One of the characteristics of freelancing is that freelancers don’t see their peers every day. In a traditional work environment, you may find yourself housed in a building that not only includes your peers, but other workers as well.
While working alone can have its advantages (no noise, fewer interruptions), there are some disadvantages too. For example, if you need advice from a colleague there’s no one right there to help out. If you’re feeling a little down, a nearby coworker isn’t there to cheer you up.
Well, just because freelancers work alone doesn’t mean that we have to totally do without the kind of help that coworkers traditionally give each other. As freelancers we’re not really alone. There are a lot of us out there (and our numbers are growing every day). Through social media and other online connections, we can help each other out.
In this post, I list ten kind things you can do today to help another freelancer out.
10 Ways to Help Another Freelancer
Helping another freelancer is a great way to build a relationship. Not only that, it can cheer both of you up. Here are ten suggestions for helping other freelancers:
- Comment on their blog. Most freelancers maintain a blog. A blog can allow you to highlight your expertise and may attract clients. However, many freelancing blogs receive few comments. This can be discouraging to the freelancer. If you read and enjoy a fellow freelancer’s blog, why not take few minutes to leave them a comment?
- Give their blog social media love. There are many ways to share social media love. You can stumble a post, give it a plus one in Google+, like it on Facebook, Tweet it, and so on. For added impact, you can even share a post on more than one social media platform.
- Answer a question for them. I often see freelancers pose questions on issues they are struggling with in forums or on Twitter (or other social media). If you know how to answer a freelancer’s question, why not take a few minutes to share that answer?
- Help them connect. Doing business is all about connecting. You probably have connections that are unique to you. If you see a fit between several of your contacts (for example, you know that they could help each other or that they would get along well), why not introduce them?
- Give them a testimonial. Testimonials are like gold in the freelancing world. Getting a good testimonial is a great way to make any freelancer’s day. If you’ve been pleased with a freelancer, why not take a few minutes and create a testimonial for them.
- Build their influence. Tools like Klout allow you to increase the influence score of another freelancer. It’s a simple way to encourage someone, but it can be effective. Plus, if they get a high enough score on Klout they may even qualify for a perk or two.
- Share a resource. Have you read a good article lately? Or, maybe you just finished a really interesting book. You can help other freelancers by sharing these resources and explaining in a few sentences why you liked them.
- Have a conversation. Sometimes the best way to help another freelancer is to listen. If you sense that a fellow freelancer might be lonely or could use a sympathetic ear, why not contact them? You can use a social media tool to chat, or if you have their phone number nothing beats hearing a friendly voice.
- Lend a hand. Is your freelancing friend overwhelmed? Are they looking for someone to pinch hit for them? Maybe they’ve been trying to find a reliable person to offload some projects to, or maybe they need someone to offer up a guest post to keep their freelancing blog going while they are busy.
- Refer a client to them. Of course, the ultimate way to help another freelancer is to refer a client to them. So, the next time you turn a potential client down don’t just tell them you won’t be able to do the job. Point them to someone who can.
Now that we’ve listed ten ways for you to help other freelancers, let me provide an illustration.
I had been planning this post for some time and had it on my calendar as something to do. Ironically, when I checked my email this morning there was a kind note from another freelancer who wanted to provide a testimonial about my coaching services. The email may have been a coincidence, but I can tell you that I definitely found it encouraging and it was definitely helpful.
What Do You Think?
Do you take the time to help other freelancers? Why, or why not? If you do help them, how do you do it?
Image by Marcus Vegas