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Taking on projects from time to time, I often wonder whether the scope of these projects would be better suited for two freelancers or even a team. Would you team up with other freelancer to increase income, get access to more interesting projects, and share knowledge to develop your careers? Do you have experience with working in freelancer teams instead of going solo? What other reasons are there to team up?

Super curious to hear your stories, especially since I am looking into this space more closely and even thinking about building some kind of community myself to connect great teams with exciting projects.

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As a freelancer you take a lot of risks for hopefully more money. It's best not to rely on others.

I work with other freelancers occasionally, but I either employ them for my project, or they employ me for theirs. Either way someone is running the show and responsible for it. Many consultancies work like this, they take on bigger projects and hire all the freelancers for it.

If someone employs another freelancer and myself for a single project, I always make sure my role and responsibilities are clearly defined, so I'm not responsible for the other person. Freelancing is not about sharing knowledge and furthering each others careers, it's about making money as efficiently as possible.

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  • You make good points. My counter point view is that I participate in an umbrella company of about 10 people I have known for many years. We use an umbrella company, Engineering Designs & Innovations (EDI) to pass around work or share work when appropriate. These people are all people I have known for many years and trust.
    – edt11x
    Sep 8, 2022 at 18:13
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This is a difficult thing, but after you have' reputation' with a client, and he knows you are expert in some things, the client may be open to you taking senior responsibility for a job and you involve another freelancer. The big problems that you 'The principal Freelance' must take and hold and offer the Public Liability Insurance and the Professional Liability Insurance for BOTH freelancers to client. You need to get an indemnity that the Junior freelancer names you on his insurance, so you can get recompense where it is his fault, but the client will draw on yours.

This works, but only with clients who already know you and trust you.

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Teams are great if they are constructed properly.

For example... 5 "full stack" developers team up.. this can be rather pointless. Sure you all can take on more work and perhaps get an extra pair of hands when you are struggling with something. However, it's all the same work each individual would be doing without a team. The only benefit here is perhaps volume and some work support. But everyone still needs to hunt down clients, deal with them, etc. There's no back and forth between team members beyond occasional project support because each freelancer will be working on their own client's projects.

A team constructed of developers, each with a unique expertise, can be a bit better - but still not quite "fabulous". If you have a "php guy", a "javascript guy", a "Ruby guy" etc that can help a bit. But in my experiences developers don't really focus heavily on one particular language. They all try to know everything as much as they can. You're kind of hard pressed to find a "php guy" that doesn't also understand javascript, etc.


A good freelance "team" involves construction the team with freelancers that have different skill sets. If you expand the areas of expertise, you expand the possible client poole and in turn the possibilities for more robust and better clients.

As an example... a great team...

  • A Marketing specialist
  • A Project Manager
  • A Graphic Designer
  • A Writer
  • A Web Developer

This is a stunning team to build that can keep you fed for years and years.

The point is when the Marketing Specialist has a client in need of design services, they contact the designer... when the Project Manager needs webdev they contact the designer and developer. When the developer needs a new page layout, they contact the designer, when the design has a client wanting to do a mailing they contact the Marketing Specialist, etc.

They are all symbiotic relationships. Each doing their part to support the others and in this way a "team" can be very, very, beneficial.

The goal is to think of a project from inception to completion and try and formulate a team of freelancers who each handle a unique aspect of that project workflow. There's a gold.


Related: How can experienced contractor survive outside Elance/oDesk/Freelancer?

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