Networking can be done both online and offline. However, if you’re great at networking it will start showing in your work.
According to Forbes, you have only “seven seconds to make an impression”. That’s really all the time you have in order to catch your prospective client as well.
Many freelancers, however, come off too strong or make some rookie mistakes.
Here are some tips for you to avoid it and become a better freelancer:
1) Don’t Be Aggressive
It’s good to take the initiative and then going for an opportunity. But being aggressive and being pushy is off-putting. When you haven’t had the time to build a relationship, the other person might not even contact you again.
Instead what you should do is, nail the introduction. This is the first chance and the most impressionable aspects of networking. The “seven seconds” of interaction will determine how the person feels about you.
You don’t want to look sloppy here, instead exude confidence and maintain eye-contact throughout the conversation. A slight smile also goes a long way. Always have an effective 15–30 second introduction prepared to pique the personal interest.
2) Don’t Forget An Impressive Portfolio
If you’re in the freelancing business, be ready to pitch to a prospective client any time of the day. In order to support what you’re saying it’s important to maintain a good portfolio.
If you’re a designer, go through some of the best portfolios there are in the industry. Something like this is a great way to pique someone’s interest and get them interested in your work. People love watching visuals, instead of reading long paras.
It’s effective if you can show someone the kind of work you do on the spot, rather than just talking about it. You can design a portfolio easily online on Behance. You can even print copies of the same and just share it with the people you want.
3) Don’t Skip Follow Up:
After you first make contact with a prospective client either at a co-working space or a networking event, make sure to follow up.
That too, within 24–48 hours, when your conversation will be fresh in their mind. Otherwise, they may end up forgetting about you and may never get back to you.
Just shoot a quick email to them stating that you enjoyed the conversation and try and reflect back to a point from the conversation.
This will help you build a connection with that person, and if they have some work for you in the future, it’s more likely that they will get back to you.
4) Don’t Just Take, Give:
Networking is all about a give and take relationship.
If you approach a person and just ask them for favours directly, they will never talk to you again. Instead, focus on building a relationship with them.
And also, offer something of value to them too, this will help in building a relationship.
Where you can meet people for networking — Offline
- Co-working spaces hold great networking events where you get a chance to connect with like-minded geniuses.
- A website like Meetup host several business meetups for people to network and mingle.
- You can even attend Writers workshops and freelancer workshops, where you will not only be able to learn a new skill, but you will be able to network too.
Where you can network — Online
Apart from these, there are numerous opportunities to connect with the right people online through Facebook groups. Groups like Content Writers and Game changers or Freelance Content writing jobs will help you get in touch with the right people easily.
In fact, there are a plethora of apps which give you an interesting platform to not just reach out to new networks but grab available opportunities around you.
So just in case, you have been feeling that freelancers hardly earn big, you’ll be happy to know that in 2016, freelancers earned 1$ Trillion!!Just think about the kind of potential you have to break through.
We, for one, definitely recommend you to go out there and let all those people know about your existence. ’Cause trusts us, they are all looking for a talent house like you!
At first, all this may sound daunting to you. But with some practice and confidence, these tools will help move your career a long way. Tell us in comments how you landed your first freelance gig? Was it through real-time networking or online networking? Would love to know!