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Top Online Communities You Should Join as a Freelancer in 2024

Top Online Communities You Should Join as a Freelancer in 2024
anoosh-kotak
Anoosh Kotak7 February 2024

The best part about freelancing is the flexibility and convenience of the work. However, digging slightly deeper into this discussion with the freelancing folks helped gauge some common problems that they face. There are feelings about feeling isolated and experiencing a lack of motivation and networking opportunities in their work. 

Things such as joining social media groups and attending seminars or conferences for networking can be helpful. One consistent solution includes signing up for online forums that will always cater to your need for a community experience. 

Here’s a look at some online communities for freelancers.

1. Reddit r/freelance

Reddit r/freelance

Reddit is a social media platform and online community made up of different forums. These forums can be categorised based on professions, students, cultures, hobbies, movie interests, nationalities, and many other topics, also known as subreddits. One such subreddit exists for freelancers, known as r/freelance

Here, freelancers share their experiences, and ask doubts about their dealings with clients, and others in the community can help them by commenting on their posts. 

This community is useful when discussing general freelancing; you won’t find field-specific topics being discussed here much often. Questions about how to deal with clients, how to charge them, and how to make a portfolio or market yourself are addressed in this community. This is a free-of-charge community– all you need to access it is a registered account on Reddit.

2. Freelancers Union

Freelancers Union

Freelancers Union is a non-profit organisation that supports freelancers through advocacy, services, education, and general guidance. It is a holistic freelance community that is also open to solopreneurs and founders as well. It fosters an environment of idea-sharing, learning, and co-working through its multiple initiatives.

They have a vast bank of blogs and resources that you can learn from, including important paperwork information, future planning, and how-to guides on all things freelance. 

Additionally, they have information about upcoming events and programmes within the community that you can join to network with your peers. 

They recognise that while freelancers might be great at what they do, what they don’t like dealing with is the technical aspect of the field (which might usually be handled by a human resources or office administrator in a full-time work setup). Because of this, Freelancers Union also provides health insurance plans and tax services, a step I am certain is welcomed by many freelancers.

While the workshops and co-working initiatives of the Freelancers Union are open to all, they also provide two types of paid plans for members which include extra features. 

Subscribe to our newsletterJoin our community and elevate your financial knowledge with each newsletter edition.

3. Millo

Millo

Millo is a global community of freelancers that houses seasoned experts, mid-career freelancers, as well as beginners, all under one roof. They believe in empowering their freelancers through education, which is what most of their initiatives are focussed on. 

Additionally, Millo used Facebook and LinkedIn to help its members connect, ask questions in a safe space and get answers. Since they use social media applications for this, you can become a part of a large freelance online community without paying anything. 

They have a huge database of tools that can be used by freelancers such as time trackers, invoice templates, legal tools, CRM tools, insurance services, outsourcing, etc. that help save you time on the non-core functions of your work. 

Example of tools provided by MilloExample of tools provided by Millo

Joining Millo’s community and getting access to resources like the newsletter, blog, and tools is free.

4. Fiverr Forum

Fiverr Forum

Fiverr is one of the most commonly used and well-known platforms for clients and freelancers to connect and work together. It hosts forums where users can ask questions and get answers from other members of the community. 

Some examples of the forums include New Members Introductions, Tips from Buyers, Tips from Sellers, Gig Advice, Fiverr Experience, and a Lounge forum for informal conversations, among others.

A Fiverr forum is a great freelancer community to join because it essentially houses all your freelance needs in the same platform–right from getting work to getting help related to the work. While the forums are free to join and participate in, Fiverr does offer paid plans for its freelancers to get better access to work opportunities.

5. Upwork Community

Upwork Community

Similar to Fiverr Forums, Upwork Community provides a platform for its freelancers to discuss their doubts and ideas and get answers from other freelancers. However, Upwork had more features and offerings for its freelancers in the form of weekly workshops, Bulletin Boards with important announcements, and diverse forums that included one for casual conversations and discussions about work-life balance. 

Upwork has public and private Community Groups for its users, that are categorised according to country which makes it easier for members to ask more specific questions about the freelancing situation in their region. 

Upwork Community is free for use, including registration for events and workshops, or signing up for the newsletter and reading the blog.

6. Toptal

Toptal

Toptal is an exclusive freelancer community of freelancers that houses the most distinguished professionals under its banner. If you have some good brand names under your belt and have enough experience, this is the community for you. 

Toptal claims to offer freelance services from the top 3% of the industry–now that’s quite an offering, and who doesn’t want to be a part of that niche category? 

The application process itself will show you how tough it is to get in. It is a rigorous assessment that includes language and personality tests, skill tests, and sample projects. But once you do get in, you get to work for some of the most prestigious brands to exist, including Shopify, Zendesk, Gucci, etc. 

This means that their freelance community events help you network with the most distinguished people, work with them on important projects and scale your business. 

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Conclusion

As a freelancer, you should always be on the hunt for external resources such as communities and job boards that help make your work better. In addition to the names mentioned above, keep your eyes peeled for social media communities as well. For instance, Slack has Othership, LinkedIn has The Freelancer Writers’ Connection specifically for writers and Discord has Freeflow. All these communities are often free to join and can prove to be a treasure trove of resources and ideas. 

To sum it up, being a part of a community not only helps you break free from isolation, a feeling that most freelancers deal with, but it also helps you grow through networking, new job opportunities, and upskilling initiatives. 

FAQs

Q1. What type of community is best for beginners?

Ans. As a beginner in freelancing, you might want to join free communities on Facebook or LinkedIn that will help you connect with other freelancers. A free-to-join community is best when you are just starting and might not have spare funds to get a premium membership or join an exclusive community. 

Try joining both general freelance groups and field-specific groups to get a hand in the freelancing experience. 

Q2. How can I find a community for my specific niche? 

Ans. Finding an online community for your niche is easiest on social media. You can join a Facebook or LinkedIn group, a Slack channel or a Discord server by simply searching for the community on these platforms.

For example, if you are a photographer from Mumbai, look for ‘Freelance Photographers Mumbai’ on these platforms and you will find similar search results that will lead you to these groups. 

Q3. What are some red flags to watch for in a freelance community?

Ans. Any freelance community that allows members who are abusive or disrespectful to others is a clear red flag. Communities that do not have a clear code of conduct established should be avoided as well. 

A freelance community is a safe space and if you feel a sense of judgement from the other members, there may be better places to be at. Any unrealistic job offers, poorly written descriptions, and demands of working without contracts are other red flags to watch out for. 

Q4. How much time should I dedicate to participate in a community?

Ans. This depends entirely on your schedule! If you are experienced enough, it is ideal to take time out once a week to answer questions and provide guidance in the community. If you are new, all you need to keep in mind is to not spam the group with constant messages and ask questions only when necessary. 

Q5. Is it possible to build a successful freelance career without joining a community?

Ans. You might have a successful freelance career without joining a community, but it is easier to be successful while being a part of one. The sheer networking, upskilling, learning, and job opportunities you receive by being a part of a community beats hours of research that you would ideally have to do by yourself.

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About the author
anoosh-kotak
Anoosh Kotak
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“The 0 to 1 journey filled with interesting problem solving & learning experiences.”Sports, Travel & Binge-watching