It is right that a freelancer is a one-man army. They are the perfect amalgamation of the boss and the employee. But it is also true that freelancing is a lonely job and requires multitasking. Only the ones who can juggle between the small and big things make it to the top. Speaking of skills, networking is by far the most important one for a freelancer. As a freelancer, you might be talented but you can’t sell your services if you don’t have a strong network. At present, the freelance industry is flourishing at an increased pace and the competition is cut-throat and networking helps to win the game. If your networking is a cut above the chase, you’ve already won. On the other hand, if you are a beginner or facing some problems as a freelancer, you should focus more on networking. Trust us with that, networking will just change your game. But how? You might ask, well, this ebook will guide you through the thicks and thins of networking.
Is networking innate or acquired?
Why are some freelancers better at networking than the rest? This is a complicated question and the answer is mixed. Researchers have examined people over the years and networking, like any other skill, is both inherited and acquired. It is true that some freelancers are naturally adept at increasing their network, while others simply learn the art of networking with time. Honestly speaking, networking gets better with practice. Also, freelancers who embrace changes and are more flexible do a better job at expanding their network. This is because freelancing has evolved quite a lot with time and with technology at its peak, it’s more of a do-or-die situation. If you want to survive in this arena, you ought to learn the subtle art of expanding your network.
Networking is like the holy grail for beginners as it helps them to experiment and expand their boundaries. It’s not just about reaching out to new people and promising them top-notch work; it’s more about focussing on delivering your best to a handful of clients in the beginning and harnessing the power of social media. Due to the immense impact of networking in a freelancer’s career, it is directly proportional to a freelancer’s net worth.
Do you want to increase your income? Start focusing on your networking skills.
Why is networking so important for freelancers?
It’s not just for freelancers, networking is a crucial skill for everyone who wants to become successful in life. Networking has countless advantages apart from increasing a freelancer’s net worth. Here are some of the benefits of networking for freelancers.
1. Networking helps to stay up to date
2.Networking directly affects other skills
3.Networking helps freelancers get bigger projects
4.Networking helps bridge the gap and get help easily
5.Networking gives a sense of the right direction to your life
How to increase your client network?
Now that you know the importance and the advantages of having a strong network, it is time to know exactly how to build a network that adds to your net worth. There are countless books, articles, and blogs on how to expand your freelance network. All of them more or less say the same thing– to enhance your connections, you have to push your limits and expand your horizons.
Here are a few ways that you can use to build a long-lasting network.
1.Don’t focus on the quantity
2.Treat clients like people, not robots
3.Have patience and trust the process.
4.Respect client’s time
5.Become a storyteller
6.Expand your social media network
7.Take the lead and be the problem solver
9.Be a listener
10.Stay up-to-date with recent advancements
Firsthand tips for improving your networking skills as a freelancer
Now that you know how to work on your networking skills, it is better to start working on them right now. If you are still clueless, here are a few tips that might ease your stress and straighten your approach.
1. Commitment is the key
This is the most important tip for freelancers who want to revamp their network. Without commitment, things won’t work out the way they are supposed to. Therefore, commit to networking and don’t stop until you see positive results.
2. Look around and learn
If you are clueless and don’t know where to begin, start copying freelancers around you. There are plenty of freelancers on social media who spill the beans every now and then. Just do what they do, with your own twist. This will help you get a better idea and will establish the right momentum you need.
3. Find refuge in previous clients
This tip is for freelancers who have worked with clients before. If you are willing to find new clients, start connecting with previous clients first. It is because they know you better and if you offer high-quality services to them, they will definitely refer you to their colleagues. This is called word of mouth and it really helps.
4. Help your acquaintances
Use your skills to help your friends, family, and friends of friends. If they love your services, they will recommend you to their network. Remember, it is not just about the money, sometimes, networking gives other non-monetary benefits that can’t be measured in dollar bills.
5. Social media ads
In order to reach the right audience, you can harness the power of social media ads. This works well in the case of already established freelancers. If you are a beginner, you should put emphasis on putting quality content for the audience and take up social media ads once your base is strong enough to retain the potential clients.
6. Volunteer for a good cause
Volunteering is a great activity if you want to casually increase your network. Freelancers have been expanding their network by volunteering for a cause. It is a great place to start as fellow volunteers come from all walks of life.
7. Attend professional events
There isn’t a better way to improve your freelance network than attending professional events like seminars, workshops, conferences, etc. Harness their power by attending them and reaching out to people who can become potential clients.
8. Build a community
Building a community is another great option for freelancers who want to improve their network. It takes time and extra patience, but the results are astounding. You can build a community on social media or niche-specific platforms where you can meet like minded people. This method would work for freelancers who have the ability to lead an audience.
9. Don’t forget to take follow up
Strong connections are made when freelancers take a follow up of their connection request, email, etc. Without taking a follow-up, you wouldn’t be able to figure out what went right or wrong, therefore, don’t forget it.
10. Learn from your mistakes
Last but not the least, another tip for freelancers is to learn from their mistakes. You can’t achieve great heights without a couple of mistakes here and there. Your goal should be to learn from them and minimize errors in the future.
Networking is time and soul consuming, but the results are worth it. Nothing can replace the power and joy of having a strong network of clients that want to work with you. It not only adds to your income but also makes you the jack of your trade. If you are a freelancer or have made up your mind to pursue freelancing full-time, start building your network. It is okay to make mistakes along the way– that’s how you learn. As long as you are open to changes, ready to learn and improve, no one can stop you from building a powerful network filled with high-paying clients.