30 Apr Networking Matters for Freelance Professionals
Just like any member of the working world, freelancers must partake in events, expos and meetings. It’s vital to the growth and longevity of a strong freelance career, and without staying relevant, you can fade into obscurity.
“But why should I bother?” I hear you ask.
“I’m doing just fine!” Well, you may be doing just fine, but how about doing even better? Below, you’ll find several reasons why it’s important for freelancers to attend industry events – and even host your own. Get out there and start networking!
Will you be able to network properly without them?
One of the hardest tasks facing freelancers is networking. We spend most of our days behind the computer, and that makes it hard to meet others. It’s not like we’re heading down to the office everyday to be surrounded by colleagues. Our only colleagues are our pet cats – in my case, anyway.
So, consider the benefits of attending corporate events. You can meet a wide range of people who specialise in a wide range of fields. That website you’ve always wanted to build? You can meet the perfect web designer and graphic designer for the job. You’ll build up a name for yourself, and become more recognisable within this industry. It’s important to stay relevant, and this will help you do so.
Why not host your own freelance event?
This way, rather than networking with people in different fields to you, you can gather freelancers together. You can gain contacts that are specific to your career, rather than more general ones. It’s actually quite simple to speak to event companies and get everything sorted out. You’ll barely have to lift a finger!
Not only can you meet peers; you can meet clients!
Sure, you can meet people with similar interests to you, and people to collaborate with you, but freelancing is still our job. We still need to get paid! At industry events, you can meet the clients who value your skills the most, and who can put you to good use.
You could bump into a business owner, desperate for some SEO-friendly copy for his website. You could even cross paths with someone looking for a full-time freelancer, someone looking for a one and done project, or contract work. In short, you’ll open yourself to dozens more opportunities. So get out there!
Is it that change of pace you need?
Freelancing can get quite lonely at times – and that cat isn’t helping. Getting out and about, meeting new friends and new clients, and doing something different could be that change of pace you need. It’s important to break up the work schedule in order to stay motivated and productive, and a business event will do just that.
You can grow your brand
As soon as you became a self-employed freelancer, you became your own business. Businesses are brands, and you will be no different. So, attending events can help you grow yours, in all the right ways. Take some business cards with you (making sure to include social media and website links) and hand them out.
You could even consider giving a speech at the event, to introduce yourself to the whole room. Whatever you do, make sure people see you as you want to be seen. Stay true to yourself, and don’t change your mannerisms just to impress.