The Power of Collaboration for Growing your Business

If you are ambitious and want to grow your brand, one of the most powerful ways to do this is through collaborations. Perhaps you have heard this term but have not yet established how you can use it strategically.

A collaboration can take many different forms but, ultimately, it is a fantastic way of connecting you with like-minded businesses or influencers on a similar mission to yourself. Collaborations are a great way of building your own network by leveraging the warm audiences of your collaborators, increasing your awareness, and engaging a wider target audience.

Here is how to make a collaboration idea come to life and be successful.

Identify your collaboration goal

The first thing is to decide what the goal of the collaboration is. Some ideas include; brand awareness, email list growth, Instagram growth, product sales, or content creation.

Whatever your goals may be, they’ll help inform who you should be partnering up with, which sets up your campaign from the get-go!

Who fits the goal?

Next come up with a list of perhaps 5 target collaborators. Ensure you thoroughly research their audience, content and product offer or previous collaborations to verify they are a great fit for you. A collaboration can be with a brand or individual.

What form might the collaboration take?

Next decide how you will collaborate. There are so many options, and some involve greater investment than others.

Here are 5 of the top collaboration ideas, I have seen succeed at Your AJency this year

1. Ambassador program – chosen collaborators to champion your product in exchange for 1-2 pieces of gifted jewellery per launch and social media coverage on stories and grid posts. If you go down this route, get a contract in place.

2. Styled shoots: partners up with venue and other brands and create some beautiful content together. Tag each collaborator when sharing on social and ask them to do the same.

3. Giveaway – keep this simple though – no one enjoys when you need to follow loads of accounts and do multiple steps to enter, it will put people off.

4. Instagram Collaborator function: Anyone you tag as a collaborator will be shown as a co-author of the post. And they’ll instantly be able to reshare the post on their profile without having to use screenshots or a third-party regram app and gives your profiles more visibility. It could be tips on styling your jewellery pieces, gift ideas for an upcoming holiday. This can be used on reels too which is likely to get greater reach than a post.

5. Guest posting this could be taking part in a blog or podcast. This can be more about you as a business owner, behind the scenes, life as a jewellery maker. The options are endless. This is also great for SEO. Most websites allowing guest posts will let you earn a link back to your website, increasing your search engine visibility. Of course, you can also do it the other way around – secure free content for your blog or website by allowing guest posters.

Time to Connect and reach out to your newly identified targets

When you are ready to approach these targets, it is so important that you are very clear about what is in it for them. A collaboration must be of mutual benefit to ensure that you convince them. So when you email or DM them, always lead with how it will help them and their business. Remember your products, services, time, skillset, venue space, content creation, social media, and email channels are ALL super valuable business assets you can leverage in this collaboration. Don’t forget to include as many of these as possible. The best advice is to do your research and personalize your intro note! Not sure where to start? Keep it friendly but short, sweet, personalized, and benefits-to-them driven.

Decide HOW you will market the collaboration

Once you have agreed on the details everything, you need to shout about it! Leverage is all about building a marketing plan for both of you that works to take advantage of all your marketing channels you each have available to you. That can include website, blogs, podcasts, newsletters as well as social media.

Track and review performance

Once your campaign is live, it’s important to keep track of performance. Share your results with your collaborator and communicate throughout. For your business track the results against your original marketing goal, so you can get a better idea of what has worked best for you. This will ensure that you are being strategic and investing in the right collaborations for you in the future.

Collaboration marketing is a win-win strategic move, that will help you grow and needn’t be expensive. The rewards will often surpass the investment and there is no time limit on leveraging the collaboration or association so it can remain a gift that keeps on giving in our experience. Collaborations can also be super fun. You will gain new loyal supporters both in terms of clients as well as lasting relationships with fellow businesses who you can work with again and again.

Anna Jones, founder of Your AJency, is a strategic marketing expert who uses her commercial retail experience of running London flagships, marketing knowledge and global perspective to connect her clients to the right people to support them grow.

Your AJency is a global creative consulting agency based in Chicago led by British national, Anna Jones. Your AJency works with ambitious female founded small businesses run by brave disruptors and innovators. We specialise in strategic storytelling (marketing) that supports these business’s growth goals and connects them to a community of loyal supporters and future clients.

Our clients are hand selected based on their ambition, drive and uniqueness. These passionate leaders are ready to accelerate their growth but need expertise to make that happen. We believe every business has a secret sauce and an audience they haven't reached yet. Once we understand the magic, we apply ours.

In 2021, every single one of Your Ajency's clients grew both in revenue as well as social presence. They have all got closer to creating the brand they want! Something we are extremely proud of.