The Beautiful Barter System

  Hello friends and followers! Happy Industry Hump Day. I hope you all had a wonderful time celebrating the holidays, and if you're like me and don't celebrate any of the December holidays, well I hope you enjoyed some well earned time off from work.

First and foremost I want to give a big, warm welcome to all my new readers that have found my little blog by way of Gala Darling's weekly carousel. I'm thrilled to have you here and am eternally grateful for your lovely comments and kind words of encouragement!!

Today's Industry Hump post is all about the revival of the barter system.

When you're just starting to get your feet wet in the freelance world, you may not have a freaking clue as to what you are doing. You sort of have an idea of what you're good at, hopefully you know what types of projects get your blood pumping, you're portfolio may consist of a just a couple of things you've worked on, and you're absolutely baffled on where these other freelancers are finding clients. Mega-derp moment.

I Have No Idea What I'm Doing

Don't panic. Every freelancer has been there. In fact, I'm still kinda there.

This is when you have to recognize that trading services should be your greatest secret weapon. You're great at X, someone you know is great at Y. You could really use some help with Y, and your friend would definitely be interested in your X services. So.... why not trade?

Taking on a "client" for "free/traded services" isn't the end of the world. Not only will you get your colleague's kickass goods/services in exchange, but you are also presented with a chance move yourself forward in your field. You get to practice your skills. You get to work with someone new, get their feedback, and learn from your mistakes. You get to add things to your portfolio. These are all important and often overlooked advantages.

Nobody starts out knowing everything. You learn as you go. College is great, but those classes don't really prepare you for the working world.

This is where having a nice big tribe comes in handy. I don't know about you, but my tribe consists of  SO MANY talented people (almost too many). In a perfect world, I would launch a company to encompass all my super-skilled friends and colleagues, we would have an endless supply of clients, the money would pile high to the sky, and everything would run on fairy dust.

But alas, those are just the big dreams of this little bear. Maybe one day.....

Regardless, I've spent a lot of time taking advantage of my tribe. I've done press releases, small graphic design projects, bios, web copy, blog posts, editing services, sales pitches, social media crash courses, and so much more for practice, testimonials, recommendations, traded services, and IOUs.

It's nice to have all of these little things tucked into my back pocket. You never know when they might come in handy.

At the very, very least you're showing your tribe what you're capable of. It's all well and fine to claim that you're good at social media marketing, but we all know that actions speak louder than words. When you actually show your tribe what kind of marketing magic you are capable of whipping up, they are a thousand times more likely to remember your name and pass it along the next time they meet someone looking for marketing help.

Making it in the freelance industry is hard. It requires more hard work and dedication than anything else I've ever encountered. I've watched people make it big and I've watched people flop hard. As for me? I'm still somewhere in the middle. Taking it one step at a time. Giving it my all. Trying to be patient. Learning as much as I can from anyone willing to teach me. Trading services along the way.

I hope you guys found this post helpful! Interested in my services? Want to trade tit-for-tat? Just got someone/something fantastical to recommend? Got a question/suggestion for my next Industry Hump post? Drop it all in the comments below!

Wishing you all a crazy fun (but still safe) New Year's! See you in 2013 for the next Industry Hump! xx Nikbear