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.
So ask yourself: Who are you hanging out with? Are you in good company?
Marketing becomes fun and easier:
Joint Ventures make a strong a case for being in business for yourself but not by yourself.
Entrepreneurship can get lonely – but it doesn’t have to be.
And, truthfully there’s only so much you can do alone. I believe that together we’re better.
A joint venture is an opportunity to experience the valuable connections, collaborations, co-creations and entrepreneurial camaraderie that fuel success and feed the soul.
“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” – Jane Howard
WOW Can you see why I LOVE joint ventures so much??? Which reason excites you the most? I’d love to know. Share in the comments below.
Speaking of sharing. If you found value in this post please consider letting others know about it through your favorite social media channels.
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!
In my last post I addressed the idea of “invitation intimidation” head on because the fear of being rejected by the very experts you admire is the #1 thing that gets in the way of being more joint-venturous.
And I totally get it which is why I shared my best strategy with you – along with 7 specific things you can do – to get on their radar before you invite them so they recognize you and respond to your request.
But, this fear can be so insidious I promised not to leave it there.
So let’s talk about the possibility that some of the partners you invite might say… no.
What’s the worst that can happen?
It’s got to mean “something”, right? And that something can’t be good.
Your story of no is a “what if?” game that prevents you from asking for what you want in the first place.
Because it’s not about the word no. It’s about what you think no means.
So let’s clear the air.
It doesn’t mean they don’t like you.
It’s not evidence that you’re not as amazing as everyone thinks you are.
And it’s definitely not proof that you’ll never be successful.
It just means: “not yes.”
What’s so scary about “not yes”?
If we drop the drama, it’s no scarier than flipping a coin – and that’s not scary at all.
Random chance doesn’t keep score and remember, I’ve already given you 7 ways to increase the odds of a “Yes!” response.
So, if you want asking for what you want to be as easy and drama-free as flipping a coin, you don’t have to keep score either.
ASK. Share. Invite. Confidently and consistently.
Sooner or later someone WILL say “yes.”
And from personal experience I can tell you – most will.
I titled this post “I was scared she’d say no but then THIS happened” because I’ve been scared to invite people to my projects – especially the women I felt a bit intimidated by – who seemed more professional, successful and more expert than me.
The first woman who comes to mind is Marie Forleo who was part of my How Does She Do It Summit back in ‘09.
Some of the women I’ve played with really were at a much higher level and playing a much bigger game than I was at the time but that’s where you need to play in order for a joint venture projects to be as successful as possible.
And from experience I can tell you they’re all regular people – they’ve just done things you admire or are aspiring to do too.
And once in a while you’ll find that they’ve been admiring (or even intimidated by) YOU. No jokes!
Bottom line: If you don’t ask you can’t experience all the blessings joint ventures can bring your way and there are many.
I’ll share my favorite perks of partnering with specific examples in the next post.
P.S. My Meet Play Love E-course will help you navigate the nuances of your first (or next) joint (ad)venture of a lifetime so you save time, money and quite possibly your reputation. Learn more and register – HERE.
If you’re thinking about planning a joint venture (that’s great!) but have all sorts of rejection stories playing out in your mind? You’re not alone.
It sounds a little like…
“What value do I have to offer them?”
“Why would they want to partner with ME?”
“I’ll be mortified if they say no.”
Fear of being rejected by the very experts you admire will stop even the most confident entrepreneur in her tracks.
In fact, I’d say it’s THE biggest barrier to joint venture success.
Oh yes, I’ve been there too. So over the years I’ve become very skilled at getting partners “primed to play”.
And I’m here to share my best methods because (surprise-surprise) the experts you admire are looking for opportunities and will partner with you but…
You’ve got to get on their radar BEFORE you invite them to play.
This way you’ll be recognized as someone of value when you do reach out to connect about your joint venture.
The best lens here is to add value and increase to them without expecting anything in return.
Here are 7 ways to get on the radar of experts you’d love to connect with, in a way that adds value, so they RECOGNIZE you and RESPOND to you when you reach out to them…
1) Add their blog RSS to your TwitterFeed.com account.
Every time your potential partners publish a new blog post it will be automatically syndicated to your Twitter account. It’s a set-and-forget way to share their content, which they love.
Now assuming the content of these potential partners is relevant to the work you do and who you do it for (which it should be) it will help position you as a go to resource to your existing community which is a valuable side benefit.
You notice when people are sharing your content and it makes you feel good right?
They may not notice the first time or two but eventually they will notice that you’re sharing everything they’ve got. (Brownie points!)
2) Use Twitter lists…
Add potential partners to a twitter list so you can easily check in (daily, weekly, your choice) and retweet or reply to their recent tweets.
Yes I know, I just suggested twitter feed but that will only retweet their blog posts. They will likely have a lot more going on than that which represents opportunities for you to add more value.
Here’s a personal example: I recently tweeted to Amy Allan @amyallantdf to let her know how much I love her reality TV show The Dead Files.
You’ll be surprised by the people who notice what you’re posting.
In this case, I was immediately followed by a handful of other paranormal TV shows who know that if I like Amy’s show there’s a good chance I’ll like there’s too. I also enjoyed new followers who are fans of Amy. My post to her created “common ground”.
Even though this was a personal vs business example the principles are the same and you’ll find there are so many side benefits when you get this going.
3) Facebook Like, Comment and/or Share.
I schedule an hour or so every week to comment and share on social media. My top priority is to add value to existing business girlfriends (social equity) and then, the ones I’d love an opportunity to play with in the future.
Again, I do this from the lens of adding value without expectation. I love what they do which makes it easy to share.
Everyone loves the validation of a tweet, like or comment so give a little (or a lot) of TLC any time you can. Share. The. Love.
4) Leave comments on their blog.
I LOVE when someone comments on my blog. I used to feel invisible wondering if anyone was reading my posts. Every online entrepreneur has been there. Comments are like candy!!
The key is to leave thoughtful comments. Not lazy ones like “great post” or “love this” but a comment that adds to the conversation and/or edifies their expertise.
Be careful that your attempt to edify doesn’t steal their thunder though. This is about showcasing their expertise not yours.
5) Reference their page/post/article on your own blog with an internal link to their content.
Whenever possible I love to reference other people’s blog posts especially when we share the same point of view.
Most online entrepreneurs have Google Alerts set to notify them when their content is shared. (You do too right?)
This not only builds common ground, it gives valuable exposure – and credibility – to their own content. Who doesn’t want to be referenced as a reputable source?
6) Connect Like Minds.
This is really rewarding and requires paying attention to (ahem cyber-stalking in a good way) your network to get a feel for what they stand for, what they’re currently promoting and the resources they are seeking.
Let’s say you noticed that they want to do more speaking and just happen to know a few people looking for speakers. Bingo!
Or you heard that they want to do some guest blogging and you happen to know content curators who are always searching for great contributors. Bongo!
These are just two of many ways you can connect like minds and look like a superstar to them both!
Do this often enough, and you’ll become THE go-to-girl that people ask first when they need something.
And my all-time favorite way to make a meaningful connection BEFORE inviting someone new to play…
7) Ask for an introduction.
It’s a small world after all…
Did you know, the people you already know, and your existing business girlfriends may already have a great relationship with the people you want to meet.
Let them know who you’re looking to meet and why and they’ll be happy to build a valuable bridge of connection. Most people want to help you, they just don’t know how unless you tell them.
When done consistently, these actions can quickly shift you from that of complete stranger to loyal advocate.
Who’s joint venture invitation do you imagine they’ll be most open to entertaining?
And now I’m curious.
Have you used one of these methods successfully? Do tell.
Are there other strategies you’ve used to build rapport with others?
Which ONE do you feel good about acting on – today?
If you’ve been feeling intimidated by inviting partners to your project start by getting on their radar before you reach out.
And stick around because we’re going to tackle this invitation intimidation barrier head on.
Soon you’ll be a pro at getting partners primed to play and you’ll have confidence in the value that you have to give to others – yes, even the high profile experts. We’ll talk more about this specifically next time.
P.S. If you’re already certain that joint ventures will be part of your 2015 marketing plans you’ll be happy to know I’ve opened to doors to Meet Play Love: The Business Girlfriend’s Guide to Planning a Joint (ad)Venture of a Lifetime with a special PICK YOUR PRICE opportunity. You’ll find all the details right here.
Have you noticed? Everyone’s in planning mode or at least planning to plan.
This time of year is full of hope, potential and possibilities. I love it.
(In a perfect world) it should be smooth sailing ahead but there’s often something else that happens after the Holidays.
Here’s the play by play…
You get swept away in the excitement of the awesome products you’ll launch and the programs you’ll run. (How fun!)
You do the math and the income potential is off the charts! (This feels like a real business!)
You set the dates and it all looks great…
…on paper! (Sigh)
Setting goals and creating a strategy around what you want to do and plan to do is awesome…
BUT what will you actually do?
Good intentions and well-laid plans aren’t foolproof especially when there are so many things that could get in the way…
And the secret (not so secret) is that the biggest barrier of all is often – you.
Self doubt, comparison, procrastination, limiting beliefs, fear… the list goes on.
Not to mention the whole you don’t know what you don’t know thing (until you’re knee deep in it of course).
So, if you’ve got big plans for 2015 you’ve got a decision to make…
You can relinquish your potential to the pull of old patterns and frustrations OR you can do whatever it takes to get out of your own way.
Because here’s the thing…
Willpower is not a sustainable strategy.
It will get you started but it’ll only carry you so far.
If you’ve got a mission in mind or in motion that you want to get to the other side of quickly and with the least amount of struggle possible, I can help you with that.
I have a new “Coach on the Go” program designed exclusively for ambitious women who are ready to lean in and get to the other side of their goal – no excuses, come hell or high water.
The minimum commitment is only 90 days because I know it’s about as far as a highly ambitious woman like us can see and commit to.
It’s tailored to match your pace and give you peace of mind because when you’re in make sh*t happen mode waiting is not on the agenda.
I almost called it “Gina on Demand” because that’s the kind of support I want to give you and I know you’ll need.
If you’ve got big plans for 2015, and you’re so ready you’re starting to feel impatient, this may be just what you’ve been waiting for.
Check it out – here.
I only work with a handful of women this way and rarely have new space for new clients so don’t delay ok.
P.S. My best-selling program Meet Play Love: The Business Girlfriends Guide to Planning a Joint-Adventure of a Lifetime is back on the menu! If a Joint Venture is in your business future Meet Play Love will help you navigate the nuances of this ever-evolving strategy.