How to build a good network
Congratulations! You decided to join the freelance way of life. Now where do you start?
In order to transition from full-time employee to freelancer as smoothly as possible, it is important to prepare a plan of action and start building a network or expanding an existing one.
It is a good idea to do some research before quitting your full-time position. In my case, my full-time job was abolished and my boss asked me if I would consider freelancing for them and that’s how I got started. Some people already do freelancing while working full-time. Tell your clients that you are going 100% freelance and knowing that there is no schedule restrictions to speak of they may give you more work. You can also ask other freelancers how they got started.
The success of your freelance career will depend on your connections. Clients just don’t appear from nowhere. You have to establish relationships with colleagues (past and present), other freelancers or previous employers who can recommend you. You have to build a network of new contacts. Making new contacts in person, online or in social gatherings is crucial. Every new contact can introduce you to a large number of potential referrals.
In addition to a client based network, you need a network out of your industry. You need contacts in accounting, legal advice and other professionals. I’m a graphic designer so I need a network of printers, web programmers and art directors.
Social network is a great way to build a network. I use LinkedIn a lot, I met old contacts, made new ones, and it works for me. Keep your profile up-to-date, write articles and post your latest projects. Be active and visible on LinkedIn, you will benefit from it.
Don’t waste any time, start building your network and you’ll see it won’t take long before the word is out and people will be contacting you for future contracts.
There are freelance forums online where you can chat with other freelancers
See you in my next post…