Why Marketers Must Collaborate to Succeed

August 6th, 2015

Why Marketers Must Collaborate to Succeed

Anyone who thinks they will become successful on their own may as well pack it up now. There are reasons that we should be collaborating with other like-minded people in our industry—namely, because it helps you both.

There used to be a song when I was little that went, “If we all pull together, how happy we’ll be.” But I wasn’t always of that mindset. I was in it for me and me alone.

One Marketer’s Journey

Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time there was a punk who had just come out of the coal mines into the blogging industry because of an injury.

He was a lone wolf. He worked like this for years underground. He was an electrician in the mines, and these guys usually work alone. When he broke into the blogging industry, he thought he could do the same thing.

It wasn’t until he fell flat on his face a ton of times that he realized, “I need someone to help me.” (At the time, he didn’t understand that he really needed to learn how to help others—that realization came later.)

Finally, after getting into the groove of how things worked online, he began to see momentum. The more he helped people, the more recognition he got from the people he helped.

That dude was me. I was like every other newbie that started out in this business, looking to the skies and watching as the influential people (like Jay Baer) hit home runs with everything they did.

Learning from my past experiences, I began to have this crazy thought: “What if I could do something to help Jay out?” Then, “Nah, this guy doesn’t need me to help him with anything.” But I still couldn’t shake it.

Why We Should Help

In order to build relationships with people, and possibly collaborative projects in the future, always be useful in their business. Can you provide something for an influencer? Would it help them out in any way?

Finally, I saw an opening and took it. Jay had started venturing into the Google Plus world and getting the feel for it, but I saw something that he could possibly use my help on. Gingerly, I wrote these words and waited for a response:

Wade Harman Google-plus postSuccess! Jay was gracious and grateful for the help, and he immediately jumped about 20 spots on my respect list.

This goes to show you that any amount of help that you can give to someone, as long as it helps them learn or do something better, no matter how extravagant or simple, will be met with gratitude.

If it’s something that will help them improve their business in the future, help them.

How We Should Help

Granted, this topic is touchy because there will always be that one person that steps out of the woodwork and says, “You’re just doing this so they’ll do something for you in the future!”

If you continually offer help to anyone that needs it, not just an influencer, you will start to find that it starts to come naturally. After a while, the people that you have helped will feel a sense of debt to you and your brand, and they will eventually repay the favor. In Jay’s case, he came on my Relationship Marketing Show and did an interview.

Since that first conversation, a relationship has blossomed, and I would do anything to help him (and also a lot of other people, too) get to where he needs to go with his business. I am not as internet savvy as Jay, nor will I compete with him on his level anytime soon, but if I’m sincere in my help, then people like Jay will have a hard time forgetting who I am. (By the way, I still owe you for that cab ride, Jay!)

I know a guy that said, “Smart marketing is about help, not hype.” It’s true.

There should be no thought of reward on your part. However, studies have shown that reward-driven people, even when there is no thought of reward, are more proactive and successful. It’s these people that make a difference in their industry because the reward is in the giving.

You do it because it pushes you to do better the next time. You do it because you have built a relationship with the person and because you want to see them succeed on a higher level. The satisfaction of payment is in watching them get to where you helped them go—not anyone else, but you!

Building a Collaboration Strategy

After consistently showing these people that you truly want to see them succeed, you will start to see them giving back to you. After some time, they will feel compelled to return the favor. This is where collaboration is born. This business is all about collaboration and how two minds can get things done better than one.

Find allies for your blog by engaging. This is the best way to build a relationship with others. Go to where these people congregate and get in the mix with them. These people are everywhere: Hangout shows, Google+ communities, Facebook groups, Twitter chats, etc. It’s your job to be visible to these people. How can they know you unless you make yourself available?

Just scouting a person of interest isn’t the only thing that makes this valuable. It’s what you do after you realize who shares your goals. Your allies are important collaborators because you share the same goals. When this is true, the end gain should be the same for both of you.

So what can you do that will help both them and you, and everyone else as well? That’s the key to your collaboration. It’s everybody moving toward the same end gain.

Here’s another example. Recently, I proposed something to Jay that I had never done before: I wanted to “kidnap” his Google+ page! I saw a celebrity do this on Instagram and thought it would be fun to try with a friend’s page. I immediately thought of Jay. The Convince & Convert Google+ page had just been created, and I could help them get more followers for their brand. Not only that, but I could also help other bloggers that I felt needed the exposure of a highly recognized brand such as Convince & Convert.

The Final Thought

The Beatles were right: You can’t do what you need to do on your blog without the help of your friends.

Your strategy should always include a dose of social media each day so you can mingle with people of the same interests. Don’t just schedule and automate your posts, but be there in the flesh! It’s almost like going to a social media conference and hoping that people will see you for what you have to offer, and then staying in the hotel room the whole time.

It doesn’t work like that. You have to make yourself available.

We’re in the midst of a social overtaking. People are using it to contact and engage with more brands now than they ever have. Stake your place in this industry—not only by yourself, but by interlocking yourself with some like-minded friends and allies. This is how you become successful.

Collaboration is not a rifle, but a shotgun effect. When you pull the trigger, not only will you hit your target, but you will hit everyone else’s as well.

So what can you do for someone else today? Who can you collaborate with that will make a difference, not only for that collaborator’s marketing, but other people’s marketing as well?

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