I have an agreement with a friend of mine who happens to be a freelance web designer: when either of us takes on a project that requires the other’s skills, we automatically sub-contract to each other. I write copy for the websites he designs. He designs websites for the copy I write. I’ve got similar deals in place with other freelancers.
This arrangement has quite a few benefits: I don’t directly market to the clients that my friend does, but I still get projects from them. It allows me to go after projects in my target niche that wouldn’t otherwise be available — after all, if you want to write for websites, it helps for the client to have a website already in place for you to write for.
Who Can You Partner With?
It doesn’t matter what kind of writing you’re working on. There’s another freelancer out there who can help you in your niche (and vice versa). If you write articles for magazines, having a photographer who can go out to interviews with you can win over an editor on a project. Think about the potential partners you know:
- Graphic Designers
- Website Designers
- Software Developers
Setting Up Your Partnership
Your partnership doesn’t need to be anything more than an informal agreement that, when you can, you’ll send projects to your partners (and they’ll send them back). You’ll run into situations where you don’t have much choice in who will be handling certain aspects of a project — your client may already have a web designer in mind — or you may find that your friend isn’t the best choice for every project. Keeping it informal will let you have a little more flexibility.
Just because the arrangement isn’t formal, though, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t mention it. Your partnership can be a very useful tool when it comes to winning over clients: after all, you can offer them more than your writing abilities right off the bat. You can, and should, make your partnerships with other freelancers a part of your marketing plan. Mention your partnerships on your website, perhaps along with the services you offer on your own.
You can also use your partnerships to jump start your other marketing efforts: on social networking sites, you and your partners can promote each other even if you’re new to the freelancing game. For instance, if you’ve teamed up your technical writing skills with a software developer, trading recommendations on LinkedIn can help you both to find new clients.
Have you teamed up with other freelancers? How did it go?
Just joining us? Check out where we started with Setting Your Goals!