Whether you’re a sharing economy or an e-commerce platform, growing your community is a vital part of becoming established – and scaling. There are plenty of ways to do this… and one simple way is by collaborating.
Not only is this in the spirit of the sharing economy – also known as collaborative consumption – but it’s also consistent with a move towards shared information and resources, thanks to the internet. Elle Tucker of RUDE Communications, the sharing economy experts, has five ideas to help you get into the spirit of collaboration like a platform pro…
Step 1. Collaborate… by forming a marketplace tribe
You’re not on your own out there, so collaborate with like-minded marketplaces. Is yours an on-demand marketplace for hairstylists? Think about what else your customers might be interested in… fashion perhaps?
Or maybe you’re a pet related platform? People who need dog walking services might be looking for a house-sitter too, or to borrow (or share!) their pet accessories, so why not get in touch with a complimentary marketplace and see how you could work together.
Step 2. Collaborate… by getting sociable
Some of the best connections are made on social media. And although keeping your channels ticking over can be time consuming – and there’s a temptation to leave it all to automated tools – personal interaction can work wonders if you’re looking to collaborate.
So, ditch the scheduling a couple of times a week, log on and see who’s Tweeting, Insta-ing and Facebooking about your niche, and also about platforms in general. Then talk to them. It’s fun, you might learn something and you’ll meet like-minded platform pros.
Step 3: Collaborate… by debating topics at events and conferences
There’s a lot to be said for meeting people IRL (in real life) too. Use social media to keep an eye out for events in your area. These can be entrepreneurial events, those aimed at platform creators, or just events that relate to your specialism.
For example, if your platform is transport related and has an environmental benefit, why not head to a local carbon emissions debate? People might well be interested in your offering. Or does your on-demand marketplace provide its users with a chef? A foodie fair could be just the place to tell people about it.
Step 4: Collaborate… to offer benefits to your customers
So, you’ve formed some connections – now, get collaborating. One way is to form a partnership. Maybe you can offer a discount on your services to customers who come through your new partner? In return, you could agree to a similar discount, or to promote them with a logo on your site or via social media.
Maybe your home-sharing platform could do with reminding customers about their insurance? By forming a partnership with a specialist sharing economy insurance provider (like RUDE client GUARDHOG) you could recommend each other via your respective websites.
Step 5: Collaborate… by creating blog content
Guest blogging is a great way to collaborate. Pick the brand you want to collaborate with, check if their website has a blog and then email or get in touch on social media to see if they’d like a guest post. Most brands love this form of ‘cross-pollination’ – you’re bringing your audience to their site… and their audience is hearing about you, too, so everyone’s a winner. You can also find sites out there who host thought leadership articles on the sharing economy and marketplaces, like this one!
If they’d like to collaborate in this way, check whether they have any blogging guidelines (like word length and style) and make sure you offer to host a guest post on your own blog in return. Finally, share posts on all your social media channels, to create extra buzz around your collaboration!
RUDE Communications is the world’s first communications agency for the sharing economy. Founded in 2016, and headquartered in Edinburgh, UK, RUDE has firmly established itself within the ecosystem of the sharing economy industry – servicing sharing economy clients, and building strategic partnerships with sharing economy service providers globally. Check them out on social media as well!