Looking to reach large new audiences quickly, want to connect with like-minded people in your industry or simply looking for a fresh revenue stream (or all of the above!)? Then a joint venture just might be perfect for you.
Before we dive into how to make a JV work for you, let’s get on the same page about what a JV actually is.
In short, a joint venture is a short-term project that is established with another business owner that is mutually beneficial to both businesses. You are going to share your expertise or products with someone else’s audience.
A joint venture is a useful tool no matter where you are in your coaching journey. You can also use it to launch a new product or meet a goal that you have in mind. Joint ventures assist with networking with other brands to build relationships in your industry that could turn into long-term partnerships. Networking is always helpful to grow, and we know that sometimes it’s all about who you know.
When starting a joint venture, you need to do a little research first. Why do you think this idea will help you? What brand or business do you admire or will fit well with your goals? How would this joint venture help you both?
Have no fear. The blueprint below will give you everything you need to set up a super successful joint venture.
Step 1: Get Clear on Your Goals
Why do you want to do a joint venture? What do you hope to achieve on the other side? Is this about boosting your revenue or bottom line? Is it about growing your email list? Is it about getting in front of new audiences? Is it about becoming ‘better known’ for a specific niche or ‘thing’?
Write it all down, if that helps.
Step 2: Find Your Fit
While you might stumble upon a JV organically–or be invited to one yourself–you also might have to seek out the JV partners of your dreams.
If you have to go this route, it’s super important to find someone that ‘fits.’ You may have a few brands or individuals in mind that you want to work with because you admire them, but let’s be real: Just because you love someone’s TikTok vids or can’t get enough of their Substack essays doesn’t mean that they would be a good fit for your business–or, more precisely, for you to go into business with.
Do your homework. Do they have the right ‘type’ of audience? Do they ever collaborate with other businesses? Do you think that you would be able to work well with them? Do they and/or their business share any core values? If they don’t meet any of these criteria, they might not be the best choice.
Also, be on the lookout for red flags that might make your potential JV partner untrustworthy. For example, don’t go into a joint venture with someone without proven business experience, or someone who doesn’t respond in a timely manner or ghosts you for weeks. Instead, find someone who’s audience, aesthetic, values and business acumen match your own.
Step 3: Pick the Right Type of Joint Venture
Once you know who you want to partner with, it’s time to get clear on what you could (easily and beautifully) create together. Picking the right ‘type’ of joint venture for your needs, your audience and your current season of life and business is a must.
There are so many different avenues you can take. Here are just a few ideas for joint ventures (but don’t let this list limit you!):
Joint venture webinars or workshops
Joint venture courses
Joint venture podcasts
Joint venture bundles
Co-created or produced products or services
Entire businesses, if it makes sense!
A JV could also simply involve you selling your products/offers to another coach or entrepreneur to use within their own coaching offers. If you’re a copywriting coach, you might ‘sell’ your course to another entrepreneur to use as a bonus in their course on marketing.
You’ll also want to think about whether you want this to be a long-term or recurring JV, or just a one-off (like most bundles or workshops, although you can absolutely run them multiple times if you find they’re super successful).
Another angle to consider is how much time, energy and resources the potential JV would cost you–and them. If you’re planning to pitch a co-created offer (for example, a web designer and copywriter partnering to create fully written and designed websites), it will take significantly more time, effort and energy from both of you. If instead you’re inviting them to participate in a bundle where they simply need to submit a product they’ve already created, it will obviously require less on their end (and likely, less ‘convincing,’ too.)
Step 4: Get Clear on Payment Arrangements
You’ll also, of course, need to think about how you’d like to price this JV and how you’d like to split payment. You’ll also want to think about things like who will take payment, who and how the ‘other’ will get paid, whether you’ll create a new payment account or LLC for this specific JV, etc.
While this will likely be something you want to discuss with your JV partner, it’s okay to show up to your initial meeting with all of this in mind so you have a starting point to jump off from.
Step 5: Pitch, Propose and Close
Once you’ve found someone who meets your carefully chosen criteria, it’s time to write a JV proposal. (And yes–you cand and should do this even if your JV partner is already your biz bestie, just for clarity.)
Make sure your pitch starts with an introduction. Explain a little about yourself, your business and a few of your client and/or business wins. If they’re unfamiliar with you, let them know how you found them. This shows them you’re a true fan/follower, gives them insight into where you’re active–and gives them a bit of insight into which of their strategies are working, too!
Next, make the ask. Would they be open to a joint venture? If the answer is yes, describe how the arrangement will benefit all those involved. In great detail, share your plan with them. Explain what you envision your specific joint venture looking like and offer an estimate as to how long the chosen venture would last. Then, wrap it all up neatly by asking them to reply with any questions, comments or concerns they have.
Once you’ve heard from them via email, you can generally hop on the phone to get a feel for each other (if needed) and hash out other details.
Step 6: Get it All in Writing
This step is everything–and is truly the make-or-break piece of any joint venture.
Contracts are your best friend when it comes to joint ventures. While verbal or email agreements are great (and it will likely start there), it’s best to hire a lawyer to ensure you cover all your bases, from payment terms to what happens if someone wants to dissolve or pull out of the deal.
This will make everyone in the JV feel more comfortable and secure with moving forward–and will prevent or clear up any hiccups that might happen along the way.
Step 7: Treat it Like Your Own Business
Any joint venture you go into should get equally as much love from you as your primary coaching biz. This doesn’t mean you’ll spend as much time on it (odds are, you won’t–unless it really takes off or you launch it during certain seasons and not others), but it does mean it deserves the same care and attention to detail you give your other projects. This means you’ll need to market it, launch it (if that’s a model you and your partner choose) and tend to the other behind-the-scenes details, like customer and tech support. (Or you’ll need to hire those things out.)
Joint ventures can really run the gamut from one-off workshops to long-term ‘side’ businesses.
If you’re struggling to come up with ideas–or content–for your JV, don’t forget to scope out CoachGlue’s VIP Club, where you can snag loads of pre-written and created done-for-you content you can easily transform into paid products. Check it out here.