If you are looking to build a business, grow your blog, create a new enterprise and produce good work it is vital that you utilize the collaborative process along the way. The most powerful and often untapped resource in any creative venture is collaboration.Whether you are seeking to be a stylist, blogger, makeup artist, photographer, artist, entrepreneur or business owner, there is incredible value in working with others to fast track your success.
Building A Portfolio/Body Of Work
Building a portfolio is important as it houses your skills, talent and collection of works in a single space giving you the opportunity to present this whenever it may be required. A good portfolio is often now attached to a blog or website, it is quite rare to have a paper version in the digital age we now live in. A great shortcut is to always hashtag your Instagram works with your business name or unique tag which is a simple way to direct a brand to your works - the client or brand can type in your unique tag and see just the specific works which apply to their needs. For example, I could hashtag #thestylesideeditorial which could bring up just my editorial styling work etc. Developing good work and a strong portfolio relies upon many people - photographers, models, designers, makeup artists etc. Establish what you can do yourself and what you need help with, then contact people in these fields via Facebook groups, networking, friends of friends and social media call outs.
You will find a large range of creatives happy to jump on board a project, using TFP (time for photos) as the transaction. If you take it upon yourself to organise a collaboration for portfolio content, ensure you cover all bases and understand the final work belongs to all parties. Planning is key, have the creative direction made very clear to ensure all parties are on the same page and the work is as good as it can be.
Starting a business begins with monetizing skills, an idea, effective branding (read my post of effective branding here) and selling a service or product. After the foundations are set, the next step is building a clientele. This can be a slow process, however utilizing social media effectively can dramatically speed this up. Collaborating with other businesses is the best way to gain exposure, free marketing and cast of your net as wide as possible. Whether you hold an event with a similar business, run a joint competition via Instagram, create a joint project or charity event, there is nothing but value to be gained through working with your competition. The misconception of out-competing ones rivals is dated and equates to poor business practice.
Working together is the key. Approach businesses with your plan or idea and see what comes back. If you never try/never know. The more creative you get with your business collaboration ideas the better!
Growing A Blog
Any blogger knows the most difficult part of blogging is coming up with content. Much like writes block, 'bloggers block' is a very challenging hurdle to battle with. The best lesson I have learned through my blogging journey is the power of collaboration. Whether interviewing a person I find inspiring or running a feature beauty on a business or individual, showcasing someone else on your blog is a great opportunity to keep content flowing and directs your attention outwards. Blogging is so personal, sometimes it is great to shift the focus from 'me' to 'you'. Consider who you want to feature, what type of people or businesses inspire you and align with your values and brand?
When approaching anyone with a collaboration idea, stick to the following steps when approaching a business, brand or individual you would like to work with:
-direct them to your site/blog/social media pages
-express your desire to work together and why
-detail positive outcomes for both parties
-offer previous examples, including figures, outcomes and successful examples
-close with your personal details and a call to action
No one can do everything on their own. Just as you have certain skills and specialties to offer, others have skills which you may not and in combining your talents you can always achieve more. Finding a good fit business wise is a positive win for all involved and sometimes, if your lucky, can extend into friendship, which is the absolute best outcome. Being actively creative opens up a big world filled with like minded, inspiring people...all you need to do is get out there, get working and jump in!