Networking and Building Relationships:
The saying goes that ‘no (hu)man is an island’. In this post-pandemic world, I think we can all agree that full isolation is not hugely enjoyable. But working as a freelancer can be a lonely existence. It can feel like you are a social media manager, data analytics specialist, website designer, accountant and head of logistics never mind being a creative with a product to sell. It’s a lot for one person to do and that’s where your network and the relationships with those around you are crucial.
The network that you are in can often provide the answers you need to problems that you’ve identified or that you may face in the future. Looking at how your peers and your competitors have overcome issues, talking to them about what they would suggest and reaching out to them if you see them struggling can help to build a much healthier and happier community for everyone.
Strong professional relationships with peers will provide greater opportunities and visibility for your products through collaborations and shared social content.
But beyond this, say there is a trade fair that you want to attend as a seller but the costs are high. Why not partner up with a few ‘competitors’ so that you can have a collaborative stall? Equally, there might be an event that you don’t feel confident going to alone and think could be beneficial to someone else in your field of peers. Reach out and see if they will go with you!
Trust is something that money can’t buy. But with a bit of time and effort, you’ll find that you have a group around you that have overlapping products and clients but which feels like a healthy marketplace for you to be involved with.
Do not underestimate the power of social media but above all, if possible, meet people in person.