You’ve heard over and over again (in my blog posts and from those featured in the Freelancer Spotlight) the importance of making connections online and getting to know fellow freelancers.
But you still may be wondering why, exactly, this can be good for your business. There are so many reasons, one of which I want to cover in detail today.
The quick and dirty list of benefits to connecting with other freelancers:
- It helps with those lonely days working from home.
- It helps you get your name out and be seen by more people.
- It opens you up to potential referrals from your colleagues or people outside of your industry. More referrals. More money in the bank.
- It helps inspire you to do bigger and better things by seeing what others are accomplishing.
- You’ll have more people supporting you and sharing your work/blog posts/other stuff.
But today I want to talk about one benefit in particular…
Creating Partnerships & Collaborations
I had so much fun going through the responses from my recent FTFP survey, and I was surprised to see that a lot of freelancers are looking for partners to stop doing the parts of their work they don’t like as much. A lot of responses were also about needing new ways to bring in new clients.
Both of these issues can be easily solved through creating partnerships or collaboration.
Let’s talk details.
Collaborations To Offer More To Your Clients Without Having To Do It All
A lot of potential customers like the idea of a one-stop shop. They may not know the difference between a web designer, developer, copywriter and online marketer. When they land on a site offering website packages- they may be thinking that it will all be included. Or, they understand it’s four different specialties, but they would certainly be more inclined to purchase if they could get it all done in one place.
Yet, you don’t want to be an agency. You may be just starting out and you don’t even know what that means, really. Plus, you like working for yourself, by yourself, and the only addition you would consider adding would be a virtual assistant.
I know a lot of people that are great with code and not so great with design. Or visa versa. There is absolutely no reason why you can’t do just one or the other. This is an ideal place for collaborations to happen.
Reach out to some designers and ask them if they’d be interested in doing the design portion of your projects. There are tons of freelancers who only do one or the other and are known to collaborate ( Sarah Lewis of WP Moxie is a great example of someone to connect with if you want to offer web & graphic design services, but don’t want to code).
If you’re in another industry- take some time to think about what you don’t like doing in your business, where a collaboration may be helpful.
Adding Things To Your Packages From Other Freelancers
Being able to add more value to your packages by bringing on other freelancers, could make a huge difference in why a potential client chooses you over someone else.
A great example of this is Ellen Ercolini, Money Making Expert Biz Coach . She offers a Signature Services Package where she does the strategy work and also offers 2 copy written pages as part of her package, for which she brings on her favorite copywriter (another freelancer) to provide.
Benefits of these kinds of collaboration:
- Allow you to offer your clients more of a one-stop shop kinda feeling, while keeping your business nice and small.
- Allows you to create more complete packages.
- Makes you look a little more professional, because you’ve got partners, yo. Lawyers get to have partners (and it’s apparently a big deal), and we can too.
- More opportunity for work because potential clients will be coming to you from both your efforts and your “partners”.
- Allows you to focus on what you do best, and what you like doing the most.
Collaborations for More Clients & Referrals
Think about what services are closely linked to the ones you provide, and start connecting with freelancers who offer those services.
If you are a copywriter, reach out to some web designers or VAs or ebook creators and see if there is some kind of collaboration you can put into place.
Their clients likely need your service, and visa versa. It’s just referral business when it comes down to it. But it is much better for you both, as well as your clients, to find someone you can trust to constantly refer to. Obviously when you’re reaching out- you want to create a real connection first. (Read more on how to create real online connections here)
Collaborations To Create Ebooks or Courses
I’ve been wanting to write an ebook or create a big course for quite some time….but I just kept putting it off. Then, a friend, coach and colleague of mine (that I’ve never met in person by the way, only online) mentioned to me this great idea she had and was wondering if it was something I’d be interested in. Duh!
What a great way to get my ass into gear and actually get something out into the world, instead of just sitting in procrastination doubt land.
Do you have an idea for a new project, service, course, etc, that you just haven’t gotten around to starting? Maybe it could be something great for a collaboration.
Besides procrastination, there are quite a few other benefits to collaborating on this kind of project:
- Your project will get a lot more visibility, being exposed to both your partner and your audiences.
- YOU will be more exposed to another audience (theirs). New audience, new followers, new potential clients.
- More motivation to actually get it done. When you have someone else counting on you, you are much more likely to get to work! Accountability. I’m tellin’ you, it works.
- Less self-doubt and confusion. Two minds working together is a great way to put the best work out there. Brainstorming is a lot less stressful when you have someone else’s input.
- It’s just simply way more fun to work on something with someone else than it is by yourself. Or maybe it’s just me that’s actually missing that part of corporate life, but I have a suspicion most freelancers do.
So there you have it, some ways for you to start considering collaborations as part of your freelance business model. I’m so excited for this year ahead, because of the collaborations I’m starting to put in place. So why not give it a try?
I’d love to know, in what areas would you like to collaborate? Let me know in the comments and maybe there is someone else reading this that could be a perfect match!