Joint ventures are a very good way to increase your opt-in list, gain visibility and attract new clients. A joint venture takes place when any two people come together to create a class, product or promotion for their mutual benefit.
Example: Your Product + Jane’s Teleseminar. You have an information product that sells for $97. Jane agrees to interview you on a podcast program that introduces you and your product to a new audience.
You win because you sell more copies of your information product, so you get more revenue. Your name also gets introduced to a new audience. Jane joins your affiliate program and gets 50% of all the revenue. She also benefits because her fans see that she attracts interesting guests who bring them information they couldn’t get otherwise.
Example: Sam’s Product + Your List. Sam has an information product. You agree to send a mailing to your list, presenting the product. You get 50% of the proceeds and Sam gets access to a new market as well as revenue he would not have obtained otherwise.
How do you know if Jane and Sam are the best joint venture partners?
Experienced joint venture marketers move carefully when choosing partners. You can get burned when you choose a partner who is less than honorable, delivers inferior products or services or even just does a lame job of presenting at a webinar or podcast.
My rule of thumb: I won’t invite someone till I’ve heard them on someone else’s call (or their own call). I recommend resources only when I’ve made purchases from the seller myself, and when I know they’ll honor guarantees and keep promises. I got burned once and now I’m *extra* careful.
Be ready to contribute more than 50%.
I’ve been honored to participate in joint ventures with some extremely well-known people, even when I was brand new and nobody knew me. I approached them with a simple proposition: I’d do most of the work.
In one of my earliest ventures I partnered with a marketing coach who had a huge, responsive list. Of course I contributed my expertise in storytelling and copywriting. But mostly, I contributed my knowledge of how to put a course together quickly. I designed the curriculum, made up the slides, and created the sales letter and promo emails.
My partner didn’t do as much of the course creation work. But she had put in the hours to build her list. She knew people who were not only potential buyers but also potential affiliate partners, giving us even more opportunity for growth.
When it came to delivering the course, I offered to lighten her workload even more: she could just introduce me and interject a question here and there, and I’d do the teaching. Or we could set it up as a Q&A for her. Or she could teach part of the course — the part she was most comfortable delivering.
Get clear on how each of you will benefit.
She gained from her share of the revenue, which didn’t require much of her time. She also had more opportunities to nurture her list and demonstrate her expertise to her current audience as well as those who were new to her.
I gained from exposure to her list. I also gained credibility, because she was well known to an audience I wanted to reach but didn’t know yet.
Make sure your expertise will be on display.
Rita was honored when her mentor, Jack, offered to partner with her on a course. Jack even offered a special bonus: a one-hour private webinar, limited to everyone who signed up by a certain date.
Sure enough, many buyers signed up. But most of them signed off Rita’s list as soon as the course ended. They’d signed up to get that webinar with Jack, which was indeed a rare and very special deal.
In retrospect, Rita realized, the course topic was so broad, her unique expertise didn’t set her apart. In future, she vowed, she’d insist on a topic that would attract buyers who would also be good candidates for her own services.
A single joint venture can have a big impact on your business because you achieve multiple goals. You earn revenue — ideally, more than you’d earn on your own. You gain exposure. You gain credibility. But all these rewards depend on choosing the right jv partner, saying “no” to those who aren’t a good fit, and being willing to go the extra mile when needed.