The power of collaboration
A guide for creators, artists, entrepreneurs, and other small business owners
by Sonia AMROUN · Wed 3 Aug 2022
Collaboration is one of the most powerful tools for success. As social beings, we tend to learn better, faster, and more easily when doing it with or through other people. Not only that, but harvesting inspiration, creativity, and experiences from others is an unmeasurable useful hack in scaling up our business or starting our journey.
Learning how to collaborate instead of competing, and how to harvest others’ success, experiences, skills, and knowledge, is one of the best investments a person can make.
Benefits of collaboration in learning and development
From our early life, learning happens around other people. We see others and learn from them, we combine ideas with others and come up with new ones in the process, and we judge situations by watching others in them. Of course, learning happens when we’re alone as well through internationalization, but learning through social interactions is one of the most powerful ways of learning and growth.
Here is what happens in the process of learning and growth when we’re collaborating with others:
- New knowledge is created
- We’re exposed to new perspectives
- We learn from other’s mistakes and vice versa
- We complement each others’ skills and knowledge
- We learn to create a sense of our decisions and goals
- The support and inspiration we get from others keeps us motivated and ambitious
Collaboration boosts your exposure
As a creator or entrepreneur, getting the word out about your business is the goal. Luckily, with social media availability, today is easier than ever to open yourself to the world. The only downside is that this fact also makes it very competitive. So, every time you get exposure to a large audience, or not even a large, only new audience, it can mean a lot for your business.
This is where collaboration with other creators and entrepreneurs plays a big part. Many creators have quickly realized this and have embraced collaboration instead of competition.
Let’s dive a bit deeper into this, shall we?
Collaboration works as a free “mutual” ad
Sometimes collaboration with another artist or small business owner can be much more fruitful than paying for a social media ad.
First of all, being shared by another creator gives you much more credibility than a commercial that pops up in the feed, it feels more genuine, and gives that personal touch to your business that an ad can never beat. If you choose a collaborator that matches your vibe and audience and if it does make sense to work together, the results will surely show you that in no time.
You can choose to work with creators of entrepreneurs whose businesses are complementary to yours - like music + dancing, or meditation + healthy eating. But, you can also choose somebody from your exact niche to work with and make a mutual product or a service to showcase your work.
If you’re both in the same niche, exchanging audiences can never hurt even if you are a competition. Being friendly and collaborating with your competition means learning, growing, and having a sneak peek at how they do their business. And getting exposed on their social media to a new set of followers and fans that you know already appreciate your niche will definitely help spread the word about your business.
Collaboration can work as a valuable referral
Working with another creator or entrepreneur will not only open you to their audience, clients, or fans, but also to their close social network of friends, colleagues, or family. If you are collaborating with someone in a way that you are complementing each other's work or skills, that is a great opportunity for you to out yourself as the “go-to professional” in that area for them.
If the collaboration goes well, this can probably end in a long-term collaborating relationship when you need each other’s services. Other than that, if somebody from your collaborator’s close network asks for a service that you offer, there’s a good chance they will refer them to you.
Why expanding your network is important for artists, creatives, and sole entrepreneurs?
Socializing, collaborating, attending events, and connecting with other professionals are a crucial part of your business's growth. Networking is the oldest marketing tool and is definitely something that doesn’t cease to carry the marketing weight.
The only difference from “business from before” is that now, networking can happen everywhere, anytime, and in any setting.
Depending on the type of people you need to surround yourself with, you can choose the platform you will use to connect with others or find live events. Networking can be a formal dinner party, an Instagram Live session, or a beach get-together with drinks and snacks. If you’re looking for investors, it might be a fundraising event, if you’re looking for collaborators, this might be a skill-sharing night. The possibilities are never-ending, and you can truly get as creative as you want to be. Whether it’s in person or online, a direct message on Instagram, or a connection on LinkedIn - networking is a step a business owner should never skip.
Here are a few goals that you can achieve through networking:
To be present and relevant
An ongoing expansion of your network, connecting with other professionals from your niche and other niches relevant to you, and being active in communication with others will help you be seen as an industry-relevant professional. If people can find you through other people, reach out to you as a second or a third connection, and if your name frequently pops up in seminars, on social media, and in conversations - you’re becoming relevant.
The goal is to be present even if you’re not truly there - through conversations, stories, referrals, posts, etc. Slowly, more and more people will be aware of you as someone present in the niche they're interested in and you will gain credibility and, with time, new clients or customers.
To educate people on your services and show them why they need you
Nobody should forget about the importance of educating their future clients on their services, not even when that service is a hundred years old. Speaking to people about your career and choices from your perspective can be just the push they need into deciding to finally purchase it or use it. Educating people on what you do also means inspiring them to feel your passion and cause.
Don’t ever forget that you should be the preacher of what you do, even if there are millions of others who preach it.
Even with your competitors, share, talk, and inspire each other, educate them on your ways, and they will educate you on your ways.
This is how you will become the person somebody thinks of when they think about your niche. This is how your name will be mentioned, and how you will get referrals. And lastly, this is how you will show that you're open and more approachable to collaborators.
Why coliving is the most suitable ground for boosting your solo career
Coliving is the perfect ground for people who are doing something different. They are made for artists, creatives, thinkers, and small business owners - people with a passion for what they do and an untypical and innovative approach they take. Colivings are perfect for those who are thinking outside of the box and have a lot to share with the world.
Before anything, colivings attract the audience who are somewhat atypical. People who are not interested in the classical working settings, not even classic traveling; people who are interested to meet others, learn from them, hear new things, and making connections.
Being surrounded by open and like-minded people can help you:
- Showcase your services and value in-person
- Educate people on what you do
- Put yourself as THE professional for the services you offer
- Connect with other creative or entrepreneurial people
- Kick off a project or a collab with someone in the house
The power of collaboration shown through Awid Aman
As an example of the power of collaboration, you can take Awid Aman. We are a completely collaborative project based on the principles of working together, learning with and from each other, and helping each other. Without collaboration and our network of creators, entrepreneurs, coaches, thinkers, creatives, etc. Awid Aman couldn’t exist. All the value we’re bringing to you, to us, and the world, we’re bringing through networking and collaboration with valuable, committed, and inspiring people.
Our project works on mutual inspiration, pushing, and motivation and this is what gives it a Perpetuum-mobile characteristic. The project naturally grows and moves because there are a lot of us who keep it in motion alternately.