When I started my business I felt like everyone must have had it more together than me! I did NOT want to reach out, connect, or collaborate because there was a part of me that wasn’t standing in my power or giving myself any credit.
Now, I know that I probably had it way more together than a lot of people, but more importantly than that, I realize that it actually didn’t matter either way!
What matters is that we’re all in this together, we’re all entrepreneurs working for ourselves and often by ourselves, and that we’re in this business because we crave to serve and connect with others.
Collaboration and connection can REALLY grow our businesses. For me, it’s given support, referrals, opportunities, resources that I know I would have taken significantly longer to create on my own. So let’s remember that collaboration and connection are not only welcomed but also necessary to building and growing our audiences, our businesses, and ourselves.
One of the things that changed in my mindset was my story that “no one would want to connect or say yes to collaboration”. I realized how much solopreneurs were craving connection. I saw it in myself, I saw it in my clients, and I saw it in my mentors. I could no longer believe in that old story that said people didn’t deeply desire to connect + collaborate.
In fact, I had actually launched something called “Lit Up Connections” that ended up not working out logistically but forced me to hold a mirror up to myself to go… Why aren’t YOU reaching out for the connection you want?
Once I ripped off the bandaid and started reaching out I was completely shocked at the response I got. I was invited to be part of a peer organized mastermind, I got multiple opportunities to collaborate with women I loved and respected, and I made some amazing biz besties that are still in my life today.
Did I mention all of this grew my business in BIG ways? The support, referrals, opportunities, resources, etc. that came out of simply reaching out to others was startling and exhilarating.
But what I had to do first was drop the story that somehow I wasn’t good enough, and drop the story that no one wanted connection in the way I did.
What unhelpful (and probably untrue) story are you telling yourself around connection and collaboration? What evidence do you have that it’s not true? What do you want your new story to be?
I hear from so many that reaching out can feel not only intimidating but confusing, so in order to demystify it I’m sharing some of my favorite strategies for connecting + collaborating for more results in your business!
Strategy 1: Keep it simple!
When reaching out to connect with someone else it doesn’t have to be complicated. Meaning, don’t let things like being busy, feeling like you don’t know what you’d talk about, or not wanting to take up someone’s time keep you stuck. Keep it simple, and ask for a short 15-20 minute connection call! There’s less time taken, less pressure on both parties, and if you want to continue the call from there or schedule future calls you have the space to. But always start with simplicity, and ditch the pressure!
Strategy 2: Lead with love!
Often when reaching out we don’t know what to say or how to say it. Solve that by leading with love. Tell the person why you’ve picked them to reach out to, what you love about them and why you want to connect. For example, “Hey XXX, I recently read a post you shared in The Lit Up & Loaded Entrepreneur (my favorite group on FB obviously 😜!) and loved how authentic you were. I especially resonated with the struggles you shared around getting visible, and how you moved through them. I have experienced something similar as I started in the online space. One of the things that I’m trying to do is not just get visible online, but take conversations offline as well. Would you be up for a short connection call just to chat and get to know one another better? Not at all a sales pitch, but just two people with things in common connecting. Let me know if that would feel good for you!” –>See!? Led with love, and kept it simple!
Strategy 3: Build the relationship first!
If you’ve ever wanted to collaborate with someone but didn’t know how to approach it I recommend always building the relationship first. All too often we get a “no” not because it’s not the right fit but because we don’t build the relationship FIRST. I know I’m infinitely more likely to collaborate with, show up for, and promote people that I already know. So if you have an idea for mutual collaboration I recommend reaching out for that connection call first, building that relationship, and then making the collaboration offer because you’ll be 100x (#realstatistic) more likely to get a yes when you’ve cultivated the connection first.
Strategy 4: Create mutually beneficial collaborations!
I talk about creating even energy exchanges in everything we do in our business, and your collaborations are no different! You want to make sure that there are clear benefits to everyone in the collaboration. That might be two people with similar community sizes promoting one another if they’ve experienced each other’s services. That might be two people coming together to teach on complementary topics and sharing gathered emails. That might be you guest-posting in someone’s group so they get to give their community value with no effort, and you get to grow your reach! There are so many possibilities here, but the ultimate point being make sure that when you’re suggesting a collaboration it’s obvious to ALL participants how it’s mutually beneficial and creates an even energy exchange!
The support, referrals, opportunities, resources, etc. that have come to me from simply reaching out to others has grown my business in a big way. That’s why today, I want to encourage you to reach out to TWO new people and make a “connection calendar” for yourself!
First up, reaching out to two new people: Feel free to borrow my script from above and personally reach out to two new people and get connection calls with them booked. I know this can feel scary at first, but it will be so worth it once you see the benefits this can bring to your life and business.
Second up, creating a “connection commitment” for yourself: Decide how many connection calls you’d like to have each week/month/year. For some people it might be two per week, and for others it might be one per month! All that matters is that it fits into your schedule with ease, and that you make this commitment to yourself and your business!
I’d also love for you to make a commitment to yourself around connecting and getting consistent.
Decide how many connection calls you’d like to have each week/month/year. For some people it might be two per week, and for others it might be one per month! All that matters is that it fits into your schedule with ease, and that you make this commitment to yourself and your business!
Then, create a connection calendar that fits that!
Creating a connection calendar where there’s empty spots on your calendar that match the commitment you made to yourself is so helpful. You’ll be able to see in advance when you have openings, you’ll have clarity on when to schedule in advance, and it won’t feel like a burden that takes up too much time or energy!
This will help you to keep up with your commitment, see the results from regular connections + collaborations in your business, and to make it a habit!