4 ways you can build Networks and grow your Revenue as a Freelancer or Small Business
Impostor syndrome can hold you back from the opportunities that are right in front of you simply because you think you aren’t worthy or good enough. Here’s how you can find a Grow your network to help you overcome Imposter Syndrome
If you’re a freelancer or small business owner then you want to leverage your network not only to help you through tough challenges but also to grow your revenue – SALES!!
Who doesn’t want fewer problems and more money?
First, where are your (existing) Network opportunities
- Old varsity friends
- Social Media Network
- PodCasts / YouTube (like me)
- Would I recommend Paid networks?
Old Varsity Friends
Your old varsity friends are a great first network point to reach out to. If you haven’t kept in touch for a while then today is a great day to reach out. You’d be surprised just how open people are to making contact with ex-varsity friends. What’s great about this network is that they most likely have also grown in their careers and may be in the same business industry as you, and are possibly also running a business of their own. If not, then maybe they are senior enough to open opportunities for you and your business.
Warning: Be careful not to “walk in the door” selling. Your first goal should be to make a real reconnection. From there, develop the relationship so that you can get the feedback and sounding board that you need.
I’ve found that in my situation, this has often led to new business opportunities as well. I believe that people really want to be nice. Well, most people. The more you put yourself in front of people that already know, like, and trust you, then the business transactions become easier. Be clear about what it is you want upfront. Do you want to make the peer connection to help you work through challenging situations, or do you want to open new business opportunities? Your friends are as smart as you are and we all have a built-in bullshit meter so they will know your true intent.
Social Media Network
Existing social media platforms like LinkedIn is a great place to connect with like-minded professionals that you can reach out to and make a connection – literally. It’s also a great place to find other freelancers or business owners that may be in a similar phase of business that you are in, and then you can connect for online conversation. I’ve had this happen and have done this plenty of times. Like with the varsity network, if you have genuine intentions, you will make great connections and there will be business opportunities. I continue to grow my network and client base using LinkedIn without having to do any direct selling.
Your strategy on posts on social media will be different for both.
To find Peers
For making connections I’ve found that being direct about your intentions, like “I am looking for other freelancers with a small client base of 10 or less active clients, to create a mastermind on how to grow above this glass client ceiling number”. This tells others exactly what you are looking for and where you are in a business sense. Someone looking to grow a client base from 100 to 200 is a different person than someone wanting to grow from 10 to 20.
To open Business Opportunities
Creating business leads and opportunities will take more time on social media, as in the real world. The best method is to show what it is you do through your posts and if you can, video. I’ve found that a mix of media works best but the most important practice is to be as consistent as possible. A single post won’t live very long and if you aren’t established on Social media sites like LinkedIn, then you probably won’t get noticed at first. Try posting twice a week, on a Tuesday and Thursday for a month with content that isn’t “Here’s what my services are”, but rather with “Here’s a situation that I was able to help a customer with”. The latter is a story that helps create a connection with your potential customers that are going through the same problem that you are, through your story, able to help them.
PodCasts / YouTube (like me)
These can be great resources for information and can really be helpful if you just needed to hear that one thing that’s going to help you. My caution here would be mindful of what it is you looking to learn and not get sucked into listening to episode after episode and getting so hooked that all you do is listen to the PodCast or YouTube channel, without any actual action on the advice.
I’ve fallen into this trap many times, which is why I create an action with each of my posts and videos on this site so there’s clear actions that you can take. Some are in the form of a worksheet, a template, or even a call to help you work through the specific challenge you having. If you are interested in a call on building your freelance or small business, then at the end of this post is a way for you to reach out to me and WHY it will be valuable for you.
Dig into the comments
The real value of this is in the comments. Now, the comment sections don’t normally have a good reputation but I’ve found that in PodCasts (that allow it) and other platforms that do have active communities, the comments section is filled with people interested in growing their business. This is an excellent resource for finding people to connect with that have similar interests as you and can help you through challenges that you are having
Would I recommend Paid networks?
NO and yes.
If the fit is right, then yes. Like if the other members are similar to you either with more experience or with less. You want to be able to get value out of, as well as pour value into any group that you are part of. The purpose of the group should be for mutual learning and not just a marketing platform. I’ve been part of paid networks and it was really valuable having a small group (less than 10) business minds together sharing their challenges and having other members share their advice on how they overcame similar challenges.
The answer will be NO If the network was just about marketing and selling, Then, for me, that’s not going to help you grow, and when you grow, your revenue will grow. Paid network marketing groups can be useful and lead to business but these should be seen as tactics (short-term actions rather than strategic long-term wins). This is however just my opinion and what has worked for me and what hasn’t. The most important advice is to start. To take action and not to think too much and too long about any of this.
So that’s it. That is my advice on how you can grow your network to help your freelance or growing business overcome self-sabotage and increase your revenue.
If you have other ideas then I’d love to hear more of these in the comments.
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