12 Networking Tips for Freelancers


If you’re a freelancer, networking is one of the most important things you can do to grow your freelance business. Building and maintaining a solid network will provide you with a wealth of benefits to keep your job opportunities and income stable. How should this be done? Following a few networking tips for freelancers is a terrific way to stay in the loop.

The different types of professional networks

Though networking has several complications, at its foundation, networking is about creating a web of connections with people who can help you grow your business. Professional networks are classified into 3 types: 

  1. Operational networks. Contacts in your operational network could be current or former coworkers, members of trade groups or other professional organizations, or people you meet who have firsthand expertise in your chosen field.
  2. Strategic networks: This category may include people who aren’t necessarily in your industry, but who are thought leaders or visionaries whose advice can be both visionary and pragmatic (e.g., how to build valuable job connections).
  3. Personal networks: This network may include your family and friends, as well as school alumni, social media contacts, and professional-focused meet-up groups.

Freelance networking tips

As a freelancer, you’ll need to cultivate and sustain each of these networks. But what exactly does networking for freelancers entail? Here are 12 tips for building and growing your freelance network like a pro.

#1 Commit

Getting in the appropriate mindset is the first step toward successful networking. You know you have to do it, so resolve now to commit a portion of each day to making connections, whether online or in person. Then stick to that routine while keeping track of what works and what doesn’t.

#2 Start with the people you know

There’s no need to push yourself too much outside your comfort zone at first while you develop your networking skills. First and foremost, ensure that your friends and family members are aware of what you do and what types of services you provide. Encourage them to tell their friends and family about it. You’ll be surprised at how much freelance business can come your way as a result of this one action.

#3 Reach out to previous clients

They evidently enjoyed what you were doing if you accomplished multiple jobs for a certain company or firm and had a strong working relationship. Why not contact them and ask if they have any suggestions for other possible clients? Alternatively, you may inquire whether they have any upcoming projects that would benefit from your services.

#4 Offer help

One prevalent fallacy regarding business networking is that it’s all about what your contacts can do for you. And, while this is in many ways the goal of professional networking, it’s not the only one. 

As you create and manage your network, help your contacts, even if they can’t help you right now. By offering your help and support today, you’re building a network of individuals who will want to help you in the future.

#5 Take advantage of social media

Virtual networking was always a terrific way to interact with others long before the internet. And the advice remains the same: don’t overlook the benefits of virtual networking. You can find online groups of other freelancers with whom you share many interests. Participate in virtual conversations by learning from others’ experiences and providing your own advice when appropriate. 

LinkedIn, in particular, is a terrific networking resource provided you use sound techniques such as identifying and using LinkedIn Groups in your area of interest and keeping your completed LinkedIn profile up to date. Check out other sites, such as Reddit, to see if there are any forums for professionals in your field.

#6 Attend local events

Prior to the pandemic, it wasn’t possible to rely solely on the internet for networking and freelance success.

Obviously, things are different right now, so attending in-person events is most likely out of the question. That doesn’t mean you can’t make virtual gatherings more local. 

Check out the information pages for local business hubs (such as your town’s Chamber of Commerce) to see if they’re having any virtual get-togethers. Do the same for any trade group related to your industry.

For example, if you work as a freelance web designer or blogger and use WordPress, they frequently arrange local meetups and promote them in the admin panel. Keep an eye out for local events that will allow you to network and connect with individuals in your caareer field.

#7 attend trade shows

A change of location can sometimes improve your networking opportunities, so try attending trade exhibitions (in-person and online).

Targeting a specific industry will help you connect with key people in that area who may be able to refer you to prospective clients. Even if you don’t wind up with a huge list of new clients, you’ll gain a better understanding of the market and be able to expand your knowledge. 

#8 Go to social events

Almost any social event can provide networking chances. Parties, sporting events, family and friend gatherings—in short, any event that brings a large number of people together is an opportunity for freelancers to do some networking. This can also help you maintain a sense of balance in your life, as many freelancers work alone.

#9 Locate coworking spaces

Coworking spaces bring together a diverse group of workers who are often yearning for the companionship and connection of others. What better location to network with other freelancers?

#10 Volunteer

Finding others who share your career or personal interests is an excellent method to network. Volunteering in your community, or even online, can help you obtain professional experience, especially if you’re just starting out or looking to switch careers.

#11 Network with other freelancers

It’s always good to understand how other freelancers manage their businesses. You can compare prices, tactics, and even share job-related tales.

#12 Follow up

Don’t throw away all of your hard work! Make sure you follow up with your network on a regular basis. 

Connect With Purpose

Networking isn’t easy for everyone, but it’s essential for job progress and success, especially if you’re a freelancer.

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I’m Imad, the content creator and online marketing strategist behind The Guemmah Freelance Hub. My mission is to help more freelancers grow themselves, their business, and their profits.

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