Joint ventures (JV’s) are a CATALYST marketing strategy that can propel your business forward quickly – even if you’re starting from scratch!
The #1 reason why entrepreneurs joint venture is to grow their email list but JV’s come jam packed with multiple benefits beyond list building alone.
Consider these reasons why joint ventures must be part of your marketing plans every year…
Rapid + Relevant List Building:
The goal of most joint ventures is LIST BUILDING and if you’ve been an online entrepreneur for any length of time you’ve probably heard someone say… “The money is in the list”. But what does that really mean?
It means, as a woman in business, YOUR LIST is your greatest asset. But not just ANY list. It’s not just about accumulating the biggest list you can. There’s strategy to consider…
Growing your list, keeping people on your list and making money from your list are ESSENTIAL for long-term success. Agreed?
Grow your list size and quality and you grow your PROFIT POTENTIAL and this is one aspect of growing your business that you can influence immediately.
When done correctly – the flood of new subscribers you attract are targeted and relevant to your area of expertise.
What’s so exciting about joint ventures, is there is the potential to have the best of both worlds: quantity because of co-promotion AND quality. And, when it comes to list building this is a winning combination!
The more relevant your list, the easier it is to build RELATIONSHIPS which is the heart of your community. Through relationships comes trust and that is the cornerstone of profitability.
Credibility through association:
No matter what business you’re in, for people to buy from you, they need to believe that you’re a credible business person and that your offerings can help them.
When you partner with other highly respected experts in your field, it boosts your credibility by association. From the outside looking in the assumption is you’re (at very least) at the same level as the other partners involved.
And, as the lead of the joint venture, you boost your fame factor too! “Oh wow! You know [insert name of well known partner]? I’m impressed”
Immediate + Evergreen Income:
If you’ve been in business for a while, chances are you’ve got a healthy stream of income coming in. But what if you don’t? Or what if you’re new to business?
While there are long-term, consistent things you need to be doing regularly to grow your business – showing up and doing the work – day in and day out. Sometimes, you need a surge of income.
Maybe to fund a vacation, register for a business course or to upgrade your lifestyle. And in this case, you don’t want to wait months, or years for a cash injection – you want it pronto.
That’s where a catalyst strategy like joint-ventures comes in.
First what exactly is leverage? I looked it up in BusinessDictionary.com which says that leverage is the ability to influence a system, or an environment, in a way that multiplies the outcome of one’s efforts without a corresponding increase in the consumption of resources.
In other words, getting better results without having to work harder. Um, YEAH!
So what I want you to know is there are multiple ways joint ventures can help to grow your business faster, like…
borrow other people’s lists, influence, credibility and more.
create something once that you can continue to leverage over and over and over.
Elevate your brand with the prestige that comes along with a multi-expert strategy itself.
“When women put their minds together powerful things happen.” ~ Oprah
A joint venture is a catalyst for tremendous growth because of the energy and buzz it creates. When done right, this energy translates into momentum that you can leverage long term.
If you’re high-achieving like me you probably don’t have the patience for slow growth strategies alone. That’s why I focus most of my marketing attention on doing at least two joint ventures each year to make sure my business grows in leaps and bounds rather than inching along.
And now you can impact more people AND… do more and more of what you LOVE to do!
I believe women who have business (girl)friends to play with rise to higher levels of success faster – AND have more fun!
I’ve been published alongside Bob Proctor and Dr. John Demartini from The Secret; shared the virtual stage with legendary Authors like Michael Gerber and Marci Shimoff and recognized as women to follow on Twitter alongside (so much more famous than me) Ricki Lake, Mariel Hemingway, Kathy Ireland and Carol Roth to name a few.
Now these are horns that I can toot on my media page, in my bio, in book proposals and more! Agree? And there’s a lot more I could tell. Not to brag rather to demonstrate the clout business relationships and social equity has brought to me and my career.
The same principles apply for you. When you become visible alongside prominent people your credibility is immediately ramped up and doors open.
I’m always on the lookout for strategies that expand what is possible. I can’t help it. It’s the “don’t just do it, REALLY do it” in me.
It’s why I love joint ventures so much!
Women who have business girlfriends to play with rise to new levels of success faster – and have the most fun!
Even though joint ventures are a catalyst strategy straight out of the box I’ve discovered ways to squeeze even more goodness out of them.
1. The VALUE you give… (win-win-win)
A profitable joint venture is good for you, good for the partners you invite to play and it’s good for your collective audience. The project matters and everyone wins.
Caveat: In my world the terms “profitable” and “return on investment” represent a lot more than money.
The biggest mistake I see is focusing only on “what’s in it for me?” i.e. increasing the number of subscribers on a list or how much money can be made with a back end offer.
Yes, these are undeniably important – to you – but in the grand scheme of your project WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM requires the lions share of your time and attention.
Tip: Keep in mind that there are two sides to this coin.
1) Your ideal prospects – the people you want to attract to your list through the joint venture project.
2) Your ideal partners – the experts that you want to invite to participate in the project for mutual benefit.
Get this right and it amplifies the value that comes to you. Trust me on this.
2. The PARTNERS you invite to play…
A profitable joint venture involves partners who serve your target market in a complementary way. They have their own following which expands everyone’s reach and most importantly – they’re excited to not only be part of your project but to share it with their community.
It’s vital that the experts you invite really want to be part of the team. If they’re “doing you a favor”, the likelihood that they’ll fully contribute is slim.
Tip: Hold each partner to the same standards. Every once in a while you’ll run into a potential partner who wants to negotiate the terms of their participation. It’s not a bad thing but it can become a can of worms if you “go there” with one and other partners find out.
Don’t be afraid to hang a vacancy sign for your project if a potential partner isn’t willing or able to fully participate in the way that meets your standards. The partners who are 100% on board will help you fill the space with a partner who shares the collective vision.
3. The TOOLS you leverage…
How far are you willing to go to make your next joint venture as successful as it can be? Are you going to do the bare minimum or are you going to go the extra mile?
The most profitable joint ventures move beyond the basics and leave room for improvisation.
It’s very common for those leading a joint venture to coordinate a solo email broadcast that each partner sends to their communities. But more and more there is push back on this. Some want to “protect their lists” (which really should lead to them not being involved at all) and others feel strongly about other channels of marketing.
So what can you do in addition to, or instead of that will take your project to dramatic new heights? One example is to provide a menu of marketing options and ask your partners to choose 2 or 3 that they can commit to. This allows them to play to their strengths and honour any marketing standards they have in place that might conflict with one of more of the options.
Tip: Ask each joint venture partner what ideas they have beyond the basics. You’ll be surprised what you’ll discover and the doors to expanded visibility that will open as a result.
Not only that, the partners will feel more involved. And human nature demonstrates that people support what they help to create.
4. The OFFERS you make…
Profitable joint ventures are attractive to your ideal prospect AND to potential joint venture partners.
You must clearly define “what’s in it for them” and resist the urge to ASSUME.
Your ability to ask is one of the most underleveraged success tools on the planet. Why guess when you can KNOW.
Ask. Then, act accordingly.
When you give people exactly what they want your invitations become irresistible. Tweet that!
Tip: Sometimes the type of joint venture you choose makes all the difference. This was definitely the case for me when I switched my modus operandi from telesummits to publishing a digital magazine. This one variation more than doubled my results and now I’m on the hunt for that next type of JV that will uplevel my results. (I’ll keep you posted).
Did you find value in this post? My goal was to expand what is possible for your (first) or next joint venture. I’d love for you to share it with others and contribute to the conversation by commenting below.
For years joint (ad)ventures, as I like to call them, have been “the way” I’ve taken big leaps in my business – elevating my visibility, authority and income in as little as 90 days.
It’s the #1 way that clients and customers find me.
And, it’s my most requested expertise that my private clients want to tap into.
But, I’ve noticed the JV landscape becoming a little… well, divided. And, I’m not the only one.
My business girlfriends and I have noticed some not-so-subtle push back on the way joint ventures are being done (and taught) to the degree that some question whether or not they should be done anymore at all. (Gasp!)
And I do get it, there is some questionable behaviour going on (keeping in mind that everyone comes to their own conclusions based on their own perspective).
But, I don’t believe these frustrations define the viability of the strategy.
So let’s look at what’s going on here…
Let’s start with an important reminder that Joint Ventures are a relationship-based marketing strategy. And this is where I believe things start to get a little tricky… in some cases the relationship element is being glossed over, in other cases the marketing aspect is taking a back seat.
What I’ve realized is that based on personal perspectives, objectives and even niche-specific variables, some will resonate most with the relationship side of a joint venture strategy, others are all about the marketing side and others are somewhere in the middle. Like a spectrum.
And I believe much of the frustrations surrounding this strategy would be mute if more time was invested in:
a) determining where YOU fall within this spectrum
b) finding relevant joint venture partners who share your perspective.
Here’s an all too common example of how this can play out in the real world when these distinctions have not been made…
Julie is an entrepreneur who is very technical about marketing. She skews to the marketing side of the spectrum paying close attention to the numbers and metrics and conversion. And she views collaboration as a smart way to leverage the collective marketing reach.
Michelle on the other hand is an indiepreneur who is more focused on impact, value creation, and thought leadership. She views collaboration as a way to widen the ripple effect of her message, a way to inspire change and an opportunity for good will.
Can you imagine Julie inviting Michelle to play or vice versa? They might as well be speaking a different language, essentially they are.
And, there’s no doubt in my mind that Julie would ask the single most controversial question to ever be asked in the land of joint ventures which is “What is your list size?”.
To Julie, this is a logical question. There’s no emotional attachment. I mean, how will she track and measure the effectiveness if she doesn’t have the most accurate information?
Ask Michelle this question and you’re likely be the topic of her next rant to her business BFF. She doesn’t care about the numbers and when approached this way she feels like a commodity. She doesn’t want to be “leveraged” or to have her community “exploited”. But that doesn’t mean she isn’t expecting some type of ROI.
Neither perspective or approach to the strategy is wrong or bad, it just is. What we have in many cases is a values mismatch that templates and scripts and step by step formulas cannot detect. The true value in these tools (and any strategy for that matter) relies on your ability to translate them to your specific scenario and style.
You can prevent this from happening through careful consideration of your project, prospects and partners as well as the side of the spectrum that matters most to you.
But it doesn’t end there. Clear and intimate communication with potential partners is vital. My best advice is to schedule an initial phone call so you can have a meaningful conversation and from there determine if it is a mutual fit (or not).
An email can’t fully convey your passion and enthusiasm for the project anyway. Sending an email invite followed by a google doc for your potential partner to complete might have worked in 2010 but today it’s not enough (it never really was).
This brings us back to the original question – are joint ventures broken?
I’m not sure “broken” is the right word but I do believe the bar has been raised, the standards have changed. There are new expectations and a new baseline of joint venture etiquette is emerging.
And, at the end of the day, not every strategy is for everyone.
“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world and there’s still going to be someone who hates peaches.”
The question is, how do YOU feel about joint ventures? What do you think? Do you see the potential? Does it sound good to you?
The next few posts will be devoted to the potential of joint ventures, consideration of what I believe to be the new baseline for this strategy and further exploration of the question I’ve posed today “Are Joint Ventures Broken?”.
If a joint venture is something you’ve been considering as a way to grow your list and ultimately your business you’ll want to stay tuned.
And as always I’d love for you to contribute to the conversation by sharing your thoughts and experiences with joint ventures in the comments below.
Have you asked joint venture partners to reveal their list size? Have you been asked to reveal yours? I’m curious to know what you think about this controversial-to-some question.
~ Gina xo
P.S…Meet Play Love Summer Camp is coming to help you navigate the nuances of a joint venture by creating a plan for your project that is unique to you, built to attract the audience you want to grow AND irresistible to your potential joint venture partners. In six short weeks you’ll have your project planned, in motion and powerfully positioned for success. Stay tuned!
Imagine getting more highly targeted subscribers every single week (heck, every single day!) by doing something you already do (well, at least you should be)…
That’s what ‘SNIPLY’ is helping users like me to do!
I’ve recorded a short video to introduce you to this free tool so you can increase your traffic and leads starting today too.
Here’s what you’ll discover:
What is sniply and why should you care?
Exactly how I’m using sniply to add new subscribers to my list EVERY DAY
A valuable side benefit of sniply that builds credibility through association
How to determine what content is worth turning into a sniply link.
How to get creative with sniply to build bridges between 3rd party content and your offers.
I’ve only just begun to dig into the potential of snip.ly and I look forward to reporting back about it again very soon.
Here’s the link to sniply: http://ginabellinc.com/sniply This is my affiliate url. You’ll get one too when you set up your free account. (Use it or don’t. It’s up to you.)
How about you? Have you used sniply? Are you intrigued by its potential? I’d love to hear about your plans and experiences in the comments.
And, if you found value in this free training I’d be grateful if you’d go ahead and share it.
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A common question I am asked is “How often should I email my list?”
The industry standard is weekly BUT, that may or may not be the best frequency for YOU.
The truth is it (frequency) really depends on who your target market is and the problem you help them solve. (And just so we’re clear, consistency is non-negotiable here).
To answer this question for yourself with confidence you must know your target market intimately.
Let me give you an example.
My target market is the entrepreneur who is using the internet to market and grow their business. Their strategies revolve around a blog as their marketing hub and using social media AND social equity (relationships) as visibility channels.
They want to get more of the right eyes on their offers more often and are looking to generate more traffic, leads and sales consistently. Why? Because lead poverty = income poverty. Ouch!
As a result, they are voracious consumers of relevant content and training because they are actively seeking a solution to their problem. This determination can make them very impatient.
Would you agree that it is VERY likely that my ideal prospect is subscribed to dozens if not hundreds of lists? You bet they are!
They are highly motivated to solve their problem because it is having an impact on their ability to be successful (not to mention their bank account).
Now imagine if my content only surfaced in their inbox once a week or less?
Because of WHO my target audience is and WHAT I help them to do, it’s in my best interest to send valuable tips, tools and training more frequently so that I become a high value asset instead of a distant memory or distraction that gets deleted.
So let’s start here:
WHO is your target market?
WHAT problem do you help them solve? (Or, what deep desire do you help them achieve?)
Answering these two questions with as much detail and emotion as possible will help you make a personal decision about how often you should email YOUR list.
And are you getting a sense of how answering these questions will also help you uncover what types of resources and content you “should” deliver?
Once you are clear about who your target market really is and exactly how you help them solve their most pressing problem(s) you can confidently communicate in a way that serves them best.
Now, go grab a pen and paper (or open up a word doc) and start answering these questions as they relate to YOUR business.
If you found value in this post I’d love it if you’d share it.
And please feel free to add to the conversation in the comments below.
P.S. You will never run out of people to talk to when you become in demand instead of invisible. HERE’S HOW.
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