Jessica Ruhfus is a strategic collaborations guru, matchmaking your business with brands to create incredible marketing exposure. Her inspiration came from a need for a platform that made strategic collaborations simple. Prior to Collabosaurus, she honed her skills in fashion and lifestyle PR, and small business marketing.
Business Name? Collabosaurus.
What is your business? Collabosaurus is an online, match-making platform for businesses to source valuable and strategic partnerships with other brands.
How old were you when you started? I was 22.
Why did you start your own business? Why not work for someone else? It’s extremely valuable to work for other companies because you have opportunities to learn, network and build ideas. After all, doing so was a catalyst for Collabosaurus—I experienced the frustration of sourcing, securing and negotiating mutually beneficial partnerships first hand. But there is an incredible sense of freedom and independence that comes with owning your own business. Although you have crazy moments of doubt and despair, the adrenalin and excitement makes it worth it!
What are 3 perks to collaborating with other businesses?
- Gaining exposure with an interested, engaged audience relevant to your brand.
- Attracting publicity and buzz by doing something unique.
- It’s cost effective. Strategic partnerships recognise the valuable marketing assets of both parties. These can be used to leverage mutually beneficial exposure for both brands.
What’s been your biggest struggle? The nature of Collabosaurus means that for it to be a valuable tool, there needs to be a significant number of relevant users. My biggest struggle has been to build Collabosaurus’ user base quickly. Unfortunately, I’ve had to approach partnerships the old-school way, and this has been extremely rewarding, but very challenging!
What is a quote/saying that you live by? “Don’t wait for an opportunity. Create it.”
How do you overcome difficult days? I find talking about problems often presents a solution. Taking action is extremely beneficial, so I reach out to potential clients, partners or collaborators, and maintain a sense of positive momentum.
What are your top tips for young people starting a business?
- Content marketing is extremely valuable, but time consuming. Write articles, email bodies for automatic sequences, gather Instagram and Facebook material ahead of time.
- Look at your budget, what you think you’re going to need, and double it. This depends on your business model, of course, but you’ll need a marketing budget, money for branding, website, postage, and a bunch of things you don’t even know you need yet!
- Get familiar with Yesware, Canva, Schedugram and Iconosquare These have been instrumental in getting Collabosaurus off the ground.
- Break the rules. Make sure you back yourself. Plan ahead and be open to iterations and change. Make sure you have experienced people to bounce ideas off.