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Hive ExampleI just learned the term “hive.” Not a bee hive– a worker hive. Essentially this is where, instead of having a big company, you work independently (yay) and have other independent workers that you can tap into for different things. My freelance network is growing all the time (thanks to awesome gatherings like Pioneer Nation and my coworking space), and I’m lucky enough to have people I can call on for all kinds of things.

My specialty is questionnaire design, but I like to get extra eyes on my work from people who know questionnaires.

I have a huge network of smart “data wonks” who I can call on when I need heavy lifting in terms of statistical analyses. They help me tell better stories by using statistics I didn’t even know existed.

More and more, my clients demand brief, visually appealing presentations. I have been building up a stable of creative designers who love to turn my generic PowerPoint slides into slick, captivating visuals.

Especially for public relations clients, I often partner with former colleagues who do secondary research, like Upstream Analysis. They have access to huge media databases and the patience to go through them. This means that I can tell my clients if the “big idea” they’re thinking of for their next study has been covered by a competitor, or we can work together to map media coverage against tracking surveys to see how coverage changes awareness or opinions.

I have people I can call on to moderate focus groups in Spanish, build 200 charts in a weekend, or edit reports for any audience. It’s great to work with so many smart, talented people– and it lets me expand the services I can offer my clients.