Freelancing is a unique career choice where one can be one’s boss. No other career field offers the opportunity to earn while maintaining freedom and following your passion. But yes, in the current context, it becomes tricky if a freelancer tries to build his career alone without anyone’s help.
So what can be done? Based on my experience, community, and networking effectively help a freelancer’s career success. Those who want to build a sustainable career in this field should focus on these two things. In today’s article, I will discuss in detail why community and networking play an essential role in a freelancer’s career.
What do community and networking mean when it comes to freelancing?
Let’s try to understand the meaning of the two words community and networking at the beginning of writing. A community in freelancing refers to a group in which freelancers from different sectors are connected.
It could be a Facebook or LinkedIn group, a Telegram or WhatsApp group, or even an offline association of freelancers. Freelancers share their career experiences in these communities. They also share their valuable suggestions and resources for new freelancers.
On the other hand, networking is when a freelancer builds up a professional, friendly, and helpful relationship by regularly interacting with other freelancers in his sector or freelancers working in different sectors.
This networking can be done by joining various freelancing communities. Again, it can be through multiple meet-ups, workshops, or seminars of freelancers.
Why are community and networking so valuable?
I know now many people may question, “Skill experience and expertise are enough to make a freelancing career successful! So how important are community and networking here?”
One can learn many new things from them, which can be helpful in career building. For example: After joining a freelancing community, you learn a new client communication trick you didn’t know about before.
Applying this trick while communicating with clients can generate more clients than before. This hack would never have been known if it weren’t for the community members!
Moreover, as everyone must know, there are various challenges to be faced in the beginning while building a career in the freelancing sector. Expert advice is essential to handle these situations appropriately.
You can get these tips from freelancing communities. Not only this, but a freelancer can also find the perfect mentor through this community networking.
And yes, know one more thing. If you are a new freelancer, networking in the freelancing community can give you access to various resources and learning materials that can be super helpful for your career.
For example, a freelancer in the community shares a link to an online course related to marketing, which will make the difficult task of building up a marketing strategy easy for freelancers. Tell me, if there was no ad in that community, would you have known about that course through any other source? never
There are helpful course recommendations; apart from this, the freelancing community provides access to various useful tools, paid software, PDFs of essential books, multiple checklists, etc., resources regularly valuable for freelancers.
By joining a freelancing community, you will learn from other freelancers and increase your knowledge and share your knowledge with them. For example, you know very well how to find clients on LinkedIn.
Now you can share this knowledge with everyone in the community. Not only will this help new freelancers find you on LinkedIn, but it will also increase your exposure and networking in the community.
So understand if freelancers join different communities and network regularly, their online presence is more robust. That increases their credibility a lot. It is from this credibility that a freelancer’s reputation begins to grow.
A significant advantage of community and networking for freelancers is that they create opportunities to generate new clients. Because freelancing districts often post about new projects or job opportunities.
Also, other freelancers can recommend you to potential clients if networking is good. From my experience, this opportunity to find free clients is not possible anywhere else for freelancers.
Now on to another vital aspect of community and networking that most people need to learn about. Community and networking allow freelancers to form collaborations or partnerships between themselves, from which both parties can benefit equally.
When two freelancers collaborate, they can feel free to work on somewhat complex projects. This not only increases the amount of revenue generated but also increases their reputation by ensuring client satisfaction.
Finally, community and networking are essential in maintaining a freelancer’s mental health. Often freelancers need more social life under the pressure of work. As a result, freelancers face burnout, which significantly reduces their productivity.
To solve this problem, if the freelancers join some communities and do regular networking, they will have a social life; in the same way, recreation opportunities will be created by attending community meet-ups, which will effectively help maintain good mental health.
That was the discussion on why community and networking play an essential role for a freelancer. A misconception I see among many freelancers is that they think community or networking is only for expert freelancers. This is a massive misconception because community or networking is precious for new and talented freelancers.
Besides providing services to clients, I advise everyone to join some freelancing community and actively network. By doing this, hopefully, you will see yourself grow more in your career within a few days.