To succeed with your startup, you’ll need to market your business and grow your audience. A great way to do this is by collaborating with other brands. But how can you form these partnerships to collaborate and further your business?

This guide will look at how to collaborate with brands as a startup, including: 

  • Finding brands to collaborate with
  • Brainstorming ways to collaborate 
  • Creating collaboration proposals

Finding brands to collaborate with 

If you’re wondering how to collaborate with brands to grow your business, you’ll first need to consider which brands are relevant to your small business. You’ll want to collaborate with brands that can reach your target audience.

Knowing which brands to look for 

Consider what types of brands will help your startup grow. Collaborating with competitor brands may help you grow your audience, but it may not help either brand in the long run. Clients will ultimately choose between one of the two. 

Brands that are different yet complementary offer the best opportunities for collaboration. For example, if you’ve started a ceramic mug business, you may want to collaborate with a coffee shop in your area. 

Ultimately, look for brands with a shared target market, similar brand identity, and shared marketing strategies. These three things will help your brand collaborations succeed. 

Types of brands to collaborate with

There are a few types of brands you may want to look into collaborating with. Here are a few examples of brands:

  • Other businesses in your area
  • Social media influencers 
  • Blog writers 
  • Relevant clubs and organisations 
  • Events or festivals

Finding the right brands

Once you know what to look for in brands, you’ll need to find some potential brands to contact for collaborations. 

Start by considering the types of brands that might work well as partners. Then research brands and people either in your area or with a virtual presence. Compile a list of options to contact. Since not all brands might be open to collaborating, make a longer list with varied options.

Brainstorming ways to collaborate 

When wondering how to collaborate with brands, you’ll also want to know what types of collaborations you can do. Once you’ve found the right brands to collaborate with, you’ll need to think of some ways to collaborate with them to grow your audience. 

Product partnerships

If you collaborate with another small business, you can sell your products in their store or create a shared product that reaches both of your target markets. You can also collaborate with larger companies to offer services or corporate gifts to their employees. 

Blog collaborations 

You can ask blog writers to review or discuss your business in their blogs. A great example of this is if your startup is a travel agency, you could collaborate with a travel blogger. This collaboration could teach the blog’s audience about travel planning and grow your audience. 


Depending on your budget, you can offer sponsorships to events and festivals related to your startup. Do some research on events in your area that your target audience might attend. You can pay to sponsor these events or offer to sell your products at them. Either way, the partnership can be beneficial for your business. 

Paid promotions

You can pay influencers on social media platforms to review or promote your services or products. Since influencers already have an established audience, you can gain access to their followers. 

Platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube are great places to have paid promotions. You can pay influencers to upload videos about your products or incorporate them into their regular content. You can also pay for ad reads on YouTube channels or ask influencers to post photos with the product on Instagram. 

Social media takeovers

This is similar to paid promotions, but instead, Influencers or other brands will take over your business’s social media accounts for a period of time. This takeover could come in the form of a Q&A or a live-streamed activity. They’ll promote your brand as well as their own and bring their followers to your pages. 

Brand ambassadors 

Another brand collaboration idea is a brand ambassador program. This allows you to partner your business with organisations that might target your market. For example, if your startup targets a student audience, you could find brand ambassadors at universities or within student unions. 

Brand ambassadors share your products and services with their organisation through events, presentations, posts, and free merchandise. They often have a unique code to share with people for a discount. 

Creating collaboration proposals  

A big part of knowing how to collaborate with brands is convincing these brands to work with you. 

Show brands why they should collaborate with you

When you contact these brands, you’ll want to introduce yourself and your business. You can also send a proposal for a brand collaboration. Instead of just focusing on what you can gain, consider what that brand could gain from the partnership.

When reaching out to brands, outline a clear plan for the collaboration. Explain why your brand is a good fit to collaborate with theirs. Explain your collaboration idea and how to execute it best. 

To add credibility to your proposal, consider how you can incorporate sales analytics and prospective earnings from the collaboration. Use stats to show how much this could grow both of your brands. If you do most of the work for the collaboration in the proposal, it will be easier for brands to say yes. 

Save time organising your finances with a simple app

Once your brand collaborations bring new clients to your startup, you’ll need to manage your finances. Financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you’re self-employed. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here.