Month of Learning

Please enter email and password to continue

Collaboration Helps Us Build Stronger Communities Together

Collaborative efforts trump going solo and convincing people to buy into your ideas.

When you allow people to be a part of the journey with you, it creates new opportunities and possibilities for everyone involved. 

When you embrace the power of building a private network, connections become the strength. It multiplies.

It’s more fulfilling when people are compelled to participate, rather than joining in half-heartedly, with you directing every decision.

Where Things Change

Reflecting on You Are The Media Creator Day 2024, I’ve realised the importance of bringing everyone, who chooses to participate, in on the experience. It’s as if everything is elevated when you make magic happen with friends. 

Some highlights to share what I mean:

1) For the first year, we created a WhatsApp Group, to keep everyone in the loop. The biggest concern with a WhatsApp Group, is that you make the group and after a burst of excitement, it goes quiet. This didn’t happen, I think I know why (see below).

2) The people in the Creator Day WhatsApp Group are treated as the party participants by joining in and being seen. This is vital, no one wants to be ignored. For instance, the group decided a podcast would be a good idea. In March we started the Creator Day podcast and produced 24 shows.

3) We listened more. People were saying they felt nervous weeks before the event. I didn’t want to patronise people and send them to ‘quiet zones.’ We decided to introduce Chief Hello Officers (CHOs) who would know straight away if someone walked up to them, all they needed was a warm greeting.

4) The instructions were a lot clearer. Two months before Creator Day I introduced a Saturday email for attendees. During the afternoon, we have our ‘working together’ session for people to work on their own piece of content, as a team and guided by a leader. The process was made more comfortable and clear, with prompts and ideas in the build-up.

5) Friends from the community are invited on stage between presentations for short energy bursts, such as a breathing exercise from Jackie Goddard.

6) Our Failed Nights event, the night before Creator Day is aimed to help attendees feel at home. It’s a way to congregate and know that saying hello and a chat feels easier when you step into a space with others, before the event. It wasn’t in the corner of a noisy bar, our friends at Foundry help to turn it into a private event.

This is the essence of community building—where people join in and feel involved because they want to make the occasion special for everyone. The responsibility is not given to the few, but to who wants to join in.

When people feel part of something bigger than themselves, they naturally form deeper bonds—not just with the initiative, but with each other. It’s reminiscent of school or college trips where you returned with memories and stories you cherish for years.

Figuring Out The Collaboration Challenges

A collaborative mindset doesn’t come without challenges. Here are some common obstacles and ways to overcome them:

Fear Of Losing Control

Many people hesitate to involve others in their work, as it creates the unease of losing control over the outcome.

No one wants to lose control, as it can take away the original intentions. However, relinquishing some control can lead to new perspectives and innovative ideas. You have to see this as an opportunity to learn from others and enhance what you originally started.

Lack of Trust 

If people in a group don’t trust each other, communication breaks down and progress stalls. For instance, the WhatsApp Group for Creator Day would have lost its impact if people used it as a way to sell their services.

Fortunately, the unwritten etiquette we created helped to fuel the trust in each other. I know that trust happens through transparency, reliability and support. It means that conflicts and challenges have to be addressed openly to strengthen the team bond.

Unequal Contribution

When it comes to opening the gates for involvement, some people may contribute more than others, this shouldn’t lead to resentment and friction.

The way to address this is to set clear expectations and guidelines at the start, ensuring that whoever steps up has a defined role and responsibility. No one should feel left out, there has to be appreciation of the contributions of the members who step up to promote a sense of equality and fairness.

Resistance To Change 

If people choose not to opt in, that is fine, they may prefer to the way things once were. For instance, the old format before Creator Day was the YATM Conference.

I know some people preferred that as had a sense of familiarity. However, it do not fit with the progress of YATM. You have to be clear on your reasons and decisions, such as increased creativity, efficiency, and shared success. You have to encourage a culture of continuous learning and adaptation to embrace new ways of working.

When It Works, You Amplify

Amplifying impact through collaboration has been a journey. When YATM began in 2013, it was seen as my sales funnel. But over time, subscribers became allies and allies became friends. I realised the real power lay within the community itself.

Here are the benefits of widening your thinking to involve other people:

Ideas begin to spread.

Encouraging involvement and input from others motivates a collective spirit, leading to new opportunities. 

For example – if you have a mechanism where you deliver to other people, it could be a newsletter, it could be an event, encourage others to participate and join in. They could share an idea you may not have even considered. Invite them to share and see if there is a way to progress. Ben McKinney shared an idea to introduce in YATM Club recently, called Sense Check, where people were open about what’s on their mind, it worked.

Working together is healthier than thinking you have all the answers.

Finding the right people to collaborate with ignites brainwaves and enhances outcomes. 

For example – When you are part of a group, you realise there is strength in skillsets. One person may specialise in an industry practice, and another may be connected to relevant people. In YATM Club people are supportive around each other.

People can take the lead.

This means you help to build momentum and magnify efforts beyond your own involvement. This means their contributions matter, empowering them to act independently yet connected to the cause.

For example – if you keep coming back to an idea, over time, people put their hat in the ring to help out. YATM today is made up of the people who support and lead from the front. Such as the hosts who step up for YATM Lunch Club. By feeling part and knowing that the door is open to experimenting with ideas, it can become empowered to act independently but still connected to the overall cause. 

Everyone helps out.

This means an emphasis on creating warmth, relevance, information, and connection to make it worthwhile for people to commit their time.

For example – If someone knows what they are stepping into is worthwhile, then they will feel more compelled to share with others that it feels good. It is great to see people sharing with others they are attending Creator Day. 

Let’s Round-Up

True impact is created by people who participate throughout the journey.

The past few years have emphasised the importance of collaborative work. Detachment from others hinders progress, but collective effort and shared purpose drive change. 

As we share this journey, our strength lies in working together towards a common goal. 

Collaboration is the catalyst for transformation, where every voice matters, and together, we’ll forge a path towards a brighter, more connected future.

Get the
Thursday newsletter

The YATM Weekly helps you build a loyal audience so you become the leading voice in your marketplace. All yours every Thursday.

Find out more

    ‘You Are The Media is powered by We Are The Media. We turn your expertise into clear, compelling messages, then build those messages into the kind of content people value —and come back for.

    Visit We Are The Media