One of the most common questions I hear is about the name I chose – Beckmann Collaborative. The comment is that it doesn’t clearly define my business or what I do. However, I strongly disagree. My work is not just marketing or strategy or social media. I am a professional collaborator, and those I work with understand the value of collaborative work.
The Collaborative Economy
A few months ago, I worked with the Austin Technology Council on promoting their annual CEO Summit. It was an incredible event with all of the most influential CEOs in Central Texas (plus more) exchanging ideas and hearing from innovative speakers. One of the speakers I felt most engaged by was Jeremiah Owyang. His passion and focus is on the Collaborative Economy. Hearing him speak, my first thought was “Brilliant. This guy gets it.”
There are now 17 billion-dollar companies with 60,000 employees and $15 billion in funding in the sharing or collaborative economy, according to Jeremiah Owyang and VB Profiles, a market intelligence firm partly owned by VentureBeat.”
That’s how big the collaborative economy is in our current world. Something bigger than this sharing economy model, but still related, is the concept around collaborative work.
Why Collaborate with Other Businesses?
What is the point of collaborative work with others? Aren’t I technically losing money by referring clients to other specialists? In the short-term… sure, I guess you can be losing some profit. But in the long-term, building up these professional relationships based on collaboration and sharing of labor is a great way to grow your business.
1. Audience Reach
When you work with other businesses, you are opening yourself up to their clients too. Sharing is not a one-directional action between collaborators. This means a little less time spent on business development and outbound sales. Instead, you are building up an inbound sales cycle for your business.
2. Creative Expansion
Whatever your product or service offering is provides great value to your clients or customers. Now imagine what would happen if you opened your mind and business up to another person who has creative ideas and is coming from a different angle. Can you even imagine all of the possibilities? Many businesses are going so far to co-create completely new products after an initial collaboration.
3. Better Value for Clients
I specialize in marketing strategy, especially digital and guerrilla methods of promoting a small business. While I can run a Google AdWords campaign, I’m not a PPC specialist. So why would I spend exorbitant amounts of time running an Adwords campaign for a client, and spending time pushing past some of the learning curves? Instead, I can call upon a trusted collaborator to complete that work for my client. The client appreciates my transparency and gets a better value for his or her money from the work of my AdWords collaborator.
Happy Client, Happy Me.
4. Long-Term Business Development
Working with collaborators has wonderful side effects. You often become more self-aware of the way you run your business – both the good and bad things. Sharing your journey with others allows you to grow, improve, and (dare I say) scale your business. Sometimes things don’t work out, but that will teach you just as much as the collaborations that are highly successful.
It is through failures that we grow, change and become who we must be.
Running a Collaborative Business
We live in a sharing or collaborative economy, and I run my business that way. If there is something I do not feel comfortable running for a client, then I look to my network of collaborative partners for their expertise. We train each other, learn from each other, and support each other’s businesses.
If you’re interested in collaborating with me or any of my partners, then give me a shout.