Is Invitation Intimidation getting in the way of your joint (ad)venture of a lifetime? Get them primed to play.

Is Invitation Intimidation getting in the way of your joint (ad)venture of a lifetime? Get them primed to play.

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 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

Ready to JV (Joint Venture Marketing) Bootcamp: Learn How to Partner and Prosper in 3 Short Weeks!


ONE Good Joint Venture Can Dramatically Boost Your Business – and quickly too!

ready to jv 6 week bundle with logo2Now you can be READY TO JV in just 3 short weeks so you can…

  • Grow your community of subscribers!
  • Boost your credibility and expertise!
  • Make more money in less time with greater ease!

A panel of top experts agree joint ventures are the fastest and most profitable way to grow your business, even if you’re starting from scratch! The READY TO JV Course covers EXACTLY what you need to know (and do) to get joint ventures (JV’s) working for you in new and powerful ways.

You Will Learn:

  • What a joint venture really is and other “JV” lingo
  • Exactly what you must think about and do BEFORE, DURING, AFTER the JV
  • How to identify and connect with your JV Dream team
  • How to present your opportunity so partners jump at the opportunity to play with you
  • How to lead and motivate joint venture partners for maximum results
  • Systems and technologies that make joint venturing easy-peasy!
  • How to create a joint venture marketing action plan (JV Map)
  • How to leverage the PARTNER method as a checklist for JV success
  • How to develop and nurture profitable win-win relationships for the long-term
  • How to reduce risk and protect your valuable assets and ideas
  • Plus, a whole lot more and… surprise bonuses too!

The READY TO JV Course will walk you through a simple step-by-step progression of creating successful joint ventures. You’ll receive all of the essentials so you can concentrate on implementing your new found skills and ideas.


#1. Personal e-coaching with me (Gina Bell). Get feedback, advice and your specific questions answered directly by me! (Details provided upon registration)

#2. Valuable surprise BONUSES delivered each week beginning with a 60-minute audio interview where I share tons of tips and advice about networking, joint ventures and list building.

FAST ACTION BONUS! The first SIX to register will also receive a 30 minute joint venture strategy session with me! (Value $247.00)

Course Agenda:

This course begins Thursday October 28th and is limited to 10 success-driven women (so hurry!)

You will enjoy (6) 60-minute content and interactive tele-classes over 3 short weeks.

  • Thursday Oct 28
  • Tuesday Nov 2
  • Thursday Nov 4
  • Tuesday Nov 9
  • Tuesday Nov 16
  • Thursday Nov 18

All teleclasses are at 1:00 pm Central Time.

This course is “calendar friendly”. If you miss a session, you will have access to each class recording.

Course Format:

Participants attend this course via live tele-webinar. Attend by phone or webcast, from the comfort of your home or office – it’s your choice.

This program is designed to deliver the essentials in digestible bite-sized actionable pieces. This increases the likelihood that you will IMPLEMENT what you learn. We’re going to eat that elephant one bite at a time! Our calls (and follow up bonuses) will be filled with information, advice, resources and action steps to get you up and joint venturing successfully in just 3 short weeks!

You’ll get access to the mp3 audio recordings and PDF action guides so you can re-visit the content again and again as needed.

About Your Facilitator:


Gina Bell

Gina Bell

Gina Bell is a multi-passionate entrepreneur, successful coach and author, Founder of IAWBO the International Association of Women in Business Online, President and CEO of Gina Bell, Inc and Creator of JV Mavens Partner and Prosper Network.

Gina is known as a Catalyst for Growth and consults with multi-passionate and creative women entrepreneurs from all over the world teaching them how to build equity-rich businesses and how to leverage “catalyst” strategies that enable them to up-level their success quickly and confidently.

You can learn more about Gina and her programs at and


This 3-week, 6-module course is just $297.00

Action takers are rewarded. Be one of the first six to register to receive a bonus 30 minute Joint Venture Strategy session. You’ll love it!


SORRY! This program is not currently available. The Ready to JV program is being re-mastered and will be available in 2012 as a six-week Joint (ad)Venture of a Lifetime Mastermind. – Learn more here.

Cancellation Policy: Once the class begins cancellations are not accepted.

Earnings Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to accurately represent this program and its potential. Please remember that each individual’s success depends on his or her background, dedication, desire and motivation. As with any business endeavor, there is no certain guarantee that you will earn any money.

Be Ready to JV: How and Why to Have the Stinky Shoes Conversation with Potential Joint Venture Partners

Ready to JV - Stinky Shoe ConversationI’m really excited to be heading into modules 3 and 4 of my Ready to JV program this coming week.

During module two we were discussing how and why your joint venture success relies on having what I call “the stinky shoe conversation”…

A bit of back story…

One of my former VIP clients is a Home Stager. Together we created a joint venture approach to her marketing where she markets solely to Realtors™. Staged homes sell faster and for more money so, it’s in a Realtor’s best interest to gift their clients with a home staging consultation.

One clear benefit of this partnership for the Realtor is the home stager gets to have all of the awkward conversations that Realtors used to dread (or avoid totally) like “I’m not sure if you realize this but your front entrance is filled with smelly shoes, you’ll need to clean that up and deodorize” or, “Is there anyone that can babysit your cat (along with it’s litter box) during open houses and home showings?” or “Do you own a rake? A quick tidy of the leaves and weeds in the yard will give the home a bit more curb appeal”.

These conversations support the Realtor/Home Seller relationship and get the Home Seller thinking about what they can do to influence a faster and more financially rewarding sale of the home.

Would you agree that these conversations – as awkward as they may be – are in the best interest of everyone involved (including a buyer’s ability to “see” the potential of the home, or to stimulate other Realtors who may have motivated buyers…)? It’s win-win-win…

So how does this relate to your joint ventures?

It is essential that you ask your JV partners to confirm two things before they accept your invitation to come out and play:

#1) that they are aligned with the mission/purpose of the project and

#2)  that their marketing calendar can support the co-promotion calendar (i.e. they wont be heading into a bottle neck).

This conversation is essential to increasing co-promotion participation AND protects the quality of your relationships. It is designed to let your partners know that you are actively seeking partners who will be 100% committed and on board and prevents any “misunderstandings” as the project unfolds if that partner realizes (after saying yes) that they just have too much on their plate.

My best advice here is that you become unattached to the outcome of your invitation. The individuals you’ve invited either WILL or WILL NOT partner with you for this project.

Now, the remainder of my advice on this comes as a bit of a rant…

Please, don’t let anyone tell you that asking your JV team to send a solo email is a no-no or bad JV etiquette. Personally I think this kind of advice is a load of you know what (and designed to avoid the stinky shoe conversation)!

If being bold and staking a claim in our marketing is important to standing out and attracting our ideal clients… why would we not be bold about attracting “ideal partners?

Say this out loud (humor me, say this out loud):

“Please will you be my client/partner (beg, beg, beg)? If you say yes, you can do whatever you want and treat me however you like. Nooooo, you don’t have to respect any boundaries. I was just saying that he he. Yes, I know this is my business and my project but really, you can do whatever you like.”

Read it or say it out loud, either way it’s pretty ridiculous don’t you think? Neither you nor the client or partner is supported by a “door-mat attitude”. Blech!

V-8 Moment: You can set your intentions to attracting high quality, motivated joint venture partners who are 100% committed to the success of the project. You do not have to settle for what you get. The moment I realized this it completely transformed the results I was getting with joint ventures.

Just as you create an ideal client profile so you attract high quality clients, you should create an ideal JV partner profile so that you attract high quality partners. Does that profile include partners who don’t participate in the co-promotion part of the project? No… I didn’t think so.

One last thing on this to really drive it home…

If I tell my partners that it’s okay NOT to send solo emails knowing it’s the method that gets the best response, and then my partners get poor results i.e. little to no commission or list growth, do you think they’re going to be happy at the end of the JV? Nope… So it is in EVERYONE’s best interest to design a co-promotion strategy that gets results. Agree?

Here’s what I know to be true… email broadcasts play a starring role in a powerful co-promotion strategy. I teach my clients to structure their co-promotion plan around an Invite, Remind, Give communication series that serves the collective audience (not salesy at all). And yes, solo emails would be a requirement of participation (see exceptions below).

On occasion you may make an exception for a partner who:

a) Negotiates with you i.e. “It doesn’t look like I can schedule things exactly as you have planned here but here’s what I can do is this…”  In some cases, their idea and offer is better than your original co-promotion strategy

b) Is a “big name” that adds credibility or wow-factor and becomes a magnet to your target audience. In this case, if they didn’t do anything to promote, it’s still beneficial to bring them into the team.

There you have it. The stinky shoe conversation designed to increase your JV success and the success that your partners experience through the JV project that you lead… a tiny nugget of wisdom from the Ready to JV program.

Do you have the stinky shoe conversation with  your partners? If not, do you see this increasing the results you experience in the future?

And I’m curious… if you participate in a lot of JV’s, do you appreciate like I do, being part of a project where the person who invited me to participate actually LEADS it and is truly invested in seeing me benefit too?

Always love to get a conversation rolling. Please take a moment to comment and share :)