Living and working in Spain sure is a fun ride, but going it alone is far from the easy route. At Xolo, we know what it takes to make it as a solopreneur, and we’ve made a guide for the best freelance communities in Spain to help you get there.
Whether you need a job, a little advice, or a ready-made tribe of like-minded people, these communities save you a whole heap of time and effort.
We’ll cover the reasons you should join communities before listing five of our favorites. Each community has been tailor-picked for expats like you and they’re all unique in their own way. So with a combination, you stand a great chance of seamlessly slipping into la vida española in no time.
OK, calm down Tom Cruise. Yes, it’s technically possible to take on the mission impossible of establishing yourself as a freelancer in Spain, but why waste your energy?
You’ve moved to a new place, you’re trying to launch a business and find clients, and everyone’s speaking a different language. It’s totally understandable for this stage to be a difficult one. And even if it’s not tough enough, wait until you’re sitting in front of Spain’s infamous funcionarios — civil servants who seem to see no incentive need, or good reason to help you at all.
But the benefits of freelance communities in Spain go far beyond making life simple, as we’ll see.
Freelancing can sometimes feel isolating, especially if you're working remotely in a new country. Joining a community of fellow freelancers helps combat this isolation, making you feel more connected and involved in the local scene. Groups with a social side offer an opportunity to engage in discussions, attend events, and socialize with people who understand the unique challenges and rewards of being a freelancer.
One of the most significant advantages of joining a freelance community is the networking potential. You'll meet a diverse group of individuals from different industries, paving the way for exciting collaborations and partnerships. Networking within these communities can lead to job opportunities, referrals, and even new clients 💪.
Similarly, online freelance communities in Spain are usually the first place employers go to post about available projects, freelance gigs, and potential collabs. If you’re an active user, you get direct access to a wealth of potential clients and projects.
The best freelance communities are a goldmine of knowledge and expertise. Every interaction is a chance to learn skills, get the latest news for freelancers, and discover valuable tools and trends that can help you grow your business. These communities often host workshops, webinars, and training sessions — the perfect setting to hone your craft and expand your skill set.
Freelancing can be an emotional rollercoaster at times, with quiet months and lost clients as typical culprits. Being part of a community where everyone is in the same boat can be incredibly reassuring. You can share your challenges and successes, receive encouragement, and learn valuable lessons from those who have been in your shoes before.
Members of freelance communities often share job opportunities, tools, and resources that they've found helpful in their careers. This wealth of shared information can save you time and effort in your search for the perfect gig or software. Plus, you can tap into the collective wisdom of experienced freelancers who have been there, done that, and are eager to help newcomers succeed in their freelancing journey.
Who’s that guy cycling around playing the ocarina? Why do people keep pointing at me and saying ¿eres el último? Does anywhere in this country sell kettles?
When you move to Spain, these questions will be the tip of the iceberg.
Part of being an expat freelancer is getting your work-life balance right, and if you’re perplexed by everything in day-to-day life, you’re going to suffer. Freelance communities are a great place to learn about local festivals and cuisine, but also for regional business customs, client expectations, and relevant legal requirements. This knowledge can be invaluable when it comes to effectively tailoring your services and approach to the local market.
Now you know what you’re looking for, here is our list of the top freelance communities in Spain. Each has its own quirks and special sauce, so think about what you need and get your name out there!
Kicking off the list is Xolo’s very own Slack community. This dynamic and supportive group is a thriving community where you can connect with fellow freelancers, share resources, and discover job opportunities. As a purpose-built community for solos like you, it’s the perfect place to go when you’re thinking “Why can’t I just ask someone how to do this?!” 🤬
You can choose from a range of channels, each with its own vibe. #freelance-lifestyle is for events and after-work drinks, #contabilidad-for-dummies will advise you on your accounting, and #seguridad-social has guides, videos, and resources about everything social security.
The Xolo Slack community features solos from a diverse range of industries, such as graphic design, web development, copywriting, marketing, and more. This variety of expertise allows for enriching discussions and cross-disciplinary collaborations. You'll also find experienced freelancers who have navigated the Spanish market and can provide valuable insights into local customs and best practices.
You don’t even have to be a Xolo member to sign up for the Xolo Slack community, so there are just two easy steps.
Domestika is an online platform for creative professionals, mainly focused on online courses and workshops in fields such as illustration, design, photography, and more. However, it also has a vibrant community where freelancers can connect, network, and share their work with like-minded individuals. Domestika has a strong presence in Spain, and although it’s best for upgrading your skills, you can reach out to other members easily.
The Domestika community is primarily made up of creative professionals, including graphic designers, illustrators, photographers, animators, and other artists. Many of the members are highly experienced and skilled in their respective fields, making this a great place to learn from others, collaborate on projects, and find inspiration for your own work.
To join the Domestika community, hit the “sign up” button on the homepage. Once registered, you can participate in community forums, share your projects, ask for feedback, or discuss industry trends and news. But to get the most out of Domestika, enroll in a course to learn new skills and connect with fellow students.
Yes, there are some people still on Facebook! Digital Nomads Spain is one of the most popular expat freelance communities with 39,000 members. Bear in mind that we are talking about Facebook here, so there’s no guarantee of accuracy and there’s a lot of self-promotion, but it is a great resource to get to grips with Spanish freelance life.
The Digital Nomads Spain group is home to a diverse group of freelancers from various fields, including tech, marketing, writing, design, and more. Unlike Xolo’s Slack channels, Digital Nomads Spain is more of a content soup, with people posting rental ads, questions about moving to Spain, event ideas, and much more in one place. This means you often have to sift through a lot of information to get posts that are relevant to you.
It couldn’t be easier to join Digital Nomads Spain. Just head to their Facebook page, click “Join Group”, and you’re in.
Now for the left-field addition to the list. The AskSpain subreddit is a far-reaching Reddit that focuses on answering questions related to living, working, and traveling in Spain. While not specifically tailored to freelancers, this bilingual subreddit is great for finding out things like why everything closes at 2 p.m. and can provide invaluable information and insights for expat freelancers adjusting to life in the country. By engaging with the community, you can learn about local customs, job opportunities, and practical tips for navigating the Spanish freelancing landscape.
The r/AskSpain has a diverse membership, including locals, expats, travelers, and even other freelancers who have successfully integrated into the Spanish market. Among a lot of politicized responses, NSFW language, and in-jokes, you can find some real pearls of wisdom. However, r/AskSpain really comes into its own for understanding the confusing bits of Spain and asking burning questions to a large audience.
It’s fairly easy to join r/AskSpain:
The moderators at r/AskSpain recently launched a sister page called r/GoingToSpain, which focuses more specifically on visas, immigration, and vacations.
One of the stalwarts of the international freelancing community, UpWork is still one of the biggest freelance communities in Spain. More a job platform than a social group, we’ve included it on our list because as a freelancer, you’ve got the world at your fingertips — just make sure you get your invoices right for foreign clients. UpWork also offers a community aspect through its forums, where expat freelancers in Spain can learn about the platform's best practices, find job opportunities, and connect with fellow self-employed workers in their area.
On UpWork, you can find freelancers from a wide range of industries and skill levels, from beginners to seasoned professionals. But a word of advice: while you have seemingly limitless job opportunities, you also have a lot of competition. Furthermore, there are some cowboys out there who will try to scam you, so report them when you can. That said, in general, it’s a great platform with good intentions.
To join the UpWork community, you need to sign up for an account and create a freelancer profile. Once registered, you can access the UpWork forums, where you can participate in discussions, ask questions, and share your experiences with other freelancers.
Communities are important, that’s for sure.
But why not combine your community with an all-in-one business platform that sets the stage for your solo life?
Alongside one of the best freelance communities for expats in Spain, you’ll get:
🧑🏫 Access to a team of accountancy experts
⌨️ Automatically generate and send invoices
✉️ Free quarterly tax returns by our team of accountants
I mean… what could be better?
Find out what all the fuss is about by signing up to Xolo today and taking the stress out of your freelance admin.
James McKenna has been a freelancer since 2017, working in subtitling, translation, and his main passion — writing. He loves nothing more than falling down a rabbit hole, a habit that has helped him specialize in areas as diverse as biotech, climate change, higher education, and business strategy.
Based in Barcelona, James learned the ropes the hard way, making mistakes that turned into valuable learning experiences. After working hard to establish himself, he is now working smart, and is always on the lookout for ways to streamline his business.