In yesterday’s post, we looked at 5 ways to irritate a potential JV Partner. Today, we will discuss ways that might actually get their attention and help you develop better business relationships.
Before you contact them, though, you need to know what result you want to get from your communication.
If your goal is just to make a quick buck and you want to contact as many marketers as you can, hoping some will promote your latest offer, then I suggest you take a hard look at your business model. More likely than not, it will not last.
The people who consistently make a decent living online spend a great deal of time building relationships. They are developing a network of business associates.
Take, for example, a content writer. The successful content writer will have a network of people consisting of copywriters, graphic artists, web masters, SEO experts, Internet marketers, affiliate marketers, etc.
These won’t be just people they have seen online, but people who know them and will work with them. These are people they have networked and spent time developing a relationship with.
If you, too, spend some of your time each day working on developing relationships with others in the industry, you will see much greater success over time.
If you are guilty of any of the irritating approaches we discussed yesterday, please stop. Immediately.
Here are highlights of some better approaches. We’ll cover some of these more in-depth in the coming weeks.
Do you have something to offer people that you want to network with? Other than just a product to promote?
For example, are you a good proofreader or a good editor? Can you create great graphic banners? Can you do good eBook layouts? Can you ghostwrite? Can you set up landing pages or WordPress sites?
A good way to introduce yourself to someone who you would like to develop a relationship with, is to let them know what skills you have, then offer those skills to that person.
Don’t be “salesy” about this approach. You are not sending them a classified ad.
You are being yourself, saying hello, and casually letting them know what you do. Be very clear that your intention is to network with them. Let them know you are hopeful your skills might be a good fit for something they work on down the road.
Now the person knows what you have to offer, and they can see how it fits their wants and needs. Even if they don't have a use for any of your skills at this time, at least they know you’re a legitimate person that's looking for a legitimate relationship.
They will also see you are not pushy, and are more interested in a relationship than just being a service provider.
Great networking can come from that starting point, and whether they ever use your skills is almost irrelevant once that happens.
Ask for help
When I say "ask for help" I do not mean to ask for help by asking for a promotional mailing using one of the “techniques” from yesterday!
You can say something along the lines of, “I'm getting ready to do a product launch, but feel one aspect might be missing. Mary Smith told me that you are really good at that area of expertise. She suggested I contact you and see if there is any way you could help me see if it's up to par. I am, of course, willing to pay you for your time. Also, if there's anything I can do for you in the future, I'm always looking to develop great networking opportunities with other marketers."
You would then lay out exactly what it is that you need looked at, what you're willing to pay for any solutions, and the best way to contact you. Make it easy for this person to provide the help that you want. Of course, also, don't say Mary Smith asked you to contact them if she didn’t!
Again, make sure your “tone” is not pushy or demanding. In this age of instant messaging, we sometimes have a tendency to be curt in our message tone. It is not what is intended, but it is how it comes across.
Take the time to read your contact message a few times before hitting the “send” button, to make sure it is friendly and informative.
Do research and provide details
It’s not always inappropriate to contact someone simply to ask them if they would do a promotional mailing to their list for your product.
It's only inappropriate if you do it in ways similar to what we discussed in yesterday’s post.
If you've done your due diligence, and found a marketer who you know has a target audience that's a perfect fit for your product, and you also have gotten feedback from others that your product is of high quality, then by all means contact that marketer.
However, when you do, let them know that you've done that research. Let them know that you believe there customers are a good fit for the solution your product offers, and why. Let them know that it's of good quality. Provide them with some testimonials if you have them.
You can also provide a link to the product itself, so that if they want to look at it, they can.
Lastly, don't expect them to do a mailing. Don't be demanding, and don't tell them when they have to do it. Serious marketers sometimes have their email promotions planned out 30 to 45 days in advance. If you contact one of those marketers and say you have a product launch on Saturday, don't expect their participation that day.
All you can do is let them know you have something available, and why you think they are a good fit for it. Then leave them alone and don't pester them. They’ll remember you for that courtesy.
The "golden rule" is a good way to approach these things. Contact people in a way that you would like to be contacted. Be respectful, courteous, non-demanding, and come to the table with an attitude of someone looking for a long-term professional relationship, rather than someone just trying to make a quick buck.
If you want to personalize your message to them, you can shoot a short video introducing yourself.
This can be an extremely effective way of contacting potential JVs, however there are two very important things to remember.
One is to make the video short, very short. Definitely under a minute, and 30 to 45 seconds is best. You can supplement your video with some writing, but if your video lasts longer than a minute, you could be perceived as taking up their time rather than something more beneficial.
The other is to make sure the video is posted online. They should only have to click a link to watch it and be done. Don't make them have to download anything.
As long as you do those two things, and you have fun, you have the potential to set yourself apart from the crowd.
Give a gift
If there is someone you really want to catch the eye of, you can always send them a gift. This should be something that really sets you apart. It should be very nice, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be expensive.
I’ve seen people give pens, T-shirts, headsets, bobble heads, keychains, just nice little things to show appreciation.
If the marketer is in compliance with the anti-spam laws, there will be an address on their email communications. You can send a quick message to them asking, "I have something I’d like to send you by post. Is the address at the bottom of your emails the best way to get something to you?"
Remember, this needs to be an actual gift. Gifts given from the heart do not have an expectation of reciprocity. If the intention is to send it as a bribe to try to leverage them into a promotion, then the point of doing this was missed. The intention needs to be nothing more than hoping to lay a foundation for a mutually beneficial working relationship.
As Dennis Becker pointed out in the comments to yesterday's post, be honest! It can help to mention that you've bought many of their products, or that you are a fan of theirs, but if you're not, then don't claim to be.
The bottom line? Just be yourself!
Reach out, be friendly, and let them know you are there. Most of the time, that's enough.
A fine example
I want to give an example of a great way to communicate with people.
Last fall, I participated in a launch and came in the top few slots of a contest. Whenever that happens, a lot of marketers come out of the woodwork and reach out hoping that they'll get a promotion from me as well.
On December 9th, I received a Facebook message from a young man by the name of Zak Loveday. I had not heard of him before this communication.
He let me know who he was, how he heard about me, and that he had a launch coming up.
He then said that he’d like to get to know me a bit more to see if I thought that his product would be a good match for his audience. He asked me to let him know if I was interested.
He was extremely friendly, open, and I got no sense that he was just making a pitch, even though he obviously was. He was just being himself, and I got the definite feeling that he wanted to build a relationship beyond just one launch.
After checking out his product and seeing that it was of extremely good quality, I was not only happy to promote his launch, but I look forward to working with him on other projects in the future.
That really is the basis of everything above. Be yourself and have fun with it!
We can take a look at some of these approaches, as well as others in greater depth in the future. I would love to hear from you if you have any memorable introductions that you made or that were made to you. Please post them in the comments section below.
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