While preparing my WordCamp US talk, I started thinking about the ways that I’ve worked together with other people in the WordPress community.
As a freelancer, I work in solitary confinement in my home office (membership to a co-working space is on the wishlist!), and I don’t often get to collaborate with other people. When I worked in a “real job,” I used to love participating in brainstorming sessions with other people in a conference room, and one of the only downsides to freelancing is missing the energy and creativity that happens when sparking off other people.
Solo freelancers like me need to seek out other ways of working together with other people whose knowledge complements their own.
I do work on some projects that require connection and collaboration with other freelancers, and I honestly believe that these have helped me to embrace my WordPress mediocrity. And furthermore, these projects have always been more fun to work on, and the end result is always way better than i could have achieved on my own.
Why is this so?
Well, effective communication and brainstorming always yields better results than going it alone. Generally, creativity does not happen in a vacuum, and the cracks in your knowledge can be complemented by someone else’s knowledge.
However, it’s not always easy to find others to work with, especially if you’re in the aforementioned home office situation.
To help you out, here’s a short list of ways to meet potential collaborators:
- Put yourself out there – Do you have a blog? Some Twitter followers? A Facebook page? Are you a member of a business group, whether in real life or on Facebook? Make it known that you want to work with others, and what you have to bring to the table. You never know who might be looking for someone just like you.
- Start small – If you already have a project that you need extra help on, outsource the work to someone who looks promising. If it works out well on that job, try another. And so on.
- Contribute – Do you work with WordPress? There are many ways that you can contribute to the WordPress project. Check out make.wordpress.org and see where your skills fit in. This is large-scale collaboration, but a great place to get your toes wet.
Can you think of any more? Leave a comment to let me know!