Every business has a goal: to sell something. We all have products and services to sell. Part of running a business requires us to find some folks to buy our stuff.
In order to find customers we have to do some marketing. Our goal with marketing is pretty simple: get as many eyeballs on our products and services as we can so that people can hit the buy button.
There are many ways we can go about getting these eyeballs. We can do it the loooong way, by building our own brand, spending our own money on ads, and investing time and countless resources into our business. We can build affiliate programs in the hopes that other people will help promote our products. Of course the challenge with this is that many affiliates will never sell a single product! In essence, you wind up taking the lonely road to the mountain top, going it alone.
Or, we can take alternative routes to achieve the same goal. One of these alternative ways is to form joint venture partnerships. When we build relationships with people, we can leverage their brands, their communities, to get more eyeballs on our products and services.
Are you using joint venture partnerships to exponentially expand your community?
What is a Joint Venture Partnership?
Joint ventures (also known as JVs) are partnerships between two or more people, usually with the purpose of cross-promoting products. There are various types of JVs, and what you offer your JV partners will depend on what you have to bring to the table, and what you’re looking for in return.
How a JV Works
Most JVs are really affiliate relationships. You have a product – your JV partner has a forum, website, or email list. Your JV partner sends an email to her list about your product, or puts an ad on their website, blog, forum, etc.
Then you pay that JV partner a commission for the sales she generates. Although this type of relationship probably shouldn’t be called a “JV,” a lot of people do refer to it as such – probably because the product owner approached the JV partner to ask for a promotion instead of the product owner just deciding on his own to become an affiliate.
The most common form of true JV is when two parties with email lists or websites exchange ads. Usually, both parties have lists of comparable sizes in the same general niche, and each person agrees to send a mailing out to their list on the other person’s behalf. You send their message to your list, and they send your ad out to theirs.
Why Set Up A JV Partnership?
Joint ventures (JVs) are great, because they allow you to go far beyond what you could accomplish by simply promoting to your own list, or on your own site, or to your own community.
For example, if you have a list of 1,000 people, and 20 people buy the product you’re advertising, you have a 2% conversion rate.
If you could find ten other people with lists of 1,000 people to send out your ad, and you also experience a 2% conversion, you could make ten times the money you’d have made by sending out a message only to your list of subscribers.
Of course, in many niches, lists will often have duplicates. In the internet marketing game, many subscribers are on dozens of different lists. When a major launch goes out, you might get five or ten messages about the exact same product on the same day.
But no two mailing lists will be exact duplicates. Even in the same niche, people can attract different audiences. JVs are a great way of reaching more people than you’d otherwise be able to reach on your own.
How to Start the JV Conversation
If you’re interested in doing a JV with someone, you should be well prepared before you write to him or her with your proposal. You must bring something to the table that is of value to the other person. A JV can be a cross promotion or a bartering situation, where each of you offers up a service or skill to jointly create and launch a co-branded product.
Don’t expect to write to a well-known marketer with a huge list and get an instant JV when you don’t have a list and aren’t offering anything special. I’m not saying it’s impossible, just don’t expect it.
You can also entice a JV partner with a very generous commission.
Be prepared to pay 50% or more in commissions to get JV partners. That is, unless you’re already very well-known in the niche or have a very large list of your own. Or you have an amazing, ridiculously creative product that will blow everything else away.
You’ll also probably have to JV with people who have lists that are similar to yours in size. Most people won’t be willing to JV with you if their email list is over 10,000 people and yours is only 200.
Once you build up a large list of your own, you can start getting bigger JVs. Just don’t forget about what it was like when you were new and your list was smaller. You shouldn’t automatically pass over someone because his or her list is currently small.
If they’re offering you a good commission on a very high-quality product, it might be something you should consider. Plus, you’ll be developing a relationship that might be very valuable in the future!
How do you use JV partnerships in your business?