be the first on their writing team.
You may have to constantly explain what you do for a living (I know I did when I first talked to my family about content marketing), but remember that out of all the people in this world, your friends and family are the most supportive individuals in your life. No matter what you do, they’ll always have your back – even if they don’t understand the internet.
For experienced professionals, networking events are a dime a dozen. It’s just something that their boss tells them to do but they don’t actually enjoy. For beginners and those looking to break out onto the scene though, they’re an absolute essential. Through networking events, you’ll get to know people that you probably wouldn’t have otherwise.
When attending these events, you’re mingling with clients and other professionals in your field, you’re developing relationships that might form future partnerships, and you’re educating professionals on your business and personal brand. You never who might be interested so make sure that you treat everyone with the same amount of level and respect.
You could also look to attend alumni events, which are essentially networking events but more closely involved with people that you will know. In a networking event, you’ll probably know one or two people. In an alumni event, you’ll probably know half of those attending. This provides you with the opportunity to reminisce about your college days and reconnect with old friends. More importantly, it puts your foot the door of whatever industry you’re planning to get into.
Ask around and see what people have been up to. You can either make new friends in high places or reconnect with old ones that land you your highest paying freelance project yet.
When you join a conference to listen to panelists and guest speakers, make sure to make your presence known. Mingle with the crowd because chances are, they’ll all have the same problems – the type of problems that only YOU can solve.
Conferences normally have a lineup of guest speakers that can give you the chance to connect with professionals and learn about new topics.
On Networking For Freelancers
Unless you’re uber-talented with clients literally begging you to take them on, you’ll need to network with others and foster relationships with leads.
Treat your freelance side hustle like an actual business. How do you expect to keep on having clients if you don’t put yourself out there and build your brand? I started out on UpWork, leveraged the best clients I had there, and used their referrals as social proof of the quality of the work I bring in.
I’ve gotten to the point where I can turn down offers and pick out quality clients. I’m immensely proud of that and I know you can get to that point too.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more, feel free to leave a comment or email me through the form on the site’s sidebar.
Networking for freelancers has never been this easy.
Till next time.