I have spent a lot of time in the past week talking about getting your foot in the door. Creating winning partnerships is another way to help you get started and get your name out there by working with someone else. Joint venturing is one partnership tool that’s great for that. You know what else joint venturing is? Dirty.
I have spent time running joint ventures for people and through that experience I can tell you there is a right and a wrong way to go about it. Do it right and you have created a triple win. A win for you, the partner and the end users of the experience. Do it wrong and it’s shower time because you probably exploited your end users for a measly profit.
Here are some of my dos and don’ts to creating clean JV relationships:
DO partner with people who are aligned with your philosophy and have a complimentary business: I don’t know how many times I have seen this done haphazardly. People think just because I am in the self help industry and they are in the self help industry then it’s a perfect fit. You have to be more discerning about that.
DO NOT partner with someone that you don’t know. This sounds easy enough right? It is until you are presented with a serious money making opportunity and then you decide to let it slide. When you partner with someone, you are endorsing them. If they suck, you suck. I have had to learn this recently with some former contractors that used to do work for me.
DO create a partnership where there is a win-win. Don’t approach someone about a partnership where you can create any value for them but they can create a ton of value for you…unless they owe you one. Make sure that you can clearly see how everyone will win.
DO NOT participate in those joint ventures where a company brings together tons of thought leaders together for a tele-conference or seminar. Oh cool, you are on the same ticket as Robert Allen, Robert Kiyosaki and Mark Victor Hansen. Who are you again? Is that automatically going to make people interested in you? Sure isn’t. These pitch-fests are a huge waste of time usually because they have no focus or direction. It’s just a bunch of people telling you how to be as cool as them but without actually giving you any direction in how to do that.
DO make sure that you get JV relationships in writing. I have worked with certain thought leaders who have no problem telling you they will do something to reciprocate for promoting them and then never hear from them again. It’s like someone told you they loved you, slept with you and then never called you again. Oops sorry.
DO NOT send promotions to your list that are not in your voice. Usually when you do a JV where you cross promote you will give the partner a set of marketing materials in the form of landing page copy, e-mails, banners etc that they can use to promote your stuff. When you are doing this make sure that you are only sending materials to your clients in a manner that they normally would see them. Send them too salesy of an e-mail and now you have problems because you have violated trust.
Like testimonials and endorsements, joint venturing can be a great resource to get your foot in the door with a new group of people. It has to fit your vision and make sense to your following. Above all it has to create that triple win. If you are thinking about doing JVs to further your reach, by all means do it. Just be true to yourself and your clients. Your water bill will thank for it.