Making connections and networking is an essential part of growing your freelance business. But, as a busy mom, it can be hard to
find make time to connect with others.
Because leaving the house with seven kids to go meet and greet isn’t happening. Especially where I live. There’s not that much networking going on here with the cows and chickens!
And while I know how to make time for phone calls in a busy house, I hate talking on the phone. It’s not really how I want to connect!
So what’s a busy mom to do? Keeping to yourself can be so isolating, especially because freelance work isn’t necessarily something people you naturally interact with understand.
Here are seven tips I’ve found to increase the efforts of my networking and make connections in my business.
1. Make Time for Networking
If you don’t make time for something, it isn’t going to happen! So make networking an essential task each day, or at least weekly.
Write it on your calendar, keep it on your daily meeting notes, use a sticky note.
Whatever you have to do to remind yourself to do it. Connections are important, so take time for them!
2. Remember to Maintain Relationships
There are seasons in life when you can’t give as much time to networking. You might even drop down to just a few minutes a couple times a week.
However, it’s essential during this time that you maintain the relationships you’ve built. Share some posts, comment on blogs in your niche, respond to an email.
3. Take Baby Steps
With so many strategies available for networking from home, it’s easy to feel like you need to do it all. Don’t worry. You don’t!
Take it one step at a time. Ease yourself into the world of networking.
If you’re a naturally shy person like I am, this is particularly important. I wasn’t on social media before starting my freelance career, and then it seemed like all the experts were saying things about every single platform.
It was seriously overwhelming.
So I slowed down. I worked on Twitter and Facebook. Then I slowly integrated Pinterest. I joined a group. And then another.
I know there are definitely ways to network that I haven’t tapped into yet. But I can’t do it all right now. I’ve found a few things that work for me, and I’m sticking with it for now.
When the time is right and I’m comfortable, I’ll try something new.
You can’t build solid relationships by taking all the time. You’ll wind up being thought of as one of those whiny friends who no one actually wants to be around. That’s not good!
Take time to answer questions when you can instead of always asking. Share your knowledge and expertise with others, and offer encouragement.
Don’t ignore everyone until you need something and then expect everyone to run to your rescue!
5. Connect with Some Other Moms
Being a freelancing mom comes with its own unique set of challenges. It’s a unique situation that not everyone can easily identify with.
I’ve loved connecting with some other freelancing mamas. They understand the struggles of trying to balance work and life with kids. They understand kids interrupting Skype meetings and last minute cancellations for a trip to the ER for stitches.
Everyone should find someone in a similar life situation to try and connect with and build a relationship. I’ve even found other freelancing mamas with 7 (or more!) kids. They really get my life, and I understand theirs.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Branch Out
As great as connecting with other moms is, I don’t want to limit my connections to only other moms. It’s a big world out there, and connecting with people with different life circumstances is a great way to expand your horizons.
After all, a big point of networking is to find work. You want to reach out and branch out of your closest comfort zone a bit. That way you cast a bigger net!
7. If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again!
Maybe the first Facebook Group you joined was a disaster.
Perhaps you didn’t make a connection with anyone in the course you took.
It doesn’t mean that you stink at networking. (Even if that’s what I thought at first, especially because of my introverted nature!) Don’t let it get you down and definitely don’t give up.
Keep giving. Continue reaching out. There will be nos. But there will also be yeses!
You will find your place in the big online world. You just might have to keep trying.
What Other Networking Tips Can You Add?
I’d love for you to add your tips in the comments. Networking isn’t always easy for busy moms, but it can be done! Let’s pool our knowledge together and learn from each other.
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