By Alexis Moyer ( and Mavis Stevens (

I love strategic partnerships. They bring out the best in everyone. As I sit with my gallery door locked to the outside world, due to a mandatory shutdown, I am thinking about how to make my online presence more engaging and ultimately a money-maker for my business.

This brings me to using strategic partnerships as a way to pool efforts and share contacts with the people I already do business with. Since we are all self-promoting our brands, products and stores already, why not share content and join forces?

Here are 6 suggestions for ways to partner up that can be used to bolster business for both retailers and the people who make the products they sell.

1. Get permission from your makers to repost their social content. Retailers can partner with makers to share social content. Makers are constantly posting on social media. It would benefit both the maker and the retailer if permission were given to repost a maker’s content onto retailer social media pages and newsletters. By sharing content and allowing retailers to copy and use information from maker’s websites and social media, it will be easier for retailers to feature makers in their newsletters as well as in printed signage in the store.

2. Use Special Promo Codes. Makers can use their social media to direct customers to their brick-and-mortar retailing partners with a special promo code that gives the customer a perk like free shipping or a discount on their purchase. The promo code allows the retailer to track where the customers are coming from, giving valuable feedback to both the maker and the retailer. Customers will be happy to have the special perk that comes with the code thus building customer loyalty to the retailer.

3. Develop Drop-Shipping Opportunities. Retailers can team up with makers to offer drop shipping of merchandise directly from the maker to the consumer. The retailer would pay a nominal handling fee to the maker for this service along with the wholesale purchase price.

4. Ask your makers for a web Listing. Retailers can ask their wholesale makers to list them as ‘where to purchase’ on their websites. By helping the retailers in this way makers can help to insure continued strong reorders from wholesale accounts.

5. Follow, Friend and Like each other’s friends and followers on social media. By working as a team, makers and retailers can support and promote each other, gaining exposure to each other’s friends and followers.

6. Host an On-Line Event Together. Host a Facebook Live or a podcast Interview between a maker and a retailer. Your customers will enjoy the lively and informative discussion. It’s a great time to tell them about a special offer too!

By using these techniques, retailers and makers can partner together to grow and strengthen their businesses. Let’s take what we’ve learned from this experience of mandatory shutdowns of brick and mortar locations and do what we can to secure our income streams for the future.