The Simple Guide to Networking for Freelancers
Posted April 24th 2020
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How to Make the Right Connections and Grow Your Career
Networking is different for every professional. Most freelancers engage in networking activities to make new professional contacts and share experiences. For instance, some go in with a goal to gain contacts, job leads, or referrals. Other independent professionals do their networking online in order to improve their digital client relations skills. Meanwhile, some freelancers feel disappointed if they leave a mixer without 20 new contacts. However, others feel victorious with a handful of introductions and one business card. Networking comes naturally to some freelancers, while to others can find a room full of unknown people to be stressful and awkward. No matter your strategy, goals, and personal inclinations, networking can provide a massive boost to your freelancing career.
One of the greatest unforeseen benefits for freelancers is professional exposure. Developing an excellent personal brand is critical to your success as a freelancer, and networking is a brilliant way to do just that. Nevertheless, many young professionals who are new to this activity no clue where to start. The modern world of freelancing is digitally interconnected and there are many networking opportunities available to anyone. Unfortunately, the many options can be overwhelming. The following is a simple guide to networking for freelancers. Read on to learn the primary methods today’s freelancer can utilize to network with the right connections and grow their career.
Attending Freelancer Networking Events
The traditional method of in-person networking remains the most popular, even in the digital age. Furthermore, these local functions often provide the greatest level of opportunity for rapid growth. Irrespective of your goals, you can usually find the right event for your professional objectives. For example, you may simply want to meet other like-minded freelancers to share ideas, tips, and professional strategies. On the other hand, your intentions may be business-driven as you aim to gain new clients or professional partnerships. As you search online through the myriad of local functions, pay attention to the event descriptions. If you have correctly identified your objectives, you can get a feel for which event is right for you.
Here are some of the many types of networking events available for freelancers include:
- Casual Networking mixers and low-pressure meetup events
- Strong Contact (Such as Business Networking International (BNI)
- Volunteering for industry-relevant community service
- Joining industry-relevant business groups
- Mastermind groups
- Professional organizations with local chapters related to your field of interest
Take the time to research each event type before deciding to attend. You can read testimonials and firsthand accounts of networking functions in order to learn which one seems like the right fit. Finally, if the idea of freelancer networking isn’t intimidating to you, try them out for yourself!
Professional Freelancing Networks Online
If in-person freelancer events seem intimidating to you, the internet provides many excellent options. For example, there are general networking channels, freelancer exchange networks, and resume hosting websites for a variety of industries. Many of these digital hubs are free to use, and some offer the opportunity to get hired right from your professional page. This is beneficial for both freelancers and clients, providing a fast and easy way to exchange services in a no-pressure digital ecosystem.
Unfortunately, many of the free networking options for freelancers have become overrun by scams, market saturation, and subpar work. Furthermore, most of these free networks seem unprofessional to top-tier clients that can truly boost your business. However, there are some excellent paid options for freelancer networks that allow professionals to earn a premium for their services.
This is the very concept behind the Design Studio Network, which is in currently in beta. Accordingly, we are creating an unabashedly premium network for digital professionals, the benefits of which include:
- A professional email address
- IMAP (cloud hosted) account with 25 GB Storage
- Sleek, professional profile page
- Plenty of room to develop your own professional brand
- 10% commissions for any and all referrals
Learn more and earn more by joining DesignStudio Network – the world’s first Personal Growth Platform for reliable professionals in the digital industry.