For the freelancer, networking can be a real big deal- both positively and negatively. It is through networking, meeting like-minded individuals within your work space or even outside f it, that would make your business boom.
It therefore isn’t all that surprising that if you have a strong network of individuals to depend upon, you would have more clients, gain more insight into certain salient aspects of the business and have people to whom you can compare your work and pay. Networking might not be so hard for someone who works in a classic office and has several colleagues within the same working space but for the freelancer working at home, or for someone who is about to leave an office job for full-time freelancing, the barrier of having poor networks must be overcome.
Who will know that you can deliver good jobs without having the right contacts? Who would give you big gigs if you aren’t in the right circle? This is what today’s post addresses, and here’s how to overcome this challenge:
1. Strengthen Your Planning Game
How easy it is to leave our fate in the hands of others, and especially when we think the subject matter is outside our jurisdiction. As a freelancer, you need to have an active plan on how to build great social networks. Which events would you be attending? It is said that opportunity dances with those who already are on the dance floor. If you end up meeting someone important or someone who can link you up with a great writing gig, how prepared will you be? In other words, at every event you attend, you have to be strategic. What kind of information would you be handing out about yourself if asked about your freelance business? Planning to fail doesn’t just happen, no one maps out a plan just to have it fail; but when you fail to prepare, that’s just what you’re saying.
2.Have Strong Social Contacts
In the social marketing space, you might not really get the luxury of a mindset which assumes it can get all done by itself. Your network is as strong as you make it. For instance, while at social events, try to get as many contacts as you can- and be more particular about getting familiar with those who are interested in your niche or in the kind of services which you render best. The thing about having strong social contacts is that when they’d come in handy, you might not even be expecting them to!
Keeping in touch isn’t my strongest suit but I’ve discovered it to be something important in my freelance career. Following up is such a key phrase in this line of business, since there is probably no company promoting your services and you are a lone ranger, you need to follow up with your contacts actively on a periodic basis; chirping in reminders at intervals about the kind of services which you render. Of course not in an overbearing way, more of in an advertorial manner which automatically makes you stick out in their minds as the best service provider for the job if they have any of such jobs to hand out. You can do this vias mails or via any other means which you find to be comfortable or which can reach a wide proportion of your contacts.
4.Events. Events. Events! (Not owambe, please)
As a freelancer, you ought to make your presence felt at important vents which you think would be of help to your career growth. This is not to say you must be at every owambe party organized, which wouldn’t be of any help to your freelance career. But if those owambes would be helpful, by all means you can pop in! if you have the privilege to host any of such ‘freelance-friendly’ events, please don’t pass up any of such opportunities. Thank You.
5.Put Social Media To Good Use
Social media tools are some of your greatest friends as a freelancer. Do people within your social media space know about your freelance career? What are you doing to promote yourself? Are you all by yourself or do you follow freelance support groups or platforms which would help Horne your skills such as African Freelancers? On social media, you’d find a lot of social networks for freelancers if you take the pain to search for them, many of which would be worth your while. In freelancing, some of my really great gigs have come from social media platforms such as Instagram. Update your LinkedIn Profile, put your Instagram and Twitter accounts to good use by following beneficial platforms, groups and individuals. Don’t be ignorant of the benefits of social media!
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