Appealing Deals for Big Wheels

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I just got off the phone with a speaking colleague who wants to make an online presence. He spent two hours with a salesman who tried to hook him on search engines and Search Engine Optimization. I suspect he may fall for it.

SEO, pay-per-click advertising, and search engine positioning all have their place in Internet Marketing. But they should not be at the forefront of your marketing efforts. Rather they should compliment or round out your other marketing strategies.

You can hire an SEO expert to put you on the first page of a search engine keyword phrase, but by the following week, your competitors may have jockeyed your website down a few pages. For days in a row, you may not even be listed in the first five pages. You never know from moment-to-moment what position you’ll be at.

It’s like throwing dice…

And with click fraud, hi-jacked affiliate links, and the unknown world of constantly changing algorithms–what worked well one month may bomb the next three. And then you’re left holding the bag.

Four years ago, an insurance agent I knew was getting at least five calls a day from his online presence. He even showed me his fat bonus checks. Today, he’s lucky to get one call a week and is feeling the pinch.

But it doesn’t have to be this way…

One of the safest, most consistent methods to build your database and make money is through joint venture deals. You partner with another business owner to increase your customer base, increase her base, or both.

Let’s face it–it takes lots of time to build your list of prospects, customers, members or subscribers. You don’t have a lot of time. You want to build your list fast.

With joint ventures, you get to leverage your time because your JV partner has spent her time and money building, maintaining, and servicing her list. You get to piggyback on her past efforts.

Why does it work so well?

Your partner’s client base believes her. They trust her. They’ve made progress, enriched their lives, and made more money from her advice or products.

When she endorses you, it implies that she also believes in you. You are not a fly by night opportunist. You are worthy of her trust. And this speaks volumes for establishing your credibility.

Another reason…

Depending on your offer, your response rates can double, triple, or leap off the scale with your JV partner’s endorsement. If you send out a promotion to a cold list and normally get two percent response–the same promo can rake in a four to six percent response rate with an endorsement. It’s similar to pumping race fuel in your car. You’ll get to your destination faster.

Let’s look at three types of joint ventures you can activate:

1) The co-op deal. This is where you sell a complimentary product or service. Or you co-promote each other’s business.

It’s not unusual to see a real estate agent, a mortgage broker, and a title agent working together for a homebuyer. Each of the three is endorsing the other to provide speedier service to the end consumer.

But be careful of your partner…

I was referred to a mortgage couple and one member of the team didn’t keep her word, or returned my calls. By the time the other member called me back, I told him I wanted nothing to do with their company.

And do you know what showed the world her lack of experience? She kept sending me prospecting postcards for the next six months. And eventually, the other partner broke out on his own.

2) The competitive deal. Can your woman’s magazine joint venture with another woman’s magazine to take advantage of hidden assets? Will your igloo factory benefit from working with Frosty the Snowman’s igloo factory?

Of course.

People watched Frosty the Snowman on TV and ended up on his database. For whatever reason, they never made a purchase. Or they bought a toy shovel and was never heard from again.

Maybe his igloos were too expensive. Maybe his igloos were cheaply made. Maybe they didn’t like his hat.

You can approach Frosty with the idea of marketing to his “dead leads” or “expires” with your igloo products. You probably have product Frosty doesn’t carry. This way, both parties benefit from the partnership instead of letting the names sit idle.

3) The unrelated deal. The possibilities are endless with these arrangements. In many cases, the partners don’t care what business they partner with, as long as there’s money to be made. Sounds artificial, but that’s how some people operate.

A marketing consultant and a printer can join forces to promote each other’s services. The consultant can write marketing copy for the printer in exchange for lo-cost or no-cost printing. Or the printer can send out a promo using the consultant’s client list.

As with any action that requires a partner, you must do your due diligence. Check out the other party thoroughly. You may need to step back to ask for business references, to check if they’re solvent, and to secure timely payment.

Avoid rushing into any deal if you don’t know whom you’re dealing with. A little extra precaution goes a long way when working a joint venture.

Tommy Yan helps business owners and entrepreneurs make more money through direct response marketing. He publishes Tommy’s Tease weekly e-zine to inspire people to succeed in business and personal growth. Get your free subscription today at

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