By Duncan Carver – In Association With HostPapa -
Whether you’re looking to secure new joint venture partners or affiliates to promote your products, get your articles published on third party websites, or secure linking partnerships with others in your niche, many people seem to really struggle to just get a response from people, let alone get them to actually take action if they do.
So how do you get people to stand up and pay attention to your proposals and more importantly take action?
No matter what you’re trying to achieve, it’s all about adding value and stacking the dice in your favor. Put your best foot forward and make it easy.
Here’s a pretty good example to chew over. An interesting email hit my inbox the other week. It was a submission for a guest post contribution to Online Marketing Today. We get a lot of those every week and only a very small proportion of those get published.
This one really stood out above all others during that week however.
The email was short and sweet…
“Hi Duncan, hope you are doing well!
Please find enclosed a piece for your blog. I hope you like it.
As soon as you publish it, please send me its URL so that I can send that to our social media team to share your blog on XXXXXX’s Facebook, Twitter and Google+ networks, having over 100,000+ follower / fans.
Looking forward to hear from you.
If you have any questions, please let me know…”
Anything stand out to you?
The added value this person was offering should – they would promote the article to their own (quite large) social media networks should we choose to publish it.
What’s more they included the article as an attachment to the email and it met all of our minimum requirements and publishing guidelines. This means that it could be reviewed then and there and it would be EASY to actually publish.
Now the social media promotion aspect of that is fantastic added value.
Who wouldn’t pay closer attention to it and give it reviewing priority over a stock standard “same old” submission?
It also implies a certain degree of quality before the article has been reviewed. If they’re prepared to promote the article to their social media networks, clearly they see it as valuable enough to promote to their own audiences.
Now compare that with the standard approach most people use when trying to get articles published on other people’s blogs. It generally goes along the lines of something like this…
“Hi – I’m a freelance writer for XXXXXX and I’d like to write an article for your blog about (topic X or topic X or topic X). It will be unique and written exclusively for you. All THAT I REQUIRE is that you include a link back to X website in return…”
I’ve highlighted an pretty *negative* aspect to that approach – “All THAT I REQUIRE”
Where as the first person made it extremely easy for us to review and publish the article, AND added tremendous value which gave it reviewing priority, this second person actually requires something of us to get exposure to OUR audience.
That mindset is backwards.
Its common knowledge and industry standard that you attribute the author of any content submission you might decide to publish. In fact, if this person had read our guidelines they would’ve seen exactly how we do this.
So not only is it redundant to even mention it in the email, it’s also a negative approach to make a “conditional offer” on first contact. That’s not really a good thing when you’re competing with 100+ other submissions that most popular websites receive on a weekly basis.
SIDENOTE: At least this person included links to articles they’d had published elsewhere. It’s bad when people don’t include anything to review. You have absolutely no idea about the quality of their writing, or what qualifies them to write about said topic in the first place. If you’re into guest blogging, you want to make it as easy as possible to get published. If you including the ready to publish actual with your submission it makes it easy for the publisher to review and publish it. The easier you make things, the more likely they are to happen.
But this isn’t about guest blogging.
It’s about adding value to make people pay stand up and pay attention no matter what you’re trying to achieve. That was just a fantastic recent example and I’m sure that person gets published a heck of a lot.
So how else do you add value?
Let’s say you’re looking to secure high level joint venture partners for product promotions.
Depending on how competitive your niche is, and how unique your product is, you might struggle if you simply offer 50% commissions.
Like websites that get hundreds of guest blogging submissions each week, industry leaders get inundated with stock standard JV offers on a daily basis as well.
In fact it gets more difficult to secure deals with JV partners if you don’t add real value.
Not only are you competing with a bunch of other people trying to get access to their resources, you’re also competing for proven revenue generation methods that the potential partner already has in place.
If they already have conversion & earning data for a product they’re promoting, it’s a big leap of faith to simply promote something blind and hope it converts, based on not much more than the assumptions of the person putting the offer to them.
Many people think that by increasing the commission percentages they’re increasing the added value. That’s true to an extent – but is that enough?
Higher commissions are becoming the industry standard.
For example 50%-75% is basically a standard “affiliate commission” these days in the digital product (information / software etc) industry. If you don’t differentiate yourself, you’re basically approaching these joint venture partners and asking them to become a standard affiliate.
So how else can we add value in this case?
Here are a few ideas (keeping in mind, where appropriate, these should always be backed up with proper numbers, statistics and conversion data)…
If the partner has their own product or service you can offer to do a cross promotion to your own mailing lists. Many people twist this around and promote for the partner first to get them results up front. They then get in touch and start a dialogue – although do keep in mind this doesn’t mean they owe you anything – go in with the right attitude.
If you have a lead generation sequence setup, you can offer to plug their product into your autoresponder sequence.
You could offer to plug their product onto the backend of your own sales funnel.
If your business model allows (i.e. a recurring payment product and therefore commission) you could offer 100% commissions on the first month of all referrals, reducing to a standard JV rate on the recurring payments.
If you have a decent social media network you can offer to push the partner’s product or blog content out to that audience for them. Much like the guest blogging example already discussed.
Although you’d want to be sure of your numbers before you attempt this one, you could put some cold hard cash up front. For example, offering the partner money for their advertising space to guarantee they’ll get at least some return when testing your partnership offer. When they see it converts as well as you’ve said, and they’d make more money actually promoting it as a partner, then it becomes a no brainer for them.
…the list goes on and is really only limited by your imagination and what you can provide to add value. You can also enhance that further by combining a number of value adding techniques.
The whole idea is to put your best foot forward and stand out from the masses.
Stack the odds in your favor.
Often times you just want to get a response from people so at least you can get a dialogue going and start to build a real relationship from there.
And this mindset applies no matter what you’re trying to accomplish.
Even a simple linking partnership with another website can be enhanced with added value.
If you have a mailing list or newsletter you could offer to mention the website you’re trying to secure a link from to your readers. Depending on how badly you want that link partnership you might do that long term – i.e. include a permanent link in every newsletter you send.
Right away that would make your linking proposals stand above 99% of all other proposals that just about every webmaster out there receives on a daily basis.
Do you think that would make them pay more attention to your offer?
Sure it would.
Once you get into the mindset of “how can I add more value?” doors will open.
So, tell me, do you really add value to your proposals and if so how?
Leave your comments below…
Article By Duncan Carver: Brought to you in association with HostPapa. Since launching in 2006, HostPapa has offered reliable, budget-friendly, easy-to-use web hosting solutions for small to medium-sized businesses. Powered by 100% green renewable energy.