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If You Build It, Will They Come?

How to drive reliable and targeted traffic to your business using joint ventures.

Field of dreams: if you build it, will they come? PHOTO BY FRANCISCO GONZALEZ ON UNSPLASH
Field of dreams: if you build it, will they come? PHOTO BY FRANCISCO GONZALEZ ON UNSPLASH

Ever struggle to get attention to your product or service? If you’re tired of spending on ads, don’t have the budget, or are looking to diversify your inbound traffic, it might be time to consider joint ventures, which require no upfront expenditure.

What is a joint venture? According to Charles Byrd, Founder and CEO of Byrd Word, it’s “A temporary or ongoing promotion that consists of one party supplying the audience, and the other the product or service, for a percentage of the revenue from sales generated.”

Byrd is a Silicon Valley veteran with deep background in joint ventures, systems, and productivity.

When I started my first company, a credit card processing business, I built and grew it it into 38 states solely based on referral partnerships. Joint ventures are the digital version of this.

“ Anyone with products or services (meaning most anyone in business) should be building relationships with partners who send them referrals or traffic, and partners to whom they send referrals or traffic. This creates a pipeline of leads coming in and going out at zero upfront cost,” encourages Byrd.

How does it work, and how can your business benefit? Byrd and I break it down for you:

Are joint ventures for your business?

Let’s say you have an online course, e-book, or other digital product. You’d connect with influencers in your space whose audience has a need for what your service solves. You offer a generous revenue split to said influencer in exchange for her to email her list inviting them to what is often a free webinar. When the webinar occurs, you share high-value information that is aligned with what your service goes into at a deeper level. Any revenue generated is then shared.

How to build influencer relationships

Byrd suggests you, “Systemize niceness” which means you get a “return on investment from kindness and generosity”.

Where do you find the right influencers? “Go where your ideal partners, leaders, or peers already are.”

Start online. “Find the Facebook or LinkedIn groups where the people you are seeking to connect with spend time. Look for the movers and shakers in a group: the people providing real value and demonstrating deep expertise. Start liking their posts, commenting, and engaging in the dialogue in a meaningful way. After some time, shoot them a private message to continue the conversation.  Recommend a call to get to know each other along with exploring ways to support one another.”

For in-person opportunities, attend “conferences, masterminds, and workshops. Get in an active mental state primed for connecting and listening. Remember that it’s about them, not about you. Don’t try to connect with everyone. Instead, have deeper conversations with just two or three people so you actually get to know them. If the conversation is going well and you’re interested in exploring it further, ask for their contact information. It’s fine to share yours, but most people don’t follow-up. You can instantly stand out by being the person who does.”

Charles Byrd PHOTO CREDIT: DONOVAN BYRD

How to follow up

I’m a believer in following up within 24 business hours when a meeting is fresh in someone’s mind. In this way, you can demonstrate your credibility by being a person of your word and following up quickly.

Byrd suggests you, “Set a reminder to review your contacts and tasks, pinging them with a brief follow-up email and guiding next steps, such as providing your booking link for the next call. For example, you might write, ‘Hey Jordan- Great meeting you in San Francisco at the Dreamforce conference where we heard Deepak Chopra speak. I really enjoyed his point on XYZ…. You noted you were seeking to move ABC forward. Up for jumping on a call in the next week to continue our chat? Feel free to find a time that works well for you using (your scheduler link).”

Create a tracking system

Once you’ve met and done your initial follow-up, it’s a great idea to, “Have a pre-planned system for tracking. In it, include contact info, context of your conversation, any specific follow-up tasks (like lining up a meeting for next week, providing an introduction, or sharing a resource). I use Evernote to capture their business card simply by taking a picture of it. All the data off the card will turn into a searchable contact,” says Byrd.

“These systems enable me to book two to six joint-venture promotions per week, along with regularly landing new private and group clients. It has generated a deep list of friends and experts around the globe. These relationships are some of the most rewarding imaginable.”

Provide value

In both your initial interactions and follow-ups, be a conversation sleuth, always on the lookout for ways you can add value. “If someone is working on a new website, perhaps you know an amazing SEO person to whom you could introduce them.  Or, maybe they are having trouble keeping up with taking notes at the event. Recommend an app that simplifies the process. Do they have a new book coming out for which they want publicity? Invite them onto your podcast or introduce them to a friend of yours who has a show that is in alignment with the topic. Anything that helps facilitate their achieving something they want, or at least gets them one step closer…” is your aim. “It doesn’t have to be laborious.”

Maintain the relationship

Yes, your plate is full, however, a new relationship doesn’t have to be time-consuming to nurture. “If someone pops into your mind, ping them. It doesn’t have to be a narrative. It can be a simple as, ‘Hey- I was just out walking the dogs and you came to mind. How have you been? What are you up to that has you excited?’ I set reminders to follow up with people at appropriate times. If I come across something I think a particular person or two will really enjoy or gain value from, I’ll shoot them a link or the relevant info. If you’re going to a particular conference, ask your network who else is going.  Then, schedule time to meet up with them or host a dinner. It’s anything that makes people feel special, knowing you are watching out for things they will appreciate, or from which they will gain value.”

Get real results

“By using the techniques above I’ve gone from an unknown in the industry to working with big name clients. I’ve generated over 40,000 leads for my trainings and events without spending a dime on traffic. I’ve designed referral networks with some of the top influencers and marketers in the world. This has also allowed me to reach millions a year with my message.”

Which step will you take to begin to build and grow your joint-venture partnerships?

Want more success and fulfillment in your life? Then check out this free masterclass with Deepak Chopra and me. In it, we share the 5 key things you need to know to create a more meaningful life!

This article was originally published on Forbes.

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