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MISTAKE #6 FOR START-UPS: COLLABORATING

Did you know collaborating can be an excellent way to grow your business?

Collaborating and networking is single-handedly the number one way to grow your business.

Like most financial freepreneurs -just came up with that one, I’m digging it, I knew and thought that what I was doing was enough to increase my sells but um, can we reference the two failed “official” businesses and countless other joint ventures?

What I thought I was doing, was far from collaborating and networking. I was merely scratching the surface and not even that.

I started my business solely on Facebook and a few printed ads. Again, I thought this was my ticket to my penthouse but that wasn’t so *insert crowd unison awe here*.

No, No, No, you don’t have to feel bad for me because I learned a lot from my (and other entrepreneurs) failures which equipped me with having the ability to help you down the right path. So let’s get to it.

From my past clients, I have heard different outlooks on collaborating and networking such as:

  • I’m afraid that I will get rejected if I reach out to someone
  • I’m a super duper uber introvert and networking terrifies me
  • I already have enough connections. I’m good on adding anyone else
  • I know what I need to do but I just can’t bring myself to it
  • What if my services suck and they don’t feel that I’m worthy

The list can go on and on with thoughts around networking, but in actuality, it’s a must when needing to grow your business. Collaborating and networking can open so many doors that you didn’t know that existed but you have to get outside of your comfort zone

MISTAKE: Feeling comfortable in my zone - afraid to play nice with others

You may be uncomfortable with reaching out and making these connections or collaborating with other people but you must think of it as a great thing.

You’re doing something different and that something different is going to bring you different results in your life. That’s what you wanted right?! 

SOLUTION: Step out of your zone to connect and collaborate with others

I totally wanted a change because my robotic life had become a bore and when I went on this last venture to start this business, I promised myself I would give it my all and step - even run - outside the lines of my boundaries.

Here’s how I did it. 

SOCIAL MEDIA COLLABORATIONS

HOST A LOOP GIVEAWAY

If you’re on Instagram, I’m sure you’ve seen those giveaways loops that offer a laptop, cash, and/or some expensive item you’ll get for free if you follow a certain group (or 100s) of people to win.

When I hosted my loop giveaway, I kept my loop between 12-15 people. There had to be an end to it. 

I located several individuals that matched my same field (coaching) that I felt where kicking ass at it. Not only do you want to grow your following but you want people to truly be interested in your services.

Related: How to take your social media from lame to fame

Check for these things when collaborating:

  • Visual Appeal

Were the photos they posted visually appealing to me and made me want to stay on their page or even come back? 

This goes back to branding. Those that where kicking butt and taking names with their branding approach would also reflect greatly on me and my services.

I did not want want to select someone that was kind of “all over the board”. I wanted our collective consistency to make an impression on those that were following us. 

  • Content

So yes, the whole idea of Instagram is photos but the smart creators of IG went a step above to allow us to write a caption. Womp! Womp!

Side Note: I treat my instagram (@the_amber_dee) like a mini-blog.

This is another aspect I look for when selecting who I wanted to collaborate with for my loop giveaway.

I’m typically giving away information or encouragement and I didn’t want to be represented by someone that had a tendency to say negative things or promote something like violence. That’s not what I stand for and I didn’t want my loop to include that either. 

  • Number of Followers

It would have been great if I could have had someone in my loop that had a million followers but let’s be honest, no one wants to work with a newbie.

Unless you have a side connect with a celebrity or friends with someone with a banging business, then you probably will get a response like “my services will be $500+ for a one post shout-out”.

Um, yeah, no!

So you have to look for people who have a similar number of followers to increase your chances of them saying yes to your giveaway. 

This will take some research but if you don’t have time, try hiring an assistant for help. Click here to read the article on how to hire a virtual assistant. 

JOIN FACEBOOK GROUPS

There are a countless number of Facebook groups that you can join for networking and collaboration.

Most groups will have a particular day of the week for you to let other group members know about your service or particular product that you have available. It’s also a great way to connect with other like-minded individuals for possible future collaborations. 

By frequently participating in the group discussions, you are making yourself visible - which is a great way to build your business/brand - and being seen as a professional which could get you more customers or clients. 

Join my Facebook group to connect, collaborate, and grow. 

JOIN PINTEREST GROUP BOARDS

Okay so I’ll admit I was never into the whole social media thing but when it comes to Pinterest, I could (and still can) spend HOURS pinning - don't judge me!

I think it’s safe to say I’m a Pinatic so searching for a Pinterest Group Board and joining was completely my thing. 

Your pins are exposed to a larger number of people than simply just pinning on your board, and possibly get followers for your board or any other social media.

To find these boards, I used a website called PinGroupie.com

GETTING SHOUT OUTS

Another way I collaborated and networked on social media was getting the infamous “shout out”.

I really don't prefer that term so let’s say Recognition. Yeah! I like that better! I would get “recognition” from other accounts that promoted small businesses and brands.

Sometimes there are opportunities to recognize each other’s services (aka: shout out for a shout out). 

GUEST BLOGGING

This was one of my favorite ways to network with other businesses and get exposure.

Most business will allow you to guest blog on their website as long as you allow them to do the same. It can be a win-win for you to let them blog on your site as it can bring their following to your site which can mean more followers that can turn into a sale.

I did both, continuous posting and one-time post. 

This will go back to researching business that are close to your field and finding if they allow you to guest blog.

Some sites will have it posted as one of their tabs while others you may have to send a request of interest. 

  • Continuous Blogging

With continuous blogging for a particular business, most want you to agree to a certain amount of times you will post for them.

Initially, I agreed to writing a blog bi-monthly and selected the topics that I would blog about ahead of time.  

  • One-Time Post

Just like continuous blogging, you get to select the topic you will discuss but instead of doing once a month or once every week, it’s only one time.

This is a good way to get on a lot of sites and share you knowledge about your area with multiple people. It’s also a good way to build rapport and connect with the owner of the blog.

You will feel more comfortable with contacting them when its time for a loop giveaway, a referral, or a collaboration for a webinar, article, or podcast.