Anyone who’s been online for even a short period of time has likely heard how beneficial joint venture (JV) and affiliate partnerships can be. It’s true!
With aligned partnerships you can increase your revenues, subscriber list, credibility and market reach.
Yet, most men and women who seek out partners get turned down more than they hear the coveted words, “Yes! I would love to promote for you.”
There are very good reasons why this is so. It’s not because we don’t want to partner, it’s because what we are being asked is not a great fit at that particular time.
Over the past two weeks I’ve had no less than 10 requests to promote products and services. Some individuals offered an affiliate commission while others made the request simply because “you have a good list.”
I turned down all but one request. Here’s why; every single one wanted me to promote either that day, or within a few days of their request.
The one I accepted was from a trusted friend and colleague. I am familiar with the product he asked me to promote and what he offered is a great fit for my market. Additionally, the price point was low enough that I didn’t need to do much prep at all with promotions other than let my community know about the offer. Another reason is his commission structure is very generous.
With the others, even though I know them from my social networks and they are likely on my subscriber list, I turned them down for  one (or more) of the following reasons.

  1. What they wanted me to promote was not a good fit for my what my market expects from me.
  2. The time frame was way too short.
  3. Commissions were poor or nonexistent. Not that I have to get compensated for everything I promote, but if commissions are not in line with what is standard I likely won’t find it appealing enough.
  4. I am not familiar with the product they want me to promote.
  5. I don’t want to overload my list more than they are already overloaded with the day in and day out emails they are blasted with.
  6. The price point was incredibly high and too much of a risk for a first time partnership.
  7. I plan campaigns out as much as six months in advance with the average being at least 2 – 3 months.
  8. Not one person I have not worked with yet offered me their product to preview. If they approach me then they must be willing to let me review the full product. It’s different if I approach someone to promote their product. In that case, I should be willing to purchase it.

I’m sure some of the individuals I turned down were frustrated with my response, but my primary concern is for the well-being of my subscribers above and beyond anything else.
Wondering how other experts feel about these type of requests, I asked some of my closest friends to weigh in on these type of requests.
David Perdew NAMS Founder Click Here to access David’s information.
Your post about last-minute promotions comes at an interesting time for me. Yesterday, I finished my most successful online promotion, and the 5-day sale was conceived and executed within 24 hours. So why would I say that it’s a terrible idea to do last-minute promotions, and expect people to promote?
The main reason: I probably could have done 10 times as much business if I had planned 4 weeks in advance.
But these were the attributes that made my last-minute promotion successful:

  1. The value was through the roof. It was the kind of value and price that made people think, “Holy cow, how fast can I promote this and how often!”
  2. I didn’t think about approaching people to promote this for me if we didn’t have a substantial business relationship already.
  3. If my top affiliate partners brought in some of their best affiliate partners, they got a referral bonus.
  4. I made sure affiliates expended zero effort by providing all the link, login and promotion tools they needed to be successful.
  5. I took “No” for an answer. Because my affiliate referrals are tagged automatically in the database tagging system, many of the affiliates were already making sales on the promotion from the prospects they had driven into pipeline previously. If partners couldn’t promote, I promoted for them.
  6. Relationships matter. If I don’t have one, I need to make that happen first.

SIDENOTE – David’s was the one campaign I immediately said yes to. I know, like and trust David, we have worked on several campaigns together and what David was offering is a great fit for my market.
Denise WakemanBoost Your Visibility Click Here to access Denise’s information.
While it may be tempting to reach out to the influencers in your niche to promote your launch, without a prior relationship, the answer is most likely going to be “no.”  Before you send that request ask yourself the following questions:
1. Has there been any previous communication between you and the potential high profile JV partner?
2. What have you done for the prospective JV partner lately?
3. Have you promoted the JV prospects products or services?
4. Do you read and comment on the prospect’s blog?
5. Do you actively contribute to the prospect’s social networks? Are you retweeting their tweets, sharing their blog posts and commenting on their Facebook page?
6. Have you purchased any of the prospects products or services?
If the answer is yes to any of the above, then how are you going to make this a win-win for your JV partner?
How much lead time are you giving your JV partner? Most high profile marketers require a long lead time as their own promotions and other JV promotions are scheduled months in advance. 3 days notice doesn’t cut it.
Most importantly, do your research. Is your product or service a good fit for their audience? Have your provided access to your product so they can see for themselves if it’s relevant for their audience.
Don’t be offended if they say no. There’s a lot of factors that go into a decision whether to promote or not. First and foremost there needs to be a relationship established and you can get attention by giving without asking for anything in return. That will get attention.
Ellen Britt The Future of Ink Click Here to access Ellen’s information.
“I totally agree with all of the really excellent questions that Denise Wakeman suggests you ask yourself before approaching an influencer in your niche. Certainly you should do as many of the things listed as you possibly can AND if it is at all feasible, make it a priority to actually meet the influencer in your niche in person by going to a conference they are going to attend.
Most influencers will let their subscribers and social media followers know about any upcoming events they are attending. Often, they will be promoting that event. If this is the case, then purchase your event ticket through their affiliate link. If they are presenting at the event, then make sure you attend their presentation.
Ask thoughtful questions during the Q&A time that add to the value of the material being presented. Afterwards,take a few minutes and introduce yourself to them, referencing any communication or promotion you have done for them in the past.
Ask them if they are open to a ten minute conversation during one of the breaks about possibly being a partner in your launch. They still may not say ‘yes’ to your launch invitation, but you will have made an indelible impression on them by going out of your way to meet them in person. Avoid asking them if they will have lunch or dinner with you. Most influencers event schedules are completely packed with meetings and pre-arranged get togethers with clients and colleagues.”
Susan Lassiter-LyonsClick to access Susan’s information.
JV partners are one of the best ways I know of to spread your message.  When approaching potential JV’s here’s a tip that’s always worked for me.  Make sure you are offering value first and be prepared to build and nurture the relationship.
Most JV’s have marketing calendars that are planned way in advance, but they are always looking for ways to make their promotions better.
Be sure to share recent results other well known JV’s have gotten promoting your programs especially EPC (earnings per click).
Sharing best practice or other creative promotional strategies in your niche will go a long way in establishing credibility and that relationship.  Then, when they do promote be sure to pay on time and do something special around the holidays.  We always send our top 10 affiliates a bottle of Dom Perignon or Cristal for Christmas and we’ll usually get on the calendar with no problem!
In conclusion
Partnerships are definitely a great way to serve your market. Based on what my four colleagues have shared, is it time for you to revisit the way you approach potential partners? If so, now’s the perfect time.
Be watching for more information on how to build great joint venture and affiliate partnerships in future posts.
Be sure to share your thoughts on this post and your best insights into building strong partnerships that create win/win/win in the comment box. Win for your market. Win for your partner. Win for you.