Courtesy of Alex Pirouz
Over the course of building and selling two successful companies, I realized you have to find a market hungry for your services where demand is high and supply is low.
That’s your fastest way to a successful business, given you provide a quality product or service.
Eventually I developed a methodology through LinkedIn to help me take a shortcut to claiming my share of the market, even in a saturated marketplace. Now, I teach businesspeople my shortcut through my company, Linkfluencer.
I use the untapped power of joint venture partnerships — your most important connections on LinkedIn.
Why chase one when you can get in front of thousands?
A joint venture partnership is a process of finding products and services your target market uses before, during or after your particular service, and then approaching those businesses to partner with. It makes your time spent marketing much more efficient.
In an ever-crowded marketplace, any edge you can get can be the difference between success and failure. Sure, you can spend time trying to generate single leads through LinkedIn, but why not get to thousands in a short space of time by finding a good-quality partner who has database hungry for your service?
For example, if you have a $1,000 product and you spend one week trying to close a deal, then it’s taken you a week to make $1,000.
However, let’s say you find a partner who introduces you to 10 of their clients. Because you’ve been recommended by someone they trust, it only takes a week to close the deals, and you’ve just created 10 times the business in the same amount of time.
It usually takes 7-10 steps to turn a cold prospect into a closed deal, but a partner introduction can decrease these touch points significantly.
LinkedInThe advanced people search option on LinkedIn.
How to find partners on LinkedIn
Now that you realize the importance of getting partners on board and how it makes your business more efficient, it’s time to find those partners.
First things first: Identify your ideal partners by planning out what your clients do before, during, or after they use your product or service.
For example, if you’re a web designer, it’s highly likely that your prospects would go to a graphic designer first for a new logo before needing a website.
Therefore, you should be searching for established graphic designers to partner with who can pass clients on to you when they are ready for a new website design.
Using the advanced search features of LinkedIn available to any member, you can search for graphic designers (freelance or business owners) and then connect with them on LinkedIn.
Once you find them, send them a personalized invitation to connect.
Building relations with partners
Once you have identified the partners and connected with them on LinkedIn, you need to be strategic in your approach.
Most people send a message to prospects straight away, basically outlining what they want from them. It’s spammy, rude and intrusive. Whatever you do, don’t do this!
Wait at least two weeks to start sending them good-quality content and building your relationship. For example, if you have connected with someone who is an accountant, find a good article from a credible publication around the accounting industry and then send them a message or email to say:
Hey [name], I came this article earlier today and given you operate in the accounting industry, I thought you’d find it valuable.
[link to article]
Interested to hear your thoughts.
Then, once you feel you have connected with them enough, perhaps ask them to chat on Skype to see if there’s any way you can collaborate. Remember your goal within the session is to build trust, rapport, and identify whether or not there is room for collaboration opportunities.
If there is a good fit, let that partner know that you will go away and think of a few ways you could add value to them and their community. Then get back in touch with the partner for a follow-up call or face-to-face meeting to chat further.
This is a completely different angle on using LinkedIn than anyone else — most people use it for lead generation on a one-on-one basis. Yes, at the end of the day you are also generating leads, but you’re getting partners to promote to their community, helping you generate hundreds, if not thousands, of leads in a very short period of time.
As Mark Twain said: “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).” This is a prime example of that concept. Set yourself apart by using LinkedIn to build relationships and find joint venture partnerships.
Alex Pirouz is the founder of Linkfluencer, the world’s largest online community for LinkedIn training, having serviced over 14,000 people from 33 countries in 55 different industries. To find out more about Alex head to Linkfluencer.