What is a Joint Venture and How Can I Get One?
Everybody talks about how wonderful it is to do a joint venture. And when a joint venture is done right it can be very profitable indeed.
But what is a joint venture? And how can you get one going? Especially if you are a “newbie”?
These are good questions, and worth answering. So let’s dig into it.
First, a joint venture is an agreement between two parties where both agree to do certain things and they share profits.
Party A and Party B combine forces to create a win-win situation that, hopefully, creates more results than either of them working alone. Synergy!
They both do different work and share revenue based on that work. It’s usually a situation in which people have complementary skills.
For example – one person is a copywriter and there other created a piece of software. The writer writes a sales letter and advertising material in exchange for a percentage of first year sales. No fees are paid; they share revenue instead.
Sometimes that share is 50-50. Sometimes it’s 80-20. It depends upon the nature of the joint venture that you arrange.
So that is what a joint venture IS… an arrangement to share work and revenue (and often, expenses) between two or more people who have complimentary skills or assets.
That leads to a logical question, and the source of considerable frustration among new marketers.
The question is… What is a joint venture NOT?
It’s important to understand what a joint venture is and what a joint venture is not.
A joint venture is not, “Send my solo ad to your list and I’ll give you part of my commissions when I get paid.”
That is a solo ad, which usually sells for money.
Far too many new marketers are told to go to ClickBank, find a hot-selling product and approach a person with a big mailing list and say to them, “Send this ad out for me. When I get paid by ClickBank I’ll give you half of it.”
Sadly, that’s not going to work and will only waste your time. Why?
Because the person who owns that list could go to ClickBank, get a link of their own and keep all of the profit and commissions.
Let’s me share some truths about joint ventures. These are things that others don’t often talk about, even though they are true. I feel you deserve the truth. After all, your time is valuable and wasting it is not an option.
1. Joint Ventures can be hard to find
Everyone is trying to create them. The reason that everyone is trying to create them is that they work.
The volume of joint venture requests I get personally has tripled in the last 18 months alone. I think it’s partly the economy (people have less money to spend on advertising) and partly that some marketers are teaching very spammy techniques for getting joint ventures.
The good news is this – you can find joint ventures if you know where to look and how to ask. Even if you are a newbie.
The two best places I know are below.
If you go to the Warrior Forum you will find a section devoted to nothing but joint ventures. You can access that here. My advice is to go there and lurk for a bit and see what good joint ventures look like as they are formed. Fair warning – there is a bit of pitching going on there and a LOT of ad swap requests.
But there are great JV opportunities too. Just today I saw folks looking for people who can write, looking for programmers to create WordPress plugins and looking for people with Photoshop expertise for a product creation JV.
In the spirit of full disclosure I will say that I am a paying member of JV Notify. I like to keep up with what’s happening even though I do very few JVs. The link above is not my affiliate link however.
That said, JV Notify is an excellent community of people who have a JV to offer and for people who are seeking joint ventures as well.
JV Notify makes it super easy to see what’s coming up soon so you can plan your marketing. This is one of my favorite features of the site.
Always wanted to know what big product launch is coming next? This is the site that can do that.
Check them out and see what you think. Their basic membership is free and you can become an affiliate and promote the site.
HINT: This is the type of site that is very easy to promote. Everyone wants a joint venture.
2. Not all Joint Ventures work
Sometimes they work great. Sometimes you work like a dog and make $75. It’s very frustrating.
On the way to success, sometimes you have to fail. If you do a joint venture that doesn’t work, don’t give up on the idea.
Knowing more about what good joint ventures look like will help you avoid the ones that don’t work.
I’ll share a story. I won’t share the person’s name. That would be wrong. Although this turkey deserves being called out, I won’t do that.
A few years ago I had a guy approach me. He said, “If you’ll mail for me I’ll mail for you. We’ll both make money and promote our products.” I said, “OK.” I mailed for him several times.
We sold a bunch of his product. I did get paid a commission. When the time came for him to mail for me, he flat out refused. He said, “I don’t use your product. I don’t know your product. I only recommend products I use.” He had several excuses and totally violated the gentlemen’s agreement we had made.
It got to the point where it was clear that he wasn’t going to mail for me. He failed to live up to his end of the bargain.
What I learned from that is to get the expectations clear up front.
Put your agreement in an email to your JV partner. Say, “I’ll do this on this date. You’ll do that on that date.” Then you have something to fall back on.
3. It helps (a lot) to bring something unique to the table
If you have a skill you can bring to the table you are in a great position for a joint venture. Many marketers simply don’t’ have time to do the things they want to do but are optional in business.
Here is a list of only a few skills I know work well in joint venture situations. If you have some of these you are in a great position indeed.
- Copywriting – articles, sales letters, email messages, etc.
- Creating graphics
- Building websites
- Posting to blogs
- Submitting articles
- Uploading videos
- Creating or editing videos
There are less obvious situations that work too. If you have deep knowledge on a topic but no idea how to build or promote a blog or site you can joint venture with someone and share profits.
Another – if you have specialized knowledge but don’t want to write (and don’t want to hire a writer) you can JV with a writer who will write your book for a share of the profits.
The possibilities really are endless.
Here are some more facts about joint ventures that are more encouraging.
Many ezine publishers are happy to do joint ventures.
They’re not standing on the street corner waving their hand saying, “Come joint venture with me.” But if you have a unique situation you will find they are very open.
It makes perfect sense that they would be good candidates for a joint venture.
If you come to them with the right idea, something unique, profitable and most importantly something that matches the theme of their ezine, then they will be very receptive to a joint venture.
4. Joint ventures can be hugely profitable
It’s true that sometimes you work like a dog and make $75. Sometimes you work hard and make tens of thousands of dollars. I know because I’ve had both happen to me.
It all takes work. Sometimes the work can be very profitable. I don’t want my candid comments above to discourage you from looking for joint ventures.
When the fit is right there is nothing more profitable than a win-win joint venture.
After you’ve done a few successful ones and you know what to look for, they all become profitable.
5. Joint ventures establish you as a marketer
It is worth your time to pursue establishing joint ventures? Yes, for many reasons. And here is one more.
Once you do a joint venture you have a track record.
You can say to other people, “I did a joint venture with this person. Would you be interested in doing the same thing?” You have a track record. That’s important.
Five more ways to find joint ventures
We talked above about the Warrior Forum and JV Notify. Those are great if you are in the Internet Marketing space. But what if your thing is health or electronics or houseplants?
Here are a few more ways to find the right JV partner.
- Find someone who has a list in your niche. This can be an ezine publisher or simply a top website or blog who offers updates via email.
- Super affiliates in your niche often make good JV partners. If you have something of value to offer them they will often mail for you.
- Product owners are great JV partners, especially if they are busy. Ask if they are doing as much article marketing as they like (for example) and, if not, offer to fill the void.
- Almost all niches have forums. Visit forums in your niche and look for the people who post most often. They are often great advocates if you have a product to sell.
- Social media is a great way to find JV partners. Post a message in your social spaces saying you are looking for partners and let people tell you how they see you fitting together.
- Mailing lists you are on now can be a good place to start as well. If you are receiving email from sellers in your niche consider replying and asking them if they need help or are open to promote other products for a percentage.
There are many more ways to find joint ventures than can be listed here. I hope this list gives you some food for thought, and that you see an action item on that list as well.
After all, the person who takes action is the person who wins!
Finding a JV is a lot like dating. You don’t expect to walk into a crowded room and leave with the person of your dreams, although that can happen. You have to get to know people and develop a relationship.
The real keys to finding a win-win joint venture are finding a person with whom you are a good fit and then working out how both of you win.
The more people you get to know online, and the more value you can bring to your joint venture, the more likely you are to land your first JV.
And win-win JVs are a beautiful thing indeed!