Networking: Freelancer's Best Friend - If Done Right
In my several years working as a freelancer, I have learned several skills that have been of great help to me. Multitasking, time management, organization of goals and objectives. Things I had to learn along the way so I don’t fail or lose my sanity. However, I think that the main tool of every self-employed person is networking.
I started as a freelance writer offering my services on different platforms, at first it didn’t pay the bills, but I remained constant and focused on learning and improving.
I took courses, read hundreds of articles, watched tutorials on YouTube, Copywriting, SEO writing, essays, engagement, everything. And while all of that makes up the writer I am today, the biggest growth in my career as a freelancer began when I started connecting with other writers.
One of the most common mistakes we make is believing that freelancing is a lonely job.
In talking to other writers like me, some amateurs and some more experienced, I had a totally different experience of my work. Being able to share perspectives, tips, and advice is much more valuable if you share it with people from your tribe. Before long, most of these writers became my friends and even partners. It was at that moment that everything changed.
Bonding with other creators, entrepreneurs, and freelancers will only have a positive impact on your career. It will completely change how you perceive self-employment and, if you do it right, you will see a significant increase in your earnings.
But not everything is easy peasy, networking is not just a popularity contest like in school, it must be done correctly. If we don’t have a plan, we will lose valuable contacts and allies.
Therefore, I brought you 10 valuable tips that you can start using:
#1 Don’t force things
You won’t meet Jeff Bezos tomorrow, you don’t have to rush to make important connections. The best working relationships are those that are born naturally and fluidly. Don’t go spamming everyone’s email hoping to catch a big fish, be patient.
#2 The most important thing is to learn
Everyone has something to give you. That can be a lesson, a tip, a tool, or an experience. You won’t be the same person you were at the beginning, the key is to know what you are taking from each interaction.
Even a rejection or negative comment has a lot to teach you, but you must be smart to acknowledge it and mature enough to accept it.
#3 Don’t limit your options
I know that at the beginning I said that I started networking with other writers, being a writer myself, but I have also had the fortune of meeting entrepreneurs, salespeople, programmers, and people from different areas. Don’t close the door to meet people who do things totally different from what you do.
It’s not about making a private club, it’s about creating a small community.
#4 Be curious
Do not expect the answers to come alone, take the initiative to investigate and learn deeply from everything. Don’t settle for superficial information, dig deeper, ask questions no one else asks, go where no one else goes, and see what no one else seems to see. You are a fish in an ocean, not a fish tank.
#5 Express yourself
Don’t forget that others also expect to get the same as you. Don’t be shy about talking about yourself, your path, experiences, successes, and failures, it is the best way to strengthen authentic relationships with others. Don’t be just a leech of knowledge, spread your own.
#6 You don’t have to be the most outstanding
It’s easy to believe that to do good networking you have to be the best at what you do. Seeing it as a competition is a serious mistake. It is not a race, you don’t have to be the first, you just have to be yourself and connect with others. Pretending is a waste of time and energy.
#7 You will make mistakes
If you get used to the idea quickly and understand that surely there will be failures, faster you will learn and get out of it. Many give up in a short time because they hope to achieve it in a month and have 6 figures in their bank account. Not everyone takes the same path, but everyone can get there, don’t give up before you start.
#8 Take advantage of social media
Social networks are called that for a reason. You don’t have to wait to meet someone at an event or a convention, you can partner with freelancers from all over the world thanks to the internet. Your social networks are your cover letter, make sure you use them well, have a good image, and present your work impeccably.
#9 Focus on what you can offer
It’s not about accumulating contacts, your allies must be beneficial to you and your career. And therefore, you must know what you can offer to others. Which are your strengths? what makes you different from the rest? Why will knowing you positively affect others?
Have all of the above very clear and you will know how to develop better.
The best way to network is to be involved in the conversation. Like, comment, give claps, follow, let others know that you like their content and work. That way you will create authentic and strong ties. You just have to put yourself out there.
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