Welcome back to our series on Commercializing Your Influence! Each week we dive into strategies you can use right now to build your personal brand and create new wealth streams.
This week, we’re looking at partnerships and joint ventures. This is a very exciting strategy with near-endless opportunities for emerging Icons. You can create incredible offers, connect with like-minded innovators, and create extraordinary income streams based on licensing.
Dialing up your partnership strategy is one of the most exciting ways to easily grow your Iconic business, and becoming well-practiced at this will enable you to take this strategy further when it comes to amplifying your message through brand alignment strategies and endorsements.
Let’s dig into the details!
Finding the right partners
One of the best ways to approach this is to identify an ideal partner who already has the eyeballs of your ideal clients, then create a plan for you to offer your services free of charge at the front end as a value add to their services, then upsell to those clients and pay a commission to the referring partner.
To find potential partners who are already working with your perfect-fit clients, you’ll need to spend time deeply investigating those clients. Look at what they buy, who they follow, what they comment on, what they engage in, where they hang out.
Also remember that the best partners are often left of center – not the most immediately apparent option! Get creative here. Here are some basic examples to help get you started:
- Business: accountants, website designers, legal, ad agencies, software providers.
- Health: gyms, spas, whole food stores, workout retailers, hr departments.
- Spiritual: yoga studios, aligned practitioners, authors.
- Everyone: associations and groups, government, chamber of commerce, Lions/Rotary, etc.
Another avenue for finding partners is to tap into your warm network. This group includes, but isn’t limited to:
- Past colleagues or business contacts
- People you’ve met at conferences, events, and training Past mentors or coaches or mastermind participants
- People you know through social media
- Past leads or clients
- Current clients (who can upgrade to your new offer)
Don’t wait to start reaching out to potential partners and leads. Go ahead and start immediately, and reach out to 10 people a day.
We recommend you use email, but this isn’t necessarily the best for every situation. If your market is more likely to be on social media, then, by all means, reach out this way! Remember, one relationship here can be worth millions of dollars to you, so do as much work in researching this opportunity as you can. You wouldn’t launch a million dollar course without spending many, many hundreds of hours on copy, research, funnel building, ads and sales… treat this EXACTLY. THE. SAME. WAY.
So now you know who to approach… but how should the partnership itself work?
High-performing partnership models
Partnerships and joint ventures come in an infinite variety of shapes and sizes. You’ll need to custom-design yours to fit your expertise, business model, and the needs of your partners, of course… but just to get your creativity revving, let’s explore the partnership models that are working best today.
Exclusive Partnerships: Identify an ideal partner who already has the eyeballs of your ideal clients. Create a plan for you to offer your services free of charge at the front end as a value add to their services, then upsell to those clients and pay a commission to the referring partner. Examples of this include:
- You’re a health coach and wellness influencer, and you partner with a boutique gym to provide exclusive health coaching to all new gym members. They receive a free 30 min consultation with you with a health plan, and if you upsell them to health coaching at $100k/ year, you pay the gym $10k for the referral. Your leads and your sales are all taken care of in one partnership.
- You’re a social media consultant, and you partner with an advertising agency to provide a free 30 min social media consultation and social media templates for their clients to complement their advertising strategy. If you upsell them to social media management at $120k/ year, you pay them a $15k referral fee. Your leads and your sales are all taken care of in one partnership.
- You’re a sales consultant specializing in the hospitality industry. You partner with the Trade Association for hospitality businesses and offer free virtual training each month to their members. At the end of every virtual training, you offer a complimentary call brainstorming whatever content you taught directly for their business. On the call, should you upsell them into your $250K 3-day consulting package, you pay the Association a $25k referral fee.
Workshops and Masterclasses – Your Expertise: One of the best strategies our clients are using right now is utilizing your keynote or Masterclass and running a workshop in someone else’s group, event or program. This is fusing a Partnership strategy with a Speaking strategy.
As long as you have a non-competitive offer to the person you’re partnering with, you can pitch to speak at their program, event or group and offer content and learnings to them, in return for you making a pitch. The pitch we have seen that works best is very small – it literally is brainstorming the workshop material 1:1 for 15-30 minutes, then making an offer from there if the person is qualified. We have clients who are using this to make $500k in just one one hour workshop.
The trick is to find the best partners – the ones that have the eyeballs of your ideal clients. Not the sexy, big audiences – but the smaller, more niche audiences that match most closely to your ideal clients. You pay the partner a % or flat fee for referrals.
Ambassador Programs: Identify your best clients and advocates and agree to make them a brand ambassador for you. You provide them with collateral, training, access to you and your events/ activities, and they evangelize you in return. They sell you to their network – they are the influencer for you and your brand. You pay them a % or flat fee for referrals.
Crafting your proposal
Every proposal should be unique. Partnerships at this level are not cookie cutter solutions that you roll out over and over again; although you may be able to leverage an offer multiple times with some tweaking. Ideally, you’re looking for big opportunities that you can nurture and co-create many more times together, leading to deep and engaged networks, potent impact and revenue that can be shared with your new partner.
That said, most proposals should contain the following elements:
- Cover – Professionally designed cover to match your branding and catch the attention of your partner.
- Welcome – a personalized welcome from you with information on what is contained in your proposal and why you’re excited to work with them.
- About Your Programs/ Offers – explain what you do here – your maverick statement, who you serve, what you offer.
- Ideal Clients – explain who your ideal clients are and what you achieve with them. This is important for synergy with your ideal partner.
- Partnership Options – this is just an example to show you the sort of items we have used here in the past with our business. In your unique situation, you would go into detail about what you plan to do with that partner in this section.
- Ideal Referral Partners – in this section talk about why that partner is ideal and what you know you can add value to. You will have done the research and created a full dossier on them, so this part should flow easily!
- About You – This section is a Bio on you and explains why they should trust you and want to partner with you.
- Reviews/ Case Studies – add in relevant case studies here to show the work you’ve done and what people have to say about it. You could add in speaking/ media too if this is relevant to the opportunity.
- Contact Information – The final page is your contact information.
WHAT goes into your partnership is proprietary. That’s what you are best in the world at, and because you own that IP and modeling, we don’t suggest what goes into your partnership content or offer. But we hope that giving you some examples of what is working now will inspire you to take your unique genius and leverage it into a lucrative partnership.
Like all of our strategies, it’s extremely important that you do the work here. Partnerships do not come about by simply journaling your way to a perfect partner, and retaining that partnership needs time, energy and attention from you to nurture the relationship so it continues to grow. Remember to be the producer of your own revolution and get out there and create relationships with partners who can change your world – literally!
Want to learn more about commercializing your influence as an Icon, including cultivating partnerships and joint ventures? Watch our masterclass BEYOND INFLUENCE: How Elite Influencers, Creators And Personal Brands Are Landing Massive Deals And Clients.
Watching it is your first step toward new worlds of wealth and success.