08 Aug 2017

Partnerships and Networking

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Business Networking will bring prosperity and expansionWhen you are a solopreneur, which means a single person running a business, everything that needs to be done can be more than a little overwhelming at times. You do the promotion and the marketing, create and deliver the products, do the books, invoice, and even keep the office clean.

In my business, I’ve split the day up between promotion and marketing, production and administration.

  • Promotion and marketing – 25% to 50%
  • Production – 25% to 50%
  • Administration – 10%

When there is less income, I spend more time on promotion and marketing. When there is plenty of paying jobs in the pipeline, then I need to produce the services I’ve sold, which means promotion and marketing must slow down to give me time to do the work.

That’s the life of a freelancer – a solopreneur.

One of the most important tools of any business of any size is networking – but more than just networking to find referrals. It’s just as important to find partners.

What is a partner? Another business that works with you to expand what you (and they) can get done.

For example, a writer might partner with a marketing company. The writer writes copy for the marketing company, and the marketing company in turn helps promote the writer. Another partnership might be a graphics artist who partners with a writer – the writer write the copy and the graphics artist designs the materials.

Partnerships can be formal (contractual) or informal. In either case, I’ve learned through hard experience that any agreements need to be in writing. If you agree to provide some services to a partner i exchange for something, that agreement must be written down. Otherwise, it is subject to interpretation and misunderstanding. That can cause partnerships to fail.

A partnership doesn’t have to be complicated. For example, I can write a guest blog article for another blog, and they in turn write one for mine. That’s a very simple partnership. Expanding a bit, we could write a series of articles on each other’s blogs, include links and advertisements to each other’s sites, and even be interviewed in each other’s podcasts. The possibilities are endless.

The point is in this type of networking the idea is to find people and businesses to work together with instead of looking for referrals.

So, while you are pounding the pavement, networking and looking for referrals, keep your eyes open for partners. Working together with others, you can expand your ability to get things done by several times.


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