Hands down the best way to position yourself in front of other peoples audiences is to get introduced.
When you “join up” to co-promote with other non-competing businesses who allow you access to their customers, you get to reach your new ideal audience pre approved.
Joint ventures, examples of which are shared in this podcast, are the most highly leveraged (marketing) relationships that allow two businesses to reap the benefits from one set of customers. But because at the core of joint ventures is the requirement to share, JV’s are often met with much hesitation and skepticism.
On this show, we dive deep in to joint ventures. We cover the strategy, what makes a good (and a bad) JV partner, how to craft the ‘right’ JV offer and tackle the objections that are holding you back from conducting your own joint venture. Whether you are skeptical or curious about joint ventures, you’ll find plenty in episode 67.
Andy Hussong is a joint venture specialist from Indianapolis.
He made his name during a 5 year tenure as the affiliate manager for the internet marketer John Reese. He now works with several friends of the Traffic Jam podcast including Ryan Levesque, Todd Brown and Kyle Graham. He comes to Traffic Jam highly endorsed.
Andy owns and operates the website JVAttractionCoach.com aimed at sharing strategies for product owners, JV brokers and affiliate managers. Prior to that Andy ran AffiliateManagementInsider.com from 2009 until 2013.
Andy’s focus is to help online marketers have higher sales every month through coaching, home study programs and consulting. Outside of the marketing arena Andy enjoys coaching baseball and hanging out with his wife, family and friends.
A QUICK PREVIEW OF THE PODCAST:
Here are some of the highlights from episode 68 of the Traffic Jam Podcast…
- What is a Joint Venture?
- Why a JV is Good for You.
- Finding the Right JV Partners.
- Approaching the Low Hanging Fruit.
- Webinars Work for JV!
- Overcoming the JV Phobia.
- Laying Down the JV Deal.
- Co-promoted Benefits.
- What Makes a Successful JV Partnership.
- You’ve Got to Do This Now!
If you enjoy this episode of Traffic Jam, please share it using the social media buttons you see on this page, or click to tweet this Andy Hussong quote from the show:
You can also get Andy’s quote as exclusive illustrated artwork along with more special episode bonuses: Click Here To Download.
To see the full transcript of this episode in-page click show/hide transcript:
Show / Hide Transcript
Hi there listener! Welcome back to Traffic Jam! This is show#68 of the podcast that teaches you how to get more traffic to your website and build a profitable audience online. I am of course your host, James Reynolds. And I am very thankful as always to have you with me today for the show. Hoping you’ve had a good week so far.
Just before we get in to the content, a couple of quick announcements, the first one is that on the 29th of April, I am going to be holding a free online and live event titled, The Three Most Important Elements of a High Ranking Website and How To Optimize Them to Double Your Traffic and Sales in the Next Six Months! So if you want to learn how to leverage search engine optimization to rank your website higher on Google, and generate more traffic and sales for your business, then this is an event you don’t want to miss. To get more information and to register, go to veravo.com/webinar which if you find that page after the event, I am sure you will be able to find out what the next event is coming, so go and find that and register if it is of interest to you.
The second thing I want to ask you today is to just go, review and rate on iTunes or Stitcher, I do ask this every once in a while because it really is the best way that you can show support for the show so I’d really encourage you to do that. Of course it helps Traffic Jam rank better in iTunes and that has the benefit of getting the show out to more people. I really would appreciate that if you took just two minutes of your time this week to go and review the show. And of course if there’s some interesting reviews which tends to be the most, make sure that they are read out on a future episode.
Today’ show, the topic is joint ventures and we’re joined by Andy Hussong who’s a baseball loving, former US Army National guard who shot to notoriety in the marketing scene being the affiliate manager for John Reese, the former internet marketing guru if you like from 10 years or so. Andy is now working with some of the rising stars in internet marketing. People like Ryan Levesque, Todd Brown, Kyle Graham – all friends of the show here and he really is kind of the number one expert in joint venture partnerships so we’re diving deep in to that topic today. I am not going to spin out the intro anymore, I think it’s just worth diving straight in to the content. We cover a huge amount on the show, from what to look for in joint venture partners, what to promote and how to promote so I am sure you are going to love every second of it.
So let us all welcome to the show Andy Hussong for a chat all about joint ventures.
James: So welcome back listeners! You’re tuned in to episode#68 of Traffic Jam and today we are talking joint ventures with Andy Hussong. Andy how are you doing?
Andy: Pretty great James, I appreciate it man.
James: Well let’s dive straight in. Let’s talk about what a joint venture is. If I take a dictionary definition, a joint venture occurs when two or more parties agree to contribute to an enterprise for a share of revenues. How accurate is that definition as it relates to joint ventures for the purpose of marketing which we are talking about today?
Andy: I believe it is pretty spot on actually. It depends on who you ask. But I personally believe a joint venture is just any kind of collaboration between two companies that is mutually beneficial and that is not necessarily always both companies promoting each other’s products and services, although that’s what typically happens quite a bit. As long as both sides benefit from the collaboration in some fashion, that would be considered a joint venture.
James: Got it. Now a typical kind of why question that might pop up at this stage would be as a host of those types of relationships. Why give up your kind of harder good will relationship to someone else or on the other side of the coin, why split your profits when you could acquire a customer by going direct? What would you answer to those types of questions?
Andy: Well I believe that in working with other people to do joint ventures and such, it pays to give a percentage of the profit to start that relationship, not just with a joint venture partner but with the people who are on the subscriber list or customer list that you are working with because that there is a very good chance that working with the people in their subscriber’s database would never do business with you because they have never heard of you without the introduction from your partner so that would be the first and foremost thing I would say about that.
James: Okay, well let’s get talking about how we might establish or perhaps find joint venture relationships. Have you got any particular kind of criteria for identifying the right joint venture partners?
Andy: Sure! You mean for yourself, right? Your own company, correct?
James: Yeah, let’s consider- let’s talk about in my situation, I’ve got a business I want to look out there for people who could promote my stuff and introduce it to their own customers or contacts. How would I identify who might be the right people to approach to do that?
Andy: Well first, what I always recommend to people to do is that assuming you have a solid product or service available that converts really well and has a low refund rate which proves that it works for people and people are getting good value and so on. What I would do first is create a contact list of people in your niche who could potentially be a partner for you and prioritize a list of contacts of people who’ve probably met at a live event or some of your clients who love you or who already know they can trust you and could potentially be a marketing partner with you and so on. Even just regular customers or people who you have pinpointed as someone that you could reach out to just trying to get that first JV deal to your belt. And the reason I say that is that so many people think they have to get tons and tons of partners and affiliates to promote for them which you’ll do in a sense especially when you do a product launch or whatever. But if you really just want to get to the basics, it’s all about getting that first JV partner under your belt and then leveraging the results that you’ve got from that in to several partners down the road. So that will be the first thing I will do, just look after your lookout to see who your low hanging fruit are and reach out to them to get a discussion about what you have going on and then leverage from there.
James: You said kind of in your niche, I assume we are not talking about direct competition here, we are talking perhaps about those people who have similar audiences but non-competing products or service. Would that be right?
Andy: Exactly! Ideally you want to reach out to someone who is in the same marketing space but maybe they are offering a software that complements what you are doing and so on but some people even will reach out to people who are competitors and look for ways to support each other that makes sense, that doesn’t make you guys in direct competition, or even if it does, if you are trading each other’s subscriber list to help each other out. Some people do that, most don’t but I have seen it done before.
James: Yeah and it seems to be pretty much confined to the marketing or internet marketing space, right? A few other industries you wouldn’t see a competing companies sharing customers but that kind of mindset does seem to be more prevalent in a space that you and I both operate in. Would you say that is the case?
Andy: Yeah, and unfortunately it is pretty incestuous now within the internet marketing scenario. But mainly what it really all comes down to is getting a good, clear picture of the type of partners you’d like to work with and then just being real and reaching out to them in way that you’ll get the conversation and you’ll get them to first place without trying to hit over and trying off the bat, don’t overwhelm it. For the purposes of this call, this is a podcast interview and my last 20 to 30 minutes or whatever, I could go on all day about the do’s and don’ts and what you should and shouldn’t but as long as you are focused on a low hanging fruit that you already know and have a high probability of getting their attention at least and just focus on getting one or two deals on your belt and then putting a hundred percent of your efforts in to making that deal do really well for their sake and for your own sake then again you can leverage from there and there are all kinds of things that you can do to make that happen but those are the initial steps that I recommend everyone start out with.
James: Okay, cool. So if we are to find some low hanging fruit and are easy to find joint venture partners. What’s the best way to then approach them? What’s the perfect pitch look like to get a JV partner?
Andy: Okay, if it is somebody who is a low hanging fruit, someone who you know already and someone who likes and trusts you, the best way you can do is to reach out and authentically care about what they are doing and what they want at this point. Obviously you want them to promote for you but when you reach out to them, you want to make it all about what’s in it for them first of all but you also want to know what is making them tick right now, what products they are promoting, and more importantly, if they are even interested at all in joint venture opportunities because it doesn’t do any good to contact someone and ask them if they’d consider recommending you to their audience if you haven’t shown them the respect right up front to say, look man, I see that you’ve got a webinar about such and such, how is that going for you? And by the way, curious, are you looking to do any joint ventures with other marketers and their webinars, whatever the case may be. And so the key now is just about having a simple conversation, you’re asking them a question or two just to get them engaged and it is like you are serving them basically to find out if they are doing deals first and foremost, second of all if they are, go back to them with a better reply, look, this is what I have, let me know if it is of interest to you. Here is what I have in mind based on my research and so on. You can also tell them, look, obviously, you know your audience better than I do. I am not going to sit here and tell you that this is a great fit for your list but from my initial research just kind of looking at what you have from the outside looking in, to me it seems like it could potentially be a really nice match and so what you are doing there you are showing them respect of saying look, you understand your people. They’re the one who had put their blood, sweat and tears of building your audience, you’re not. And the reason you’re not setting it up is because after so many years of working as an affiliate for John Reese who is an internet marketing expert in 1994 – 2003 or something like that. While I was working with him, we got so many offers asking us to consider promoting for them when we hadn’t even started the conversation, I didn’t even know who they were. And so they went to the bottom of the list automatically. And so you build that rapport first, just with some simple questions and so on and the worst thing people would say is, hey, I’ve got this product that would be perfect for your list. And I am like, dude, how do you know that? How do you know what’s best for someone else’s list? And so that always complicates.
James: It seems that a lot of this stuff is really built on relationships and trust which would make total sense because if I am to give up my customers to you and all then they suggest I go and check up your stuff, you want to make sure that they are to be looked after the product that I am suggesting they check out is good so we can see that that is going to be prevalent. What about to those people who are unfamiliar with joint ventures? Obviously in the internet marketing space people understand what the concept is. But what about to those people who make maybe working more on offline environments where this type of thing is less widely used. How would you overcome perhaps their concern into a JV relationship?
Andy: The first thing is it all starts with mindset and understanding both sides of a potential joint venture deal are coming from and when I say the mindset is a lot of people think why would I promote someone else? What if they steal my customers? Keep in mind, these customers don’t belong to any of us. We get customers based on our marketing and they are going to love us and keep coming back to us if we do our job and do it well, regardless of what other people are doing. As long as we are focused on what we do, then we are taking care of what we can control and then when it comes to partnering with other people, the key is, it is like what you mentioned in this call is to find complementary products and services that you fill would be a match and then reach out to them and get the conversation again whether you are online or offline, if you’ve got a jewelry store for instance, obviously a lot of the customers are men who come in to get gifts for their wives in Valentine’s Day, Christmas and so on. Well that jewelry store could team up with a florist to maybe offer a package deal of maybe you come in, you spend $500 in jewelry and we are going to throw in a bunch of red roses. And so it’s just about thinking about complementary products whether it is in your local town or just if you have a brick and mortar business and you know someone maybe a few cities away but something complimentary and you have to have the mindset that look, we are all in this to stay in business. Who can I team up with that can help support that and who can I support to help bring more business to them? And in fact, that is one of the best ways to reach out to someone, make it all about that other person and say, look, I have got an idea for how I can help refer new business to you. Would have time to jump on a quick phone call or something? A simple as that and then you start with a quick phone call session where you discuss the different possibilities.
James: Yeah, perhaps a point that might be beneficial here and one of the things that I found to be very successful in terms of getting inside the mindset of the other person is to position the fact that they really are just tapping in to the profits and revenues that otherwise they wouldn’t have available to them right? So if I put my product in front of their audience and it is a product that they too don’t sell, wouldn’t it be beneficial for them to get a piece of that pie because normally they wouldn’t. So yeah it is really like what you said, I am sure positioning it from the point of view of the other person to get them to see the benefit in the relationship. Let’s talk about perhaps how a deal might be structured. We mentioned at the onset of the interview that typically this would be a percentage of revenue type deal or some form of cash payment. Is that the only way to do it or is there another way you could compensate your JV partner with a JV deal?
Andy: There are different ways. You can do it obviously, what we are used to in marketing realm is opt for a percentage, but you can also pay what is called a bounty. You can pay somebody a flat fee for having somebody referred to you or having referred different people to you, it just depends on what the offer is and so on. Would you want to expand on that question a little bit? Are you asking besides paying a percentage, how else can you pay them or compensate them? Is that the main question?
James: Yeah, I guess that would be the first part, does it always need to be a cash payment? I’ll give you perhaps an example from my previous business which was an offline company selling photography services, instead of actually offering a cash reward to our joint venture partners, we actually offer them free services. So we said to them, look, if you introduce our service to your customers, we’ll give you a credit on photography services that you can then go and use yourself. So I am just wondering if there is any other creative ways that you could compensate that might not just be putting some cash on someone else’s pocket?
Andy: Absolutely. And that’s one thing that does happen a lot in our space too where people sometimes will offer their coaching services or access to their mastermind group that might cost twenty thousand a year or more. And so they provide access to that and that then is worth more than let’s say you would have made 10 grand or so in promotion. Well instead if you have access to somebody’s mastermind group that meets a couple time a year or maybe they have online or telephone conversations throughout the year and they are discussing different internet marketing strategies. Think how much more money that could be worth to you so people will barter things such as that but the typical thing is to keep it simple is to offer a decent commission that makes people happy but then obviously people make other types of deals as well and if you don’t mind me saying, one thing that happens a lot is that for instance if someone comes to you and asks would you consider promoting for them, what you would respond with, well would you also consider reciprocating promoting for me? A lot of people would want other companies to reciprocate for them if they are going to promote for that company. And that is fine but that is not always possible. But what I want to point out is that there are a lot of other different ways to reciprocate so this is along the same lines of what you are asking but when it comes to reciprocation, you can reciprocate by also agreeing to promote for them, you can also agree to what we just said, maybe give them a couple of hours of their consulting time to get them through their issues with what your expertise is. And there is so many different things that you can do to return the favor someone promotes for you other than simply promoting for them because what they have to offer may not be a fit to your audience and it is important that you. Have that policy in place beforehand to know what to say if someone asks you to reciprocate. You can let them know, look, I would be more than happy to take a look at it, it’s a first priority for anyone who wants to promote for us but obviously it’s got to be a fit for our list and if it isn’t then we could talk about some other ways that I can help scratch your back because you helped promote our product to your audience.
James: Yeah exactly! I think it is a very good point because if you recommend someone else’s stuff, their stuff might not actually be a good fit and not very good so you don’t really want to bite yourself in to those scenarios where reciprocation in the form of promotion is the requirement. You want to make sure that you have the options to kind of reward them with. I guess my next question moving on from this is how do we structure the agreement? Is this something that we get down in to writing and agree on it or is it more of a gentleman’s agreement where we go and agree on it, what would you recommend to be the set up?
Andy: Well again it depends on who you are, what kind of niche you’re in. If you’re online, offline, how much you know the person you are dealing with. But I will be honest with you, in the years that I have been doing this, I have had only a written agreement on a few of the projects I have worked on and that was me as a JV director, affiliate manager or whatever you may want to call it, working on a product lines to make sure all of the expectations were black and white and we knew who’s getting paid and how we’re getting paid and when we’re getting paid and so on. But honestly, most of the deals I have done have been gentlemen’s agreements just based on the fact that most of the people I have worked with in the niche I am in which is basically internet marketing mainly high level internet marketing products, all of us are used to working together, promoting webinars for each other and so on and its just something that people have agreed to do and then they just do it. But then again, there are higher level joint venture deals that can be done offline or online that if you don’t know the other person and you have a lot at stake, you definitely want to get some agreements in place just to make sure that everyone’s backside is covered, you know.
James: Yeah, okay cool. I think now we should talk a little bit about perhaps the marketing aspect and maybe begin with the offer. In your experience, what is the best platform for a JV partner to promote you with and I guess I am talking about options like doing a co-hosted webinar and offer email to their list, what type of platform works best for this types of things?
Andy: What has worked really well, and what I had focused a lot of my time on is on the live webinars that have been done through GoTo Webinars for instance and when I say the products I have worked on I basically help coordinate deals between people who someone who has a really solid webinar answer that they make at the end of that webinar with somebody who has a contact list to promote each other. But I would say that one of the more powerful ones is doing these live webinars because then if you are doing a live webinar, let’s say you are doing one every two weeks, you only need one JV partner every two weeks to line up to keep the revenue coming in and then that takes the pressure off of you, let’ say you’re doing a launch in a month trying to get as many partners as you can. Make that watch as big as you can make it. There is no right or wrong in terms of what you should and what you shouldn’t do, in terms of should we do a webinar or a product launch? It’s all based on what your preferences are and what your goals are for your promotions but I personally love the live webinar models working with JV partners but then what’s cool about that is as you dial that in and you continue doing with that after one or two JV partner deals that you do out of these webinars, it becomes a lot easier to get more partners to promote for you and then you can also leverage that by turning that in to an automated webinar, you can start sending paid traffic to any webinar but I really believe that anyone who says that joint venture deals aren’t good to do because you got paid 50% or whatever the commission is, are missing the boat in that these relationships that you’re building with these people can lead to so many other relationships whether it’s joint venture deals or whatever, it could lead to introductions of someone who can really help you dial in your Facebook ads or someone who could help you set up a solid outreach strategy for your business. Who knows what that could lead to, but anyway, I am kind of off tangent here going from one thought to another here, I have been known to do that so –
James: No, I will come back to that point in just a second but what I do want to loop back to is the concept of doing this as a webinar, I can see how this could be so successful because if we think about where we are at in time, 2015, this is kind of now different to someone literally walking you in to a business meeting together with their customer, right? It is more leveraged to a larger scale, your turning to a live event where you are both present, showing that you both exist and you both are in endorsement of each other’s product or service and you are presenting that together to your customers and that is really no different to walking in to a customer meeting with your joint venture partner and introducing their stuff to your customers and that’s the point I want to make and secondly, in terms of networking, it is very much why I do this podcast for the same reason these conversations and relationships that you build up doing this co-promoted and co-conducted content pieces really has so many spin off benefits, would you agree?
Andy: Yeah, spot on, awesome.
James: Cool, let’s again fast forward a little bit from here now, again talking about what the offer might be, something that I found to be most successful is offering some sort of special deal as a sort of host of that webinar to the other person’s list, because it makes it more appealing to them for their customers and secondly from their point of view, they’re getting a special deal for their customers that otherwise won’t be available. Do you agree that that’s probably the best approach in terms of positioning an offer?
Andy: Sure, anytime you can offer a special deal especially if the JV partner is introducing you to their audience, not only are they endorsing you, but if you can come up with a special offer for them especially if your JV partner can include some bonuses to go along with it to entice them to go onboard. It is very powerful!
James: Yeah and what was the most powerful JV that you’ve ever done, Andy? You’ve been involved in many, what was it? And I guess my follow up question to that what makes it so successful?
Andy: It depends on what you mean by success. I’ve had some that resulted in some really big sales and recently I got some JV partners for a webinar, I don’t know from the sale how much money they did but they did I know they had a high six figures just from that in about a month and a half so I can’t really say who it is, they have to give me permission on that, but what I can say is that one of the most successful deals I have done is between two marketing experts named Todd Brown and Ryan Lee and the reason I say they were successful is that they both really got each other and were really 100% to promote each other and really in tune with partners people gather as much value and solid content and a great offer and so when these people are a hundred percent in for each other, then things just blow up. And I think it is like $50,000 sale from a webinar both sides or something at this point, I can’t remember what the actual numbers were. But if you are talking about huge hundred thousand dollar webinar deals stuff I know there was one that I did with someone else that resulted in over a hundred thousand and again that was because both sides were all in to take care of each other. But let me say this to you real quick James. One of the keys to this, the one that Todd Brown and Ryan Lee did, the reason it did so well is that they both agreed to take on a 15 minute break and storm call and talk about the possibilities on how to position it and everything. Then what that does and is a key to you guys to think over. The key to this type of call is that it creates buzz between two people so that then both sides they can’t wait to promote each other and then they just go all in, or all out for the promotion and if they haven’t had that conversation they may have not done a third of what they have had to do from doing that.
James: Interesting! Well, let’s get close to wrapping up, I guess there are a few people out there thinking I’d love to give this a shot but with everything else going on too time poor to take action on it, do you need to do it yourself or can you get someone else to set this up on your behalf?
Andy: Oh, yeah, for sure. If you go back to what I mentioned about keeping in mind that you should go after your low hanging fruit and just concentrate one or two deals, keep it simple, then you can get other people on board but especially if you just spend one hour of your week to reach out to your low hanging fruit sending multiple emails in bullet points letting them know what you have. First of all if you know them and they know you, they are going to be receptive to what you bring to them, they’ll at least take a look at it. So if you start doing that and then as you ramp up, you definitely want to start considering bringing somebody on board, especially a JV manager versus a JV broker there is a difference there and we don’t have time to get in to but basically you want to have somebody who could be in-house and they can be the JV manager of all the things you do. They can help bring on all the new partners and then they can also bring in the information to those partners and schedule everything so you can focus on what you do best for your business.
James: Great! Well let’s leave our listeners with perhaps some action steps. I am going to borrow one from you and say go and spend an hour identifying those relationships that you could contact and who could potentially be good joint venture partners for you and I’ll leave it to you to perhaps assign a couple more. What two more action steps that you recommend our listeners take as a result of listening to this?
Andy: Yeah, okay. So before you even do that, before you line up your partners, what you need to do is get organized and get clear what your joint venture opportunity is and what’s in it for the potential JV partner. Get all of that information together, how much money are they going to make by selling your product? Some basic information about the product itself, price points and so on, and then set it all up on a simple one page website, I call it the JV attraction page because it is set up like a sales page but the purpose is to sell potential partners on promoting your joint venture opportunity. And so get that together on page like that and then prioritize your list of contacts and reach out to them and then you can just send them to that page when they are interested and say, look, check out this page, it’s got a quick 2 minute video on it and all the information that you need. Let me know if it sounds like it would be an offer you’d take and then boom, you’re in business.
James: Cool! You can get a full summary of everything that Andy just mentioned in the show notes of episode#68 of Traffic Jam which of course you do get to by going to trafficjamcast.com/68 where of course you can also join in for the discussion for this episode as well so all that remains for me is to thank you for coming on Andy. I thoroughly enjoyed this one actually, I think we have given our listeners some cool stuff and some great action points to go and implement so thank you for your time and perhaps again in the future we can have a round two and we can do it all again.
Andy: Sounds awesome James. I appreciate you having me on.
So thank you for listening in to episode#68 of Traffic Jam with Andy Hussong. We will of course be back next week with another episode where we’ll be joined by Dan Norris who’s going to be talking to us all about building an audience through content marketing.
In the coming week, make sure that you subscribe via iTunes or Stitcher radio by going to TrafficJamCast.com/iTunes or TrafficJamCast.com/Stitcher and whilst you’re there, please take the time to leave a review for the show as well. For a direct link to all the bonuses that come with this episode including a downloadable MP3, full transcript of today’s session and a few other goodies too, go to TrafficJamCast.com/68 where you know the drill, you can also join in on this show too.
Now we end this week with a traffic jam chosen by Andy Hussong and he’s picked a full on rock track, Guns and Roses, Welcome to the Jungle. So enjoy the track and I will see you back here next week.
THE TRAFFIC JAM:
The traffic jam is a musical jam chosen by our guest and this week and Andy Hussong has chosen Welcome to the Jungle by the American rock band Guns n’ Roses.
Welcome to the Jungle is a song by the American rock band Guns N’ Roses, featured on their debut studio album, Appetite for Destruction. It was released as the album’s second single on October 3, 1987, and reached number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 24 on the UK Singles Chart.
HERE’S WHAT TO DO NOW:
Download this joint venture training and learn how Andy Hussong negotiates highly profitable JV deals and how you can do the same.
Discover how you can identify partners, negotiate valuable deals and craft effective JV offers.