As a small business, I love being involved in collobarations with other small businesses. I truly believe it’s an amazing way to connect and help businesses to grow. It’s also a great opportunity to leverage each others talents and resources. There are many ways to collaborate such as giveaways, product/service swaps and cross promotions. Today, I’m talking about product/service swaps.

Here are my 3 tips for a successful collaboration:

1. Get to know each other. Introduce yourself, what you do, your website and social media handles. If you have testimonials or have been referred by someone mutual mention it. Show you know them – address by name, explain how a collaboration will align and benefit both parties.

2. Be clear on what you want and the collaboration opportunity. E.g. Are you styling a room and need decor product? Are you shooting a fashion piece and need clothing? Let them know who else is involved as this often gives credibilty to your collaboration, especially if the collaborators have a previous relationship. Provide a timeframe of collaboration, when it will be held and the timeframe for providing images. If you have a vision board or image of what the room will look like, then show it.

3.  Be clear on what you will give in return. How many images will your provide? How will you promote the images? If you allow your images to be used in social media and other advertising? Will the images be featured on blogs on magazines with links to the collaborators website?

Each collaboration will be different and it’s always best to be clear on the arrangements upfront so expectations are known.

I get a lot of requests that just say ” love your product. I’d love to collab!” Um no. Make sure who you are collaborating with influences in your target market too. For a product collaboration of say $50 in product I ask for 3-5 images tagged on social as a mimimum. From a business perspective, I share these images on my socials (50k plus) and try to get them featured in magazines and blogs too with credit to the creator.

As a real life example, Lee from You Give Me Grace, emailed me from out of the blue asking if I’d like to be involved in a collaboration. She provided a mood vision board of the shoot, timing of the shoot and other collaborators involved. After showing my interest, Lee clearly specified her product requests (this makes is so much easier) and following the shoot she promptly provided links to the images. You Give Me Grace had about 600 followers at that stage, and from my perspective, it didn’t matter at all.

Here are just a few of the beautiful images You Give Me Grace have created with some of our products.

you give me grace shoot luggy and cake

you give me grace shoot hubble and duke

you give me grace photo shoot

you give me grace shoot

“I absolutely love working with Lee from You Give Me Grace. I have been involved in 3 photoshoots that Lee has styled. Each time I have been impressed with not only Lee’s professionalism but the stunning images from the photoshoot. They are beautifully styled, colourful, unique and really showcase the products. I cannot wait to work with Lee again and I highly recommend You Give Me Grace for any business looking for a children’s product stylist”

Styling by @yougivemegrace. Photography by @jokimphotography.

Thanks for reading!

Dong-Maria xo

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