Your network is one of your most powerful assets. From combined pop-up shops to co-hosting an event, collaborating on a collection or sharing a studio space, the opportunities to collaborate and join forces with the people in your network to grow your business are endless.
But how do you create collaborations that actually grow your business? This is a question I've been getting a lot lately and today, I'm going to share five questions to consider before asking someone to partner with you to ensure the best results.
1. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO COLLABORATE ON?
A lot of times, people reach out to someone wanting to collaborate but have no idea what that means. They reach out hoping to brainstorm with the other person ways that they can work together. While this can work, it's much better to come prepared with a few ideas of your own. People are busy, and although they may have liked to collaborate with you if you don't bring any ideas to the table you may miss out on an opportunity. Not to mention, if you brainstorm a few ideas prior, you can suggest ideas that are beneficial to your overall business goals.
2. WHAT IS YOUR END GOAL FOR THE COLLABORATION?
Everything you do should be centered around a goal. What specifically do you want to achieve from this partnership? But perhaps more importantly, how are you going to ensure that you reach that goal?
3. IS THE PERSON YOU'RE REACHING OUT TO THE RIGHT FIT FOR YOUR BRAND?
When identifying people to collaborate with, it's important that they are a good fit for your brand and business. What does that mean? Is their target customer similar to yours? Does their brand fit your brand? Do you share similar values? One of the best things about partnering with someone is that you are exposed to their audience and to their community. If the people in their community aren't people that'd be interested in your products, it's not beneficial to collaborate with them. Make sure your brands complement one another.
4. WHAT ARE YOU BRINGING TO THE TABLE?
The best partnerships happen when both parties are mutually benefitting from the collaboration. What are you bringing to the table? How can you bring value to the partnership? What are your strengths? (NOTE: just because you don't have a large social media following doesn't mean you don't have value to offer. I hear people say this all the time and it's not true. Not having a large social following, doesn't mean you can't collaborate with others, or that you don't have value to bring to the table. How can you bring value in other ways?)
5. WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS?
It's so important when you collaborate with someone that you have clear expectations and that everyone involved knows what those expectations are. Who's responsible for what? What are the deadlines? What do you expect from them? I can't stress enough how important it is to have clear expectations and to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Partnering is one of my favorite tools for growing my business. It allows me to reach new audiences, grow my community, and it's fun to build relationships with the people in my network. Need some ideas on how you can partner with others? Here are 7 ways to collaborate with the people in your network.