“First, make yourself a reputation for being a creative genius. Second, surround yourself with partners who are better than you are. Third, leave them to get on with it.” – David Ogilvy
If you are using only one or two methods to market your product or service, you are not maximizing your profit potential. Getting involved in a “win-win” joint venture is the perfect way to add more to your bottom line.
You hear the term “joint venture” bandied about – but most people don’t really understand what it means. A true joint venture is a partnership where two or more parties come together to create something that’s better and bigger than what they could do on their own.
Joint ventures have been very, very good to me, to the tune of millions of dollars in extra sales. In fact, this is has been one of the driving forces behind my business growth (without hiring additional employees).
I don’t have room to cover all aspects of joint ventures, but I want to introduce you to one idea that could have a significant impact: a joint venture where your partner provides a profit-making service for you.
Think of all the money-producing tasks that you don’t have time to do or don’t have an affinity for. Here’s a quick list off the top of my head…
- Direct Mail
- Product Launches
- Buying Advertising
- Affiliate Management and Recruitment
- Product Creation
- Search Engine Optimization
Each of these – and many more – can become a joint venture of sorts with a trusted individual who will help you make more than you could make on your own. In fact, that’s one of the criteria for a good service joint venture: identifying a task that can be done by someone else… who then gets paid out of the additional profits he brings in. I like that.
For example, I know one information marketer who joint-ventured with a telemarketer to run a phone room. He pays the telemarketer a large percentage per sale for the events and high-end products they sell, and that’s it. This joint venture brings in millions and millions of dollars in additional revenue, but he doesn’t have the headache of babysitting and training a bunch of telemarketers.
I’ve worked with several partners on service joint ventures, including one with a friend of mine, Rob Olic, to help me run all my direct mailings.
Now, I am not a big fan of doing things like tweaking copy, handling my mailing list, coordinating with vendors, etc. If I had employees, one of them would be handling those details. But since I don’t want to have employees (at least, not at the moment), I worked out a partnership with Rob.
Rob not only does all the little things necessary to get a direct-mail piece out, he’s also a good copywriter, so he writes envelope teasers, lift-notes, etc., too. And I pay him based on the results of each mailing.
We are both in it together. If I do well, Rob does well.
I pay him a percentage of profits – which are figured by taking the gross sales from the promotion and subtracting all mailing costs (postage/printing/graphics), credit card fees, and cost of goods. Rob’s percentage is based on a sliding scale, depending on the total volume of sales generated.
I had another good joint-venture experience during my recent Underground DVD launch. I recruited one of my former apprentices, Chris Zavadowski, to help coordinate and run the promotion.
From working one-on-one with him, I knew Chris would get the job done. So I offered him a percentage of gross sales in exchange for taking care of things like running my blog, posting to my blog, helping with messages on the blog, getting the video clips edited and online, coordinating with affiliate partners (we had individual pages/links for each partner), working with my tech guy, etc. Basically everything I didn’t want to do.
Chris was happy, because he got a chance to work with me again and learn some new things. I was happy, because I was off running with the bulls in Spain a week before the launch… confident that it was going smoothly without me.
One of the secrets of a successful joint venture is not to be greedy. I gave Chris a very fair percentage of the sales from the Underground DVD launch. I don’t want to reveal the specific amount, so I’ll put it this way: It was enough to buy him a new car.
Another secret is to be specific with your joint-venture partners about their duties and how they are going to be paid. Chris knew he was going to be paid for every DVD set sold except for those sold via direct mail, which Rob was paid for.
Good joint-venture partners bring their own ideas and initiatives to the project. Chris helped me come up with the idea behind our “real-time inventory countdown script,” and he spearheaded developing the whole thing on RentACoder.com.
One last point I want to make about joint ventures is to get your agreement in writing… even if you are best friends with your partner (especially if you want to remain friends). Memories fail but a simple written agreement (which could be nothing more than an e-mail outlining key points) will clarify any discrepancies or misunderstandings that may crop up in the future.
[Ed. Note: Yanik Silver, an expert on creating money-making websites, reveals one of the most profitable "hidden" Internet income opportunities around in the Secrets of Easy Internet Moneyteleconference series. Check out his simple, fill-in-the-blank sales letter designed to sell any product or service here.]