Nowadays freelance networking is one of the most important aspects of any freelance business. Strengthening your client list is essential. For this, you need to have access to a portfolio that contains a large number of customers.
In this article, we are going to talk about how to get and keep customers through networking. Additionally, we will talk about how to get people to become potential customers. Let us observe:
- Why should you start networking?
- Tips for speaking time
- Types of professional networks
- Establishing commitment
- Social networks as a tool
- The importance of social events
- Growth opportunities
- How can we help you get and keep customers through networking?
1. Why should you start networking?
Even if you have no networking-related knowledge, you must get going. In this sense, what you should do is go ahead and make your name and brand known.
In case you get nervous when trying to network, here are some tips that can help you get ahead in any networking-related situation
1.1 The research stage
As a good researcher, you can access the attendee list. All networking events should have a list of attendees, and it is up to you to access it on your own or ask the event organizer for it.
You must find out about aspects of the actual event, such as when the event starts and if it is open to everyone, if you do your research beforehand this will give you more confidence when you arrive at the event.
To learn more about freelance networking we have a team at your disposal at Connect Freelance.
1.2 Putting aside fear
When you work as a freelancer you need to break the fear barrier. If you increase your confidence and mental toughness, you will go much further. In this sense, getting out of the shyness barrier will allow you to develop connections with many people.
This way these potential clients will be able to refer you to other real people and thus generate income.
It is always advisable to arrive more than twenty minutes early. This way you will be able to get used to it quickly because you will be present before all the attendees have arrived.
2. Tips for speaking time
In some events, you will only have about 30 or 40 seconds to explain what you do. Therefore, it is very important to know exactly what you are going to say.
- If possible, write down and learn your introduction to avoid failing and get ahead in your dialogue.
- Learn some key facts that reflect your work. Having keywords or short phrases in mind about your work will enable you to quickly access the answers you will need if certain questions are asked.
- After you have established new contacts and exchanged business cards, it is time to make sure you are remembered.
- Keep in mind that it is up to you to be remembered. In this regard, try to establish further connections through networking.
You can observe what content the pages of the people you contacted have and try to find things in common. The most important thing is to try to connect and participate.
If possible you can try to schedule meetings with some particular contacts.
It is possible that from an event you may get a lot of work but there is also the possibility that you may get nothing. In freelance networking, you will demonstrate the capacity you have to meet more people.
If you get your name out there, it can come up in any conversation outside of your own. In this sense, you will achieve things that you had not considered before.
New clients will start to arrive and you will realize that having attended an event in the past has generated new contacts and has been of benefit to you.
To get networking events, simply Google networking events in “place your location”.
Contact us for more information on how to get and keep customers through freelance networking.
4. Types of professional networks
The essence of freelance networking is based on building a network of connections with people, who can collaborate in the development of your career.
There are three types of professional networks: operational networks or more strategic networks and personal networks.
- Operational networks
For the case of operational networks, you can base your networks on current or former colleagues. In this sense, it is also feasible to use trade groups or other professional organizations. It is always valid to make use of the contacts of people with direct knowledge of your professional field.
- Strategic networks
The strategic networks category includes people who can be thought leaders. In other words, it refers to the inclusion of visionaries or advisors who can make significant contributions and are not necessarily in your professional field or industry.
- Personal networks
In the personal networks category, we can find friends family, and even school alumni. In this way, we can also include in the personal networks the connections we have in social networks and meeting organizations for professionals.
5. Establishing commitment
You need to know exactly how much time you will dedicate to successful freelance networking. If you have the right mindset and stick to your schedule you can keep track of what is working and what is not.
To achieve success in growing your customer base and building a large network, you need to be completely focused on what you want and where you are aiming for.
- Tap into your comfort zone
To network, you do not need to go far from home. Therefore, if you focus first on making sure your friends and family know what you do, you will be taking their first steps.
You need to encourage your closest contacts to spread the word among their social networks. This will open up a whole new field of possibilities related to the business you can generate.
- Contact previous clients
If you had previous jobs where you served a particular client or company, you should take advantage of that positive experience. This way, you can offer your services to them again, and find out if you can also get other potential clients through them.
It is always good to have a known hand through which you developed in the past some work experience with good results.
- Offer your help
Professional networks are not just a tool for your convenience. You must be willing to offer a helping hand to those who may need it. In this sense, by offering your help to others, you will be creating a community of people who will be willing to help you in the future.
6. Social networks as a tool
For many years now, social networks have been a very useful tool for connecting people. In this sense, you should not neglect the opportunities that social networks offer.
By making good use of social networks you can find freelance workers who have many things in common with you. Then, you should be always active in virtual conversations and learn from the experiences that your colleagues can offer you.
Apply a solid strategy, to find and use colleagues with whom you have common ground. In this way, you can make use of tools such as LinkedIn or Reddit and find out if there are forums for professionals related to your field.
6.1 Attend local events
Before the pandemic, relying entirely on the Internet to extend your network was unthinkable.
Today it is increasingly common to have online events where virtual participation is encouraged. In this sense, you can consult information pages about local events and get an idea of what events are taking place.
With the new normal, networking between people in a real way is making its way back into the mainstream. This is an aspect that has always served to foster connections and you should avoid neglecting it.
6.2 Trade shows
If you consider attending trade shows either in person or online, you will be giving a boost to your freelance networking opportunities. In this way, target a specific industry that can help you connect with the important people in that area, which will allow you to establish connections with customers and clients.
Either way, it will be a positive aspect for you. In this sense, if you do not end up with a list of new businesses and contacts; you will still have gained a deeper understanding of the industry.
7. The importance of social events
Almost any event that can bring together significant numbers of people results in an opportunity to establish connections. As such, you should take advantage of any social gathering that can be accessed, such as sporting events, family reunions, parties, and gatherings of friends.
7.1 Coworking spaces
Coworking spaces serve to give sustenance to your independent networking efforts. Also, belonging to a coworking space allows you to meet other freelancers with whom you have sympathy and areas in common.
7.2 Sign up to volunteer
A wonderful way to network is to sign up as a volunteer. Therefore, you will meet people with whom you share professional passions, gain professional experience. Additionally, if you are just starting as a freelancer, you will get to discuss the basics of their career through your connections.
7.3 Avoid scams
Online events and meetings have been booming in recent times together. At this point, we all know how important they will be as a tool for using and expanding your networks.
But you must be careful, not everything is rosy. Thanks to the large number of events that we are cut through the web, there is a high probability that they can be scammed.
Take a good look at the characteristics of the event you want to attend. In addition, pay attention to who are the sponsors of the event, and if it is supported by any organization.
Be careful also to attend events that seem unprofessional. There is indeed a boom in free events, but you should be careful when choosing which one to attend, to partner with high-level clients that will boost your business.
8. Growth opportunities
Even today, the traditional method of in-person networking is the most famous. In this sense, it is amazing at this post-pandemic stage, we still take more advantage of face-to-face meetings.
It is very noticeable that the level of opportunities is much higher in a face-to-face meeting. In this regard, the traditional method of networking offers rapid growth.
Keep in mind that there is always an event that is right for your professional goals, regardless of the specific objectives you have.
Whether for professional growth, or social development, networking events are ideal. Therefore, you should pay attention to their descriptions. In this regard, correctly identify the objectives of the event, and in this way, you will know which event is right for you.
9. How can we help you get and keep customers through networking?
If you want to meet other freelancers to share ideas and receive professional advice and strategies, the traditional freelance networking method is ideal. Likewise, if your focus is entirely professional and business-oriented, a traditional networking meeting is also where you’ll find what you are looking for.
For more information about how can we help you to get and keep customers through freelance networking; our professional team is at your disposal to provide you with information. In addition to guidance, you can count on our services.
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