Over the past month, a couple of people have asked me about small business collaboration and the online platform, LinkedIn. After answering both queries (which were both sent through social media platforms by the way), I started to think about how we communicate and how I could respond more creatively. In response to these queries, I’ve decided to write two blog posts: one for small business collaboration and a LinkedIn blog post (coming soon!).
So, let’s get started. Connecting with local businesses:
Research who is around your area
Researching which businesses and organisations are around your own area is a good place to start. But, be a bit more strategic here. The thing is, nobody honestly expects you to remember everything, but you don’t want to approach the same business twice – especially if they have already expressed that they do not wish to be bugged by you. So… write down a list so you can keep track of your moves. I created a basic template so I know who I’ve approached. You can download the Connecting with local businesses template, please use this as a guide and feel free to add to it.
How you can approach a business
There are multiple ways you can approach a business. You could send a tailored pitch email and then follow it up with a phone call or a face-to-face visit. Not sure how to craft an email or would you like a starting point? To get started, view my example email template below!
Hi there [name if possible],
How are you going?
My name is Tara Lupus and I’m a __________. To view my blog site please click on the link: https://agirlwithadigitalquill.wordpress.com/.
In 2015, I moved over to Melbourne to complete a Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations) and I’m now back in Tassie. Throughout my course and work experience, I quickly learnt that I’m a community-minded, people-first individual who is passionate about storytelling.
After researching ________, I can see that your business is_______________________________________________________________.
I’m extremely interested to write a blog post featuring the _____________________. Wow!! __________ is involved in so many great community projects and I’d absolutely LOVE to help share your story.
It would be amazing to have a chat and I’d love to explore any collaboration opportunities with you.
Has a business owner said yes and they want to collaborate with you? Great! Let’s look at the next step. Firstly, you may be a bit nervous if you haven’t worked with many businesses before or volunteered to use your skills to help them out. The nerves are okay and might even show how much you care about offering your help/services/skills.
Here’s the thing, I’ve volunteered my time to help a variety of organisations during and after university, and I still get that “positive nervous feeling”. Basically, what I’m trying to say is, don’t worry. We’re all different and those feelings might stay with you but don’t let the nervous feelings overwhelm you. You want to do well and achieve a positive outcome for the business. Keep moving forward!
To keep the ball rolling:
- Find out what type of project they’d like you to do or you might be proposing or pitching an idea? Discuss what you might need or would like to include in your work. Do you need to arrange a photo-shoot? Or will the images be supplied?
- If you need to arrange an interview, think about the different/flexible ways this can take place. Face-to-face, email, video chat or over the phone.
- Discuss the draft and deadline dates and it’s always best to show the business owner the final draft version of the work BEFORE officially publishing it! Always keep them in the loop – nobody likes to be left in the dark.
Hope you found this blog post interesting! If you’re thinking about approaching a business and would like to have a chat with me…please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or reach out! For more tips, follow my blog. 🙂