The web world is a pretty competitive world to work in. Just how can everybody get on?
I mean, let me do a really rough example here: if I Google "plumbing” right now I get 32,900,000 results back. If I Google "web design” I get 515,000,000. That's over 15 times the results.
It's logical then to assume that making your prospective clients believe that you're better than everyone else will lead to more work. Sounds fair? Sounds fair.
The world of the web is weird, though.
In this world, many designers and developers make the assumption that to come out on top, they need to "crush” their competition. That if they appear to radiate perfection and make everyone else look like aging meadow muffins, they will be more successful.
Winston Churchill said "We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
The web world operates in a curious mesh of working hard to come out on top in your area, and helping others do the exact same thing in theirs.
So how can you Get by Giving?
Give to People With Other Strengths
No one likes a know-it-all. If a project comes in that has areas that you're unsure about, bring in your web friends to help. Say you're a WordPress king but know nothing about Drupal development. Get a Drupal guru in on the project! You never know when the next WordPress gig will land on their laps ready to come right back at you.
Give to People with Similar Strengths
Got tons of work on and know someone who's struggling in your niche? Help them out! Send a gig their way and take a finders fee passing the work through. They'll no doubt remember your kind act and help you out when you're struggling.
Write a tutorial
Have you learned a cool new trick? Worked out how to do a cumbersome part of a project in a neat new way? Write it up and give it back to the community. For example, Tom Ross over at @PSDFan has a great site for photoshop tutorials, where designers can share tips and tricks for Photoshop usage (I've put some posts up there myself!) The great thing about writing tutorials and articles, aside from the fact that people will remember you as being gifted in your field (and may recommend you for future projects) is that you're being the change you want to see. That's crucial.