Sunday, November 18, 2012

Networking and Socializing With Other Freelancers

Regardless of what your niche is, networking is without a doubt a very important thing. Not just networking with people per se but connecting yourself with the right people in business is essential.

I maybe new to the freelancing business—it’s going to be my second year by the first quarter next year—but I've learned so many things that I feel I am going to explode if I am not going to spill it out. My hands are itching to share some of my experiences and the lessons I've learned. It is not necessary to be a veteran in order to share something. It's always been my belief that people have their own experiences and strength; when shared, we can always learn something out of it.

Today, I would like to briefly discuss about networking in the freelancing business and how important it is to connect ourselves with the right people.

oDesk Appreciation Day, with  Mollie Carter, 
oDesk Director of Customer Marketing
Being a solo practitioner has its own perks and challenges. The perks includes the opportunity to work with different kinds of people, knowledge and skills you learned in every projects you do, the liberty on how to manage your time and where to work, and the monetary rewards. One of the challenges in this business, which can either make or break you, is the fact that you work solo. There are some who hire assistants or a team, but most likely they work alone—just like me.

Who are these "people"

These people I'm referring to as the "right people" are the potential friends in business whom you can trade best practices, business partners, clients, and contacts that can give you referral. You can meet them in some social gatherings just like the oDesk Appreciation Day last November 6, 2012 at Bahay Ng Alumni building, University of the Philippines, Diliman. You can also network through forums, blogs, and social networking sites.

Missed the event? Please read the PH Freelancers Unite Once More for oDesk Contractors Appreciation Day by Stef G. for the detailed coverage of the event.

Importance of networking

Here are some of the reasons why I say networking is important. Surely, you can think of more.

1. Humans are naturally social beings. We network to socialize. If you are not a social person, hmm, I think there is something wrong there. 
2. Getting free assistance and advice from people who can relate themselves with your issues and situation.
3. Boost our online reputation.
4. Expand your learning through sharing of knowledge and best practices.
5. Connect with future project collaborators.
6. Meet potentials clients and business partners.
7. Advertise yourself, your service or business.

I don't think I would come this far and stayed on this business if I am not happy with it and I don't have the network. Aside from my strong desire to make it work in this business, I am grateful to have a supportive network (friends, business partners and clients).

If you think you find this blog post is helpful, please feel free to share it with your friends. Thank you!

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