Joint Ventures is the main and probably the only marketing strategy that Catherine has used in her business. It has grown her business in the last four years and it is what she lives and breathes.
When Catherine first worked with a mentor, who encouraged her strongly to do Joint Ventures, her first and very strong reaction was that she can’t ask people to help her and to promote her. It was so uncomfortable for her.
She had to have a very big mindset shift to understand that it’s OK to ask someone to promote her and they might say no and they might say yes.
Catherine taught and made sales but it felt very different to go out to her business peers and colleagues and ask them to promote her. It was a very uncomfortable thing that she had to get over.
Catherine also noticed that people are thinking that Joint Ventures have to be really big and complicated events. They look at all the big market systems, great, big Joint Ventures, multimillion, big commissions, lots of technology required to set up affiliate programs.
When she did her first Joint Venture, she only had 300 people on her list. She felt tiny in her business contacts. She tells us that you can do a Joint Venture no matter where you are, not needing any complicated technology, and you don’t have to pay large commission. People get stumped because they think that it has to be complicated and they don’t realize that they can start with something smaller, less complicated and more appropriate to where they are in their business.
Catherine also observed that people who don’t really understand how Joint Ventures work think that they can ask people to promote them at very short notice. This is really unfair on the person you’re asking. She gets emails from people saying they are launching something this month can she send an email tomorrow or next week. Joint Ventures are not things that happen on very short notice.
For a Joint Venture to really work, you have to invest the time upfront in developing the relationship. The Joint Venture itself can grow your list very quickly but you have to put the time in to developing the relationship first, and that’s the bit that can take longer.
Also, the more established somebody is in business, the more they are doing these promotions as part of their business model. The more likely they are to have them scheduled in advance. So if somebody comes up and asks if Catherine can promote him/her next month, Catherine usually says that there’s already someone scheduled in her diary for that month.
Catherine has been in business for four years and she had not used any other marketing strategy.
People usually misinterpret what a Joint Venture means and they think that it’s a big, online marketing, seven figure launch. Her definition on Joint Venture is that it is about leveraging somebody else’s community in order to reach a new audience. It doesn’t even have to be an online launch to do that. You give up your time and knowledge and in return, you get exposure.
Catherine’s business turn over the last couple of years has been 150,000 UK Pounds. If you use Joint Ventures, you don’t have to do all the Facebook ads and video stuff. You just have to be really good in leveraging the communities of the people who are doing that stuff.
Catherine’s advice is to not go out and ask for promotions when you don’t have an established product yet.
She created an online program – Get More Clients Saying Yes. She did a small launch to her list of 300 people and she gave a talk in London and she sold 12 places on it. She knew she had a really good product that her JV partners will be really confident to put in front of her audience. She knew she had fantastic testimonials from clients who got amazing results. She knew that she delivered good value in the webinar that she used to sell the product so her JV partners can be really confident that when they send their audience to her, even if they did not buy from her, they would not feel that they sent them to someone whom they will not be happy with.
She also knew her conversions so her JV partners would have some idea on what they could earn from it.
She did not go out with a brand new, untested and unsold product.
Catherine has spent four years growing her list, nurturing her list, taking really good care of her list, and building a really good reputation for herself and she’s not going to promote something that is completely unproven to them.
Catherine sold her program through a webinar. Her JV partner sent an email to her list, inviting them to come to her webinar. Then they would opt in for the webinar.
The JV partner would not be saying, go to Catherine’s webinar. They’d be saying, I’m hosting Catherine Watkin’s online training and so on the day of the webinar, the JV partner is there with her and leads the call and introduces her. Then at the end, after she makes her offer, the JV partner comes back in and says something about the offer. Then at the end of the webinar, they would send them to a payment page.
Catherine now uses Infusionsoft and her JV partners get their own affiliate link. She still runs dedicated webinars but not all of her JV partners will want to do that so now she also does one big webinar where her JV partners can invite their list to attend.
Now she only does dedicated webinars with a select few of her JV partners.
Her sales are tracked by Infusionsoft now and she also has a sales page and she now has the tech bells and whistles.
How did Catherine identify who her JV partners will be?
Catherine had a new business mentor who was telling her to do Joint Ventures and asked her who she knows and Catherine answered that she did not know anybody.
They then brainstormed to come up with a list. Catherine then realized that in the couple of years prior to her business really starting to take off, her business was a bit stuck.
In that time, she used to go to loads and loads of seminars all over the country. What she discovered was that she had built all of these friendships with other business owners who had big lists of people that she would like to reach but she has not been doing it with JVs in mind because it never occurred to her that she could use this strategy.
She was able to come up with a list of people and some of them, she was able to pick up the phone with because they became her friends. It was really scary for her to pick up the phone with people who have bigger businesses than hers and ask for their help.
Others, actually three, she sent a more formal proposal to, outlining the details of how much she sold the course, what percent of commission she was giving, the conversion rates from her previous webinars, and so on. One of them promoted her and the two ignored her. She realized that she did not have enough of a relationship with those two people.
The way Catherine had developed for her JV partners to promote her was that she developed her relationship with them in between 6 months and 18 months, prior to asking them to promote her.
Catherine says that you need to start in advance. There’s no real way around it. She uses her list as an example. Her list really trusts her and she provides them with value. She can go and check her emails and she can find that there’s an email from somebody that she has met networking once, six months ago and she hasn’t seen since then. And they say, “hey, I’m launching a program, would you mid promoting it for me?”
Catherine says that she’s not going to promote it because she values her list and community and that she’s only going to put people in front of them that she believes in and that she knows are going to give value.
If she only met you once, she doesn’t know that. She is in a heart centered space and if you are in a full on, make big money internet marketing space, and you can demonstrate that you can offer significant commissions, there are people who are going to promote you just on the basis of how much money they might make. However, that’s not the way it works in the world that Catherine operates in.
Even if you think that you are not going to do a JV for the next twelve months, start developing your relationships now because you want them to be there when you need them.
Catherine up until now, she has done it in a slightly more complicated way.
Last year, she did her first JV webinar on Sept 10th. What she does is she goes on a hosted webinar with each individual JV partner and she closes the cart 72 hours after the webinar. She finds that it works really well because you are not giving people a lot of space to go away and think about things and they’ve literally got that 72 hour period.
She does a sales page and open and close cart for each individual webinar that she does with her JV partners. So it’s more work for her team behind the scenes but she stuck with it because it works for her.
If it’s not broke don’t fix it and sometimes when you tweak something in your business, you don’t know what the effect is going to be and she had not felt ready to take that risk.
This year, she’s probably going to do a more traditional style and probably have it open for two weeks and then close it and allow all of the webinars to just feed into one system and then close it.
She doesn’t know yet how it will work for her but it will be more streamlined and a lot easier to run and manage at the back end.
Does Catherine have an affiliate manager when she does her launches?
Yes, Catherine says that you have to have one for the launch.
Her focus has to be on making sure that she has to be ready for each webinar and that she’s doing a good job on each one and that she’s doing the sales.
Some people would want to speak with her and she’ll have a quick chat with them to help them make their mind up. Herding the JV partners is such a big job and this is the downside of JVs. You are dealing with human beings and just because a human being says that they are going to do something, does not mean they are. You can have all your JV partners lined up and you have to manage them so closely to make sure that they’re doing what they say they do and when they’re going to do it.
During her launches she has a JV manager, whose responsibility is to manage those relationships. To make sure that they have the dates in their diary at exactly what day they are promoting her and what dates they are sending up the follow up emails. That they have everything on time, their email copy, and their affiliate links, when they need it.
It takes a particular personality to be able to be comfortable to follow up with the JV partners.
What things does Catherine do to nurture her relationship with her JV partners?
Usually Catherine has a spa day for her JV partners because most of them are women. They are her business friends. They usually message each other on Skype and they have coffee together.
She keeps in touch as best as she can. This is also a bit of her business that will need a little streamlining. For Catherine it is a very personal thing and she believes that reaching out to them personally is the most valuable thing.
The one thing you should do right away to get started with Joint Ventures
Catherine says that you should start building your relationships today. Even if you are not sure the strategy is for you, draw up a list of if in your wildest dreams, these people could promote you to their community, who will it be?
Draw up a list and start thinking about how you can start developing relationships with these people.
Catherine talks about her program and what results you can expect from it
Catherine’s flagship program – Get More Clients Saying Yes – is an 8 week online program designed to help take somebody who is feeling uncomfortable about sales or struggling with their sales conversations.
She teaches them to go through the sales conversation in a way that it feels authentic and comfortable.
She asks her students to join the course with the absolute intention that they are going to get the investment in the program back within the 8 weeks of the course because if they do that, the course will pay for itself and they have the skills for the lifetime of their business, and most people do.
One of the modules actually cover how to price and package your offering so that you can set good, healthy process, really know what you’re selling, and learn how to articulate that in a way that your ideal client hears you loud and clear.
You want your clients to have an internal yes when you are in that conversation, even before you ask them whether they are ready to go ahead and that’s what the course is all about.
It’s for anyone who is struggling to get enough clients and doesn’t know quite what they don’t know.
There’s plenty of people out there teaching how you can attract clients. However, the problem is that too many people are spending their time, money and energy on things like Facebook ads, social media, blogging, video blogging, even Joint Ventures – but they don’t know how to convert the client at the end of the process.
It’s like pouring all of that money and energy into a bucket with a hole at the bottom.
Catherine believes that every business owner needs to know how to sell in a really congruent and authentic way and then you can direct as much marketing as you want to your business because you know how to keep those clients sticking around with you.
The best way to learn more about it is to go to: sellingfromtheheart.com/jvsuccess. It will take you through Catherine’s 7 steps to yes process for authentic sales conversations. You will get a real flavor of Catherine’s approach and you can decide whether the program is for you or not.