This guest post is by Megan Eckman, an artist, embroidery kit designer, and business partner of **Mutineer Designs **with her partner Jeffrey Opp, a photographer and designer. Ever since graduating art school, she has been running her own business, Studio MME and proving that artists can make a living from their work.
America is built on the ‘me’ culture and amid entrepreneurs there’s a new martyrdom for being a ‘solopreneur’. But doing everything yourself can actually hold your business back. Instead of saying, “I can do it all myself,” I want you to ask, “Who can I collaborate with?”
Collaboration among freelancers means you can set your goals higher and create something that would have otherwise been outside your abilities. Let’s face it, we aren’t all professionals in every computer program, web coding system, or industry. But there’s someone out there, probably someone already in your network, who can do exactly what you can’t. With their help, you can take your business to the next level and perhaps even free up more time for yourself.
What can you create through collaboration? Here are a few of my favorite examples:
1. Offer a joint service. Say you’re a graphic designer. You thrive on helping businesses really define and strengthen their brand through cards, posters, and packaging. Now what if you could offer your client a website that matched your work? Obviously they’d want it! So instead of adding to your workload, you can team up with a great, freelance web designer and offer your client a package deal. Christine Marie Studios takes this one step further and even offers access to a copy writer.
**2. Write a book. **Nowadays ebooks on starting your own freelancing business or learning a new skill are extremely popular. So why not team up with another freelancer to give an insider’s look at your industry and the tips you wish you’d had when you started out. Offer a look into the world of editorials and stock photography. Create and Thrive, a freelance business coach company recently joined with a photographer to create their own Product Photography Guide for their blog readers.
**3. Start a small side business. **My partner and I are actually guilty of this one. We’re both artists and by putting our strengths together, we’ve developed a lifestyle brand that blends a strong message with beautiful design. Alone, we wouldn’t be able to manage running two businesses but by spreading the workload, in addition to spreading our strengths to cover all the bases, we can take in some nice extra money.
Collaborating with another freelancer means that there’s always someone feeling excited and energized about what you’re doing. There’s always someone there to give you a pep talk, keep the work flowing, and push you harder.
Now, working with another freelancer can be tricky. It’s best to get to know the person before you dive into a venture. Collaboration can mean a 50/50 split of ideas, work, and profit or something more like 80/20. It all depends on what you’re creating. You can collaborate for something quite large and longlasting, such as creating a side business or new offering, or it can be something quite small and limited on a perproject basis. The possibilities are endless, as are the results.
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