Many people ask me how to get better at marketing. They're usually entrepreneurs who are trying to get results from strategies that aren't appropriate for their business' stage of growth.
Executing any strategy has a lot of nuances and, for most new businesses, many strategies that can be powerful later on will have a surprisingly low impact.
Until then, these strategies are distractions.
Surprisingly, not more people focus on what I consider to be the #1 most underrated growth strategy that works at just about ANY stage of growth: Joint Venture Partnerships.
This is an amazingly effective method for growing your audience, your sales, and your professional reputation.
The Power of Social Proof
Joint venture partnerships work well because they're built on a fundamental principle of persuasive psychology: social proof.
"When people are uncertain, they are more likely to use others' actions to decide how they themselves should act," Robert Cialdini, PhD wrote in Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.
Let me show you how it works. Imagine for a moment that you're trying to make friends in a new city. Compare two strategies you could use.
In the first scenario, you pound the pavement, hit the busiest streets in the city and start approaching random strangers, trying to get their attention, starting a conversation, finding some commonality, and building a relationship.
If you've ever done this (and I hope you've never had to!), you know that it can be very challenging, because most people are protective of their time and attention when strangers approach them. Some are downright paranoid. They'll assume you're either a scammer or a crazy person.
In the second scenario, you've been invited to stay at a friend's house in the city you've just arrived in. Your friend, gracious host that he is, organizes a social gathering and invites his friends.
That evening, they politely introduce you to everyone, and explain who you are, what you do, and why you've come to town.
In which scenario do you think you have higher chances of hitting it off, making new friends, and building new relationships?
The second scenario, of course.
And with each friend you make, the relationship you have with your original friend gets even stronger.
Begin the Virtuous Cycle
This is the power of an endorsement from a trusted party. And it's not just good for making friends; it's also one of the most powerful ways to grow your business.
When you strategically build relationships with the right people in your industry, or with people who are looking to attract an audience similar to yours, it can have a multiplicative effect on growing your business, your audience, and your reputation.
It also creates a virtuous cycle: the stronger your reputation becomes, the easier it is for you to build new partnerships.
This strategy has been one of the key growth levers in my business, and it can be for you, too.
Getting Started with Joint Venture Partnerships
Begin by reaching out to the people you already know and are most likely to support you. Eventually, as your reputation grows, you'll be able to reach out to bigger players and keep growing your reach and influence.
You can explore different types of joint venture partnerships, such as:
- Providing high-quality content exclusively to a partner's audience
- Cross-promoting each other's products to your respective audiences
- Giving special deals, discounts, or bonuses
- Bundling your products together
- Creating a new product together
- Organizing a joint event
It's exciting to brainstorm how you and your joint venture partner can collaborate in ways that help both of you grow. Even more exciting are the results you'll get. Joint venture partnerships will serve you, not just when you're starting out, but when your business has gotten much bigger and become more successful.