resource for freelancersWhen Corinne invited me to guest post on her blog, I wanted to be sure I shared something that would be a valuable resource with you. So I took to the internet to do some homework and I stumbled across the Freelancers Union.

Have you heard of them before? I hadn’t. In fact, I didn’t know freelancers had a union. I thought this would be a great time to check it out and tell you about what I learned in case this is new to you as well.

The Freelancers Union was founded by Sara Horowitz whose mission is to help the self-employed community by connecting freelancers to group-rate benefits, resources, create a community and online networking opportunities to improve lives and the bottom line.

What’s more is; Sara is active in the political arena by giving a voice to the 54 million independent contractors out there to ensure freelancers receive adequate rights, protection and professional benefits. The Freelancers Union also plays an active role in community initiatives and advocacy campaigns.

To give you an idea about how passionate Sara is about protecting independent contractors, she gathered at the City Hall in New York City on February 29th to urge City Council to pass a payment protection bill to protect freelancers from nonpayment experiences, which, as you know, is the biggest downside of freelancing. You can read about it here.

Here is what else I learned out about the Freelancers Union.

Benefits

They provide resources for a variety of health coverage such as Freelancers Medical, Dental and Retirement.  You can also get Small Group Health Insurance, Liability, Traveler’s Medical Insurance, Disability and Term Life.

Resources

If you’re a freelancer, you now have to take on expenses like office equipment and software, promotion and marketing plus other cost of living expenses like healthcare and self-employment tax. But I know preaching to the choir.

With that being said, some freelancers look for great deals and discounts to help keep more money in their pocket.

We all know every penny counts nowadays so finding great deals on things we frequently use should be on our list but when do we have the time?

Freelancers Union members get extra discounts to places like Anytime Fitness, AT&T, Hyatt, and Hertz. And there’s plenty more where that came from. To see the entire list of Freelancer Discounts click here.

There is also a “taxes” tab filled with helpful article such as how one freelancer lost $3,500 due to check fraud and what to do if the check never arrives.

The “Advocacy” tab has helpful resources like a contract template, next-level contract clauses, a collection letter template and small claims court guide.

And who doesn’t want a community and resources to keep a freelance business thriving?

Community

The thing I liked most about the Freelancers Union was their community. We all know how important it is to connect with other freelancers and network, right? They have over 295,000 members in their Freelancers network.

I was browsing through the directory and their member profile tells you about the freelancer, their interests and which communities they belong to plus links to the website and site they’ve contributed to.

In looking at one member’s profile, he states under “Interests” that he is interested in “helping other freelancers with networking, hosting events, and teaching classes.” Right away I got the feeling being a member could be a good thing.

They have what they call a Hive which is filled with local networks, clients & gigs and freelancing tips.

They also have Spark Events for extra support and local networking opportunities.

Become a Member

It costs nothing to become a member of the Freelancers Union. If you’re interested in joining and would like to check out their website, click here.

Over to You

Are you a member of the Freelancers Union? If you are, I would love to hear about your experience with them…good or bad. Anything you share will help other freelancers make a decision about becoming a member.

How about you? After reading this, would you consider becoming a member?

I’d love to read your comments.

If you know other freelancers who might not know about the Freelancers Union, please share this post with them.

 

CoriCorina Ramos is a blogger and freelance writer. She lives in Houston, Texas with her family and two dogs. She has a multi-niche blog called Not Now Mom’s Busy and recently launched corinaramos.net to help new and not-so-new bloggers start and grow their blog.

Connect with Cori on Facebook and Twitter