#30 – The Value of Collaboration

Can you collaborate with another business owner who does the same thing as you do? Maranda Carvell, a registered nutritionist who has an online business that helps other nutritionists turn their passion into profit, believes there is a lot of value in in just that.

Why work with other business owners?

value of collaboration

Collaboration is a great opportunity for business owners to grow. As an entrepreneur or solopreneur you may find that you do everything yourself: marketing, content creation, etc. Everybody else in your industry is also doing it alone – all of you are basically doing the same thing. If you work together then you are not spending so much time trying to reinvent the wheel.

Why do people hesitate to collaborate?

Collaboration can be a scary thing, especially if you have never done it before; but as you start to decide what your focus and niche is, you will also see that everyone has their own style, personality and approach to doing things, so although there is overlap, everyone’s work is unique.

Not everyone will want to work with one nutritionist, etc. so by connecting with others who are in your line of work you are building your professional network and can refer people and vice versa.

What kind of projects can you collaborate on?

You can collaborate behind the scenes i.e., sharing of digital products, resources, etc. It does not have to be a face-to-face collaboration, you can share content and tools that are similar, but then are altered to reflect your business’ offerings, etc. For example, challenges – two separate businesses can run a similar challenge, but with two different offerings at the end.

Another way is to co-create programs. You can split the workload, share ideas and then both promote to your own mailing list and social media followings, etc. You can then each share an online community group where participants can join together to connect with a larger group.

How can you find the right person to collaborate with?

Most of the people Maranda collaborates with are people she has gotten to know online, or are specific to her professional network. As you engage with people in your industry you will get to know them better and see if their philosophy and values are in line with your own.

The scarcity mindset needs to go. There is so much benefit to working with others, but if someone is hesitant than maybe they aren’t the right person to collaborate with. There is more than enough business out there and an open-mind is needed.

There is always competition, but building relationships builds businesses and people want different things and are attracted to different styles, etc. so just be yourself and don’t worry about other people.

When you work alone it can be very lonely and isolating, collaborating creates connections and brings something fresh to your business.

Tips to work effectively with more than one person:

-       Be organized with your work and make sure the other person is too

-       If you don’t see the person face-to-face have online systems set up to ensure goals are being met

-       Have open communication, such as constantly connecting via a private Facebook Group or with weekly calls, etc.

-       Use a shared drive such as Google Drive to share documents

Other tips on collaboration

Many business owners share a passion with another business owner. The more of us who are successful and who are willing to collaborate then the more of your industry there will be to help others.

Don’t be afraid. Just focus on your specific niche and goals. The benefits of collaboration outweigh the risk – there is opportunity to be found in collaborating.

Resources & Links

Maranda Carvell's website

Maranda’s Nutrition Business Community Support Facebook Group

Maranda on Twitter  

Social Media Simplified on iTunes

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#21 A Story of Action and Feeling with Marsha Shandur

I stood in line to get lunch at the conference surrounded by nobody I knew and I was running the internal dialogue that I almost always get at conferences between sessions through my head "I'm here to meet people, I should talk to someone, I don't know anyone, do I talk about what's for lunch? Oh, they are already talking to each other, they don't want me interrupting them, I wonder where my friends are (look around hoping that they're coming to join me), Lara! You came to this event to meet new people not to stand around talking to nobody" when I heard someone in front of me talk about B-school. 

I'd taken B-School! I could offer insight about B-School! I should say that I took B-School. They probably wouldn't mind if I joined in. Okay! I can do this. So I picked up all my nerves and I piped up to the people in front of me who were not talking to me at all "I did B-School!" and they did not glare at me for interrupting, and they did not smile and nod indulgently and turn back to each other continuing to talk without me, but they happily included me in the conversation about the program and all the things we loved about it. The person who had brought up B-School was Marsha Shandur - one of the best contacts I ever made at a conference (I even went to summer camp because of her - find out more about that in episode 6 ) , and she joined me on the podcast this week to talk about storytelling. 

A story of action and feeling (2).png

Marsha has an incredible knack for storytelling online and in person. Her blog engages readers and creates an emotional connection with them - like you really feel like you're part of her inner circle by reading what she shares online. So, how can storytelling help your business? By making an emotional connection with your audience.

What is storytelling?

Storytelling enables you to emotionally connect with your readers which is important because our brains respond differently when we hear facts versus stories. Unlike with facts, we can picture ourselves in a story, which enables people to use a good story to really impact a person.

What makes a great story?

Less narrative.

Being able to incite emotional response.

Granular details! Share the little details – BE the story.

You don’t need a crazy story – just a regular story that people can relate to.

You don’t have to share the entire story. Share snippets! Bring people where you want them to be.

How can I tell a compelling story?

Walk around life with a notebook and pen or use your notes app on your smartphone noting anything you think is a story. Remember that it’s not about telling everyone everything about you; you’re sharing your personality and how you view the world.

Then write the story. Take out the extra details that don't impact the story and instead stick to the action scenes. They key is to not put into too much detail, but instead focus on feeling. Focus on how you felt without taking away the essence of the story.

Don’t start with the end of the story because people won’t pay attention or they’ll focus on the story based on the ending. And don’t throw in spoilers – movies don't reveal the result of action scenes before the movie really starts, so don’t do it in storytelling. Tell the story in chronological order.

Where can you use storytelling in your business? 

You can use storytelling on your blog, on sales pages, in person, at networking events, as a speaker – anywhere there is an opportunity to connect with people instantly.

Bonus Marsha tip about leaving comments on blogs

Comments on blogs are like sunshine pouring into your heart. They mean a lot to the people creating the content.

Resources & Links

Marsha Shandur’s Website

Marsha’s Special Secret Website for Social Media Simplified Podcast Listeners

Social Media Simplified on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

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