If you’re a freelancer, you’re going to get questions.
So, you can sleep until noon, right?
So, you can work in your pajamas, right?
And, of course:
Doesn’t it get lonely?
In truth, freelancing can be lonely if you let it be. But the fact is that you, as a freelancer, have the opportunity to work with clients around the world. There are networking opportunities in every region of the country. And, if it comes to it, you have the flexibility to join a yoga class or something. (Pun intended.)
If you’re just beginning, though, you may be struggling with a bit of solitary job blues. Here are 5 ways you can overcome your freelance loneliness.
1. Join a co-working space
Popping up in communities around the globe are co-working spaces. These are shared “offices” (sometimes consisting of little more than a large conference table with WiFi) where you can chat with others as you work.
Co-working spaces don’t commit you to a schedule – you can rent your space for one day per week or seven. You’ll also have the opportunity to work with people in other industries, which can lead to some great networking connections.
2. Get a hobby
It’s extremely easy to become so engrossed in your work that you lose sight of your self-care. Whatever it is you like to do, you can find a local group to do it with. Meetup.com is a great resource for finding others who share your interests. Facebook groups are another.
Make time for yourself during the week; you’ll make new friends and beat the freelance blues.
3. Join a social media platform
As a business owner, you should be doing this anyway. Social media is an excellent way to meet colleagues in your industry and others. Learn from one another and share stories. There are others out there who can relate to that feeling you get when your laptop charger breaks the day before a big deadline.
4. Get to know your clients
When you nurture relationships with your clients, it eases quite a bit of the loneliness associated with freelancing. Keep it professional, but don’t be afraid to share a bit about yourself. It’s okay to talk about your love for tropical fish or the fact that you’re addicted to candy corn.
In turn, you’ll find that you’ve got clients injured in bicycle accidents, clients who enjoy white water rafting and eve clients who share your addiction to candy corn. In other words, don’t forget your clients are people, too.
5. Start your own community
If you don’t like (or can’t afford) a co-working space, or you can’t find an online group you feel comfortable joining, create your own! Sites like Meetup, Facebook, Twitter and even Alignable can help you network with others in your area.
Start a group and invite others to collaborate or co-work with you on a regular basis. You and your new friends can open your homes to each other on a rotating basis, or you can find a central location to meet regularly. Even if just for an hour or two, starting your own freelancing community is a great way to beat freelancing loneliness.