The spirit of community over competition became ingrained in me two decades ago as I shared my experiences starting my first business with my group of craft business besties .
We relied on each other for resources. We celebrated when we finally got a wholesale order from that dream store we’d been pitching to for months. We doled out hugs when we’d had an awful sales day at a show. We showed each other that we truly were stronger together.
I still love to forge relationships with my fellow creative business owners. So many wins and opportunities have been born from collaborations that wouldn’t have existed if we had given in to the scarcity mindset instead of one of abundance. There is plenty for all of us! Lifting each other up not only helps our businesses, but also creates a sense of togetherness we solopreneurs desperately need.
It’s easy to say you’re all about community over competition but it’s another thing to actually live it. That’s why I wanted to share four ways you can band together with your fellow business owners.
CREATE A JOINT SOCIAL MEDIA GIVEAWAY
This is a great way to introduce your brand to a new audience and share new finds with your current audience. Increase the impact by curating a giveaway of goods and/or services from four or more brands. In order for the collaboration to be effective, make sure you work together on the rules of the giveaway, how participants will enter and how they will receive the prizes.
LEAVE A REVIEW FOR ANOTHER BUSINESS
Seems easy, right? It may be simple, but this is one of the things that usually falls to the bottom of your TO-DO list. I know you’re swamped trying to keep up with your social media posts, creating content and products and ALL the things that go into your business. But taking a few minutes to write a positive review for a fellow business bestie will not only make their day, but can also help future customers trust the band enough to click that “buy” button. Try to commit to reviewing one business a week. Those few minutes can make a world of difference!
FORM OR JOIN A BUSINESS GROUP OR MASTERMIND
I first learned about masterminds from my friend Kari Chapin. She invited me and a handful of other creative business owners to spend a weekend in a rented house for a deep dive mastermind retreat. Each business owner got a few hours to share about the difficulties she was having in her business, as well as explore her vision for the future of her brand. The group then offered suggestions and support. It was beyond helpful. In fact, the insights we got that weekend helped us launch The Dear Handmade Life online shop and online learning programs. You can form your own group or join an existing one by reaching out to your community through social media or Facebook groups.
TRADE SHOUT OUTS WITH LIKE-MINDED BRANDS
When I first discovered my favorite underwear at a craft show, Thunderpants, I couldn’t help but post about them. I was ecstatic that I’d finally found cute and comfortable underwear that didn’t ride up. I talked about them on our social media, newsletter, and blog. I even mentioned them on our podcast. I couldn’t help it. So many people in our community discovered Thunderpants because of my obsession. Not only did I help Thunderpants connect with future super-fans, but I helped the community I love finally feel the joy of finding the perfect pair of underpants.
When you help your audience find other products or services that you know they’ll love, you not only bring them joy, but you also build your relationship and trust factor with your customer. It’s awesome when you can organically discover another product or business that your audience would love, but it doesn’t always happen that easily.
How great would it be to effortlessly connect with brands that your customers would love AND find the perfect customers for your business? How nice would that extra boost of social media love be for your next product release or an upcoming sale? That’s exactly why our friend Pete created Ampjar and it’s why we love it!
Ampjar connects you with like brands and helps you shout out about each other on social media and in your newsletters. The best part is, it’s FREE! Here’s my personal invitation to apply to join the Ampjar community.
Are you ready to get out there and make some collaborations happen?
Step 1: Make sure you’re in the right mindset. Remind yourself that there’s enough for everyone and send your scarcity mindset packing.
Step 2: RSVP for Community Over Competition Week! It’s a full week of education, inspiration and action including a panel discussion, a virtual craft brunch and more to help you grow your business by marketing with heart, building your community and lifting each other up. Ready to join us? All you have to do is head here to RSVP for the FREE week of events!
Step 3: Create a list of collaboration ideas and potential partners. Start with products and businesses that you’re comfortable with. Once you have a few collaborations under your belt, push yourself to make bigger things happen.
Step 4: Check out Ampjar and apply if you feel that it’s a good fit. Don’t have many followers? Don’t let that stop you from applying. Pete and the Ampjar team aren’t focused on numbers, they’re all about authentic communities and business owners that care. Their application process is easy, quick and can even enlighten you about your audience demographics.
Step 5: Keep collaborating. Set a goal for yourself to reach out to a set number of potential partners per week or month. Keep a list of collaboration ideas so that you’re ready when you discover the perfect brand.
I can’t wait to meet you during Collaboration Over Competition Week!
P.S. – If you’re looking for more resources to help your business embody the spirit of community over competition, check these out.