Throughout this current decade, there has been a large increase in self-employed professionals and freelancers. Since 2010, freelancers have doubled in quantity. There are a lot of reasons for this increase such as the increase the quantity of demand.
What’s more important is that networking is plays an essential role whether you obtain clients or not. You need to understand the multiple benefits that networking and promotion bring to your business. Let’s discuss the best networking aspects that each freelancer must know.
Before we give you tips on how to network, let's look at why it’s important (besides the fact that it will be more stressful to work by yourself every day).
Despite technology making it easier for humans to get in contact with each other at the touch other anywhere, relationships are the most important part of business.
Humans crave connections and interactions with other humans. We like to build trust and communicate with each other. It gives us a sense that we’re liked and purpose and helps us continue work more effectively.
Creating relationships is the best way to attract and retain clients. We’re more likely to buy from a trustworthy company or person. Also, we’re more open to recommend someone that we know.
As a freelancer, networking helps you build relationships, connections, and sales. It’s the lifeblood of your business and will help you get in touch with other professionals in your industry.
If you’ve worked a regular 9-5 for years and you’re starting your freelancing career, then you’re going to want to stay in touch with your previous colleagues.
They will know your experience, skills, and what you’re great at. So if one of their contacts is planning to hire a freelancer, then they can quickly recommend you. Adding your old contacts on LinkedIn is one of the easiest ways to get back in touch.
But you have to do more than just request for their LinkedIn profile. You have to back this up by having their email address and phone number. Contact them to build a good relationship and potentially gain new business from them.
Emailing your colleagues once you start a freelance career can give you a huge advantage.
Mainly it says that you had a great time building a professional relationship with them, send them your contact details so you can conduct business later, and mention that if they find anyone willing to hire a freelancer in their field, they should send you their information.
By helping other contacts, you let them know your abilities, what you can do, and that you’re willing to give valuable information. All of this is beneficial.
Helping others can be as simple as responding a social media status for help, giving your support through a Skype or phone call, or through meeting a colleague over coffee to help them fix their problems.
Help others, and you’ll find out that your favor is returned immensely. People will start to recommend you to other clients for help which gives you more business and sales in the long run.
Giving work to someone’s way, when it isn’t the best time or right project for you, is a powerful relationship builder. Use it to correctly by giving your client a referral, create a connection with someone who creates quality work and who is willing to work assist you throughout your freelancing career.
While local events sound scary, they are important stepping stones to your freelancing career. Boosting and keeping your name in an area can lead to a constant stream of work when starting. This is because companies want to work with someone who shares something in common, like location.
And while you should go to a few freelancing events weekly, you need to go to events where your potential clients are hanging out.
This means that if you’re a digital or a content marketer, you want to go to marketing events. Or if you’re a copywriter who specializes in lifestyle businesses, you need to go to travel events, events for beauticians, and any other event that’s beneficial towards your professional brand.
You want to start creating natural and normal relationships. Get to know the people attending these events. Go with the notion that you’re out to meet people who might need your services.
To succeed, ask more questions than interjecting your skills and services in the conversation. Make sure to make a connection with your clients, and they’ll remember you. Remember, pitching is not the right way to go. Build connections and have normal conversations and you’ll receive better clients willing to pay for your services.
Building relations with new clients on Facebook requires more engagement than pitch selling. We suggest that you interact with your group with at least four times a week so you can find clients faster and talk to other members that you can create a mutually beneficial relationship with.
There are two ways you can network on Facebook:
To conclude, a freelancer has to be able to market themselves. Just because you have talent in writing, designing, coding, or something else that’s demanded, doesn’t mean that you can’t forget that you’re selling yourself as a business.
Keep networking. You’ll find it easier to achieve better sales, find other professionals in your industry, and promote your skills to companies, business groups, or other freelancers. Stay in constantly involved with your niche and you’ll have more lucrative opportunities in the future.