One of my favorite things about meetings with my coaching clients?
Hearing about all the exciting, inspiring things they’ve been up to in their creative businesses.
Seriously– so much can happen in the span of 7 days!
Most recently I had a call with a client and learned that she’s decided to team up with a fellow creative for a collaboration!
A year ago, if someone had told her about this partnership, she’d probably have laughed in their face!
She used to hate the thought of collaborating as a creative entrepreneur because it brought back memories of those awful group projects from school.
Can’t blame her –
She was burned too many times by lazy classmates riding her coattails.
But this time, she approached it differently, and much to her surprise – it’s working out amazingly well!
She admitted this collab has been a total game-changer, something she never expected.
So, what made it click?
Lots of creatives out there, just like my client, tend to hold back when it comes to trusting other creatives, especially with stuff that’s super important to their business and reputation.
It’s totally understandable—being cautious is smart.
But the benefits are huge once you let your guard down and team up strategically with fellow creatives as long as you do it right!
In this blog, I’ll showcase the power of joining forces with other creative minds. We’ll cover how to make these collaborations purposeful, impactful, and beneficial for everyone involved!
While each collaboration is different, there are consistent benefits to partnerships with other creatives.
Let’s take my client’s situation for example.
This project holds several key advantages for her:
Still skeptical and feel like collabs just aren’t for you? Well, maybe that’s just because you haven’t seen it done in a way that resonates! Good news is, you’ve got options when it comes to teaming up in the creative world.
Chances are, you can find a way to work with fellow creatives that feels good and works well for you and your business!
Here are 8 of my favorite ways to collaborate with fellow creatives in your business! I hope these ideas get the wheels churning and inspire you to reach out to a creative you respect, admire, and trust!
The first option is to create together! Mix skills for something fresh! Combine talents to make new and exciting projects that leverage each person’s unique perspectives, skills, and creativity! Co-creation comes in many shapes and sizes! Examples include an agent/artist relationship, a writer/editor partnership (a match made in heaven in my book), a web designer and a web developer, or even a graphic designer and a copywriter who work together to bring different but complementary aspects of a project to life!
Help each other shine by sharing the spotlight! Swap shoutouts and share each other’s work to reach more people and a wider audience! I was so honored to be featured in my business pal and brand photographer, Nicole Bedard’s recent Small Business Spotlight (and here I am returning the favor)!
Hop on each other’s platforms! Do guest appearances or interviews to introduce your audiences to something new. This is especially strategic if either if you host a podcast or a YouTube video series! My friend and fellow RISD alum, Rebecca Rueth, and I used to do this often when Clubhouse was all the rage! We hosted a room called Biz Tips for Creatives that brought our distinct but overlapping audiences together to talk all about the technical and artistic sides of creative entrepreneurship!
Feature one another! Collaborate on articles, videos, social posts, or whatever platform your ideal clients respond to best to capture attention and interest! When I first hired my copywriter, Sam, I wanted to introduce her to my audience! We did a feature post on Instagram so people could get to know the wordsmith behind my brand voice who helps me capture my business strategies and coaching methods in blogs, emails, and more! Think of all the hits created by your favorite artist and the partners they’ve featured– I’m here for alllll the Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift collabs.
Team up for events, products, or one-off projects! When you pool resources and skills you can create something exceptional! These promotions might bring together a group of experts—copywriters, therapists, graphic designers, business coaches, and more—who share their top-notch resources and tools. This collaboration not only builds their audience and email lists but also leverages each other’s credibility.
You might decide to partner more formally for ongoing projects or for specific project-based opportunities.
You may not realize it, but you see this all the time with “brand a x brand b” labeling! Co-branding is when two distinct brands or businesses come together to create something new, leveraging each other’s strengths and audiences for mutual benefit. Most recently I saw the washable rug brand, Ruggable, co-branding with nameworthy brands like Barbie and Disney as well artists like Keith Haring and interior designers like the legendary Iris Apfel!
Swap spaces for a bit! Let each other take over your platforms, giving audiences a fresh perspective. Swapping platforms is like a creative exchange: think an artist taking over a writer’s page and vice versa. They plan engaging content—like the artist showcasing visual storytelling on the writer’s platform while the writer shares tips on crafting compelling stories on the artist’s page. This switch-up spices things up, grows audiences, and builds trust among their followers.
There are certainly additional ways to collab with other creatives, but these are some of the most common and beneficial options!
It’s all about leveraging talents, growing networks, and sparking innovation! Whether your partnership is a one-time thing or a long-term opportunity, these collabs open up a whole new world of creativity and possibility!
In any partnership, the goal is a win-win. The best collaborations happen when both sides get as much as they give. It shouldn’t feel like one person’s doing all the heavy lifting.
Working with partners whose skills, ideas, and resources complement your own!
Collaborations offer a way to leverage each other’s strengths and networks for mutual growth. Finding the sweet spot where everyone wins is the key to a successful, long-lasting partnership!
COO Tip: Don’t forget to put a contract in place (they’re not just for clients)! That way all the important details are discussed AND agreed upon before starting the collaboration. This can and should include things like payment or profit sharing, any commitments required by either party, ownership of the collaborative work product, and limitations around the partnership. That way, you both know exactly what you’re getting into and can refer back to this agreement at any point in time if needed.
So, what’s next for you?
Ready to dive into a collaboration that could take your creative business to new heights?
Pick a strategy that resonates with you—co-create, cross-promote, or maybe try a joint venture. Whatever you decide, make a solid plan and then I urge you to take imperfect action!
Reach out to that fellow creative you admire and explore the potential of teaming up. Your next big breakthrough could be just one collaboration away!
Need help? I’d love to support you. Reach out to schedule your 90-minute Clarity Call today!