Working as a freelancer means that, at the end of the day, moving forward depends on you. Nobody will be there to point out the way for you or give you a heads-up if you’re heading in the right direction - or even when you’re doing a great job, for that matter.
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All of the feedback you get will be from your clients rather than your boss and it’s up to you to motivate yourself to climb that career ladder.
Here is a handful of ways to expand your network as a freelancer if you’re ready to move forward again. It won’t necessarily make it easier to get clients but you will be able to gain a broader network of people who can support you. It never hurts to know a few more people, after all, as long as you know the right ones.
#1 Keep in touch with your clients
First of all, it’s important to keep in mind that most freelancers need a bigger network. As a large portion of our work tends to come from referrals, we are actually quite dependent on people putting in a good word for us and keeping us in mind when recommending freelancers to others - but how can we make this happen?
Try to think about what you would do if you were in their shoes. Most likely, you would recommend the person who is freshest on your mind and someone who you’re not afraid to vouch for in terms of professionalism.
Maintaining those relationships is, imperative to getting the referrals you need and deserve. This is easier said than done, though, so have a look at this article if you need some more tips on how to stay in touch with your best-loved clients.
#2 Meet new people
Sometimes, however, we have cultivated all the relationships we can but still need more referrals in order to keep ourselves and our business afloat. You need to meet new people, in other words, and the best way to go about with this is to get yourself out there.
Get your printer ready, buy canon ink cartridges, and print out some business cards to bring to a few networking events. You might want to attend a workshop as well, by the way, or other industry events such as conferences for freelancers or another trade show for your niche.
If you do have a niche, it’s going to be a bit easier to understand which direction you need to go in before you’re able to meet new people who you can build a relationship with. Use the Internet as well and connect with people through LinkedIn as they may know people you don’t know yet.
#3 Ask the people you know
Finally, there is no better way to get to know new people than through your existing network. Ask them to introduce you to their favorite people and you might just be able to expand your network significantly and get new clients without even having to attend a single networking event.
It just makes it a bit easier to be a freelancer and feel like you’re prospering at a decent pace.