“If you support the community, they will support you” – Jerry Greenfield, Co-Founder of Ben & Jerrys.
I’ve written about why I started Freelance Heroes on numerous occasions. However, if you don’t know the story then it’s probably best explained in this Positive Sparks podcast “Why True & Open Sharing Is the Secret to My Facebook Group Success”, from May 2017. This is breif thought about the impact of the group since it started.
Annie and I have little control over the growth of the group, other than rejecting those who aren’t from or based in the UK and others who are typically joining so they can sell into the group, but many continue to recommend the community to their peers, which has seen it grow faster and faster with each passing month. For example, in September 2017 there were 1250 freelancers in the group (16 months after it started). Fast forward just 6 months and that had doubled to over 2500. From day one, questions have covered all aspects of freelancing and that hasn’t changed. In the last week alone, these include:
- How do you stay resilient as a freelancer?
- Tag Lines… How many of you have them/ use them? & Do you think they add anything when it comes to creating your Facebook / Instagram pages and website?
- Does anyone have a free Marketing Strategy/Plan template they would be willing to share with me?
- Anyone used a WordPress live chat plugin on their website?
As well as questions and conversations on awkward clients, late payments, imposter syndrome, and more. And every time a question is asked, dozens of freelancers offer their answers based on their experiences. No judgments or accusations of anyone asking a stupid question. Just true and trusted, experiences based answers.
What is a Freelance Hero?
It prompted me to ask the question “What is a Freelance Hero?” Actually, I was asked this by a business connection who I was explaining the group to.
The responses included:
“Someone who works for themselves and supports others on the same journey”
“Is it the name of a small bounty bar that strikes out from the Christmas chocolate box, in search of work satisfaction?”
“An individual who is happy to pay it forward and in doing so will receive the gift of the selfless help and assistance from other like-minded individuals.”
“You know the kind of person who goes to networking events, and spends all their time connecting people with other people instead of selling themselves? That.”
“Someone with a streak of mad rebellion in their eye, who remembers what it was like in their own early days, so that they can help another see the great in among the crazy.”
And my favourite (apart from the Christmas box analogy)…
“Someone who is not just out for themselves, who supports and lift other freelancers up, who are proud to support themselves and their network!”
There are 2 million freelancers in the UK and this doesn’t mean, of course, that that the other 99% of those who aren’t in the group aren’t heroes too. Many are heroes because they are doing something they love and are great at, in spite of not having access to sick pay, holiday pay, maternity leave, workplace pension, etc.
If you fit into these descriptions then you’re a freelance hero and should be proud of that fact too, whether you’re a part of the Facebook group or not. And if you do, at some point, decide to join in the conversation with us to, then you’re always welcome.