How often do you come up with a brilliant idea to grow your business or initiate something totally new, and soon after spiral into reality and realize you don’t have the skill, time or money to make it happen? Thus another moment of brilliance is shelved. What if I told you it doesn’t have to be that way?
At the start of 2016 myself and two other female entrepreneurs were fed up with the BS on social media, with all these ‘influencers’ posting about how they were nailing it in their business; whilst behind the scenes often not having a financially viable business model.
We had a random idea. What if we created a YouTube show with real women, talking about what actually goes on behind the scenes in business? What if, through real stories, we could change the conversation for women in business – reducing barriers to entry and the overwhelm of comparison? But how? We had no experience in production, nor did any of us have spare money to make it happen. But we were a group of problem solvers.
In my experience, true collaboration is a mutually beneficial exchange that delivers a positive shared outcome. It’s the win win we hear about but don’t see often enough.
We scanned our networks and soon realised we had a connection to an ex-MTV Europe producer. But how would we pitch our random idea to this guy so that we could persuade him to collaborate with us?
Start With What Success Looks Like
It’s easy to gain buy-in to an idea when you can describe in visual detail what the end result would look like. We painted a picture of a launch event sponsored by a corporate partner, with 100 women of influence being wowed and sharing The FBOMB Show with their social networks, and a bow wave of interest and social sharing.
Know Your Value
Clearly articulate what value you bring to the collaboration and can offer your collaboration partner. We highlighted that between us we had rock solid connections to interview and seek sponsorship, digital prowess and solid social followings to promote, a co-working space to launch, legal qualifications, and brilliant project management skills.
Clearly outline what it is that you need to make your brilliant idea happen. We needed someone who could produce high quality footage so that we could blow people away with the professionalism and buy credibility with prospective sponsors.
The Call To Action
Always close out with “if this opportunity sounds like it may be of interest, I’d love to have a coffee to brainstorm further. Let me know if you are free on XXX date…” We closed out with a date and we called to follow up and ask if he had any questions.
So what happened? To our surprise, he loved the idea and what we could bring to the table so much that he came on board as a co-founder and provided all production at cost, making our random idea viable. Six months later we launched The FBOMB Show with support from ANZ (another collaboration partner I reached out to) at the beautiful One Roof Melbourne and have now had over 10,000 views on social media.
As entrepreneurs, collaboration is one of the most powerful resources available to us, with often the only cost involved being our time and skill. It enables us to expand our resources, close skill gaps, build and grow our connections and reach new markets. Most of the collaboration partners I have worked with I had never met until I pitched and asked for what I wanted.
I challenge you pick one idea or challenge you need help to get off the ground or solve. Write down that dream list of collaboration partners – don’t be limited to your networks – think about who you are following on social that rocks your world. Develop your pitch and make it happen. You may be surprised to find the more you share an idea the more it grows!