Today we are talking about collaboration vs. competition, and how collaboration is better than competition with other businesses. We’ll lay out strategies that you can use to benefit from collaboration, and grow your business and professional network.
Believe in Yourself
The panel was about to start, the audience was full, and I couldn’t believe they chose me to speak on this panel. Next to me were women who were in politics, regulars on TV, and national magazines.
Did I take a moment to realize that I have been public speaking for a couple of years? Did I take a moment to reflect on the power of my voice and how I always put on a good talk? Could I look out into the audience and see how many fill the seats because I was speaking on the panel?
The answer would be no, no, and no.
Every time I was invited to collaborate, I thought someone was doing ME a favor.
Never did I realize that I am actually helping them bring people in. I didn’t take into account that these people are in need of content and I’m providing it to them for free. Did I take an inventory of my strengths and my weaknesses? No, I didn’t understand that I had strengths, that I was bringing something valuable too.
This always made me the underdog.
There is a difference between being grateful and putting yourself down.
I share this with you because when you look at collaboration vs competition – collaboration, not competition, is one of the most cost-effective and powerful ways to put your business out there. Collaboration is the best way to find more of your audience in a way you may not have on your own.
Believe in yourself. Be clear on what you are bringing to the table. Remember your strengths, your specific perspective, or the audience that is attracted to you, or you will always see yourself as the underdog.
Collaboration Vs Competition
If you are able to collaborate with those that have been in business longer than you and have had the chance to build more success, you should see this collaboration as a compliment.
I believe in working hard to make in your idols your peers. Collaboration vs competition isn’t about looking better, it’s about being better.
So, how do you approach a collaboration without making it about competition? By knowing and owning your sh*t.
When you are approached for collaboration by your idol, or approach a competitor, it is so important to know what your specifics are. By this, I mean that there should be a common goal, like the theme or the title of the event or digital campaign. Then, all parties should highlight their specific approach.
Offer your collaborators the experience your customer would have so that you can all serve as real-life testimonials. This creates a win-win situation for everyone.
Stand firm in what you stand for gracefully. Successful collaboration vs competition is not so much a matter of molding into what the host or collaborator wants you to be. This is your chance to take your entrepreneurial spirit and lead your idol or competitor into how you will be most beneficial for their message, event, campaign, and so on.
Find the Right Opportunities
Not all collaborations are a good investment of time. It’s important to show up where your potential customer will be.
Here are two helpful ways to find the RIGHT opportunities for collaboration:
- Think about the brands, publications, and events that your customer interacts with. Collaborate with businesses that attract the same audience.
- Connect digitally. Some of the best collaborations are done online. Even if your product or service is not offered online, you can find local people with an online presence to help get you exposure!
Are there established networking groups that fit the audience you are trying to reach? These are great groups to present to.
No One Can Do It Alone
Unless you’re trying to take a long hard road to success. If you’re choosing between competition and collaboration, I strongly suggest finding those that you can collaborate with. We are better and more effective, together.
Find Your Collaborators
Your first step: Bust out your journal or a notes page on your phone, and make a list of 5 brands, blogs, or events you would like to connect with.
Collaborations are a solid and cost-effective step in exposing more people to your brand and mission.
Leave a comment and let me know about this part of your journey. I want to hear your voice!
Until next time, stay inspired!