Every professional has a distinct approach to networking. The majority of freelancers participate in networking activities to meet new people and exchange their experiences. Some people go into networking with the intention of resource sharing, gaining contacts, employment leads, online freelance job opportunities, and recommendations. Other freelancers use the internet to network to develop their digital client relations skills.
Meanwhile, some freelancers are unhappy if they do not make 30 new contacts after attending an event. On the other hand, some consider themselves successful after only a few introductions, unutilized resource sharing, and one business card. Some freelancers thrive on networking, while others find it unpleasant and difficult to be in a room full of strangers. Professional exposure is one of the most unanticipated benefits for freelancers. Developing a strong personal brand is crucial to your freelancing career, and networking is a fantastic way to do so. However, many young professionals who are new to this field are unsure where to begin.
The digital nomads of the modern world are digitally connected, and anyone can take advantage of numerous networking opportunities. Unfortunately, there are so many choices that it can be daunting. A simple guide to networking for freelancers is provided below. Read on to find out the most effective ways for today's freelancers to make the appropriate connections and advance their careers.
‘’The act of engaging with people to exchange information and establish business or social contacts is known as networking.’’ Networking is important for any freelancer and freelancing projects since it allows them to create a network of other contacts, which offers them a significant advantage as a professional in the long term. The success of Linkedin.com, facebook.com, or even twitter.com is enough proof that how important and fruitful can be networking. Joining a networked community of freelancers helps them to increase earnings and market reach. It's important to join forums and community platforms like OnBenchMark.com to create a virtual team and expand business horizons.
Here's a rundown of some of the most important aspects of networking for any freelancer, which will benefit their career:
Credibility goes a long way in building a person's presence in the industry and expanding it, whether he or she has been in business for years or is just beginning out professionally. These connections, in turn, spread the word about you and your work, strengthening your position in the business.
Networking also aids in raising awareness of freelancing projects, which attracts new clients for our firm. Finding new clients or brands is the most important goal for any organization to survive and develop their work and, as a result, flourish in the industry. One should also realize that not every one of your professional relationships will demand your services immediately, but will do so in the future. As a result, it's no longer only about making contacts; it's also about keeping them, so you're the first person that comes to their mind when they need your freelancing services or gives your name to someone else who needs it.
While we all know that networking helps you get more online freelance jobs and business, many people overlook the fact that it also helps you develop your skillset and expertise. You strengthen your talents and broaden your knowledge base as your firm expands. Networking also creates extra demands, which helps you to improve your current talents and practice things you wouldn't otherwise do. As a result, a well-developed professional network aids in the development of a good network and keeps you updated on the most recent requirements.
As previously stated, networking is critical since it not only allows us to expand our skillset but also allows us to keep on top of current requirements and demands. Networking also informs you of what abilities are in demand and which are becoming obsolete, allowing you to refresh your skills while keeping your bases covered. Good networking also keeps you informed about what's new and what's going on in other industries, which can have an impact on your services.
In today's world, the digital platform is the most effective approach to network and expand your network. While meeting potential clients in person may be difficult, social media is the greatest approach to stay in contact with them and keep them informed about your job. As a result, join numerous social media groups on LinkedIn, Facebook, WhatsApp, Upwork, and other platforms where individuals with similar interests congregate and make your presence known. Social media groups are also a way of being up to date about what type of home-based job openings are there in the market, the kind of skill set that is in more demand in the industry, etc.
While it may take some time to discover the proper group and create an effect, keep their curiosity piqued by engaging with them on issues of their choosing and current events. Make sure you don't merely lurk in these communities but actually participate, as you'll be wasting crucial networking time if you do.
Joining a creative co-working space can help you bridge the gap between the digital and physical world. Participating in co-working groups also provides opportunities for one-on-one creative and business networking. While it may take some extra added time and effort, the ties you form here will last a lifetime since the contacts you make here have witnessed your work firsthand and, in many cases, have also assisted you in developing and expanding your network. Some of the famous co-working spaces like regus.com, 91springboard.com, wework.com, innov8.com, awfis.com, skootr.com, etc are providing a good platform for networking for freelancers as well as startup companies.
One shall not overlook the fact that networking is a two-way path, and if you invite someone to cooperate on a project with you, they will want to return the favor and think of you when they need someone to collaborate with them on a project in the future. Furthermore, if your and the other's teamwork was efficient or even enjoyable, it will lead to additional collaborations, and you will either tag-team on many more projects, or you will join forces and pitch for many more projects together. It also means you'll both refer each other to a client who only needs one or both of your services. Collaborating with a buddy or someone from your network could lead to new business opportunities, stay-at-home job openings, teamwork, and even more money.
Always remember to follow up with your leads and listen to their feedback. While it's vital to look ahead in networking to make new connections, it's also important to look back and follow up. We frequently neglect to follow up with contacts who have known us for a long time or who are relatives and friends.
It is always suggested that you contact them for comments once you have worked with them and that you contact them again from time to time to follow up. While the first stage offers you an overview of your job, contacting old connections again ensures that your clients are not forgotten and also lets you know if anything has changed since your last contact. A follow-up can also lead to extra work and possibly an opportunity that you weren't aware of before.
While everyone recommends you to start with your family and friends, we recommend returning to them even after you've established a solid network. They are the first to receive your work as a freelancer, and they should not feel neglected as you advance. As a freelancer, you must bear in mind that not everyone will require your services at the same time, so you must communicate with them regularly and let them know that you are available when they require your services. Family and close friends will always be the first to promote your name, so they should not feel let down.
Keep these guidelines in mind to not only appreciate the value of networking but also to learn how to improve your networking skills.