"Sorry Susan, no I don't have 30,000 subscribers on my email list. Are you still going to hire me to speak at your event?"
No joke, this was an experience I went through quite recently. I had been contacted to speak for a big online summit in November last year.
Key words: I had been contacted. (not the other way around, but even so. Still not OK Susan.)
We're using Susan obviously out of confidentiality. And Susan just happens to be the name I use in stories describing an annoying, somewhat snobby character... (apologies if your name is actually Susan. No disrespect).
Anyway, I digress.
So shortly after my initial interview, I was then sent a rather catty email with a list of criteria. One of them being a certain number of subscribers. *ergh*
This has always seriously irritated me. The amount of followers you have on social media or the size of your email list is NOT a direct reflection of:
a) Your experience, talents or expertise
b) Your worthiness of spreading your brand message
c) How successful you and your business are
If you're hiring someone purely for the amount of followers / subscribers they have, you might be in for a shock. Lots of subscribers aren't necessarily active or reading your emails, and there are PLENTY of incredible coaches online with less than 1000 followers.
I'm the kind of gal to take people at face value. When I'm looking to collaborate the only thing that is important to me is their message, their content, and their energy. The rest are just vanity metrics.
Now, this is not to discredit anyone who has a large following. Not at all. I have huge amounts of respect for those who have built such an avid following and built a community of awesome people. It's an incredible accomplishment.
But what I am saying is that if you're a big brand with the ability to help someone else who's spent years honing in on their craft, and actively trying to spread a really empowering message, then why wouldn't you collaborate?
Does everything really need to be for one's own gain?
Attitudes like the above are what perpetuates Imposter Syndrome, and stop really talented female entrepreneurs from putting themselves forward for incredible opportunities.
Instead, they wait (like I did) to hit a certain amount of numbers on social media, before they felt 'confident' enough (I put 'confident' in quotation marks because hitting a certain amount of followers never builds self-confidence).
So this is for every single one of you incredible women building a brand with a message that makes a difference... PUT YOURSELF FORWARD FOR ANYTHING THAT LIGHTS A LITTLE FIRE IN YOUR BELLY.
Regardless of your email list or social media following.
The most important thing when you're trying to grow your brand awareness and looking for exciting collaborations is to always establish a relationship with them first. Do they have a similar mission to you? Do both your brands compliment each other? Are they nice people??
If it's a yes to all of them, then go ahead and write that message girlfriend. Any opportunity not taken is always an opportunity missed.
Have you had a similar experience? If so, I'd love to know in the comments below x