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Why You Should Collaborate (a $63,659 Case Study)

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COLLABORATE - orangeOn Monday, November 11th, I’m launching a new book about collaboration.

I’ll be using a platform known as Publishizer.com to crowdfund the book.

Publishizer is a lot like Kickstarter, but for books.

If you’re not familiar with Kickstarter, it’s a crowdfunding platform that allows artists, writers, entrepreneurs, and creators of all types to pre-sell their idea before they build it.

Crowdfunding is powerful because it allows creators to put an idea out into the world, and if our happy readers like it, they can choose to support us and help us bring our ideas to life.

The benefit to the creator is obvious: no more spending months or years working on a project just to find out nobody cares.

With crowdfunding, we know immediately if this is a project worth pursuing.

But crowdfunding on a platform like Publishizer doesn’t just benefit the creator.

As a fan and supporter of many crowdfunding campaigns, I can happily attest to the benefits.

The Benefits of Supporting a Crowdfunding Campaign

By supporting independent artists through a crowdfunding campaign, you:

  1. Get exactly what you want. Crowdfunding gives fans an opportunity to vote on what they want built with their financial support of a project. The last thing we want is our favorite artist, writer or entrepreneur to spend months or years building something we don’t want (when they could be building something we DO want). Crowdfunding removes this concern.
  2. Get a better product. Crowdfunding allows the creator to focus on building the best possible product because the fear of “will it sell?” is already taken care of before you start. I’ve supported dozens of crowdfunding projects and have found that their quality and attention to detail are far and beyond what you get from a conventionally produced project.
  3. Get awesome bonuses. Almost every crowdfunding campaign I’ve supported comes with awesome bonuses or rewards for supporting at various levels. The bonuses and rewards I’ll be offering Monday won’t let you down.
  4. Challenge and disrupt the status quo of average products for average people (and support artisan work). Let’s be honest: crowdfunding is still new, still unconventional, and still unnatural (the vast majority of the population has never supported a crowdfunding campaign). But the power is there and people are starting to recognize this. Why buy the next cookie-cutter thing from a corporate giant when you could support a local artist, writer, or entrepreneur? Why go with the crowd when you could choose to support the people and things you care most about with the click of a button? Crowdfunding is powerful and this is only the tip of the iceberg.

As a supporter of many crowdfunding projects (from Seth Godin’s Icarus Deception, to Ryan Hanley’s Content Warfare, to Jacqui TreagusThe Backpacker Chef, to AJ Leon’s The Life and Times of a Remarkable Misfit), I get an incredible amount of satisfaction supporting the people and work I care about.

backed kickstarters
I obviously love supporting book crowdfunding campaigns…

If I’m lucky, on Monday you’ll feel the same way.

63,659 Reasons to Start Collaborating Today

As I write this, I’m working on my crowdfunding page for my new book (Collaborate: The New Rules for Launching a Business Online).

I’m trying my hardest to refine the message down to something clear, concise, and powerful.

Something that impacts the reader and makes them consider supporting the book.

But most importantly: I’m trying to show you and readers like you why collaboration is important and why you should start collaborating for your own benefit.

While there are dozens of benefits to collaborating, today I wanted to focus on the one most people ask about:

Is collaboration profitable?

As I was compiling statistics and sifting through data, my own and that of dozens of entrepreneurs, writers, and artsts who have taken part in collaborative projects, I saw something that shocked me.

This time last year, I was getting ready to launch my first real (digital) product. It was a book on Pay What You Want pricing – a topic that, while niche, generated a lot of interest.

After spending months on the project by myself (interviewing, studying, researching, testing, writing, editing, formatting, designing, etc.), I knew what I had was solid – something people would get a lot of value from. I was hoping to make about $3,000 from the launch (this wouldn’t have come close to compensating me at even a minimum wage level for the amount of time I put into it, but it would cover bills for a couple months, and that’s all I wanted).

The good news: people loved the guide and I was and continue to be humbled by all the kind words people say about. Based on feedback, I created something worthwhile. That’s what matters.

The bad news: I made $953.00

Here’s a link to the ridiculously in-depth, 36 page case study – completely free.

Keep in mind, this was the 3rd official month I was “self employed.” I didn’t make much more money than that over that launch amount… Ouch.

Something had to change.

Instead of giving up (which may have been a smart choice after this), I decided to shift my focus.

So instead of looking internally (what can I do? what can I create? what should I build?) I asked myself:

“How can I be a value add for other entrepreneurs, writers and artists?”

Fast forward 12 months and I’ve launched over a dozen collaborative projects (from books to blogs to business incubator programs to premium masterminds).

The results?

Just TWO of those projects accounted for more than $63,659.00 in sales.

And that was in less time and less effort than my first project that got me all of $953.

By the way – this is the tip of the iceberg.

We’ve now built assets we can grow and scale from here. Our next launches should be bigger.

4 Reasons Why You Should Collaborate (Other Than Money)

So if these 63,659 reasons aren’t good enough for you, I wanted to share a few more reasons you should collaborate, because it’s not just about the money.

  1. Connect and work with experts. I wrote a blog post about Jon Nastor last week that shares this concept in more depth, so I’ll simply paraphrase by:collaboration affords us the ability to reach out, connect, and work with the best in the world. Do you have a skillset that compliments an expert and an idea you think would be a value-add? Most experts and best-in-class are busy; but by collaborating and bringing something to the table, you can help build their platform (while at the same time building yours)
  2. Have more fun. Let’s be honest: working alone is not pleasant (at least not all the time). It’s just more fun to have other people around to bounce ideas off of and to creatively brainstorm.
  3. Create a bigger impact. By collaborating with others, we’re not only accessing our network, but the networks and audiences of every collaborator. This is a force multiplier, allowing you to more effectively reach and impact people around the world (this reason alone is why you should collaborate if you care about making an impactful difference in the world)
  4. Do great work. No great work was ever created in a vacuum. I like to believe I create decent work by myself. However, my skills are limited. I’m not a designer, engineer, artist (and I’m a barely competent writer). By connecting with others who are GREAT in these areas, whatever we create will be multiple times better than I’m capable of creating on my own. This is not only a symptom of complementary skillsets, but the fact that collaboration brings the perfect balance between competition and cooperation. When we work closely with others, our best selves – and our best work – shines through (I’ll cover this in much more depth in the book).

Your Turn

It’s easy to say: go collaborate.

A lot of books, studies, and research have done just that

It’s a much different thing to have a framework, blueprint, and strategy for putting into practice so that you cannot fail.

That’s what I am attempting to create with Collaborate: The New Rules of Launching a Business Online.

However (and this couldn’t be more appropriate): I can’t do it without you.

If you’re interested in learning about collaboration – not only the why, but the step-by-step HOW, so you can do great work, have more fun, and multiply your results (reach, impact, and sales) – check out Collaborate:

Get notified before everyone else when Collaborate goes live.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Until next time:

Keep collaborating.

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