Connecting with other business people and marketers through joint ventures is one of the quickest ways to boost your credibility and popularity within your niche. However, finding and cultivating good joint venture relationships takes a lot of skills, not just in marketing but also in building relationships based on trust and mutual respect. In this article, we’ll be looking at some basic strategies for finding good joint venture connections, building the relationships and using them to make your business more profitable and credible.
Examples of Joint Ventures
There are many options for joint venture relationships including: email list swaps, link swapping or joint product creation efforts. For example, with a list swap, you and your joint venture partner each promote your own offer to one another’s lists. This type of joint venture is clean because you don’t have to split profits, you simply keep the earnings from promoting your own products and you both win. With link swapping, each of you provides a link on your own website back to the other’s website. With link swapping, you can also provide each other with informative articles to post on one another’s sites.
Finally, joint product creation is one of the more advanced joint venture strategies. With joint product creation, you and your partner would each offer your specific expertise towards creating a product which you could promote to both of your customers. For example, if your expertise is in teaching SEO and your JV partner is a Google Adwords expert, you can create a product which covers both topics, with each one of you creating the material which is specific your own expertise.
Where Do You Find Joint Ventures?
Before you even start looking for joint ventures, it’s important to know that the relationship is the most valuable asset of any joint venture. Too many people seek out joint ventures with highly successful people, but only because they are interested in that person’s customer base. Successful people are used to getting these kinds of offers and are very quick to filter through them. If you want to build a profitable joint venture, you must focus on the relationship and value that above all things from the very beginning.
There are sites all over the internet which are designed to match people up with joint venture partners. However, people on these sites are used to being approached for joint ventures and are skilled at filtering through a lot of non-serious or non-credible inquires. Many of them are approached so much they never find the time to get back to you either. So while these sites can be a decent place to find joint ventures, you don’t want to limit yourself to them only.
Instead of relying only on these sites, try connecting with like-minded business owners through Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networking sites, where you can actually build some rapport with someone before approaching them for a joint venture. This way, you’ll both have a better idea of whether or not the connection will be worth your time and effort. Here are a few guidelines for making sure that happens.
Connecting With Your JV Prospects
There are many options for joint venture relationships including: email list swaps, link swapping or joint product creation efforts. However, when you first connect with a joint venture, it might be a good idea to start out with something like a link swap where you both create some valuable content for one another’s sites. This will give you a chance to test the relationship and build some trust before you start getting into the more serious and more profitable strategies. This is far better than attempting to contact a business owner you’ve never met and asking if they want to enter into a large scale product launch with you.
No matter what type of joint venture you propose, it’s important that you make it as simple as possible for your prospect to say yes. In other words, if you want to start out with asking them to review a product, have an abbreviated and simple “review version” and a quick questionnaire that they can fill out. If you’re requesting to interview them for a product that you’re creating, make sure that you have everything set up in advance so that all they have to do is show up. Provide a list of questions to give them an idea of the type of questions you’ll be asking as well. Remember, you’re the one requesting the connection, so don’t ask them to do a lot of extra work or they’ll likely to say no.
Building the Relationship
After you’ve tested the joint venture relationship and feel that it will be beneficial, there are a few things you’ll want to do to build and maintain a strong relationship. First, always go for a 50/50 split on profits. This is important for more than just fairness reasons, it also shows that you value the relationship more than the profits, which is the key to building healthy business relationships. It also keeps the relationship operating more like a partnership, which will be easier to maintain in the long run.
Next, keep in contact with your JV partners, and not just about business matters. Drop them an email occasionally just as you would a friend and see how they are and how their business is. This will build mutual respect and make them much more likely to give attention to your contacts which are strictly business. Finally, never ever delay in making payment to your joint venture if the arrangement involves a payment coming from you to compensate them for their half of the profits. The fastest way to ruin a JV relationship is to make your partner chase you or to wait for payments, so be quick in making them.
Other Types of Joint Ventures
JV connections with other business owners are not the only valuable connections you can make. Teaming up with non-for-profit organizations can be a great way to attract positive publicity for your organization. This can be as simple as donating a percentage of your profits to a non-for-profit or to a charity, or sending message to your customers asking if they want to support the cause of the non-for-profit. The value of this might not be immediately noticeable when it come to dollars earned, but the publicity and the trust that you build with potential customers can be very valuable.
For best results, look for non-for-profit JV partners who have a similar vision as your company so that the type of attention you attract will come from people who have a chance at becoming your customers. For example, if your company sells anti-aging products you can team up with an organization which is designed to fight and raise awareness about breast cancer. Make sure that no matter what type of JV connection you make that you also use the connection to build your own list of customers.
Start looking for a few connections that you can turn into JV relationships by following the guidelines in this article. You can start by just getting a dialogue with the person in a forum or a social networking site. When you have a comfortable level of rapport, make sure that you have a simple and attractive offer to build a small connection with them as a potential JV partner. Once you’ve tested the relationship with a few small projects, you can move on to very profitable strategies with your JV partners.