Thursday, December 12th, 2019

Joint Ventures: Build your List AND Your Influence

By Karen Dodd on Nov 14 2010 • Filed under New Clients by Design

I don’t know if it is that I’m an only child or that I was literally criticized every day of my life growing up, but collaboration in my work or personal life did not come easily for me. In fact, reaching out for help had such a negative connotation that I would avoid it all costs.

Fortunately, with age comes wisdom and as the Universe would have it, I was ‘nudged’ into working almost exclusively with women. It was in this context that I discovered the amazing opportunities available through strategic alliances, otherwise known as “joint ventures.” Collaboration through joint ventures is so effective that many entrepreneurs have chosen to adopt it as their entire business model or, at the very least, a significant part of their overall marketing strategy.

Joint ventures (JV’s) can take the form of teleseminars, where each of you agree to promote at least twice to your “lists” (your databases). Or, in a local market, a nutritionist could partner with a gym or a chiropractor by providing discounts and coupons to each other’s clients. To start, it could be as simple as you providing a guest article in someone else’s newsletter or blog.

The loveliest definition of joint ventures that I’ve heard is that it constitutes “cross-pollination.” Although you don’t literally have access to each other’s databases, you do have the opportunity to share each other’s audiences, as well as leverage the other person’s expertise and resources.

By partnering with someone you know, like and trust and who provides valuable information from which your own clients can benefit, you’re able to achieve several things. You can:

1. Secure special deals and bonuses for your own clients or members when using your JV partner’s products and services.

2. Better serve your clients by partnering with someone who serves the same market as you do but who doesn’t do exactly what you do.

3. Increase your credibility (and visibility) by piggy-backing on your JV partners’ expertise and their clients.

4. Add value to your clients and provide revenue for yourself from something you didn’t have to create on your own but from which you get paid (I’ll talk more about how to do that in my next article).

5. Save time and money; JV marketing is no-cost or low cost and can be put together quickly and easily.

As with anything you expose your clients to, there are some important keys to keep in mind when forming joint ventures.My first and foremost consideration before engaging in a JV is that the other party is authentic and that it’s someone with whom I’m prepared to be in a trusting relationship. You have to have synergy with that person, and most of all you must be extremely protective of your “list.” Ask yourself, "is this someone I’d bring home to dinner?"

You might be asking, “What’s the difference between having an affiliate program and a joint venture? Essentially, when you have a program for affiliates to join and make money based on promoting your products and services, you’re engaging with people you don’t know. Essentially anyone can sign up to be your affiliate. A joint venture partner is someone you take the time to observe, get to know, and 100% trust to introduce to your tribe.

As with any partnership you want to have certain things in place to make sure that both parties are on the same page.You don’t necessarily need to put legal contracts in place but it is a commitment and you want to have some type of agreement.


Your Action Steps:

  • Start with people that you already have in your network. Look for someone who serves the same market you do and that would add value to your clients.If nobody in your network is suitable, they may be able to introduce you to someone who is.
  • Observe and study who you’re considering first, because they may not know you. Do they have discussion groups or message boards that you can start participating in? Do they have mastermind groups or “inner circle” membership-type programs? When you’re a member of these communities, you can gradually get known by introducing yourself and contributing ideas as a fellow member.
  • Think about what you could offer someone with a bigger list than you. I am so much more receptive to someone approaching me with, “Karen, I love your message; how could I help spread your message and add more value to your clients?” rather than them asking, “What can you do for me?”

Be sure to check back on my next post to learn how to engage in JV’s that are productive, profitable and a pleasure to do.Until then, remember to market authentically and attract New Clients By Design!


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