Collaboration Match Making

Two heads are better than one, but only if they’re the right heads. Finding the person who’ll share your vision—or help create an even better one—can be simple.

Think inside the box. Obviously, you’ll be interested in working with people whose work you admire. Whose blog are you naturally drawn to? Who has a similar sensibility to your own? It may also be as simple as looking at your own blog. Do you have a favorite reader? Someone whose clever comment always makes you smile? She might be the perfect candidate.

Think outside the box. Make a list of the skills you’re looking for and ask friends to suggest people you might not know. Comb through blogrolls to find great people who are just outside your radar. Consider collaborating with someone outside your industry for a fresh perspective and new insights.

Be clear about your strengths. Don’t make the mistake of suggesting that this collaboration will be great for your potential partner because they have so much to offer you. That’s not collaboration—that’s a favor. Evaluate your strengths and don’t underestimate yourself. You’ll be attractive to collaborators by being very clear about what you offer.

Expand your vision to include benefits for everyone. Hopefully you have a clear vision for your project and its benefits to you. Look at it from your partner’s point of view and think carefully about the advantages for her. The clearer you can be about the returns she’ll get, the more convincing your pitch will be.

Post by Sara Urquhart, director and co-founder of Alt Summit. Photo by Phil Pham.