The Value of Designer Collaboration

As a designer, it’s natural to feel threatened by others who serve the same niche market. Common reasons to avoid designer collaborations include fear of your clients being stolen, having your top-secret design skills discovered by others and learning your designs skills aren’t quite as advanced as you’d assumed.

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However, the power of networking is stronger than ever. By collaborating with other professionals in your design niche, you’ll reap immense rewards including the strengthening of your skills and even an increased income. Here are the main arguments favoring casting aside your collaboration hesitations to network with other designers both online and in your community.

Strengthening of Weaknesses

Every designer has certain skills that aren’t as honed as they'd like – although some aren’t quite willing to admit it. If you can uncover and accept your design weaknesses, you can begin searching for other designers who can strengthen them. When you collaborate with another designer who specializes in the realm where your skills aren’t quite up to par, you can learn from them and strengthen your projects in the process.

As you start building connections with other professionals, maintain notes regarding their areas of specialty. This list will be immensely useful when you receive certain project requests from clients that are outside your area of expertise.

Sharing Work Overloads

If your design career has recently taken off with a flood of client projects, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed. Although you may hate the idea of turning down work because of time shortages, this is a reality many designers must face to avoid a decline in their work quality. In times like this, if you have a strong network with other designers, you can pass off this extra work to others, knowing the client will receive high quality results.

On the other hand, with a strong network of designers, there’s an increased chance you’ll be sought out by others who have work overloads. This collaboration can provide a steady influx of projects and a healthy income. At the very least, networking and collaborating with others can spread word regarding the services you offer to expose your business to more potential clients.

Begin Collaborating

So, now that you understand the benefits of collaboration and are ready to reach out to others, how can you find them? Networking opportunities abound if you’re willing to search for them.

First, search for designer meet-ups in your city or surrounding area. Meetup is a great website that provides meet-up lists around the country.

Design conferences are another great opportunity not only to network but also to pick up some new design ideas. HOW Design Live and An Event Apart are just a few of the many annual design conferences.

By collaborating with other designers in your niche, you’ll likely experience a wealth of rewards. Not only can you become a better designer, but you can also receive extra work from networking with others who have a work overload or who don’t specialize in your design realm. At the very least, networking with others can provide a bit of human interaction for those designers who work from home.

Have you experienced the benefits of collaborating with other designers or do you have any ideas for how designers can connect with others in their niche?

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