Peanut butter and jelly. Paul and Ringo. Holmes and Watson.
Partners. Each valuable on their own. Each #BetterTogether.
Whether you are looking at guest posting, creating a product together or trading social media shares, the quality of your connection makes the difference between a positive experience for you and your readers and a negative one.
The Bible is filled with examples of people working together. Jesus selected 12 men to partner with him in ministry. Paul worked with a network of men and women, younger and older, Jew and Gentile to grow the early church. Solomon had treaties with other local kings.
So if collaborating is beneficial and Biblical, how do you find the right partners? The keys are to IDENTIFY and ENGAGE.
Identify Like-Minded Partners
- When partnering for growth, look for people whose message or niche complements yours. They may write about similar topics from a different perspective. Or fill in the gaps of your own experiences.
- Look in front, behind and beside you. Don’t be shy about approaching people who are “bigger” than you. I’ve found the online Christian community to be most generous and willing to share the spotlight for God’s glory and the benefit of their audience. I’ve been blessed to collaborate with people like Lena Gott, Amy Carroll, Chad Allen and Arabah Joy. All of them have audiences much much bigger than mine and they’ve graciously shared them with me.
- Look for people who run in different circles than you. Often, we get comfortable with the same people in Facebook groups with us, who attend the same conferences as us and members of the same courses with us. And those are definitely great places to find collaborators. But sometimes it can feel like we are talking to all the same people all the time. Be intentional about finding people who have a different online footprint than you to expand your audience. (Pinterest Group Boards are a fantastic place to find people like this!)
Engage to Build Relationships
Once you’ve identified some potential partners to work with, it’s important to build a relationship with them. Getting to know them better can help confirm that this new relationship will work (or not). Engage to build an authentic relationship where trust forms for a partnership, not just to get their attention.
- Comment on their blog posts. You know the words we post matter and we appreciate people who read them and thoughtfully respond.
- Follow, comment and share on social media. The greatest gift you can give anyone with an online presence.
- Be an active part of their community. Join their Facebook groups, participate in their challenges, attend their webinars. Show up.
- Purchase their products and write an honest review, like this one I wrote about Crystal Paine’s Your Blogging University.
- Join their affiliate program and promote their products.
Are you noticing a trend here? Give. Give. Give. And then you’ll have an opportunity to ask.