Friday, May 2, 2014

Understanding Collaborations, Partnerships, and Subcontracting (Part 1)

Being an advocate of freelancing, I'm all for doing anything reasonable that would cause fewer "dry spells" for workers, or at least, shorten every dry spell. In this article series, I'll talk about how freelancing professionals can make good money out of (a.) collaborations; (b.) partnerships, and (c.) subcontracting.

To illustrate, take a look at the following:
  • There are event organizers who capitalize on making memorable events like proms and weddings as cost-effective as possible, so they hire freelance photographers or videographers.
  • With so many online businesses sprouting over the Internet, the need for a website and blog has never been greater. And with free blog hosting sites like Blogger and WordPress and the social media site Facebook, the demand for SEO copywriters, graphic designers, and social media specialists has never been greater. 
  • Nowadays the term "director" is not limited to those who shoot blockbusters and aspiring filmmakers. There are bloggers who need video clips that last anywhere between 60 to 90 seconds to as long as 10 minutes. A great number of bloggers find it relevant to upload videos to increase their chances of making a sale.
  • There are companies and firms that may find it necessary to downsize and hire freelancers to reduce costs.
If you find yourself with an invitation to team up or collaborate with a professional or an entire group of workers, or take on a job as a subcontractor, first you have to know what's at stake. Consider the following:
  • You may not be able to set your rates if you agree to work on a commission basis, so carefully assess whether your skills and time are worth the pay. 
  • If you're teaming up with another working professional or group of professionals, where the tasks will most likely be divided, will it also translate to the profits being equally divided? Don't hesitate to communicate what and how much you expect, and have a written contract drawn up where everyone involved can agree and sign. If possible, have a copy of your price quote handy.
  • With subcontracting, you have to understand that although you can set higher rates if the company only gives a rough time frame, you will not receive any benefits from the company, since you're a freelancer and not an employee. And even if the company may be well-known, they may require you to keep all transactions confidential. That means you cannot ask for a testimonial from them to give your marketing strategy a boost. You also have to be aware of your right not to grant them full copyright if all your fees have not been settled.

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