Archive for the ‘Joint Venture’ Category

Lists are a big part of marketing a product or event. Your list consists of everyone with whom you have marketing contact, either in the form of mailing addresses, phone numbers or email addresses. If you have a limited list, you have only a small pool of ready marketing contacts. However, you can still plan a successful event without a big list by partnering with people who have good lists.

Find a Joint Venture Partner with a List

If you don't have a big list, you don't have to avoid planning an event or selling a product; you just have to get creative about how to do it. For example, if you're planning an event but you don't have a list, partner with someone who does have a list and who can help promote your event. You might ask someone with a good marketing list to speak at your event, in which case your guest speaker will promote the event to their list.

Select Someone Whose Audience is Complementary

One of the best ways to promote an event with someone else's list is to select a partner whose audience is complementary with yours; not necessarily in competition. A competitor probably won't want to share his audience with you, because then there'd be nothing to prevent you from swooping in and taking the audience away. However, a complimentary business owner might be happy to cross-promote your event to his audience, because it is another way for him to provide value to his audience, and he may find it to be a money-making opportunity.

For example, if you're planning an event on teaching businesses how to effectively utilize the Web for marketing, you probably won't want to partner with a competitor who offers the same information to clients. Instead, you might want to partner with a more traditional marketing firm, who can then offer your Web-specific information and services to their clients. Or if you make and sell artist's painting supplies, you might want to partner with someone who sells canvases; not someone else who makes or sells supplies. Think about who might have complimentary lists, and contact them about partnering in your event.

Be Clear about Terms
If you do bring on a partner to help with list marketing, be clear about the terms of your agreement up front. You'll need to negotiate commissions and percentages on your joint venture. Have a proposal ready when you begin your discussions with potential partners, and know how much you're willing to negotiate. If you're not clear enough up front, you may find that you miss out on an opportunity to build your own list, maximize your income from your event or find yourself in the middle of a disagreement with your new partner. Know how much you and your event are worth, and make sure your new partner can respect that!

Even if you don't have a big list yourself, partnering with the right person can give you plenty of instant contacts, and help you build a list of your own. Don't let a lack of a list hamper your marketing efforts. Find a good partner with a good list, or even multiple partners, and move forward to make your event a success!

Bernadette Doyle specializes in helping entrepreneurs attract a steady stream of ideal clients. If you want to get clients calling you instead of you calling them, sign up for her free weekly e-zine at

You've chosen your potential joint venture partners. You've sent them a compelling email that gives them all the information and creates lots of excitement about your promotion. Now you're waiting for the positive responses to come in.

But what if they don't?

There will be people who say no, who aren't interested in the partnership. There may also be some who don't respond at all – maybe they didn't receive the email.

Don't be discouraged. They aren't necessarily lost causes.

If someone says no, or doesn't respond, try to maintain the personal connection you established in the email. Phone them and say what you put in your email.

During the call, outline your idea. If they express interest, get into the details of how the promotion works. And then just ask them, "Are you onboard?"

Don't assume the answer is negative if you don't get a response. You've got to follow up. This is your business. This is you thinking big and wanting to partner with big players. So you've got to act big to do that, and you've got to take what you're doing really seriously.

There are also times when a little creativity might help. For example, you may work in an industry where there aren't many potential partners, and those you would like to approach are really "big fish" who might be too busy to work with you. Sending an email probably won't make much of an impression on them. So be creative about how you get their attention.

You could mail them something catchy. I've seen people mail things like fake money or fake checks with a note saying, "This is play money but I'm hoping to send you real money soon. All the details are inside." Wrap it up in a box so it stands out from the other mail and gets noticed.

I don't recommend sending an actual product without permission. Some people get totally bombarded with products that they haven't asked for and that take up space in the office. You don't want to do something that will be a nuisance to them.

Also, some people may want to view your product before they endorse it. But do ask permission. Don't just send it to them unannounced.

Unfortunately, you are going to get some no's. Not everyone you contact will say yes. But don't get discouraged. Just keep going and don't give up.

Expect that some people will say no.   Aim for more partners than you think you'll need. Update and add to your jv list constantly in order to be sure you'll have enough joint venture partners on board.

Once you get the ball rolling the excitement will really begin. The promotion and partnership will build momentum.   And it will become a self-fulfilling energy that will keep you inspired to continue with future partnerships.

Bernadette Doyle is a small business marketing expert. Get more tips and advice at

Where do the people in your target market hang out? That's a question you'll want to answer in order to grow your business quickly. Online or offline, people with similar buying habits tend to read, join and discuss in the same places. By doing some research, and creating a list of established points of connection, you can affordably reach more people in your target audience.

Where Do Your Target Prospects Flock Together?

The old saying about "birds of a feather" really applies when it comes to people likely to buy your product. They probably read the same publications, hang out on the same websites and belong to the same associations. What's more, they're likely hanging out together in significant numbers.

This is where good research pays off. Once you learn where your target prospects congregate, you can find ways to leverage relationships other people have with them.

For example, if they've paid to subscribe to a magazine, there's a relationship established with that publication. Someone else might already be selling their products regularly to the same group of people.   Many members of your target audience may also belong to the same trade associations.

The point is, any way you might be able to connect with your audience through an existing connection should be added to your list. Media contacts, possible joint venture partners, associations, and online discussion groups are all valuable assets to be leveraged while growing your list.

If this sounds like a lot of legwork, there's some good news. Once you begin to find these places where your target audience congregates, a snowball effect will kick in. You'll talk to one or two people, and then learn of more and more connections. Rather than painstakingly tracking down each place, your new prospects will begin to show them to you.

Find common connections between the people in a specific market. Look for books and publications which give lists of trade magazines or associations.

Ways to Reach Your Market
Remember, the key is to gather information on your list that allows you to reach your market. That means not starting from scratch trying to sell to your audience if there's another way in.

You might choose to advertise in that magazine your target audience likes to read, or submit some editorials. As you research your list make notes about who accepts advertising, articles or editorials.

A joint venture with a company already selling products to your intended market is another good way to break in. Look online at companies you might once have considered your competitors. If your products complement theirs, a joint venture could benefit you both.

Another possibility is to offer to give talks to the groups you find your market tends to join. Keep notes on who needs guest speakers, how often they meet and whether you can sell from the back of the room.

Again, all this will take some research on your part. Even if someone else could tell you exactly where members of your target audience hang out, they don't know your product like you do, so do your own homework.

A final tip about reaching your audience: don't waste your money trying to reach your market through large publications. The expense to advertise in national, regional or even large local publications is enormous, and you'll be paying for circulation beyond your audience. Target niche magazines and newsletters, instead; your return will be much more profitable.

Devote some time to researching where your target market hangs out and keep your eyes open for opportunities to leverage existing relationships. Expanding your list of marketing prospects will become much easier once you multiply your impact through these avenues.

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