If you read this blog then you most likely have some sort of online business.
So assuming this, you’ve picked out a target audience (or at least you should have). And you either have a product to sell, or decided to promote someone else’s as an affiliate. And you’ve probably set up your website and written a few blog posts as well.
But then you realize all of this is useless unless you get eyeballs onto your website, i.e., traffic.
The problem you encounter, though, is you have to pay for ALMOST all forms of traffic either through time or money.
Unfortunately it’s one or the other.
Obviously guest posting is a great way to get free traffic, but you have to invest a lot of time and be patient to benefit from that. But what if you want something much quicker?
Is paid advertising the answer?
Well, the important thing to realize is…
Paid advertising is now more expensive and competitive than it has ever been.
And the problem for those trying to get their businesses started is advertising mediums, such as pay per click advertising, are a guaranteed way to throw money down the drain, IF you’re not experienced with it.
The truth is you MUST be prepared to lose money initially as you educate yourself on how to make it work. And it can be painful seeing $100 (or more) eaten up with nothing to show for it.
But even after getting used to it, many marketers STILL find it impossible to turn a profit because their conversion rates are too low, and/or the products they’re selling don’t pay enough to make it viable.
Look, scaling a business is great if you can get to that stage, but it can be a hell of a ride along the way. Most marketers simply don’t last the distance.
Solo ads can be a better alternative, but it’s a challenge finding the right list owner who has an abundance of people who fit your target market. It’s a bit of a gamble as you never know before hand if it will be a success or not… and you’ve still got to pay for it regardless.
And then there’s SEO…
Whilst there is definitely an advantage in being number 1 on Google for a highly ranked keyword, the problem is the rules are constantly changing. You might have spent a ton of money and/or time getting to number 1, but who’s to say you won’t be sitting at number 250 tomorrow because of a change to Google’s algorithm?
Unfortunately, Google is about as predictable as a baseball pitcher wearing a blindfold. You just never know what they have up their sleeve.
The point is… there is a lot of training and headaches involved to keep up with the latest trends of advertising and search engines. And there’s no guarantee you’re going to make ANY sales from the time and money you invest in it.
So considering all this, what’s the best alternative?
The answer is joint ventures.
And the reason why is that JV’s are the quickest and cheapest way to grow your business without spending a penny on advertising or putting in tons of time to work on generating free traffic.
And this is true even if you don’t have a large list, or if you’re a newbie fresh off the turnip truck.
But first, let me define what a joint venture is, for those that don’t know.
A JV involves two or more businesses or individuals partnering up and combining their assets to get more of what they need to create a winning deal for everyone involved.
So in other words… you’re leveraging the talents and resources of other business owners who sell products that are complimentary to yours.
And providing you pick the right businesses to JV with, you’re getting your product in front of a highly targeted audience and only paying for it when sales are made.
You can’t do this with paid advertising. You have to pay the required advertising fees regardless of whether you make any sales or not. And this makes a massive difference to your net profit if you utilize joint ventures the smart way.
So if you’re struggling to generate traffic, [tweet_dis]JVs could well be the answer to turbo charging your business without any risk [/tweet_dis]which can only be a good thing, right?
And by aligning with businesses that COMPLIMENT your products, you create WIN/WIN outcomes with ZERO upfront costs.
So what are the downsides of joint ventures, you might ask?
Well let me put it this way…
The worst-case scenario of a joint venture is that you don’t make any sales at all. But even if this does happen, it won’t cost you anything to do the deal.
And what if you make sales?
Well, it’s important to realize you can continue selling other products to these new customers. This is the kicker because the lifetime value of a new customer is priceless to any business, especially if you have high-ticket products that convert well.
So now that you can see how powerful joint ventures can be (if done right), let’s take a look at some common rookie mistakes that you should avoid.
Mistake #1: NEVER Pitch Your JV Offer Immediately On The First Contact With A Cold Prospect
This is a big no-no and a huge turn off for the other person. If you do this you’ll come across as a needy and selfish person who is only looking out for themselves.
Very few people like to be pitched something from a stranger.
It makes no difference if it’s a desperate man trying hard to pick up a woman, an MLM distributor aggressively trying to recruit people, or an annoying vacuum cleaner salesperson knocking on doors.
You don’t want to be seen as one of these people.
Your initial goal should be trying to establish a relationship with your prospective partners. So introduce yourself first and get to know the people you’re targeting for a joint venture proposal.
That might mean subscribing to their newsletter, commenting on their blog, or even buying their products (this is a great way to get someone’s attention).
You see, by doing this you turn a cold prospect into a warm or even a hot prospect. And it’s definitely a lot easier to do joint ventures with people who already know you.
The furthest you should take it on the first contact is to ask them if they are open to joint ventures. Then wait for their reply.
Mistake #2: NEVER Fudge Facts Or Misrepresent Yourself And Your Products/Services
Sometimes it’s tempting to try to convince the other party to do a joint venture with you by making exaggerated claims or overstated conversion rates, etc.
But this is just asking for trouble.
What if they then ask for proof or are able to do their own research somehow?
If they find out you’re telling lies then the relationship is over immediately. No one wants to work with people who can’t be trusted and are prone to deception.
And even if they don’t find out in the beginning, the truth will come out eventually after they see the results of your joint venture.
For example, if you said your product gets a 30% conversion rate, but it only gets 3% in the JV, then obviously something is not right.
You must always be up front and honest even if it means the other party might not look at your business favorably.
At least you can sleep at night, and you don’t create enemies or a bad reputation.
Mistake #3: NEVER Write A Bland, Uninteresting Email Subject Line On First Contact
If you’re sending an email to make the first contact with a cold or lukewarm prospect, it’s crucial you write a subject line that is going to at least get the email opened.
Remember most busy people have a lot of emails hit their inbox. And because of that abundance, there are too many emails to open them all.
So here’s what you’ve got to realize…
The first thing a person looks at is the sender of the email. If they know the person and they are important, there’s a good chance they will open the email.
The second thing they look at is the subject line of the email. And if the subject line doesn’t get their attention, it will likely be ignored or deleted without even being opened.
Usually the best subject lines are short and to the point.
A long subject line usually gets cut off in the software it is being viewed in. So the last few words or letters might not be visible to read.
A great example for a joint venture proposal subject line…
This should intrigue most people who are busy to at least open the message and read what you’ve got to say.
If you use this though, you’ve got to be true to the subject line and follow through with a quick question. Because if you write a 500 word email, that’s not a quick question.
But even if you don’t use that subject line the point is, people are busy and want you to get to the point as soon as possible.
Mistake #4: NEVER Use An Autoresponder To Send Out Your Joint Venture Proposals
This one is just common sense.
Picking out a normal email from an autoresponder or broadcast message is super easy.
All you have to do is scroll down and look for either the name of the company who sent the email, or for the unsubscribe link.
And in any case, people can tell when you’ve sent them an automated message. It feels like an email blast from a machine and naturally puts people off.
Plus, it’s plain unethical, particularly if they never requested to be on your mailing list.
Instead you should be sending them personalized messages that are tailored for THEM. You can’t do this properly with a piece of software and make it look genuine.
You see, sending out joint venture proposals and making connections requires a bit of thought, so it’s worth spending the time to get it right.
And cutting corners with software is definitely not recommended.
Mistake #5: NEVER Focus Your Communication On What YOU Want And What YOU Can Get Out Of It
It’s easy to fall into the trap of writing an email asking for things, or stating what you want. But the brutal truth is in most cases people couldn’t care less about what you want. They want to know… what’s in it for me?
Now, that might sound a bit blunt. But it’s the reality of doing business together.
You need to forget about what you want (for the moment), and make it as compelling as possible for the other person.
Think about the biggest benefits for them. And write it in a way where it becomes a no-brainer for them to at least check out what you’ve got.
This is where you need to emphasize things such as…
- The deal bringing in customers they would normally have to advertise for
- The lifetime value of these customers
- No up front costs
- No work involved for them
- And so on
This is how you break down their resistance and make it an obvious decision to say “YES”.
So with that in mind, here’s a joint venture proposal template that you can use for cold prospects which has been heavily influenced by networking king David Dutton.
Subject Line: Quick Question
Hey [THEIR NAME],
My name is [YOUR NAME]. I’m [BRIEFLY TALK ABOUT WHO YOU ARE & WHAT YOU DO… BUILDING SOME CREDIBILITY].
I really liked your [INCLUDE SOMETHING ABOUT THEIR PRODUCT/WEBSITE/NEWSLETTER] and I wanted to see if there is a possibility we can work together. I have some ideas you might like.
My Skype user name is [SKYPE ID] and my phone number is [PHONE No]
I look forward to speaking.
So as you can see, this is brief, to the point, and it shows that you know who they are. In other words it’s personalized and friendly without wasting too much of their time.
Mistake #6: NEVER Send Out JV Proposals To Direct Competitors
It will not go down well if you ask a direct competitor to do a joint venture with you.
I mean, think about it. It’s like Coke and Pepsi doing a JV together.
Why would either of them want to sell their competitors products to their customers? There’s no incentive in that whatsoever. Instead, you should be targeting other businesses that offer complimentary goods to what you offer.
That way it’s a good fit for the subscribers/customers of all parties involved.
For example, two companies both selling car parts would be not be a good match for a JV. Or a company who sells car parts would not be a good match for a pizza shop.
But a company who sells car parts WOULD be a good match for a place that services cars.
Now, there are some rare cases where you could JV with a competitor, but that’s only if the products you both sell are different in some shape of form, and could also be classed as complimentary.
Mistake #7: NEVER Hype Up How Good Your Product Is Instead Of Using Numbers Such As Conversion Rates
This one is similar to the fudging facts point above, but talk is cheap. There’s no point saying how good your products are and how well they convert if you can’t prove it.
Nobody likes hype and that’s why you’ve got to include as many numbers and statistics as possible.
If you’re doing JV’s online you should be providing information such as…
- Conversion rates of sales pages
- Earnings per click
- Refund rates
- Front end Commissions
- Back end Commissions
- Gravity (if sold on Clickbank)
These numbers make it easy to immediately see the potential revenue they can make by promoting your product. And by providing these numbers you won’t need to bother talking about how good your product is because the numbers tell the full story by themselves.
So obviously if your numbers are impressive it’s going to be a lot easier to attract JV partners. But if your numbers are not that good, then it’s just a matter of tweaking your sales funnel (and possibly your product as well) until things are running smoothly.
So to sum up…
Any serious business owner should be utilizing the power of joint ventures as much as possible, because there is no easier way to gain leverage from the assets, talents and resources of other businesses that compliment yours.
Now it might seem a bit overwhelming to do this at first. Or you might be thinking that you’ll struggle to attract other business owners to want to joint venture with you.
If that is the case then you can always start small and approach other businesses that are at a similar level to yours. No one says you have to talk to the big boys in the beginning.
The point is to just get started and gather some momentum. Plus, the worst thing that can happen is you either get a “no” or you get ignored.
But once you’ve got your first JV out of the way, you’ll discover it’s a lot easier to find other JV partners who will be happy to do business with you.
Plus you’ll also find you get a lot better at making the first contact and drafting winning proposals as well.
So, has anyone made any of these mistakes? Or if you haven’t done a joint venture yet, what’s stopping you from getting started? I’d love to hear about your experiences or challenges in the comments below.