By Gina K.
I’ve been a Facebook user for a long time, and although my reasons for joining and the ways I use it have evolved over the years, I’ve never considered it for its networking offerings until recently. This is the purpose of LinkedIn, to a lesser extent but arguably more unique extent, Twitter
So when my client suggested that I research professional FB groups and see what was out there, I immediately agreed.
I was intrigued to possibly discover an exciting new world among all the latest freelancing updates and memes lol. Could it be possible that it can help my career, and not just distract me when I got tagged in a photo?
Getting Started with Facebook Groups
There are some Facebook groups that I really rely on as a freelance â Freelance Heroes is relevant because it’s “all” freelancers, not just journalists. So I get a slice of standalone life that I don’t get from my media type contact.
I heard about people who are virtual assistants, SEO gurus, accountants, etc. It is surprising because you realize that there are thousands of people with whom to collaborate, offer business and to learn from and with.
Gearing up to making a post can be daunting, but I can assure you, from personal experience, it’s very much a ‘once you do one, it feels easier next time.’
There is a unique camaraderie to Facebook freelance groups. What we do is unique in many ways, and there you can find a group of people in the same headspace and same zone.
With the Facebook groups, I feel a sense of community and belonging that I don’t always get from personal networks and reassurance, some days, that I am far from being alone, even if I feel lonely at my desk. Asking a question can be really liberating, as can sharing the work you’ve done. If someone in a group assists you, thanking them gives them a buzz and tells others that they’re available and reliable, too. It is a total win-win-win.
Another thing I learned to do is spend time reading some threads. Search for a keyword and then focus on the advice that people give. Don’t view an independent freelance Facebook group as a scroll-through, but rather a discussion board. See it as a virtual cafÃ©, meet people in your line of work, and set aside time to read their advice.
A person I know recently commented that a thread in a freelance group was better than watching many YouTube tutorials. It’s true â you are essentially taking advantage of hundreds, if not thousands, of experienced experts in self-employed life. Imagine how much it would cost, but everything is free.
Look for groups in two categories:
1. Your career field: find groups of freelance colleagues, marketing specialists, designers, entrepreneurs, virtual assistants, etc.
Use these groups to establish connections in your field. You may think you don’t need them, but freelancing becomes lonely, and it’s essential to have people who “understand” you by your side.
2. Your customer niche: Try to find some of the groups your ideal customers are hanging out.
Use it to do a little market research to find out what they’re interested in and what they’re talking about. You can start gaining people’s trust and be the first person that comes to mind when they want their next project done.
No matter which group you interact with, remember to share valuable content and be useful. FB Groups are not your own personal forum for advertising your contents. Only share your content when it adds something to the conversation.