Working from home has become one of the biggest advantages of the ever-growing online world. People have found an unlimited number of ways to turn online opportunities into thriving home-based businesses; that is why home-based online jobs are now considered as a full-fledged and primary source of income.
However, despite its many benefits, such as being your boss, deciding your own working hours and being able to create a balance between social and professional life, working from home presents its own challenges too.
One of the major challenges is to have an active professional network. When you are working in an office, it is easier to form professional acquaintances that can help you widen your network. You can meet new people in your own office, at meetings, conferences, and workshops etc.
However, when you are working from home you do not get these opportunities.
Before we look into different ways to form a network while working from home, let’s answer the basic question;
Why do you need a professional network?
Having a professional network exposes you to different experiences and opportunities that are important to grow your business, improve your skills and gain more experience.
Here are some of the most important reasons why you need a strong professional network;
- You can meet important people who can give you new leads.
- You can learn about new opportunities and growth prospects in your area of interest.
- You can learn about new trends and technologies in your market that have not yet been made public.
- It can help you locate more clients.
- To create a strong presence in the market.
How to create a professional network while working from home?
Here are some of the ways you can use;
Turn to LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a great place to form a social and professional network. You can join groups that are based on your own interest, preferred location, and field. Once you join these groups you can participate in their chats and discussions actively, promote your business and learn about what others are doing – the challenges they face, their solutions to common problems and how they explore new opportunities.
Facebook can be used just like LinkedIn; you can join different groups and start meaningful discussions through your posts. These groups can be a great platform to market your business; however, you will have to be careful because not every group allows self-promotion. You should make an effort to find people who have the same interests and then build a formal relationship with them. The idea is to turn a Facebook friend into a business contact.
Join online job markets for freelancers
Online job markets for freelancers are a great way to find new clients and build a professional relationship with them. There are many websites that provide a platform for you and your potential clients to connect with each other. Once you land a client, there is a high chance of getting continued work from them; they can then either leave a good review for you or refer you to other projects and clients. The key is to focus on building a good working relationship with them. Some of these platforms include upwork.com and freelancer.com, elance.com, guru.com and fiverr.com etc.
Attend seminars and conferences
are many companies and educational institutions that organize seminars, workshops, and conferences. Frequently attending these events will not only help you form new acquaintances and expand your network, but they will also keep you updated about other similar events. You can also ask your friends who work in an office to keep you updated on every event that their company organizes.
These are some of the most effective ways to meet new people and form a network. Remember, for your home-based business to grow or for you to get more work, you will have to find clients or people who can help you connect with them. If you do not make the effort to expand your network, it is very likely that your home-based job will not give you the kind of revenue you need.