Discover more from The Designers Desk
Building Partnerships that Thrive: An Introduction.
There’s plenty of opportunities for grassroot mini studios to work with large companies from all over the world.
My Approach To Partnerships
As some of you might have heard, I’ll be speaking with the Webflow Experts community on the 23rd of this month to talk about creating successful partnerships. I wanted to record it or invite you to it, but unfortunately (but rightfully so) I can’t - so for now I wanted to leave you with some ideas.
We see partnerships happen all the time in business. For example - I look at streetwear brands that connect with one another to make shirts, branding, and new experiences. You’ll see how dope the designs come out and how much hype there is around projects.
I take that same mindset and apply it to my web design studio. There’s plenty of opportunities for grassroot mini studios to work with large companies from all over the world. I said “mindset” because sharing opportunities is truly a mindset shift and not everyone is prepared to let others borrow their talents.
Looking at The Opportunities
Since March, we’ve been Webflow Partners for different companies. We now have five partners we collaborate with from SaaS companies to Creative Agencies. Recently, we’ve made a Webflow Partnership with an impactful brand studio in San Francisco, CA which I can’t mention who yet.
I made the decision to build partnerships for a few reasons:
We don’t know everything, and that’s okay. Working with others can bring out the best in everyone if everyone on the team has the right mindset. Not everyone is open to new ideas and methods aside from their own and it’s a blessing being surrounded by those who are.
Starting from the ground up is tough work and most entrepreneurs will say “it took me x amount of time to make a profit”. This route helped me step over that stage and keep the lights on as I work on building a strong brand, because at the end of the day you can’t solely rely on anyone. This doesn’t mean you will get a free ride, you’ll need to put in the work regardless - there’s no guarantees work will come in either.
It’s an idea validator early on. By that I mean, people are buying into the idea of Crafted Studios, they love the story, they love what we stand for. I take in feedback from partners early on to confirm that this idea has a market.
Collaborative projects are just dope, am I right? 🔥 Sometimes there’s nothing else to it!
It Isn’t Always Easy
That being said, it isn’t easy, especially in the beginning stages of learning how to set up your business for partnerships. Not every business is a business you can collaborate with either. There’s a few things you’ll need to consider before you get into it:
Depending on the niche you’re in, you’ll need to figure out a way to integrate yourself to be an asset and give your partner leverage. Sometimes it’s not a good fit, because the partnership just doesn’t make sense for business.
As you work, you’ll also need to build out the SOPs needed to keep collaboration smooth (some companies aren’t good at handling vendors because of hierarchy aka there’s levels to it). But that’s fine, you can learn over time if everyone is willing.
As creatives, the work you produce is work you’ll display. You’ll want to partner with companies that produce work you’ll be proud to display and work that attracts the right type of client your way. Not all companies produce projects that are highly profitable either, so this is where due diligence is key.
Overall, partnerships can work out if you plan it out right. I want to show you how you can implement this in your own businesses if you’re interested in this way of marketing. That’s for another day, for now I hope you go out and build dope things with people to keep the money and opportunities flowing. 🥂
Take care & talk soon,