In part 1 and part 2, we covered how networking events, matched with paid marketing can be a powerful combination. Now let’s take a look at an often forgotten channel, which is partnerships! Often times we leave partnerships to “chance”, but as you’ll see, being strategic can make a huge impact on your firm or practice.
In this lesson, we’re going to review three types of partnerships: Service Providers, Content Providers, and Product Providers.
Service providers can be a great resource for ongoing leads and referrals, however, never approach a partner with an “ask”. Instead think through the benefit you can provide to them. For example, Sandi Holst created an excellent partnership with local firms by providing a “wow” factor by way of creating a robust, easy to use client binder and packet. This made the workload significantly less for her partner, so of course, they were happy to work with her! With that in mind, here are some service providers to connect with:
- Banking and Finance
- Wealth Management (or you can start your own like Chris Regain)
- Marketing Companies
- Design Companies
- Website Companies
- Consultant and Advisors
- Commercial Realtors
Feel free to add more, but keep in mind you can meet with multiple service providers in each category in order to find the one that would best fit your clients (and vice versa)
If your focus is on individuals, here are a few to connect with:
- Personal Trainers
- Personal Chefs and/or Cooks
- Mortgage Bankers
- Car dealerships and mechanics
- HVAC companies
- Plumbers and Roofers
Any service provider that interacts with your target client base is worthwhile connecting with. Some will be a huge win, others will not, but remember, it only takes one strong partnership to completely accelerate your firm or practice!
Content providers are often one that is left behind, but bear in mind that many will be writing content directly for your audience!
Here are some content providers to keep in mind:
- Target industry bloggers (like Josh Baurle did with entrepreneur on fire)
- Local Newspapers
- Local business journals
- Industry magazines
- Industry journals
- Service and product provider hubs
Anywhere you prospect is researching or getting their daily dose of information is a great place to connect with. Ideally, you’d want to write an ongoing article for them, but at the very least connect with them to learn about their publication, resources, and if so inclined, their ad rates. Having said that, writing articles for content providers and hubs is a great way to get new leads while positioning yourself as an expert.
Finally, remember about all the vendors and product providers your target market will interact with. For business clients, software is an easy one to start with. I would recommend reaching out to their CRM, project, task, accounting software, budgeting software, reporting software, and even their marketing software providers! Here are a few software categories to get started:
- Project and Task Management
- Accounting Software
- Budgetting software
- Marketing Software
- Sales Software
It’s also important to keep in mind that businesses buy products outside of software 🙂 So here are some others to keep in mind:
- Office supplies and suppliers
- Caterers / Food services
- Employee Training Companies and Products
- Industry specific vendors (ie part companies for manufacturing, etc)
- Technology providers (phones, tablets, computers)
With this list, we hope you find a few you can connect with immediately, and begin building a strong partnership base. Remember, think about the value you can add or provide to them first! Research their company beforehand, so you can meet them with confidence and know how you can potentially be a “value add” to their client base!