Ever wonder if there was a way to shortcut the thousands of hours of work it takes to build an audience, a client base or a customer list and gain instant access to a massive number of potential buyers, readers or listeners in a fraction of the time?
Well there is a shortcut…and I learned it long before I moved online.
One of the dirty little secrets of most successful entrepreneurs is strategic partnering. You may have also heard it called joint venturing or “JV” deals.
I’ve used various forms of strategic partnering to build brick and mortar (yes, they really exist) businesses for years. In fact, when I train people to teach yoga in my studio in NYC, I share with them a detailed plan designed to tap strategic partnering as a tool to build a giant private practice really quickly.
And, since moving a lot of my energy online over the last year, I’ve literally stalked the top marketers on the web and watched how they’ve tapped strategic partnering to build multimillion dollar products and businesses…sometimes in a matter of months.
So, when Brian Clark, of Copyblogger and Teaching Sells fame, told me he was releasing a program that trained people in how to develop partnerships to drive business and income, I was psyched…but also a bit skeptical.
Here’s why. I’m a blogger, but I’m also a marketer, so I’m on the lists of nearly every top internet marketer on the planet. Call it competitive research.
And over the last few years, they’ve all released high-ticket products, many in the $2,000-$5,000 range, revealing how to launch products, businesses and services. They cost a lot, but, there’s a lot of good info in many. And, invariably, a part of those training programs include references to the importance of partnering.
These guys have already charged for and given away so much information about partnering, I wasn’t sure how Brian could really add to what was out there.
But, when I listened to the preview call for Brian’s Partnering Profits with Brian and his partner in this venture, John Morrow, last week, I have to say I was really impressed. These guys not only distilled one specific strategy into a clear process, they used their own examples to show exactly how this strategy led to success.
And, what I love about pretty much everything Brian does is that, whether it’s blogging at Copyblogger or teaching people how to build interactive learning environments, it’s largely hype-free. He tells you what he’s got, he proves it’s worked for him, then he gives you a chance to buy it. Simple as that.
So, I asked Brian for a review copy of Partnering Profits…and here’s what I discovered.
The Deets, The Good, The Bad…The Recommendation…
First…The Deets –
The program consists of a manual, a series of teleseminars and various bonuses and support options.
The manual is broken into four major sections:
- How to think about partnerships
- How to find partnerships
- How to structure your partnership
- Five partnership models to get you started
The calls offer advice from a small group of people who are each fairly legendary for their partnering/JV acomplishments, both on and offline, like Brian, Jeff Walker, Rich Schefren, Jon Morrow (Brian’s partner in Partnering Profits), Darren Rowse, Chris Garrett and others.
The Good – Fair disclosure, I haven’t listened to the expert calls, so all I can ethically review is the Partnering Profits course manual.
At 150-something pages, it’s packed with information. It’s good, really good. In fact, my mind was spinning with clarifications of ideas and strategies I’ve already implemented and a bunch of new ways to potentially find other people with big followings, lists and readerships and work together to create more value for both of us (For me, the two projects that I was thinking about were my book launch, Career Renegade, and a sister company that is launching in early 2009).
That, by the way, is what strategic partnering is all about. It’s not about taking, it’s about creating new value that expands the total pie.
The manual did a bit of myth busting, like dispelling the notion that you need to show up with a big list for anyone else to take you seriously. Does that help? Sure. But, you can showcase your capabilities and create value in other ways, if you know how.
The information about structuring partnerships was great, because it shared how a variety of different types of JV partnerships are put together, how the splits and percentages generally work and what the big legal and business issues are.
The manual then offered up five very specific strategies, approaches to finding and partnering with people, with specific tactics and examples. One of these, the “apprentice” model, was revealed in the preview call. In fact, it’s the exact strategy Jon Morrow used to get Brian’s attention and, eventually turn that attention into a partnership that led to the launch of this very program.
The other four strategies were very cool, too, again, using case-studies to show how they work and get you thinking about how you might tailor each strategy to your specific quest. This was really useful, because it went beyond just “describing” the strategies and actually laid out how to implement them.
The Bad – First, like I said, I haven’t listened to the calls (though I plan on joining the program so I can), so I cannot comment on them, but there is a lot of time spent on defining and describing the basics of joint venture partnerships. If you’re brand new to them, it’s great information. But, if you’ve been around either the JV, affiliate marketing or internet marketing worlds for a while, the early info will be more of a refresher for you.
I love the information about structuring, but I still think, when it comes to putting together agreements and finalizing structure, that’s the domain of lawyers (and, in fairness, the manual does circle around to that point).
The five different types of JV partnerships were the real heart of the program for me. Tons of information and case-studies to illustrate each. But, I’d still like to see the addition of more specific action steps, scripts, e-mails, pitch letters or examples of very specific conversations that these gurus have used to approach, negotiate and land joint venture partners.
Though, my guess is all this stuff is what the continuing calls, forums and support community will end up delivering. In my mind, the more plug-n-play they can make it, the better.
Final Thoughts – The course is $97. That’s not inexpensive compared to a book of equal length, but it’s ridiculously affordable in light of the impact this information can have on the way you blog, build and sell products, services and businesses and the opportunities Brian and Jon are providing beyond the manual.
And, it’s a whole lot less expensive than some of the other $1,000+ programs I’ve seen that often don’t cover partnering in anywhere near the depth Brian and Jon do.
And, I actually just discovered something while writing this review. I didn’t even know about this (apparently, it was at the end of the preview call, but I had to jump off), but I’ve just re-read the sales letter and it looks like Brian’s offering a bonus that I think is more valuable than all the materials and calls. At least, for me it would be.
Here’s what he’s offering up to the first 250 people who do the deal:
“Exclusive Partnering Forum—this is the biggy… an environment for networking, trading ideas, and making deals… safely away from the Internet trolls and with a group of likeminded people you know “get” it… because they’ve all been educated in partnering tactics and strategies.”
Gotta be honest, here. Getting the right people into a partnering forum like this is no easy feat. Many have tried and bombed before. But, if they can pull this off and deliver private access to other potential serious JV partners and to Brian and Jon, it’ll be worth it’s weight in gold. And, knowing Brian, my guess is he can.
So, what’s my final word?
If you’re someone who’s comfortable with slow, progressive growth and you’re willing to wait to build an audience, client-base or list, then, once it’s big enough, figure out how to “monetize” it, this program is probably not for you. If you are looking to sill work hard, but leapfrog a good chunk of the process by joint venturing with partners (who may potentially include Brian), this could be an interesting catalyst or you.
You can learn more about Partnering Profits here [FYI – This is a blatant JV promotional-partner link, if all 2,000,000,000,001 of my subscribers click on this puppy at once, I’ll earn gobs of money by helping Brian promote this program and be able to retire to Bali with my family and live in a sarong for eternity (sorry about the mental image of me in a sarong). You know by now, I never review or promote anything I don’t believe in.)]
So, that’s what I’m thinking, if you decide you try it out, you’ll likely find me hanging out in the forums, too.
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