Networking Tactics to Grow Your Freelance Business

networking for freelancers

Networking Tactics to Grow Your Freelance Business

Ever dream of being your own boss? As a freelancer, you run your own show. But getting clients is tough.

That’s why networking is key.

In this guide, we’ll share pro tips to meet new people and grow your freelance empire!

What is Networking?

Networking means meeting new people. It’s about making friends and connections. You get advice, job tips, and new clients.

People you know can introduce you to others they know. That’s how your network grows!

Benefits of Networking for Freelancers

Word-of-Mouth Marketing

As a freelancer, word-of-mouth is gold. When people enjoy working with you, they’ll recommend you to others. A strong network means more referrals and new clients.

Access to Opportunities

Ever heard “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”?

That’s networking in a nutshell. Your connections can tip you off about new gigs before they’re advertised.

Advice and Mentorship

Running a freelance business has tons of challenges. Luckily, you don’t have to face them alone!

Networking helps you meet experienced freelancers who can guide you.


Two heads are better than one, right? Networking allows you to find other freelancers to team up with on bigger projects you couldn’t handle solo.

In-Person Networking Tactics

Attend Events

Going to industry events is a prime networking opportunity.

For example, if you’re a freelance web designer, look for local meetups or conferences about web dev, marketing, startups, entrepreneurship etc.

Make a good impression by dressing professionally and bringing business cards. But most importantly – be ready to introduce yourself and have a friendly conversation! Ask questions about others’ work so you can identify shared interests.

Join Clubs or Groups

Look for local clubs, volunteer groups, business associations etc. related to your field or industry. Attending meetups regularly helps build familiarity and lasting connections.

For example, you could join:

  • A freelancer/solopreneur club
  • Your city’s chamber of commerce
  • Industry-specific associations (e.g. graphics designers club)
  • General networking groups like BNI


Volunteering is an awesome way to meet like-minded people and give back. Look for opportunities related to causes/organizations you care about. For example:

  • Non-profits in your field
  • Community event planning committees
  • Youth clubs or mentoring programs

Online Networking Tactics

Leverage Social Media

  • Join industry discussions on Twitter
  • Share your work/expertise on Instagram
  • Connect with peers on LinkedIn
  • Be active in relevant Facebook groups
  • Comment on others’ posts to get noticed

Consistently engaging online puts you top-of-mind. Follow/connect with people you’d like to work with.

Join Online Communities

Many online hubs for freelancers/remote workers exist:

  • Freelancing forums (e.g. Freelance Union)
  • Co-working/remote work communities
  • Facebook/Slack/Discord groups

Provide value by answering questions or sharing wins/struggles. Making friends here can pay off!

Guest Blog/Podcasting

Writing guest posts or appearing on podcasts boosts your credibility and exposure. It’s great for networking too! Readers/listeners may reach out for your services.

For example, pitch yourself as an expert guest to blogs/shows related to:

  • Your specialty (e.g. SEO, web design)
  • General freelancing/entrepreneurship
  • Your city/region

Networking Best Practices

Authenticity Over Agendas

Don’t just network to get something (e.g. clients). Focus on making real connections first. People can smell an agenda from a mile away!

Be Helpful

Always aim to provide value, whether that’s sharing your expertise or making an introduction. What goes around comes around in networking.

Follow Up

Meeting someone once doesn’t cement the relationship. Send a follow-up email/message to continue building rapport.

Ask Thoughtful Questions

People love talking about themselves! Ask questions that show you’re genuinely interested in the other person’s story.

Mind Your Manners

Basic courtesies go a long way: make eye contact, listen attentively, don’t monopolize conversations, and send thank-you notes.


Networking is all about making connections to further your freelance career. Attend events, join groups, get active online, and always provide value. It may take work upfront, but a strong network pays dividends via referrals, advice, and opportunities!


Q: Isn’t networking just shameless self-promotion?
A: Not at all! Networking is about building genuine relationships, not aggressively pitching yourself. Make friends first, then opportunities may follow naturally.

Q: I’m an introvert. Does networking require being super outgoing?
A: You don’t have to be the life of the party. Simply making an effort to introduce yourself and ask questions can go a long way.

Q: How much time should I spend networking?
A: It depends on your goals, but consistently putting in the effort is key. Try dedicating 5-10 hours per week to networking activities.

Q: What if I’m in a very niche freelance field?
A: Don’t just network within your exact niche. People in related or tangential fields can often become clients too. Cast a wide but strategic net.

Q: How can I measure networking success?
A: Numbers like connections made or referrals received can help. But also consider intangibles like advice gained, skills learned, and boosted confidence.


Question 1: True or False – As a freelancer, networking is optional if you can find clients through job boards.
A) True
B) False

Question 2: What is word-of-mouth marketing, and why is it so valuable for freelancers?
A) It means getting referrals and recommendations from your network
B) It’s when you pay to get your name out there
C) It involves selling your services door-to-door

Question 3: Which of the following is NOT a benefit of networking for freelancers?
A) Access to new job opportunities
B) Collaborating with others on large projects
C) Getting a degree or certification

Question 4: When it comes to in-person networking events, what should you do? (Select all that apply)
A) Bring business cards
B) Wing your introduction without preparation
C) Ask questions to find shared interests
D) Dress professionally

Question 5: Which of these is NOT good networking etiquette?
A) Being authentic instead of having an agenda
B) Providing value by sharing advice and making introductions
C) Monopolizing conversations by only talking about yourself
D) Following up to continue building the relationship

Scoring: Give 1 point for each correct answer (1B, 2A, 3C, 4A/C/D, 5C). 0-2 = You need to review the networking basics! 3 = You’re getting there. 4-5 = You’re a networking pro!

By reading this blog post, you’ve taken the first step toward networking mastery. Now get out there, make connections, and watch your freelance business grow!

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