Collaboration Requires an Open Mind from Brands and Bloggers

By: Sara Urquhart of Alt Summit; Photo by Brooke Dennis for Alt Summit

I’ve been writing a lot about collaboration lately (see learn how to make your offer attractive to partners who have a wider reach than you do).

I’ve already stated how valuable collaborating can be, and its widespread use is proof. In the collaborations Alt has been involved in and in the many collaborations I’ve had the opportunity to observe, I’ve found that a critical key to successful partnerships is to listen, listen, listen.

Pitch a great idea, but be willing to hear variations of that idea, alternative ideas, related ideas and completely new ideas. Finding a project that meets the needs of all three parties (both partners and the audience) may require some brainstorming. If your original idea isn’t a fit for your partner, your willingness to tweak your idea could be the difference between a successful collaboration and no collaboration. If you’ve been flexible and still don’t find a good fit, accept that and move on to someone else.

Brand partners will also benefit from being flexible and open minded about a project. A social media influencer brings insight and expertise to her audience that can be extremely valuable to a brand. If your brand has a certain project, giveaway, or promotion in mind, seek the advice of your social media partner to see if it’s a great fit for the audience.

I’ve been approached by paying sponsors for Alt with some…interesting ideas. Because I knew the ideas would absolutely flop with the Alt audience, I had a responsibility to Alt (obviously) but also to the sponsor to ensure that they didn’t receive negative exposure at the conference for an idea that wouldn’t resonate. When sponsors are open minded, influencers can steer them toward the most successful activities and messaging that will make the best impact for their brands on the audience they’re trying to reach.