JesssicaZAre you ready to leverage the power or partnership to build your solo business but you're not sure where to start? That's completely understandable! Approaching business owners about partnership can be a bit intimidating and a little overwhelming. Here are a few tips to get your partnership strategy under way.
1. Start with the people you know.
Think about how many personal connections you've made in your business. I bet there are hundreds, even thousands, of people who already know you, like you and trust you. Don't overlook these valuable connections! The best way to begin integrating partnerships into your marketing strategy is to pick up the phone and have a conversation. Ask potential partners how you can support them. Ask if they would consider partnering with you to build both of your businesses. Be ready with a list of ways you can support each other. And be certain to make it clear that this is a win-win!
2. Keep your partnerships manageable.
Before you jump into some complicated, long term partnership, be sure that you are fully prepared to follow through on your commitments. If you have a great team behind you, executing partnership commitments will become a matter of routine. But if you are still flying solo, be certain to not over-commit yourself. You want to be sure that you hold yourself to the highest standards. Failing to deliver on your commitments can hurt your reputation and have a negative effect on your business. So start small, make manageable commitments, stay organized and follow through for best results!
3. Create a system to track your connections.
When you dive into a partnership strategy and reach out to multiple potential partners each day, you want to be sure you keep track of your conversations, your commitments, your partners' commitments and all of the information you collect. Even if a connection doesn't turn into a partnership immediately, who knows when that relationship will make for a great partnership in the future! Whether you use an excel spreadsheet, a more sophisticated CRM software tool or an old-fashioned notebook doesn't matter. What's most important is that you keep your connections and your information well-documented so that you can circle back with connections at a later date and capitalize on future opportunities as they arise.
4. Focus on mutually beneficial results.
A partnership can only be successful if both parties benefit. You always want to create partnership opportunities that are focused on getting results for you and your partner. This can be a challenge as most people will have different goals and expect different results. So while it's a good idea to have a partnership offer in hand as you approach potential partners, you should always be open to negotiating the terms of your partnership and delivering what you need to deliver in order to ensure that it is a win-win.
5. Get creative.
There are infinite ways to partner with other business owners. Host your partner on a special call for your audience, offer freebies to your list from your partner, exchange social media promotions, sponsor your partner's program or publication, co-host a tweet-chat, swap blog articles, co-create an event . . . the list could go on for days. The important thing to remember is that the more creative your partnership, the better the chances both you and your partner will stand out from the crowd!