In times of uncertainty, what’s better than collaboration? We love the phrase “empowered women empower women,” and we know amplification is the best way to reach a wide audience with a message. When two parties can take advantage of the other’s following, everyone wins!

While we wholeheartedly support collaboration, it’s important to be strategic with whom you decide to partner up. We’ve put together a few tips for what to consider before you approach someone with a proposal.

Know Yourself and Your Business

Before you reach out to a potential collaborator, make sure you are the expert on your brand – your mission, your audience, your values – and how your brand can benefit his or her business. While all of us should always have a personal elevator pitch ready to go, it’s even more important for a brand. Collaboration consultant and podcaster Baily Hancock says, “It’s important to have a super-tight elevator pitch that explains who you are, what you do, for whom you do it, and how you do it.” When your pitch is concise and easy to remember, people are more likely to spread the word about you!

Know Your Whats and Whys

This may sound obvious, but influencers and businesses alike receive requests for vague collaboration on “something.” A partnership only works if both parties benefit, so not only do you need to communicate clearly what you can offer, make sure you present your needs as well. If you don’t have these items established prior to your initial meeting, you might be more likely to accept whatever the business or potential partner offers, and that could be light years from the value of your cooperation.

Know You Can Deliver

None of us enters an agreement with the intent to not keep up our end of the bargain, but it can happen. Get everything in writing and follow it to the letter. If images are fuzzy or a post isn’t on time, a simple “sorry” won’t cut it. If you do run into an issue, communicate it immediately and work out a plan to make good on the offer. When everything is running smoothly, feel free to go above and beyond when you can, maybe with an additional link or an extra image. It also never hurts to include a mention on a future post; it not only provides a little added value, but it reminds your partner of the collaboration and might even encourage another!

Partnerships are what help us learn about new products or ideas, and working strategically with the right person or brand is exciting and mutually beneficial. After all, isn’t collaboration the end goal of networking?

To learn more about collaboration, check out additional resources herehere, and here.