When you start your business, you naturally go to friends and family to seek support. I did that when I started. The turnout? Not so strong. I am not saying don’t rely on your friends and family. The reality is, friends and family will congratulate you but only a handful will actually pay for your services or products to show their support.
It was a rude awakening for me early on when I realized that I needed to get out of my comfort zone and actually tell the world that I was in business. I had no idea where to go, what I should say and truly was just afraid that it would amount to nothing.
I had no choice but to break the “shy” barrier.
Here is what I did:
· I researched on social media, specifically Instagram, under hashtags in my space and in my local area.
· I identified small business owners and studied their offers.
· I put together a plan as to what I would be able to offer them based on what they were showing.
I set up myself not to be discourage if no one answered back to my emails or DMs. I cold called….online.
· I was able to secure great collaborations.
· I made sure to remain authentic and honest with my intentions with each client.
· I gain visibility in my local area that resulted with even more collaborations.
I created relationships with other creative people in my space willing to partner with me on other collaborations.
Here is the thing: If you are a new business or thinking of going into business, don’t worry about having the right amount of following, likes or engagement. Focus on creating great content and showing what you are able to do. The rest will follow. Be authentic with your approach and don’t think too hard when you send that email out. I still reach out to brands the same way and communicate the same way I used to when I started. I don’t think I will ever change that.
Also, if you have to remember one thing remember this: Not everyone will understand you, your brand and the value(s) that your creative business can offer. The ones that do, trust me, they will manifest.
I’ve had collaborations that ended quickly and others that became multiple projects. I am a fan of the latter. I like to build long term relationships because to me building a brand is constant marathon.
Again, focus on creating great, authentic, taught provoking content!