Are you looking for collaboration? Do you want to work with someone else, fighting for the same mission?
Do you have an idea that’d be perfect for a group of business owners to execute upon together?
Are you craving genuine connection and the feeling of excitement that comes from working with a team?
I bring this up, because SO MANY business owners are looking for connection and collaboration… but aren’t reaching out to start a conversation.
The thing is collaboration can be a lot like selling. We’ve got to ensure we create collaborations where we give AND receive value – and your collaborators do the same. We’ve got to create connections BEFORE we pitch…but we’ve still got to pitch. We can’t be one or the other if we want to truly create more collaboration opportunities in our business.
And, why wouldn’t we want that? Collaboration can grow your business in BIG ways. It gets you in front of new audiences, it creates expertise, and it associates you with another leader in your field. Collaborations can lead to new sales, new followers, and even more opportunities.
BUT I hear from so many business owners that reaching out can feel not only intimidating but also confusing.
When I started my business, I actually did not want to reach out, connect, or collaborate with anyone. In fact, if we’re being totally honest here, I didn’t want to reach out because I felt like EVERYONE ELSE must have it more together than I did.
They probably had bigger lists…
And, I’m sure they worked with more clients…
They probably always had marketing plans, systems, and strategies in place…
Basically, I thought anything I could do everyone else could do better. (Any chance you know the feeling?)
After noticing this pattern everywhere I looked, I asked myself one simple question: Is this ACTUALLY true?
No, of course not. But more importantly, collaboration isn’t about who knows more or who’s done more. Rather, it’s about coming together with a common goal to serve and connect with others. To make an impact that’s bigger than ourselves.
THAT’S all it takes to start a connection. THAT’S all it takes to come together in the name of collaboration.
We can reach out to connect with someone else, eventually bring up a collaboration idea, and create an even exchange of energy…all in a way that doesn’t have to be or feel complicated.
This means that instead of letting 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….you keep it simple and ask for a short 15-20 minute connection call. That’s it! 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.
Then, when you do reach out, always lead with love. Lead with admiration. Lead with kind words. Tell the person why you’ve picked them to reach out to, what you love about them and why you want to connect in the first place.
Do you love their content? Which piece in particular? How come?
Do you love the way they share their life online? Why does this resonate with you?
Did you learn something valuable during their last podcast episode? What did you learn?
Do admire the way they run their business? What about it do you look up to?
By leading with love, you ensure your focus is on building a genuine relationship BEFORE approaching the subject of collaboration! This is so important, because all too often we get a “no” not because it’s not the right fit but because we don’t build the relationship FIRST. Personally, I know I’m infinitely more likely to collaborate with, show up for, and promote people that I already know.
If you have an idea for mutual collaboration, reach out for that CONNECTION call first, build the relationship, and then make the collaboration offer. You’ll be so much more likely to get a yes when you’ve cultivated the relationship first.
Now, let’s say you reached out, started with a connection call, and are ready to pitch an idea. When it comes time to actually pitch your collaboration or invite someone to join you in a business venture, make sure you create mutually beneficial collaborations.
This might look like…
…two people with similar community sizes promoting one another if they’ve experienced each other’s services.
…two people coming together to teach on complementary topics and share gathered emails. …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 ultimately you want to make sure you suggest a collaboration that’s clearly mutually beneficial to all involved. Create that even exchange of energy between giving and receiving!
I’d love to hear from you: What collaborations are you working on? How did these collaborations start? What does the even energy exchange look like?