April 12, 2012
by Amy Flurry
Creative collaborations are great fun, but they’re also a smart marketing move!
It is easy to get people excited about DIY publicity (it works!) and about opportunities that come of sharing your story with thousands of people (for free!) But if you’ve made your passion profitable, you also know that the business backend can be a time vacuum and zap the creative juices you once called on to keep your marketing efforts fresh.
That’s why I love and encourage collaborating to keep create content –like blog posts, mailers, newsletters—engaging. In fact, I devoted an entire chapter to the idea in my book, featuring Rebecca Wood, owner of R. Wood Ceramic Studio (www.rwoodstudio.com) in Athens, Georgia and friends. Instead of letting their need for editorial-style content become a burden, she treated it as an opportunity to get together with friends with businesses and to share inspirations and bolster their outreach efforts. They choose a day each quarter (so pictures reflect the changing seasons) and a different location each time to finish projects, style vignettes with their products, cook, craft and eat together. “Make beauty, inspire each other, photograph it all,” says Wood. “It’s like a retreat, with a purpose.” At the end of the day, they have enough photographs to spice up their social media needs and to keep fans engaged in their story and brand lifestyle.
How does this approach also help in landing press? The first thing media influencers look at when you reach out to them is the picture associated with the pitch. After reading a pitch, editors then visit your website, poke around the About page, your blog, Twitter feed or inspiration board to get to know your brand better. They are looking for a compelling story, one that, if they covered, would inspire their readers and even better the publication by inviting you in to their community. A good brand tells a story through how it handles every single photograph along the way.
Collaborating like this can have even broader perks. Recently, some friends who were also jewelry designers threw a party in New York as a way to better get to know some influential bloggers and to introduce those bloggers to their brand. The designers invited friends from home to join them, to share the ride and rise; a stylist served as the group’s muse and model in the lead up, and a photographer made her first trip to New York to document the behind the scenes, other happily contributed products to fill out the goodie bags and to also enjoy the marketing opportunity. When it was all said and done, each participant blogged about it with their own spin, shared images with their own communities and expanded the reach of the host designers substantially. And they had a good time doing it, developing new friendships along the way.
How do you collaborate in business? Are you in the habit of photographing it? Before you know it you’ll have a deep well of images to pull from to keep your customers, friends, and vendors captivated and coming back for more.
Amy is a longtime freelance editor and contributor to Country Living, Lucky, Better Homes & Gardens, InStyle, Daily Candy, Conde Nast Traveler, Paste, Jane and others. She also co-founded Paper-Cut-Project, a company that conceives highly crafted installations in paper for companies including Hermes, Cartier, The Bay, Christies, Kate Spade and Korres.
Her new book, Recipe for Press, pitch your story like the pros & create a buzz, represents Amy’s irrepressible desire to share with small business owners, designers, crafters and local brands how to create fruitful relationships with media influencers and score valuable press. It is a “how-to-be-your-own-publicist” guide to all of the information a seasoned editor wants to share with you before you pitch your story.
Available on Amazon and at www.recipeforpress.com for $23.95