No matter what industry you are in, creating powerful business collaborations will help your business grow. There are many types of collaborations like one and dones, or long-term partnerships. It is important to find other businesses that align with yours and are ones you can grow with. If you are interested in seeing powerful examples of business collaborations click here.
Step 1- Have the Perfect Lead List
The first step is creating your list of potential leads. These are the people you want to reach out to and collaborate with. This list should include brands, influencers, accounts, and so on. Before placing them on the list you need to think about whether or not they align with your business strategy. Just because they are a popular influencer, doesn’t mean that they will work well with your brand.
I personally like to keep all this information in a spreadsheet that has all of the relevant information. This way you can format the table to show you who does and does not align with your values and business plan. If you want to partner with someone to help you grow than you better make sure that they can help you accomplish that.
Step 2- Prepare Your Pitch
As you prepare to send out messages to your leads, remember that quality is better than quantity. It is important to nurture these relationships rather than trying to get a million collaborations. Before you send out a message you need to make sure you answer some of these questions:
The name of the contact/founder/owner
How popular are they (what is their following/ influence to the audience you want to reach) and how did they get there
What products/services they offer
Are their brand values similar to yours
Once you have these answers, start engaging with the brand on social media to see how they interact with their target audience. This will show you the true nature of the brand. Are they engaging and starting conversations? Is the way they are speaking on brand or is it totally off? Can you tell if a bot is engaging with posts or is it a real person?
Step 3- Sending Your First Email
Sending a first message can be daunting but you have done research and have prepared for this moment! Here are a few tips for when you make that first contact:
Use their first name
Compliment their business/project/marketing campaign
Mention your collaboration idea briefly
Use a catchy sign off, ‘Does this sound like something you would be interested in?’
Have a branded signature
Track the email to see if they have opened the message (mailtrack.io)
Step 4- The Pitch
Hopefully by this point you have had a few emails back and forth with the potential collaborator. You will want to set up a phone call to further pitch your vision for the collaboration in detail.
Have a strategy for your pitch in place before the meeting, making sure that you stay on track and are fully explaining your position. Think about who you are talking with, how much time will they have to think about the collaboration, what value they will get out of it, and how you can make that decision making process smoother.
Set expectations and have a plan, but don’t be so rigid you don’t accept their ideas. Remember to talk about the benefits they will have by working on this epic collaboration with you. And remember that it is a collaboration! Let them bring ideas to the table and show that you are willing to negotiate.
But maybe you aren't sure how your business could benefit from a collaboration? That is totally understandable. It can be difficult thinking of ways in which you can utilize another brand to your advantage. So, I have listed out various types of collaborations for you to think about.
Types of Collaborations
Collaborate on blogs or vlogs
Be a speaker at one of their events
Sponsor their goodie bag at an event
Link to each other’s websites
Host a joint event or webinar
Use each other’s branded hashtags
Creating epic collaborations will not only help your business grow, but will also create brand awareness and a strong association between your brand and your collaborator. Finding a solid collaboration will take time but with these steps in place you are sure to succeed! Leave a comment below on a collaboration you have taken part in and let me know what learning curves you had with your first one.