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When you have a digital product, you’re always going to be on the lookout for ways to generate MORE leads. But at some point, when you’ve already pitched your product to your own audience, you’ll need to figure out how you can GROW your audience and get more sales.
That’s when you need to start looking outward, to your friends in other complimentary niches with audiences that will be interested in you and your content or product.
This is exactly what we’re focusing on in episode 056 of the Rebel Boss Ladies Podcast: how to use the joint venture (JV) webinar strategy to get more leads and sales for your digital product.
What exactly is a joint venture webinar?
A joint venture webinar is when you partner with someone else (usually in a complimentary niche) to host a webinar where you pitch your product exclusively for their audience.
You may have heard of JV webinars, or even attended one – they’re a great way to get leads and pitch your product to a new, fresh audience.
If you’re considering leading a JV webinar to pitch your product, it’s also important to know what you need to do to get it off the ground. The division of labor in a Joint Venture webinar is:
1. Your partner is the one who will promote the webinar for you with their audience. Just like any other webinar, they’ll send emails and share on social media in the hopes that they can get as many sign-ups for the event as possible.
2. You are the one who does everything else, including setting up the webinar on the backend, creating the webinar content, and most importantly, you host the webinar itself and pitch your product. To be even more helpful in supporting your partner, you can also provide them with the resources to share with their audience, like copy or graphics.
Why should you host a joint venture webinar?
There are so many reasons why you should host a joint venture webinar, and they can help your business in SO many ways. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider one:
1. Lead Generation is the primary goal for hosting a joint venture webinar
At some point, if you’ve been pitching your product, you’ll have burnt out your own audience. Once that happens, you’ll need to grow it externally and that’s when you can partner with someone to pitch your product exclusively to their audience.
Remember – you would have never been exposed to your partner’s audience if not for this joint venture, so it’s a really great way for you to reach a new group of potential leads.
2. Webinars are high value and lead to high conversion rates
A joint venture webinar in particular is a high value event, which means it will be great for generating sales.
Throughout the webinar itself you get to educate this new audience and close knowledge gaps, which leads to building that Know Like and Trust factor. Then, when you pitch your product after the fact, it’ll lead to more sales because you’ve warmed up this new audience.
3. Joint venture webinars are SO easy for partners to promote
Because webinars are high value, and because you’re doing it exclusively for your partner’s audience, a joint venture webinar is very easy for your partner to promote… which means they’ll be more excited and willing to hype the event up with their audience.
Their audience will also get excited, because attending a webinar like this one is an easy yes because of all of that free value.
4. It can be a great cash injection for you and your business between launches
If you have an open/close launch format, then hosting a joint venture webinar with a partner can be a great way for you to get new customers between open cart periods. This means that you can use a joint venture webinar to inject some additional earnings into your business… and that’s never a bad thing, is it?
Finding the right person to collaborate with for a joint venture
Let’s be real, even though joint ventures are a great strategy in many circumstances, not everyone is a good fit for you to collaborate with. So who should you be looking for?
First of all, size does matter. If someone’s audience is too small, it’s probably not a good fit. I usually don’t like to judge by audience size, but hosting a joint venture webinar can take some work. If the numbers simply aren’t there, then it’s probably not going to be worth your time.
Let’s break it down:
If your webinar typically has a 7% conversion rate with your audience, you can expect the conversion rate for a joint venture will be slightly lower than that simply due to the fact that it’s not your audience and they aren’t as warm to you. So let’s predict a 4% to 5% conversion rate.
Let’s say they have an audience of 200 people. You have to assume that only a percentage of those people will actually sign up to attend – so let’s say that 50% of their audience signs up for the webinar.
That puts us at 100 people. But probably only 30% of them will actually show up to the workshop, so we’re down to 30 people.
30 people with a 5% conversion rate means 1.5. Rounding down, that’s 1 sale. Is 1 sale worth the work for the joint venture?
That being said, every situation is different. If you’re in a notoriously small but intimate niche, that may work out okay, just make sure to factor that in. Don’t forget to consider what YOUR conversion rates typically are as that would also probably change up these numbers.
Another really important consideration when you’re looking for a partner is their niche. You want to find someone who’s in a complimentary, but not directly competitive, niche. You’re looking for someone who has the same audience as you, but they’re offering different services or products to that audience.
For example, if the person you partner with offers exactly the same sort of services and products that you offer, they’ll have less of an incentive to promote widely because your product competes with theirs. They may even say no to hosting a joint venture altogether.
Because why would they share their audience with you to sell your product, which would mean they only get a percentage of the sale, when they could share their own product and earn 100% of the pie.
An example of complimentary niches is my own business – I teach people how to launch digital products, so I might choose to partner with sales copywriters or with my friend Krista who teaches about virtual summits. These people will all have similar audiences, but they provide different services than I provide so we aren’t in direct competition.
How to motivate your potential partners to say YES!
So you’ve identified someone who could be a great potential partner for a joint venture… but how do you get them to say yes when you actually reach out to them?
Finding the right partner and getting them to say yes really depends in large part on your relationship with that person. You’re never going to find a stranger on the web, pitch them a JV and have them say yes – they don’t know, trust or have a relationship with you yet.
Accepting to host a JV webinar is a big deal – your partners go out on a limb to not only share your event, but by extension share your product. They need to know you and trust you and have a relationship with you before they'll be willing to take that step.
So the very first and most important thing you need to do is build a relationship with these people.
There’s a lot of ways that you can do this – a great strategy for me has been leveraging my podcast. I find people to invite to my podcast, which is an easy yes for a stranger. We build a relationship through that process, and eventually I might turn around and suggest we host a JV collaboration at some point. I don’t do this for everyone, but if it feels right I definitely go for it.
Another thing that works well is hosting a summit. That's a big part of my business, and oftentimes my summit speakers will be interested in further collaborations down the line. It actually can sometimes go both ways – speakers have asked me to do collaborations with them, and I’ve invited them to do collaborations with me.
Finally, a huge part of getting your partners to say YES to a collaboration is the commission that they’ll receive.
Make sure to think about your affiliate commission structure and the product pricing – you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who’s going to be willing to host a JV webinar with you for a $47 product and 40% commission. That’s $18.80 a sale – it’s not nothing, but it’s certainly not a lot for the amount of work that might go into planning and promoting the event.
Typically JVs will be for higher priced products; I did a Joint Venture once for a product priced in the thousands, which meant that even one sale would generate nearly $600 in commissions for me. The product you’re selling or your partner is selling certainly doesn’t have to be that high, but you want to make sure that it’s worth it for both of you.
One way that I figure out whether or not someone will be a good partner is to set up a call with a potential affiliate and talk to them about the numbers, starting with how many people they think they can get to the event. Then based on that number, you can calculate right there on the call how much they could possibly earn based on your product price, your typical conversion rate, and your typical commission structure.
How to plan your joint venture
Here’s a very quick overview of what you need to do to plan for your Joint Venture. Make sure you’re giving yourself enough time to make sure that you’re able to promote the event and organize your presentation and pitch.
1. Pick a mutually beneficial date. This should hopefully be self explanatory – you obviously want to both be able to attend and have it work well with you, your partner, and the audience that will attend the presentation.
2. Collect basic information from your partner. Don’t forget all of the important pieces like their email, headshots, and social media channels they use – that way you can plan the promotion schedule (if they’re going to be presenting) or support them in the promotion (if you’ll be the one hosting the webinar).
3. Prompt your partner to take action. An important part of a JV collaboration is making sure they sign up for your affiliate program, so they can receive their commissions from the sales at the event.
4. Setup the backend. This means setting up the webinar software, creating graphics, and testing the signup process – everything that you need to do to make sure that the promotion and the event run smoothly.
5. Provide your partner with the information that they need to promote. Remember, you want to make this as easy as possible for them if you’re hosting the webinar for their audience, so you want to send them an email with everything in a packet so that links are all in one place. I like to send a calendar that includes:
- what emails to send and on what date,
- what graphics to share and on what date,
- what social media copy to use and on what date, and
- the affiliate link that they should use. Don’t forget to test and make sure this works!
6. Prepare the event. You should finalize the webinar slides and the pitch, test the sign up process, and iron out all of those details in advance so you’re ready to go the day of the event. Throughout all of this, don’t forget to check in on your partner with their promotion and support when needed!
7. Finally – it’s time to actually HOST the event!
Supporting your speaker with the resources they need
Since the success of your joint venture depends solely on the success of your partner’s promotional efforts, I can’t emphasize enough that you should definitely do everything you can to support your partner throughout the planning and promotion of your joint venture.
There are a lot of different ways, but here are a few key ways that I try to support any partners that I work with.
First, create a google drive file for your partners that contains EVERYTHING that they’ll need to make promotion easy and painless. In this drive file, you should include:
- Promotional graphics for all different platforms, including social media square graphics, graphics for instagram stories and graphics for Pinterest
- Social media copy, the captions for the graphics, that they can easily just copy and paste onto their posts
- Complete emails they can send out to their list. Don’t forget to include subject lines!
Next, create an airtable schedule for them, or develop a calendar on whatever platform you prefer to use. This schedule should explain on what date they should be sharing and scheduling each of these posts and emails. To make it even easier and more painless, make sure you also include links to the copy and the graphics.
Finally, you want to make sure that all of the information they need is right at their fingertips. Create a document in the Google Drive folder with their unique information, which might include:
- What they can expect on webinar day
- Their links to join the webinar
- Their affiliate link
- The date and time of the webinar
- The link to the airtable schedule to promote
- Payout information
- Any other relevant FAQs
Once you have all of this ready to go, send an email to your partner at the very least 1 month before your webinar. This gives them time to schedule any promotional content in advance, and just in case it also gives you time to follow up with them if need be.
Remember, with all of the planning and effort you put into your JV webinar, you don’t want it to be a rush. Be clear to express that when you suggest to your partner when promotion should kick off and clearly link to the resources they need so it’s easy peasy for them.
As the event gets closer, make sure you touch base with them. You can ask them how promotion is going and what you can do to help, update them regularly as registrations start coming in, and touch base before the live event to send relevant links and remind them of your expectations.
The more support you can give, the more successful your event will be.
And that’s it! Good luck on your first (or next) joint venture webinar!