How to collaborate with your fellow freelancers

As a freelancer, you're probably rather accustomed to working alone. Running your own schedule, setting deadlines, and making decisions without input from anybody else. However, the world of work is changing, and flying solo might not always be quite so commonplace. The COVID pandemic has had a significant impact on how business owners and employers treat budgets and recruitment.

How to Collaborate with Your Fellow Freelancers

With things looking uncertain, some may be reluctant to invest in permanent in-house employees when they can outsource to freelancers. Creating temporary collaborative teams on a project-by-project basis seems to make more sense for some businesses right now. Here we will look at how to collaborate with your fellow freelancers as told by Pandle

As a result, the world’s freelancers might be experiencing a shift towards co-working and team-based work. With this in mind, we’ve put together six simple tips to help you collaborate with fellow freelancers.

1. Do some research to make sure you’re compatible

You would never embark on any relationship with somebody you didn’t feel compatible with. If you have the choice, keep this in mind when it comes to picking out your professional allies.

Before working with somebody, do a bit of background research to find out more about them. Knowing their previous experience, their ethos, and who they are as a person, helps you understand if you’re likely to be able to work successfully with each other.

Of course, where the client is concerned, you might not always have your pick of the freelancers you work with. Unfortunately, in that case, it’s down to both (or all) of you to find some common ground, or simply remain civil and communicative within the professional capacity.

2. Make sure you’re all working from the same toolkit

When it comes to setting deadlines, managing projects, and communicating across different times and locations, collaboration tools are your best friend. They encourage communication and help clarify roles and responsibilities. Some tools we recommend include Slack, Zoom, Pandle and Trello to ensure your team operates as a well-oiled machine.

When working with people you know this might come more naturally, but when working alongside new faces, these tools are the perfect ‘Basecamp’. Which is actually the name of another great collaborative resource.

3. Draw up a contract that you can all sign 

When working with fellow freelancers, it’s good practice to treat them as you would treat a client requesting your services. An agreement that you’re both happy with helps you start off on the best possible terms, and protects you if they don’t do their bit.

It can be especially useful when it comes to exchanging money and giving credit for the work.

A mutual contract just ensures everyone knows what to expect so that you can be transparent with one another from the very start.

4. Make time for casual conversation too

You know what they say about all work and no play? The best collaborative efforts and professional relationships are built between people who also see eye-to-eye on a more personal level.

Take the time to interact casually and get to know each other better, then watch how this improves your rapport back ‘at the office’.

It counts as networking too – so they might get in touch if there’s a project they need you for.

5. Debrief, evaluate and feedback

Don’t just call it quits once the project has been fulfilled. Take some time afterwards, away from the client, to discuss the job.

The ideas and feedback that you share could help you improve your personal approach, and cement your working relationship.

6. Stay connected on social media

If you have been working alone until now, it’s time to start filling up your little black book of contacts.

If you enjoy working on a project with somebody or find that you worked really well with a certain team, make sure you stay in touch.

Share phone numbers and connect with each other on social media so that you always have a ready-made team at your fingertips should you need to call upon them.

Plus, building your social connections also gives you the opportunity to expand your support network. Having this network of likeminded professionals around you, sharing the same experiences and often going through the same struggles is an invaluable way to nurture yourself into becoming a more well-rounded expert in your field.