People Are The Greatest Freelancer Resources
One of the most valuable freelancer resources you have is your network of business contacts. Networking is the process of building up your base of contacts. For introverts like me, networking can be challenging and stressful.
A simple Google search will show you the top ranking answers to questions about networking. Instead, this list is a mix of freelancing resources some are digital, and others are local to San Diego. The networking groups in this post are the ones that have worked out for me. I hope this list can save some of the time it took for me to discover it.
The Rule Of Who You Know
Networking is the key to achievement in your professional career, particularly if you’re a self-employed writer or comparable professional who depends on freelancer resources. When you build a network of professional contacts, you create a framework for employment opportunities and the inside track on developments in your industry.
The prospect of reaching out to connect with your peers may fill you with joy or, more likely, a sense of dread. However, dive right in and the rewards and sense of validation will make it all OK.
In this digital age, you can meet new friends and colleagues one time, then connect by social media and build a relationship via digital channels. At your first networking event, you’ll discover that it’s an enjoyable evening spent in the company of interesting people. One event could mark the day that changes your life.
1 Million Cups
The Knight Foundation promotes startups through One Million Cups is one of the best meeting events where you can get involved with the technology startup culture in your region.
Once a week local groups from this organization have events to help startups practice their investment pitches, earn some feedback, and get the word out to the local community.
Each week a different startup pitches to the audience. Then they open the floor to questions. You get a chance to network directly at the event, an inside view of local activities and tips about more networking opportunities.
Join your local Hubspot User Group
If you are unfamiliar with this brand, Hubspot.com is the leading inbound marketing and content management platform. Join your local Hubspot user group and meet with local marketers, startups, and experts.
This national organization sponsors local groups that host events in microbreweries and convention centers. There is usually a guest speaker and an icebreaker activity to get the connections started. Both the focus and the crowd are very much centered on marketing and business promotion but isn’t that what networking is about after all?
The Chamber of Commerce
Your local Chamber of Commerce is the old school business networking organization for your community is likely to be enthusiastic to bring you in as a member and help you connect with influencers and mentors.
The Small Business Administration – The SBA sponsors local networking and mentoring programs that include freelancer resources. The SBA also has programs for special populations such as veterans and women entrepreneurs. If you can find a mentor in one of this agency’s programs, they will be a person of standing in the local business community.
Meetup.com literally helps people meet up
Thank goodness for the Internet! So many good ideas and things in demand, the MeetUp.com website fills a vital need for any shared interest you can imagine. If there is no group for what you want to meet others about, make a new one on this versatile platform.
Whether it is a profession, hobby, faith-based interest, or some other thing that humans can share in common, there is likely to be a meetup group. The best thing about meetup.com is that all of the other networking opportunities post and RSVP through this site.
Use meetup.com as the website that ties all your networking opportunities together. It is the broadest networking platform that will put you in touch with like-minded travelers.
Your local Startup Weekend Event
Join a startupweekend.com team event and get startups off the ground on the weekend. Attendees form teams and compete to develop ideas into viable business cases. Startup Weekend events break the ice and sometimes turn into exciting entrepreneurial adventures.
Make The Most Of Remote Freelance Resources
There might not be as much in your neighborhood if you are in a rural community, in that case, it will be up to you to step out and attend events further afield. You can make an adventure of it; do your networking entirely online, which is do-able.
Look for groups that share your interest on social media platforms such as Facebook and make an effort to get involved. If you discover a need that is not being served in your community, create a new meetup group. Attract like-minded people and stage an event in a local forum such as a coffee house or church hall.
LinkedIn is your Digital Résumé
Have you joined LinkedIn yet? LinkedIn.com is the business social network; it’s your jobs board, resume, and Who’s Who listing. The tone is serious and business-like, the content that members post relates to all things professional. The most important feature is that other members can see your verified profile on a prestigious third-party platform.
LinkedIn has penetrated the global business community so thoroughly that Google ranks the site very highly and you should too. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile yet, you should set it up now. Fill in your profile and work history. Make sure you include a professional looking headshot.
Too shy? Do it anyway!
You can always find plenty of excuses, but don’t let that hold you back. You should jump in and then decide if you want to continue.
You’ll start to make more connections as you become more familiar to your peers. Networking events are still a great way to make business contacts. You can also use them to drive your career. A casual acquaintance might even result in an opportunity to start a business or perhaps something new altogether.
“Live as if it were impossible to fail.” — Casey Neistat