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Networking for the freelancer: Making connections that count

Networking can seem like a scary concept — especially for freelancers and solo-preneurs. When you’re used to working on your own, the idea of putting yourself out there and meeting industry peers or potential clients might have you running for the hills. However, it’s important to remember that connecting with prospective customers and those in the same field as you is essential for growing your business — no matter what industry you’re in. 

The connections you forge can give you the chance to learn, collaborate, and gain visibility. But how can you make sure you’re meeting the right people? Let’s take a look at how you can create meaningful connections to support your growing business.

Why is networking important for freelancers?

“Networking” is a buzzword that might conjure up images of large corporate spaces, name tags, and big businesses. However, it’s also a valuable concept for freelancers and solo-preneurs to get on board with. 

Networking can help you get a deeper understanding of your industry, gain insights into trends, and see how others tackle similar challenges. Plus, you can identify opportunities to shape your business and make your goals more accessible.

Do you want to offer a broader range of services, reach new audiences, or take on bigger projects? Getting involved with networking opens up an array of collaboration opportunities, making these goals more accessible. It’s a brilliant way to increase your business’s visibility, too — both to industry peers and potential clients or customers.

But perhaps most importantly, networking can help you find an encouraging community. After all, working as a freelancer can feel isolating at times, so by connecting with others in similar roles, you can share tips, learn from each other, and feel supported.

Top tips for getting the most out of networking

For many freelancers, networking involves stepping out of your comfort zone. This can be a tough thing to do but once you get the ball rolling, putting yourself out there will become a vital part of your business strategy.

Wondering how to network effectively? Here are some hints and tips to make worthwhile connections.

A group of woman at a recent networking meeting in Birminghal all looking at the camera taking a selfie and smiling. The photo was taken by Bizzybee virtual and social media assistant

Attend in-person and online networking events

Dedicated networking events (like the SMMeet up event) offer the chance to showcase your passion, meet like-minded professionals, and exchange ideas. In-person events are the ideal way to break through your comfort zone and build a genuine connection.

However, online events can be just as fruitful, like the InclUSion community— and convenient if there aren’t any in-person gatherings in your local area. 

It can be helpful to look for events catering specifically to your sector as well as broader meetings. This will help you meet a good mix of contacts and add them to your network.

Try a co-working space

Specific networking events aren’t the only way to meet contacts. Networking opportunities are everywhere! Co-working spaces, in particular, can put you in touch with other local businesses and potential clients. 

A group of people waving at the camera at the end of the Bring freelance coworking session

Hubs of creativity and collaboration and co-working offices showcase networking in its most organic form. There are also online co working like the Being Freelance community You might find yourself meeting a new business partner at the coffee machine or offering your services to another freelancer on the desk (or screen) opposite.

Be your authentic self

Throughout all your networking endeavours, it’s essential to be yourself, I mean, who else can you be?. Bigger businesses tend to rely on branding, but when you’re a freelancer, you are your brand. Your personal and professional identities are far more intertwined, so showcasing your authenticity is the best way to establish rapport for stronger, long-lasting connections.

When you let your network see the real you, you’re more likely to stand out, show consistency, and build trust.

Connect and grow

Working independently can be a great perk of freelance life! But sometimes, the sense of isolation can take its toll on your wellbeing. Networking provides the chance to foster rewarding connections while helping your small business grow. 

A picture of a lady smiling at the camera with long red hair. The lady is Bizzybee Virtual assistant

For more inspiration on taking your small business to the next level, take a look at the Bizzybee blog.

You can also contact Erin for virtual assistance — from handling your social media scheduling to adding those all-important networking events to your calendar, she might do a bit of networking with you too ;).


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