The foundation of a successful collaboration


#WeAllGrow Summit 2016

I recently spoke on a panel with Sara Urqhart of Alt Summit, Cara Paige of Blogalicious and Laurie White of Mom 2.0 at #WeAllGrow Summmit 2016 called How Collaborations Can Build Your Brand. How cool was it to sit on a panel with these powerhouses? Very! These are some of the loveliest, most passionate women I’ve met. They truly love what they do, and were excited to share their experience and knowledge with our attendees.

Prior to this panel, I had been working on a collaborative project called CoLAB (L for Latina Bloggers Connect, A for Alt Summit and B for Blogalicious) with Sara and Cara. Hi perfect is that acronym, I mean, really.

The foundation of a successful collaboration

The premise of CoLAB was to cross-connect the women who are part of each network in the hopes of diversifying content creation while strengthening communities. After all, it’s about learning from and with one another, which leads me to this post.

Would you like to collaborate with another blogger or creative? Do you both (or all) agree with the mission of the collaboration? Before jumping into the launch of that mind-blowing blog or authoring the greatest story ever told with your BFF, you need to break down a few things for yourself first. I’ve seen it many times – Two or three people get together. They both have dreams of where this partnership can take them. The “talk” was not had. It all falls apart. And by “talk” I mean everything from who’s going to be leader, the writer, the finance person, photographer, web designer .. Whatever it is that you’re working on. Everyone stops speaking. Project fail. You must have a clear goals and real conversations in order to have a successful collaboration. 

If you’re in the beginning stages, take a look at a few questions below to ask yourself before committing. They’re directly from the conference and were put together collaboratively between Laurie, Sara, Cara and myself. If you want to dig deeper into this topic, I’m also emedding the video below. The quality is not great and it is an hour long, but it is packed with great info.

Questions to ask yourself before saying YES to the collaboration with a peer.

  • What do I want to achieve or do?
  • What’s the purpose for this collaboration?
  • What will I get out of it and what am I willing to contribute?
  • What will my collaborator(s) get out of it and what will they contribute?
  • Can I be flexible?
  • How much or little do(es) the collaborator(s) want to be involved?
  • What are benchmarks and check-in dates for the collaboration?
  • At what level will I be able to enjoy this collaboration?
  • Are you willing to advocate for yourself?
  • What is our timeline?
  • What is our budget?
  • Who is leading the collaboration?

Collaborations are a great way to build a tribe and gain exposure in your niche while bringing together multiple talents and point of views. There’s nothing like a group of talented women coming together for a cause. One of the collaborators from CoLAB enjoyed working together so much, they wrote a book! In fact, the program is up for a Iris Award for Game Changer of the Year. I know firsthand that there’s a lot of power in coming together to build something amazing. However, you have to be on top of your communication with one another (ahem, and keep things in writing) and realistic about expectations. Fore more, check out our panel below. While you’re there, hit subscribe. I will be publishing more career content in the upcoming months. 

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