The power of partnerships and how to activate them for growth | Podcast S3E7

In today’s episode, we get into how our content strategy should be designed to do two things – grow our business, while at the same time, growing our audience. We dig into one of the best and fastest ways to do BOTH and create incredible content. We are talking about partnership development and why it’s often overlooked as a key contributor to the success of your content funnel and strategy

Specifically, in this show, we will talk about: 

  • How to shift the way you’re looking at partnerships and joint ventures
  • Why every business owner needs to learn how to PITCH themselves
  • How to find aligned partners and a few considerations to note before jumping into a joint venture 

Stay tuned for our special guest co-host on the next episodes of PTL! A lawyer who can help you to better understand where you need to set some boundaries in your creative business.

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Episode Transcript

Note: This transcript is auto generated and is nowhere near perfect. There will be typos and weird words in the transcription. It will however, serve as a guide to the contents of the episode.


I’m your host, Erin Trafford. And this show is for creative entrepreneurs and business owners. Like you. Who are ready to understand content strategy. Learn from a pro and I’m locked. The power of story to fuel. Your growth and that is. Oh, my word, what we are going to talk about today, that big G word.

Grew growth.

What are some dare I say, hacks. To creating incredible momentum and growth. In your business that you may not be taking advantage of right now. And let me give you a little hint. Your content strategies should be designed to do two things. Grow your business. But also. RO your audience. So today we’re going to dig into one of the best and the fastest ways.

To do both of those things. While also creating incredible content that creates. Value. For your prospects and clients and customers. We’re going to talk about. Partnership development. Y it’s often overlooked as a key contributor to the success of your content, funnel and strategy. And how I have been successfully using the power of partnerships to activate and grow my business.

For the better part of a decade. So sit back. Let’s dive in to this episode. I believe this is episode seven, officially of season three, which is absolutely bonkers to me. When I think about that, that here we are in episode seven of season three. And I haven’t really yet talked about partnerships and what they can do for your business.

So I think the first thing I want you to consider is. Have, you know, a partnership is not necessarily a business partnership, like you’d think of in a law firm or an accounting firm or so on and so forth. It’s not necessarily giving part of your business away. I want you to think about a partnership as being away.

To create a mutually beneficial environment. With another aligned business owner. Now. Sometimes that feels scary. Sometimes that feels like, how do I even, or why would I even do that? But here’s, here’s what we know. We know the business. Business is about relationships. It absolutely is. And one of the best ways to get invited to a new party.

Is to make a new friend.

At some point you do have to stop just serving your clients and customers and start really serving these broader relationships that you can be cultivating. To expand your network and to grow your audience, audience, network, client base, whatever. Right. So I want you to sort of shift the way you’re thinking about a partnership.

The other thing I want you to think about is that there’s a slight nuance here. And people use these terms interchangeably. I certainly do. But like, there’s the concept of a partnership. There’s the concept of a co-sponsorship and then there’s this thing called a joint venture. Now I’m sure that some lawyer, you know, actually speaking of lawyers, our next guest cohost is a lawyer.

So, this is probably something I’m going to ask her to help us. Actually define from the legal sense. I actually can’t wait to share this with you. It’s coming up. Uh, later this month. Uh, dropping on the feet. I’ll tell you more later, but anyway, let’s, I mean, I’m sure there is some nuance there between co-sponsorship and partnership and joint venture.

But what I want you to feel right now, as you’re just dabbling in the concept of using this to grow is the energy. Okay. What it means is the sum of both of you is greater than each of you on your own. When you join forces with someone, you have an opportunity to create something bigger and better.

Which is exactly why we have activated this guest cohost pocket podcast strategy on permission to leap, because I know, I know in my core. That the, the energy of that partnership. When I qualify someone to join me on this feed. And we create four or five really great intense episodes. I know that the power and the energy of that goes beyond me.

It goes beyond what is on this feed. And it certainly goes beyond them and their, um, current network as well. It’s like a greater some energy. But the other thing I want you to think about is, you know, In, in story and strategy school, we look in 90 day chunks at what we want to create. We look at our objectives. We look from a sales perspective, from a business building perspective. We look at our energy from a values perspective. How do we want to show up?

We look at the content we want to create, what platforms are we going to be creating on? What feels good for us? But here’s the other thing, and I’m, in fact, I’m dropping this into our workshop that we’re going to do this month is. Who can we bring in to share that energy with this quarter? So in my business, we actually break down the year in terms of 90 day chunks. And I think.

Who else do I want to work with in that 90 days? So Monique Brian and I were doing some really great work together back in Q1. Uh, spoiler, I’ve got an incredible partnership. Coming up later in Q2 that you are. Absolutely going to be just like freaked out, excited about, because I am freaked out excited about it and yes, it involves offering a joint program. It’s not just content, it’s actually a joint program.

Um, and then in the summer, you know, I’m shifting my gaze to partnering. Uh, with some organizations over on the studio side. So I’m always thinking about, yes, I want to be in my content flow and yes, I want to be in my strategy and yes, I want to be focused on my business, but also I leave space for partnerships. So let yourself do that in play. And here’s how you’re probably sitting there thinking like, oh my gosh, who would I even partner with?

So here’s, here’s a trick. When you, when you want to kind of break your brain and start adding this into your, your content strategy. Is just. Ask yourself a really honest question of like, who do I like. Who do I like, who do I, who am I really drawn to? Maybe that’s online. Maybe you’re always reading their newsletters. Maybe they’re the one newsletter.

That you open consistently. And that tells you something. Maybe they’re the one Instagram feed that you always stop on and read. You may not always like or engage because we know that that doesn’t always happen, especially with higher ticket sales. But you may be reading everything that they do, right.

Think about who you like and make a big list. And I would challenge you to make a list of, I don’t know, 20, 20 other business owners who you just like what they’re doing. And write that list down. And just put it to the side and come back to it. You know, in a couple of weeks, when maybe you have a clearer idea of who you want to work with now.

Then the whole idea of competition comes up. Should you be working with somebody who does exactly what you do? Probably not. But could you work with somebody who does something that’s really integral to what you do? Absolutely. So Monique Brian is a great example. She’s a personal brand strategist. I’m a content strategist. We’re both strategists in very similar ways that we both mentor and coach our clients.

But she does it in a different way than I do it. And in fact, some of my clients need to go work with Monique after they work with me. And some of Monique’s clients need to come work with me after they work with her. So that is a fabulous partnership. So what are some ways that you can activate these partnerships as in, how do you propose them?

So doing a joint webinar. Together. Oh, co-hosting some sort of live event where you get to share energy, you mix your messages and you start to co-mingle your audiences together. From a strategic standpoint, this does a couple things. It lets you test out how your values resonate in new areas. It also will help you grow your list, frankly, like from very brass tacks or grow your followers.

It will allow you to ask new questions and see how your business can potentially be a puzzle piece that fits into someone else’s business. And when you’re looking at scaling your offers, this is really important insight. Right? Part of the reason we build content funnels is yes to funnel people to the sale. But 50% of the work we do is to gather insights so that we can continuously refine our offers and our messaging.

This is a great way to fast-track that refinement is to drop yourself into someone else’s community and see what they say to you. Right? If there are fawning all over you, and they’re asking these really incredible questions, then man, you may have just unlocked an entire new category of audience that you didn’t know you needed.

Or had, or were able to reach right. So. I want you to think about that.

Here’s strategically is the next fear or question that my clients will have. Okay. I’ve got this list of 20 people and I would love to do a joint workshop or a masterclass or hosting an event or speak on their stage or whatever that thing looks like that you want to do. How do I make that happen, Erin?

Well, this is why this is exactly why I will never not include. In my programs, at least some basic training. On how to pitch. Pitch. I know it’s feels like a dirty word, and I know it can feel like very daunting if you’ve never done it before, but this is why. In all of my programs. Pitching becomes important.

Pitching doesn’t have to be selling, but it’s a strategic intentional, while we talked about that last episode, when we talked about building my content flow that launched my program, it’s an intentional and intense. Uh, focus on achieving a partnership objective. So usually we’re talking about achieving a sales objective. Usually you want to make sales in your business.

That is selling. Pitching is the same thing with a different objective, with a relationship objective, with a partnership objective. So yes, there are stages you need to go through to create. A partnership. You know, at outcome at the end, the first one would be being a stinking, human being. You always have to act like a human. So.

If you see someone out there that you want to partner with and you haven’t once engaged with them. And you’re putting them on your dream list. You are just going to keep dreaming. It’s never going to happen. So the first thing you do is you gotta step out. You gotta have the confidence and courage to step out.

And to introduce yourself in a way that might make you feel like, oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Like you might be shaken all over and feel like they’re going to think I’m a loser because trust me, I still get those feelings too. But you got to do it. You got to do it. You got to rip off that bandaid. It’s just like in sales, you got to ask for the sale or nobody’s going to buy from you. Okay. So the energy of the partnership requests is very similar to the sale.

The outcome is the, the only different thing. Right. So we’ll give you a great example. This I’m not going to tell you who it is yet. You can probably guess if you’re watching me on Instagram lately, but, um, this joint venture that we’re working on for Q2. This was a partnership that I really wanted. I really wanted, I loved the energy of this person.

I loved everything about what this person was creating. I was nervous as heck. I was nervous. I want you to hear that. But I sat down. I direct message to this person on Instagram. And I was honest. I showed up in my authentic values and I said, listen, I love what you do. I think you’re special. And if it wouldn’t be too much to ask.

Here’s a little tiny bit about me. It was like two lines. Cause it was an Instagram direct message. And I said, I would be so jazzed if we could hop on a coffee chat together and just share the air. And see what comes of it. So the worst case would have been no response. Or a yeah, right? No way, Jose.

But that’s not what happened. We had a coffee chat. It was phenomenal. In fact, it was better than I could have anticipated because the next conversation we had was about partnering. So it can happen that easily. And there was no discussion about how big is your audience. What’s in it for me. How much money do you make? There was none of that. All of those fears that we have, I’m not big enough. I’m not good enough. None of that happened. It was all about the energy. It was all about the, do we want to partner energetically? Yes, how do we make that happen? Okay. So the first step is really putting yourself out there. Now I used to do this for years and years and years when I ran my blog with actual brand partners and brand sponsors.

The conversion rate on outreach, there is about 30%. So for every 10 emails I sent or direct messages or whatever, About 30% of them would respond. And of those 30%, about 10% of those would turn into clients. So that was a hustle and I didn’t like it. And that’s why I’m not on that train anymore. But it’s very different when you’re working business owner to business owner.

So I want you to really feel into that. There are people out there who want to work with you and partner with you and share audience with you and create momentum with you. And that it can be easy. It can be easy, but this is exactly why I teach this kind of methodology in my programs because. If you’re in your groove and your content flow is happening in your strategy is on point and you’re feeling awesome about those things. The next best thing to do is invite an aligned partner into that flow with you.

Just to add extra energy. That is the best thing you can do for your business. Now. A couple things. I mentioned that we’re going to be having a lawyer on the feed coming up later this month. And I’m fricking so pumped because she is not like your typical lawyer. When do I ever bring you anything typical? Right.

But. We’re going to talk about some of these aligned. Joint ventures and how you need to build your business. To protect yourself, how you need to protect yourself in those situations. Especially with things like contracts. And if you’re going to be sharing things like revenue, right. We do want to make sure that we’ve got that all dialed in. So a little bit, that’s what we’re going to talk about when the lawyer comes on the show, but where there’s so much more to come. So if you take anything away from this program today, from this episode, it is, think about the power of partnerships.

Think about how that can activate growth for you. Think about how fun it would be to know that you’ve got this dream list of people who you want to work with. And you had the courage to go out and ask them to work. With you. Amazing. Absolutely. Amazing.

I know I’ve said a lot about what’s coming up on the program. Can you tell. So excited. I’m so excited to be breaking the rules. I’m so excited. To have you. Here, listening to this program.

I hope. I feel that.

I really do.

And I know partnerships can be scary.

Or they can be like confusing. And they can bring up a lot of confidence issues.

But I want you to hear me say to you. You are. Greater than you’re giving yourself credit for.

You are greater and more courageous than, you know,

And you deserve this and you can have this.

Make your dream list. I go out and make the awkward introduction. Because you got this. And he got me. You got me. In your back pocket. I am here. For you.

Hey, thanks for listening to this episode of permission to leave. And please, if you’ll like this.

Consider subscribing to the show on your favorite podcast platform and leave us a review.

And I asked you this every time. But if you’re listening and you can take a screenshot and share it. And tag me.

I love that. And check the show notes. That’s where you’re going to find the latest. Free downloads resources, links to applications. All of the juicy stuff is down in the show notes. So make sure you’re checking that out regularly. And finally, if you have any specific feedback for the show or if you’d like to be a guest on the show,

Ha ha there’s a partnership request. We can talk about. Producing your very own pocket podcast for you and your brand. By the way when I do that, I bring all of the power. Of story studio network with me. So you get a full cadre of executive producers, editors, audio editors, show runners, all the things cause.

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