A weekly marketing column by Graham McGregor

Graham McGregor: Partnership Marketing

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Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

Often in business it can be easier to get the help of other people to achieve a marketing goal. (Rather than try and do everything yourself.)

The reason is simple.

Each of us in business has a limited amount of resources that we can use for marketing. So when we team up with other businesses, our combined resources can often allow us to accomplish more from working together than we could achieve by ourselves.

And that leads me to a simple strategy I call 'Partnership Marketing.'

It works like this.

Step One: Identify 8-10 other businesses who have similar types of clients to your business

Let's say you are a printer and you have a lot of business owners as clients.

Your list of other businesses might include organisations like:

* A signwriting firm
* A commercial photographer
* An accountant
* A website designer
* An advertising consultant
and so on.

All of these businesses would have a number of business owners as existing clients.

If you are a ladies hair dresser you have lady clients.

Your list of other businesses might include:

* A beauty therapist
* A personal trainer
* A style consultant
* A massage therapist
and so on.

All of these businesses would also have lady clients.

Step Two: Approach each business and suggest you create a short reference guide together.

This guide will contain helpful 'how to' advice from each business. Give the guide you create a catchy title. Eg 'The insider's guide to business success' or 'The Ladies Guide to Looking and Feeling Great'.

Step Three: Ask each business to provide a helpful two page article with tips that a reader will find useful.

In the 'Insiders guide to business success' you might have articles like these.

* A sign writer shares 3 ways to use signs to promote your business.

* The website designer gives 4 keys to a successful website.

* The accountant has 2 helpful tips to improve business profits.

And so on.

In the 'Ladies Guide to looking and feeling great' you might have articles like these...

* A beauty therapist could give 3 simple tips to have radiant, healthy looking skin.

* A style consultant might share 2 tricks to choosing clothes that flatter your figure.

* A massage therapist explains a simple way to reduce stress and tension.

And so on.

Step Four: Have each business invest a small amount of money. (Say $200-$300 each.)

This will cover the costs of having the guide produced. You will need people to edit the articles, layout the guide so it looks good etc. (And if have you a combined budget of $2,000-$3,000, this allows you to get good people to do these types of things for you.)

Step Five: Have each business share the completed guide with their own database.

This is a key part of the partnership marketing process. I recommend you share this helpful 'how to' guide in a digital format, so clients can read and download it from your website.

Providing your guide has helpful information that is genuinely useful and relevant to your clients, a number of them will be happy to read it.

The end result is that each business in the guide is now in front of a lot of potential new clients. And they are doing this in an added value way by sharing helpful ideas.

Partnership marketing is based on the principle of working together towards a common goal. So each business in this 'how to 'guide example helps all the others as well. And by pooling resources it can allow each business to achieve far more together than they could by working alone.

Partnership Marketing could be worth testing in your own business.

'Doing things for others always pays dividends' - Claude M Bristol

Action Step:
Make a list of other businesses that have similar clients to yours (but are not direct competitors.) How could you work together with some of these businesses in your marketing?

Graham McGregor is a marketing consultant and the creator of the 396 page 'Unfair Business Advantage Report.' www.theunfairbusinessadvantage.com (This is free and has now been read by business owners from 27 countries.) You can email him at the link above.

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A weekly marketing column by Graham McGregor

Graham has had 36 years 'hands on' experience in sales and marketing. He has sold a range of services including advertising, sales training, personal development, life insurance, IT services, investment property and business consulting services.

Read more by Graham McGregor

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