If you ever feel a little lonely as a freelancer, you’re, uh, not alone…
While your non-freelance friends are out celebrating a colleague’s birthday or sharing their ups and downs over coffee, you’re tucked in your house all day complaining to your dog about your latest client’s overdue invoice.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are plenty of ways to engage with freelance communities and even meet up with other freelance friends in person.
Since the UN nominated the 30th of July the International Day of Friendship, what better time to up your freelance social circle?
Here are a few ways to find your freelance tribe – even if they are on the other side of the world.
1. Facebook Groups
These days, there’s a Facebook group for almost anything. Find one that suits your niche – whether it’s freelance writing, development, designing, or something else. Also join one that can help with issues common to all freelancers – I find Freelance Masterminds super useful. Freelancers from all over share their wins and failures and get support from the community, and there are awesome resources being shared all the time.
Being an Aussie, I also belong to a group called Freelance Jungle which is full of local freelancers, who even host regular meetups at the end of the year. You can likely find one in your local area too.
I can’t recommend being part of a relevant Facebook group enough – if nothing else, it’ll quickly show you that the issues you are facing are not unique, and there is always someone who will offer their support, even if it is from afar.
2. Other social media platforms
Depending on which platforms you’re active on, you may be able to find relevant freelance friends through other social media too. Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Youtube are all places where you may wish to make connections if these platforms make sense for you.
Don’t be afraid to comment on other people’s posts if they ring true – you’ll be surprised how often people will send a friendly reply and how these kinds of connections can blossom into actual friendships. And if all else fails… try the Tweet below.
If it’s more of a face-to-face connection you’re craving, get onto https://www.meetup.com/. There are Meetups planned for just about anything you’re interested in – including for professional networking. Find a freelancer or startup group near you and attend a couple of events. You never know – you may even meet some new clients there!
4. Coworking Spaces
I’d definitely recommend working from a coworking space on a regular basis. While it can be a little pricey, it will pay off in the long-run for your mental health and productivity. Plus, it’s a great place to meet freelance friends as well as new clients. If you prefer to only do it once in a while, you may even meet other like-minded people there who’d like to work from a cafe or a library with you in the future.
As a freelancer it’s important to constantly upskill so you keep up with changes in your industry. Taking a short course can be a great way to meet like-minded freelancers at the same time. Make sure to introduce yourself and share your contact details so you can stay in touch.
Make a new freelance friend
In celebration of International Friendship Day, broaden your freelance social circle using one of these freelance communities. The support, expertise and camaraderie you’ll gain will be a priceless investment in your continued happiness as a freelancer.