4 Great Ways to Network as a Freelancer
This past year, most of us have spent our working days at a desk in our bedroom, or on the sofa in our living room, or at our kitchen table, working from home amidst the chaos of the outside world. Something we’ve all felt, from time to time, is a lack of human connection – and, yes, we’re all sick of Zoom! But for many freelancers, this somewhat isolated lifestyle has been the norm for a number of years. That’s why it’s essential as a remote worker to build yourself a network of ‘colleagues’, whether within your field or from a different professional background entirely.
Thanks to modern technology, and to a shift in the way society views the working world, networking has never been easier. Whether you’re an outgoing, outspoken freelancer longing for a chat over coffee, or you’re perfectly happy in your own company, connecting with others is essential not only from a personal point of view; you never know what business opportunities could arise from the connections you have made.
If you’re new to the world of remote working, and are a little lost in where to start, read on to discover 4 great ways to network as a freelancer.
1. Coworking Spaces
Whilst coworking spaces have, for me, been essential to my happiness and wellbeing as a freelancer, I’m aware that options for working in a coworking office this year have been limited. If you live in a city or town which offers a coworking space, then consider spending at least a few days a week there once it is safe to do so. Not only do these offices allow you to forge wonderful personal friendships and professional relationships, but it also forces you to ‘switch off’ once you leave. This way, there is a clear distinction between when your working day ends and your personal life begins; this is incredibly important in avoiding burnout!
I could have just included this under ‘social media’ in general, but LinkedIn probably deserves a space of its own. Whilst you probably won’t find yourself forming deep-set friendships here (although never say never!), a LinkedIn profile is essential to any freelancer. Why? Because you never know who could stumble across you, or reach out to you, with your dream project in mind. Staying active on LinkedIn and connecting to people you admire within your field is a great way to gain inspiration and insight into how your career could progress, too.
3. Facebook Groups
There really is a Facebook group or page for pretty much anything. These communities are a great way to connect with other freelancers, whether you’re seeking advice, reaching out to chat, or just looking for inspiration. Freelancing Females and Girls Gone Working are two fantastic online communities for freelancers around the world. It’s also an amazing way to meet up with new people in your city, when the world starts travelling again.
4. Social Media
Of course, social media has its downsides; but when used responsibly, it can also be a good platform for connecting with other freelancers and remote workers in your field. That way, projects can be shared and clients passed along if the opportunity arises.
Social media is also a fantastic way of interacting on a more personal level with your clients, letting them behind the mask of your business and into your everyday life. This helps you also gain an insight into the kind of people who are interested in your product or services.