So you want to collaborate? Awesome! Collabs can be fun & mutually beneficial for creatives. Here's some basic info about how to pitch a collaboration to a creator you'd like to work with — and get the kind of response you want.
Do some research first and make sure you're contacting them through the right channel. In general, an email is much more professional than an Instagram DM, for example. NEVER contact them through personal social media if they have public-facing options.
Why are you choosing this specific creator? Will collaboration benefit both of you, or just you? Is what you're pitching relevant to their work/brand/goals? Basically, ask yourself: Why should they want to do this?
Once you're sure that you're pitching the right person through the right channel, it's time to flex those communication muscles: Tell them about your pitch. TELL THEM RIGHT NOW. There is NO good reason to send a vague query before explaining your idea.
✔️What the project is
✔️What their role would be
✔️Why you think they're a good fit for it
Explain all of this as clearly and concisely as possible. If you're a rambler (like me!!) get a friend to review it first.
Why should this person team up with you? What are your qualifications? What do you bring to the table? Provide examples of your work, and link to your social media if relevant.
Above all, err on the side of being too formal/professional. You can always tone it back if they respond well, but if you're too informal up front it can read as presumptuous.
Once you've reviewed everything three times and fired it off into the void, wait for a response. It might be appropriate to gently follow up in a few days or a week if you don't hear back, but some people might find that rude. You may not get a "no" — you may get silence.
✔️They don't have the bandwidth for a collab
✔️They aren't interested in your project
✔️They don't feel it would benefit them
Remember: If you get pissy about rejection, you can guarantee they'll never reconsider... so be nice.
I've found that many creatives are very receptive to collaboration if you pitch it properly, and do your due diligence in making sure it's a good fit & easy for them to participate in.