Every freelancer needs a supportive community. Without access to traditional employment culture, freelancers must intentionally cultivate supportive interpersonal and professional relationships differently.
Online community groups can be a great place to find support, mentorship, and advice from others who’ve navigated the same roads and challenges.
Not sure where to find the right freelance community for you? Here are some of the best places to start your search.
What are the benefits of being in a freelance community? The benefits of being in a freelance community are:
Other freelancers understand the unique struggles of other freelancers
It offers a sense of belonging and camaraderie
Opportunities to give or receive advice on challenges like work-life balance, managing multiple clients, invoicing concerns, and navigating the freelance lifestyle
Share freelancer resources to learn more about your trade or stay up-to-date on industry trends
Provide interpersonal support when you’re feeling lonely or disheartened
Unlock networking opportunities for referrals and new gigs
1. Freelance Platforms
The simplest way to connect with other independent workers is to find a platform that involves other freelancers. These can help you find work by listing new gigs on job boards, posting resources, or connecting members with clients.
In addition to being a valuable source of work prospects, these platforms can provide personalized interactions and support for independent professionals. These are some of the reasons why many freelancers join the MVP Match. We offer these professional networking opportunities on a person-by-person basis.
Other popular platforms include Upwork, The Freelance Institute, and Freelance Academy.
2. Slack Communities
Many people use Slack for workplace communications, but the messaging program also provides a venue for users who share professional and personal interests. That’s why Slack has become a go-to platform for freelancers around the globe.
Thousands of Slack groups and communities exist where you can message other independent workers in your niche for networking, counsel, and blowing off steam. Some of the best Slack channels for freelancers are:
We Work Remotely Community
3. Social Platforms
Everyone and their grandmother (literally!) uses social media to stay in touch with people they know. These virtual platforms are also helpful for making new contacts with fellow freelancers.
How do I build a freelance community? Build a freelance community by finding other professionals in your industry on social media who share similar career experiences. Or, use social media to join an existing virtual community.
Facebook hosts large and small groups ranging from highly specialized trade niches to broad remote-workforce gatherings. You can easily search for Groups that may interest you by navigating to the Discover option in the Groups section of your Facebook Feed. Some Facebook Groups have restricted access and will require a community manager’s approval to join or even a direct invitation.
Regardless, you can easily locate countless Facebook Groups to join. For example, The Freelance Content Marketing Writer Group is a popular place for freelance writers specializing in content marketing. The Sisters in SEOFacebook Group equips gender-diverse, LGBTQIA+, and other marginalized digital marketing professionals with valuable marketing strategies.
You probably think of LinkedIn solely for finding employment opportunities, but this social platform is a valuable gathering site for professionals even when they aren’t updating their resumes. You can find pages for independent workers on LinkedIn by using the search bar and filtering results by Groups. Type in a hashtag or search term related to your field.
Popular LinkedIn Groups for freelancers and small business entrepreneurs include Independent Contractor Alliance, Self-Employed Leadership Group, Freelance Professionals, and Freelance Graphic Designers. These can direct you to postings seeking bid proposals.
Interest groups on Reddit are called subreddits, and there are many subreddits for any type of freelancer. You can create a Reddit account to join any subreddit to partake in the discussions or just freely browse the public forums to see what other questions, resources, and suggestions members have posted.
The r/freelance subreddit is a popular community that’s always active and inviting to new members. /r/workonline and /r/remotework are also worth subscribing to if you have a work-from-home digital career. Reddit also has subreddits that list freelance jobs — like /r/forhire — but you have to be very discerning about the work you pursue and the clients you engage.
4. Professional Associations
Go beyond casual communities to professional alliances by joining an association representing independent contractors. Membership in an organization like the Freelancer’s Union or the International Web Association can connect you with educational opportunities, certifications, and even insurance benefits through exclusive partnerships.
You can join a labor union, such as those representing web designers, web developers, web marketers, or other for-hire professionals, if you intend to make freelancing your long-term career. They can help you stay informed of your rights and find legal assistance if needed.
Want a community that provides enriching interpersonal connections? Want to meet your online community of freelancers in person? Get plugged into Meetup, a platform that arranges in-person and virtual gatherings.
On this site, you can find local groups, webinars, virtual networking events, and even find shared workspaces in your community. This is a great resource if you’re launching a freelance business or want to meet other content creators you can collaborate with. Create long-term relationships through Meetup that empower your freelance lifestyle.
Need to simply ask a question and receive an answer from more experienced freelancers? Quora is where to go. It doesn’t provide the same interpersonal community that other platforms on this list do, but it’s a helpful tool for anyone new to self-employment.
All posts are structured in a question-and-answer format, so you can browse the website and the millions of existing threads before starting your own. Quora can be useful for asking for advice on a job proposal or creating a freelance contract.
MVP Match: Community for Skilled Tech Talent
If you’re looking for a network of skilled tech talent, the MVP Match network is the community for you. We help technology professionals find freelance work opportunities by connecting them with clients in search of their expertise.
If you’re looking to hire a freelancer, we’re here for you too. Contact us to get started.