How Genuine Connections and Relationships Can Lead to Fun Collaborations with Kate De Palma

How genuine connections and relationships can lead to fun collaborations with Kate De Palma podcast from Product Powerhouse

Collaborating with other businesses or makers can be an exciting way to grow your business, but it can also come with its own set of challenges. In this episode of the Product Powerhouse podcast, I chat with Kate De Palma from Scented Designs about their experiences with collaborations.

Here are some key takeaways from this episode:

1 - Start with a strong foundation

Before entering into a collaboration, it's important to establish a connection with the other person. This could look like attending craft fairs or events where you can meet in-person or doing a virtual “coffee chat” to get to know each other so you can build a relationship with them before discussing business opportunities. By doing so, you can get a sense of their values, work ethic, and communication style. Building a strong foundation early on can lead to a more successful collaboration (and friendships) in the long run.

2 - Think outside the box for collaborations. 

Collaboration opportunities can come from anywhere. In this episode, Kate shared that she’s worked with all types of other businesses like realtors, an animal shelter and even a boudoir photographer. Great collaborations can come from anywhere!  Working together can create unique and compelling consumer experiences. With great collaborations you can expand your customer base and offer more value to your customers. When dreaming up fun collaborations, think about how your products or services can enhance each other’s businesses, add value to their audience and create something new and exciting.

3 - Follow your gut

Paying attention to red flags that come up before collaborations can save you time, money, and stress. Before investing in new supplies or agreeing to a project, make sure you're aware of what the collaboration entails and if it's worth it. Clear is kind - especially when it comes to expectations. If something feels off or you're unsure about the collaboration, it's okay to ask for more specific details. Don’t feel pressured to bend your own boundaries. Trusting your instincts can protect you from potentially harmful collaborations and create space for more beneficial opportunities.

4 - Saying no is okay

Remember it is ok to say no. It can be tempting to take on every collaboration opportunity that comes your way, especially when you're a small business trying to grow. However, learning to say no to projects that aren't the right fit for you can create space for something better. By focusing on collaborations that align with your business goals and values, you can create more impactful partnerships that benefit both parties involved.


5 - Protect yourself

Legal protection is important in collaborations. Make sure to use contracts and consult with a lawyer, if necessary. By setting clear expectations and boundaries early on, you can avoid misunderstandings and protect your business interests. Collaborations can be exciting, but it's important to protect yourself and your business throughout the process. 

Collaborating with other businesses or makers can be a valuable way to expand your business and build connections within your community and really have fun with your business. (It can also be really great for SEO!) However, it's also important to approach collaborations with caution and make sure you're protected legally. By starting with a strong foundation, following your instincts, saying no when necessary, protecting yourself, you can create successful collaborations that are win-win! 

I’ve done several really fun collaborations in my own business. After we recorded this episode, I actually partnered with Kate to make cute branded candles for the speakers and prize winners from our recent virtual summit. The virtual summit itself is a HUGE collaboration with the speakers and sponsors. I’ve done numerous presentations and trainings inside the communities of other small business owners like Monica Froese, Mountain BizWorks, Flourish and Thrive and many others. I really believe your imagination is the limit when it comes to collaborating with others. 

Learn more about Erin and how I help product-based business owners at Product Powerhouse.

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