We all have those dream brands and clients or people we look up to in our wider digital circle, people who we would love to collaborate with in some capacity but we just don’t see it as a possibility given that ‘we’re not on their level yet’.
Well, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret, these people are just like you or I…
Sure, they may have a global brand or a hundred thousand more followers than you, or maybe they have just written that bestseller… But whatever it is, bar the occasional a**hole, regardless of how many followers someone has – they’re still human and they thrive off the same interactions we do. I can also guarantee that they have gotten where they are today, in part, due to some well-timed collaborations.
Now, before you start reaching out to these people without a game plan, you need to take a good hard look at your own content and online presence.
What value could you potentially offer your future collaborators or those dream clients? How would you be a great fit for them? What would they get out of working with you?
Checking in with yourself like this can be a really good way to notice whether you’re currently on the right track or reaching your full potential within your niche or market.
If you can’t figure out the answer to what value you could offer these people, it probably isn’t the right time to reach out. Instead, spend some time figuring out the answer to that question and then crack on with working towards being the best you can possibly be.
Clean up your act, have a look at your brand, start to be consistently consistent. Take time over your content (but not too much time), make sure it’s work that you can be proud of. I can guarantee that 9 times out of 10 the people you look up to and admire are definitely not half-assing things. They’re up early and they work long hours to make sure they can excel in their chosen career. Sure it might look like a glamorous, carefree life that your favourite style blogger is living but what you’re not seeing is the sheer amount of work and dedication put into that carefree, yet polished life.
Once you’re feeling confident that you’re putting out a positive and honest representation of yourself and your work, now is the time to reach out and request collaborations with those dream brands and people you look up to.
A neat little trick that helps to bridge the gap between you and ‘them’ is to first make a list or even a spreadsheet (I know, bear with me here…). In one column write down the names and details of all of your dream clients / brands / collaborators etc then create a whole bunch of blank columns next to them, titled 1, 2, 3 and so on and so forth. Each time you reach out to them, you get to put a tick in the box. it could be a simple introductory email – who you are, what you do and how you might be able to work together. It could just be an email where you let them know what an awesome job you think they’re doing, it could be praise for something specific they have worked on that you think is particularly groundbreaking. It could even be contact in a super small way – a like or comment on social media for example. Every now and then check back on your spreadsheet and make sure you’re reaching out to those that you want to work with.
This isn’t to say that once you’ve reached out ten times and ticked ten boxes then they will be guaranteed to come knocking at your door, it’s just a way of holding yourself accountable and actually focusing on the people or brands that you want to be focusing on. You might not feel like you need a list but I know for some it will be helpful. I also believe that there is some magic in writing down what it is you want to achieve, even better when you look at it regularly.
So, what are you waiting for? Get thinking about who it is that you really want to work or collaborate with and then get out there and make it happen!
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