The DOs and DON'Ts of Collaboration

STOP, COLLABORATE, and LISTEN!   This week in the Authentic Brand Leaders Facebook Community, we’re chatting about all things collaborations.  If you’re a solopreneur, please don’t do business all by yourself.  Instead, finding strategic partnerships for collaborations is a great way to combine forces to grow your audience, get more visible, and have more fun!  

The foundation of a strong business is the power of RELATIONSHIPS, so teaming up with those who share your vision, your ideal clients, and can complement your strengths can be a win-win-win for you, your collaborator, and your audience.  Examples of collaborations can be anything that involves “joining forces” like guest posting on publications, sharing knowledge together on a webinar, create a referral network, or working on a product or project together.  So if you know WHY collaborations are great for your business, now it’s time to talk about the HOW.  With everything, there are some Dos and Don’ts of Collaborations that will help you set up clear expectations and boundaries, and plan and launch a successful venture together.  

DO: 

  • Pinpoint the purpose of your collaboration.  Is it to build trust with prospects?  Is it to get into a new market and expose your services to a new audience?  Is it to grow your email list?  Be specific on why you’re doing this, so you can gauge whether or not it’s worth your time, energy, and resources 
  •  Identify what your strengths are, and what what your collaborator’s strengths are.  Knowing what you bring to the table, and how your collaborator can help you will create a synergetic partnership and help you complement each other as you pursue this together.  It will also help you “pitch” them if you know what you offer.  
  • Set clear expectations, boundaries, and deadlines for what your project requires.  Who is responsible for what?  When do you expect the project milestones to be completed by?  What are your communication channels during the project?  If money is involved, what is the breakdown of finances?  Having this conversation BEFORE you get too deep into the project will open up a conversation for how you best operate and set it up for success.  It’s great to have accountability, and keep momentum going on the project.  

DON’T: 

  • Make it all about you. The beauty of collaborations is to leverage the gifts and strengths of many people.  When you put the focus on how to help others, you’ll end up helping yourself as well. 
  • Close the channels of communication.  It’s important to check in DURING the process and be open to pivoting and adjusting as needed.  Instead to calling all of the shots yourself, open up communications to share your ideas, build trust, and do what it takes to make the project successful.  
  • Forget to protect yourself.  If you’ve done everything you can to pursue a collaboration, communicate clearly, and it doesn’t seem to be an equal contribution, you can back out gracefully if the conditions of working together are not met.  Remember to protect yourself up front by setting clear boundaries and exceptions. 

These are a few tips and rules of engagement that I like to use when I collaboration with people to create workshops, webinars, and join venture projects.  What are your “DOs and DON’Ts” are collaborating?  What fun projects are you working on?  Leave your comments in the box below!  As always, you can request to join the Authentic Brand Leaders to find your next collaborative opportunity!  

With joy,