Arranging to collaborate with other businesses is a really good idea because you have your products exposed to each other audiences, this means you expand your reach. Often it can be more than that, with you sharing and supporting their normal posts and vice versa, it can really increase your brand reputation.
So how do you go about collaborating as a small business? You may feel unconfident about approaching other businesses or just unsure where to start.
1. LOCATE YOUR IDEAL PARTNER TO COLLABORATE WITH
Find another business that your customers would shop with, but that sells different items to you. Their items should be complementary to yours. For example, if you sell handmade baby clothes, collaborating with a handmade teether business is perfect. If you are a mummy blogger, collaborating with anything child related could work from clothes through to food through to household products and items.
It is certainly easier if you have a product you can swap with them. Bloggers and service providers will need to show what they can bring to the table. Bloggers will need to show that they have a good sized captive audience that makes it worth the other business giving you free stuff.
Once you’ve located a business you’d like to collaborate with, message them and say you would like to work with them. You could suggest doing a product swap so you have their product in your pictures and vice versa.
2. USE WHAT YOU HAVE
If you are not having much luck with option one, then you may need to invest a little. So you could look at items you already own or you could buy new items. Then when you post tag them in and refer to them. Hint – go with the type of item you want to receive for free! Let’s say you go on a lot of holidays as a family, and you’re a mum blogger. You want to be posting amazing pictures from your hotel, tagging them in and raving about them in the post. Or you could tag a fashion label you always wear or always put your children in. You could tag your favourite place on a day out, your favourite cafe or restaurant. Once your feed is big enough, you should find by tagging the right people you get freebies also!!
If you don’t have existing material then buy it. If you wanted to collaborate with a teether company, then buy a teether or two from them and regularly use them in your pictures. Tag them and give a little review in your post in a natural way.
“Little Sandra is loving the sunshine today and thank God for these teethers from @teethercompany keeping us sane whilst she’s teething. I’m passionate about shopping handmade and natural products and I love these! Anyone else’s little ones teething?”
You’ll notice there’s more to my caption that meets the eye! It’s telling a story, giving a review, working a collab and encouraging engagement! Boom! Read more about captions here!
Post like this a few times and the teething company will be happy to work with you. Try to select a company that’s roughly the same as you in terms of stats for the most success. Shooting for a bigger business would seem better, but they’re less likely to collaborate so it can be a waste of time.
The bigger you get, the better your collabs can be. Check out our new marketing membership for consistent growth for your business.
Here’s little Sebastion and Tizzy brand repping!
3. FIND OTHER BUSINESSES ACTIVELY LOOKING TO COLLABORATE
Search out brands and businesses looking for collaborations. There are a few easy ways to do this. You can search on Facebook just using terms like “collaborators needed”. Or try searching for “brand rep required”.
Brand repping is a good way to go on Instagram also. You can put yourself forward a rep in return for free or discounted goods. You need to make sure your feed is good and you post pictures already that they would easily slot into, so start thinking about this now if you don’t already so you have an established feed.
On Instagram, you can search collaborators, brand reps, or have a good look at hashtags used in your niche. There tends to be certain hashtags dependant on your niche that indicates people are up for a collab. You can also use sites like Collabfinder to locate businesses. But my best advice is to get lost in Insta or the book of Face and have a good look round your niche at who’s offering what.
The benefits of collaborations are huge, you will find you always have support from the other business and the benefit of their audience and marketing efforts!