It’s time for another behind the scenes and some tips you can use.

Kathryn looking out the window from the upstairs landing/sitting room

I’ve worked in some form of marketing, advertising, research, coaching, teaching, consulting position for over thirty years (and yes, I’m proud of my silver strands–I’ve earned every one). In all those variations of my career, the one thing that is constant and the part of my job I love the most is getting to learn and teach new things, and connect with people. I certainly don’t know everything, but I can usually find someone who knows what you or I need in a given situation.

So this summer, I was thrilled to do a branding collaboration for my Facebook group with photographer Kat Calaway. Kat not only helped me put together an online masterclass, but she also took the time to get to know me, my business, and my goals and we did a branding shoot for Unleashing the Next Chapter.

Kathryn and Kat at The Captain’s House on the Lake

Collaboration is a wonderful word. I love brainstorming and working with others to make a bigger better project than I could have accomplished alone.

At the almost last minute, we had the opportunity to pull in another local business and share in our effort. A new client of mine had come to spend the weekend in Granbury, and lodged at a fabulous historical Bed and Breakfast owned by Tina and Tony Strama. From that initial contact, Tina and I hit it off.

Then I stalked her social media and website, noticed she had no reservations online for the evening Kat and I had scheduled our photo shoot, and decided to call Tina. Due to lack of time, I was rather blunt and to the point… “May we use your home for our photo shoot? We’ll take extra pictures you can use for your social media, and tag you when we use it for our purposes?”

Kathryn (and Gizmo) chilling in the back yard

Tina thought it was a great idea, invited us over, and gave us free run of the home and property. We spent over two hours at The Captain’s House on the Lake, learned some of the home’s history, talked a bit about our various business challenges and goals, and Kat took hundreds of photos.

Tina didn’t want to be in any of the photos as a subject, but she was willing to help us out, and Kat kept taking pictures while we discussed local business, their businesses, my business, and social media marketing.

Tina and Kathryn talking business in the kitchen

Now, each of us has two additional partners in crime, fabulous marketing photos, new experiences and ideas, some fun memories, and additional references. I LOVE that I always walk away from a joint venture with new ideas, tips, and tricks.

Kathryn kicking back and taking notes in the downstairs living room at the end of the shoot

Collaboration tips:

  • It never hurts to ask. Have an initial idea in mind, and look for an opportune time to talk or email.
  • Make sure it’s a win win situation and all parties are comfortable with the plan.
  • Communicate clearly, often, and put it in writing. Small ventures can be covered with an email. If it’s bigger, more complicated, or involves money or ongoing commitment, create a contract. Not because anyone might be litigious or untrustworthy, but to make sure that everyone is on the same page and has a chance to ask questions or renegotiate points they are uncomfortable with or have a better idea for.

    The historic dining room

  • Follow through! Make sure you hold up your end of the deal.
  • Be flexible. Once a plan is in place, no matter how good the plan is, something will go wrong. It happens. Expect it. Fix it as best you can to everyone’s satisfaction and move on. This is the stuff of the fun stories you can tell later.

Kat getting some close shots of Kathryn working.

Thanks, Kat and Tina. I can’t wait to work with you ladies again!