Networking 101 for Freelancers: Why It Matters and How to Do It Right 

As a freelancer, your network is perhaps your most important tool for obtaining work because it allows you to create and validate a reputation.

Networking is the process of creating and maintaining professional contacts that can help you achieve your goals. For freelancers, networking is especially important because it can help you find new clients, collaborators, mentors, and opportunities. 

Many employees began working from home in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The move away from the office appears to have become a permanent aspect of the business world.

While it’s nice to attend staff meetings in sweatpants while playing with our dog, there can be some problems with working from home. 

There are a number of ways to network effectively, including online and offline. You can draw on your existing network, or you can extend it by setting out to meet new people.

In this blog post, we will discuss how to find networking opportunities, how to network effectively, and how to overcome networking challenges:

  1. How to find networking opportunities
  2. Networking tools and platforms
  3. How to network effectively
  4. How to overcome networking challenges
  5. Conclusion

How to Find Networking Opportunities

As a freelancer, you have many options to network with people who share your interests, skills, or needs. Some of the ways you can find networking opportunities are:

  • Joining online communities: There are many online platforms and forums where freelancers can interact with each other and with potential clients. For example, you can join LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups, Reddit communities, Slack channels, etc. that are related to your niche or industry. You can also use online platforms like The Unseen Market, Upwork, Fiverr, etc. to showcase your portfolio and bid on projects.
  • Attending offline events: There are also many offline events where freelancers can meet and mingle with other professionals. For example, you can attend conferences, workshops, seminars, meetups, etc. that are relevant to your field or interest. You can also host or participate in local events like co-working sessions, coffee chats, etc. to connect with other freelancers in your area.
  • Leveraging your existing network: You can also use your existing contacts to expand your network. For example, you can ask your friends, family, colleagues, clients, etc. to refer you to people who might need your services or offer you advice. You can also reach out to your former employers, teachers, classmates, etc. to catch up and update them on your work.

Networking Tools and Platforms

Another way to enhance your networking efforts is to use some of the tools that are available online or offline. These tools can help you find, connect, and communicate with other professionals in your niche or industry. Some of the networking tools you can use are:

  • Business cards: Business cards are a simple but effective way to share your contact information and brand identity with others. You should have a professional and attractive business card that includes your name, title, logo, website, email, phone number, and social media handles. You should also have a digital version of your business card that you can send via email or text.
  • Social media: Social media is a powerful platform to network with people from all over the world. You should have a consistent and engaging presence on social media platforms that are relevant to your niche or industry. You should also use hashtags, keywords, and tags to optimize your visibility and reach. You should also interact with other users by liking, commenting, sharing, and messaging them.
  • Email marketing: Email marketing is a great way to keep in touch with your existing contacts and potential clients. You should have a well-designed and informative email newsletter that showcases your work, offers value, and invites action. You should also segment your email list based on your audience’s interests, needs, and preferences. You should also track and analyze your email performance and optimize it accordingly.
  • Networking apps: Networking apps are mobile applications that help you find and connect with other professionals in your area or industry. Some of the popular networking apps are Shapr, Bumble Bizz, Meetup, Eventbrite, etc. These apps allow you to create a profile, browse through other users’ profiles, swipe right or left to indicate interest, and chat with matches.

How to Network Effectively

Once you find networking opportunities, you need to make the most of them by networking effectively. Some of the tips on how to network effectively are:

  • Introduce yourself: When you meet someone new through networking, you need to introduce yourself in a clear and concise way. You should tell them who you are, what you do, and what value you can offer them. You should also have a catchy and memorable elevator pitch that summarizes your skills and services in a few sentences.
  • Pitch your services: When you network with potential clients or collaborators, you need to pitch your services in a way that showcases your expertise and benefits. You should tailor your pitch to the needs and goals of the person you are talking to and provide examples of your previous work or testimonials. You should also be prepared to answer any questions or objections they might have.
  • Follow up: After you network with someone, you need to follow up with them to maintain the connection and build trust. You should send them a thank-you note or email within 24 hours of meeting them and express your interest in working with them or learning from them. You should also keep in touch with them regularly by sending them updates on your work, sharing useful resources or information, asking for feedback or referrals, etc.
  • Build relationships: Networking is not just about exchanging business cards or emails; it is about building long-term relationships that can benefit both parties. You should aim to network with people who share your values, vision, and passion and who can support you in your journey. You should also be supportive of them by offering help, advice, recognition, etc.

How to Overcome Networking Challenges

Networking can be challenging for some freelancers who may face some obstacles or fears when trying to network with others. Some of the common networking challenges are:

  • Shyness: Some freelancers may feel shy or nervous when meeting new people or speaking in public. They may struggle to initiate conversations or express themselves confidently. To overcome shyness, freelancers can practice their communication skills by joining toastmasters clubs, taking online courses, watching TED talks, etc. They can also prepare some icebreakers or questions to start conversations and practice their elevator pitch and pitch deck beforehand.
  • Rejection: Some freelancers may face rejection or criticism when networking with others. They may get turned down by potential clients or collaborators or receive negative feedback on their work or pitch. To overcome rejection, freelancers should not take it personally or give up easily. They should view rejection as an opportunity to learn and improve their skills and services. They should also seek constructive feedback and use it to refine their offer or approach.
  • Competition: Some freelancers may feel intimidated or threatened by the competition in their niche or industry. They may compare themselves unfavorably with other freelancers who have more experience, clients, or recognition. To overcome competition,

Freelancers should focus on their strengths and unique selling proposition rather than their weaknesses or similarities with others. They should also collaborate rather than compete with other freelancers who have complementary skills or services.


Networking is a vital skill for freelancers who want to grow their business and career. By finding networking opportunities, networking effectively, and overcoming networking challenges, freelancers can create and maintain professional contacts that can help them achieve their goals.

We hope you enjoyed reading this blog post and learned something new and useful. 

We appreciate your support and feedback, and we love hearing from you. We will keep creating and sharing more content that can help you achieve your goals and dreams. 

Thank you for being part of our Unseen Market community.
The Unseen Market Team.

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