So here it is: JVs, or joint ventures – also known as strategic partnerships, promotional partners and affiliate marketing. Fair warning, the strategy comes with assembly required (a.k.a. hard work). Like EVERYTHING, it is not an easy button that solves all your woes; however, it IS by far my favorite way of acquiring customers for many, many reasons.
Clients acquired by JVs are akin to referrals on steroids. To that end, they are in a far better frame of mind when meeting with you, which means they close much easier, are less price-sensitive and tend to be better clients overall. The cost of acquisition is also far lower than traditional lead generation to a cold list; in many cases, the cost is $0.
So the big question is, what are they and how do you get ’em?
Simply, a JV is where you get another non-competitive company to endorse you or promote you to their clients, members or subscribers. Sometimes there is a financial share, but more often than not, the real driving factor is that working with you will advance their specific goals, agenda or purpose.
Years ago I spoke at the ASCII events for free in exchange for permission to make “appropriate educational material” available to the audience at the end of my presentation (that’s JV speak for selling the Toolkit). That partnership lasted for over three years, and I leveraged it into multiple other relationships with other industry associations.
What made it a win for ASCII and the other associations? They got a really good speaker on a hot topic for free who helped them fill events. After I started building my own list, I then helped co-promote the ASCII events with my own money/list.
Here are some other JV ideas:
- Deliver free “content” (webinars, seminars, free reports) to their members/associates. They fill the room, you deliver the content. To make it work, offer to do the work of promoting the “content” using my That way you’ll make it more attractive for them (less work) and you’ll make sure it’s actually done. A long-term Producers Club had just four JV partners lined up to co-promote some type of content (seminar, report TBD) that helped him reach 180+ clients that specialize in his medical niche.
- Give their clients a free copy of your book. Be willing to pay for the book and the mailing costs, although I have had members sell their book to associations and get them to pay for 100% of the costs of mailing it to their members. Many associations have budgets for this in “member engagement” buckets.
- Give your services/book as a freemium. A client of mine from years ago used to make a killing by partnering with commercial realtors and building management companies and offering their new clients a free site survey and “IT Moving Kit” for them to give their own clients when they moved. For free he would customize a plan for them to move, for cabling, Internet, phones, etc. I don’t recall what percentage would become clients, but it was enough to make it very worth his time. The realtors and building managers would list this as a benefit of doing business with them – “List with us and we’ll give you this $2,000 service for free.”
- Co-production of a seminar, webinar or free report. A former Better Your Best contestants and Producers Club member had a local HR firm and an insurance company lined up to create a co-authored custom white paper to distribute to their clients on cyber security. He’s also talking to two large banks in his area, one of which took a big stack of his books with the stated intent of personally distributing them to their top business clients.
- Discount for their clients and members and/or commission. Offer your JV partners’ clients freebies, discounts and incentives too – or you can give a percentage to them in commission. Set an agreeable percentage you’re willing to give for a new client. Let’s say that’s $2,000. Tell your JV partner you can give them 100% of the $2,000, or you can give their clients/members $1,000 off and them $1,000 commission OR give the entire discount to their clients. Often, they’ll want the entire discount given to their clients/members, but they’ll like the option of keeping some.
- Free Training Programs. You can offer cyber security end-user training for free or for a deeply discounted rate.
These are just a few idea starters, of course. The #1 goal to keep in mind is how you can help them and their clients/members.
I outline an entire process for approaching JV partners in the Toolkit, our flagship product. If you’re interested in learning more, schedule your FREE one-on-one consultation. Go to www.TechnologyMarketingToolkit.com/consult[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]