Networking. It’s a horrible word, isn’t it? It conjures up images of awkward conversations with strangers in a sweaty conference room. However, when you’re a freelancer, networking should be your lifeblood and it doesn’t always turn out to be as bad as you might imagine.
You can always network
The thing about networking is that it is basically a conversation. You have conversations at all times of day with a variety of different people. Any one of these people could be looking for services such as those that you provide. This means that going to the shops can be networking, sitting on the train can be networking and even going to the pub can be networking. When you tell people what you do, try to establish if they seem interested and maybe prod them with a couple of questions to see if they are open to your services. However, avoid seeming pushy.
Social media is your friend
The easiest way to get your message out to lots of people is to do a post on Facebook or a tweet on Twitter. Ask if anyone is in need of what it is that you do and make sure to ask them to ask their friends so that you can cast your net even wider. Include basic information about your services and the rates you offer.
Other freelancers are also your friends
You shouldn’t view other freelancers in your field as competition; you should see them as a resource for tips and advice. Get in touch with other freelancers to see if they can offer you useful information about potential clients or new avenues that you can try.
Impress with your content
You can talk to people all you want but they will want to see some evidence of your work. This is where content comes in. Depending on what it is that you do, you may not want to have to physically show your work to everyone, so you need a way of showcasing it on your site or social media. Articles, images and videos are excellent sources that you can easily link to and point potential clients to. They could be about a wide variety of things. For example, you can make your own animation that demonstrates what you do in a really interesting way that will attract new clients.
Stay in touch with clients
Even if you have finished the work they needed doing and they have paid you, you should always stay in touch with clients. You want to be the first person who pops into their head when they think: “Maybe we could outsource that.” Additionally, you also want to be the first person who pops into their head when they chat with a competitor who asks: “Do you know where I can find someone to do this for us?” Clients can lead to other clients if you make sure that you do good work and you keep in touch with them.