5 Tips For More Effective Networking For Freelancers; How To Get More Freelance Clients

Networking is an interesting exercise. As freelancer trying to shake the right hands or leverage an existing relationship, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at the thought of putting yourself out there. However, one conversation or connection can put you on path to achieving all of your business dreams.

Some of us thrive off of meeting new people, and some are a little less thrilled by the idea. Whichever boat you are in, there are tactics and strategies you can utilize to help you not just exchange business cards but forge long-term, strategic and meaningful relationships.

Tips on preparing for your next freelance networking event– Quiktract App

As a freelancer, networking is your meal ticket. You need to be starting conversations with new clients, as well as nurturing connections for continuous work.

Below are 5 tips for more effective networking for freelancers.

1. Get in the Right Mindset.

We all want to connect.

No matter your hustle, we’re all just people at the end of the day. It’s really as simple as that. People want to connect, they may not always know how or where, but when they find someone and forge a bound – it means something.

Remembering this before you go to a mixer or out to a bar is the first step to creating a memorable moment.

Tips on preparing for your next freelance networking event– Quiktract App

Set yourself apart by saying, “I am going to meet some very cool and interesting people” and not “I am going to find my next 10 clients”.

Want to find networking events in your area, but not sure where to start? Check out Search Engine Journal’s 13 Awesome Professional Networking Alternatives to LinkedIn for some useful platforms to help you find relevant networking events near you and get more freelance clients.

2. Have Your _____ Together.

As a freelancer, you run your whole operation.

This means your presentation falls 100% squarely on your shoulders. Be sure your website, portfolio, and even your Instagram are up-to-date and showcase your work in the best possible light.

Making the connection is one thing, but the gig usually isn’t yours until the client has done a little bit of homework on you.

3. Add Value.

It can be a dog-eat-dog world for a freelancer.

It is very easy to get consumed in only thinking about yourself and the bottom line. It’s important (and healthy) to take time to see how you can help others on their journey. It doesn’t have to be working for free or anything like that, it could be something as simple as offering insight or playing matchmaker with a potential client and someone you may know with a particular skill set.

Take some time to take the blinders off and help others succeed! Doing so without asking for anything in return isn’t only a kind thing to do, it can help strengthen your relationships down the line.

4. Get Social.

How to connect with more freelance clients – Quiktract App

It’s 2019, people hardly leave their house as it is! Platforms like Instagram are a fantastic place to showcase your skills and network with other like-minded individuals.

Take some time to discover who are the interesting and most helpful voices in your field and connect. It is also the most direct route from A-to-B when it comes to sharing relevant information and articles that may help others.

For some more tips on how to network your freelance business on Instagram, check out How To Network On Instagram Direct Message by Gary Vaynerchuk.

5. Ask For Help.

Truth be told, this is a huge one for me. Some of my most important connections came from me simply asking for help from someone I respect.

Now, by asking for help that doesn’t mean “Excuse me, can you stop everything and mentor me please?!” No, it means something else entirely.

A sure fire way to set yourself apart from most of your contemporaries is actually by not thinking you have it all figured out.

“Hey, what do you look for in a designer?”

“What are some books on finance you could recommend?”

Simply put, find individuals you would like to work with and ask them for help. You will be surprised how willing most people are to shell out advice on a topic instead of listen to your elevator pitch.

Tips to crushing your next networking event – Quiktract App

Doing this breathes a sigh of humility and allows someone to have a more honest dialogue.

What are some other helpful networking tips you’ve received? Reach out and let us know!

To learn more about networking for your freelance business, read our relationship expert, Blake Stanton’s advice on building business relationships.

Cole Midkiff

Founder

Why Freelancers Fail; What Freelancing Is Really Like

I started Quiktract the day I saw a friend of mine get screwed out of $800. This was by no means the first time any fellow freelancer I’ve known has gotten ripped off, but for some reason this time it stung.

It felt permanent, it felt heavy, and must of all – it felt avoidable. As I sat there in his Toyota Matrix I knew this was a problem that could truly be fixed. The only question was, how?

My name is Cole and I’ve worn my fair share of hats over the years. Whether it was designing clothes or writing songs, I’ve always found my place nestled somewhere inside of the creative process. I’ve created things that I am tremendously proud of and equally also created things that make me thankful that there’s such thing as a “delete” button.

Why Freelancers Fail - What Freelancing Is Really Like – Quiktract Blog

Like a lot of creatives in the freelancer industry, I’ve learned pretty much everything I know through a healthy amount of “trial-and-error” and YouTube tutorials. Well everything, except how to run a business.

The mindset of most freelancers (myself included) was always very interesting to me.

How was it that all of us decided to go at it alone, trudging through the maze of the business world, and yet hardly treated ourselves like the businesses we were?

We would find ourselves staring down the barrel of a 6th logo revision questioning why a weekend job has dragged on for a month; only to then wait weeks longer for payment that would then take 2 more weeks to clear.

Why Freelancers Fail – Agreements and Legal Documents - Quiktract

The truth is, we have nobody to blame but ourselves. One of my favorite sayings ever goes like this, “what you tolerate, you encourage” and that just about sums up the woes of freelance life for me.

The even crazier part was how we would orchestrate these deals in the first place. Never mind tolerating the utterly ambiguous deadlines, the hazy payment dates, and the terms that would magically change. How could we ever expect this to work out?

What’s worse was sometimes deals like this would go off without a hitch, essentially just reinforcing this system. Stringing together two weeks’ worth of text messages to clarify things we could’ve made clear with a simple agreement if we both stopped being “cool” about it.

How Freelancers Make Agreements - Quiktract

It was that idea of being “cool about it” that interested me the most during the conceptualization of Quiktract. As silly as it may seem, in the freelance creative world, most contracts have a stigma attached to them. They feel harsh, final, and reek of corporate America (I know right)!

It’s why Quiktract is all about removing that heavy-handed feeling. It’s never been solely about streamlining a process, but rather encouraging clarity.

This is what we strive for at Quiktract.

How To Layout Terms For Freelance Work - Quiktract

I want to live in a world where we all feel comfortable laying out the specifics of a job and know that we’re on the same page. I want to live in a world where if plans change we don’t send ourselves down a text conversation rabbit hole fishing for answers.

I’m excited for a future that looks like that, and I think we just might be on our way!

Cole Midkiff
Quiktract Founder

6 Ways to Build Confidence as a New Freelancer

Launching a freelance career can shake the confidence of the most successful person. Competition is fierce on bidding sites and the internet in general. Freelance writers submit articles to magazines in hope of publication credits and pay. Self-employed programmers offer their apps for sale and approach companies to fulfill their needs remotely. Designers hawk their skills on social media and their own websites with rich galleries and ever-lowering price lists.

The ability to put yourself out there and offer your talent or skill to professionals and businesses takes confidence. At the start, that can be in short supply. No matter what type of service you offer, these six tips can help you find the guts to go for gold in your new freelancing venture.

1 – Start Small

A New York Time featured article is a pipe dream for most freelance writers, and a software scriptwriter working from his kitchen table is unlikely to sell his code to a Fortune 500 company. Targeting the ultimate gold-standard in markets will frequently lead to utter defeat, which damages your confidence even more.

Get your foot in the door with easier targets. Submit to places you know you have a good chance of acceptance. Smaller blogs, local businesses, and publications that pay one dollar instead of one-hundred per word are more likely to say, “Yes.” Every “Yes” you get will fuel your self-confidence more and more.

2 – Perfect One Step at a Time

If you come to a new freelance career looking at the big picture, you may quickly get overwhelmed and experience fear paralysis. Instead look at each step that will take you toward your goal and learn, practice, and perfect (or as near as you can get) each one before moving on to the next. Knowledge destroys fear and builds confidence.

For example, a freelance writer needs to research markets, craft query letters, negotiate contracts, write the article, work through rounds of edits, and handle invoices and payments. As a whole, this seems like a huge amount of studying or you are at risk of getting it all wrong. Approached one step at a time, however, it becomes much more manageable. If you become an expert at finding great markets, that is one thing off your fear list.

3 – Surround Yourself With Community

Your mother might think you draw wonderful pictures on the computer, but that will do little to instill real confidence that you can market yourself as a freelance artist or designer. Get on social media, message boards, and join groups with fellow self-employed professionals. Networking can not only help you learn more about how to succeed; it can give you the confidence to get outside your comfort zone and try something new in your career.

4 – Don’t Scoff at Self Help

While quite a few people poke fun at the self-help industry or raise their eyebrows at people who read the books and practice the techniques, there has been real scientific research that shows cognitive and mood improvement from some of the methods. Really, how can repeating affirmations or taking ten minutes to meditate hurt you any?

Confidence is, after all, a mindset. The lack of it is not a disorder, vitamin deficiency, or curse. While those suffering from clinical depression, anxiety, OCD, and other issues need outside help, self-help techniques can help everyone feel more self-assured and eager to launch into a new project.

Another large part of this is realizing that you will fail to land coveted jobs or sell your services to the ideal client and being okay with that. Acceptance of this fact can lead to confidence that helps you get back on the proverbial horse and do what it takes to succeed the next time.

5 – Constantly Challenge the Boundaries of Your Comfort Zone

Building self-esteem is impossible if you never do things worthy of esteem. In order to become a more confident freelancer, you need to achieve things you were not sure you could. The comfort zone, by definition, is a very comfortable and easy space to be in. Push the boundaries, challenge yourself, and celebrate the successes you achieve out there.

For some this may mean making bold advances toward dream clients once per month or so. For others, simply tip-toeing across the comfort line. The key is to recognize your efforts and the good results.

6 – “Fake It Till You Make It”

A man or woman in a power suit gets respect. Freelancers have the freedom to shlep around in their pajamas all day if they want to. Professional businesses have slick websites with domain-specific email and professional design. You can easily get away with a free host and a template.

Pajamas and cheap websites make you look and feel like you are not taking the freelance career seriously. If you lack confidence, pretend you do not. Present the best possible face to the online world you can. The feedback will provide external validation that you are a professional.

It will help you psychologically too. The things you make an effort for will be the things you come to appreciate. If you want to be a successful professional freelancer in any field, act like one. Your emotions will catch up soon.

By | 2018-12-03T04:04:11+00:00 December 3rd, 2018|Freelancer Thoughts, General Quiktract, Quiktract Inc.|0 Comments