Freelancer Support Groups on LinkedIn
One of the toughest parts of being a freelance writer is finding work, especially when first starting out. If you want to make a living writing as a freelance writer, you need to determine which sites are the best freelance writing sites for you to work with and how to break out and find jobs on your own. Over time, with help, networking and meeting prospective clients, you can build a career for yourself.
LinkedIn As A Resource
LinkedIn is a professional social media website which originated as a way for people to network and job hunt online. The site offers an opportunity to meet fellow professionals in your career field as well as find referrals to new clientele to drive business. LinkedIn is built on the networking/referral system, and you can build out a spider-web of contacts as you meet people in person and online.
A newer feature of LinkedIn is the development of groups. Groups consist of like-minded members who decide to gather and share information for a variety of reasons. For freelance writers, groups can offer support and education beyond the networking availability. There are numerous freelance-writer support groups on LinkedIn to choose from. Some groups are private and require invitation, while others are open for joining at any time. If you want to join a private group, you can ask to join or message the group leader.
A best practice is to join no more than five groups at one time and, from those five, choose two or three to get involved in.
Writers will reap the most benefits from a group membership by participating in the group, sharing their knowledge and experience, and asking questions of other members. You can learn a lot from snippets of information other writers share. Each member can contribute their own work experience and resources in answer to questions. Since everyone has different areas of expertise and work experiences during their work life, exchanging information is a win-win scenario all the way around. As an example, you can learn of new places to seek jobs, classes offered for training, or customers that have a specific reputation.
It is not necessary to spend hours participating in each group. No one has that kind of time when working. Instead, spending a few minutes a day or 20 minutes per week participating is enough to stay up-to-date and scan for interesting information that can help grow your own career.
You will most likely find that some groups do not fit your needs or your personality. In that case, resign from that particular group and try a new one.
Columnist Jeff Haden offers excellent advice for anyone seeking groups to join.
“Think about your goal, and determine if the group is likely to help you reach that goal–and keep in mind you can always leave if your initial impression turns out to be wrong.”
Paula A is the owner of an online gallery, freelance writer specializing in marketing and business and is an avid promoter of Cleveland, Ohio.