12 min read
Building a house is hard work. If you try do it all by yourself, progress is slow and grueling. But if you have a crew to help you, the structure is raised more quickly, and it’s just more fun.
Building an audience is no different.
There's got to be an easier way to do this, right?
It all boils down to community.
As bestselling author and entrepreneur, Jeff Goins says:
“Every story of success is a story of community.”
Why go it alone when it's so much easier (and FUN) to succeed with others?
Stop looking at your competition as your enemy, and bring them into your community. It's a win-win scenario.
Some of the top methods to collaborate are:
We're going to dive into that last option because it's extremely powerful for growing your audience AND generating revenue.
Cohosting a joint webinar is no simple task. This is the Internet, after all. Nothing is as easy as it seems.
However, there are some clear and enticing benefits to joint webinars that you won't want to miss.
You don't know everything. It's okay for you to admit it. This is a safe space.
Because you don't know everything, even if your fans are super loyal, they will go elsewhere to get answers.
Instead of letting your readers fall down the blackhole of Google Search, why not bring in other experts in your niche to share their golden nuggets with your audience?
By introducing your readers to other authorities in your industry, you actually increase your credibility and strengthen their trust in you.
As much as we love to champion authenticity and vulnerability (which absolutely are important values for your brand), marketing is largely a numbers game.
Given a static conversion rate of 10%, if you double the size of your email list, you will double your revenue, which means you can make more awesome stuff for your audience.
Co-hosting a joint webinar expands the reach of your platform to the audience of your JV partner. This is like a free pot of gold without having to run to the end of a rainbow.
Think about all the work you've done to build up your blog traffic, obtain new social followers, and grow your email list. Now, imagine someone else did all that work for you, and you got free access to showcase your expertise.
That's basically what a JV webinar accomplishes. PLUS you'll get even more email subscribers in the process from leads who register for the webinar.
In addition to gaining new customers and subscribers, you are expanding your professional network with savvy, trusted peers in your industry.
As you pivot away from operating like a lone wolf, you'll develop a “pack” who tackles new challenges and projects together.
Instead of struggling on your own to solve a problem, you can leverage the collective wisdom of this “pack”, and learn from their failures and successes.
Besides leading the community of your audience, you need a professional community to lean on for support and encouragement.
RECAP: Co-hosting JV webinars:
Now that you know why to co-host a joint webinar, you're probably wondering how to pick the right JV partner.
You'll want to address the following questions.
You might think such-and-such a course/book/tool is cool, but how relevant is it to your readers?
If you're a food blogger writing about new paleo recipes you created, does it make sense to co-host a joint webinar with someone who reviews vacuum cleaners?
Not really. It'd be a stretch at best.
Think of your niche as a circle and consider other niches that might overlap. That's right, we're talking about Venn diagrams!
Let's roll with the paleo food blogger scenario. Here are a few overlapping niche ideas:
That took about two minutes to think of and I'm not even a paleo food blogger.
This one is a little bit of a grey area for some, but please err on the side of caution. If you haven't used the resource yourself, you might be betting some “trust chips” with your audience that you can't afford to lose.
The product/course/tool might look snazzy on the outside, but be a train wreck after the order button.
You don't want to be on the hook with angry customers for a crappy user experience or subpar course content that under delivers.
If you’re considering a joint webinar with a new JV partner whose product you've never heard of, take a beat and go through the paces as a customer to see if it's good enough for your readers.
Besides the perks of growing your email list and introducing your audience to new resources, the revenue split needs to be equitable.
Whether you're the one hosting the webinar or delivering the training, a common affiliate commission rate is 30-40%.
This allows the course owner to cover operating and marketing costs while splitting the profits relatively evenly.
If you own the course, remember to treat your affiliates how you want to be treated.
If you're the affiliate, remember your JV partner has to make a living, and you likely want to work together again in the future.
No one likes contacting customer support. So, don't throw your audience under the bus.
The joint webinar training might go off without a hitch and deliver tremendous value. The course material may be fantastic and equip students to achieve stellar results.
But if customer support is terrible, you need to do your readers a solid and pass that JV partner by– no matter how sweet the affiliate commission might be.
RECAP: When selecting a JV partner ask:
This one is pretty easy because you've only got two options.
Typically, whoever owns the resource being pitched at the end of the training is responsible for hosting the joint webinar.
This keeps things simple when it comes to tracking links, managing communications, and running the actual JV webinar.
The affiliate provides the audience. The JV partner provides the webinar.
See? Told you it easy.
With an understanding of the value proposition of joint webinars and how to select a viable JV partner, you need the right tools in your digital toolbox.
This is where the heavy lifting for a copywriter is done. Whether you do it yourself or outsource it, this step requires quite a bit of work.
If you are hosting the webinar, you'll need to provide swipe copy for your affiliates to use in reaching out to their lists via email and social media.
While one “sales letter” type email as a bare minimum might suffice, here's the optimized sequence I recommend:
In addition to the email copy, include two to three recommended social shares that your affiliate can use to promote registrations and encourage attendees to show up.
If you can provide graphics as well, that makes it even easier to share.
Also, go the extra mile and include these links in the swipe file for your affiliate:
Once everything is setup, it's time to test for bugs and try to break stuff before your audience beats you to it. Here are a few to-do’s to prepare for your joint venture webinar.
Tools break for whatever reason and you can't trust the gremlins lurking in cyberspace not to mess around so be sure to test all the webinar features you plan to use (video, polls, questions, chat, offers, links, etc).
Did you get that?
Last, but not least, take care of yourself.
As the affiliate, you own your promotional calendar. You obviously want more people to register for the joint webinar because you're invested in its success.
But you don't want to badger your list either. I suggest a conservative mailing strategy that aligns with the swipe copy recommendation above:
As the affiliate, it's tricky for you to determine who from your audience has registered at which stage, but with ConvertKit (and other email services) you can use tags and automation to exclude contacts who click the registration links.
NOTE: Some webinar services will provide one-click registration links. If you use those in email copy it's easier to tag and automate messaging.
Obviously we've covered email extensively, but here's a thorough breakdown of additional methods of promoting your joint webinar.
Either you can write an original blog post that ties into the topic of the webinar training or the JV partner can guest write a post. You'll be able to direct blog traffic to register for the webinar while delivering value to existing readers.
Just like with guest posting, it's easy to swap guest appearances on a podcast with your JV partner or feature the joint webinar as a “sponsor” of your show.
After the webinar is over you're probably obsessively checking sales or ready for a 3-hour nap.
Before the webinar even happens (or in the 24 hours afterward), it's important to send follow up messaging regardless of whether you're the host or affiliate.
Because if you don't, you're leaving money on the table. The follow-up email serves as a last chance offer to webinar attendees who didn't buy during the training.
Also, for those who missed the webinar– maybe they couldn't attend because of work or family commitments– sharing the replay demonstrates generosity and introduces scarcity (assuming it's only available for a limited time).
Remember, just because someone didn't register or attend doesn't mean they aren't interested in the offer. Providing the replay gives them free value while letting them skip the training and go straight for the offer.
If you're thinking about cohosting a joint venture webinar and are sitting on the fence, ask yourself these questions:
If you answered “yes” to all of the above, you're good to go. If you answered “no” to any question, take a step back and consider why.
You don't have to do a joint venture webinar. Especially if the offer isn't right for your audience.
But if the offer adds value to others, helps them accomplish a goal, removes a roadblock, or equips them to be more effective in their work/life/craft, don't hold yourself back because of fear.
More revenue and more reach helps you serve more people, and there's nothing to be sorry for about that.
Take some time today and think about one webinar training you'd love to share with more people, and someone you want to co-host a joint webinar with. Share with us in the comments below.
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