We see it happening all over Instagram, one brand shouting out to another brand, the beauty of collaborations. Artists coming together, sharing their ideas, their products, and making new products, it's exciting! And in the end, they are sharing one another's followers. But shouldn't the goal in collaboration be motivated by more than making the next sale or gaining more followers? What should the motivation be?
When I was working in the classroom I had groups of fourth graders that collaborated, and then I had groups that produced a final product, and lacked collaboration. On the surface it all looked the same, but when one looked closer a huge difference could be observed. Those that had authentic collaboration were provided deeper connections with their peers, their work had substantially greater quality and unity within the presentation. In the end, these students had grown not only in their knowledge of the content, but they grew within their classroom community; they grew: in listening, in confidence, and in their empathy and patience towards one another.
Here are a few different ways to collaborate:
- Bridge two products together (Missy sells her jars and we sell soap dispenser tops and wooden jar table runners to make a new product variation.)
- Use one product to create a new product (Sarah applies calligraphy to our chalkboards.)
- Cross advertise for one another if you feel your products tie well together
- Host giveaways, fundraisers, etc. together
- Share a booth at a craft fair to strengthen branding (customers can see how your products work well together.)
True collaboration encourages growth and catapults us into new ideas. It brings us to a space where genuine sharing and vulnerability are required. The end result, or the "gain" is no longer measured in sales or likes, but rather the "gain" is simply the joy of sharing about the collaboration.