I’m usually a solopreneur hermit in my business, but this year has been so surprisingly AMAZING when I joined forces with some other Biz Babes to take my business to the next level. “Community Over Competition” is a buzz word that gets referenced a lot, and they have a fantastic hashtag on Instagram that has grown a HUGE following, but I didn’t know how impactful it is when you create collaborations with people with different strengths and different audiences to yours.

rosemary-watson-productions-collaborations

The brilliant thing about creating partnerships is that there are so many ways you can work together, so I’ve outlined a few of my favorite ways and how you can make them work.

I. Giveaways

Just like any other marketing tactic, you can make giveaways look like anything you want .  You can give away just your own product and bring on giveaway partners to share what you’re giving away on their social media platforms or email list.  Even better you can partner up with other people that have similar audiences and products or services that work well with yours.  If you sell hair bows,  you can partner up with other makers that have nursery wall art, Baby moccasins, or handmade clothing for children.  If their audiences would love what you sell then it’s a win-win for everyone in the giveaway group.  Most importantly you are providing a service for your audiences by showing them what they can pair up with what you sell.

You can also purchase things for a giveaway but I would recommend keeping it very streamlined with what you sell, and always including either a product to sell or a store credit to your shop  or a gift certificate for your services.  For example if you do sell those hair bows  and your ideal audience is a mom that shops at Target, you can giveaway a cute tee or onesie from Target (let the winner pick a size) and then pair up with a bow from your collection, or a credit to your shop for them to purchase the bow of their choice.

I like the idea of giving away a store credit even more than I like giving away products or services because then the winner gets to choose whatever they want and sometimes end up spending more money than just their credit.

II. Affiliates

Being an affiliate partner means you can make money  by helping to sell  another person’s product or service.  I seen them be called Brand Ambassadors or Brand Enthusiasts for retail products, JV (joint venture) Partners for e courses or online training programs,  or just affiliates for smaller online product launches .  All of those names mean the same thing you can make profits without having your own products.  My good friend Dannie of LE Consulting has an entire page on her website dedicated to affiliate links, where she get paid a commission every month by the companies that she suggests to her potential clients. If that’s not the smartest thing I’ve ever heard, then I don’t know what it is. I’m gonna be making some big changes to the Rosemary Watson | Productions website this month and you better believe that that’s one of the first changes I’m going to make.

III. Education Partnerships

My very favorite way to collaborate was one that I just participated in these last few months-  I got to create a course with Dannie and my good friend Jana of Twigy Posts. The Styled Marketing Course with Twigy Posts and LE Consulting was a dream to create together, it’s so much easier to make yourself get assignments done when other people are holding you accountable. You can create any kind of educational content with a partner, from joining forces for an Email Course, creating Module Based E-Courses like the Styled Marketing Course, or webinars; just find a topic that all of you can contribute different strengths to, or have different strategies for. The added bonus is while you’re creating something amazing, you are also being introduced to other people’s audiences and make them your audience too. You get the trust factor of providing them value by teaching them something WITH someone they already trust.

IV. Referrals

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this one, and have created so many great partnerships and business besties from this. I have referred so many people to my favorite hairstylist, makeup artist, wedding photographer, decor stores, you name it- and in turn they refer me all. the. TIME. Truthfully my whole business has been built on referrals. Word of mouth is still the most powerful form of marketing, and it’s helpful if once people hear about you from a friend, that you have a place online where they can see if you’re a good fit (like a website and an Instagram account). The easier you make it for people to talk about you, the better; so hand out those business cards and gift certificates or referral cards and then think about creating a “Referral Program” where you can incentivize the people who send business your way. Even sending them flowers, a bottle of wine, a Starbucks Gift Card, or even dolla dolls bills for them basically sending you a free client will make them so grateful and want to do nothing but send more and more people to you.

V. Guest Posts

Probably the most “baby step” of commitments is to be a “guest poster” on someone else’s blog, Facebook Page, Instagram, or in a Facebook Group. Curating the right content for their audience while putting your own skills and flair is key, but can be an amazing opportunity to grow your audience if you play it right. I’m creating my very own guest post for Copper Kettle Co. right now for them to share on their blog for there “Brand Photography” week, which is PERFECT because Kyrsten was a guest contributor for our Styled Marketing Course! I’ll be sharing how to Assemble a Brand Prop Collection to be able to create your own brand photos to mix in seamlessly with your own Styled Stock Photos, and I couldn’t think of a better fit or better timing for this piece of content. Keep an eye out for that gem in October!

How To Get Started With Your Collaborations

The most important thing to remember when beginning a working relationship with other entrepreneurs is to manage expectations from the beginning and keep the communication solid. The more “taken care of” people feel when working with you, the more enthusiastic they will be about your joint project, and the more likely they’ll want to work together in the future and spread the word!

I know that approaching people you look up to can sometimes be intimidating, so I’ve created a Fabulous Collaborations Checklist to help you be strategic when you reach out to partner up.

 

Please let me know your thoughts or leave questions below in the comments! I’d love to see what amazing Collaborations you have up your sleeve , so please share in the comments as well!

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