The alarm goes off of a morning and I'm sure I am not the only one who roles over to swipe their phone to check their Instagram account. Double tap this, double tap that, comment here, comment there. It’s an addictive world. Nonetheless, it’s the new boom, particularly for small business owners like ourselves. Less than 12 months ago, I didn't even really know what Instagram was, let alone how to use it and why it could be of benefit to me.
There are so many words and terms floating around in the land of social media. As business owners, our heads are filled with the should's and the shouldn'ts, the what if's, the can I, the fear and all the rest so here is the story of two solo mumpreneurs who have totally rocked it with their Instagram collaboration this Summer. Social media is just one tool you have in your tool box which helps you with marketing for your business and here is the proof the power a collaboration can have.
COLLABORATION INTO FRIENDSHIP
Some of you may know that Brianna was a guest on the Mums With Hustle podcast, and from this, Brianna had the privilege of working and developing an amazing friendship with Amy from My Tiny Wardrobe.
“When Amy first approached me, "collaboration" wasn't really a concept I was familiar with but something I was certainly open too and boy did I strike it lucky with her” Brianna says.
Being the kind of person who is willing to try things once, after a few emails, a lengthy phone call once all the kids were in bed and settled (which is easier to plan than achieve!), we not only nutted out the ins and outs of the collaboration excitedly, but chatted about all things business. It’s so great to hear someone else’s experiences and struggles that you can relate too. So the wheels were put into motion. Essentially, our collaboration involved swapping products, including a few other businesses and taking photos to share which were then used throughout social media with hashtags and business tags doing their thing.
When compared to other collaborations I’ve seen around, I think what we do differently is that we actually write the name of the company we are shouting out eg @embylove in both the content and through tagging pictures. We shout out if each other is having a sale, just a quick post that we put up and take down, we comment on each other's feed if we really love each other's products and we explain to people why they should follow you ie. another handmaiden etc. and that sets us up for people to see us collaborate.
Followers know when you really care about something— they can sense your real passion and authenticity which shines through every picture and even through the words in your Instagram captions. Another important piece of advice on authenticity is don’t jump on a trend because it made it to the “popular” feed throughout social media. Stay focused on what truly represents you and you will reap the benefits.
Furthermore, if you don't collaborate, your ideas will be limited to your own abilities. As a result, you will not be able to serve your followers to see others products and we will never be able to call ourselves true #mumssupportingmums, which is what we in particular stand for. Empowered women, empower women. Throughout this journey, we have met many other business women in our collaborations. We have included mum photographers, homewares stores, mums with businesses supplying children's wear, mums with businesses selling teepees, hair accessories, stylists etc. It really is a collective of people who are all involved. We are a bunch of collectives bought together to help everyone's products or services shine. Our mission is to “complete each other, not compete", shares Amy.
Since meeting (thanks to Tracy) we have always believed in the power of collaboration. Early on in business life, we realised that you can't develop all the competencies you need fast enough on your own. That's one pretty big reason to follow Tracy.
Her intention to create a community of like-minded strong women who want to motivate and champion each other shines through her work on Mums with Hustle.
She wants to help us gain all those business skills you learn through the process of running your own business from the people who have been there and done that which brought us together.
There is so much to be said about learning from each other’s experiences. We have shared experiences about overseas producers and importing, weekend markets and supported each other through the not so glamorous days of being a mum to two, a wife, a housekeeper AND a small home based business owner. It’s actually more of a friendship between one business owner to another rather than a business deal where the agenda was to just swap items to get into each other's feeds.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR YOU?
If you had someone in mind who you have sat back and admired from afar for a while, our advice is to connect with them and ask those prickly questions. Who knows what kind of opportunities might arise? What friendships could flourish? What benefits there may be for your business…..You just need to ask.
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