Your fellow creators with an audience similar to yours aren’t the enemy. They can actually be just the opposite for your content businesses if you consider creator collaboration.

Too often, content entrepreneurs view anyone who produces content for the same target audience as the competition. But with some strategic thinking and a better understanding of your content tilt, your “competition” could be a great collaborative marketing partner.

Don't see creators with similar audiences as the enemy. Instead, partner with them for mutually beneficial collaborations, says @AnnGynn. #ContentEntrepreneur #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet

Let me explain.

If your tilt is unique, few, if any, creators are really direct competitors. You may differ in format or distribution platform. Perhaps your focus is a subtopic of theirs. Or maybe you both target the same audience for very different reasons. For example, the audience of parenting content likely overlaps with the audience of remote work content.

Creators create collaborations

Mark Masters of You Are the Media recently worked with us at The Tilt on a content collaboration. He provided us with a guest article (and included a call to action in his bio), and we provided him access to our newsletter audience. 

Within a day of its publication, he gained 48 subscribers to his newsletter.

Why did the collaboration work for Mark? The audience of The Tilt – content creators becoming content entrepreneurs – overlapped with his audience – a marketing learning community. In addition, his guest article topic – audience vs. community – was specifically relevant to his brand’s content tilt.

A guest article from @MarkieMasters in @TheTiltNews led to 48 new subscribers to Mark's @YouAre_TheMedia newsletter. #ContentMarketing #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet

Twitcher Tamer Gargour collaborates informally with creators who have bigger audiences. He pops into their well-populated streams and becomes an active audience member. His presence lets that creator’s audience learn more about him and his content. Often, the original hosting streamers return the favor by hopping into his live content (and possibly bringing their audience along.)

Tamer also puts his money into these informal collaborations. He designates one-third of his Twitch earnings to support other streamers through Bits, subscriptions, etc. Usually, they return the favor. (If they don’t, he doesn’t keep showing up for their streams or investing in their content.)

This collaboration technique really isn’t about the money – after all, if you tip me and I tip you, the monetary situation is likely a wash. But showing financial commitment to others in the audience may spur them to make a similar commitment. (It’s like starting your tip jar with a few dollars to visually remind customers what it’s all about.)

More creator collaboration ideas

The collaboration possibilities are only limited by your imagination and your fellow creators’ willingness to do them. Here are a few more ways: 

  • Do a content takeover. Whether it’s a podcast episode, social media account, or the weekly newsletter, you create the content for their audience, and they create for your audience. And, of course, you let the audiences know who’s doing what and share relevant CTAs to your content. (Retired soccer star David Beckham did this recently to give exposure to the stories of a doctor in Ukraine.)
  • Execute an affiliate program. Incentivize creators to promote your content products through an affiliate program. Give them a dedicated link to share with their audiences. When people join or buy through that link, reward the referring creator.
  • Do an audience exchange for research. Your analytics are helpful to learning what the audience who already knows about you and your content does. But what about those who don’t know about you? Exchange audiences with a fellow creator. Ask this new-to-you audience what you want to know in a survey, a focus group, or a few one-on-one conversations. 
Analytics only tell you what your audience likes (or doesn't). Want to know about prospective audiences? Trade audiences with a creator targeting similar people and ask them questions. #CreatorEconomy #ContentBusiness Click To Tweet

How to find creator collaborators

To develop a more detailed creator collaborator strategy, you need to start by finding the creators targeting similar audiences. You likely already know and monitor at least a few just to keep up on what they’re talking about. To expand the list, ask your community for their go-to resources around your tilt. Also, head to the Google search page and type your target keywords along with “creator” to find some more names.

Next, go check out the creators. Look at their sites (about or bio pages are usually the most helpful). Check out their social accounts. Consume their content. The goal is to learn what they’re about, their content topics, formats, etc., as well as who (and how big) their audience is. See if they have a media kit as they often provide all the relevant information you may need. 

Oh, and don’t forget to grab their contact information.

CAVEAT: To keep track of all your content collaborator research, track it on a spreadsheet.

Grow your audience with creative collaborations

Whether you write a guest blog article, trade podcast hosting duties with a fellow creator, or simply show up to support your fellow creators, collaborations can take many forms. No matter which format you choose, your success will depend on three things: the relevancy of the collaborator’s audience, the value you exhibit in your creations, and the inclusion of an enticing CTA.

About the author

Ann regularly combines words and strategy for B2B, B2C, and nonprofits, continuing to live up to her high school nickname, Editor Ann. An IABC Communicator of the Year and founder of G Force Communication, Ann coaches and trains professionals in all things content. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.