There are 1000’s opinions about how best to network, and even more courses teaching networking tactics and strategies. At engine. we bring together self-employed people every day and what we see in practice, is the power of talking passionately about what you do and why you do it. It truely is that simple. Freelancers and self-employed people are their own brand. They may be selling a certain skill they have, like graphic design or organisation as a virtual PA, but what they’re actually selling, is themselves as individuals. They are their own unique selling point. We all know that people buy from people they like and trust, it’s a sales principle as old as time. Part of liking and trusting someone is believing in them and their business. The beauty of self-employment is that the individual has chosen something that they are good at and that they enjoy, so it’s easy for them to talk with authority and passion about their business.

Everyday we see the power of talking passionately about what you do and why you do it.

Networking for self-employed people is key. You never know when a business connection is going to be made. You could be at the park with your little ones or standing in line at a supermarket when you meet your next client. It’s at those times when talking naturally and with enthusiasm about your project is going to pay off. Not all self-employed people are skilled at sales and that’s ok, they don’t really need to have fancy sales techniques at their fingertips. What they need is the ability to articulate their story, the reason why they started their project in the first place and why it’s their passion. When a story is well crafted and genuine it’ll be engaging and something potential clients will want to be part of.

A few good questions you can ask yourself to start with:
Why did you start doing what you do?
Know the core reasons of why you do what you do will demonstrate your passion and everyone’s reason for starting has its own charm and authenticity. With the nice bonus of helping you clearly and concisely explain what it is you do.
What is your favourite thing about doing what you do?
Focusing on your favourite aspects of the work and not on the more niggly bits, will mean that when you talk about your work you will have a great story to tell as well as a positive energy which is always infectious.
Is there a trend in the types of people that use your service. What are your key client bases?
This allows you to more easily categorize potential clients and understand their likely needs.

What we love, is seeing those passionate conversations and successful connections happening in our space. Whether it’s during our weekly community lunch, over some beautifully crafted surplus food from Elsie’s Cafe, or a friendly chat across our hot desks.  We’re inspired by the passion that we see on a daily basis. We love how people demonstrate their enthusiasm for their business and if we love it, potential clients will love it too. So remember, networking shouldn’t just happen when you’re at a formal business event, it can be part of everyday life and is as simple as telling your story.

Networking can be part of everyday life and is as simple as telling your story.

Thanks for reading.
Much love,
Team engine.

Perfectly written by Laura Graham of It’s character building

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