Another person or business providing the same service as you is competition right? Not necessarily in the freelancing world.
In fact, according to a study from Freelancers Union, 81% of freelancers actually help fellow freelancers out by referring work to them. This dispels the myth that you should shun others as the competition.
Working with and hiring other freelancers
The survey revealed that 52% of freelancers team up on projects, do work for other freelancers or hire freelancers themselves.
While freelancing is mostly solo work, it doesn’t have to be. Many freelancers now hire others to complete work they don’t have the time or will to do. For example, a freelance web designer might hire a writer to write website content.
A freelance consultant might hire a virtual assistant to organise their schedule and answer calls.
There are many benefits to hiring other freelancers. The first one is that they’re generally cheaper than hiring an agency to take care of tasks you assign. There’s also the element of flexibility. You can hire as and when needed, just like clients do with you.
Why helping each other out is best
Instead of trying one-up each other, it’s much easier to get ahead if you help each other up. Collectively shouting about the value of freelancers and impressing the businesses you work with can be beneficial for the freelancing community as a whole.
Alienating yourself from other freelancers could mean you’ll struggle to navigate your way through difficulties. Joining a network and helping others out can be an invaluable resource for when times get tough and you need advice of your own.
This could mean interacting over social media, sharing each other’s blog posts or helping each other out when a problem occurs. Guest posting is also a popular thing to do in the freelancing community. It helps out two websites and whoever is reading.
Freelancers Union, who ran the study, is a great resource to help freelancers out with essential information and tips, written by other freelancers who have been there, done that.
Some freelancers have gone one step further and created a side business to their freelancing where they help other freelancers get ahead. They share insightful blog posts, create tutorials and sell courses. Take a look at Elna Cain and Creative Revolt for examples.
Networking is key to developing solid business relationships so that you don’t have to spend so much time and effort chasing potential clients. By not networking with fellow freelancers you could be missing out on leads and partnerships that could elevate your business.
Do you work with other freelancers? What tips would you give to those thinking about networking in the freelancing community? Please share your thoughts in the comments.