Let’s face it: Freelancing can feel like floating on a rowboat in the middle of the ocean with no one else in sight. Your only social interactions are with birds that decide to stop by. But birds aren’t very chatty, so it’s up to you to find people to talk with. You have to make it a point to row your boat to the nearest island every so often.
However, there’s a new-but-not-new solution that you should look into — teamlancing. The movie industry has relied on it for years. Now freelancers have the opportunity to add it to their business.
Every freelancer can face isolation, especially if they work from the comfort of their home. Teamlancing involves working on — you guessed it — teams of people to get work done. Through teamlancing, you can collaborate with several different groups throughout the week, or keep it to one group. This collaboration can fill that need to work closely with others that many freelancers feel. Yet, you’ll still maintain the many benefits of freelancing, like working remotely and running your own business.
Keep reading for a primer on how teamlancing can help lonely freelancers work with others and add a collaboration into their days or weeks. Teamlancing is meant for anyone who needs a bit more team spirit in their workdays. No more one-person boat operation; now you can add to your crew.
The isolation of freelancing
It can be challenging to feel genuinely connected to others when you’re a freelancer. Whether you’re a writer, a designer, a coder, or going after another type of solo pursuit, you communicate with others mostly through chat or email. Much of your engagement with other people is written rather than verbal or in-person — especially now, during the pandemic.
This separation can cause you to feel disconnected from the world.
Plus, when you get to work, you often do it alone. Many freelancers and remote workers relish solitude, but too much of anything can be unhealthy. Loneliness can be twice as bad for our health as obesity, researchers say. Thus, freelancers must make it a point to include others in their work as much as they can.
Working from home plays a large part in feeling isolated, as well. After the pandemic lockdown, many companies are newly committing to making remote employees permanent. So working in isolation may not be a choice for some workers, even if they want to go into an office.
Luckily for you, teamlancing can be a part of the solution.
Teamlancing is a simple concept. It involves working with other creative individuals or groups to get a job done. The movie industry has done this since its founding. Creating a movie involves drawing in creative types that perform various tasks like directing, acting, controlling lighting cues, scriptwriting, and countless others. Teamlancing allows movies to get made.
What could teamlancing look like in a freelancer’s life? There are a lot of possibilities.
Maybe you’re pulled onto a team that’s working on finalizing a webinar for a client. You might be the writer, while someone else is the graphic designer, and another person is the editor. Or you’re a part of a group of people working on finalizing a phone app. You might be the mobile developer who designs the thing, while you also work alongside a designer, a back end developer, and a project manager. Each of you would be working remotely but in an interconnected way.
Teamlancing can help you feel more connected
Creatives can teamlance with one group or more than one at a time. The more groups you’re involved with, the more opportunity you’ll have for collaboration. Working on a teamlance project typically includes video chats or phone calls with the same people regularly, so you get to know them better. You might even become friends with them, which is another positive to teamlancing — you can expand your friend circle.
If you’re the type of person who needs to collaborate with others to feel fulfilled, teamlancing can be an excellent solution. By working closely with other creatives, even from afar, you can feel more connected to others and the world. You’ll get feedback and valuable input from other professionals who want to help you grow in your craft. Also, you can learn how to critique others effectively, without stepping on any toes.
You may have begun freelancing to work alone, but if you find yourself feeling lonely, teamlancing can be a great tool to continue to work with others when you choose.
How do you start teamlancing?
If you’re wondering how to begin teamlancing, you have several options:
- Start your own teamlancing project
- Join an established team
- Try teamlancing with ClearVoice
Start your own teamlancing project
If you have a few creative friends or acquaintances, pull them on board to work with you on a project you pitch. Alone you’re great, but together you can soar – and suddenly qualify for projects you never considered in the past.
Join an established team
Maybe forming a team of your own seems like a hassle. In that case, you could start freelancing for an online or local client, like I did, who is looking to form a team. The company can pull in a few other skilled freelancers they are connected with, and you begin to work together.
Each of you is in charge of specific tasks the company needs to be done. You’ll meet virtually to go over updates, and you’ll get to know each other. This way, you’re not responsible for finding the right people, but you still get the benefits of working with others.
Try teamlancing with ClearVoice
ClearVoice has given me loads of experience with teamlancing. Because it has so many excellent freelancers in its pool, the platform provides a unique path to smooth collaboration. As a freelance writer, I have worked with many producers and editors on a longterm basis through ClearVoice.
Plus, I became a ClearVoice producer and immediately joined several different teams. As a producer, I started working with other writers, drafting briefs, and sending out assigned pieces. I work with the writers if they need to change the deadline or need an extension. Additionally, I have an employee assigned above me — a content strategist that communicates directly with the client. She makes higher-level decisions and allows me to focus on editing.
A few times a month, everyone on the project has a video call with the client to discuss any upcoming projects. These calls typically start with talking about how we are and how we are managing the pandemic, which is a welcome break from the monotony of working alone. Contributing to a dedicated team like this one helps me to feel connected to others, and this teamwork is built into the ClearVoice platform. I didn’t have to go searching for it.
ClearVoice has helped me to feel like a part of the broader creative community without having to do the work of putting together a teamlancing project on my own. The service was built as a fantastic teamlancing solution.
Other ways to decrease isolation as a freelancer
Reducing the amount of isolation you feel as a freelancer is vital, but it’s especially difficult during the COVID pandemic. Formerly, I would say to sit at a local coffee shop or join a nearby co-working space. However, many of these options are currently closed for the foreseeable future.
If you’re wondering what else you can do in these isolated times, we have a few suggestions.
- Take walks. Walking not only helps clear your head, but you might interact with your neighbors or community members while you’re out. Plus, spending time in nature can help you feel less alone.
- Smile at strangers — even through your mask. It can seem easier to ignore each other and get your task finished so you can go home, but smiling at someone can make you feel more connected to the world.
- Text or video chat with your friends and family. Maintaining close connections can help to remind you that you aren’t alone.
- Get a pet. Having an animal around the house can not only offer you furry friendship, but there are proven health benefits. The CDC says a four-legged friend can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, all the while increasing your feelings of connectedness.
Try teamlancing to stave off isolation
For anyone feeling lonely or overly isolated these days, you’re not alone. Even if you enjoy working alone, it can be beneficial to add other people to your workday once in a while. And teamlancing can be the perfect solution. With teamlancing, you can continue to work remotely and run your own freelance company while still collaborating with others as much as you prefer.
If you feel like it’s time to row your boat closer to land for a day or two every week and experience working closely with others, turn to teamlancing. If you get your fill of people, you can always set sail again for the open ocean.