6 Things I Love About the Freelancers Union

The Freelancers Union is an organization dedicated to supporting freelancers in various ways, offering services, insurance and other types of representation. It is a young group, comparatively. I've been blessed to have been onboard with them since 2008, at which time I discovered them in researching ways I could help my readers find affordable health insurance. I was a witness to their explosive growth in the middle of the last decade, much of which focused on providing insurance and other benefits that are so severely lacking in this career.

If you’ve not taken a moment to explore their offerings, I highly encourage you to give it a go. Here are some of the highlights of this organization.

Insurance, Retirement and Benefits, Oh My

Of course, the initial draw was that health insurance. Back before the Affordable Care Act, the Freelancer’s Union was one of only a few viable, affordable options for writers like you and me. Even today, they make mundane tasks like finding health insurance or saving for retirement easy and quick.

Community

Lately, the Freelancers Union has been stepping up their game when it comes to forming the bonds that independent workers often need. “The Hive” is a section of their website that allows freelancers to connect with others in their specific field. I find the postings on this community site similar to the kinds of questions and discussions one can find at MediaBistro, but the design of the Hive community is much more visually pleasing and easy to use than MediaBistro’s message boards.

Spark Events

In addition, recent emails from Freelancers Union have been touting the development of nationwide events aimed at bringing freelancers together face-to-face for learning and networking opportunities. I've found that large, loosely organized national associations often concentrate such resources in larger cities, sometimes leaving us suburbanites out of the equation.

However, Freelancers Union Spark Events seem quite open to member-driven events organized by the masses, so the possibility of actually attending something locally is a better possibility than in the past.

Advocacy

The Union’s Director, Sarah Horowitz, is one of the most present and active freelance advocates I've seen in the span of my decade-long career. Communications from the organization keep members abreast of what they’re working on, and how they’re going about it. Horowitz’s constant work on behalf of independent workers is hard to miss, and it’s appreciated.   

Platform Provision

In addition to the services that the Union provides, it also gives its members an opportunity to enhance their web presence via public pages that highlight experience and skills. Since the website is so large and well-maintained, I've found that Google results tend to highlight my profile and portfolio on the site quite well, and have got a number of bites and even two clients from my page!

Contract Help

This one!

Oh, this one! Judging by the questions my readers ask me, contract creation is a beast. I get it, and so does the Freelancers Union. They provide a dedicated contract creation module that can help you make sure you’re covered. Now, this is a web-app based resource, and so I must note here that this is actually my second-favorite contract resource, as the National Writers Union provides personal contract support from an expert who is trained in the field. However, the Freelancers Union is free to join, whereas the NWU charges annual dues, so this may be a better place to start when it comes to your contract creation needs.

Again, the Freelancers Union has proven invaluable to me career, and is a resource that I use in some capacity just about every working day. I highly recommend you check out their site and resources as you progress in your career.

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