Are you interested in collaborating with someone on a writing project, a podcast, or content creation? Collaboration can be a fantastic way to grow your message and reach a wider audience. However, finding the right partner can be a challenge. If you have a collaborative project in mind but you haven’t found a fellow writer or speaker to partner with, consider the following five questions to help you identify the right person.
One important quality to look for in a collaborative partner is responsibility. What have you observed about their work and their work ethic? Do they show up regularly for their audience? Do they follow through on promises and provide thoughtful, engaging work in a timely manner? Observe how your potential partner manages their time and stewards their message to get a sense of whether or not they would show the same commitment to a joint project.
It’s also important that your potential partner has a professional approach to their work. Do they consistently seek out feedback and educate themselves on the latest publishing or podcasting trends? Do they have an organized and thorough system or a team to help keep them on track? How do they respond to their audience? Being professional doesn’t necessarily mean being formal. Writers who cultivate an informal and approachable persona online can be very effective. Professionalism is one key to a lasting partnership.
Professionals work with excellence. They don’t cut corners or leave projects incomplete without good reason. They offer their best, regardless of audience size or online influence. Check out your potential partner’s website, social media, and products. Is their work built on a foundation of excellence? Does it rise to the same level as your work? If so, they belong on your shortlist.
It helps to have some personal experience with the person you’re considering. If you’ve already developed a relationship, then you’ll know if the two of you already communicate and work well together. Do they return messages quickly? Do they anticipate your questions and needs? Do you do the same for them? If you have a mutual understanding of what it takes to make a relationship work, that will most likely carry over into a partnership. If you feel intimidated, unsure, or receive mixed signals, it might be time to consider another partner.
“One of the benefits of collaboration is that you’re bringing different skill sets to the table; you’re bringing different ways of looking at problems and different resources. If you agree on what the unified mission is, then . . . the pieces can come together and make something really beautiful.” — Emily Jensen, co-founder and content director of Risen Motherhood
Who do you find yourself consistently talking to about the same issue or message? Is there someone doing work adjacent to yours that you feel could benefit from a collaboration? Partners should have the same mission or vision for the new project, but they don’t have to have the same skillset. Look for someone who has complementary skills, ideas, and resources and seeks the same end goal for an audience.
Finding a collaborator may feel intimidating, but don’t let that deter you. Sharing the work with a partner who has different strengths and a fresh perspective has the potential to make your work more exciting. Take your time, observe from a distance for a while, and ask yourself the questions above as you consider a collaboration.
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