How to Succeed in Freelancing: Say No to Solo

How to Succeed in Freelancing: Say No to Solo

This is the fifth and final post in a special five-part series on using the magic of yes and no to earn more money, better clients and work you really love to do. Click here to read the other articles in the series:

Then sit back and enjoy today’s post on how to get even more out of your freelance business than you thought possible. You’ll be taking your freelance career to the next level in no time.

Remember Joe? That guy you referred a client to? The freelancer who thinks you’re awesome because you sent him some work? Joe’s a great guy. You like what he does – that’s why you thought of him as a good referral for your rush customer in the first place. He seems like someone you might even enjoy working with more often.

So why aren’t you?

Building relationships with other freelancers – even the competition – is very handy to helping you improve your business. Working with other people opens up vast potential and plenty of windows to better opportunities. Here are a few:

When you have too much work, you can offload it to willing hands and get some breathing room. When you don’t have enough work, you can ask if these people have something you can help them out with. If you ever decide to take a break to work on a project or to get some much-needed rest, good freelancers like Joe could take over other projects you have on the go for a week or two.

You don’t have to put your business on hold and lose money. And you get to take care of yourself.

There are other benefits to networking and getting to know other freelancers. For example, you might discover that Joe prefers one type of work and you prefer another, even if you offer the same services or products. Joe might be a fair hand at design, but he likes coding better. You might be pretty good at coding, but you rock at design. Use this to your advantage. Team up. Let Joe take on all the coding that goes into a project while you work on the design side of things.

Each of you does more of what you love and less of what you don’t. Your clients think you’re a pretty awesome team, because now you can really rock out each assignment and deliver them some seriously great results.

You’ll enjoy praise from people who hire you, an increased level of customer satisfaction, faster turnaround on projects, less work you don’t like and more of the kind you love. You also benefit from tapping into Joe’s client base, which effectively doubles yours.

Want an added bonus of teaming up? You can create joint venture projects, ones that you develop and build together, and then split the profits you earn from sales. Each of you contributes your specialty, your time, and your labor to its success.

For example, if you’re a great writer and Joe’s a fantastic ebook designer, create an info product or a course. Launch a new website. Develop a new service. Whatever you decide to do, you benefit from each other’s skill sets, experience, knowledge, marketing efforts and much more. You’ll also be able to take a great idea to reality much faster than if you were to work on it alone.

It’s easy to find people you could team up with. Look around at the people you chat with on a regular basis. You have social media friends, people you’ve met on blogs, your chat buddies or people you see regularly on forums. You might even find team-potential colleagues in the clients you’ve worked with in the past.

What? You don’t have any of these people around you? Here’s how you get them: Visit blogs and start commenting regularly. Have conversations with other commentators. Sign up for Twitter or Facebook and start talking to freelancers you like. They’re nice people, and they already know the value of building relationships, so they’ll answer you back. You can even send an email just to say hi. Compliment their work and get the ball rolling.

And as you come to know these people more, ask yourself questions about them. Do they have particular skills that you feel would benefit your business? Do they seem like people you’d trust for quality work and reliable delivery? Do they have clients who really like working with them? Do they have a strong reputation for a job well done?

If the answer is yes, then you just might have the beginning of a beautiful relationship on your hands.

So there you have it – how to use the secrets of yes and no to build yourself a better business. You can set boundaries, create a better schedule, get some extra help, earn more money and gain free time to build an even better business than you have now. Oh, and you’ll have gained clients, respect, recognition and friendships along the way.

You’re on your way to the top. And all it took were those two little magic words.

Post by James Chartrand

James Chartrand is an expert copywriter and the owner of Men with Pens and Damn Fine Words, the game-changing writing course for business owners. She loves the color blue, her kids, Nike sneakers and ice skating.

Join the Discussion. Click Here to Leave a Comment.

  1. James,

    This one is a lesson you never stop learning. 1+1=3 times the quality and usually 3 times the quantity, too. Most of my team have been found offline because of the kind of work I do and the kind of person I am, but lately I’m looking into online help as well, and a couple of little forays have turned out well.

    The best thing about it is feeding off each other’s brains. Somebody sees things in a slightly different way and you’re all off to the races again, coming up with solutions that never would have come about any other way. I love that.

    There is an awful lot of No going on here this week, but I like how it all adds up to Yes. Nice series!


    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..How To Lose Customers, a Mini-Rant =-.

  2. Hi James,

    If I had not teamed up with another designer, I’m certain I’d be out of business by now. Together, we critiqued each other’s work, resulting in a superior product for our clients. Each of us brought a different skill to the design table. We even passed work to each other.

    I help my clients find their fearless difference. Once you know that, you’ll stop fearing the competition. Everyone has something only they can bring to the table. Find that, and you’ll find your audience.

    Thx, Giulietta

  3. Teaming up is my favorite way to leverage my time and talent in order to create bigger and better things. Working solo is boring and much less efficient.
    .-= Nathan Hangen´s last blog ..Product Value Part 2: Emotional Appeals and Treating Her Right =-.

  4. This is exactly what I’ve done. I hate designing and don’t offer those services, but for some odd reason, I get plenty of requests for design work. So I’ve surrounded myself with several designers in different price points that we can juggle work back and forth. They get more clients from me to design and then they send them back to me to code.
    .-= Amber Weinberg´s last blog ..Are Open Source Apps Always Better? =-.

  5. I Like this. It’s pretty much what I have been working on for last few weeks to help other bloggers grow their traffic.

    One thing that you don’t really mention is that you can give a better the clients a better service and hence charge more for a ‘one stop shop’

  6. A-B-C: Always be connecting!
    .-= Jason Pelker´s last blog ..Freelancers Should Use Retainers to Remove the Guessing From Project Estimates =-.

  7. I think it’s important that co-authors/collaborators have good synergy for the specific project. I co-authored a hiking guide that was basically a division of labor (it was more than I wanted to do alone), although my co-author also provided some kick-ass photos.
    .-= John Soares´s last blog ..Capturing and Keeping Your Freelance Writing Ideas =-.

  8. A lot of head definitely is better than one. Teamwork wins in most cases but there are times you want to do work alone.
    .-= clickonportal´s last blog ..Liar Game: Where You have to Cheat to Win =-.

  9. This is a great way to do business. I’m not a freelancer as such but we do something similar in the hotel business. If our hotel is full, we will refer people to other luxury hotels in the area and visa versa.

  10. Stephen says:

    I really enjoyed reading this mini-series of entries. I was wondering whether you have written, know of, or might write a piece on becoming a freelancer. I am specifically thinking about some of the following questions:

    * In today’s poor job market, how does becoming a freelancer compare with searching for a “real” job?
    * How does being a freelancer compare to having a “real” job?
    * Can a freelancer get the same benefits (e.g. health coverage) as a corporate employee?
    * Obviously there are some advantages, but is it necessary to be an experienced professional before becoming a freelancer?
    * How might a relatively recent college graduate, who has not yet had significant work inside their field of training or interest, get started as a freelancer? (thinking about how they have no past clients, no professional references…)
    * What kinds of work are freelancer-friendly, other than writing, web design, and coding?
    * How important is it for a new freelancer to have their own business? (separate legal entity, thinking of both formality/professionalism and personal liability).

    I have a few friends (admittedly in Michigan) who have had trouble finding consistent employment over the past year and some, so I have been looking for something I could suggest to them other than reducing their compensation to minimum-wage levels and job targets to “flipping burgers”. Thanks for the insight you have provided into the world of freelancing!

  11. One of the greatest pet peeves of freelancing is isolation. I believe you made a lot of sense, James. Just because you’re working by yourself doesn’t mean you can’t team up in the virtual world. There is definitely strength in numbers. Thanks for the insights!
    .-= Issa´s last blog ..Bridging the Gap =-.


  1. […] Pens do it all, writing, web design, graphic design and blog about freelancing. Recent posts like: How to Succeed in Freelancing: Say No to Solo, 5 Surefire Ways to Get Freelancing Clients When You’re Just Starting Out and The Secrets of a […]

  2. […] do it all.  Writing, web design, graphic design and blog about freelancing. Recent posts like: How to Succeed in Freelancing: Say No to Solo, 5 Surefire Ways to Get Freelancing Clients When You’re Just Starting Out and The Secrets of a […]

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