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Discover Exactly How To Grow Your Business with Strategic Alliances

Strategic Alliances

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Want to know the secret to massively increasing your influence and growing your business by using strategic alliances? Read on for a step by step guide.

strategic alliances

Let me start with a serious question: If 5 new dream clients started doing business with you, what would that do for your business?

My guess? Everything would change overnight.

About 26 years ago, I read a book by Anthony Parinello called Selling to V.I.T.O (Very Important Top Officer).  It laid out how to do top-down selling instead of bottom-up.

Using this strategy, I built a business that grew to $45 Million in annual revenue over 5 years.

About a decade later, I had the opportunity to speak, train and coach for Tony Robbins and Chet Holmes at Business Breakthroughs International.  Chet and I traded old sales war stories and the strategies that we each used.  Chet coined his strategy The Target 25.

You see, what I did a couple of decades ago was target the Top 25 Companies I wanted to do business with.  Why 25?  I thought that it was a real manageable number and if I focused on these 25, I would have a high probability of success.  So what did I do to reach this Target 25?

  • I learned everything about them
  • Created a systematic strategy to get their attention
  • Explained how and why having an appointment with me would help them
  • I executed this plan at the CEO level

Did I get all 25?
Absolutely not!
But I got seven as clients.
And those 7?
Were worth tens of millions of dollars annually.

So how can you apply this exact same strategy to your business today?

To start, let’s look at influencers and social media.

Today I want to take the Target 25 concept to your social media strategy.

Your Target 25 is a list of 25 influencers or brands you’d most like to get next to. These 25 people or companies are clearly aligned with what you stand for. Not just in their values,  but in their customers and even their language.

Aligning with your Target 25 should be a win-win.

Today you will discover:

  • Three steps to creating your Target 25
  • 4 ways to start a relationship
  • The best types of alliances and how to execute them

Before we get there…

STEP #1: Create Stellar Content

Before you call in favors to build partnerships, let’s make sure your content is actually worth sharing. Content that doesn’t excite 20 readers won’t miraculously thrill 2,000 and certainly not 20k.

I know how frustrating it is to try and get your content in front of your audience. These days, algorithms are constantly changing and people’s attention span seems to be less than a gnat.

However, standing out in the crowd isn’t impossible.

I recently put together a list of how to:

  • Choose powerful messages that resonate with the masses
  • Use simple ninja hacks NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT to create massive buzz and tailor your content

We call it SOCIAL media because people want just that: to be social. They want to connect through valuable content, tangible takeaways, and a sense of creative fun.  And more often than not, they want content they can then share with family and friends.

So now that you’ve got that covered… let’s keep going!

STEP #2: Make Yourself Irresistible to Your Target 25 with these Tips

1. DISCOVERING BRANDS

As I’m a big believer in going for what you want and not sitting back and waiting for things to happen!

Our team at Business Nitrogen is always helping clients look for other people and brands to partner with.

Instagram has been a great place to discover companies I never would have heard of.

To start, search for someone at the top of your Target 25 list and look at the “suggestions for you” drop-down to see who else Instagram suggests. This will help you build a surrounding “bench” of players you could begin to work with.

For example, here are similar accounts to Russell Brunson, founder of ClickFunnels, the software we use at Business Nitrogen.

 

Now I told you to start looking at the top of your Target 25 but also do the same thing for the bottom of your list. Look for brand accounts in your local area with less than 100K followers. These people/brands would make great partners because they’ve got a large enough following that they’re also looking to grow and invest in their social media, but aren’t too well known that they’re just inundated with requests.

2. BE DISCOVERED

Now that you’ve found the brands/people you’d like to work with be sure to follow them across all the platforms where you already have an account (So no Twitter or Snapchat? No problem).

Start to like, comment and share their content daily leaving meaningful comments (Do NOT get a bot to do this).

Obviously, the sooner you engage with the post on that day, the more likely the person managing the account is to interact with you.

Start to engage with them by tagging these people when you create new content like @carsonclaycalhoun did here:

Strategic Alliances - Alo Yoga

Also, use hashtags with 100-500k uses when posting your content to help you be discovered more easily.

Strategic Alliances - hashtags

Tools like Foculmark and HashAtlt can also help with searching for hashtags with the most relevant content. You’ll also notice in the picture above that IG will offer you related hashtags to help you out.

And don’t be afraid to get creative. Leverage video and live video to promote yourself to a specific brand “audition tape” style!

One of our clients @thedanlesniak did exactly that to create an opportunity for a sit down interview with Gary Vee.

Strategic Alliances - thedanlensiak

3. MAKE CONTACT

So you’ve done the legwork and someone on your Target 25 has finally reached out to you on social media. Congrats!

Now it’s actually time to move off of social media as soon as possible and get to EMAIL which is GOLD when getting close to your alliances.

Many times brands/companies have a specific person for collaborations/partnerships. Of course small influencers on your list might be managing it all themselves.

When you reach out to influencers or brands that you do not have a relationship with, find a person to address the email to (You can use a website called Hunter.io or LinkedIn for finding people’s professional contact info).

Your initial contact email should contain a strong HOOK or subject line.  Your pitch email should include a catchy subject line. You could include statistics about you or your business. Or, even more impressive, share something you like about them or the content they post.  Truthful flattery will get you everywhere.

Remember: You’re following them already and commenting every day so you’re not a stranger to their work.

But in this email, don’t forget to lead with why the partnership would benefit them.

4. EVERY NO GETS YOU CLOSER TO A YES

Remember how many people said no to me?

18 out of 25 when I first tried.

If you reach out to a brand and don’t get the opportunity to work with them right away, ask for feedback. What do they typically look for? Is there a certain time of the year that’s best?

Use whatever feedback they tell you to set goals. Once you reach their criteria contact them again and ask them to reconsider.

Most importantly don’t be discouraged. Start with THE BOTTOM of your Target 25 and work your way up! In no time you’ll be fielding requests for collaborations!

STEP #3: Three Types of Strategic Alliances

Now that you know how to make great content and get in front of the right people/brands… what kind of alliances might work for you?

1. Takeovers

A great alliance, especially when you’re just getting started in this space is called Takeovers.

A takeover is when you are collaborating with one or more people who your ideal avatar or client would also want to connect with.  Now instead of working to create new content all the time, you collaborate.

So if you’re a health coach, team up with a functional medicine doctor, a vegan chef, a mommy blogger, a #girlboss and a yoga teacher.

You shoot about 5 IG Story videos (each lasts 15 sec) with ONE major teachable moment and make sure to have text on each video since so many people watch with their audio turned off. Then you all swap the pre-produced Stories and upload them on your respective channels.

Influencer takeovers are also a really great way to do this if you have a physical product like a clothing store or a CBD company.

Points to remember:

  • You can invite someone in your Target 25 to do a complete temporary takeover where they have access to your accounts and upload their content directly.

or…

  • You can ask the person or business you are collaborating with to send you the content you will be posting along with the photo or graphic you will be using (text works best in this case) and you or your team can upload the content yourself.

2. Brand Ambassadors — two-way win-win street

This works if you have a product or course and someone is your ambassador OR if you’re an influencer looking to grow your reach by getting in front of the eyes of an already established brand’s audience.

Brand ambassadors find brands (or visa versa) that they can represent in order for an exchange of the goods or service. If you search #brandrep or #brandambassador on Instagram you can see the gist of how people use it.

brand ambassador

It’s a win-win because ambassadors get in front of the brand’s millions of followers and the company wins by having authentic and native advertising at a fraction of the cost of a regular ad.

Here’s a few points you should consider:

  • You only want to bring up the idea of a brand ambassador relationship if you have had a successful influencer collaboration with them — this is not something you should recommend or try in the beginning.
  • Set clear communication including expectations for both parties. Include things in your communication such as what type of content will be created and how often postings will happen.
  • Set up regular meetings to discuss campaign results including analytics.
  • If you have merchandise, send it to them. If you share it they can include the unboxing as part of the campaign.  Also, it is important to note that if you are on the receiving end of FREE product samples – make sure to share your “unboxing” videos when you first get the product plus everyday how-to videos.
  • Provide your alliance with a promo or discount code they can share on their social media. If it was for us it could be “Nitrogen20” to save 20%.

BOTTOM LINE: Getting to work with your Target 25 can happen sooner than you’d think!

As you can see, there are lots of ways to connect with your Target 25.

Just remember: it doesn’t take many. Just 5 new dream clients could change your business overnight.

You got this!

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