Building Community as an Independent Worker
August 18, 2021
Myth-busting: independent workers are lone wolves.
In pre-pandemic times, it was common to spot an independent worker at a local coffee shop sporting noise canceling headphones and typing way at a computer. But, in fact, successful independent workers rarely go it alone.
Building community is a powerful way to expand your client roster and avoid those “lean periods” where new gigs might be scarce. Your independent worker friends can also help you to level up your skills.
I get by with a little help from my friends.
Case in point: One duo of independent writers that we know works together to regularly do peer reviews of each other’s work before submitting their materials to clients. They also recommend each other to clients and help one another to elevate their professional profile. It’s like the saying goes, “Teamwork makes the dream work.”
5 Tips for Building Community as an Independent Worker
Sounds amazing, right? We think so too. If you happen to be a lone wolf independent worker looking for a few friends, here’s a few tips to get you started:
Join networking groups. Search Meetup and sign up for networking groups that are relevant to you. There’s a lot of industry-specific Facebook groups out there, like Women in Consulting if you happen to work in international development.
Leverage your personal networks. Scan through your LinkedIn for other independents. Chances are you know someone who is also freelancing. Reach out for a coffee. Regularly check in by e-mail or text to see how they are and how you can help.
Be a “connector.” Make introductions to new clients and other contacts that might be helpful to your new friends. We guarantee you’ll get referrals back in exchange. You can always ask for an introduction or a referral.
Keep it recurring. Don’t just make a meeting a one-off. Regularly check in by e-mail or text to see how your is are and how you can help.
Consider working with a “collective.” We’re a big fan of companies like the Arch Collective that hires dozens of independent workers each year for various client products. Often, you’ll get the chance to work together as a team. They also take care of business development and client management, so all you focus on doing what you love.
And, of course, Venteur is here to support you in expanding your professional Rolodex. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org! You’ll be the first on our list for virtual networking events and our launch of other career-building resources.