Archive for the ‘How To’ Category

JV deals: 5 ways to find your contacts without a JV Broker

Friday, April 9th, 2010

So it’s time to roll out your company’s next big promotion. You’ve got 100 spots in your seminar you decided to hold next month, you’re excited, and all you have to do is fill the seats.

Just one problem:

your list isn’t big enough yet to support it, and you don’t know who to get to mail for you. Who you gonna call?

Finding the right decision makers is the first step to any successful joint venture mailing. Ideally you’d know someone that already has connections, but it’s surprising how fast deals can come together sometimes if you’ve got the right offer and you know how to approach your influencer of choice. It’s finding those influencers that this article’s going to help out with, so here’s my 5 favorite ‘oh I hadn’t thought of that’ ways to find the list leaders of your industry:

1. Twitter.
Or more specifically, twellow. Twellow is kind of an online yellow pages for tweeters. Most importantly however, it sorts by list size and category. Just scroll over to your category, and start looking through the top couple of dozen profiles. Check out their website, you can usually tell if they’ve got a decent sized list to go with their large twitter following based on their lead capture methods. Don’t think they’ve got an email tribe to match the twitter followers? Don’t discount a twitter only JV, the response rate as a rule won’t be as high, but it can still be worth a lot to get an industry influencer to tweet out your prelaunch content.
QUICK TIP: don’t forget to look up complimentary categories. If you’re the raw food guru, maybe you could put together an exclusive webinar with some weight loss stories? Maybe if you’re launching an ebook for creating your own solar panels, you can add some value to a guru teaching about how to cut down monthly expenses?

2. Tweepsearch
long as we’re talking about twitter… here’s one of my favorites for finding niche leaders. Just type in your keywords, and it’ll pull up tweeters that have those keywords in their bio. It only searches bios, not tweeted content… just type in a relevant keyword, sort by follower count, and see what you’ve uncovered.

3. LinkedIn
or more specifically, niche groups in linkedin. Group creators in linked in (depending on your industry) are often going to have an email list as well… and even if they don’t? Guess what? Group creators can email all members of the group, so a group doubles as a list. With the right pitch and value based pre-launch content, even that can make for a solid mailing opportunity.
If you’re lucky, there might even be some groups dedicated to the teachers in your niche, not just the consumers. When it comes to actually contacting the influencer you’ve chosen, even if you found them on twitter linked in can often be the way to go. It’s difficult to find email addresses and phone numbers that will get you anywhere, so alternative strategies can be the order of the day here.

4. Events
this one’s hopefully obvious, but you’ll never find a better time for networking than an in person event. Which really leads me to my number one tip…

5. the influencers you already know. I already know a few large list holders in the real estate training space just for one example… and you know what that makes me? Two degrees removed from a very large number of potential JVs, and probably three degrees from all of the ones I’d care about at all.
Making your first two contacts is going to be the part that matters most, so instead of going for a ‘deal’, make friends. What can you do to help them in their business? As great as online is and as much research potential as it has, nothing will do better than a little help from the right friend.

Your task: New Local Business Client. What Comes First?

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

I’ve just recently started working with local businesses to help even out the cash flow in between product launch clients, and there’s one thing I’ve realized:

If there’s ever been a group that could profit quickly from some solid online help, it’s local businesses.

It’s a recession, and I know how many businesses are struggling to bring in new clients… but no wonder they’re having problems when they’re paying $3,000 for an ‘online brochure’.

No wonder they’re struggling when they’re managing their email list by hand. I kid you not, I’ve found multiple clients already that are doing just that.

No wonder they’re struggling when the action customers are supposed to take is to go to the ‘contact us’ page and call. Really? No call to action? No lead generating magnet above the fold? No tracking of any kind? Really?

So if you’re in local business or you have a friend with a local business, help them out. Make sure they’re using these two things, they’re both low cost and very high return on investment.

1. An auto-responder. Building a customer database and having an easy way to follow up is obviously critical. Do you know how much dentist offices raise business just by sending out an ‘it’s time for your yearly checkup’ postcard? Direct mail costs too much money to do regularly, and a good relationship with an email list can convert just as well if not better.

The most important parts of doing this right are going to revolve around choosing the offer you want to give people to sign up (‘free newsletter’ is not going to cut it, conversions are going to be in the tenth of a percent) and there’s also going to have to be a plan for having a good followup sequence. Testimonials and case studies woven in with content is a good choice. This also provides an easy way to monetize paid traffic within a few days, either by encouraging a phone call or some kind of purchase. Don’t forget to track! (google analytics will be my bonus third tool I’m recommending. It’s free, and anyone can figure it out in an afternoon).

So, how do you build an email list? Aweber. It’s simple, it’s cheap, and it does more than you’d ever need it to do. Businesses with an email list can often start cutting down advertising budgets on account of a much more steady flow of business from old clients.

2. the second tool every business needs is wordpress, hands down. Are you tired of asking your webmaster to change every little thing on the website? How long does it take him to make the changes when you ask? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to go in and just do it yourself without having to learn all that technical nonsense? Enter wordpress. If you can use microsoft word, now you can manage your own website. The best part? It’s free, and it’s not any more expensive to get a wordpress style site done than it is to get a ‘normal’ site.

If you know what wordpress is (a blogging platform) you might be wondering whether or not your site will end up looking like a blog. That wouldn’t work for most businesses of course, so I thought I’d post an example to put your mind at ease:
would you have guessed this was a wordpress site?

best of all, it lets you regularly add good content to help bring in new people and build relationship with old customers. Nothing works better in SEO than regular content, and with wordpress you can even set it up so that you can just email your posts, it’ll add them to the site automatically. Or if that sounds too complicated and fancy, train the intern to post it and email them your posts instead.

Moral of the story? Use wordpress, I cringe anytime I see a business that isn’t. Then when you’re site’s up, use it to start building an email list and a permanent relationship with your customers.