Ask Ali: "How to Approach a Joint Venture Partner/Super Affiliate?" - Glambition Radio

Ask Ali: "How to Approach a Joint Venture Partner/Super Affiliate?"

Question: “Hi Ali, What is the best approach when you want to ask someone to JV with you? I design virtual book cover images for sales letters and would love to offer them to ezine and ebook writers.”
–Justin Noble, Navyblue Network, Leicester, Leicestershire, U.K.
Ali’s Answer: “Justin, thanks for writing, and I’m glad you’re looking for ways to leverage your services beyond working for clients 1:1. It sounds like you are looking for more of a super affiliate than a true joint venture partner. A true joint venture is when you are creating something together with someone else that you offer together. That’s a great possibility, but it’s easiest to start by seeking out super affiliates. An affiliate is someone who promotes your products/services for you and gets a commission on any referred sales. (To see a sample program and how this can work, you can take a peek at my own affiliate program here.)
I wanted to clarify this difference, because at Ali International we get dozens of requests each week from people saying they are looking to “joint venture” with us, and upon reading more details we find they are nearly always simply asking us to be an affiliate and promote their stuff—be it books, e-books, courses, coaching, or programs. (That is not a joint venture, people. You are just asking us to promote your stuff! Which is fine, but call it what it is.)
A super affiliate, or power partner, is someone who has access to a large list or following of your target market and can likely bring you a slew of sales at once. We also call these people COIs, or centers of influence. These are relationships you should seek out and nurture to develop a longterm win-win situation. Your product is virtual book covers of e-products, so targeting (as you mentioned) ezine and ebook writers, and other information marketers is right on the mark. Let’s say you find that Suzie Q teaches information publishing online and has a good sized following. The boon of social media brings with it public numbers, so you can peek at her Facebook and Twitter pages to see how many followers she has. The majority of the time, you can guess if she has a large social media following, her email list is a healthy size too.
Try to reach that person directly. Write Suzie Q an email showing some samples of your work, your rates, and how much commission you’d offer for any referred business. Remember to stress the WIIFM factor—the “what’s in it for me?” for the reader. Simply keep reaching out with samples of your work right in the email (don’t make them click to a link). Be generous with your commissions, and you’ll want to consider offering your power partners a larger commission or other rewards in exchange for their promoting you. I’d even offer a free design so they can sample your work before they recommend it to others.
You will likely get in touch with her if she doesn’t have a large team. If she does though, as in my case for example, your likelihood of getting through is going to be a bit tougher and you’re going to have to be more persistent. Use all methods possible, including phone and snail mail. And don’t forget about social media either—many entrepreneurs and even celebs check their own Facebook and Twitter pages and DMs.
Even better, I’m not joking, you may want to send something a bit outrageous by express delivery that won’t be missed. One time (I’m not making this up) I received a FedEx box with a CELL PHONE inside it. Accompanying it was a letter of introduction with details of an exciting new promotion this guy wanted me to consider participating in. The phone was pre-programmed with the guy’s number on it. Brilliant! Sending an express package nearly always misses the “mail bin” and lands directly on your recipient’s desk. A friend of mine who launched a skin care line years ago mentioned she was competing with another line that would send their samples in a real Chanel bag to the beauty editors. Hard to top that. The point of all this isn’t how much you spend though, but doing something that shows you are serious, you know how valuable their business can be, and you’re interested in starting a business relationship. And I recommend sending your promotion via FedEX or UPS for the reason it usually ends up on the person’s desk and not the dreaded “mail to read later” pile.
For example, in my own office, all regular mail addressed to me goes into one of three bins:
1) urgent mail like bills, tax notices, etc.
2) non-urgent mail like cards, notes, books, gifts, packages, etc. (With all my traveling, it can be several weeks before I even see something.)
3) super urgent or outrageous stuff that is sent by FedEx or UPS. (This is usually placed right on my desk! Or at least at the top of a pile. ;))
You get the idea! Do whatever you can to get in front of the right people, and it will pay off. And remember there may be other valuable members of her team that are even better to contact than the CEO herself. For example, a marketing manager. Do your research and stay persistent.
And if all you out there have experiences to contribute regarding reaching hard-to-reach people, please add to the conversation below!”
Love and success,

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