Why you should join a freelance community
Freelancing is great for many reasons: It grants you enormous flexibility, lets you become your own boss, and control your work from wherever you want. But sometimes this ‘solo work’ can indeed feel a bit too solo, and lead to feelings of isolation. In this case, joining a freelance community can help.
Freelance communities are incredible opportunities to socialize, network, gain new skills, and more. In this article, we’ll work you through all the key benefits and help you choose the right platform for your needs.
The benefits of joining a community for freelancers
Socializing with like-minded people
Joining a social community for freelancers and digital nomads is a great way to stay connected within your niche, grow your expertise, while also having much needed fun.
Having different options to socialize and mingle with other freelancers is a great and unique opportunity that’s hard to find otherwise. Talking with your peers in similar industries can also be really helpful in many ways: You can gain insight from the more experienced, bounce ideas off of each other, and more importantly, make friends with like-minded people.
Most community platforms also host regular events for networking, socialization, and encouraging cooperation among talents–Ruul’s freshly launched community space RuulSchool is one of them!
Improved mental health
Humans are social creatures, and having a connection with others is a fundamental need. Along with your physical health, taking care of your mental health is highly important.
Freelance communities offer a unique solution to a unique problem: By providing you with a group of people that are experiencing similar things as you, they can help feelings of loneliness tremendously.
Especially after the added isolation of the pandemic can be still present, this is an essential support system for those who want to better their mental health. In turn, it will also allow you to support others and become a more active part of your freelancing community.
Exciting global networking opportunities
Especially with an online freelance community, you can expand your network and find business opportunities.
Having contact with a global set of people who work in the same field can be tremendously helpful. It can boost your recognition within the freelancing world, land you new jobs and expand your portfolio, and increase your chances to collaborate with others. What more could you want?
Gaining access to resources
Last but not least is the ability to get additional resources. This is especially helpful if you’re a budding freelancer. Getting insights about specific matters, recommendations for a freelancing tool or platform, attending courses, and accessing learning materials can all take you a long way in your freelancing journey.
It’s exactly like what psychologist Angela Duckworth says in her book ‘Grit’: “At the start of an endeavor, we need encouragement and freedom to figure out what we enjoy. We need small wins. We need applause.” Indeed, a freelancer community can give you just that–dedicated mentorship, personal tips, and all the necessary encouragement you’ll need to kickstart your career.
And keep in mind that this goes both ways: If you’re on the more experienced side, it can’t hurt to share your knowledge with other freelancers. This will help shape you into a more active part of the community, grow your circle, and make you more respected by your peers.
How to choose the right freelance community
If you want to join a freelance group, finding the right one for you might be a challenge. We prepared a simple guide to start you off:
Explore different options
Freelance communities come in all shapes and sizes, and there are specific platforms for every type of community you can be a part of. Here are some of the different categories to keep in mind while browsing for yourself:
- General freelancing communities: These are more generalized platforms about freelancing in general. They are perfect to get more insight about the trade, and diversify your portfolio by learning new skills. When utilized properly, joining communities like Freelance University can change the trajectory of your freelancing career.
- Niche industry/job communities: As the name suggests, this is a freelance community type centered around the topic of a certain niche. Whether you’re a programmer, consultant, designer or anything else –there are communities out there for you.
These can help you get more business-focused advice and support, while also helping you grow as a freelancer in your dedicated field. You can find these communities on different platforms via a simple search on Facebook groups, Slack communities, Subreddits, forums, etc. Some with large enough members also have their own dedicated websites and associations, like the National Association of Science Writers.
- Identity-based communities: Freelance communities such as Black Freelance, Freelancing Females, etc. aim to create additional safe spaces for people of certain identities within the freelance world. This might make it easier to get dedicated advice on related topics (such as dealing with sexism in the workplace, for example). It will also help you find a more diverse range of like-minded individuals that your real life circle might be lacking.
- Others: There are other alternatives that don’t quite fit these categorizations, such as digital nomad communities or local community spaces. These groups can talk about more specific things about their freelancing journey: Finding local coworking spaces, getting advice on future digital nomad locations, etc.
Review their resources
Once you’ve started your category-based research, you can start evaluating what these communities offer, and if they’ll be useful to your needs.
It helps to have specific goals in mind when browsing your freelancing community options. Ask yourself:
- What kind of resources and perks are you looking for?
- Do you want access to learning materials, or just a simple conversational platform?
- What about events like meetups and webinars?
Here, we want to highlight the importance of different resources and perks offered by the community. Having access to guides, tips, best practices, webinars; being presented with exclusive discounts and offers on helpful platforms and tools or having the opportunity to build skills with learning materials is invaluable if you’re new to freelancing.
Last but not least is the matter of budgeting your community applications. Though mostly not the case, freelance communities run on memberships where you’ll have to pay a monthly or annual fee.
If you’re new to freelancing, you’re probably already burdened with financial anxiety. Adding onto it by joining a subscription-based freelance community might not feel like it’s worth it. And unless you feel like that specific community is absolutely integral to your future success, you shouldn’t feel the need to. There is an abundance of free options for freelance communities out there, and they will be more than enough to provide you with the support you’ll need.
Find what you need in RuulSchool
The fact that freelance communities are useful for solo talents is undeniable–whether for socialization, expanding your portfolio, or otherwise.
Ruul’s new community project RuulSchool is an extensive freelance community space that includes specific channels for a variety of topics. You can introduce your solo business, ask questions, attend events and coworking sessions, receive special discounts for products that can help you along the way and find solutions for everything you need, whenever you need. Join now and explore how you can boost your solo business.
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