A couple of weeks ago we were all up in your browser talking about the best tools and resources for freelancers to run their business.
Time tracking & invoicing & productivity… oh my!
But to run a successful business you need more than just the right tools.
To stay on your game as a freelancer and business owner, you need to constantly be learning. Whether it’s learning a new skill, starting a new career in tech, learning new software, or adapting to online marketing, you have got to be on top of it.
And just as important as what you know, is who you know! I’m not talking about having a connection to the editor of Huffington Post to publish all of your articles (though that would be nice!). I’m talking about the community of other freelancers and entrepreneurs that you surround yourself with.
Being a one-woman-show can get pretty lonely sometimes, which is why we all need a group of like-minded business owners to bounce ideas off of, get feedback from, and sometimes just rant to! It can be incredibly helpful for your business – and your sanity – to know a few people who have ‘been there’.
Luckily, there are plenty of spots around the web where you can find the resources and communities you need to learn new skills, get business support, and make new connections all to help skyrocket your freelancing career!
Here are 10 of our favorite resources for freelancers to learn and collaborate.
When you need to brush up on your coding skills or get advice about careers for women in tech, Skillcrush is the place to go.
The Skillcrush blog is full of helpful articles on how to successfully start and build a career in tech. You can also find in-depth guides on setting up your freelance business, determining what kind of career is right for you, and where to find remote jobs in your field.
Skillcrush also offers affordable programs for people who want to learn the ropes and become designers or developers – and earn a great living doing it!
When you are looking to improve your skills or learn something new, start with Lynda.com.
Lynda has over 3500 courses available on a broad range of topics that will help you advance your career.
Whether you want to learn a new coding language, try out a new design tool, add video editing to your list of skills, or finally figure out how to manage your own bookkeeping, Lynda has a class on it.
Monthly memberships give you access to the entire library of courses, so remember to pace yourself!
Another library of resources, Tuts+ has tutorials and courses on hundreds of topics like code, design and illustration, photography, video, music, web design, game development, craft, and more.
Tuts+ courses are designed to help you learn a skill from start to finish, like designing your first website.
The free tutorials are less structured and focus on a single project, like creating an arrow pattern in InDesign.
You can use the free tutorials to spark your creative energy or figure out a specific task, and use the courses to master a skill and add it to your toolset.
Tuts+ is a part of Envato’s creative ecosystem, and they encourage students to use the skills they learn on Tuts+ to sell their creations through Envato – not a bad option if you’re looking for some extra passive income opportunities.
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Paul Jarvis sends out thoughtful and helpful content every week in his newsletter The Sunday Dispatches. He shares personal stories about his freelancing journey and the process that got him to turning down clients with less than a $10,000 budget.
Paul’s advice is solid. Sometimes thoughtful, sometimes practical, and always helpful. His thought-provoking columns will get you thinking differently about what it means to be a freelancer.
He also has a course on setting up your freelance business for success, a Slack group for freelancers in the course to collaborate and get help, and a podcast called Invisible Office Hours.
He is one smart dude who is out to help you dominate in your industry.
The Freelancer, by Contently
The Freelancer by Contently blog is chalk full of great posts related to running a freelance business.
Geared mostly toward writers, they cover topics about pitching stories, working with editors, raising rates, and much more. They also go into some of the smaller details of being your own boss like how to tell clients you’re going on vacation and what type of conferences will help build your solo career.
The topics can be applied to freelancers in any field to help market your business through your own writing, and deal with those tricky client situations.
Being Boss Podcast
The Being Boss Podcast is sure to make you feel like you can take on anything in your business!
The hosts – two successful lady entrepreneurs themselves – share on all topics related to running and growing a business, and staying sane while you do it. If you’re looking to grow both personally and professionally, tune into this one.
The podcast also has a great following that you can connect with in the Being Boss Facebook group. This group is super active and the members are always cheering one another on.
Freelance To Freedom Facebook Group
The super helpful community in the Freelance to Freedom Facebook group is growing every day.
The members of this group are quick to share their knowledge and experience on a variety of topics – from marketing help, to website design, to client dilemmas. Learn from people who have been there and build a network of great contacts while you’re at it.
The world of freelancing can get lonely, so it’s nice to meet other freelancers even if it’s online. Share your story, get feedback, and maybe even find a partner for a collaboration project.
One Woman Shop
If you are looking for a community of women freelancers and solopreneurs to help you navigate your tricky career path, you’ve found it in One Woman Shop.
OWS is part community and part resource for boss ladies. Their blog and online courses cover pretty much everything you need to know to run your business, and the monthly twitter chat is a great way to connect with other women in your field.
Membership to the community is paid and it comes with a bunch of perks like online courses and a listing in their business directory. But even without a membership, One Woman Shop has tons of freebies and valuable content to help your business soar.
The Freelancers Union
The Freelancers Union wholeheartedly believes that freelancers are the future of the economy, and that freelancers and contract workers deserve access to affordable benefits and insurance.
If you’re in the US, The Freelancers Union can provide helpful tips on where to get insurance, how to file your taxes, and how to plan for retirement. There is also a thriving community of freelancers in their online forums sharing tips and stories.
Even if you’re not located in the US, the resources that The Freelancers Union puts out are helpful for any contract worker who wants to better manage their finances and business planning.
Resources For Freelancers Abound!
Constantly learning is part of the job when you become your own boss, but it doesn’t have to lonely or boring.
What are your favorite places to learn new business skills and collaborate with other entrepreneurs online? Share your favorite resources for freelancers below!