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Are you a freelancer? Writer? Blogger? Artist? Graphic designer? Branding specialist? Fitness trainer? Today's contributed post discusses 5 tips freelancers need to know about networking.
Starting out as a freelancer or as a small business can be a daunting prospect. You may begin working on your passion project as a side hustle, creating a secure base on which to build your practice. But once you finally take the plunge to commit yourself full-time to striking out on your own, you have to give yourself every advantage to get by.
One art form you need to master is how to promote yourself through networking. It will be the primary source of new clients when you’re getting started and building a reputation. In this post, we’ll cover some of the essential points on how to network as a freelancer or small business owner.
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Even if the majority of your work is done remotely or digitally, you can’t beat some face-to-face interaction with potential clients. Industry events are an excellent way of meeting people who work in the same field as you. They may be fellow freelancers who can give you some advice or insight, or those looking for the exact service you provide. By mingling with individuals from your industry, you can keep a firm grasp on current trends and get some great ideas on how to expand your business.
If you’re struggling to find relevant expos, conferences, or meetups in your area of expertise, you should consider creating your own event. Although this is no small undertaking, it can really make you stand out from the crowd. You and your business could be at the center of attention at such an event, which could be fantastic for business. The Photo Team has put together a detailed checklist of how to plan an event that gives you everything you need to know.
Although we’ve already stressed the importance of being physically social, it’s also important to be so digitally too. There are so many groups, forums, and communities online for freelancers and entrepreneurs. Sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter are also valuable resources for networking; you can connect with people you’ve worked with in the past, as well as new contacts. You should have a social media presence, and join the discussion wherever you can.
The life of a freelancer can sometimes be a lonely one. Not only is it important to be around people to stay productive, but it also gives you a greater chance of meeting new clients. That’s why a co-working office space is so useful. Like-minded people who work for themselves tend to congregate here and are often a great source of information on how you can progress your own business.
No matter how you approach networking, it’s vital that you make a lasting impact. If you’re meeting in person, ensure you have some business cards to hand out. They should have your main contact details on, as well as information on what services you offer. Digitally, make sure you link to your social media accounts where possible, and your website too if you have one.
Being self-employed isn’t always easy, but it can be extremely rewarding. Half the battle is in finding new clients and regular sources of work, which is why many people slowly transition from full-time employment to freelance. Networking is a vital part of the process no matter how you start out, so you have to put in the effort. Be friendly, sociable, and approachable, and attend as many events as you possibly can.