When small business owners talk about having success with online marketing or social media, it usually has to do with getting more clients or customers on their own. While that is a wonderful result of course, there is another way the top success stories online are growing their businesses—joint ventures.

With more and more business owners jumping into social media especially, it’s good to keep in mind that all those people you’re connecting with out there are not just potential prospects, but possible strategic partners as well.

What is a Joint Venture?

Joint ventures are sometimes known as strategic alliances and generally involve two people entering into a partnership in order to leverage what both parties bring to the table.

A joint venture can be where you promote the other person’s services or products to your target market, and your partner promotes your services or products to their target market in order to share the resulting profits.

It can also be where you partner with another business owner to jointly provide a product or service that both of your target audiences have an interest in—even if those audiences initially look like two totally different groups.

Why Joint Venture?

First, you are obviously able to provide your market with a valuable product or service that enhances their life in some way. However, the best joint ventures benefit not only your target market, but also your own business. Because you are being exposed to an entirely new community, you’ll often gain more website traffic, list subscribers, friends, followers and even new clients and customers.

It’s also a great way to boost the credibility and authority of both parties. When a community sees someone they perceive as an expert recommend you by way of your partnership, you often immediately gain credibility in their eyes as well.

Similarly, when you are in effect “endorsed” by a reputable and respected joint venture partner, this raises the level of trust vested in you and your own capabilities and integrity.

Finally, it’s a simple example of “two heads are better than one.” You both bring your own strengths to the partnership—whether that’s knowledge, ability or sheer numbers of list subscribers, fans, followers and friends.

How to Joint Venture?

Here are a few ideas for how to structure a joint venture:

You could partner on a workshop, teleseminar or webinar on a topic that would be of interest to both of your audiences. The great thing about this is that as long as you record it, you’ve got an instant information product for each of you to sell on your respective websites.

Another popular method is to recommend each other’s newsletters or freebie offers. This is very much a “set it and forget it” strategy. For example, when a new subscriber signs up on your site, they are re-directed to a thank you page that also includes a recommended resource—your partner’s free offering or e-zine.

Lastly, you could pool your expertise and resources together and create a product. This could be created once but sold over and over—the very definition of leveraged income! You could either both sell it separately or have one of you sell it and split the profits.

Ready to get started collaborating? Begin by building relationships with others in complimentary niches or with target markets that might need what you offer, and you’ll be well on your way to a creating a win-win situation.

I myself have connected with several really great peeps via social media and created successful joint ventures with them, so I can attest to its power.  Have YOU been able to hook up with others through social media and form strategic alliances? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments—any questions on this topic are welcomed as well!

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