In the animated Disney classic The Jungle Book, there is a scene near the end where four vultures are sitting in a tree. One asks the other, “What do you wanna do?” To which the other replies, “I don’t know. What do you want to do?”
Perhaps you’ve heard the same back-and-forth banter between your kids on a lazy Saturday afternoon. Or maybe between you and your spouse when a free evening unexpectedly presents itself.
A similar thing can happen when you try to work with a collaboration partner. You’ve found someone to work with, but neither of you can come up with an idea.
Let’s back this train up a minute. It’s one thing if you and your Facebook group bestie decide you want to work together and you brainstorm some ideas. But if you are approaching someone you don’t know and asking to collaborate, I suggest you come with an idea. This may sound harsh. Most people don’t have time to hash through something like that with someone they don’t know well. But if you come with an amazingly creative idea that is beneficial for both you and your potential partner, you are likely to get a warm response.
So to get your amazingly creative ideas flowing, start with something here:
- Guest posting with a twist Exchanging guest posts is a tried-and-true way to work with others. Instead of creating two separate articles posted at different times, think of a topic that you can both write about …. like two parts of the same topic. Then put your post on her site and her post on your site and link them together. Your readers will get double the value by getting two perspectives and going deeper into the topic that either one of you could have gone alone.
- Social Media Takeover This is a super fun way to introduce yourself to a new audience. You provide your host a combination of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts that are from you that she posts on her social media feeds one day. Bonus if she will also flood her Pinterest feed with your posts on the same day.
- Newsletter Promo This is a great one if you are trying to build your email list. People who are already subscribing to a newsletter are more likely willing to subscribe to other ones. If you have an amazing new subscriber freebie or challenge coming up, ask others to promote it in their newsletter.
- Giveaway Giveaways can be tricky because a lot of people will visit or subscribe just to be entered in the giveaway, then will unsubscribe as soon as the giveaway is over. To make this work well, your partner and your prize need to represent something valuable to your specific target audience.
- Interview – I love interviews because I learn something every time I do one. Your potential partners will love this because it does not take a lot of work on their part. Try doing a Facebook Live interview on your page, then highlighting the key parts in a blog post to generate traffic in both places.
- Survey – When I did the Online Christian Creative Survey this year, I engaged several other people to help me promote it. In return, each of them will receive a personal summary of the results, customized to their niche. This is greatly increased the number of people who have taken the survey and given us all so much information we can use to improve.
- Challenge Collaboration – My very first blogging collaboration was with my friend Zohary. We did the Write 31 Days challenge together. Neither of us could commit to writing every day, but by creating one valuable series and alternating days, we were able to participate in the challenge and provide very strong content to our audiences.
- Product Bundle – Got a friend with a product that would make a great companion to your product? Bundle them together for one price that gives good value and promote the bundle together. This was super successful for me at the end of last year when I did the No Excuses Bundle with my friends AJ and Marva.
- Webinar/Masterclass – You are smart and you have information, skills and expertise that other people need. Share it by creating a webinar or masterclass and engage others to help promote it. Or even to participate in the webinar. These events have gotten a kinda bad rap because so many people have used them only as a big long infomercial for their product or course. Keep it value-packed and lively and you’ll have people sitting on the edge of their seats!
- Facebook Group Event – Get together with the administrator of your favorite Facebook group and develop a training, community building or service project event for their group. While engagement on Facebook pages has declined since Facebook started prioritizing “personal” content, interest in Groups continues to be strong. People love the opportunity to learn and connect in the safe space of a private group.
Did you notice the key word throughout the list? Value. Collaboration is all about bringing value to everyone involved … you, your partner and the readers. Share in the comments about your valuable collaborations!