As a freelancer, networking is an essential part of building and growing your business. A strong network can provide valuable connections, opportunities for collaboration, and support for your professional growth.
If you’re new to freelancing or just want to brush up on your networking skills, here’s a few tips for how to build a network as a freelancer:
1. Identify your goals
Before you start networking, it’s important to identify your goals. Do you want to build a network of potential clients? Are you looking to connect with other freelancers for collaboration opportunities?
Knowing what you want to accomplish before you begin will help you focus your networking efforts and target the right people.
2. Connect with other freelancers
One of the best ways to network as a freelancer is to connect with other freelancers in your chosen field. This can provide valuable collaboration opportunities, as well as a sense of community.
Networking with freelancers who are outside of your chosen field can also be incredibly valuable too. If you’re a freelance motion designer for example, then networking with a freelance copywriter who writes scripts means you could work together and add more value to your potential customers.
Remember: other freelancers aren’t your competition, far from it: they are your support network.
3. Attend industry events
Industry events are a great place to build and expand your freelance network. Not only will other freelancers be in attendance, but employees from companies who could potentially employ you will be there too. Plus, you’ll be learning more about your industry as a whole so it’s a win-win.
If you’re concerned about the costs of attending: a lot of events have early-bird ticket pricing so be sure to keep an eye out and grab one to save a bit of cash.
4. Join relevant online communities
Online communities, such as slack channels, discord channels, online forums, and other social media groups, can be a great resource for freelance networking.
The best part about networking online is that you have the potential to connect with other freelancers and businesses across the world! They key to networking online is really to build up strong relationships with people - you’re not going to get very far if all you do is post about yourself. Be curious, ask questions, offer advice to others and pretty soon you’ll start to build up a really strong network.
Remember: a small, well connected network is much better than a large follower count that doesn’t engage with you. So focus on the quality of your connections, not the quantity.
5. Follow up and stay in touch
After you’ve made a connection, be sure to follow up and stay in touch with them. This doesn’t mean sending them a message every day, just once a month or so just to check-in should be enough to ensure they remember you’re out there.
Using a tool like the Freelance Client Dashboard is a great way to keep on top of all your various connections and it will prompt you when you need to get back in touch with them.
And there we have it!
Following these five tips will set you on your way to building a strong freelance network.