If you’ve been around online marketing for any time at all, you’ve heard about joint ventures and how valuable they can be for building your business. What you may not know are the variety of ways you can structure joint ventures.
(In this article, I will refer to a product, but this may also be a service or program.)
1. Endorsement Marketing
This is probably the best known and most often used style of joint venture. One person promotes the product of another person.
For this to work well for both parties, the promoter must have a fairly good sized list to promote to and must believe in the product’s value and benefit to her audience. The product creator must be willing to offer the promoter something – usually a commission – for each customer that comes from the promoter’s list.
Sometimes the product creator also grows his list of prospects even beyond those who become customers. This can happen, for example, when there’s a free call or webinar the promoter’s list is invited to. People who choose to attend opt-in to the product creator’s list and some then also become customers. The product creator can now develop his own relationship with these people.
The benefits to the promoter include the commissions, being seen as a helpful resource to her list, and a relationship with the product creator that may provide additional benefits in the future.
2. Co-Authored and Co-Promoted Product
This is a traditional partnership where both parties help to create the product and both promote it to their lists and elsewhere. They may even enlist other joint venture partners to promote to their lists via endorsement marketing.
An arrangement like this works best when the partners have complementary expertise. The resulting product is more valuable than one either partner could create on her own.
The partners’ audiences should both value the product being created. It’s also simplest if the two partners have lists of roughly the same size.
If either the list size or the level of expertise is skewed too much in one direction, the financial agreement may offer one partner more than 50% of the profits.
Another style of partnership might have one partner creating the product content while the other handles the marketing and e-commerce mechanics. I’ve seen this work quite successfully.
Either way, the benefits to both partners include creating a superior product, getting visibility to the other partner’s list, and having a built-in accountability partner so the project moves ahead.
3. Thank You Page Marketing from Subscribers and Buyers
This technique is a simple, passive endorsement. It’s so easy I’m surprised it’s not used more.
The idea is that when someone opts in to a list or buys a product, he lands on a thank you page. On this page, he sees an offer to opt-in to another’s list or buy another’s product. The link for the offer will be the site owner’s affiliate link so she will get a commission if he ends up buying something from the other person.
While there’s an implicit endorsement of the product, the site owner doesn’t need to do anything other than put the offer on the thank you page. And the product creator only needs to provide the offer copy and an affiliate link.
While simple, this technique can be very effective. The subscriber or buyer has just taken made a commitment to the site owner and is still in that frame of mind when arriving at the thank you page. He may well be willing to make a similar commitment to the other business owner in this moment.
4. Collaboration Product
This can take one of two forms. First, a relative newcomer to the market can gather a group of veterans to participate in creating and marketing the product. For instance, each person could write a chapter in a book around a particular theme.
If each veteran has a decent list and they all market to their lists, the product could sell well. The profits could be divided between the newbie, who’s getting paid for organizing and physically (or digitally) creating the product, and each of the veterans.
Even if there aren’t huge profits, each veteran benefits from having a published book (or whatever the product is) and from being associated with all the other veterans. The veterans’ expertise spills over on the newcomer, and he develops valuable relationships with the veterans. Depending on how the deal is structured, he probably grows his list as well.
The other form of collaboration consists totally of peers. One person recruits colleagues to contribute to a product and they all market it and share the profits. The organizer may benefit a bit more to compensate for her additional effort. This might be in her share of profits or that customers land on her list.
5. Telesummit or Websummit
A telesummit (held on the phone) or websummit (online webinars) is quite similar to a collaboration product except instead of a product, there’s an event.
The organizer – either newcomer or veteran – recruits people to interview around a specific topic and these calls or webinars are scheduled for people to listen to. These interviews may all be scheduled in one week, several times a week over the course of 2-6 weeks, or once a week for months.
Typically, telesummits are free to listen to when scheduled. but may have a fee to access after the fact. Often, the person being interviewed will have a free gift for listeners that requires they opt-in.
The benefits to the interviewees include getting exposure to the other interviewees’ lists, growing their own lists by giving away their free gifts, and showing their expertise.
The benefits to the organizer include growing her list since listeners must subscribe to attend, revenues from selling the recordings afterward, and sometimes affiliate fees from sending listeners to get their free gifts through an affiliate link. The organizer also gains visibility as an expert from interviewing the experts and develops relationships with these experts that can be valuable in the future.
Telesummits can be complex and time consuming to organize, but the benefits can be huge.
Now that you have several ideas on how to use joint ventures to build your business, go forth and partner!
And if you had a great success with one of these methods, or if there are any other ways you’ve benefited from partnering with others, leave a comment and share it with us.