Unless you’re a miserable people hater who doesn’t want any interaction of any kind with other human’s or businesses, I’d imagine you aren’t dead set against collaborations. Why would you be?

They can be great fun, mix things up a little and introduce you to other, like-minded people within your industry.

However, collaborations with other businesses can have even more amazing benefits than just a good time! I’m proud to have successfully collaborated with Hiho Silver, Rhea Freeman, Burghley Horse Trials, Badminton Horse Trials, HOYS, Fairfax & Favor, Absolute Horse Magazine, British Polo Gin, the Equestrian Creative Network, Mackenzie & George and many more.

And each time, I’ve seen huge benefits, like the ones mentioned below.

Line

So today we’re going to talk about the different ways you can collaborate with businesses, how to make it work for you and what you might get out of the right collaborations.

Why Collaborate?

There are so many reasons why collaborations are great. But the main one, in my mind, is to grow your audience.

  • When you collaborate with the right brand or business (we’ll talk about finding them, in a minute) and you both agree to share the results of the collaboration on your social media/blog, you will each have access to one another’s audiences. Of course, this doesn’t mean that each and every one of the followers are going to migrate over to your socials and become life long fans, but some might!

 

  • Another reason is that every collaboration is new content. Whatever it is you and the other brand are planning together, will likely create some great content for you to post out to your audience. Everybody loves being introduced to a new name that they might love, so you will be adding value by sharing this new brand with your followers.

 

  • You look well connected. By introducing your audience to new businesses, you look like you’re well connected and in the know, within your industry. Nobody wants to work with somebody who is unreliable or untrustworthy and a collaboration positions you as somebody worth working with.

 

  • You are well connected! You can never have too many friends, especially as a business owner. We all have to work in this industry together and it helps if we can get along well with others. The more ‘friends’ you make, whether they are actual friends or just other brands that you align your business with, the better. And collaborations are a great way of forging new ‘friendships’.
    There are always opportunities that are bound to arise, where people are looking to work with other businesses, and if you’re well connected, you’re likely to be included more often than if you keep yourself to yourself.

 

  • Collaborations allow you to make a bigger impact. By working with other businesses, you’re bound to reach more people than if you were to take on a project by yourself.

Who to Collaborate With?

When choosing brands or businesses to work with, make sure you choose wisely, as your decisions will have a huge bearing on whether or not a collaboration is a) successful and b) beneficial for your business.

It is a good idea to choose someone with a similar size following and audience to you. So, if you’re just starting out, it might be best not to immediately target huge, established brands with hundreds of thousands of followers, because the likelihood is that collaborating with you won’t be so beneficial for them. (For you, yes! But this has to work for both parties involved.) Choose businesses that might be interested in growing together and helping one another through that growth.

You also want to look at their engagement. They might have a decent following, but their engagement might suck. In which case, their followers aren’t listening to them.

Also beware of the ‘buyers’. Make sure that their following is legit and that they haven’t bought followers. You can usually tell when they have little no engagement, but thousands of followers. And when their followers are all foreign profiles.

And lastly, make sure that their audience matches your audience. For most collaborations, you’ll want to pick a business that doesn’t directly compete with what you do, but that compliments your brand. One that has a similar target market and values to you and one that offers a product that your followers would love. Equally, you want their followers to love what you’re offering, too. That is the most important consideration, when choosing a partner to collaborate with.

How to Collaborate?

We’ve talked about why and we’ve talked about who. So hopefully you’re sold on the idea and you’ve got some great brands in mind to reach out to. But what are you guys going to do together?

The best way to get another business to agree to work with you is to go to them with an idea already in mind. Obviously, be flexible and ask for their input, but if you just reach out saying ‘Hey, let’s collaborate, but I have no idea how yet,’ then they’re probably not going to bite.

Here are some ideas for great collaborations…

  • Guest blog posts
  • Blog interviews
  • Podcasts
  • Video interviews
  • Instagram/Social media takeovers
  • Host a joint competitions or giveaways
  • Product/service reviews
  • Attend events together
  • Release a product together
  • Attend an event together
  • Share a trade stand
  • Book a joint photoshoot using both companies products
  • Create a link-up
  • Offer a discount code for their followers
  • Offer a giveaway for their followers
  • Hand out their leaflets (either with your orders or on your trade stand)
  • Offer a package deal, using both your products/services

 

Can you think of any great ways to collaborate with brands that compliment your business? Id love to read them in the comments below.

Remember that collaborations have to be mutually beneficial for each party and have to bring value to your audiences! If you’ve got those avenues covered, you’re onto a winner.

Shameless plug: (Hey, what’s the point of having my own blog, otherwise? 😉 ) If you want to collaborate with me, I’m always open to new ideas and opportunities and I’d love to hear from you. Go to my ‘Work With Me’ page to find out more, or email me at sophie@sophiecallahanphotography.com

Line

Thanks for joining me for this week’s FYI Friday, next week I’m collaborating with a blogger that I love, to bring you a super guest post, so don’t miss it!

Specialist equine portrait photographer, blogger & vlogger. Essex based, travelling throughout the UK.