Networking In Freelance
How's it possible to succeed as a freelancer? The answer lies in networking. Freelancing involves a lot of intellectual and mental work so much that there's a need to get in touch with other people who are also freelancers. Networking is the easiest and most effective means of succeeding as a freelancer.
When I started out, I had interactions with about seven of my friends who were already freelancers. I interacted with each of them at different times and they left a mark on me. There were those who taught me the best way to go about blog writing and editing. Some taught me the essence of time management and how to effectively use the available time I have. I also learnt how to polish pictures for maximum effect. I learnt most of these things from one friend at a time. Today, I am still in touch with them because that's the only way to succeed as a freelancer. Networking is all about being in touch with other professional freelancers, identifying with platforms where you learn other basic skills, attending workshops, symposiums and training. There's no profession in the world where the practitioners stop learning about their job. Since there's no central control for freelancers, you owe yourself the responsibility of meeting and learning from fellow freelancers. Interestingly, I am friends with about 25 great freelancers today. Remember that I started out with seven friends and now they've grown to 25. This is to tell you that, the more you work as a freelancer, the more you'd have need for networking like the saying no man is an island.
Basically there are two forms of networking in freelance.
1. Interpersonal Networking
Freelancers keep increasing by the day and the need to have a mutual relationship with them cannot be overlooked. You must always be on the lookout for freelancers. The very need to associate with people who are in the same line of business as you is a most basic one for a freelancer. The holy book emphasized this by stating that iron sharpens iron. You cannot succeed alone as a freelancer. Freelancing is a continuous learning process and involves continuous interaction with fellow freelancers. You need to have a one-on-one relationship and communicate with others. As a freelancer, you can meet and interact with other freelancers through;
There are a growing number of freelancers everywhere and you stand to meet some of them in your locality. All you need is to get into some form of interaction and you'd discover that there are so many people who have taken to freelancing. Having a physical relationship with fellow freelancers will boost your confidence, help you understand that the world is moving towards freelancing and as well as allow you to enjoy the benefit of having physical friends as colleagues. You must never joke with this form of networking if you intend to achieve success.
There are so many more freelancers online than any other profession. The internet being the home of all freelancers houses a great many of us. You must leverage on the opportunity the internet presents to network with others. Don't waste your time trying to appear like the most intelligent freelancer out there. I have met so many freelancers online and we are always helpful to one another. One good thing here, is that most freelancers are ever willing to assist you, share their experiences and expertise with you. Why are you not taking advantage of this great opportunity? You have no reason nor excuse for not succeeding as a freelancer because you have everything you need in your fingertips. Connect your internet and make freelance friends online if you are sure you want to succeed in the world of freelancing. Let me share my experience with you. Around January this year, I met a freelancer online and we got talking. In the process, she mentioned a transcription job. I was at a loss because I hadn't done that before. I told her honestly that I didn't have any idea about that and guess what? She taught me everything I needed to know about it and I was able to deliver one of such jobs when I got the chance. That's the power of networking!
There are many systems and tools online that are intended to help you as a freelancer. E-Networking means that you should be able to interact with some systems designed to help you learn and grow as a freelancer. This doesn't necessarily involve interacting with people but systems. You should identify those systems and tools that can help to make you more effective and interact with them. Interacting with them here means using them for your learning needs. There are systems and tools that are designed to help you learn to make good designs to showcase what you do. Some tools help with your communication and there are even those that help you learn and understand new languages. You just need to know how to interact and network with these systems and tools.
How do you network as a freelancer?Learning how to network as a freelancer is a skill on its own.
Below are some of the ways to network as a freelancer
It is laughable to know that there are people who think communication is just about talking. No, that's not true. Communication is an art that must be learnt properly. You must know how to communicate effectively with people, particularly freelancers. You should be able to communicate in a manner that is fluent, courteous and interesting enough to make them want to share their experiences and ideas with you. Learn how each person you meet acts and reacts to things around them so you'd be able to communicate with them accordingly for maximum results.
•Give While Taking
Don't try to be a parasitic friend. No one likes that. Ensure you have something to offer to other people while you expect to get something from them. While you're learning from a freelance friend, they should also learn from you. That's the golden rule for every successful friendship.
You are going to meet freelancers who are ahead of you just as you'd meet those you're ahead of. Try not to be or act proud towards anyone. There's absolutely no freelancer who'd be willing to teach or learn from you when you give them the impression that you're proud and arrogant. Pride will ruin your relationship with any freelancer and that'd be the end of your networking journey.
•Proper System Navigation
You must also learn how to use those systems and tools for learning. You must not make the mistake of trying to navigate through some of them without proper guidance and assistance. There are those who can actually navigate on your own even though you'd have to be very careful and some of them, you'd need someone to put you through.
There are several reasons for networking in freelance and below are some of them;
•Sharing The Ideas And Experiences Of Others
It is usually said that experience is the best teacher. This is very true and it is even better learning from the experiences of those who have gone before you. Networking in freelance helps you to know what other people who have experienced and they also advise you. You cannot sit in your closet without interacting with anyone and then expect to know all there's about freelancing. No, it doesn't work that way. Your learning will come from the ideas other freelancers share with you and their experiences.
•Knowing The Worth Of Your Skill
A beginner freelancer will not necessarily know what amount they should charge for a particular job unless they are told by those ahead of them. That's the essence of networking. When you interact with others, you'd know the exact worth and value of the skill you possess and the job you carry out. This will ensure that you are not underpaid.
You will keep improving by learning from other people. For something you can do in 2 hours, there's someone out there who can do the same for 30 minutes. This is where networking comes to play. You must know that there is always a better way to do something. You will only know when you meet and interact with other freelancers.
When you have met with and learnt from other experts in the world of freelancing, you'd always become better. By becoming better, you'd start delivering top-notch and a lot more better jobs for clients and the end result is that these clients will be totally happy and satisfied with you.
If you found this article helpful, do well to leave a comment using the comment box below. Do have a happy time networking!