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When Your Ship Comes In, It Might Be a "Partner" ShipViews: 702
Dec 12, 2005 7:17 pmWhen Your Ship Comes In, It Might Be a "Partner" Ship#

Garland Coulson

Many of us have big plans for "when our ship comes in" and what to do with the hoped-for wealth it will bring.  But the "ship" that is most likely to bring you the abundance you desire just might be a "partner"ship.

I have a confession to make...I have always been VERY wary of partnerships.  I think it comes down to 3 reasons:

1.  While working in banking for 13 years I saw a lot of partnerships fail with one partner rushing to beat the other one to the bank to clean out the account.

2.  I knew of a number of business owners who set up partnerships and then realized that their partner lacked the skills to help them.  So they had given up a chunk of business for nothing.  In some cases, the partner even took the business away from the founder.

3.  I must sheepishly admit to being something of a control freak so giving up some control was very difficult.  (Yes, those of you I have been coaching on how to stop being such control freaks can stop smirking now - I know who you are!)

So with all this to overcome, why do I now think partnerships will bring me wealth?

Firstly, the kinds of partnerships I am using for wealth-building are strategic partnerships based on win-win relationships.  So I am not giving up part of my business ownership, instead I am forming strategic partnerships to reach more people and generate more income for both myself and my partners.

When I launched the Free Traffic Bar free advertising system, I had immediate success because of the excellent readership base of my web site, blog and newsletter.  But once most of the interested people in my own network became Free Traffic Bar members, I needed to expand further outside of my network.  Being a professional Internet marketer, I started running a number of Internet marketing campaigns.  And, because I know how to set up and test successful campaigns, they worked very well.  I experienced steady membership and revenue growth.

But I didn't want steady...I wanted spectacular!

So I decided to overcome my partnership prejudices and look at how I could work with others.  I decided to build an affiliate program into the Free Traffic Bar where I would give my members and partners 50% of all the monthly revenue from people they referred.  This immediately increased the referrals from my members and made Free Traffic Bar very attractive to new partners.  To help my new partners promote the Free Traffic Bar to their members, I gave additional bonus advertising credits to their members when they joined. 

I started looking for partners and came across TurboGDI.  Now, here is a natural partnership, I thought.  TurboGDI teaches people how to make money online from free advertising systems and I own a free advertising system.  The potential was obvious!  I approached Simon Ussher of TurboGDI and we discussed how best to work together.  Then he contacted his membership and let them know about the Free Traffic Bar and the offer of additional free advertising credits.

And the results WERE spectacular!

TurboGDI made money the first day of the new affiliate program and Simon received his first cash payout (well over threshold) a week later.  And I had tons of new members, many of which signed up for enhanced memberships.  Many of these new members quickly invited others, increasing membership even more.

After, that the partnerships came quickly.  The Free Traffic Bar caught the attention of one of the web's premier promotions, Mark Hendricks' "The 12 Days of Christmas."  The 12 Days of Christmas is a partnership between 78 of the Internet's top marketers who all provide free gifts to the program and then promote all the gifts to each of their subscriber lists. 

One of the reasons that these partnerships work so well is that each partner has built up credibility with their own readers and members.  So, when they recommend the Free Traffic Bar to their readers and members, a much higher percentage of them sign up than the percentage of people that might sign up from seeing an advertisement for the Free Traffic Bar.

More partnerships are being added every week and, because of these partnerships, the Free Traffic Bar will be exposed to over 3.1 MILLION  people in my target markets in the next two months at no cost. 

By sharing the revenue generated with my partners, I move my marketing costs to the back end of the sale, so I am only paying for success

How does this relate to you?

One of the reasons that I am able to help my clients and students so much is that I made all the mistakes and wasted all the money advertising in the wrong places online so they don't have to!  :)  My readers and clients are able to follow my lead directly to what works, saving them time and money as they avoid the pitfalls I had to trip to learn where they are.

So now that I have learned that fear of strategic partnerships is a pitfall and that partnerships are a great way to make your ship come it, it is up to you to relate that lesson to your business.

You can start exploring it with these questions:

1.  What possible partners are also working to reach the same target audience as me?

2.  What natural partnerships exist that I am not benefiting from yet?

3.  How can I build a triple win, a win-win-win?  A win for me, a win for a partner and a win for the customer?

The structure you build with the answers to these questions will become your lighthouse, beckoning YOUR "partner" ships to "come in."

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Garland Coulson, “The E-Business Tutor” is an acclaimed speaker and author in the field of Internet marketing for small  and home business.  Garland is also the developer of the Free Traffic Bar free Internet advertising system at www.freetrafficbar.com.

For more information, visit The E-Business Tutor web site at www.ebusinesstutor.com or call toll-free in North America at 1-866-413-0951.

Permission to publish this article on your own web site or in your newsletter is granted as long as the complete article is used and the final paragraph and link to our site is intact.

Private Reply to Garland Coulson

Dec 17, 2005 6:05 pmre: When Your Ship Comes In, It Might Be a "Partner" Ship#

Chris Rempel
Great stuff Garland.

I've also experienced most of my success through joint-ventures, whether it's cross-promotion, endorsement, loyalty programs or trading services.

Joint Ventures are extremely powerful because unlike advertising, you're actually working with a certain degree of market-share and brand credibility - and your conversions via a JV will absolutely soar above traditional advertising.

Just as Garland outlined some cautions for regular partnerships, you must also be careful that your JV associations are going to complement your business - not jeapordize it!

Here are some considerations when drafting your JV contracts, and some pitfalls to be aware of:
--------------------------------------------

*** Part 1: JV Agreements ***

In most cases, a joint-marketing agreement will do for the more popular joint-venturing arrangements. Get a lawyer to draft this (or at least approve it).

Make sure your contract covers the following in clear, undisputable detail:

- Contract terms, rights and duration/termination (how long, probationary periods, qualifications for immediate termination, etc.)

- Liabilities (I would suggest having both parties disclaim liability in regards to anything that the other does or says.)

- Publicity (make it clear what can be made public about the relationship and how - if at all)

- Intellectual property and licenses, etc. (specify ownership, who retains what, etc.)

- Warranties, Indemnifications (these will vary, consult lawyer)

- Confidential or Sensitive Information (how it should be treated, consequences of mistreatment)

- Insurance/Misc Provisions (other stuff involving what to do in the event of a lawsuit, etc.)

- Payment Schedules, Details, Bonuses and Penalties

- Marketing or Cross-Marketing Schedules, Guidelines, Restrictions and Penalties

And if you want the other company to sign on willingly, make sure that the "ass covering" is equally distributed throughout the agreement.
----------------------------------------------------------

*** Part 2: Pitfalls To Be Aware Of ***

- No matter what kind of paper gets signed, be aware that doing business with anyone else always incurs a risk of loss, tarnished credibility or worse.

- If things get ugly, you may have to go to court, which isn't cheap

- A poorly implemented JV will burn a bridge and speak poorly of your reputation (regardless if it was YOUR doing or not)

- Regardless of liability disclaimers, you might run the risk of getting into trouble by "association"

- Be sure to account for potential chargebacks, refunds and other variables when putting together a payment schedule

- Be wary of partnering with anyone that doesn't really seem to approach the idea with a certain amount of "caution" - because any legit business will play their cards carefully.

- Look into trade laws, including tarrifs, regulations and restrictions if doing business outside of the country of your residence.

- Get the advice of a Business CPA in regards to tax strategies etc. with your new "income stream" - if you're on the monetary receiving end.

And I could go on...

-----------------------------------------

Bottom Line: Run both your potential partner/idea AND your agreement by an experienced lawyer, business coach/consultant, CPA and close personal friend that will be objective and honest with you.

-----------------------------------------

Real Joint-Ventures can be like a marriage.

It has the potential to build your company into an exponentially stronger and confident operation...

Or it can destroy what you've built and literally steal your assets.

So choose your partner carefully.

All the best,

-Chris

Private Reply to Chris Rempel

Dec 19, 2005 5:24 amre: re: When Your Ship Comes In, It Might Be a "Partner" Ship#

CK Aspinwall
Greetings,

I do joint ventures when it makes sense and both of us complement one another. Our joint ventures include the Southern Music Association.

Ken

Private Reply to CK Aspinwall

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