It’s the 1st August and it can only mean one thing: it’s Yorkshire Day! We’re lucky enough to have worked with some wonderful small Yorkshire businesses over the last few years. So, we thought what better way to celebrate than recognising all the connections we’ve made.

Our collaborations have included Crossing the Chasm, Doodle HR, Adventure Fund, Selby Enterprise Cafe, Phil Pickles, Craig Storton Photography and Whitewing Recruitment and Training Services, Print Plus, Andrea Morrison Coaching, Swan Health Physio, Inch Punch Design, Jackie Crawford Image Consultant and Paula Duck Photography, to name but a few.

There’s no question about it – all of these alliances have had a huge impact on our business. So, we want to pass on our knowledge and show you why linking up with like-minded brands might well be the most powerful piece of marketing advice you’ll ever receive. We’ve explained why and tips to get started, below:

It can boost your expertise

Collaborating with a complementary business can strengthen your expertise in new areas and aid you in developing innovative products and services for your customers.

By merging skillsets together, you can gain a competitive advantage, boost credibility, reach untapped markets and ultimately attract a wider audience. Better still, both you and your employees can take away valuable skills from the relationship and vice versa.

Take our toolkits as an example. We partnered with Doodle HR and a chartered psychologist to create bespoke internal resources that combine the expertise of communications, HR and wellbeing: three different areas that are so often dealt with separately. Both partnerships have allowed us to offer services with a point of difference, while teaching us new skills along the way.

There’s power in the collective

There’s the conventional saying “two heads are better than one,” and this especially rings true if you’re a small business or start-up. People buy from people and there’s great strength in numbers, especially when you’re up against the larger corporations.

As a small business, it can be hard to get your name out there. Linking up with another brand can instantly double your reach and visibility, just by sharing products and services on your respective channels. It allows you to sell your products on each other’s behalf.

It can help problem-solve

When ideas comes to a grinding halt, it can be helpful to gain another perspective. Working with another company can open up opportunities for collaborative brainstorms.

You might find a partner can offer a fresh outlook on a problem you’ve been so desperately wanting to solve. Or, they could get the ball rolling in an entirely new direction, bouncing different ideas around across the team.

It’s crucial for communications

Joining forces with another company can help spread important messages and build positive brand association. In the current Covid-19 climate, collaborating has never been more important for communications. Many brands have banded together for the greater good of society.

Let’s take hygiene, for example. Boots, Carex and 02 partnered with the government on their #EnjoySummerSafely campaign to ensure the message about safe hygiene was echoed loud and clear. When brands come together, they can leverage the power of communications, and quickly.

If your company is big on social responsibility and making change happen, collaborating with a well-suited business can be a powerful way of generating greater awareness on societal and political issues. It can also help change the perception of your brand and get your story understood by the right audiences.

So how can you get started?

  • Look to your peers – Speak to your peers first and see if they have any relevant connections you can reach out to in their network. They might know of companies that naturally dovetail with yours. Another easy way to discover complementary businesses is to check your audiences’ likes on your Facebook page. See if any of the brands they’ve given a thumbs up to match-up with your needs.
  • Attend meet-ups – Join a local meet-up group for entrepreneurs or small businesses. Many meet-up groups aim to harness the power of the collective; sharing advice, support and most importantly, connections.  
  • Social media – Connect with compatible brands over social media to deepen ties with those you’d love to work with. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Private Facebook groups are also a great way to develop new contacts.
  • Collaborate on content – A great starting point to forming a new relationship is to work together on content and then return the favour. It could be an expert round-up with quotes from businesses, an interview, a guest blog post, or even an Instagram takeover where you control another company’s Instagram account for a day. These simple collaborations are a great way of opening up doors for future opportunities.

How to find the right partner

Finding the right partner is crucial to success as you’ll need to be on the same page as one another. Ask yourself these key questions to form an alliance with the best possible fit:

  • Does the industry the business works in complement the needs of my business?
  • What are the goals and objectives of this partnership?
  • What can this business offer that my business cannot?
  • How much commitment will this collaboration involve and is it feasible?
  • Can this partnership bring value to my customers and increased visibility?

In a saturated marketplace, teaming up with similar-minded businesses has never been more important for boosting your communications and getting your voice heard. There are so many long-term benefits to be reaped, whether that’s reaching bigger audiences or acquiring cutting-edge expertise.

Plus, if things don’t work out, not all is lost – you’ll gain valuable learnings for next time around. For more tips on how to boost your communications, take a look at our holistic approach to communications blog post.

Emma Lever

Author Emma Lever

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