4 Ways to Use Online Business Communities
As a freelancer there’s a good chance that you work from home, spend a lot of time alone and generally don’t have a lot of human interaction. It can be really isolating to constantly be working independently and before long you start to miss having coworkers.
This was actually me for two and a half years before I joined a co-working space. However, not everyone is ready to join a shared office space. It may not even be necessary for many freelancers. That’s why it’s important to look into online business communities to help you boost business, network and give you a place to interact with other people.
I’ve been a part of some online business community or another for many years and have found them incredibly helpful. I even recently spent a week in Mexico at the house of someone I met in one of these communities!
Here are just a few of the ways you can use online business communities in your freelance life.
Perhaps the best part of online business communities is the ability to make friends. As I mentioned earlier, I met my web designer in an online community and just recently spent a week at her house in Mexico.
When you’re working as a freelancer or independent contractor, it can be difficult to find people who get what you do. By engaging in online business communities you can find your tribe. You can make friends with people who not only get what you do, but will encourage you to keep going. With time they turn into your “in real life” friends.
I often times go into online business communities asking for quotes for artilcles I’m working on. I have found that this is far easier than emailing a bunch of people asking for quotes.
I also go into online business communities when I’m looking for ideas to pitch to editors. This is basically my go-to tactic when the creative juices aren’t flowing.
Another good way to use online business communities is to get help. Just recently I was asked to put on a workshop for some local youth. Since I’ve never done this before and freaking out a little bit, I went into a Facebook group asking for any advice or resources for teaching youth about finance. Within minutes I had people offering to help me put the workshop together.
I also recently joined Natalie Sisson’s Freedom Collective to help me take my business to the next level. The group has classes, coaching calls and forums with great training content that will help me with current business goals.
I’ve gotten writing leads just from hanging out in online business communities. Some communities like Carol Tice’s Freelance Writer’s Den even have job boards you can look through for leads.
Another way to get clients in these online business communities is to provide value. Did someone ask a question you can answer? Comment with what they need. This helps position you as an expert and keeps you top of mind.
Online business communities have been a major part of my business in recent years. Before hanging out with people at a co-working space, these groups were my savior when I was feeling isolated. Additionally, it’s led to more business opportunities and real life friends.