One of the most powerful lessons a freelancer can learn is how to harness the power of the internet to find clients, advertise, and build a business with a vast and far reach.
The internet of today has evolved and become a dynamic giant with great potential. No longer is the web comprised only of static informational pages that users read and have no interaction with. Today the internet is based on the concept of interaction, whether it’s as simple as clicking a button to take a poll or survey, or as complex as creating communities and profiles and joining vast networks with people that you will most likely never meet face to face.
This interactive nature of the internet can be a wonderful resource for the freelancer, and it is important to learn to harness the power that is available at your fingertips. Most often when people think of the internet in the context of freelancing, they usually think of computer professionals, such as web designers, programmers, writers, etc. But the internet has great benefit also for freelancers in other disciplines that are not as computer-involved, such as carpenters, masons, plumbers, weavers, carvers, etc.
Let us explore how the internet’s power is available to all trades and crafts:
- Education: You can use the internet to learn more about your trade, whether it’s picking up new skills, or honing your current skills, learning new tricks, and so on.
- Networking: There are groups and forums for almost every imaginable thing under the sun. If you don’t believe me, just Google whatver interests you and add the words “user group” or “discussion group” or “forum” to your search, and you’ll be surprised by what you find.Just to prove this point, I searched for Basket Weaving discussion groups, and pulled up over a million results! These kinds of groups are a wonderful resource for the freelancer because they serve as a place to exchange ideas, build relationships, and sometimes, find clients, as discussed in the next point.
- Finding Clients: Of course this is the most important thing for any freelancer, is to find clients. No matter what your craft or trade, there is someone looking for just that, and usually, the first place most people look today is the internet. In future posts I will be talking more about how to leverage the power of the various internet resources to find those people who need your services, and how to make sure they find you, and I have touched on this before, but one way is also through the networking opportunities I mentioned above.
There are many other ways you can harness the internet and leverage it for your benefit as a freelancer, and the point of this post is to get you exploring and provoke you to put your thinking cap on and look at the internet as more than you currently imagine it to be.