When you go into business, it’s so easy to view everyone in the same line of work as you as “the enemy”. It’s understandable – you are technically competing for clients after all.
However, getting shut of this competitive attitude can actually work in your favour in a lot of ways. In this post, we’ll be showing you the positives that come with being a bit less competitive and more open to networking with other freelancers.
If you are growing your business and finding you have zero free time left at the end of the day, maybe it’s time to hire some help.
Freelancers are an invaluable resource to help you complete tasks that take time and energy out of your day. They can free you up to spend more time on client work, increasing your capacity to take more on and therefore earn more. It’s a win-win really.
They can also help with one-off jobs like website or logo design where you might lack experience. Once you’ve thrown work their way, try to keep in touch as they might do the same for you one day.
There’s strength in numbers! Think of the competition as a business opportunity instead of just another rival. If you can find another freelancer to team up with, you can share the load and help each other out.
Many freelancers partner up with others who have different skill sets. For example, a writer and a photographer may partner up. The writer can create blog posts and the photographer can produce high quality images to go along with them.
Both sets of skills increase the value of the service collectively which means they can charge premium rates.
Decrease your stress
The moment you see other freelancers as competitors and start comparing yourself, your stress levels are going to shoot up.
This happens to everyone in business at some point and it does no one any good. There’s always going to be someone more successful but those people may have had very different circumstances or have simply been at this longer than you have.
Comparing yourself to the greats is just going to set yourself up for disappointment. Instead learn what you can from them.
Stress is bad news for anyone, but particularly for freelancers who work alone and have only themselves to determine the success or failure of their business. You can end up driving yourself crazy with only negative thoughts to keep you company.
Learn don’t compare
If you’re caught in a negative cycle of comparing yourself, you’re going to miss out on this key opportunity – to learn from those further ahead than you. Following on from the previous point, there are going to be people better at this than you and that’s okay. Those people were in your position thinking exactly the same thing about their idols at some point.
What separates those who fail from those who get ahead is the willingness to learn from others, accept that their freelance business is a working progress and work on it relentlessly.
There are plenty of freelancers out there willing to offer the expertise through free and paid for online courses. So, take them up on their offer!
Share the burden
Freelancing is hard work, no matter what stage of the business you’re at. Who better to understand your burden than another freelancer?
A common complaint freelancers have is that the non-freelancers in their lives don’t really understand how hard their job is. They’ll misunderstand the level of free time you have or assume you’re unemployed. This can leave freelancers, particularly those who work at home, feeling a bit like they’re on their own.
Luckily, there are plenty of freelancers out there willing to network, discuss problems and share advice with others online. Join forums, Facebook groups, Reddit threads – whatever helps you feel supported and listened to.
Protect your reputation
When the competitive urge settles in, it’s easy to get carried away and even get a bit nasty. However, all this does is damage your reputation.
If you’re posting sly comments or social media posts against other freelancers online, people are just going to think you’re difficult to work with. Plus, anything you post online has sticking power that could come back up to bite you. It solves nothing and helps no one. Be supportive instead and enjoy that same support from others.
Do you work with other freelancers? Have you struggled with comparing yourself? Please let us know your thoughts below.