by Laura West
Growing your business is a constant part of being a business owner. You don’t have to grow it alone.
One of the best ways to grow beyond your own circle of influence is to collaborate with other experts.
You both get to benefit from exposure to each other’s communities, share in the creation and delivery of the work, and you can lean into each other’s strengths.
I’ll admit I am not quick to collaborate. Personally I like creating my own brand and being unique in the marketplace. I am a bit of a rebel and like to do things in an unusual and creative way.
That being said, I will collaborate when it’s a strong YES.
I have found it’s good to be discerning when it comes to partnering with someone on a project as I find lots of people are quick with ideas but not always on the follow through work it actually takes to bring a product or program to fruition.
My advice is to take it slow. Make sure your values and the commitment to your project are aligned.
Start with interviews and small projects first and see how you like working together. Then you’ll know if you want to move forward on bigger projects.
You don’t want to get stuck leading a year-long program only to find that you are doing all the work and your partner disappeared.
Also realize that some colleagues are perfect to collaborate with on a one time project while others will grow into more consistent creative partnership.
Here are five ways you can creatively collaborate:
1. Co-lead a teleclass or webinar – Partner with someone who has a similar experience on a topic and you’ll create something even more interesting and richer than you would alone.
2. Host a podcast – Collaborate by interviews. This is a relatively easy way to constantly be collaborating with other experts without getting into a sticky partnership. You get the benefit of bringing the best of the best to your tribe without having to create constant new content. It’s also a smart way to meet new people and expand your contacts.
3. Co-lead a retreat – A retreat can take a lot of energy and marketing to fill so teaming up with a colleague can lighten the load, expand the circle of marketing and make it more fun.
4. Co-create a product – Take your passion and expertise in a particular area and find another expert (or experts) to fill in the gaps. For example, when I created my Joyful Business Guide (a creative marketing plan) I added interviews with colleagues on other subjects that related and expanded this concept.
5. Co-lead a mastermind – Imagine the power of having two coaches or leaders in a mastermind. You can share the content delivery and coaching, and co-lead the retreats. The attraction power of two experts makes enrollment even more enticing!
Remember to start small and test out a working relationship to make sure it’s a fit for both of you.