The ability to work from anywhere you want is part of the beauty of being a freelancer. But working from home, in coffee shops, or even in co-working spaces can be a bit lonely. Without an active freelancer community to engage with, you may soon start to miss out on the camaraderie of working with others. Not having a chance to bounce ideas off people who are experiencing similar opportunities and challenges can also cause your business to stagnate. The good news is it’s easy to access a variety of community groups for freelancers right from the comfort of your home.
As human beings, we all crave a sense of belonging. Even if you generally prefer solo work, there will be times when it’s nice to know you’re not alone. Being part of a freelancer community gives you the comfort of knowing you’ve got a tribe of people who really understand you. The helping hand you may get from your fellow freelancers can also go a long way towards propelling your freelance career to new heights.
Freelancing is one of the most challenging career options – and it’s also full of amazing opportunities. Joining a freelancer community fosters interaction with others who are experiencing the same things you are and gives you the chance to learn from others who have already tackled some of the challenges you’re facing.
There are other benefits, too. Here’s a look at some of the most important.
While many freelancers enjoy a bit of isolation, too much can drag you down. When you spend most of your time alone and immersed in your work, you can start to feel bored and lonely. This can take a toll on your productivity and stifle your creativity.
Once you’re connected with your community, it’s easy to take a quick break and indulge in a bit of social interaction. This is excellent for your mental health and can also boost your energy levels throughout the day.
Books, blogs, and YouTube are all great ways to learn about freelancing in general and develop specific skills. But sometimes, the best sources of knowledge are the people you’ll meet within your community. Regularly talking with other freelancers who understand your perspective can help you gain valuable insight.
In some cases, you may talk to someone who can recommend an amazing resource, program, or course that will take your business to the next level. If you’re lucky, you may even find a mentor who is willing to share their experiences and help you grow.
While there are likely other freelancers in your immediate area, joining online community groups for freelancers will allow you to connect with others from all across the world. The wider your network, the more likely you are to learn new things, make new connections, and come across new opportunities.
Many freelancer communities also have job boards, and it’s common for freelancers to recommend others they’ve met in their communities for jobs that aren’t right for them. This can be an excellent way to find new clients and grow your business.
Now that it’s clear how important a great freelancer community can be to your business, the next obvious question is – how do you find one? The good news is, it’s easier than you might think. Start your search with one or more of these popular options.
It seems there’s a Facebook group for just about everything, and freelancing is no exception. This is a great way to find a community that’s very specific to your goals. For example, if you’re a freelance writer, you may want to join a group like The Write Life. Freelancers who plan to travel the world while working may find amazing connections in Digital Nomads Around the World or another similar Facebook group.
To find a group that’s right for you, just use Facebook’s search tool. You may want to start by simply searching for “Freelancer Group” and narrowing down your search from there.
Slack is a great tool for work-related communication - but that's not all. It’s also an excellent place to find relevant online freelancer communities where you can have real-time communication with other independent contractors. After logging into your Slack channel, you can also enjoy digital networking, virtual co-working, and more.
Meetup is known as a way to find in-person events and get-togethers, but you’ll also find a slew of online networking and educational events listed on their platform. A simple search for “freelancers” will deliver a list of activities ranging from e-learning opportunities to online game nights specifically for creative freelancers.
Depending on the type of freelancing you do, you may find some amazing connections through organizations like the American Society of Journalists and Authors or the Graphic Artists Guild. These groups often hold conferences, meetups, and online events that can help you expand your network. Often, joining your local chapter will also give you the chance to make real-world connections at in-person events.
Don’t want to spend a ton of time searching for groups and wading through your options? We’ve done the hard work for you! Check out our round-up of six excellent online community groups for freelancers.
The Fiverr Community is one of the best places to access exclusive content, industry news, and upcoming events. You’ll find a range of free online classes and workshops, as well as exclusive articles and success stories to help you take your freelance business to the next level.
Fiverr Forum is the perfect place to join conversations with other freelancers. You can jump into any topic that interests you or start your own. There are also individual forums focusing on topics like video & animation, graphics & design, and music & audio.
Dubbed “the team for people without a team,” Leapers is an online community focused on supporting the mental health of freelancers and the self-employed. Not only do they have an active community, but they also provide free guides, research studies, and other resources for freelancers. You can also join their Slack channel, where you can connect with over 3,000 members from around the globe.
The subreddit r/Freelance functions as a forum for freelancers. Here, you can do everything from sharing your personal stories and asking for career advice to seeking legal aid. Note that this is not the place to look for work – the page doesn’t allow promotions, soliciting, or marketing. However, that’s one of its best features! There’s definitely something to be said about being able to connect with other freelancers and feel at home without the pressure of trying to do business.
Originally built as a gaming chat room, Discord now allows users to join other, non-gaming-related communities. One of the best for freelancers is called Digital Nomads. This is a super-casual platform where you can chat with other freelancers, share industry tips, motivate each other, and have a bit of fun.
Since there are over 2,800 members from all around the world, there’s usually some activity going on at any time of the night or day. Not only is this a fun way to make connections, but you may also be able to pick up a few clients and/or find other talented freelancers to collaborate with.
Representing over 56 million independent workers in the United States, the Freelancer’s Union is one of the top organizations for self-employed workers. It’s free to join and open to all types of freelancers.
The mission of this organization is to provide freelancers with safety and a sense of belonging to a community. They also advocate for freelancers’ rights and offer health insurance and other important resources. Depending on where you’re located, you may also consider attending one of their in-person SPARK events, which are held monthly at 25 different locations across the U.S.
No matter which solution you choose, it’s important to take the time to find your tribe. While the independence of being a freelancer is awesome, remember that no one is an island. Having a safe space where you can make connections with other freelancers will help you and your business succeed. It’s time to get out there and start building your freelance career and community!