I had lunch with a dozen other freelance writers last week. We each shared where we were at in our freelance journey and the types of writing we were doing. Some of us were meeting for the first time and others have been connected for awhile. It was a whole lot of fun and the place was filled with energy. We’ll be doing it again soon and continue in the future.
One of the ladies briefly touched on the subject of competition. It was in the context of a comment she had received from her husband. She had been sharing some of her sources for freelance work with a friend who was just getting started. Her husband asked why she was “helping her competition.” Her response was similar to mine when I’ve been asked a similar question, she didn’t see her friend as competition since there is such an unlimited market for freelance writers and such a wide spectrum of opportunties.
Just this week I was contacted by a magazine looking for writers. I could easily provide the types of articles they are needing, but I knew plenty of other writers who could use the opportunity and could provide articles that were more specific to their target audience. So far I’ve provided the magazine with eight different articles, but I haven’t written any of them. I’ll get mine in there too, but it’s not as big of a deal for me to get an article published as it is for some of these other writers. I’m excited for them!
Doesn’t seem like a very good way to do business does it? But it is exactly this type of networking with other writers that has helped me build a freelance writing business that not only supports me but provides income to several other writers as well.
I don’t see other freelance writers as my competitors but as my colleagues. Every writer has different strengths and different goals. When we share our resources and knowledge with each other we all become better at what we do. When I see opportunities for UK writers I shoot them off in emails to my writer friends in the UK; they’ve done the same for me with US only projects. But I do the same with my writer friends that live in my home town (right after I get done with sending in my own application or proposal).
Getting rid of competitors is really just a matter of changing your mindset. I have no competitors, only colleagues and teammates. It’s kind of like a swim team. Everyone is competing individually, but we’re all cheering for each other. Go team!!