If you’ve ever asked this, then this is the article for you!
Introduction To Partnership Marketing
Not all traditional marketing methods are dead. In fact, much of the business we get here at WodSites comes through one particular form of traditional marketing. That is, partnership marketing. Partnership marketing is simply the agreement (formal or non-formal) between two businesses to help promote each other.
When most people think about marketing, they set a goal of how many people they want to sell to and then they go out and actively try to personally reach each of these customers.
For example, an author might have a book and they want to sell it to 1,000 people. So they decide to build their own audience of potential customers and market their book to them. The problem is that it takes time and resources to establish a relationship with new customers. But what if you could sell your book to one person who could on-sell that book to 1,000 people. Or what if someone who already had the trust of an audience was to endorse you to their clients? That’d be much easier, wouldn’t it? That’s partnership marketing.
Recently, a friend and box owner post online for some help approaching businesses to help promote their affiliate. After a few hours and a ton of comments I realised that there were a lot of box owners who want to create these kinds of connections with businesses but just don’t know how to do it.
Using Partnership Marketing I built my first business to earn a quarter of a million dollars in yearly revenue after only two and a half years. Not bad for my first start-up. This stuff works. So, here is the exact method I use to create partnerships that work:
STEP ONE: CLARITY
Get clear in your mind exactly what you want your partners to do for you and what you can offer them. If you don’t have that clear then you will waste people’s time (and your own) when you meet with them.
STEP TWO: CONNECT
Write a shortlist of the companies that would be ideal to partner with. Ask yourself “Who else do my ideal customers work with on a regular basis? Who do they know, like and trust?”. Once you have a list use Linkedin to find out who the boss of that company is or who the logical person that you need to talk to is (eg: their Marketing Manager). Then call the office and ask to speak to that person directly. When I do this, I usually get put straight through.
Once on the phone I normally mention who referred me to them or how I heard about their company. Then I mention that we are share the same audience and that I have some ideas about how we could collaborate and help build each other’s businesses. I offer them lunch or a coffee and 90% of the time they are happy to connect. Figure out what works for you and see if you can get an in person meeting with them.
STEP THREE: CLOSE
At the meeting the most important part for me is the small talk at the start. What I am trying to work out during this time is: ‘Do I have the same values?” In other words: “Is this person someone I want to work with?”
If the answer is yes I pull out a one page document and show them all the ways I think I could benefit their company. Generally these are things I can offer them for free. I show them any relevant stats and make sure I highlight how I think I can help benefit their business free of charge.
Then I make some suggestions about ways they could assist us. I work these out ahead of time and tailor the document for each company.
If there is synergy, then agree on a path forward and a time that you can review the agreement to make sure that it is being beneficial for both parties.
How Do I Get Started?
To help you get started I have taken the one page document that I personally use to set up joint ventures and strategic alliances and I’ve updated to suit most CrossFit Affiliates. You will need to edit it to suit your business, but I hope you get some value from it.
This strategy has worked so well for us in our business. In fact, last year we made a $40,000 deal with just this piece of paper.
I would love to hear how you go with setting up your own partnerships or if you have any ideas that have worked for you. So if you do, please comment below or read more about 7 Elements Every CrossFit Affiliate Website Should Have