Freelancers are always on the lookout for potential clients. They’re pros at networking to get free word-of-mouth marketing and grow their presence and authority. Even the busiest freelancers know that halting their networking efforts aren’t an option because they never know when a client might leave or needs might change.
However, since freelancers are usually one-person shows, they need to maximize the time they spend on networking to get the biggest benefit for their efforts. Here are some ideas to help you optimize networking opportunities to keep your client list full.
You can’t improve what you can’t measure, which is why it’s important to set clear goals for your networking efforts. First, make a conscious commitment that this is the way you want to grow your freelancing business. Then, decide what you want to get from networking specifically.
For example, do you want to get one new client a month? One new client per event? What does successful networking look like to you?
Also, think about how much time you can realistically dedicate to networking every week or month. It takes time to start building your network, but connecting with the right people can help you grow exponentially.
As you start growing your network, leverage those points of contact to get business referred to you. They may not need your services, but they might know someone who does. And they’ll likely be willing to help you out if you could somehow return the favor.
Tap into your existing client base and ask them to leave you a review of your services. Studies show that 70 percent of people will leave reviews when asked, so consider launching a review campaign to start collecting their feedback.
Publicly-displayed online reviews can help you grow your network by growing your authority. People will see that others have already trusted you with their business and have had positive results.
This might seem counterintuitive, but you can learn a lot from fellow freelancers in your area, especially if they’re more experienced in your market. They might not give you their client list, but they may be willing to dish on details like local networking events and offer tips for marketing yourself.
In the past, most freelancers have holed up in a home office and rarely see the light of day. This makes it extremely difficult to network with others. Logically, the remedy to this would be to change your workspace and put yourself in the proximity of others.
Coworking spaces are designed to do exactly this, offering freelancers, solopreneurs, and professionals space to work and network. You can grab a workspace for a low flat fee and enjoy all the benefits that come with coworking.
At Office Evolution, we’ve developed strategically located office space that caters to the freelance community. We also hold mixers and networking events for our community members to help you grow your business. Find the Office Evolution location nearest you and enjoy newfound networking opportunities to help you thrive!
Written by: Jeff Hensiek
Office Evolution has more than 70 locations open, 140 units sold in markets across the country and is poised for further growth as the demand for affordable and safe, workspace close-to-home continues to rise.