How can you reach more people and thrive financially?
One of the all-time most significant ways to build a big email list, getting your message out to millions and selling your products, programs, and events, and getting recognized as an authority is by getting other people to endorse you and promote you.
That’s right – joint ventures and affiliate partnerships are the keys to your online success.
Jeff Walker tells the story of how he got a JV Partner:
It seems he was on the shuttle from the airport to the hotel where he was going to an online marketing conference. At the time, Jeff was working in the investment niche online, and he wasn’t well known yet in the IM niche.
The only other person on the shuttle was someone talking on his cell phone. This guy was upset that his website was down, and Jeff guessed he was probably going to the conference, too.
Jeff was an introvert and typically didn’t talk to strangers. But he said hi to this guy, and they struck up a conversation.
The man on the cell phone?
Was Frank Kern.
Yes, THAT Frank Kern, although at the time he wasn’t well known yet, either.
Jeff says that Frank is responsible for millions of dollars of business sent Jeff’s way, and you can imagine that the opposite is true as well.
How do you find your million dollar contacts?
Jeff recommends going to live events and meeting people. Have coffee with them, have lunch, talk about your kids, or your last vacation or anything else.
Bond with fellow marketers in person and make friends with them.
It makes sense.
When someone contacts you cold and asks you to promote their product, how do you feel? Cold. You don’t know this person. You’re busy. You’ve already got enough on your plate, and you don’t need some stranger asking you to send business their way.
But when a friend contacts you and asks if you might like to promote their product, how do you feel about it? Most likely, you’re happy to do something for this person you know and love. You say yes, of course, you’ll promote them.
It’s no different than your favorite neighbor asking to borrow a shovel. Of course, you’re going to lend it to them, without even thinking about it.
Just about every 7-figure marketer seems to agree that nothing beats meeting people in person to forge strong connections that eventually lead to affiliate promotions, joint ventures, and partnerships.
But what if you can’t make it to a live event yet?
After all, it often costs an admission fee, an airline flight, a hotel stay, and possibly a car rental to go to a live event. Then there’s the time away from your job or business, as well as time away from your family. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to attend live events, and especially not several of them per year.
How do you cultivate joint ventures in that case?
Here are seven tips to help you make it happen:
1: Start by looking for people who are in alignment with you.
According to Max Simon of Green-Flower.com, the first step to find JV partners is to figure out who is alignment with you.
He says the most exceptional partners are just like you. They have similar values, similar beliefs, and they speak to a similar tribe.
Make a list of people within your circle of influence or your sphere of awareness, that you feel deeply aligned with, even if you don’t know them yet.
Have as many conversations with them as you can. You’ll quickly realize they’re not gurus or gods; they’re simply people trying to do the best that they can. Talk to them about what they’re doing and what they have going on in their business. Share with them what you’re doing, too.
You’re building a relationship. The key here is to think relationship first, potential business partnership second.
When it’s time to ask them to promote, get clear on what you can offer them. What kind of commission you’ll pay, will you reciprocate with a mailing, and so forth.
Then make it as easy as possible for them to promote you. Give them the tools they need, such as swipe copy for their emails.
And in the email copy, you can write all the things about yourself and your product that you wish other people would write. Most of your JV partners will send it out just as you write it, making it seriously awesome for you that they are telling the world how great you and your product are.
2: If you don’t know where to find people like you, Google it.
Yes, that sounds obvious, yet I’m surprised by how many marketers don’t do it. Search for your keywords and look for others in your niche who might be a good fit.
You can also go to AllTop and find the top blogs in all general niches.
Or you can use keyword research tools to find potential JV partners. Many research tools let you track down and collect lists of whatever keyword related information you need.
For example, if you need JV partners in the weight loss niche, instead of manually searching, you simply type in a keyword and let the software populate the list for you.
Some software can even identify the contact details right away. GroupHigh and PixLee are both software services that do this, and each offers a free trial.
3: Post for JV Partners.
It doesn’t hurt to let your list know you’re looking for partners, as well as your contacts on social media.
Contact friends and colleagues. Let your customers know you’re looking for partners and talk to your mentors. You want to tell everyone you’re looking for JV partners.
You might even post in internet marketing forums such as WarriorForum and DigitalPoint Forum. Just post your proposal, give your contact details, and you might get a message from someone interested.
4: Join Telesummits and Giveaway Events.
If you’re participating in a telesummit or giveaway event as a contributor, then reach out to other contributors and get to know them.
If you’re not a contributor, connect with the people who organize these events and let them know you want to support their event. Provide a bonus product, do an interview, or even just promoting the event can get you on the inside and meeting everyone else.
5: Be Professional.
We’ve already covered the fact that the best time to look for JV partners is long before you need them.
But what if you’re about to launch and you need partners NOW?
There’s no harm in asking, as long as you are always professional about it.
Be straight to the point, and be persuasive but not pushy.
Your subject line should clearly state the intention of your email.
Write a short introduction of who you are and the venture you’re proposing. (read that again – “SHORT introduction”).
Highlight the benefits of the proposed partnership, but don’t brag or exaggerate. Be clear on the responsibilities of becoming your partner. Some folks grasp the ‘money’ part long before the ‘work’ part.
6: Watch your competitors.
Watch to see who their affiliates and JV partners are and consider approaching those people to be your affiliates and JV partners.
And as long as there isn’t a conflict of interest, you might also enlist your competitors as well.
For example, if you’ve got a course on how to drive traffic and John launched a traffic course a few weeks or months ago, there is an excellent chance a good number of John’s customers will buy your course, too, if John endorses it.
7: Don’t JV with the Following:
Most marketers are only concerned with whether or not a JV partner can bring traffic.
But numbers don’t tell the whole story. If someone has a big list, but they burn that list, don’t treat their readers right or generally have a bad reputation, then just say no.
Here are a few things to look for:
Reputation – these folks are going to be associated with YOUR brand, and that will STICK. If they’re known for putting out lousy products in the name of making a quick buck, then they’re not someone who you want to be associated with your brand.
Conflict of interest – if you’re selling products, this might not come up. But if you’re selling software or services, this can be a deal killer. Let’s say you’re selling autoresponder software as a service – doing a joint venture with AWeber or GetResponse doesn’t make sense. But collaborating with someone in a complimentary business – such as an online marketing coach – does.
Brand Alignment – if part of your brand is to talk nasty about progressives and the poor while denying climate change (I know at least one copywriter/marketer who has built his brand doing this) then don’t align yourself with a liberal organization that believes in helping people, saving the environment and stopping global warming. Your tribe won’t understand what you’re doing, and it’s damaging for both brands.
Kindness – watch the person you are considering as a JV partner. Are they nice all the time? Or only when they want something? When the pressure is on, how do they comport themselves? Can you trust them?
If any part of your gut is telling you to not partner, then simply don’t do it.
Always keep the big picture in mind, and above all else, keep your reputation sterling. Extra sales today at the expense of your long-term reputation is never worth it.