Freelance opportunities are built through making friends with other freelancers and sharing the load. As the year draws to a close I usually think about what things have really made it for me. This year without a doubt it has been a great year freelancing for me because of other freelancers.
No, really, it’s true. That absolute rot people will try to sell you about competing with each other for work or having your money torn away from you is just that, absolute rot.
It pays to make friends with your fellow freelancers if you are going to survive. Discover how befriending other freelancers grows you more freelance opportunities
Why be friends with the competition?
There are a couple of great reasons to befriend as oppose to alienate your fellow freelancers.
- You can’t do everything- so sometimes it helps to pair up, send your work to other people and give them something back. If you keep the work circulating in your circles, it’s not going anywhere else, you see?
- Temperaments and talents vary- only a goose says yes to jobs they can’t do. If you can’t work with someone due to a personality clash (it happens, trust me) or if you don’t quite have what the client needs, passing them on to someone else is better than stuffing the job up.
- We talk- if you want to be the lone gun slinger who slags other freelancers off to get jobs, be warned. The client pond is too small, the industry chatter too loud and us freelancers talk to each other…a lot. We talk about disagreeable freelancers to our clients and the industry publications. At networking events and to old workmates. Hell even my dog knows who are the jerks. Don’t be one of them, it just isn’t cool and it doesn’t do you any favours.
- Freelance opportunities come through great relationships. You can take the overflow of a busy freelancer, you can make yourself seem bigger for jobs and you can have people to help you when times are tough. A lot of freelance opportunities come from who you know. So being open and kind helps get you a lot more work than competing.
How can you befriend other freelancers?
Here are a couple of ways to make friends with your fellow freelancers and increase your freelance opportunities.
a) Offer mates rates: Making use of another freelancer’s skills at a reduced rate and offering the same back means we’re all giving back to each other.
b) Speak highly of them: Ryan from Bright Spark Creative is a much better photographer than I am. Kate Toon appears to have a spidey sense for SEO that can’t be beat. I have no problem admitting these things because its true and they do brilliant work.
c) Bring them in on jobs: I can’t build websites from scratch or create an App to save my life but I know freelancers who can. So I bring in the likes of Wasabi Creative makes my offering stronger.
d) Get social: Online and off, being social with freelancers really helps. We understand each other’s pain points and can learn from each other. Hang out on the Loop. OR Come to the Freelance Jungle. It’s back in January.
e) Share information: Let them know cool stuff you find. Give them a book if you think it would help. Create a moment just to have a chat. Be a share bear and watch the love flow.
f) Pitch together: If you think there is a client who needs some work done, pitch together. Nothing in the rule book says you should wait for the fish to land in the boat and pitching to a client as a combined force ala agency style (without the wank) is clever business.
g) Recommend them for work: There’s a little bit of Mafioso in me that loves the whole “I know a guy who knows a guy” routine. Being that person for a client AND for a fellow freelancer gets people doing the same thing for me.
h) Swap content: Guest blogging really works. Sharing eyeballs on their blog is great, so too are the SEO benefits. So if you like a freelancer, why not ask them to swap content with you?
Freelance opportunities grow when you open your mind
Making friends of fellow freelancers makes you usable connections and cold hard cash. Making enemies just makes you look a little bit…well…pathetic and unprofessional. Freelance life is tough enough without reducing your freelance opportunities and looking like an idiot.
So be a friend to your fellow freelancers!