Now that you’ve hammered out the details of your bundle event, you need to find partners who’re willing to participate. There are two ways to do this, as shown below. Ideally, you’ll use both of these methods:
1. Find and recruit partners directly. This is the best way to get high-quality partners in your niche. Simply put, the biggest marketers rarely go out looking for opportunities, since they already have more projects crossing their desks than they know what to do with. As such, they probably won’t approach you. If you want them onboard, you’ll need to approach them. (More on that in a moment.)
2. Advertise your bundle event so that potential partners may approach you. The idea here is to make a publicly available submission form, along with a description of the event and the benefits your partners receive when they join the event. You can then promote this page to your platforms, in relevant groups, and anywhere else that your target market may see it.
Note: this is a case where you may need to review a potential partner’s contribution and do your due diligence on that person before you accept their submission. Your name is going to be associated with your partners’ names, so be sure that you’re only working with reputable people in your niche.
As mentioned, finding and recruiting partners directly is something you’ll need to do if you want to have a really successful event. So, let’s go through the steps…
Finding Potential Partners
The first thing you need to do is develop a list of potential partners. If you’ve been working in your niche for any length of time, then you no doubt can name several potential partners right off the top of your head. Go ahead and start a list of potential partners, beginning with the names you already know. Then continue to grow your list using the steps below.
What you’re looking for are marketers who have the following qualifications:
1. They have big platforms – big lists, big social media followings, and/or a popular blog. You want marketers who have some reach, as the success of your bundle depends on partners who can do a good job of promoting it.
TIP: Want to find out who consistently out-promotes others in the market? Then search for past affiliate contests (and join upcoming ones) in order to see the leaderboards. You’ll note that some marketers almost always appear on the “top 10” leaderboards – these are the sorts of folks you’ll want to recruit to your bundle event.
2. They’re product creators. Indeed, they should be known for creating high-quality, in-demand products. Again, part of the success of your bundle is going to depend on if you have in-demand products… especially those coming from marketers with some name recognition in your niche.
3. The marketers should have good reputations. In addition to putting out products with good reputations, you need to also be sure the marketers themselves are known to be professional and trustworthy. Your name is going to be associated with all your partners’ names, so you want to be sure you only deal with trustworthy business owners.
So, with those issues in mind, let’s walk through the different ways to find partners. Then we’ll talk about how to do your due diligence on each potential partner. Read on…
How to Find Potential Partners
Now that you know what you’re looking for in a potential partner, how do you go about finding them? Check out these ideas…
Do a Google Search
Your first few searches can be on the broad keywords related to your niche (e.g., “online marketing” or “organic gardening”). It’s a good idea to use multiple related search terms in order to uncover as many potential partners as possible.
For example, if you’re trying to find potential partners in a weight-loss market, you might search for terms such as:
· Weight loss.
· Lose weight.
· Fat loss.
And so on.
Also, be sure to include your niche-specific keywords in your searches. Here are three examples of search terms targeting different niches:
· Low-carb dieting.
· Weight loss over 40.
· Fat loss for women.
As you complete these searches, do two things:
1. Pay attention to the top websites that show up in these searches. Chances are, the sites that rank well for competitive keywords are likely to have owners with big platforms.
2. Take note of the sponsored results. Not everyone is interested in investing time into search engine optimization. Some people prefer to get exposure through paid advertising. That’s why you’ll also want to check the sponsored results for potential partners.
Your second set of searches should be focused on finding marketers with big platforms. In this case, you’ll search for the same types of niche-specific keywords (e.g. “low-carb dieting”), except in this case you’ll search for platforms. Your search terms may include:
· WordPress (which is one of the most popular blog platforms).
· Discussion forum.
· Mailing list.
If you do the above searches, you should be able to add quite a few names to your list of potential partners.
Then move onto the next step…
See Who’s Working Together
As you go through the top sites in your niche, take note of whom these top marketers are working with (e.g., creating products together, doing webinars together and so on). All of these partners are your potential partners too.
Check the Big Marketplace Platforms
The idea here is to check marketplaces in order to see who has the top-selling products in your niche. You may search the following marketplaces:
Take note of who’s selling the top products, and then move onto the next step…
Browse Social Media
For this step, you’ll want to search social media (especially Facebook and YouTube) to find out who in your niche has a large, active following. Simply use the platform’s search boxes to search for your niche keywords (e.g., “dog training”).
Take note that you’re looking for both large and ACTIVE followings. That’s because some people have their networks filled with bots or unresponsive, untargeted followers. You want to focus on marketers who get plenty of likes, shares, and comments whenever they post.
Ask Your Audience
If you want to uncover still more potential partners, then ask your audience for their recommendations.
Now take note, you’re not asking your audience with whom you should partner. Instead, you’ll ask them to name their favorite authors, bloggers, social media pages and products in your niche. These answers will all lead you to potential partners (though you’ll likely have most of these people already on your list of potential partners).
Once you’ve created your list of potential partners, then you’ll need to weed out those who you don’t want associated with your bundle event. That’s what is next…
How to Do Your Due Diligence
As mentioned, your name is going to be associated with the names of everyone who contributes to your bundle. That’s why you want to make sure you deal with high-quality partners only.
There are some people on your list whom you simply know to be high-quality partners. These are the folks whose reputations precede them. You can move these potential partners to the “good” list.
Chances are, there are a few people you don’t recognize (or you are only marginally aware of them, but you don’t know much about them besides their name). These are the folks you’re going to need to research (AKA do your due diligence).
The simplest way to do this is to research a potential partner using Google or your favorite search engine. Here’s what you’re searching for:
· The potential partner’s name.
· The potential partner’s business name.
· The potential partner’s website (if different from their name or business name).
· The potential partner’s products.
What you’re looking for are any red flags that could point to problems, such as a pattern of complaints by prospects, customers, affiliates and other business associates.
Take note: just about any business who does a lot of volume is bound to have some complaints. What you’re looking for is how the potential partner handled the complaint.
For example, maybe a potential partner has an affiliate complaining of not being paid commissions. You then read up to discover it was the fault of a software glitch, and the potential partner took care of it as soon as they were made aware of it. That’s good – that is NOT a red flag.
On the other hand, maybe the potential partner has a string of no-pay or slow-paying when it comes to affiliates, and you’re not seeing any evidence that these complaints have been resolved. Big red flag.
Or perhaps multiple customers complain of poor customer service – slow replies, not honoring guarantees, or similar. These too are big red flags.
Or maybe you see that a product creator has really bad reviews for all their products. Again, this is a bad sign.
If you see any red flags like those mentioned above, or anything else that gives you a bad feeling about a potential partner, cross them off your list. When you’re all done, then you’ll be left with a list of the “best of the best” potential partners.
Now your next step is to recruit these partners to join your bundle event. That’s the next step…
Recruiting Potential Partners
People like to do business with those they know, like and trust. As such, it will be far easier for you to recruit partners if you build a relationship with them first. Or, at a very minimum, you need to at least develop some name recognition in the niche.
NOTE: The last resort is to simply approach these partners cold. At the end of this section you’ll get an email that you can use to utilize this approach.
So, the question is, how do you develop name recognition (or, preferably, relationships with potential partners)? Check out these ideas…
Become an Affiliate for a Potential Partner
If you can generate a lot of sales for a potential partner, then you can be sure they’ll sit up and take notice. Even better is if you join an affiliate contest and land on the leaderboard. In short, help your potential partner out, and they’ll be more open to building a relationship with you.
Which brings us to the next point…
Help the Potential Partner in Some Other Way
You want to be careful with this method. That’s because you don’t want to offer unsolicited help that could be construed as insulting.
For example, if you redesign someone’s logo, they may feel insulted. This is particularly true if they really like the original design, if they invested a lot of time or money into it, or if someone they know created the original. If you then offer this unsolicited “fix,” it’s likely the potential partner will feel insulted. They’re not going to like you. And your attempt to “help” will backfire in a big way.
Here are a couple examples of ways to help:
· Help out when the person asks for help. For example, if a potential partner posts on social media asking a question about how to do something, that’s a case where you can feel free to offer your help (if and only if you’re qualified to answer the question).
· Help out if it’s not insulting. For example, let’s suppose you find a broken script on the person’s website. You can dash them off a message to let them know their form doesn’t work, and usually people will be receptive and happy that you informed them. (If you know what the problem is, then be sure to share this information. Just don’t do it in a condescending, “know it all”’ type way.)
Engage the Potential Partner on Social Media
The idea here is to simply engage the partner on Facebook (both Pages and Groups), Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and other platforms. Contribute thoughtfully. Directly address the potential partner. And whatever you do, don’t draw negative attention to yourself by spamming.
If you open up a dialogue with a potential partner, don’t be afraid to take it to personal message. This is a good way to start building a relationship, if the potential partner is open to accepting private messages from those they don’t know too well (at least not yet).
Comment on the Potential Partner’s Blog
Same idea here as above – post thoughtfully. If the blog owner asks a question, answer it. If they reply to your comment, thank them and keep the discussion going. The point of this method and the above method is to become a recognized, valued member of the potential partner’s community.
Introduce Yourself at an Offline Event
One of the best ways to get to know someone is to go to offline events and talk to them in the hallway between speakers, or visit with them at after-hours get-togethers.
Now heads up…
A lot of people network this way. But where a lot of people fail is that they approach potential partners and start pitching them. The biggest names in your niche are going to get dozens of people pressing business cards into their hands and pitching various ideas.
If you want to stick out from this crowd, then you need to take a different approach. A good way to do it is to approach the business owner on a personal level. Find common interests, and talk about those.
Let’s suppose the business owner often refers to a hobby, pet or something else on their social media page. If you share this interest, then you can connect with the person based on that shared interest. (Provided the interest is genuine, of course.)
For example, let’s suppose both you and the potential partner have an interest in travel, and you’ve discovered that you’ve traveled to many of the same locations (perhaps spots that are off the beaten path, not the usual tourist traps). You talk about what you liked and disliked about your travels.
Or maybe you both like fishing. Or raising cocker spaniels. Or attending the opera. Or doing marathons. Or hydroponic gardening. Or restoring Mustangs. Or forging hand-made knives.
Any common interest will do. However, opening a dialogue about an interest that’s somewhat rare is even better. For example, lots of folks have cocker spaniels. Not nearly as many forge knives. As such, talking about the lesser-known hobby will help you engage and connect with the person.
So, here’s the thing…
While everyone else at the conference, expo, trade show or other event is pitching their business, you connect with the person about a shared interest. Sunday night when the event is over and everyone has gone home, who do you think the potential partner is going to remember? That’s right, you and your conversation are going to stick out in their minds. And you’ll be able to follow up with the person via their preferred contact method to continue the conversation and start building a relationship.
Here's another idea…
Ask Current Partners to Introduce You to Others
If you already know some people in your niche, then ask these current partners to introduce you to their partners.
E.G., “Hey Jim, I see that you’ve been working with Lisa. Would you do me a favor and introduce us? I think she’d make a great addition to my upcoming bundle event. I’d really appreciate you sending an introductory email…”
And here’s one more idea…
Build a Successful Business
If you want to get on everyone’s radar and start building name recognition, then you need to focus on building a successful business. This means:
· Growing your platforms, including your social media channels, blog and newsletter list.
· Putting out good products (and getting them on the bestseller lists).
· Developing a good reputation among your customers, affiliates and other partners.
· Working with “big name” partners in the niche. (Sometimes all it takes is for one or two influential people to work with you, and suddenly everyone else wants to work with you too.)
Smart marketers know who the big hitters and up-and-comers are in their niche, so you’ll get name recognition simply by building a good business. In some cases, other marketers will start approaching you for joint venture requests. In other cases, you’ll simply have the name recognition needed to more easily approach others with a request.
Which brings us to the next point…
Invite Prospective Partners to Join
If you’ve developed a great relationship with a partner, then you can call them up, private message them or send them an email. In all cases, you can be fairly informal if the person truly is a friend.
In most cases, however, you’ll need to be more formal. This involves two steps:
1. Finding the person’s preferred communication method. Generally, you can find this information on their website. The point here is to use a communication method that they publicly advertise. Under no circumstance should you “stalk” the person online to find alternative phone numbers (such as looking their name up online to find a personal phone number). Stick with the contact info they publicly provide.
2. Sending them an invitation via email. Be sure to emphasize the benefits the person will receive for joining the event.
TIP: Some people prefer to watch a video over reading an email. That’s why you’ll want to consider a short “talking head” video where you look at the camera and cover the benefits of joining your bundle event. You can embed this video on the same page as the submission form, so that it’s easy for people to get started immediately.
So, what should this email look like? Check the bonuses included with this product, as there you’ll find an email template you can swipe, tweak, and put to use to start recruiting partners.
So, there you have it – you just learned how to find and recruit the types of partners that are going to make your bundle event a massive success!
Once you’ve completed this step, then you can move onto the next step of the B.U.N.D.L.E. strategy.