As a freelancer, whether you are a freelance writer, graphic designer, web developer, social media manager, etc., one of the things you need to do is to build your professional network. Building your professional network will benefit your freelance career in so many ways, and doing that is one of the things you shouldn’t overlook.
Building your professional network is important to your freelance career. There is the need to maintain good business relationships with others.
What is a network?
According to Dictionary.com, a network is, “an association of individuals having a common interest, formed to provide mutual assistance, helpful information, or the like”
You need to build a professional network that will help improve your freelance career. Your professional network will not only help to improve your business, it will help you meet more people, it will help to network for jobs, and so on.
There are so many benefits of building your professional network, some of them are:
- Getting more clients: when you build a strong professional network, you get more clients who are interested in what you do and want you to work for them.
- It can help in building trust: building a professional network also helps to build trust as people get to know more about your works. And when people get to know more about your works, it helps to gradually build trust, as well as gain more credibility in your industry.
- It can help in getting referrals: building your professional network can also help you in getting referrals for your freelance business.
- It can help in getting more recognition in your industry.
- It can help in identifying new business trends coming up in your field of endeavour.
- You get to benefit from shared best practices. When people share their best practices with you, it will help you know what and what to do when it comes to some things for your business.
- You also get to help others with your skills and shared best practices.
- It can also help someone to know about opportunities in his/her field of endeavour.
Now that some of the benefits of building a professional network have been stated, here are some tips for building your professional network as a freelancer:
- Have your own business card: your business card helps you to appear more professional, as well as show that you take your freelance career seriously. Your business card also makes it easy for people to contact you.
- Attend networking events: you can also attend useful networking events that can help you meet people and prospective clients for your freelance business.
- Use professional networks like LinkedIn: make good use of professional networks like LinkedIn. Connect with people, connect with prospective clients, project your freelance business in the right way, keep your professional information up-to-date, and so on.
- Use social media to your advantage: make good use of social media. As a freelancer, there are so many ways you can use social media to your advantage. Through social media you can gain more online visibility for your freelance business, you have the opportunity to communicate to a global audience, you can understand more about your clients or prospective clients, and so on.
- Act professionally: building your professional network also requires you to act professionally.
- Don’t forget to follow-up: it’s not enough to get business cards from people or to meet new people, you need to also do other things. And one of the things you need to do is to make sure you follow-up on issues discussed with people, that you contact those you ought to contact, that you send the reminders you need to send, and so on.
- Practice your elevator pitch: you never know when you will need an elevator pitch. What will you say to someone who asks you about your freelance business? How precisely and concisely can you adequately communicate with someone about what you do?
- Join professional associations: find out relevant professional associations in your field and join the ones that are beneficial and will help improve your freelance career.
- Be genuine and friendly: be genuine and friendly with people and clients you meet.
- Attend conferences: you can also attend conferences and seminars that will benefit your freelance career. You might also meet prospective clients there or people who would refer you to someone else. In addition, you can also get new relevant contacts for your freelance business.
- Keep in touch with former clients: you can also contact clients you have worked with in the past. Keeping in touch with them might help you in building business relationships with them, it might remind them about your freelance business, it might lead to a referral, or lead to them hiring you for another freelance job.
Do you have more tips or ideas on building a professional network as a freelancer? Please share with us in the comment box below. In addition, feel free to like and share this post.
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