If you own a business collaborations will help you grow your audience fast. Collaborations are something most entrepreneurs fear because of competition – but that’s not true. It is similar to finding your girl tribe it is all about support, support, support.
Collaborations are when 2 or more businesses come together to create something together that mutually benefits them. I’ll just say it immediately – it’s how businesses because successful. It helps visibility, trust & gets you out there.
I’ve spent the majority of my business collaborating with other companies because it truly brings joy to my heart. If you think of the last few years and the increase in Podcasts you wouldn’t be surprised to hear that ‘collaborations’ could actually be one of the ONLY marketing tools a brand or company uses.
My own experience with collaborating started in 2014, and quickly led to creating a magazine in 2016 that reached 1 million people within 8 months (yup you can check out the magazine here!).
Fortunately, that got Hello life Academy SUPER visible but more importantly I got to have a lot of fun. Until — it wasn’t anymore and we decided that the magazine wasn’t aligned with our vision. Cest la vie, I’ll talk more about that in another blog. Evolution in your business is part of the process: trust it!
We’ve featured women who are our clients, authors, I have hosted parties at the local clothing stores in town, had the beautiful Seven Saints Clothing store in front of my house, celebrated with parties at Sorso Coffee Shop, Marie Forleos B-school, partnered with make-up artists like Smith Makeup, — you name it we have done it. Throughout my experience, there’s ONE THING that makes a successful collaboration: BOUNDARIES.
Being clear on what you want and what the other business wants to see success. And ladies – this one is going to challenge you to ASK for what you want. Being in business is going to take a lot of communication and you’ll learn so much through collaborations.
The first collaborations that I ever did was with a local Airdrie business, Bunky and Marie’s. I remember scooting around on my pink scooter in Airdrie, Alberta and seeing their store. I was so excited that Airdrie finally had a store front clothing shop! So after the 3rd time visiting, I went in and started to talk about hosting an event. It was the spot where I hosted our first unofficial HLA meet-up with about 30 women. Complete with a fashion show, some drinks, a little shopping and some kind words to thank everyone for stepping out of their comfort zones with me.
This collaboration allowed me to bring my clients into a new environment, connect with a new business, and show the community that I was open to helping others expand. I also brought about 20-30 women to the store who had never been there before! It was a win-win, I got to celebrate the women, and they were introduced to a new audience.
Outside of all the fun we had that evening, I learnt that by collaborating and celebrating other businesses I put myself in a position of showing up as the expert and giving my current and future audience the ability to TRUST ME as a business owner.
What to think about when creating a collaboration list?
Who will be fun to collaborate with? You want to make sure that you can connect with the business or person that you are going to collaborate with. If there is no connection, that collaboration isn’t going to benefit the either business or any of those business’ clients.
Who has a parallel target market? You want to ensure that the businesses you want to collaborate with are united with some common characteristics. Really, why would you want to collaborate with someone who’s clients aren’t clients you want yourself? This workbook all about knowing WHO you are selling too ( you target market) will help you! Click here for free access to the workbook.
Make it make sense! This goes with the one above. Everyone involved in the collaboration must win, it can’t be a ONE way collaboration. If one side is doing all the work, or making all the money, or seeing all the results – that’s not a collaboration that’s an INFLUENCE marketing strategy.
How do you start the collaboration process?
Like most things as an entrepreneur or human being (haha) you have to decide to begin. I always start with a LIST of desired collaborations.
Simply start, sounds simple right? But sometimes that can be the hardest step to take. Which is why I’ve created this incredible guide to landing your first or next collaboration. Because over the last few years I’ve done 100’s, and literally I would hands down invest the time, money and resources to do it all over again. One of the first things we teach in the Hello Life Academy; get to know the other members because collaborations will help you grow beyond your current four walls.
Sign up for the podcast interviews, host the events, have the at-home party for your friend that sells clothing, go to the brunch that Sarah from down the street is having.
All networking can turn into collaborations, but you don’t want to be a collab’ crazy. Be selective – which is why I walk you through HOW to pick collaborations and WHO to collaborate within this workbook (click here to download).
If you’re just starting out as an entrepreneur I’m SO proud of you. And here’s how you can start creating collaborations that will increase your audience size.
To start understanding the collaboration process even more download this guide – CLICK HERE.
How to pick who you want to collaborate with?
This is going to be your favourite part of the process. Create a list of who you want to collaborate with. Get creative and have fun if Rachel Hollis is high on your list then put her down. Ideally you’d have 10 local companies on your list.
Your list doesn’t have to be pretty, and truthfully you can keep it to yourself (I know how sometimes sharing our dreams is scary!). When you start thinking of all the beautiful businesses you can partner with the creative juices start flowing!
What are some examples of collaborations:
- Podcast Interviews, being a guest blogger, speaking at someones event, doing a giveaway on Instagram, giveaways on Facebook business pages, writing about one another on social media, hosting an event that you both sell your products at, host a Facebook group together.
Collaborations are meant to support both businesses and that can only be done with open and honest communication. If done correctly, collaborations will help both parties financially and help them to grow their businesses. Are you ready to get your collaborations on? You can check out one of my fave collaborations right here: I talk about Brodie’s photography skills in this blog in this blog, and we often refer clients back and forth to each other. Understanding the other businesses strengths only happens from working together!
Not ready to collaborate yet? Still, have some trust issues? I get it:
Not ready to dive into collaborations just yet? That’s totally fine! Some of my fave clients and entrepreneurs notice that over time as they are building their business collaborations literally fall into their laps. So – if that’s your jam: that works too. The universe always provides us with who we are meant to partner with and share our gifts together. Trust is a big part of the business with a side of hard work —- it’ll come together.
Sending you all thee collaboration vibes. And make sure you grab this How to collaborate with other business workbook, because it’s brand new, totally free and my new fave free resource for you. Have fun xo
Photographer: Brodie Pierson Images
My name is Megan Lockhart and I am the CEO of Hello Life Academy.
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