Partnering for Success – How I’ve Done It & You Can Too

As I’ve mentioned before, collaboration is essential to succeeding as a freelancer. I’ve been capitalizing on that idea a lot this week.

I recently networked with the folks at Dsgnr Unlimited, which offers, among a wide variety of other things, website hosting. In return for doing a few projects for them, they are helping me by hosting my site. Which leads directly into the next way that I am collaborating.

One of my dear friends is a web programmer. So last night I spent several hours on his couch while he helped me buy my own domain names (I bought and and began setting them up. At the moment there isn’t anything at my namesake website, but we started to set up – the content isn’t all set up over there, but eventually we’re going to transition from this free wordpress blog to a self-hosted blog running a wordpress blog (I’ll let you all know when it’s up and we’ll transition gradually… for at least a week or two I’ll be posting new content on both sites).

In the past I’ve worked with a graphic designer, trading a sales letter (the one included in my portfolio) for a few business card design ideas. The other thing I’m currently working on is doing guest posts on other blogs – hopefully to increase my exposure. On Monday, I’ll have a guest post up on Andrea Lewis’ blog, Hello. {Work}.

With the exception of my web programmer, who I’ve known since high school, all these connections were made in the last few months. So How did I do it?

Social Media – not facebook and not twitter, though I expect twitter will be useful for creating these kinds of relationships in the future (when I get it set up – I know, I know, how can I not have a personal twitter account yet?) – at least Andrea’s post on social media ROI certainly seems to suggest it can be. Mostly, I’ve used Brazen Careerist, which is still small enough to make real connections and via their network system set up it’s VERY easy to find people with similar and tangential interests. So, use social media, make connections.

Talk to people – As I mentioned in my last post, talking to a freelance art director and a freelance photographer I learned about a number of interested services. In addition to all the things I mentioned learning about in that post and how mutually beneficial it was, I gained a sense that I could do this – I am struggling in some ways, but after talking to two other freelancers (even though they are in other industries) I felt relieved that my obstacles were no bigger than anyone else’s.

Craig’s List – Yeah, believe it or not, applying for jobs on Craig’s List lead to the great opportunities I have with Dsgnr Unlimited. And that’s how I found the graphic designer who needed a sales letter. Don’t be afraid to response to a listing with, “I can do x, would you be willing to trade services?” – most of the people on CL are excited about the idea of doing something that they enjoy doing (ie. their business of choice) in exchange for getting what they need (ie. the services YOU offer, by choice).

Networking Events - While I STILL haven’t attended any of these, I’m planning on doing so. And I anticipate making a number of connections. With any luck, at least one new job will come from this! (My goal is to attend one event this month, but we’ll see – unfortunately, I have to travel to Fla. for work this month and that’ll take me out of commission for a while).

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