Partnership power. Turn your local competitor into a collaborator.

May 16, 2019


One way to build awareness that won’t cost you a dime is to partner with other local businesses. If they reach the same audience and are savvy marketers, you can both benefit tremendously.

Why partner? To get your name in front of your partners’ audience and vice versa. While doing this, you’ll both be building credibility and goodwill by supporting other local businesses.

Yes, we get it. It may feel ‘off’ to collaborate with a business that’s wooing the same audience of parents. But that’s exactly why it makes sense.


1. Same Audience, Different Product or Service: If you’re both reaching parents with kids of a similar age, but offer non- competing services, it’s a recipe for a good match.

For example, if your business is soccer classes, and you partner with a dance studio or art studio, it could be a good fit. Dance, art, and soccer are not mutually exclusive. Kids can do all three. And many parents on both lists likely have more than one child who could be interested in the other’s service as well.

2. Savvy Marketers: It’s best to find a partner (or two or three) who have a solid Facebook audience, email list or foot traffic. You want to look at their audience and say "if only I could get my message out to those parents!" The goal is to leverage each other’s audience so two brand new businesses partnering will not get either of you very far.


1. Shout Outs:
One simple way to partner is to trade a shout out each month or quarter or whatever you agree upon. You’d want to do it in a way that makes sense for your audience, and much of that comes down choosing a partner who you think your audience would be interested in.

If that business is hosting an event or doing something unique, you’d plan a social media post that calls attention to it. For example: “Check out what’s happening at The Potter’s Wheel this weekend, grab your kiddos and head down to throw some pots and support a great local business. #localbusinesslove."

Coordinate ahead of time so you have nice graphics to post or are simply sharing one of their posts.
Make sure to put it in context as to why you're sharing it on your page, so it doesn’t feel “off” to your audience.

You could even come up with a theme where you post every Saturday and call it Supporter’s Saturday—and share stuff happening at some of your favorite local businesses. And if done right, your audience will appreciate that you’re not promoting yourself in every post and that you care about your community.

2. Create a Business Board:
For those businesses that get a lot of foot traffic, having a business board where other local businesses can put their brochures or flyers is another simple way you can get in front of each other’s audience.

This, of course, is going to be more limited in who sees it but it does send a nice message locally that you’re a business that is proud of your community and wants to help other businesses grow and thrive.

3. Host a Giveaway:
Another way to partner is to hold a giveaway together. Find 2-4 partners and each donates something of equal value to create an exciting prize. Example: If you have four partners – Dance Studio gives away a ballet camp, Soccer Facility gives away 6 weeks of soccer training, Ice Cream Parlor gives away a gift card and a Children’s Museum could give away an annual family membership.

Each business promotes the contest for 2-3 weeks to build awareness for each of the 4 businesses. Your marketing goals will determine how to structure the contest. Are you looking to build your email list? Your social media presence? Your reviews? The goal will depend on what the entrant has to do and how the contest is structured and promoted.

There are countless other things that can be done via partnerships like these. The big lesson is not to think about your neighbor as a competitor, but rather as an ally that can help you grow!

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