I’ve been doing a lot of hanging out with freakishly cool kids. (Have you noticed?)

First came the Word Carnival carnies. (An ever-growing close-knit tribe of bloggers who write for the small biz crowd.) We’ve been together for almost nine months now.

Then came the Blog Posse. (We’re a special crew — aka “mastermind” — and we support each other through thick and thin and everything in between.)

These two groups are my month-in and month-out mainstays. We’re an awesome network of peeps whose connections deepen every time we work together. I once calculated our collective reach (the total number of social media connections) at just over 50,000 people.

That’s pretty sweet, right? But we’re more than the sum of our networks. We’re colleagues. We share ideas. I love these guys. And I wouldn’t trade ’em for the world. But I’ve also been playing in some new circles, too these days.

Three Sweet Collaborative Projects You should Know About

The first is Top Ten Marketing: An online learning event that’s bringing together 10 fabulous marketing experts (including moi!) to help solopreneurs and itty biz folks figure out exactly what they need to focus on and how to measure it all for success. Deborah Gallant of Bold Business Works brought us all together to share our best (Top 10) tips on how to maximize your success with every key marketing medium—from social networking to in-person networking (and everything in between). As part of the faculty, my job is to help you focus on blogging.  The other folks will be sharing their recommendations in quick, targeted 30-minute webinars. Yep, it’s a virtual event. (Go here to get all the details.)

The second project I’m working on is an issue of Rebelations Magazine: a digital publication just for Rebelpreneurs (like you and me). My new biz girlfriend Gina Bell invited me to write an article for the “Visibility Boom” issue of Rebelations Magazine — an issue devoted to helping us get noticed, get clients and get our businesses growing. Inside this top-notch resource for innovators, trendsetters and entrepreneurial go-getters there are rebelicious articles by 17 (count ’em!) other top-notch experts. That means there are 18 of us working together on this particular project. (Learn more and grab your free copy of the digital magazine at: GinaBellInc.com/rebelations-magazine.)

And finally, I’ve pulled together a small cadre of folks (just myself and four others) to officially help me get the word out about my new book. Our joint efforts have three waves to them (the first wave happened on April 17 with the initial launch of my book). Look for the next wave coming May 8th (<– that’s my mom’s birthday and I wanted to do it up right).


These three examples of collaboration (not counting my time with the carnies) means I’ve got the marketing power of 32 experts and the potential exposure to somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000,000 people over the next two to three months. People, this is HUGE. I can tell you that without these joint ventures, my business would not be where it is right now (humming along quite nicely, thank you!). What you need to know — and totally understand — is that collaborating in the kitchen is non-negotiable. It is the only way you’re going to get the traction you need to grow your business.

You need to be a part of a team — preferably multiple teams — in order to get the kind of exposure you need to do anything of consequence and impact. In fact, I feel so strongly about this that I devoted a whole chapter to this topic in my new book. But I digress…

So, how do you find the right people to partner with?

Here are my tips for laying some important groundwork:

  • Watch, listen and connect with as many professionals who share your target market as possible. Get to know them as human beings. Interact with them in Twitter chats, webinars, Facebook and LinkedIn groups, forums and other logical hangouts. When you notice somebody doing something cool, let them know. Answer their questions. Be helpful. Go out of your way to connect them with other people you think they should know.
  • Look for the Influencers in your industry. Interview them for your blog. This is the fastest way to kick-start a new relationship. Follow up with a handwritten thank you note. Stand out from the crowd by showing your gratitude and your awesome follow-through.
  • Make a list of folks you think you’d like to work with. Reach out to them on a regular basis and build rapport when the opportunity arises.

All of this relationship-building needs to happen before you have a project in mind. It will be a lot easier to get a “yes” from someone if they know, like and trust you as a peer and colleague, first.

Here’s what I want to know from you:

Who are you working with? Who are you partnering with? What joint projects are you working on? Share them in a comment below and I’ll help you get the word out. And if you’re not collaborating with anyone yet, share the profile of your ideal partner. Who are you looking for? What qualities do they have? What talents and resources do they bring to the table? Maybe we can help you find one or two of them! Let’s make this collaborating thing a group effort!

Photo Credit: Jessica Cruz