When To Say No To JV Invitations (To Say Yes To Your Brand)In your first few years of business, many business owners ask coaches, “How do I get more joint venture opportunities? How do I get invited?”
But as time goes on, you find yourself in a new situation that can be even more challenging: screening out jv’s that eat up your time, give you no ROI and possibly harm your reputation. In that case, saying “yes” to the JV means saying “no” to your brand.
Having enjoyed successes and made many cringe-worthy mistakes, I’ve got a few tips to share.
(1) .When you are invited to contribute an original custom guest post or article, check out the site’s target and Alexa rank.
A rank below, say, 300,000 shows a well-connected site. A site with a rank of a million or more might be making money for its owner but may not give you the traffic you’ll need.
But traffic doesn’t tell the whole story. If the site’s targeting and message isn’t consistent with your brand, you probably need to say no. If you target high-end clients and the site promotes ways to save money, for instance, you’ve got a disconnect.
(2) When you’re invited to promote as an affiliate, make your support conditional on the quality of the sales letter, especially if you don’t know the other marketer personally.
Even “famous” successful marketers sometimes put together a weak sales letter, counting on their name to make sales. As a marketer with your own list, you’re limited in the number of promotions you can offer before exhausting your list. It’s harder to earn commissions on a lame sales letter, even if the seller is a big name.
Even when the sales letter seems well-written, the message and/or style may conflict with your message. When you target corporate clients, you won’t be helped with a sales letter targeted to entrepreneurs; the whole presentation will be different.
(3) Be extra careful with bigger commitments, such as a telesummit or ongoing membership site.
Before saying yes, ask about the business model. How will you be compensated? How will the sponsors or owners be compensated? What are your obligations?
In this case you’ll need to ask about the other participants. If they’re mostly spiritual and you’re a left-brained techie (or vice versa), your brand gets weakened. The type of compensation and event structure might also be incongruent with what you deliver.
(4) Consider your ROI on “pay to play” opportunities.
As you get known, these ventures will come knocking. You might be asked to contribute a chapter to a book (for which you pay hundreds or thousands of dollars, directly or by commitments to purchase books). We’re also seeing variations of telesummits where members pay a flat fee to participate.
Some people get very strong returns on their investments. If you’re reasonably well known, have a strong unique offer and can create a big “back end,” this choice might be a good one.
(5) Live events require your most valuable resource – your time – but can be effective.
Participating as a sponsor at a live event can raise your profile and bring you many new clients. As a minimum, you should be able to put out a basket to collect business cards.
If you have to travel and pay a high fee, you’ll need to consider the size of the audience and the congruence of the audience with your offering. I wouldn’t sponsor as a copywriter for an event of brand new business owners; they usually can’t afford to hire high-end strategists and copywriters and they’re looking for hand-holding coaches. But I might be interested in opportunities with a group of high earners who have the means and motivation to hire a copywriter.
Make sure you have enough time to tell your story and that the venue is one that highlights your strengths. Can you work a feisty audience like a standup comic? Will you be able to use the breaks to network productively?
It’s especially important to get a fix on the size of the audience. As a minimum, ask the sponsors how many people have registered. They should be willing to guarantee a minimum audience level that’s acceptable, with a written clause in the agreement: “If fewer than 200 people show up, we will refund your fee and contribute $500 to your travel expenses.”
If they’re at 150 now and hoping for 200, they won’t do it. But if they’re already booking around 300, they will.
What’s been your experience with JV invitations? Leave a comment and share!
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