You’ve just entered a market that’s brand new for you and you’ve got zero contacts and need to get more clients fast. But you’re creating a product / service to sell and you need some strategic partners. So how do you get those all important partner’s when you don’t even have any contacts in the industry?
First, make sure your product / services is something that gets people excited and wanting to promote it to their customers. You can do this by first solving a BIG problem, preferably something that people are already spending time and money trying to solve.
Now that you’ve got your product, take a little time to set up a strategic partner page and an About Me page on your website. The strategic partner page should tell about your product / service and how it will help the potential strategic partners’ customers, as well as how much commission they will earn, how you will run the strategic partner, etc. Make it look professional but don’t obsess over this – just get it done.
The About Me page should give some personal and professional info on you – enough so that a potential strategic partner partner learns something about you and gets comfortable with the idea of possibly working with you.
If you’ve already collected some testimonials for your stuff, create a separate testimonial page. If you haven’t yet collected any, skip this.
Now go find your potential strategic partners. Let’s say your new business is a hairdressers. Go online and search for beauty newsletters and find all the results you can. Search for beauty tips and tennis products and anything beauty and hair related – including blogs – where it’s pretty clear that someone has a list of people interested in style and beauty (and their hair). Because that’s the key – finding the people who own lists of people who have an interest in their appearance.
It doesn’t even matter if they have a product / service offering of their own – what matters is they have a list of fashion enthusiasts. Use a little creativity and you’ll find hundreds of people who own lists like these, some of which have never even monetized their lists – they just do blog as a hobby.
Social media and Facebook are especially good avenues for finding these potential partners. Focus at first on finding the small to medium sized list owners to build your confidence. You can go after the really big players in your market when you’ve done a few strategic partner’s and you’ve begun to build a solid reputation in your field.
Ask yourself who is already talking to the audience you want to talk to? Where are the people you want to meet hanging out? This is where you need to be, both online and possibly offline as well.
When you find these tennis list owners, take down their name, URL and email address. If you like, get their phone number as well. Now email them individually, one by one. Don’t do more than a few in one day just in case you get several replies back at once.
When you email, you might tell them how you know them. “I read your book” or “I’m a fan of your blog.” Show them some admiration and respect, but don’t go too overboard. A little is great, a lot might make them uncomfortable. Be specific in your praise. Don’t say, “You are the greatest tennis blogger ever!” Say, “Your article on serving mistakes helped me tremendously, especially that point you made about ___.”
Next in your email, you’ve got two different avenues you could take – the direct and the indirect.
The direct goes something like this:
“Thought you might be interested in doing a partnership venture. Here’s an opportunity we have, and if you’re interested, we’d like to get something scheduled with you very soon.” Then give them the link to your strategic partner page, to your About Me page, to your testimonial page and even your sales page. Offer to send them a review copy of your product.
The indirect method is just that – more indirect. It takes a little longer, but it tends to work better, so you decide which is right for you. It goes something like this:
“I would like to support you by creating a mutually beneficial relationship.”
Ask them for a quick phone conversation to discuss the possibilities. Include a link to your About Me page but include no other links. If they want, they can search your site and find the other pages, but you don’t want to be the one sending them there yet. Then get on the phone with them and discuss the possibilities, which of course could include promoting your product.
If after you send either of these emails you don’t hear back in a week, send the email again with a one line note that says something like, “Just wanted to be sure you saw this,” or “Gentle nudge,” or whatever is in keeping with your personal style.
Now I know some people will disagree with this method of getting strategic partners and you’ll say that it’s best to spend some time establishing a relationship and doing favors for the potential partner before ever asking. And without a doubt that’s a great method, one I endorse wholeheartedly.
But if you need money now, this is the way to go. And if your product does indeed solve a big problem – in other words, it’s a great product / service – you will get strategic partner partners this way.
Now, you might need to contact 10 to 20 people to get 3 strategic partner’s, but it’s all a numbers game and it’s worth it.
Just don’t burn any bridges.
If someone never gets back to you, it’s okay. If someone tells you to bugger off, it’s okay. Always be super polite and friendly, never take offense.
You might want to wait to contact the really big list owners until you’ve gotten a few strategic partner’s under your belt. In fact it’s probably a good idea.
But there is a way you can contact the big dogs in your niche from Day 1, if you’re up to it.
That is, if you’ve got the confidence.
You’re going to ask for an interview with them that you can add to your blog. Most everyone is looking for more exposure and publicity, so this is a great way to get your foot in the door.
And odds are if they grant you an interview, they’ll also promote your website because it contains their interview.
Here’s a trick:
Find the big players in your market who are doing something now or in the near future. Maybe they’re releasing a new book or a new product, something where they want publicity. This is the best time of all to ask to interview them, as they have their own reason for wanting to get as much exposure as possible.
Another benefit to having well-known names on your website is you can leverage this to get more strategic partner’s. Some potential partners will be all ears when you start name dropping because they’ll think that if these big names are in your product, then it’s something they want to be a part of, too.
Remember, if you have a great product / service that creates breakthroughs, you can get partners – you just have to be persistent in finding and asking these folks to strategic partner with you.
Download’able Quote Card “How to Get 3 New Strategic Partners Per Week…”