The Power of Networking: 12 Expert Strategies to Maximise Your Reach as a Freelancer in the UK


As a freelancer, you are the CEO of your own business, and your success depends on your ability to find new clients and opportunities. While many freelancers focus on improving their skills and building their portfolios, one of the most effective ways to grow your business is through networking.

Networking allows you to connect with others in your industry, build relationships, and find new clients and projects. In this blog post, we’ll explore why networking is important for freelancers, the benefits of networking, and how you can maximise your reach through networking.

#1 Why Is Networking Important?

Finding New Clients and Opportunities:

Networking is one of the most effective ways for freelancers to find new clients and projects. By connecting with others in their field, freelancers can build relationships that lead to new opportunities. For example, if you attend an industry event and meet someone who is in need of a freelancer with your skills, you can pitch yourself and potentially secure a new project. Additionally, by staying connected with your network, you can be the first to know about new opportunities that may arise.

Staying Up-to-Date with Industry Developments:

Networking also allows freelancers to stay informed about the latest developments in their industry. Attending events and connecting with others in your field can provide you with valuable insights and information that can help you stay ahead of the curve. Whether you’re learning about new technologies, best practices, or changes in the market, networking can help you stay on top of the latest developments and position yourself as a thought leader in your field.

Building a Supportive Community:

Finally, networking is a great way for freelancers to build a supportive community of peers and mentors. Freelancers often work alone, and connecting with others in your field can help you feel less isolated and provide you with a sounding board for ideas and support when you need it. Whether you’re seeking advice on a project, or simply looking for someone to chat with about your work, building relationships through networking can help you build a supportive community that you can rely on.

12 expert strategies to maximise your Reach through Networking

Networking is a powerful tool for professionals to build their reputation, expand their reach and grow their businesses. In order to achieve these objectives, it is important to adopt effective networking strategies that truly work. Here are 12 expert strategies that you can use to maximise your reach through networking:

Focus on Clarity:

Don’t try to be too clever when networking. Instead, focus on clarity and making sure your professional worth is easily understood. Being clear about what you do and what you offer will create a much stronger impression than attempting to sound impressive.

Build Relationships First:

Rather than collecting business cards, prioritise building relationships. Adopt the “give first” principle by asking “how can I help you?” and putting others first. This approach shows your commitment to service and helps build trust with others, which will lead to stronger relationships and more valuable referrals.

Add Value to Your Network:

One of the most effective ways to demonstrate your value as a networker is to help others connect and derive value. By connecting your network members, you will not only demonstrate your expertise, but also gain their gratitude and trust, which will lead to more valuable leads and referrals.

Don’t Follow the Crowd:

Attend events that are of interest to you, rather than just following the crowd. This will not only be more enjoyable, but will also enable you to be yourself and make a more lasting impression on those you meet.

See Networking as a Way of Being:

Networking is not just an event, it’s a way of life. Get interested in others and ask powerful questions to better understand their needs. This approach will help you build trust and become memorable to others, which will lead to stronger relationships and more valuable referrals.

Touch Base Regularly:

Schedule regular touch-base calls or meetings with your contacts to keep them top of mind and to keep your relationships strong. These can be brief and are a great way to stay connected and provide ongoing support to one another.

Understand the “Why”:

Get to know “why” people do what they do, not just what they do. This will help you build deeper relationships and create more valuable connections.

Have a Plan:

Having a plan for networking events will help you achieve your objectives more effectively. Consider in advance who you want to connect with and what type of people or firms you want to engage with.

Practice Awareness:

Awareness is key when networking. Pay attention to the body language and vocal cues of others to better understand their intentions and respond accordingly.

Follow Up and Follow Through:

Follow up is rare, but follow-through is even rarer. Make sure to follow up with the contacts you make at networking events and follow through on the next steps in your relationships.

Tap into Your Personal Network:

Utilise your personal network, including family and friends, to make valuable connections. Ask for introductions and referrals from those you know to expand your reach and build stronger relationships.

Don’t Hide Your Quirks:

Don’t be afraid to show your unique personality when networking. Your quirks are what make you stand out and will help others remember you. By being yourself, you will create a stronger and more memorable impression.

5 Business Networks and Networking groups in the UK

  • The Institute of Directors (IOD) is one of the most well-regarded business networks in Britain. To become a member, you must be a company director. It comprises some of the UK’s most influential business owners and entrepreneurs, with locations throughout the country. They organize various events and programs, making it one of the best business networks to join in the UK. Membership costs £385 a year, with a £220 joining fee (as of January 2015). You can find more information and apply for membership on their website.
  • First Tuesday is a nationwide network of individual networking events held on the first Tuesday of every month. The cost varies depending on the event, with local networking groups typically being free. You can reach First Tuesday on their website.
  • The British Chambers of Commerce is one of the oldest and most respected business networking organizations in the UK. It comprises hundreds of chambers that connect local business owners and entrepreneurs. The membership fee varies depending on your local chamber. You can find your local chamber by searching on Google or reach the national body on their website, which also lists national events.
  • The Federation of Small Business (FSB) has over 200,000 members across 33 regions and 188 branches, making it one of the largest and most widespread business groups for networking and events. Membership costs from £155 a year (as of January 2015). You can search for your local group on Google or contact the national body on their website.
  • The Supper Club is a membership club for high-growth entrepreneurs with a turnover above £1 million. Its highly selective membership process brings together some of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs. The cost is on application. They primarily hold events in London.
  • Ashoka is a leading organization and network for social entrepreneurs, with over 3,000 fellows worldwide. The cost is unknown but is believed to be free, with a highly selective application process. You can reach Ashoka on their website.
  • The National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs (Nacue) is a vast network with numerous events and societies. It’s a great organization for young entrepreneurs in education to join. Membership is free. You can typically join a Nacue society at your university or college, attend national events, or participate on their online forum/networking site for entrepreneurs.
  • Enactus is the largest student group on campus in the world, with each chapter at a college or university focusing on running a social enterprise across a range of areas. Membership is free. You can find your university’s SIFE Chapter or contact the national body on their website.
  • Elevation Networks is a youth employment charity that works with people aged 11-25 and underrepresented groups in the labor market. They offer a great network for student entrepreneurs and graduates, as well as running a series of events and educational programs. Membership is free. You can find more information on their website.
  • MD2MD is a community of business leaders who are responsible for 10s to 100s of staff, and are committed to improving their own leadership and their teams’ development. Membership costs £295-795, with full details on their membership page. You can request a demonstration meeting by filling out their enquiry form on their website.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, this article highlighted the power of networking for freelancers in the UK. We explored the importance of building and maintaining professional relationships, and how it can benefit freelancers in finding new clients and projects, staying up-to-date on industry developments, building a supportive community, and improving their skills and knowledge. We also discussed various strategies to maximise the reach of their network, including attending events, joining organisations and groups, utilising social media, and hosting or participating in workshops.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start networking! Building relationships and promoting your services can be a game-changer for your freelance business. Remember, the UK has a thriving freelance community, and there are numerous opportunities for you to connect with others in your field.

And for those who are just starting out on their freelancing journey, don’t miss out on our complete freelancing beginner’s guide ebook. It’s packed with helpful tips and advice on how to succeed as a freelancer, and it’s available for free download. So, click the link and get your copy today!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Hey there!

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.

Related Posts