Collaborating with another creative business owner can be super awesome.
First off, it’s so nice to be able to bounce ideas off each other, especially when you’re so used to being holed up in your own little cave making every decision yourself. It also gives you a chance to feed off the other person’s energy.
And let’s also mention accountability. When I have someone else counting on me to get things done, you better believe I’ll make it happen.
I recently got the opportunity to partner up with my friend, Courtney Johnston, to create Sales Page in a Weekend, and just like anything else in business, there are always lessons learned to take away from it.
Here are my 4 tips to keep in mind if you plan on collaborating with another business owner in the future:
1. Get your legal ducks in a row
Have a contract that outlines who will take care of what so there are no questions. This can be ackward putting together, but it’s even more ackward when things take a turn for the worst and you don’t have a contract together.
Here are a few places to get started with your joint venture contracts and agreements:
Small Business Bodyguard – includes a Joint Venture Agreement
2. Split up the tasks based on your individual strengths
When you first decide to partner up, it’s super important to get clear on who will be responsible for what.
Sometimes, depending on your individual set of skills, it can be really obvious who will do what.
For example, with Courtney and I, our skills are very complimentary so it was easy to split most of the tasks up.
Here’s how we split everything up:
Design of everything
Sales page, email templates, landing pages, webinar registration + thank you pages.
Setting up tech
Since we are using my LeadPages, OptimizePress and Infusionsoft account, it just made sense for my team and I to handle all of the tech pieces.
Since we are using my IFS account and a couple of my contractors, it’s just easier for me to handle the finances. This meant that we decided that I would get a specific percentage extra of each sale in order to cover the cost of this extra work that I’ll be doing each workshop.
Copy for everything
Sales page, emails, webinar registration + thank you pages, landing page, initial draft of webinar outline.
Setting up webinar
We ended up using her webinar software, so her and her team set this up.
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Talk about what each of you prefers to do and come to an agreement on what each person will be responsible for.
If you find that one person is doing a little more of the work (like how I am handling all of the finances), decide if that person should get a little larger chunk of the profit for the extra tasks they are responsible for.
3. Communicate frequently and openly
No matter what you’re doing in business — working with clients, implementing a new system, tool or process within your team or working with another creative — communication is the name of the game.
When you’re collaborating with another creative, it’s naive to assume that you will both agree on each step from the get-go, so having a relationship with the person where you feel comfortable voicing your opinion is crucial.
We also made sure from the start that we had planned meetings scheduled in our calendars to catch up and chat. These started as monthly, then moved to bi-weekly, and now that we are in the middle of the launch, we are chatting every day.
Scheduling the calls ahead of time helps to make sure that you have plenty of opportunity to be communicating with each other about everything going on.
4. Use the right tools
Here’s a breakdown of what tools we are using to collaborate.
This is our most frequently used tool. We used Google Docs for pretty much all of our content and planning for our workshop. It also was super helpful to be able to collaborate in real-time together while we were chatting. I even ventured into Google Slides and created our entire presentation for the webinar.
We used Basecamp to outline all of the detailed tasks that needed to be completed for each phase of the launch and workshop. We had a to-do list for the webinar, pre-workshop materials, email campaigns, actual workshop materials and launch timelines. This helped us keep both of us, and our teams on track with what still needed to happen.
When we started planning this workshop in January of this year, the first order of business was actually getting on Skype to chat about the type of project we wanted to work on. Enter: Skype. I have a weird relationship with Google Hangouts, so I always opt for Skype to chat face-to-face.
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The important thing is to make sure the tools are convenient and that you actually use them. Tools are here to make our lives easier, and if the one you’re using only complicates things, then you’re either not using the right tool or not using the tool correctly.
What do you think?
Have you collaborated with a creative in the past and had a good or bad experience? What were your biggest lessons learned from the entire thing?
One more thing!
Sales Page in a Weekend is open for enrollment. It’s a 2-day virtual workshop where we teach you how to write and design your own sales pages. This is a great opportunity for you to learn the framework we (Courtney and I!) use in our businesses every day when writing and designing for our VIP clients. It’s also a great opportunity for dedicated work time to finally finish your sales page so you feel confident and ready to launch your idea into the world so you can start making more leveraged income.
There are only 25 spots total in the workshop and enrollment closes on Sunday, June 21st at midnight CDT. Learn more and register here >> http://bit.ly/salespageweekend