A Beginner’s Guide to Adding Revenue through Referral and JV Partnerships

Posted by Ariel Myers in B2B Lead Generation & Sales Insights, Entrepreneurship

In business when it comes down to it, there are two ways to increase revenue: 1) Get more clients and 2) Sell more to your current clients.

In this article, we’ll focus on increasing revenue by using a mix of both through two of the fastest ways to drastically expand your reach and get more clients: Affiliate Deals.

If you do this right, there are a wide range of benefits, and if you haven’t ever considered it before, here are some good reasons to start:

  • You immediately expand your reach. It’s like a super targeted PR campaign, where you leverage the audiences and authority of your partners (and bonus: you come with a high recommendation from someone those audiences trust.)
  • You add another channel to your marketing mix. Never put your eggs all in one basket. While you don’t want to solely rely on partnerships, learning how to do this right can be a big source of revenue for you.
  • You immediately have more things to sell. Obviously, you want to recommend things that your audience really needs and that you have personally vetted so you don’t lose credibility with them, but once you’ve found the right partners, you can recommend their products and services. This provides more value to your list and also provides you an opportunity to generate more revenue without adding to your client workload.

At LinkedSelling, we engage in several JV partnerships whose products and services we’ve either personally used and/or absolutely trust. This has broadened our horizons allowing us to serve a larger audience of business owners, entrepreneurs and marketers.

This article will pave the way so that you can do the same and is broken into the two types of affiliate partnerships we’ve used here at LinkedSelling: Joint Venture (or JV) Partnerships and Referral Partnerships. You’ll learn the difference between the two and how to leverage both in your business. Let’s dive in.

Section 1: JV Partnerships

A joint venture is a temporary partnership that two companies form to gain mutual benefits by sharing costs, risks, or rewards. Joint venture partnerships can speed up the expansion of your business by gaining access to skills you may not have or new audiences you are trying to reach. They can also help you establish your authority and credibility with an audience that your partner already has influence with.

Typically, in the online marketing world, this results in promotion-for-promotion agreements. Meaning many joint venture partners are willing to promote your product or service in return for a similar promotion of their product or service to your audience.

That isn’t the case for all Joint Venture arrangements.Others may pay a commission on any referred sales, or simply look to reduce costs of certain promotions in a way to benefit both businesses.

Here are the answers to some common questions about JV partnerships:

Who is it right for? It’s right for you if:

  • You have content. The majority of joint ventures don’t involve a partner sending direct to your sales page without first warming up their audience. This may be in the form of an ebook, guides, checklists, webinars, workshops, blueprints, reports, etc.
  • You have an easy way for prospects to purchase and check out your program. So if you sell an online course, membership, mastermind, etc. this may be a good route for you.
  • You have a list. Especially, if you have a promotion-for-promotion type of agreement, you need to show a potential JV partner what’s in it for them. Showing them the size and engagement level of your list can be an enticing reason to partner with you.

What is a typical arrangement?

You can structure JV partnerships in all sorts of ways. Whether that’s based on commission plus a reciprocal promotion, just simply promotion for promotion, or even partnering to create a shared program for both your audience and theirs, there are many creative options you can structure to benefit both parties.

This can vary partner-to-partner or program-to-program. Keep your mind open here because there is definitely not a one-size-fits-all solution. Some partners might be open to different types of arrangements than others depending on how many people are on your list or the price of your products or programs for example.

Who would I promote to?

Your email list. There is no better place than your own email list. If your list is segmented to make certain partner offers more compelling to portions of your list, promote their material to those that are most likely to be interested.

What would I send and how would I do it?

Provide Partner Resources. If you are looking for a promotion-for-promotion deal, it’s common to have a partner provide you with some “swipe copy” - pre-written emails or copy that you can tweak to suit your own style and voice and easily send to your list. Of course, you would want to provide your partner with the same, or at least a sample promotion schedule to let their audience know about you. A sample promotion schedule is just a suggested timeline of when to send the emails. (For example, “Send emails to promote our Webinar on Monday and Tuesday.” “Send email to our sales page on Thursday.”)

Use Tracking Software. If you are looking to pay commission on sales as well and have multiple partners promoting you at once or even if you have your own sales coming in, make your life easier and use affiliate tracking software. This will automatically “tag” incoming sales if they came directly from your partners so you’ll know how many clicks and sales came from them.

There are a lot of software options to manage that - from your CRM (InfusionSoft is our preferred affiliate management solution) or other affiliate-specific tools like AffiliateDash and LeadDyno.

How should I get started? Best practices:

  • Do your research. Look for partners that sell to a similar audience but sell a complementary product/service to yours. You obviously don’t want to sell a competitor’s training but something that compliments your own programs, products, and services.
  • Reach out to people you’re interested in partnering with and ask. They might be open to it or they might not. If they have a history of participating in JV partnerships they may ask for details about your audience etc.
  • Schedule it out. Once you have some partners who’ve accepted, finalize the agreements and put the promo dates for their offers on your calendar.
  • Prep. It’s best to prepare ahead of time so that you aren’t rushing last minute.
  • Relate. It’s also best to consider your audience and find a way to relate your partner’s promo to your audience’s interests.

If you’d like more help with recruiting new partners to promote your business, a partner of ours and the only person I recommend for businesses trying to implement Joint Venture programs, Rich German has put out a brand-new ebook on the 6 simple steps to getting new JV partners that will help.

Click here to download it!

Section 2: Referral Partnerships

Referral Partnerships are slightly different than JV partnerships in that they typically involve a sole arrangement to provide commission or referral fees for promotions or sales.

This is a more direct route to generate commission for referring your audience to a product or service managed by another provider and doesn’t always involve a reciprocal promotion. (note: not all referral partnerships require commission for sales referred).

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Here are the answers to some common questions about referral partnerships:

Who is it right for? It’s right for you if:

  • You have clients or a network that could use services or products complementary to or non-competitive to your main focus.
  • You want to develop a revenue stream simply for making introductions to others in your network.

What is a typical arrangement?

Commission varies. Depending on the business you’re referring to, the type of product or service and the cost, this can vary greatly. For example, the commission percentage on an information product or online course can be in the 20-40% range, while services will often have a higher price tag and more hard costs to deliver leading to a lower commission percentage, but potentially higher long-term value to both partners.

Who would I promote to?

Anyone that may be a fit for the service. This can include clients, those in your local or online networks, or simply prospects you speak to who have a need for a service or product you don’t provide.

How would I do it?

Think of referrals as simply making an introduction or hand-off to your partner. If you are recruiting potential referral partners, you’ll likely want to invest in a software like mentioned above….or if you don’t sell directly online you can get by without it. This is a great way to create an additional revenue stream that doesn’t require more time or effort from you.

How should I get started?

We always recommend starting with something you’re already familiar with and something you’d be happy to recommend to your clients.

Make a list of products and services you use and see if they offer a any referral or affiliate opportunities.

Alternatively, to let others know that you are willing to partner, you can reach out to people with complementary products and services to yours and ask if they’d be interested. You can also add a page to your website and add a link to your social profiles.

If you are interested in seeing how we structure our referral partner program, be sure to sign up for our partner program. You can start here: Sign up for our Referral Program.

Your Move

If you’re really interested in adding another channel of revenue for your business, JV and/or Referral Partnerships are a great way to do it, and it doesn’t take that much time on your part. The best part is, yes, you get commissions and new clients, but you also develop relationships with interesting businesses owners while you open the doors to new opportunities for your own business.

Start here:

If you want a deeper dive to learn how we’ve structured our program, click below to sign up for our Referral Partner Program today.

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As a LinkedSelling partner, you have the opportunity to earn commission through promoting products and services that provide value to your audience, network, or client base.