With freelancing, you’re your own boss. YOU get to control when, how, and where you work, plus what you work on. No office politics. No meaningless meetings. It’s pretty great.
But it can also be isolating. You don’t have a ready-made office team cheering you on or ready to commiserate with you. You don’t have a manager who will help you develop your skills or give advice. That’s where finding a community of freelancers comes in.
In this article, we’ll cover the benefits of freelance communities, what makes niche communities different, how you can find those communities, and 5 different niche freelance resources you might be interested in.
You could probably lone wolf your entire freelance career, but you don’t have to and when you find the right community, it can make a huge positive impact on your freelance experience.
Because other freelancers get what it means to freelance and can support you in ways others may not be able to. They know the struggle of managing different clients. They know what it’s like to manage your own schedule, find new clients, pay self-employed taxes — things that maybe your friends and family in employee jobs don’t understand.
Any freelance community can be a valuable resource for networking, learning new skills, and finding social connections, especially if you’re just starting to figure out this whole freelance thing.
So what makes a freelance community in your niche even better? They get you. They know the jargon and have similar interests and clients as you. Here are some of the most powerful benefits of being part of a niche freelance community.
While freelancers have a general list of similarities, every niche is going to have unique skill sets and challenges. When you connect with a community of other freelancers in your niche, you can learn from them and offer your own experience so it becomes a collaborative effort to improve.
When you start to get to know other freelancers in your niche, you’ll probably meet people who have similar clients like you. And here’s the key thing here: DON’T see these other freelancers as your competition!
When you’re in a general freelancing community, it’s easy enough to not feel competitive because they don’t do exactly what you do. But when you’re in a group of people who offer similar services, you still shouldn’t see them as competition.
Stay in the abundance mindset: There is enough work to go around. When you’re in the abundance mindset, you’ll realize it’s more likely these other freelancers can connect you to your next client rather than “steal” your clients.
While in a general freelance community you might find a few people who have similar interests or specialties, in a more niche community, you have things in common with everyone. It’s more than likely these people will easily become your friends because you’ll naturally have similar interests and values.
Ready to find your corner of the freelancing universe and connect with a niche community? Here are 5 examples of niche communities and resources from more general to extra niche that you can tap into. Plus, we’ve tucked in additional tips for how you can find other communities in your niche.
While on the general side, the Freelancing Females Facebook community is over 51,000 members strong and is a great support network for women freelancers. The group covers all different types of freelancing genres and creates a space where women can connect and share information.
The group also has sectioned out groups for freelancers in California, Europe, and New York.
Tip: Facebook has a huge array of different groups for freelancers for all different niches and demographics. Check out five Facebook communities we recommend for women freelancers and entrepreneurs.
This freelance slack community is a fantastic resource for freelance journalists. The group covers all topics of journalism, so isn’t too niche, but offers members an opportunity to check in on accountability each week, share their woes and wins, and follow pitch requests from editors.
Tip: Slack has some great free community groups and can be an excellent place to cultivate a digital workspace.
Black Freelance is an all-inclusive resource centered around the experience of current or aspiring Black freelancers. The site offers guides, educational resources, and different sub-group communities such as writers, photography, marketing, and web design.
The NASW is a community for all science writers including journalists, authors, editors, producers, and students. The community is over 2,300-strong and offers valuable resources for science journalists, such as educational resources, job leads, conferences, and access to grants, funding opportunities, and discounts.
The association requires a paid annual membership, which can be a bit of a downer, but if this is your niche, the resources make up for it. (Plus, you can write it off as a business expense.)
Tip: While professional associations often require membership dues, they are a great resource for finding your niche community and progressing your freelancing business.
This newer resource centers around the experience of women freelancers in the outdoor industry. The site is a growing archive of interviews with outdoorsy women freelancers giving practical advice on how they’ve turned their passion for the outdoors into a freelance career.
Tip: If you’re struggling to find a community in your niche that works for you, you can create your own! Find other freelancers offering similar services as you, reach out to them, and start developing your network. You can create a Facebook group, Slack group, or resource hub that brings people in your space together.