Networks for independents are crucial in growing the business.
You can network with:
- Other freelancers
- Potential/Actual clients
- Providers of freelance work
Use social media effectively: Creating robust social media profiles especially on professional channels such as LinkedIn is a great way to get started and build a credible online presence. Joining exclusive social media platforms such as Clubhouse are also great ways to create open channels of communication with potential clients and freelancers alike. There are lots of tools as well such as linktree or linked helper that enable you to manage and scale connections on social media. Using them in tandem will upgrade the appeal of your profile from generic users.
Rely on communities and job boards: Facebook communities, jobs boards and reddit groups around specialised freelance talents are a great way to feel a part of a cause larger than yourself. Many groups of freelancers bonded together due to Covid 19 to share resources, leads and also fight for benefits and grants from governments. This is a great way to meet freelancers and get roped into new and exciting projects through your networks.
Meetups for freelancers: There are podcasts and content creators which facilitate meetups for freelancers. Shared offices or virtual meetups go a long way to feel connected to the community of independents.
Knowing key nodes in the industry that can introduce you to others: All freelancing communities have certain key individuals that tend to influence and know a lot of other independents. Sometimes these could be employees of trade unions representing freelancer interests, heads of societies that run clubs and communities for specific professional skills, areas of learning and development or large agencies that tend to employ freelancer talent. A lot of contracts and work flows through these nodes of influence in the freelance space. Try to identify those nodes for you — hint these are typically people that appear in your common friends list with other freelancers or admins of large community groups.
Get to know others like you in the community. Everyone thrives with a little bit of support.