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Creativity in numbers - The importance of collaborating

Posted by Thom Langlands on


Col·lab·o·ra·tion
/kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun
  1. the action of working with someone to produce or create something.
  2. traitorous cooperation with an enemy.

Let's ignore the second point there but you already get the point of where I'll be going with this post. There are two reasons in my opinion why collaborating with other like minded creators is integral to your growth, inspiration and motivation. After all, what is one without the other, and what can you truly create without either of these elements?

To contradict this point a little (we're off to a great start here), there are successful creators out there who rely on themselves alone to create and this may work for them. But that being said, there is strength in numbers, and in finding others to work with, you also find ideas, motivation to push yourself and more importantly the opportunity to share your passion with new creators. This is something that should never be under appreciated. 

As a person who has suffered from social anxiety my whole adult life, this had always been a prospect that as excited yet terrified me. The simple act of reaching out to another person you've never met can be one of the most paralyzing parts of being a creator, aside from speaking into a camera of course. But you cannot let fear overrule the reason why you're pursuing a passion. After all, Frank Herbert said it best; 

FEAR IS THE MIND-KILLER, ACTION IS THE FEAR-KILLER

Collaboration is key in all parts of life, whether it's being creative, growing a new business or simply engaging in relationships on a daily basis. The motivation in creating content in some form is to engage with a group of people you've never even met, by sharing the product of your passion on a larger scale. So why should this be any different?

The million dollar question now is; how do you go about collaborating with other creators? Well I'm glad you asked! The very first thing you need to establish is what your goal is, and this goes for all media. Whether you're looking to create a Youtube channel or video, working on a photography project or creating a new blog post. If you can figure out what kind of content you'll be creating (and in turn what value this could bring to the creative community) you can then find a path to the fellow creators you'd like to work with. Once you have a plan, you can start to find the creatives that share your passion for the subject you'll be working on. 

For many, collaborating isn't simply making content with another creator, it's making a connection with that person through sharing your passion with them. It's important to think about who you want to make this connection with in order for that passion to be poured into your project. If you're anything like me, you've spent too much time (and I mean far too much time) second guessing the value you have to give the creative community, and this has stopped you from reaching out to creators you admire with your idea. It took some time for me to realize the amount of subscribers someone has is not a status or a rank to hold, nor is it a simple affirmation to the value they present to the community. If one creator has 10,000 subscribers on Youtube (or followers on Instagram) and you only have 100, this does not diminish the value you have to contribute.

To quote a creator I admire, Zac Ramelan, "Think of your opportunities as your high school crush, all you have to do is ask it to dance." Collaboration starts with you having the balls to send out those messages to the people you want to work with. You won't gain the momentum in becoming the creator you want to be by sitting alone in front of the computer screen (well you may do, but read on anyway) but sharing experiences with others and documenting them the best way you know how. Collaboration means growth, development and progression into a new means of creating content. In order for your work to thrive it needs to grow with others. And this is how you make it happen. 

The hard truth here is that there will be rejections, there will be points when you're sending those messages or emails to creators and they simply get passed over. Not out of spite or intent to demotivate you, but simply because as you're attempting to create content you love and develop your skills, they're likely in the same boat, paddling right next to you. But you'll realize that this can sometimes be a numbers game, the more messages you get out the more awesome people you'll be lucky enough to meet. 

Now there are a number of online resources which will inevitably help you gain the steps you need to collaborate with other creators but there is one that I came across which is a great place to start, and it comes from the Youtube Creator Academy. Not only does this give you everything you need to create a solid strategy for growth, but it provides you true steps in finding the right people to collaborate with while showing you the value you can contribute to the platform. 

As I've said before Inspiration Needs Motivation To Breath , I hold that statement very close because it's something that has allowed me to break from the pulls of anxiety and reach out to other creators. Watch Zac's video below and I hope this brings the same motivation to collaborate as it did for me. Cheers friends!

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