Do you want to build a better business? Strategic partnerships are a great way to grow your business, your network, and your brand reputation.
Poet John Donne wrote “No man is an island” and in business, there’s no more truthful statement. While we may all start out as solo-preneurs, we won’t get very far on our own.
Strategic business partnerships are some of the most valuable relationships you can build as a photographer. These partnerships come from other businesses that align with the photography industry. Website developers, brand designers, hair and makeup artists, graphic designers, and marketing consultants are great partners.
With these collaborations, you add value for your ideal clients by coming together to create workshops, services, or products that meet your client’s goals. And by being connected in this way, you will offer your clients the opportunity to work with trusted professionals, without having to do all the research and vetting themselves.
Creating strategic partnerships is a great way to grow your personal branding photography business, saving them time and energy that they can use elsewhere in their business while meeting their long-term goals.
In this blog post, we will discuss how to create successful partnerships with other businesses that align with brand photography.
Step 1: Identify Potential Partners
The first step in creating successful partnerships is to identify businesses that offer services that complement your photography services. Look for businesses that have a similar target audience to yours and are interested in working with you.
Some of my favorite partnerships have been with brand developers and web designers, like my business partner and friend Haley Ryan of Mac Ryan Creative. Web and brand designers are one of the most natural strategic partnerships because their ideal clients are almost always your ideal clients, assuming you have similar brand styles and values.
When a business is in the process of creating its brand and building its web presence, it needs brand photography to round out its visual brand identity and add content to its website and social platforms. By aligning yourself with a trusted brand and web designer, you become an obvious referral partner for their clientele.
Another invaluable partnership and friendship I have built over the last 7 years as a brand photographer has been with wardrobe stylists, like Alicia Elatassi of Vibes By Alicia. Alicia was one of my very first strategic partners and we have continued to work together on projects, refer each other, and create workshops together to this day.
Step 2: Reach Out to Potential Partners
Once you’ve identified potential partners, reach out to them for collaboration opportunities. My favorite way to introduce a potential partnership is over coffee. For me, an email is too impersonal for the type of relationship I really want to nurture in this space.
The goal is to be clear about what you’re offering and what you hope to gain from the partnership. Do your research and learn about their business, what they specialize in, and who they serve. In this way, you are sure to be aligned in your goals. This will also help you tailor your pitch to their specific needs and show that you are serious about working with them.
Step 3: Create a Partnership Agreement
Once you’ve established a partnership, it’s important to create a formal agreement outlining the terms. This might include details on how revenue will be shared, who will be responsible for what tasks, and how long the partnership will last.
Having a formal agreement in place will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that there are no misunderstandings. It will also help protect your business and ensure you are compensated fairly for your services.
Step 4: Promote Your Partnership
Once your partnership is established, it’s important to promote it on your website and social media channels. Remember that the ultimate goal of this partnership is to work together to further your mutual business goals. Promoting each other and the way you are working together is a crucial part of the endeavor.
When promoting your partnership, be sure to highlight the benefits of each other’s businesses. This might include examples of successful collaborations you’ve had in the past, or testimonials from satisfied clients. You might also consider offering a special promotion or discount for clients who use both of your services.
Step 5: Communicate Regularly
Finally, it’s essential to communicate regularly with your partners to ensure that everyone is on the same page. This might involve regular check-ins, sharing updates on projects, and brainstorming new ideas for how to collaborate.
Having open and regular communication will help ensure that your partnership is successful and that you are able to provide your clients with the best possible service.
In conclusion, creating strategic partnerships with businesses that align with the photography industry is an effective way to grow your personal branding photography business and provide your clients with comprehensive services that will help them achieve their goals. By following these steps, you can establish successful partnerships that will benefit both you and your partners.