Friday, May 23, 2008

Creating Successful Joint Venture

What's your best advice for setting up joint ventures with well-known gurus and other internet marketers? How do you reach them? How do you convince them to work with you? What do you need to offer?

Here's more than 1 way to skin a cat, as they say, so here are some proven things to consider for creating successful JVs like a pro. When I say proven, I mean exactly that...I'm not going to waste your time by blowing my own horn with examples...just believe for a minute that I know exactly what I'm talking about:

The legwork/research you do is twice as important as what you say to a guru, list owner or potential partner if you're starting from scratch and don't know them (or have somebody you do know who can make an intro for you).

You absolutely MUST have a plan before you approach the bigger fish (or even smaller fish is you expect them to help YOU) in any niche unless you want to look like an unprofessional idiot.

Sure, you may be able to scam, scheme or whine like a baby and get lucky enough to have it work once...but that's not the basis for an ongoing, mutually profitable relationship and it won't likely work twice.

Even before you make your plan, here's some tips to help you get your head right:

a) Realize that gurus, players, CEOs,. Fortune 500 executives or whoever the hell it is you want help from are just like you. Suck it up and don't be a driveling time waster or act like a wannabe groupie. Commit to yourself that you'll treat them with the respect they deserve...but that you'll address them like you would any other person.

b) Believe in yourself and your product or service completely. If you don't...don't expect anyone else to either.

c) WRITE DOWN who you're going to approach, exactly what your intentions and objectives are and the result you hope to achieve.

The plan (assuming you don't know the person you're targeting and haven't met them):

I'm old school sometimes so most of what I'm suggesting I generally write on index cards first and then type everything into my contact manager later after I've done my homework.

1) Spend a little time learning something about each of your potential partners. What's important to them? Who is their target market? What do like about them? How have they influenced you?

2) If you don't own any of their products...get one. If you can't afford it get it by some other means. Find at least one thing you like or that inspired you in it AND find something you don't like/don't agree with. Also find a flaw(s) like typos, layout errors, glitches in audio/video and write down exactly where it was and how you would correct it.

3) AFTER you've done these things...then make a list of each person's contact info (all that you can find...especially postal mailing addy and email). Categorize them as A, B or C with A's being the most critical and C's those that would be nice but not mandatory. Don't just blindly blast people. You're probably looking at 3-4 dozen people at most.

4) Understand that, since we're going on the premise you haven't met these people, it's best if you can get your name in front of them at least a few times before you make direct contact.

Is there anyone you know personally who could make an intro for you? Does your target have a blog or visit a certain forum regularly? If they have a blog, start making brief but meaningful comments to their posts using your name the same way you will when you contact them.

If they frequent a forum, find their posts and add something to those threads OR start a new thread that mentions them by name in the subject and either compliments them in the post or asks an intelligent question about one of their products.

5) KNOW YOUR METRICS/STATS! Even though many so called gurus will promote damn near anything whether they've seen it or used it themselves...nothing will interest them more than a solid product with solid conversions that also has proven itself to benefit those in their niche/market.

6) Use one of the "pre-contact" contactsbelow to further get your name in front of them before you make the "real contact:"

-Send them a personal, handwritten and hand addressed thank you card that thanks them for something from (2) above and also mentions something from (1) above as an aside towards the closing.

For your closing sentence, ask this question exactly: "___ I'm just curious...what are some of your most pressing needs right now and is there anything I could do to help you accomplish them?"

Below the PS include your full contact email, phone, web site and mailing addy.

-Send them an email with the same as above. Understand though, a personal card is almost guaranteed to be openedand read and an email is less personal, has a much greater chance of not being read and will be less than half as effective. (yes, I'm trying to strongly encourage you to send a card instead of an email).

-Wait a week after you know they've received the card and send an email with a subject line like; "____ I thought you may want to correct this..." OPen the email very friendly with something like "Hey ____, I know you're busy but I wanted to point out this ____ I cam across in ____" and briefly describe the error, typo, discrepancy or whatever you identified in (2) above.Close it by saying "Hope this helps...just thought you would want to know. Best regards, ____"

7) So...I know you may be saying to yourself about now "OMG...I can't do all this!" My reply would be, you don't have to...unless you want to build a relationship that gets you past the "my email schedule is too full" or "Thanks, best of luck" kind of replies in the next step.

If you look at what's happened up to this point you'll notice that you are framing things in a way that shows you're professional, considerate, respectful, concise and helpful. That's because next, we're going in for the kill and the people on your A list especially are busy. You're highly unlikely to ever make to "Interest" if you can't first get their "Attention."

8) Now it's time to either send them a review copy of your product or the information about how they can access it. Here, you want to be creative. I like to send the A list people copies via Fedex, UPS, DHL, etc. Use a box twice as big as what your product requires. If your product is an ebook or other non physical thing...print it out. If it's a membership site, print out 2 or 3 of the most valuable things in there or put the downloadable software on disc.

Put a bright colored envelope with a typed letter inside or bright post it note stuck to the letter facing them when they open the box. Sometimes I like to throw in a gimmick too that goes along with whatever my product is.

Plastic toys, things that are odd like a big piece of money, etc. At minimum, put a big pen in a separate envelope and write something on the outside like "you'll need this!" and inside just put a little piece of paper that says "to endorse the huge checks I'm going to be sending you."

Make your letter hard hitting, short and concise. Let them know right up front you know they get tons of requests but yours is different and thank them for taking a minute from their day to check it out.

Tell them first about how your product will benefit their list and why. Next tell them about your metrics and why it's going to be a win for them too.

Then tell them the particulars of the when, where, how, why, etc. about your timeline. Finish by telling them how you've already taken care of everything for them as far as the marketing tools you've created and where they can log in to the special jv account you've already created for them.

Close by offering to answer any questions they have or to provide anything else they may want created specifically for their list. Provide your contact info and "assume the close" by saying "I look forward to helping you make this a huge for both you and your list!"

9) Send your B and C players similar packages...just don't Fedex them...use a less expensive if you wish.

10) The 2nd day after you know your packages have been received, send a short follow up email telling them how much you appreciate them taking time to look over your offer and material. make it easy for them to take the next step or contact you.

That's it. Sounds and looks a lot more involved than it really is. The fact is an approach like this WILL produce results and you will move ahead of other requests and people who were in line before you (who aren't personal friends or regular partners, at least).

Even for those who you fail with using an approach like this the first time...your odds are exponentially increased they will take you seriously from then on. Just remember, 2 or 3 solid relationships from larger players can mean huge amounts of money to you over time...not to mention building a bigger list and all the opportunities that can arise just from getting to know the true players in your niche.

Last but not least...if you do attend live sure to start taking a camera and at least get your picture taken with all the presenters and other "influencers" who may be able to help you in the future. get your name and face in front of them even if you can't get any 1x1 time to propose a JV, etc. These photos are great to include when you send them a JV request to refresh their memory of who you are.

Just remember, always focus on them and how you may be able to help them first and you'll soon notice new opportunities finding you.

Here's to your JV mega-success!

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