We asked Emma from The Social Club if she wanted to write a blog for us. She decided to espouse the importance of community in a freelancer’s life. Here it is…
If you’re not a natural born talker, it can be hard to put yourself out there when you first take the plunge and go freelance. Being part of a supportive community is the best way to kick-start your new-found freedom. Here are five ways it’s helped me since I started my communications company, The Social Club, in April 2016.
When I set up The Social Club, I wanted the main purpose of it to be a place to bring people together. My aim was to create a collective of experts across all areas of marketing to be able to offer my clients the full package. You can’t be an expert at everything and it’s been great building a network of other freelancers to bring in on projects.
How did I do that? I got out there: I went to meet-ups, launches, talks, opening nights, I joined PLATF9RM (We honestly didn’t ask Emma to write this – ED.) Getting out there isn’t always easy, but it is vital!
I used to work at a huge agency where I had 100+ creative brains around to pull into a meeting; it was a shock to the system when I had to come up with all the ideas for the campaigns I was working on… all by myself! Meet people that are happy to bounce ideas off. Chat to the person sitting opposite you at a desk. Don’t be afraid of asking friends or family what they think. It’s amazing how someone else can help you approach an issue from an entirely different angle.
There will always be someone to have one with. And some of the best ideas come over a cup of the stuff.
Being a one-man band means that you don’t always have that all-important person reminding you that you’re doing a great job. We’re only human and we all need our egos stroked from time to time!
I’ve get a lot of confidence from chatting to and skill-swapping with other people. It’s also easy to take for granted how much knowledge you have in your area and how valuable that is to people. Never doubt you know your stuff! It’s been great having Emma P come on board at The Social Club this year as out skills complement each other nicely so we’ve been able to collaborate and support each other with projects.
Community brings clients. For instance: being part of the crew at PLATF9RM has meant I’ve picked up work. (Again, Emma wrote this all of her own volition- ED.)
Through my connections, I’ve also started working on a few pro bono projects with charities and it’s great to be able to channel my skills into a greater cause than just my own. As a freelancer, you can be very inward-facing and sometimes you have to be. But there’s also more to life than making your next buck. Honest.