March 2015 Featured Article
The Art of Joint Venture Marketing
Joint Venture (JV) Marketing is a powerful way to build your Expertpreneur® business.
Like Affiliate Marketing, it involves other marketers and business owners promoting your products and services for commission, helping you reach new audiences in the process. It's a mutually beneficial arrangement.
But that's where the similarities end.
Joint Venture Marketing goes much deeper than that. Today I'll show you how to get the most out of these relationships. And how not to destroy your business in the process.
You'll learn the right questions to ask, so you avoid the “white lies” of the industry…
What you need to prepare so people will take you seriously…
And the ultimate faux pas that could cost you your hard earned reputation.
Crafting good personal relationships with other entrepreneurs is vital to the success of your business.
You will meet countless people who share the same hopes, fears, and ambitions that you have. They will have successes and horror stories, and genuinely be interested in learning about yours.
There's also a good possibility that they will share an interest in your industry. Perhaps they will even be direct competition.
However, they could also cater to your target prospect with a different product. These are the entrepreneurs you want to consider doing joint ventures with.
You see, it's the businesses who are not identical to yours, but congruent that work the best. Not only will they generate more sales for you, but your products will be truly beneficial to their prospects and customers.
The chief difference between Joint Ventures and Affiliate Marketing is that the relationship is more than a one way monetary deal.
With Affiliate Marketing, you offer commissions for people to market your product. And that is the end of the relationship. There is no obligation for you to do anything for them other than pay them their commission.
With Joint Venture Marketing, you usually have to return the favor by promoting one of their products, as well. In addition to paying them commissions for selling your product.
It may sound like more work than it is worth, but the goal is to expand your visibility to new prospects and better your relationships with your current list by offering them new, exciting, and relevant products.
But before you go down this path, you have to make sure that you are well prepared.
The Necessary Materials
Before you launch a product of your own, you want to make sure you have everything in place, right?
You'll have marketing materials, distribution, follow-up emails, copy, etc… all put together, with alternate headlines and copy for testing. You will also have customer support in place. Basically, you have all of your bases covered.
This is essential when you are hoping to leverage a Joint Venture relationship, as well.
If you think it would be destructive to your business to botch your own launch, think about how it would be if you affected someone else's business at the same time. Your Joint Venture partner losing credibility with their audience, and possibly making their hard-earned prospects and customers abandon ship.
(While this may sound terrifying to you, I promise you'll be well prepared when you read on.)
You must make sure you have marketing materials ready to go for them as soon as they are ready to promote your product. And although there will be a full article soon on how to put together a proper product launch, I want to at least cover some bases that you should have ready, whether you are doing a product launch, or are attracting Joint Venture partners to help you promote any product, or even your automated webinar system:
- Emails: You definitely need a series of 3 – 4 emails priming their prospects and customers for the promotion. Offering content with useful, actionable advice that is related to the product is the best way to go. In addition, always have a tease at the end leading to the next email, hinting about more valuable content to come. And of course, be sure to have a “welcome” email or video prepared for people who buy your product, as well as an email series encouraging them to consume it.
- A Tested Landing Page for Free Content and Sales Page for the Product: You must have tested pages that have good conversion rates. Ideally you will be offering a product that you've already launched or promoted yourself, and have already optimized the process. Make sure you know your conversion rates (more on that later), as they're important to give your Joint Venture partners an idea of what to expect.
- Headlines/Social Posts: It's also important to provide a number of effective headlines and “swipe copy” that can be used for different emails, along with social media posts they can use to maximize the reach of your promotion.
- Banners: Some people will want to put a graphic banner on their website to support the promotion. You want to have a few different standard sizes and different graphics prepared. Again, test to make sure you know exactly how those banners perform for you.
- Info-graphics: These graphical stories can serve a few different purposes, including promotion on Pinterest. If you have some surprising statistics, or a step by step process you can illustrate graphically, they can pack a real punch as marketing tools. Sometimes info-graphics can go viral, leading to increased visibility and sales. Plan on having a few of these made.
There are other marketing materials you can prepare as well, but these should be sufficient to get started.
Make a checklist with everything you have prepared before you approach a potential JV partner, and they will be sure to think you are on top of things.
Having the Right Answers for Their Questions
Having information about your product ready, especially results like conversion rates and “earnings per click”, can make or break your Joint Venture relationships.
I was at a JV Insiders event where they had a “shark tank” presentation, asking entrepreneurs in attendance to pitch one of their products. They were asked about their conversion rates, what marketing methods worked the best, and so on…
None of them could answer appropriately.
That might seem unbelievable, but it happens more often than you might think. It really is detrimental to your image and your business if you can't answer these basic questions. Why should anyone bother doing business with you if you don't have your act together?
So, in addition to always making sure to do a Joint Venture with a tested and proven product, be sure to know the results. What is the refund rate? What headlines have the highest conversation rates? What are your earnings per click (EPC)?
Since EPC is probably the most important and useful stat to know, I'm going to take a moment to share the formula with you. While I believe you should be tracking as much information as possible, this conveys probably the most desirable detail: how much money they stand to make, per click they send you.
Basically, you need the price of your product (let's say $1000), the affiliate commission, which could be as high as 50% in the case of a Joint Venture promotion ($500), the number of sales after refunds (so, 50 sales minus 5 refunds is 45), and the number of clicks to the promotion (let's say 15,000).
The formula for EPC (for those receiving commission) is as follows: (500*45)/15,000 = $1.50 per click. FYI: this is just an example, and a bit on the low end.
But this gives your potential Joint Venture partner all of the information they need. They know when they promote your product to their email list, using your “affiliate link,” they'll get $1.50 in return for each click… $1.50 (EPC) * 15000 (clicks) = $22,500. So they know they stand to make about $22,500 if they can send you 15,000 clicks during your promotion.
Make sure you provide all of the details JV partners will want to work with you. This will eliminate most questions on their end, and if your numbers are good, they will be really excited to participate.
Even more importantly, since Joint Venture deals usually involve a reciprocal agreement where you promote their product as well, make sure they can answer these questions, too. All too often people won't know their own EPC.
Don't Destroy All of Your Hard Work
These numbers are probably very exciting to hear to your Joint Venture partner – after all, $22,500 is a nice chunk of change.
However, one of the biggest problems in Joint Venture relationships, and internet marketing in general, is greed without consideration for your prospects.
Let me illustrate this with an example: let's say your Expertpreneur® business helps established small businesses boost their marketing strategies. You offer consulting services and infoproducts that cater to experienced business owners, teaching them to utilize the internet to improve sales.
Now, let's say you become close friends with an avid internet marketer that also loves to help marketers make money online. But the difference is, she caters to absolute beginners.
Your most popular product is your “Social Media Savvy” program that helps businesses promote through social media, and hers is “How to Become a 6-Figure Affiliate Marketer in 6 Months.”
See where this is going? If you create a Joint Venture relationship with her, and you market her product to your prospect and client base, it won't make any sense to them. None of them are looking to be professional affiliate marketers, they certainly don't care about this, and chances are it may confuse them anyway. Since you help existing small business owners, not people trying to become professional affiliate marketers.
So, basically, in one fell swoop, you've alienated your entire customer base.
They will start to believe that you are in this only for the money, and that all of your talk of helping the small guy out and supporting local businesses was a bunch of malarkey.
That is the kiss of death to your business.
Remember, “trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair.” Don't shoot yourself in the foot.
Make sure your Joint Venture partner's mission is congruent with yours and your audience. If instead, that internet marketer had a product on how to create effective online videos to improve your business, that could be a match – remember Gary Vaynerchuk and his successful wine empire built from Youtube videos?
Forge New Alliances
Although it can be a bit daunting, Joint Venture marketing can have a dramatic impact on your business.
It will open doors to new audiences, make you more money by helping out a friend, and ultimately position you as a true authority in your field. Plus, you'll be seen as an equal to other successful entrepreneurs, someone who is “in the know.”
When you launch your next product, or develop an automated webinar system which promotes a new or existing product, remember to put materials together for potential Joint Venture opportunities. You never know when something BIG could come your way.