How many creatives in your field are in the Freelance Forum?

Let’s cut to the chase. You’re really wondering about three things:

  • How many potential competitors are in the group?
  • Will joining make it easier for them to compete against me?
  • Will I get more work if I join this organization?

Most of us are into Words (writers and editors) and Visuals (graphic designers, art directors, illustrators, photographers and web developers). But we also have lots of Facilitators (marketing consultants, project managers, PR strategists and more). It’s a diverse mix of freelance marketing creatives. Chances are there are several more of “you” in the group.

But that’s really a plus. The Freelance Forum is a great place to find collaborators and build supportive relationships with other Atlanta freelance professionals. Like the “forums” of old, we’re just the place to speak your mind – or share your knowledge and experiences with others. And don’t worry about rubbing shoulders with competitors. It’s probably the most collegial professional group and networking organization in Atlanta you’ll find. And then all members are expected to abide by our Professional Guidelines and Bylaws, which frown upon any backbiting drama.

And work? It’s there – if you’re active. Members who attend meetings and volunteer to support the group seem to garner more subcontract or referral work than folks who pay their dues and then disappear into the woodwork.

Why should I join?

When you’re a solo operation, you’re the talent, management, sales and bookkeeping staff all rolled into one seriously overloaded package. Wouldn’t it be nice to be part of an organization that helps Atlanta freelance creative professionals meet the challenge? The Freelance Forum does it with programs on how to run a business and with collaborative marketing potential like the Find a Freelancer database. Collectively, we’re a resource, a knowledge bank and a ready-made talent pool for each other and for our clients

Can’t I just pay the meeting guest fee and come when I want?

Sure. But you won’t get a listing in Find a Freelancer. You won’t receive our special emails with job announcements and project leads. And you won’t gain the benefits of the best support network for Atlanta freelance creative professionals. Visit a few times, and you’ve pretty much paid the cost of an annual membership (which is a deductible business expense, by the way).

Do you have to be a freelancer to join?

Nope. In fact, The Freelance Forum is a great place to learn the ins and outs of working solo. If you’re a student, moonlighter or full-time wage slave looking for a career adjustment, you can still join.

What if I freelance with my spouse or partner?

You and your significant other are welcome as long as you’re both working in the same business and from the same business address. The dues for business partners are really a bargain. Because we’re a support organization for freelance creative professionals in Atlanta, our Bylaws limit membership to companies and sole proprietorships with just one or two owners. On occasion, members have staffed up with employees and outgrown The Freelance Forum. Far from being outcasts, these alumni sometimes show up at our monthly programs as guests or as program speakers.

What if I’m a student?

We’ve been there, done that. That’s why you can join for less and receive all the benefits of membership if you’re a full-time student. Not that we don’t trust you, but please include a photocopy of your current student ID.

How do membership and dues add up?

Easy – membership runs on the calendar year (Jan. 1 – Dec. 31). It’s the best value among Atlanta’s professional organizations serving our industry. Better yet, dues for new members are prorated based on the calendar quarter you join. (But why wouldn’t you want to join as soon as you can?) You’ll find the complete 411 on the Become a Member page.

Can I be a member even if I don’t live in the Atlanta area?

Absolutely. In fact, a number of members and guests live outside the metro area. Our programs and networking events take place here, but you’re welcome to join the organization and get a listing in our Find a Freelancer database. (And we hope you’ll plan your trips here to take in a meeting!)

What are your meetings like?

“Meeting” sounds almost too formal for one of our gatherings. We normally meet on the first Thursday of the month — although we sometimes fudge the date when it lands on or near a holiday. Sign-in generally starts at 6:15 p.m. It’s then on to networking (and food) until 7:00-ish. At that point, our fearless leaders enforce order, make a few announcements and introduce the program. During the program, we allow lots of time for Q&A. (That’s a big part of the reason you’re there, after all.) The meeting usually wraps around 8:30 p.m., but many folks hang around for a half hour or so to chat up the speakers and other members.

I’m sold! How do I join?

Just visit the Become a Member page, click on your membership category and apply!