Athletics clubs, drama clubs, book clubs - they all share a common purpose: They’re places of community, where camaraderie is strong and ideas, skills and experiences are shared and learned.
Freelancer Club is no different.
While we help connect freelancers with work opportunities, nurturing and developing our online community for freelancers is at the heart of what we do.
While freelancing enables creatives to pick and choose their projects and be flexible with their work schedules, we’re conscious that freelancers need support in certain areas.
Freelancing can admittedly be lonely at times and unlike full time staff working in an office environment, it can be challenging and time consuming for freelancers to learn a new skill or understand a certain idea as they don’t always have someone they can turn to for advice.
As a startup that was set up, and now run, by freelancers, we not only relate to these common struggles, we actively work to help freelancers overcome them.
How to connect with other freelancers
Since our inception, we’ve devised a myriad of ways to develop our online community for freelancers. We’ve carefully created a variety of features that enable freelancers to connect on our platform in order to learn from and support each other.
Meetups, for example, our recently launched community feature, enables club members to host or attend a range of freelance events (think workshops, master classes, in person coffees etc.), invite specific groups of freelancers and start a group chat before, during and after the Meetup.
In short, Meetups provide freelancers with a facility whereby they can connect with our freelancer community over a topic that interests them.
Consider yourself a bit of an introverted freelancer? Are you a bit nervous about interacting with others? Attending events is a great way to familiarise yourself with the Meetups feature. You can ask questions, give feedback or get involved in the Meetup itself, or you can simply sit in the shadows and take in the learnings from the event.
Maybe you’re a freelancer who feels wary about sharing your knowledge and experience with others? If this sounds like you, it’s worth reflecting on the phrase - the more you give, the more you get.
While retaining your knowledge for you and you only may seem like you're giving yourself a competitive advantage, you’d be amazed at how much you actually learn from someone else when you share a small piece of yourself. Sharing one piece of advice, a tiny idea or a useful insight could spark a conversation or a connection with a group of freelancers who could become your most valuable connections and collaborators.
How else do we enable our freelancer community to support and learn from each other?
Have you used our Discussions Board yet? It’s a space where freelancers can get advice, guidance and help from their freelance peers.
Instead of wading through search results on Google, Reddit and dodgy pages where keyboard warriors post heaps of uninformed content to generate clicks, our Discussion board is a place where freelancers who have previously encountered your dilemma, can give you really insightful, sound advice.
For example, Freelance Club member Angela Walker, recently asked “what’s a good lens for my D7000 for depth of field?”. Within the space of a few hours, there were 15 responses from fellow club members offering Angela well informed suggestions. The best answer was upvoted and Angela got insights from thought-leaders in her profession.
And it’s not just technical issues, we encourage freelancers to seek general freelance advice on the Discussions board. Members frequently post industry queries on our Discussion Board, like “What do you say to a client that won’t pay?” or “Has anyone successfully negotiated a better rate than the one that has been advertised on a job?”.
The difference between putting a question on our discussion board and a random Google or web page? Our club members look out for each other and provide tailored responses from their experiences. They are motivated to help one another find genuine solutions to their problems.
Get stuck in
Feel a little daunted about creating a Meetup or posting a question on the Discussion board?
Don’t be. Take the plunge, you have absolutely nothing to lose - only brilliant advice and new connections to gain!
In a few clicks you’ll have your query or your Meetup posted and you’ll most likely receive a positive response to both within a couple of hours!
Like any club one joins, it’s only when you become a little brave and put yourself out there that you really start to make connections and reap the full benefits of being part of a community.
So organise a Meetup or attend a Meetup. Be an organiser, be a participant. Post a question on the Discussion board, submit an answer - it beats doing nothing!
As the old adage goes ‘you only get out what you put in’ and this couldn’t be more true when it comes to learning from and connecting with our freelancer community.