4 Keys to Profitable Partnerships

Back in 2001, when I first started my career in Information Marketing, doing a Joint Venture (JV) meant something quite different than it does now.
Today, everyone thinks a JV refers to Affiliate Marketing. But that’s not what it is.
A true Joint Venture is where you partner with someone on a product or business.
For example, Bedros Keuilian and I have created a JV coaching program that includes our $100K Mastermind Group, a private Facebook Coaching program called Online Info Ignition, and events like last weekend’s Info Blueprint Workshop. Bedros and I work very well together, and here’s why.

There are four keys to our — and any —  successful JV:

  1. Making the most of other people’s poorly used customers
  2. Great reward for doing it (money, fame, etc.)
  3. Bringing something unique to the person with whom you are doing business
  4. Having the skill of deal making

Here’s how each of these plays out in the JV between Bedros and myself.

Other people’s poorly used customers

Bedros has a big list of over 50,000 personal trainers. I have two lists: one at Internet Independence, of 10,000 people, and another at ETR, of over 100,000 people. But neither of these audiences received the high-end, hands-on coaching they needed to build an online business. We fixed that by creating the Mastermind and marketing it to our lists.

Great reward for doing it (money, fame, etc.)

Fame is relative. Bedros and I will never go on Shark Tank because of the Mastermind, but we’ve grown our fame in our little info-marketing worlds because we are the teachers. Our students become successful, thank us, and recommend us to others. This has a big impact on many aspects of our businesses, not just on getting new clients in to the Mastermind group. By taking action, we get attraction of new opportunities. Bedros gets invited to be on reality shows, and I get book deals.

Of course, we have also turned this into a profitable business. There is less overhead in Mastermind coaching than in anything else that I do.

Bring something unique to the person with whom you are doing business 

Bedros and I are like night and day. West Coast Cool vs. East Coast Attitude. The yin and yang of coaching styles. We both care deeply about our clients, but we express it in different ways. We both ‘go to bat’ and push to the ends of the earth to make them successful, but we use different tools.

We also bring different skill sets to the Mastermind Coaching. He’s the master of selling in person, on stage, one-on-one, and through group coaching. I have more experience in creating info products and driving specific sources of traffic. He has more knowledge of buying advertising, while I’m more connected in the affiliate worlds that our clients need to join.

Even in areas where we are both talented, such as email marketing, we have two different styles and varied experiences. We can bring double the testing results, BIG ideas, and failure stories to our coaching clients so they get double the value without paying double the price for separate coaching.

It’s a win-Win-WIN situation for our coaching client’s customers, our coaching clients, and us. 

Dealmaker skill

Doing business with Bedros or I is simple. We belong in the handshake era where your word was your bond. We don’t need fancy contracts. And we both bring great ideas for future deals. 

This is why we make a perfect team.

When we need to, we can broker deals between our clients and people outside of the Mastermind. Or we can make a deal with great guest speakers to bring them in and help our clients. Or we can make deals with other companies that need our help to rejuvenate the business, like we are doing with our friends at Income Diary.

We bring energy, enthusiasm, experience, and education along with a vast network of connections that will help you rapidly build the business of your dreams so that you are making $5,000, $10,000, or more each month.

It’s the perfect plan from the perfect partnership.

What does this mean for you?

Now that you understand how a good JV works, you’re going to follow the four keys to a JV and go out to build a partnership that has massive benefits for your future partner, and — of course — for you.

Remember, a JV is about win-Win-WIN relationships. It’s not about “sucking out their customers” or profiting at the expense of their demise. It’s about building them up while building you up at the same time. Go with a giving hand. Show them how you can improve their profits, get more from their current assets, reduce their expenses, and making their lives better overall.

That’s what a JV partnership is about. So here’s what to do…

Find a Business with a Customer List that is Being Poorly Used

It’s hard to believe in this day and age that a business with a website and customer email list is not emailing that list at least twice a week. But you’d be surprised. Some companies only contact their list once a month with a corporate-style email newsletter. Others don’t even do that, and just blast out a sales pitch email three to four times per year, without making the effort to build a relationship with their readers.

Bedros and I see huge email marketing mistakes by big and small companies alike. All you need to do is get on the email lists of the most popular businesses in your niche market and find one where you can improve their email marketing results. Then take the knowledge you’ve built through what we’ve taught you, and approach them with a well-laid-out plan for a JV.

There are other opportunities. You might find that a business does a good job with email marketing but is leaving money on the table by not having higher-priced, higher-profit products.

For example, they might only sell $97 home-study courses. But what if you offered to take that $97 home-study course and turn it into a $497 four-month online coaching course that includes webinars and a private Facebook coaching group where the customers can ask questions and get more hand-holding advice? You could do all the work, they email their list to sell it, and you split the profits (the split depends on the value you prove to the business… that’s the art of deal making!).

The opportunities are endless. You might partner on a product, take over their email marketing, or start a high-end Mastermind. The exact opportunity will be up to your imagination and individual situation, but trust me there is plenty of low-hanging fruit out there for the picking.

Show Your Potential Partner the Great Reward for Doing It (money, fame, etc.)

Will you bring them more sales and new customers? Can you show them how to maximize the value of the customers they currently have? Will you help them get a book or TV deal because you’ll be making them famous on YouTube or Instagram? Can your expertise help them cut expenses and increase profits without having to create more products or do more work?

Be clear and concise in showing them, WIIFM (What’s in it for me — and by me, I mean them!).

Bring Something Unique to the Partnership

If your potential partner can do everything that you can, they don’t need you (unless they are simply out of time or energy to take action on their ideas). You must prove to them that you have insider knowledge, or valuable skills, or a more extensive network than they do. Preferably, you’d have all of those and more.

Make the Deal

This is where you must sell them on the venture. Prove the profits that are coming their way. Bring a well-structured plan, show them that you can do something they can’t do, and that you can maximize the value of an opportunity or asset that already exists in their business. The more hands-off and done-for-you the solution you offer, the better.

If you’re just getting started, the reality is that you’ll be doing the grunt work to improve the profitable performance of the assets they already own.

If you have assets you can bring to the table, just as Bedros and I did when we created our JV, then you’ll want to emphasize your unique skills and how they can improve the profits of your potential partner.

Finally, if you run an established business but you know your assets are being underutilized (perhaps you have a customer list that is not being optimized through email marketing), you can make a deal with a partner that excels in that area.

Not all deals need to be 50-50, but they do need to be fair. If you’re just starting out, you’ll likely need to accept less of the profits in order to gain experience and build your reputation.

On the other hand, if you’re the big dog in this relationship, you can make a deal for a healthier share of the profits as long as you prove to your potential partner that there are other benefits (such as fame, a bigger network, or skill development) that will ultimately prove profitable for them.

Joint Ventures are simple. Find an opportunity, make a plan to profit, identify the right partner, and make a deal. Always think win-Win-WIN and you’ll come out ahead in the big games of business and life.