Being a freelancer is a great way to work for a lot of designers and creatives. To be able to give your clients the best possible package though, you may have to look at doing things a bit differently. By considering to collaborate with other freelancers, you’ll have an even better chance to offer something great, along with getting more social in a job that often is quite lonely. Here are some of the reasons why working with others can be a great idea!
Being a freelancer means a lot of responsibility on your shoulders along with many “lonely” days at work. Being specialized in one field can definitely appeal to clients if you’re good at what you do, but today the ability to be versatile becomes more and more important. Clients know what they want and with all the designers and companies in the market, they can also afford to be a bit picky.
How to collaborate with others?
This can be done in different ways and you need to have a look at your options, who you know, who are available in your area and if they’re interested. A collaboration with other freelancers can mean to share office-space with them, have “unwritten” agreements on helping each other out with things you excel at and pointing clients in the direction of others when getting enquiries that involve projects that are a bit outside your comfort area.
Picture by Oliver Tam
The collaborations can be small or big depending on what you prefer. In many cases freelancers can take on bigger projects together, dividing parts of the work between them according to their different skills. As long as you’re able to find a way of billing and time-tracking that can be dealt with in a legal and correct way, you have many options.
Here are some reasons why you should consider working alongside other freelancers to get more clients by offering what they want!
Being able to compete better with bigger companies
Picture by Martin Boulanger
As companies with several designers also have more knowledge and a broader skill-range, collaborating can help you get up to that same level. This means that as you are more people doing the project, you can offer the skills and deadlines that usually are some of the benefits clients get when choosing to work with companies over freelancers.
A bit of the same as the first point. If you are a web designer collaborating with a freelance writer, graphic artist or photographer, you will most likely be able to offer the client a more complete package. Clients love it when they don’t have to look around for many different people to work with. If you have a deal with others you can simply tell the client that you’re able to also take the pictures for the website, design the logo and so on.
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You have your contacts, others have theirs. By working together you have a much bigger network and a whole lot more potential clients and projects just by sticking our heads together. This can give more clients, better deals and a broader network.
If you’re sharing office space with someone else it will eventually be cheaper. You’ll get to divide the rent, electricity bills and maybe even some of the equipment. This is not necessarily the main reason for choosing to do so, but definitely a great bonus, especially for those struggling economically.
Giving each other feedback
Picture by Laura Leavell
Getting feedback from others with similar skills can be great for you. This can help you becoming better at what you do and it never hurts to have someone to discuss different cases with. When you work completely alone it can feel easier to get a bit stuck sometimes. A fresh pair of eyes can do wonders to your work.
One of the top things that freelancers miss is the social part of working in a bigger company. Having someone to have a coffee with and to talk with in between all the hard work can be a very positive experience.
Leaving a more professional impression
Picture by Jan Willem Geertsma
In general this will help you come across as a lot more professional. Your clients will like the fact that you have others that can work with you and if you have an office together this usually will look way better than meeting clients on your sofa at home. Some times this can be what gets you chosen over other options.
Someone that’ll have your back
If you for some reason need to have an unexpected day off, if you can’t answer the phone or just need a bit of help with something, this can help you out a lot. When you have someone else around you that you trust you will feel safer when unexpected situations occur. Even if you’re your own boss and have your responsibility, you can feel less alone by having someone there. Just remember that it has to be both ways.
These points are all good reasons to at least consider working with others. This doesn’t necessarily have to mean sharing offices, it might as well be having someone you can call when needed. The ways of collaborating are many and you will need to find out what works the best for you. Some areas have office buildings meant for this purpose, so make sure to check out your area to see what possibilities that are available for you. Remember though, that you have to try pick people who you thing you will work well with and be prepared for giving back in every way you can. Think through these things and you will find out of this can be for you. There are pros and cons of everything and some things have to be tried out.
We’d love to hear your feedback. Maybe you have some experiences and tips to share as well?