One really great way to get fresh new eyeballs on you/your work is by way of collaboration! Now, many people are nervous about collaborating because, well..sometimes when we think about collaborations, most times we think it’s inevitable. You might think that someone may not want to work with you (maybe because of you just starting, or having a smaller audience, even having an audience that has different interests, but I say you’re wrong! It never hurt anyone to try.
The first rule of collaboration, believe in yourself and what you have to offer, but if you don’t believe just yet, ask yourself why?
Here’s a checklist of things that you might want to make sure are right on your end before you approach someone else, (esp a bigger influencer) to collaborate with you.
Have a Clear Message
You should have a clear message and at least have what you want to share or how you’d like to collab with the other person. You don’t want to be the person reaching out to collaborate with another person and you don’t even have any ideas, topics, subjects, pitches, or anything that you’ve already thought up to offer.
Do your Research when asking for a collaboration
Speaking of which you also want to make sure that you’ve done your research! Although you might think that a collaboration is not as serious as a job interview (if a collaboration is going to benefit you and your brand in some way, I’d say take it pretty seriously). In essence, be sure that you know exactly what it is that this person does, and how you can contribute to, or benefit them and their audience with your collaborative content.
Keep the Consistency Game
Make sure that you’ve been consistent and putting a great deal of effort into your work. (if you want access to someone else’s audience, especially someone who works hard to grow their own audience, you’d better be ready to show them that you work hard as well. Remember that you’re showing up to grow your own audience, so think about how you’ll be perceived by the folks that you are trying to attract.
Make Quality Content
You’ll want to make sure that you’re keeping up a certain standard of quality when it comes to your content. Collaborating is like selling yourself (no, not like that). I mean that when you show up, it would be in your best interest to show out! Hence being consistent, and showing up appropriately.
Nurture your audience
You’ll also what to make sure that you’ve been doing a great job nurturing your own audience (no matter how big or small). This is huge especially when wanting to work with a bigger influencer. If you are able to show them that you have a strong rapport with even a small group of people then that’s definitely a good thing. Remember that there are people out there with audiences but no genuine connection to those audiences. (I see this all the time, especially on Instagram).
So now that I’ve shared a few things that are super important on the should side, let me share a few should NEVER’s do when asking for a collaboration.
1. You should never hit up someone in their DM (Direct Messages) or inside of the comments to collaborate. First of all, I’ll be one to say that there are times I do not check my messages and even I did constantly, I wouldn’t be looking for a serious collaboration in there. You get what you give, I give respect when it comes to communication and although this is becoming sort of the norm, I think an email is just way more professional when it comes to reaching out for something like this.
2. You should also never hit up someone about a collab without a plan! They’re 100 times more likely to take you seriously if there is a plan or a few ideas involved. Give them something to build on and they’ll be much more likely to oblige than refuse to work with you.
3. Don’t send a request to collaborate without giving the other person a reason or two about why you think they’ll be a great fit for a collaboration with you. Whether it’s that you feel that their audience would benefit from… or that you’ve been able to achieve … etc. Remember you’re selling yourself so that a collaborative effort can be made!