Freelance Heroes, a dedicated Facebook support group for UK freelancers, owned Twitter after celebrating the one year anniversary with a “Freelance Heroes Day” on 16th May 2017.
The hashtag #FreelanceHeroesDay incredibly made it to top spot of the trending list, even beating #LabourManifesto which launched the same day!
So, let’s put this into perspective….. According to Twitter statistics, the average number of tweets daily is a little less than 2 million, updated by around 630,000 Twitter users worldwide. The “Trending Topics” shown on the Twitter home page reflects the 10 most tweeted topics in real time which are refreshed every 5 to 11 minutes.
#FreelanceHeroesDay made it to number one on the list – a truly astounding achievement for a Facebook support group which started only a year ago!
The idea of Freelance Heroes Day was to celebrate the first birthday of the Freelance Heroes Facebook Group that I set up in 2016 and run with Annie Browne, owner of HelloMyPA in South Wales, as well as to celebrate the work of hundreds of thousands of freelancers across the UK. During this day, group members were invited to take part by tweeting a picture of them in their working environment and celebrating other freelancers that have helped them along their journey, all with the hashtag #FreelanceHeroesDay.
The day ended with an hour long Q&A – #FHChat – which generated over 600 tweets from freelancers, in a single hour.
The premise of the Facebook group is as a non-selling group for all UK freelancers, where they can ask for support from fellow freelancers, help others with their issues based on their experiences, and share their knowledge. The page has now grown into one of the most active and fastest growing Facebook groups for professionals in the UK and currently stands at over 550 members. Much of this rapid success is down to the supportive nature of its members.
I wanted to create a Facebook Group that truly helps and connects the freelance professionals within it, where they can share their concerns about cash flow or customers, but also prop up, lift on and provide encouragement when things get tough. The group has become a rich, supportive environment with non-judgemental members and it is beautiful to watch their relationships grow. I’m hugely proud to be part of it.
I’ve been part of conversations were local, competing businesses may make people reluctant to help each other out for fear of losing market share. Personally, I don’t subscribe to this theory at all, but with members from Land’s End to John o’ Groats, the competition element is removed and it makes for a richer support group where all members benefit. I believe that true and open sharing is the secret. There is an underlying reciprocal arrangement where all our members are willing to help each other out.
Family and friends are perfect for sympathetic support when things go well, but often struggle to provide the empathetic support needed by those who work for themselves. Freelance Heroes is a platform to ask for help – whether it’s to do with WordPress, motivation, late payments, etc – without the spamming or sales pitches.
Annie Browne runs the @FHChat twitter account, as well as supports the running of the FB group. She told my her thoughts of the social media event: “Being involved in the Freelance Heroes Facebook group has been amazing but #FreelanceHeroesDay took it to a whole new level. The enthusiasm of everyone who got involved made it what it was and evident by the number of people that we reached on social media (top of the trends in the UK thank you very much!), it is a valued community for freelancers.”
Annie added “It is so awesome to see professionals who are working for themselves, to come together to offer help, advice and support to other freelancers in what can otherwise be a very lonely career choice. Freelance Heroes provided an ultimate resource to the growing numbers of self-employed people across the UK and I am very proud to be a part of that.”
I’m often asked what the plans are for Freelance Heroes and this is my response. I have no idea. The idea is for the group to be as safe and supportive as it can be for freelancers. Any attempt to commercialise it would only scupper that and be counterproductive.
Any our plans for Freelance Heroes Day 2? I’d like it to involve more Freelancers, and maybe include some physical events as well. Who knows? For now, everyone involved should be proud that they were part of a remarkable social media event.
To read all the twitter statistics from #FreelanceHeroesDay, visit FHD17 Hashtag Report.
To read all the twitter statistics from #FHChat, visit FHChat Twitter Hour Hashtag Report.
To join the Freelance Heroes Facebook Group: Click Here
The basis of this article comes from a Press Release for FreelanceHeroesDay, kindly put together by Joanne Cook of JC Consulting.