In a world where Compton and Long Beach can live harmoniously, artists from around the globe can combine beats and lyrics without setting foot on the same soil, and businesses are working with big names to gain social media clout, the age of collaboration is upon us. Raise your hands if you’re here for it right now? After all, it ain’t nothin’ but a G thang, baby!
Beyond the hype of viral sensations, social media trends, and polarizing figures wearing our favorite brands, these collaborations are resulting in what so many businesses, artists, and brands past haven’t done – sell.
Take Snoop Dogg for example. The rap mogul might not earn as much as the next performer, but what he’s managed to do is stay relevant. Don’t believe me? That’s fine. Numbers from a Medium article show us that the D-O-Double G has collaborated on more than 1,000 songs during his 20-plus years in the rap game. Did he need to do all that? While it’s up for debate, one thing isn’t: in those instances where Snoop hopped on someone else’s album, he reached out and shook hands with all of those other artist’s fans, lyrically speaking. Sure, you’d have to have lived under a rock in the past two decades to not know about Snoop, but for those that were, now they know.
What Snoop did isn’t a foreign concept. It’s simple collaboration and it can be used in a helluva lot more than music. Let’s break it down into some of the reasons why collaboration makes sense for musicians, businessowners, and other professionals alike.
Reaching New Fans/Customers/Investors
What Snoop accomplishes in each collaboration, as we’ve mentioned, is the addition of fans from different bases. Take that model and copy and paste it into any venture where one is trying to become more well-known. Restaurants and craft brewers tap (pun intended) into this each and every time they attend festivals with their booths or tent. By going to where new people are, you’re guaranteed to pick a few new followers. Speaking of followers, this can be attributed to social media as well. Need a few more organic fans? Get featured on a popular Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account and watch your new friends start to pile up!
Let’s not forget about the music (or product) though! Even if Kylie Jenner has commented on your recent barbecue pic, if it tastes like trash, there will be negative impacts for everyone involved. Refine your product before you collaborate, then find someone/thing to help you promote it!
Expanding Your Network… Before Your Net Worth
Let’s say you “started from the bottom”, and now you’re here. Your music/product/service has taken off because of its reputation as being of quality and valuable. You’ve begun the process of collaborating with some peers and you’re waiting for the dollars to start rolling in. What is as valuable as those dollars, is going to be the connections you’re able to make because of whom you’re working with. Besides getting yourself out in front of potential customers, you’re going to have a shot at rubbing shoulders with the people who know the person you know. Say, for example, you’re working with a Victoria Secret model on a new skincare product. She’s agreed to feature it on her social media accounts and make mention of it during interviews after runway shows. In addition to that model, you find yourself able to meet other models, perhaps some agents, and maybe even some beauty product executives.
The next thing you know, you could be providing some of the world’s premier super models with your line of skincare products.
Do you see what we’re getting at? By including one collaboration in your business plan, you’re opening yourself up to a world of networking possibilities.
Drop The Mic… Then Pick It Up & Answer Questions
Mainstream media LOVES collaborations, especially in the music world. Remember us talking about Snoop Dogg and the more than 1,000 songs he’s been featured on? Chances are, while he might not have taken home awards for those songs, he’s had quite a few mics shoved in his face over the years. Perceptions and opinions of the media have shifted over the decades but people still find it polarizing to see their favorite people, or perhaps some new ones, blasted on the papers, TV screens, and radio shows. Each interview is an opportunity to blast your brand on the mainstream. Take advantage of it and tell people why you’re the best at what you do!
Here’s a fun quote from that Medium article I mentioned: “Some people say it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. But at least when it comes to rap, burgers, and start-ups, it’s more of a dog-help-dog world.”
My interpretation of that is this:
There are more opportunities for collaboration out there than there are for competition. Harness the power of the former to stand out against the latter.