You’re a pro at what you do, but sis — none of us have all the answers. A guest expert can help.
Whether you’re offering an online course, webinar, membership program or group excursion, tapping into a guest expert can help you take that experience over the moon. Guest experts are a priceless resource with so much to offer, but like any healthy relationship, it takes two to tango.
Before you begin your journey with a fellow go-getter, you’ll want to foster trust, create clear expectations and nurture a safe space with mutual respect.
Keep reading to learn essential best practices when working with a guest expert.
Legal contracts are like fairy dust when it comes to protecting your professional relationships. The Legal Godfairy makes it easy with lawyer-drafted contract templates and ongoing training, resources and education.
Guest Experts: Fostering Productive Relationships
There are plenty of great reasons to include a guest expert in your educational offerings. Aside from beefing up your already-magical content, you’ll widen your reach, broaden your professional network and learn more than a few things along the way — but that’s not all.
These are just a few of the benefits of working with a guest expert:
- Expert knowledge adds credibility and value to your content
- Guest contributors bring in new, diverse perspectives
- You can serve a more diverse audience
- It offers an opportunity to create mutually beneficial content
- You can take advantage of reciprocal marketing opportunities
- Experts can help strengthen your weak spots and fill in knowledge gaps
Did we mention that working with an expert can be just plain fun? Fostering productive relationships is the spice of work life, especially when you go about it the right way.
What to Consider Before Working With a Guest Expert
So, you’ve decided to enlist an expert to help you level up your content, now what? Where do these magical creatures reside? Do you need a good pick-up line?
Any worthy endeavor warrants proper planning, research and patience. As eager as you might be to get started, there are a few key things to consider. Let’s discuss.
Tap Into Your Network
Your professional network is a great place to start your search for guest contributors. Consider whether you have any peers with relevant work they would like to share or promote. If you can uplift those in your community, we say go for it.
Working with someone you’re already connected to means you’ll start with a foundation of trust and mutual respect. Aside from cross-marketing opportunities, you can also utilize mutual contacts to help spread the word and gain access to new audiences.
Vet Expert Credentials
This one is almost as important as your self-care routine. Almost.
Researching potential guest experts is crucial. You’ll want to make sure they have the knowledge, education, credentials and experience to back up their contributions and qualify them as a real-life, bona fide expert.
Before you reach out to see if it’s a match, determine exactly what they can bring to the table, how it will serve your audience and how your working relationship can benefit both parties.
You’ll also want to spend some time vetting their character. Just because someone has the expertise doesn’t always mean you want to be associated with them. Don’t be shy when it comes to perusing their social accounts and learning more about their views, opinions, ethics and how they interact with others.
Of course, we’ll always encourage including diverse perspectives — especially those that challenge your own. That said, when you invite an expert to contribute to your content, you are amplifying a voice. Just do some soul-searching to ensure it’s a good one.
Be Open to Compromise
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: working with a guest expert is a two-way street. Any real BOSS (that’s you!) knows it’s not about calling ALL the shots. Clear communication and a willingness to compromise is the foundation of a healthy, productive partnership.
Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:
- Scheduling — Always be mindful of your guest expert’s time and scheduling limitations. This might include concessions like opting for pre-recorded content, rather than live sessions.
- Content Delivery — Ensure that content is delivered in a previously agreed-upon manner that both parties are comfortable with. For example, if a guest agrees to appear on your podcast, but there is a visual component like video recording, always get permission first.
- Timelines — Set out with clearly defined timelines, that way your guest will have plenty of time to prepare, and you’ll be able to better manage expectations on content delivery.
Setting out with solid rules of engagement in place can make or break your entire experience with a guest expert. Even if you are working with a close friend, nothing helps protect your professional relationships, reputation and peace of mind like a good old fashioned contract.
Contracts Are Key
With the right legal language in place, you’ll remove any ambiguity around areas like scheduling, compensation, confidentiality and expectations. A well-crafted guest expert agreement can help foster trust, prevent misunderstandings and protect you and your work if things go south.
Must-have clauses for a guest expert agreement include the following:
- Date and Time — Define exactly when, where and how you and your guest expert will show up to deliver the goods.
- Compensation — Whether or not your expert will be compensated for their time and contributions, you’ll want to lay this agreement out in black and white to ensure everyone is on the same contractual page.
- Rescheduling Policy — Let’s face it. Life happens. In the event that either you or your guest expert can’t show up as expected, ensure you both understand the policies and timelines around rescheduling.
- Intellectual Property (IP) — You’ll want to ensure that there’s a clear understanding of who owns the IP of content you’ll create together and how it can be used. Consider implementing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for sensitive content.
- Confidentiality — Your guest might contribute unreleased work or provide content with the understanding that users will pay for it. Be sure to communicate clearly on topics like when it’s appropriate to release your content and what is okay to talk about and share for either party. Nothing seals this deal quite like a lawyer-drafted confidentiality clause.
With proper legal guidelines in place, you’re free to focus on enjoying the fruits of collaboration.
Legal Contracts: Protect Your Professional Relationships
Legal agreements are like a roadmap for safe travels. Once you have this key element in hand, you can set out with your guest expert and paint the town fifty shades of knowledge.
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*Disclaimer: This blog post has been prepared solely for general information and educational purposes. It is not intended to provide, nor should it be relied on for, legal advice. Should you require advice regarding a specific matter, appropriate legal or other professional advice should be obtained.