Traditional employees are privileged to have physical and online spaces to interact with their peers and collaborate on projects. But while these platforms exist to build healthy relationships and boost productivity, could freelancers benefit from them too?
The freedom you get from working at your own pace and running your own legitimate business is a double-edged sword: you are free to choose when and where you want to work, but at the same time, it can make you feel lonely. In most cases, being unable to share your journey with others hampers you from growing your network, building relationships, and learning from other professionals.
This is where virtual spaces come in: digital spaces provide a platform for freelancers to communicate and collaborate, just as traditional employees do. This article will discuss the benefits of virtual spaces for freelancers and how they can help you in your career.
What is a Virtual Space?
Virtual space refers to a digital environment where people can interact and communicate in real time, regardless of their physical location. It is where users can connect, share ideas, collaborate on projects, and even attend events.
Virtual spaces can come in different forms and platforms, from social networks, messaging apps, online forums, and project management tools to virtual reality environments. These platforms provide freelancers with cyberspace to interact and connect with other professionals in their industry, regardless of their location or time zone.
Examples of a Virtual Space
Virtual spaces come in different shapes and forms, each with unique features and advantages. Some e-spaces focus more on communication, while others focus more on community building, professional development, or boosting productivity.
Here are some examples of virtual spaces that freelancers can use to communicate and collaborate with fellow freelancers:
Slack is a communication tool that allows freelancers to communicate with their clients and fellow freelancers in real time. It’s an excellent platform for project management, file sharing, and team collaboration.
Benefits: Slack allows freelancers to organize their conversations into channels. This makes it easy to separate work-related discussions from general conversations or personal chats. Slack also has integrations with other tools, such as Google Drive and Trello, which makes it easy to share files and collaborate on projects.
Facebook Groups are a great way for freelancers to connect with others in their industry. There are groups for almost every industry, and it’s a great place to find work, ask questions, and network with other professionals.
This social platform can also help freelancers build their brands and establish themselves as experts in their fields.
Benefits: There are Facebook groups for almost every industry, and it’s a great place to find work, ask questions, and network with other professionals. Freelancers can join groups specific to their niche or industry and interact with other freelancers who share their interests.
LinkedIn Groups are similar to Facebook Groups, but they are more professional. They are proven ways to connect with other professionals in your industry, share ideas, and learn from others. LinkedIn Groups can be especially useful for freelancers who want to expand their network or find new clients.
Benefits: LinkedIn Groups provide freelancers with a professional social space where they can connect with others with similar expertise or experience. Freelancers can join groups specific to their niche or industry and connect with other professionals who share their interests. LinkedIn Groups also provide a platform for freelancers to showcase their work and build their online presence.
Freelance Forums such as Reddit
Freelance forums are online communities where freelancers can ask questions, share ideas, and connect with other freelancers. One popular forum platform is Reddit.
While Reddit doesn’t specifically focus on freelancers, it has several subreddits dedicated to freelancing and entrepreneurship, such as r/freelance and r/Entrepreneur. These subreddits provide a space for freelancers to ask questions, share advice, and connect with other professionals.
Reddit also offers a more casual and conversational atmosphere than other freelance forums, making it a great place to connect with like-minded individuals.
Benefits: Freelance forums allow freelancers to ask questions, share their experiences, and learn from others. They can be handy for freelancers who are new to the industry and need guidance or advice from seasoned professionals.
Benefits of Virtual Space When Communicating With Fellow Freelancers
With the rise of virtual spaces, freelancers can now access various Web tools and applications that help them connect and collaborate with others. Knowing its benefits might help you if you’re considering joining virtual spaces.
Here are the benefits of using a virtual space:
As a freelancer, you may work from home or a coffee shop, and meeting other freelancers in person can be a challenge. With a virtual space, you can connect with other freelancers from anywhere in the world at any time of day. You can communicate and collaborate with others without the need for physical meetings or face-to-face interactions.
- Cost savings
Another benefit of virtual spaces is cost savings. Physical meetings can be expensive, especially if you have to travel to a different city or country. A virtual space allows you to communicate and collaborate with other freelancers without incurring travel expenses. This can help you save money and reinvest it in your business.
Virtual spaces offer freelancers more flexibility than physical meetings. You can communicate and collaborate with other freelancers anytime and anywhere. This can help you stay productive and make the most of your time.
Virtual spaces also allow you to work with freelancers from different time zones, which can help you expand your business and work with clients in different parts of the world.
- Greater access to clients and projects
Virtual spaces can help you connect with clients and projects you may not have access to otherwise. By joining a virtual space, you can network with other freelancers, learn about new projects, and connect with potential clients. This can help you grow your business and find new work opportunities.
- Improved communication and collaboration
Virtual spaces allow freelancers to communicate and collaborate with others in real-time. This helps you stay on top of projects and deadlines and ensure everyone is on the same page. With virtual spaces, sharing files, feedback, and ideas and getting immediate responses from other freelancers is easy.
- Increased productivity
Since you don’t have to travel to a specific location to meet with your peers or clients, you now have more time to work on your projects. With a virtual space, you can communicate and collaborate with other freelancers in real-time virtually, therefore boosting your productivity.
- Professional development
Virtual spaces can also help freelancers with their professional development. You can learn about new trends, tools, and techniques by interacting with other freelancers in your industry. You can also get feedback on your work and improve your skills. Virtual spaces can be a great way to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in your industry and improve your work.
Importance of Building Relationship With Fellow Freelancers
Building relationships with fellow freelancers is essential for success in the freelance industry. By networking, collaborating, learning, and supporting each other, freelancers can create a strong community that benefits everyone involved.
Here are the important reasons why you need to interact or connect with other freelancers:
- Networking and referrals
Building relationships with other freelancers can help you expand your network and find new work opportunities. Other freelancers may refer you to clients or projects they cannot take on, which can help you grow your business.
- Finding new opportunities
Connecting with other freelancers can provide you with opportunities to learn from their experiences and expertise. You can gain valuable insights into different areas of freelancing, such as pricing strategies, marketing techniques, and project management tools.
- Collaboration opportunities
Collaborating with other freelancers can help you take on larger or more complex projects. By working with others, you can combine your skills and expertise to create a more comprehensive solution for your clients.
- Support and encouragement
Freelancing can be a lonely job, and it’s essential to have a support system to turn to when needed. Building relationships with fellow freelancers can help you feel less isolated and provide you with a community of like-minded professionals who go through the same journey as yours.
- Professional development
Interacting with other freelancers can help you stay up-to-date with what’s new in your industry and improve your skills. By connecting with other professionals, you can learn about new trends, tools, and techniques that can help you improve your work.
Different Communication Methods For Freelancers
Email allows you to send messages and attachments to clients and colleagues, making it an efficient and reliable communication method. It’s also a great way to record your conversations, which can come in handy when discussing project details or negotiating fees. When sending emails, you must communicate professionally and clearly to avoid misunderstandings.
In addition to being professional, it’s also essential to ensure that your emails are well-structured and easy to read. Start with a clear subject line that summarizes the content of the email and use short paragraphs with bullet points or numbered lists to break up large blocks of text. It’s also a good idea to end your email with a call-to-action or a clear next step to avoid confusion.
Using your mobile phone is another communication method freelancers often use to connect with clients and peers. It is a quicker and more efficient way to communicate, let alone more personal. It allows you to have a real-time conversation and get immediate feedback.
However, it’s crucial to remember that not everyone is comfortable talking on the phone, so it’s essential to confirm the schedule before calling.
When using the phone to communicate with clients or your fellow freelancers or clients, it’s essential to be professional and transparent in your communication. Prepare for the call by creating an agenda or a list of talking points, and avoid interrupting your client while they’re speaking.
3. Video Conference
Video conferencing gained ground as a new method of meeting with clients in the digital world. It allows you to communicate with peers through mobile devices or computers. You can have virtual face-to-face meetings with clients, which can be beneficial when discussing project details or brainstorming ideas.
Virtual meetings through video conferences also provides a more personal touch to your communication, which can help build stronger relationships.
When video conferencing, ensure you have a reliable internet connection and a quiet, well-lit space for the call. Test your equipment beforehand, and consider using headphones or a microphone to improve the audio quality.
4. Messaging apps
Messaging apps like WhatsApp, Slack, and Telegram are becoming increasingly popular among freelancers. These apps offer real-time communication and provide a platform for group chats, making it easy to collaborate with other freelancers or keep in touch with clients.
When you use messenger apps to communicate, your messages must be clear and concise. Use emojis and gifs sparingly, and avoid using acronyms or jargon your client may not understand. Establishing communication protocols with your clients, such as when you’ll be available to respond to messages, is also a good idea.
5. BEPPO in- app community
One of the newest ways to meet and interact with Filipino freelancers is through the Beppo App.
Beppo is an all-in-one financial management platform that allows freelancers to manage their income, expenses and taxes in one place. But on top of that, Beppo provides an online environment where users can network and connect with other professionals in their industry.
The community promotes inclusivity and is open to freelancers from all backgrounds and experience levels. This means freelancers can connect with others with similar interests and goals, share ideas and advice, and even find potential collaborators for future projects.
Check out the full features of using Beppo:
- Manage and track your cash flow using the Cash Book feature.
- Get an estimate of your taxes based on your income.
- Send invoices to clients through any channel, such as SMS, Viber, and email.
- Set a healthy budget and automate your finances.
- Get assistance when filing your taxes.
In today’s highly connected world, virtual spaces have become a crucial resource for freelancers looking to grow their careers and expand their networks.
By connecting with other professionals in their industry through virtual spaces, freelancers can leverage the collective knowledge and experience of the community to gain new insights, learn new skills, and access a range of opportunities.