7 Ways Partnerships Have Worked for Me (And Can Work for You, Too!)

Are you looking for ways to build your business faster and reach more people?  Partnerships can help you make that happen!

We toss around the terms “JV” (meaning joint venture) and “partnership” a lot in internet marketing and business.  Depending on who you’re talking to, they can mean lots of different things from an affiliate relationship to a legal partnership structure in a business.

When I say “partnerships” in this post, I simply mean any arrangement where a colleague and I team up to make something cool happen for us and our clients.  Sometimes small things.  Sometimes big things.  Anything where we put our heads together and come up with ways to help each other and our communities.

So here are some ways that I’ve leveraged partnerships for big results:

1. Running Challenges

One of the best things I’ve done to build my visibility and my list so I can reach more people has been co-hosting the Ultimate Blog Challenge & 31 Days Blog Challenge.  Each of those are blogging challenges created with a partner (Michele Scism & Lisbeth Tanz, respectively).

So why partner to create a challenge?  Because it’s easier!  We split the duties between us and share in the success.  We help build each other up as well as helping our communities.

Between the challenges I’ve directly added thousands of new subscribers to my mailing list, earned 4-figure affiliate commissions, and gained visibility online while helping thousands of bloggers build their own blogs, improve their blogging skills and reach bigger audiences.  Plus, it’s a ton of fun.

2. Social Media Reach

You know that 6 degrees of separation thing?  One of the most powerful aspects of social media is our ability to reach astronomically more people through our connections than we ever could alone.

By using services like Triberr, SocialBuzzClub, and creating my own Tweet circles and promotional groups, my social media reach has grown like crazy and drives lots of traffic back to my blog.  This allows me to reach a much bigger audience who I can serve.

3.  Affiliates Promoting My Products

The last time I launched my blogging workshop (coming again in October!), somewhere around 75% of the students who joined were through affiliates who’d shared the program with their circles.  Pretty cool.

An affiliate program doesn’t have to be difficult to create or manage if you know which pieces of software to use and how to recruit affiliates and provide them with the tools and motivation to promote you.

4.  Promoting Products/Services as an Affiliate

Not only can you benefit from recruiting partnership to promote you, you can also benefit by promoting the products or services you love as an affiliate.

If you’ve got colleagues you’d recommend without reservation, you should be signed up for their affiliate programs and sharing them with your audience and connections.

5.  Sharing Audiences with Colleagues

How can you share audiences with your colleagues?  Get in front of their community and share them with your community.  You shouldn’t have to promise (or require) reciprocity, but it often happens naturally when you have similar audiences, goals, and worldviews.

Some options:

  • guest posts on each other’s blogs
  • articles in each other’s ezines
  • ad swaps in ezines
  • hosting teleseminars or webinars with each other
  • helping each other promote products/services through your ezines, social media, etc.
  • look out for opportunities to connect each other with more colleagues who will resonate

6.  Creating Products/Programs Together

You’ll be seeing much more of this from me next month but I’ve got multiple websites near launch that are the result of partnerships.  I teamed up with someone who’s skills compliment mine and who has similar passions and goals and we’re creating very cool things to serve our clients.

When you’re working with someone else you both gain skills and insights that you couldn’t have if you’d been working alone.  You’ve also got built in accountability and motivation to get things done (often a challenge for solo-entrepreneurs).

7. Working with the “Competition”

When I offered website design and worked as a virtual assistant, some of my competitors were my best promotional partners!  Crazy as it may sound, having a list of the competition who’s willing to work collaboratively is helpful in many ways:

  • if you’re too busy, you can refer potential clients elsewhere for service instead of just sending them away with a “Nope, sorry!”
  • if a project isn’t the right fit, you can refer potential clients to a better fit (this happened often–my design style wasn’t a good fit so I’d refer to someone I knew had the style a prospective client was looking for)
  • you can often sub-contract or outsource overflow work to skilled competitors
  • and more

The key is that the relationship needs to go both ways, and not everyone is willing to work collaboratively so be careful who you choose to work with.

And there are lots more options!

This is only scratching the surface of the many ways that you can successfully get others to help promote you and build your business faster by working together.

Want more ideas?  Join me for a free training webinar!  Just go to http://jvprofitformula.com for all the info.  

What are some ways you’ve used partnerships in your own business? 

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18 Comments

  1. This is a very informative post. One of the best list posts that I have read. Would love to do your Ulitmate Blog Challenge
    Retha Groenewald recently posted… Finally from the meadow – FaithMy Profile

    1. Hi Retha, the next Ultimate Blog Challenge will be this October. :) We run that one every three months.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Steps to a Monthly Content Plan for Your Business BlogMy Profile

  2. Michelle, can anyone join Triberr and SocialBuzzClub or do one need an invite?
    Retha Groenewald recently posted… Finally from the meadow – FaithMy Profile

    1. Both are open enrollment and free to join. :) Triberr used to require an invite code when it was in beta but now you just land on the home page and login by connecting your Twitter or Facebook account. SocialBuzzClub just look for the link to Join on their home page.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… How I’m Growing My Business Faster and Having More FunMy Profile

  3. #1,and #7 sound interesting. I love doing and having guest posts. I also love Triberr. Partnering with others sounds good too so each can keep up with it all. If I am around that I’ll check out the webinar. Thanks for sharing the information.
    Lisa recently posted… Do You Remember Your First Time Using A Computer?My Profile

    1. Hey Lisa, yep, partnering definitely helps keep me on track. Can’t let that “shiny object” syndrome distract me when I know someone else is counting on me to do my part. :) Works great!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… How To Use Pinterest Like a ProMy Profile

  4. You always over deliver Michelle. All of your tips are practical and very doable.

    Are you going to have a recording of your call? I wasn’t available today.
    Adalia John recently posted… Your Excuses are Your Fears in DisguiseMy Profile

    1. Hi Adalia, we’re doing an encore presentation of the call on Tuesday (and we’ll send out a replay so long as technology cooperates). :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… You Can’t Do it Over, But You Can Do it Again BetterMy Profile

  5. Hi Michelle,

    Great ideas and tips you’ve shared in the post. Especially on “Working with your competition”. Compliments on the great post.

    1. Thanks Anton, appreciate it.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 27 Ways to Promote Your WebinarMy Profile

  6. Hi Michelle, I’m looking forward towards the Ulitmate Blog Challenge in October. Wish these two months fly by quickly.

    1. Time does fly. :) But it’s never to early to start planning out content for the next challenge!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Steps to a Monthly Content Plan for Your Business BlogMy Profile

  7. This post has made me think more creatively than I have in months. #3 sounds very interesting to me as I’ve been thinking about taking one of my products to affiliates. I use 1shopping cart. Is that the software you refer to? Just wondering. Thank you! Suzanne
    Suzanne recently posted… 3 Ways to Make your Practice Work for YOU So That YOU Can Create the Life You WantMy Profile

    1. 1ShoppingCart is one of the options for tracking affiliates, yes. :) It has a nice affiliate module integrated with it’s ecommerce option.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 27 Ways to Promote Your WebinarMy Profile

  8. Hi Michelle,

    I think it is one of the best posts I’ve ever read about partnerships. I love partnerships because it helps me to overcome my weakness and do things that I couldn’t have done of my own. I’ve never experienced “Working with Competition” but I think it is a great idea .

    The best thing I like about partnership is building life time relations with persons having same goals.

    Gagan
    Gagan recently posted… Top 5 apps for Samsung Galaxy S3My Profile

  9. Hi Michelle!
    Speaking of #3, Affiliates Promoting My Products, which affiliate software do you recommend?
    Thanks!

  10. Hi Michelle,

    Really useful post. I especially enjoyed “Creating Products/Programs Together”, if you can find the person the work with!

    Thanks for the great read

    Naomi
    Naomi recently posted… 7 Tips – What Your Start-up Business Website Must HaveMy Profile

  11. The referral of clients you cannot handle to other competition makes sense. You can never know how that competition will repay you back.

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