One way to expand your freelance writing business is to form relationships with other writers and related freelancers to handle bigger projects in a collaborative effort. Not only does it add a new revenue stream to your business, but collaboration also alleviates some of the loneliness you might feel always working from home.
Yet, just like any other project, a collaborative one has its own set of risks and rewards, so let’s take a look at some tips you can use to ensure everyone has a positive experience.
Choose a spokesperson
No matter if it’s just you and another writer, or if you’re part of a four-person team, decide on who will act as the spokesperson with the client. This is important because clients invariably like to speak with one person with a “quick” question, and it doesn’t always get communicated to the rest of the team. With a single spokesperson, you can be sure that information is communicated back and forth efficiently, and nothing gets lost.
Inform the client about the collaboration
When a client chooses to work with you, it’s because of your skills and experience. So if you’re going to be partnering with a collaborator, you must let the client know up front. That way, if they’re unhappy with anything or something different happens than what they were expecting, they know why.
Decide on handoffs and workflows before the first project
This is crucially important, especially if it’s just you and another person. You might think that it’ll be easy to hand work back and forth when it’s only two of you, but remember, you’re both juggling multiple clients. It’s important to know who’s doing what and when so you can be assured the work is being handled on time when you’re not actively working on it.
This includes whether you’ll use an online project management tool like Trello or Asana, or whether a shared calendar in Google is good enough.
Create a statement of work or project outline
A statement of work (SOW) or project outline is vital for a collaborative project since it sets expectations for the project up front. Everyone, from the client to your collaborator, knows what’s expected of them and when. It prevents scope creep, which can often happen with clients, and keeps collaborators on track, so they’re not delivering more than promised.
Decide on the financial terms up front
Ideally, the client will be paying only one of the collaborators, so it’ll be up to you to decide on how to split the payment afterward. But it’s crucial to decide on both things before you start the project, again, to set expectations for everyone.
Multiple payments will mean multiple transaction fees, so you may want to consider building in the added fees into the project estimate.
Collaborating with another freelance writer or specialist can be a great way to increase your income streams, get experience on a new kind of project, and relieve the loneliness you might feel as a freelancer. I try to collaborate on a project at least once a year to change things up.
Now, over to you. Have you collaborated with another freelancer on a project? Would you do it again? Let us know in the comments.