Create a collaboration with another local business! Successful collaborations can be a serious boost to your bottom line when they are executed correctly.
Here are some great ideas to create your first collaboration with one or many business owners.
1. Traditional promotion
Print advertising is not dead my friends, even though our absolute favorite forms of marketing involve the digital space. 😉 Go in together on a traditional magazine ad in your local community if you believe the results are worth your time! Collaborate on ad design so it includes all of your businesses. Print ad costs can be pricey but when you go in on it together, it will drive the price down for every business! If you’re part of a local district or neighborhood, going in TOGETHER on a piece collectively benefits everyone. Get your part of town top of mind.
2. Promote each other in email marketing
If you send regular emails to your list, why not ask other business owners in your vicinity if they typically do the same? For businesses that have an email list, see if you can send a one-time email to one another’s list with a promotion, introduction, or something else you know your customers would LOVE. This is great if your product or service complements one another’s. For example, if you sell clothing and another business owner sells shoes, you could work together to pair outfits to shoes and send an email to one another’s list reminding people to shop at BOTH locations. Even better? Incentivize them to do so.
3. Create a one-time event or event series together
There are so many businesses that complement one another. Who are your allies and how can you co-create an experience together in the community, in your space, at a local brewery, or another creative place? Maybe it’s an educational series, maybe it’s Taco Tuesdays, maybe it’s a one-time business bootcamp hosted by you and another biz owner. This will draw in new customers, as well as add value to your current customers. Events are one of my favorite ways to get creative with local business owners. Bonus: add prizes, giveaways, and other goodies to keep people coming back again and again!
4. Create a niche gift guide with other business owners
This doesn’t just need to be for the holiday season! Think of other gift guides throughout the year – Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Graduation Season. This can be created as a print piece or digital guide, but the idea behind both is the same: to create a valuable guide that promotes everyone’s products or services. Spearhead this effort for a holiday or season you love.
5. Collaborative product sales
Work together with another business to sell your products together. Here’s a great example of what a local clothing boutique did with a local coffee roaster during COVID-19. When you pair products and both of you share the opportunity, you’re introducing your brand to a whole new group of the other business’ followers.
6. Hire a local micro influencer, blogger, or the hummingbirds (if you’re a Des Moines local of course)
Find an influencer who is part of your target audience and partner together to promote your products or services. This can include sending them products to talk about and promote on their social media channels or having them host a takeover of your social media for the day! A community I co-built with my best friend, Whitney, is called the dsm hummingbirds. A group of 200+ individuals in our community are committed to trying new brands and sharing about them on social media in exchange for a perk. Interested? Learn more here. Want to launch this in your city? Contact me here.
7. Guest post
Collaborate with other business owners to guest post on their podcast, social channels, or blog! This gives you exposure to their audience and vice versa. We do this at love local and really enjoy how it adds value to everyone involved.
8. Create an interview series
Similar to guest posting, this could be hosted on your social channels (think IG TV or Facebook Live) or your blog, but will introduce your audience to other businesses in their local community through storytelling.
9. Partner together for a giveaway
Run a contest on social media or run it in store! You can give an item away from a local store and vice versa. Do it to build an email list, to grow social, or whatever other outcome you desire. Below is a great example with the link to the full post here for more inspiration.
10. Create a mastermind local group
Support each other as you grow together! Host a monthly meeting at your store with other business owners for the purpose of brainstorming how you can support each other. One of my favorite ways to expand my personal and business brand was to re-launch a community group called FemCity. This exploded in my community and brought hundreds of new customers to my business because I built a community to support positive women in business. You can do the same if this brand resonates with you! Learn more here.
Collaboration is one of the best tools a small to medium-sized local business has in their arsenal that can lead to growth for all businesses involved! I can’t wait to hear who you choose to collaborate with first or next. 😍