This comment appeared on one of the forums: “I’d like to get to know more business owners online as friends and joint venture partners.”
My first reaction was to write, “You’re asking the wrong question.” But then I shifted into marketing coach mindset and remembered…
When I ran a weekly teleseminar, and when I later put together summits or epic blog posts, I was often asked, “How on earth did you get them?”
“Them” referred to joint venture (jv) partners and guests who were notably more famous and fabulous (not to mention more beautiful) than I.
Relationships take time. Busy people don’t have time to meet for coffee or get on the phone “to get to know each other.” They often won’t hang out, except at conferences.
Business friendships start with business. For example:
Jan and June met at a networking event and the business sparks flew. Years later, they remained friends – everything from “girls night out” to chatting on the phone to supporting each other’s programs.
Tom and Todd met when Tom joined Todd’s coaching program. They each built successful businesses, and they became good friends as well as accountability partners.
Here are 5 tips to add business friends and joint venture partners (even when they seem to move in a different universe):
(1) Begin to build relationships by signing up to buy high-quality products and services from people you admire.
Send nice comments to their social media pages and use your copywriting skills to offer testimonials. They’ll be genuine, because who wants to build relationships with anyone who offers bad products?
(2) Even better, sell their products as an affiliate.
For almost every online marketer, only a few affiliates actually make sales. When you sell even one or two products, you get noticed and deeply appreciated.
“I bought your storytelling product and I’d love to promote it” will be far more likely to initiate a lasting relationship than, “Can we get together for coffee and talk about our businesses?”
(3) Forget everything you’ve heard about being vulnerable. A potential JV partner, podcast guest or business friend wants to work with confident business owners who will make their lives easy and comfortable.
I’m probably preaching to the choir here, but it’s rarely a good idea to open with something like, “I can’t buy this product because there’s not enough money in my PayPal account. I have to wait till somebody pays me.”
Or, “I can’t pay because I lost all my credit. I just have a prepaid card with a $200 balance.”
I’ve heard both of those, from people who actively sought me out as a joint venture partner.
Life happens. Anyone can have credit problems or draw down a PayPal account. You can usually find a work-around, especially if you’re presenting yourself as an experienced online expert.
(4) Present any invitation as a win-win.
Apply the basic copywriting principle, “Think of the benefit.” Why should someone join you on a summit or podcast? Why will you be an awesome guest on theirs?
I’ve gotten spectacular guests on my programs because they know I’m a good interviewer. I ask the questions nobody else asks and I make them look good. And then they get access to the recording, which they can use for their own promotions.
To demonstrate your skills, include links to recordings on your website — audio, talking head video or Powerpoint video. It’s not a bad idea to include a clip of your guest and host spots.
When you’re the host, offer to sell their products, with or without an affiliate commission. When you’re the guest, make your products available with an affiliate commission to the host. Even a small commission usually helps you get a foot in the door.
(5) Be professional.
Professionals make things easy for each other. They don’t take a “no” answer personally. They respect others and want to be respected in return.
Professionals pay their way. They don’t try to get things for free in return for some vague “opportunities to get in front of prospects.” They don’t expect free coaching or consulting from JV partners or business friends.
In the examples above, Jan and June never gave each other free coaching, nor did Tom and Todd. When Tom wanted to learn from Todd, even after they became friends who met for dinner and drinks, he signed up and paid.
Each of the four received free review products not as friends but as business owners – by demonstrating they could promote them effectively.
If you’d like to enhance your skills to build relationships, begin with copywriting. Work with a coach or copywriter to develop your standard 10-questions package, bio, giveaway lead magnet, summary of your best topic (which can be modified as needed once you learn the concept) and whatever else you need. You may need a one-sheet if you do a lot of speaking.
Some of my best business relationships have begun when I was invited to submit something and the response was a “wow – you totally get it.” (The first time it happened, I almost fell off my chair.)
And when I’m the host, the professionals send me good stuff. They’ve obviously gone way beyond Copywriting 101. They don’t need hand-holding and coaching. For a really strong example of how I hosted a mini-summit with 12 expert “famous” guests, click here. For another example, two very busy people wrote forewords for my book, Grow Your Business One Story At A Time.
So…what do you think? Is this approach too tough? What’s your experience as guest or host, and how do you feel about making business friends?
I’m happy to help you leverage your own marketing with joint ventures. Join me for a Power Hour session — expect “aha” moments and a clear vision of what to do next.
Looking for a joint venture partner? If you’ve done your homework and it’s within my wheelhouse, take the first step here.