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Software Freelancer Producer Co-Op

Motivation

  • Freelancers (be they contractors or consultants) live and die by lead generation
  • Most lead generation is word of mouth (trust based)
  • Good clients are hard to find
  • Bias towards avoiding downtime (gotta pay that mortgage)

This leads to the following:

  • Over time, freelancers will sign long term retainers with their best clients.

Which leads to:

  • No motivation to do lead generation (you're already booked)

Which leads to:

  • Monoposony risk (what happens if the good client vanishes)
  • Effectively an employee (albiet with flexible hours and work conditions)

Mitigation

Create a more robust lead generation system by banding together with fellow freelancers

  • Web site with profiles of each person (bio, pic, github, maybe resume, recent projects, availability)
  • Lead generation form
  • Shared blog (any member can post)
  • Shared Slack
  • Maybe: email newsletter (unclear on frequency or content)

This would look fairly similar to an agency / consultancy web site, but without being a single entity.

Other possible group activities / campaigns:

  • Tabling/networking at conferences
  • Purchase sponsorships at local conferences or events

Leads

  • Unclear how generic leads would be handed off within the group. Potentially more than one person may be suitable.
  • Joint bids would be possible, but subcontractor arrangements would be handled by the individuals, not the coop
  • Group would informally agree to refer leads that aren't a fit to others in the group

Other

  • Group could also pool common legal resources (contract templates) and maybe share retained services for accounting/bookkeeping
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