Building A Referral Network
Cincinnati, OH | Posted: 05/22/2016 | Author: Kerri Thomas
Any freelancer worth their salt is going to tell you that a quality referral is strong stuff. Those that need to find their own clients know that referrals can make or break a freelancer’s career. And referrals don’t just come from business clients you’ve worked with in the past, but also with colleagues and fellow contract artists. This praise from those doing similar work in such a competitive field can help build something that every freelancer needs in order to survive – a quality referral network.
A referral network is precisely what it sounds like: a group of colleagues whose work you acknowledge enough to tell clients about, and in return those colleagues do the same for you. The benefits of this network are many. A quality referral network can prevent the hit-and-miss cycle of regular work that some contract workers experience. A referral network can recommend work to you when clients are scarce, and you can return the favor when the pendulum of good fortune swings in your favor with too much work.
A quality referral network also means you’ve got colleagues to talk shop, get advice, or glean a new skill. Getting tips on how to handle a specific client can be a great way to make a good first impression on projects, while sometimes it’s just nice to let off some steam with someone who knows what you go through as a freelancer. You can also get feedback on rates to charge, new trends, and other pertinent topics.
So how do you build this network? Well, the operative word is “network”, so get out there and meet people. Find meetings online or locally, and show up to introduce yourself. Check your LinkedIn connections and reach out to relevant parties. Other social media sites can be a valuable resource; just remember to be somewhat discriminating. Choose those that can actually be an asset.
The next step when building a referral network is to keep in regular contact. In person or at least online, a scheduled meeting with your network maintains relationships and can even bring new contacts into the fold. It keeps your group fresh in mind when opportunities arise, which is what your network is all about.
Finally, a good referral network can also be supplemented by expertise in the field. This is provided by placement agencies like Creatives On Call. Think of COC as a quality referral network that enhances your own, as their experienced personnel help to create project opportunities and longer-term employment. The staff at Creatives On Call are perfect for your network, as they’ve put in the time as freelancers themselves and can help navigate your search for work. They’re the perfect complement to a quality referral network.