Finding Connections in the Maker Economy

Even as the number of freelance makers in the world continues to grow, it can be difficult to find and actually connect with each other. Especially as an individual freelancer, it can be challenging to manage all the different aspects of running a business—not to mention actually creating. 

Folks who enter non-freelance work typically have coworkers to lean on and other built-in support systems, while freelancers can feel like they’re on their own—but that’s far from true. 

Here, we’ll explore the current state of the maker economy and how creatives can connect with one another: 

The Maker Economy in 2023 

With an estimated 60 million freelancers in the US alone, the maker economy is booming. According to Statista, people begin freelance careers for a variety of reasons: 

  • 83% — to earn extra money 
  • 73% — flexibility in their work schedules
  • 72% — to have control of their financial futures 
  • 70% — to be their own boss 
  • 67% — to pursue work they’re passionate about 

But they certainly face plenty of challenges in their careers, too. According to Freelancermap, the top three challenges for freelancers in 2022 were: 

  • Getting clients 
  • Maintaining a work-life balance
  • Getting better payment 

The good(ish?) news is that none of these challenges are new, and seasoned freelancers have learned how to anticipate them. Freelancermap found getting clients and maintaining a work-life balance were also the top two challenges freelancers faced in 2018 and 2019, according to their previous surveys. 

Despite these challenges, the freelance life seems to be working out well for folks who have chosen that path. In the United States, freelance worker satisfaction is generally higher than non-freelance worker satisfaction: another 2022 Statista survey found that 77% of freelancers were satisfied with their jobs, versus just 70% of non-freelancers. 

So, where are people finding freelance work? According to a Statista study, freelancers often find their next opportunities through:

Staying Connected 

While staying connected with other freelancers isn’t impossible, it can certainly be tough. Thankfully, tons of freelancers feel this way—it’s just a matter of finding each other! 

In freelance communities, makers can share advice and new opportunities. These hubs can help with networking, goals, business growth, and more. But where should you start? 

How To Find Digital Communities

Some businesses are dedicated to helping freelancers come together and collaborate, including: 

You can also find freelance groups through folks you already know. Don’t be afraid to reach out and see if your former co-workers have a freelance group they already love! 

Some of your favorite freelance or entrepreneurial content makers in your industry might have a group they’re a part of—or a group they run themselves. 

You can also find groups through social media. Take a look on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to find others in your industry, or if you’re just looking to connect with a few people to get started. 

No matter how you find the group, many have websites with community features or Discord or Slack groups, which will no doubt have plenty of advice threads and job postings. 

Look for Other Resources 

While QuickFrame doesn’t have a social media-esque experience like these other digital communities, we do our best to share the stories of those in our network. For example, we recently highlighted Nils Clauson in our Establishing Shots segment in the Maker Resources section of our blog. 

(Create) Together, Right Now 

No matter where you are in your career, freelancing doesn’t have to be lonely. When you’re looking for your next opportunity or just need some advice from a colleague, joining a community is a great way to connect. 

Whether you’re a video producer in the QuickFrame Maker Community or a freelancer with a different specialty, you’ve got endless opportunities to connect with other creatives around the world. Now it’s time to dive in, engage with your new peers, and get creative! 

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