One of the fastest ways to grow you business is to find people to joint venture with. A joint venture is when you partner with someone to promote a product or service and both you and your partner benefit.
There a number of ways you can use a JV partnership to build your business—even if you’re just starting out and have no list. The idea is to make it a win/win/win situation… for you, your partner, and the potential clients.
Here are my 5 favorite ways to joint venture:
1) Joint venture with a local business owner.
This is a great way to get started building your list. Find a local business owner that is open to a partnership and preferably has a related product. For example, if you’re a health and wellness coach, you might want to partner with a spa or massage salon owner. If you’re a relationship coach, you might want to partner with a restaurant owner (one that has a romantic atmosphere!), chocolate/dessert or gift shop owner. A business coach might find an office supply store owner.
Any kind of coach can approach a bookstore owner, especially if you have a book for sale, or a restaurant owner. I have a client who gave talks about time management at a local pizza parlor and another client who gave talks on grieving at a local funeral home. Use your imagination on this one.
With this kind of JV partnership, you could offer to give a talk on your topic. You could even give a series of talks or a monthly or quarterly talk. Both you and the business owner promote the talk and both of you will be exposed to new potential business. Your call to action will be to sign up for your newsletter or a freebie. Your partner can give out discount coupons or a free sample. It’s a way to attract more business for the business owner in a different and interesting way from what he/she is already doing or has previously tried.
2) Joint venture with a colleague who has a related product.
If you’re just starting out, this can be with someone who has a bigger list than yours. You can make a deal with them where they promote you to their list now, and you promote them to your list later, when your list reaches a certain size. An example of this kind of partnership is a business coach partnering with someone who has a web design service, or a health coach who partners with someone offering nutritional supplements/health care products.
It’s also possible to partner with another coach who has a specific product for an area that you don’t cover to that extent, such as a business coach who has a start up training program partnering with a business coach who has a product on monetizing with Facebook ads.
3) Offer your product as a bonus.
If you have an introductory product such as a book, video series, or home study course, you could offer it as a bonus for a joint venture partner’s larger product. You’ve probably seen this before—you get an email about a 12-month coaching program and on the sales page you see bonuses that include another coach’s 30-day challenge, or CD series on a related topic, etc. That’s an example of this kind of partnership. It’s a way to get your foot in the door with someone who already has a list, and it makes their offer look more valuable.
4) Recommend each other’s products.
You can find a JV partner who has the same target market as yours and agree to recommend the other’s product or service. This will work for a related product or a different product. You can promote each other by putting a recommendation in your newsletters, or sending out a solo email to your respective lists. Doing this with different partners each month, positions you as a hub to go to for valuable resources.
5) Create a product together.
Sometimes I come across someone who has a really cool product but it’s not appropriate for my list or vice versa. After some brainstorming we can sometimes come up with a product that would be appropriate for both lists and would be fairly easy to create. This product would combine our knowledge in a unique way that our respective products don’t cover.
For example, two business coaches I know were discussing how to use a particular software program and decided to create a product that showed their clients how to use it more effectively. Another set of partners combined mindset coaching with a business strategy to produce a course that covered both areas.
With all of these scenarios, you can use an affiliate program to keep track of which JV partners send you business so you can pay them a commission. Or you may want to do one JV partnership project at a time so you know where any new business comes from. Either way, you need to keep track of the business your partners send you and pay them their commissions promptly.
A joint venture partnership is a more involved and advanced version of an affiliate program because you culture a friendship/relationship with that person that may last for years. It takes more time and work to develop joint venture partnerships, but they are usually more financially rewarding and create longer-lasting personal relationships. You can count on support from one another, and you aim to do projects with each other on a regular basis. You can still give them an affiliate link to promote your products, or you might want to give them their own webpage on your site. A satisfied JV partner is one of your biggest business assets.