LaunchMoxie founder Chris van Buren is on today’s Speaking of Wealth Show to talk about what’s really going on in the worlds of joint ventures and affiliate marketing. He mentions some of the key points about why the marketplace as a whole is changing and developing, as well as giving advice on how to really make the most of your own marketing strategies, both for yourself and for your business partners.

 

Key Takeaways

 

02.20 – In general terms, affiliate marketing works as a one-way transaction, while joint venture marketing is a two-directional affiliate model.

04.00 – The way that the Internet now works with so many followers and such a wide audience means that everybody is publishing something.

05.20 – The problem with the affiliate model is that companies want to make money selling their product, not selling yours.

06.50 – Affiliate models are dying out because they realize they can put themselves in a much better situation by creating their own products.

08.20 – In terms of digital media, platforms such as www.udemy.com and even Google Hangouts are paving the way. www.balboapress.com and www.bookbaby.com are some of the leading platforms for eBook publishing and all Mac users have access to high quality audio editing with Garage Band.

10.50 – Slightly more outdated, yet still used programs are public affiliate networks such as www.shareasale.com, www.clickbank.com and www.uk.cj.com.

13.06 – The two main obstacles people come up against in joint venture affiliation are: incompatibility in the size of the partners and incompatibility in the content of the partners. When making these connections on your own, be sure to look out for these incompatibilities because they will hinder your success.

18.00 – The way you approach a potential partner can make all the difference in your success at affiliation.

20.00 – More information about Chris van Buren and his projects can be found at www.LaunchMoxie.com.

 

 

Tweetables

Companies and individuals alike now use the Internet and the media as a platform for their own publishing. Tweet this!

Issues arise in joint venture affiliation when there is incompatibility between the size and content of the two partners. Tweet this!

Don’t approach potential affiliates telling them what you need them to do. Tell them what you can do for them and engage their interest. Tweet this!

 

 

Transcript

Introduction:
Speakers, publishers, consultants, coaches and info-marketers, unite. The Speaking of Wealth Show is your roadmap to success and significance. Learn the latest tools, technologies and tactics to get more bookings, sell more products and attract more clients. If you’re looking to increase your direct response sales, create a big-time personal brand and become the go-to guru, the Speaking of Wealth Show is for you. Here’s your host, Jason Hartman.


Jason:
Hey, it’s my pleasure to welcome Chris van Buren to the show, he’s the founder of LaunchMoxie and PartnerMoxie, and he has an interesting different take on joint venture and affiliate and co-op marketing that we’re going to discuss with him today. Chris, welcome, how are you?

Chris:
Great, thank you Jason, I’m glad to be here.

Jason:
Give our listeners a sense of geography, where are you located?

Chris:
I’m in Los Angeles, California.

Jason:
My hometown; I grew up in West LA. I’d like you to compare and contrast the model of affiliate marketing – many of my listeners with that model, although not all of them – with partner joint venture and co-op marketing, if you would.

Chris:
Absolutely. What we do and how I define the joint venture model is that it’s sort of a two way version of the affiliate model. The traditional affiliate model is that you have a company with a product – they engage another company with a media reach, whether it’s a website or an email list provider, or somebody who has a reach to an audience (we call that the media partner). The media partner promotes the product partner’s product, and the product partner pays a commission on whatever sales are made. That’s a one-way transaction. That’s the typical affiliate model. A typical example is of bloggers who affiliate, and has risen since the blogging explosion back in the early 2000s. Bloggers could find that they could promote something at the end of their blog and earn a few extra bucks, just by adding a link or something to one of their product partners as an affiliate. That’s changed completely, and is still in the process of changing very dramatically. We use the JV or joint venture model, and that’s a two-directional affiliate model. In that you have two equal partners that both have a reach to an audience and a product or something they’re trying to promote. They cross-promote each other and they become each other’s affiliates and each other’s promoters. That’s just basically a simple explanation for the different between joint venturing vs. affiliate.

Jason:
Is something wrong with affiliate marketing that you have improved upon?

Chris:
That’s an interesting way to see it. I don’t know if I’d say there’s something wrong with it, but there is something old-school about it that is not keeping up with today’s changing landscape of Internet business. Think about it, probably everybody you know has a social media following. Everybody you know has some sort of media reach now. They have their Twitter following, they have their websites, some people have apps that they’ve created. Everybody is now becoming both a product company and a media company.

Jason:
What’s interesting about that is that even if they’re not really in business per se, we’re all publishers nowadays. What a complete change in reality!

Chris:
Exactly, that’s a perfect example. We’re all publishers. Every company, whether they’re in the media business or not, has to have a publishing position nowadays.

Jason:
And don’t even say company; it’s just an individual.

Chris:
Yeah.

Jason:
Because that’s even more amazing, but certainly every company.

Chris:
And nowadays, the ultimate expression of success in any arena, whether it’s a product arena, or a service arena, is to have your own show. Think about it. It’s to be in front of the camera and so many people have used that being in front of the camera model and created their own YouTube channels as their media reach to build their product line. It’s just a big blur of who’s the media now, and who are the product companies. Everybody has both, and it’s almost essential that you do. When you have that, you have companies that basically want to promote themselves. One of the things I often say about the joint venture model is when you have companies that do joint venturing and they’re familiar with it, and a lot of companies come to me and they say ‘Why can’t you just find me affiliates? I don’t want them to promote anybody else, I just want them to promote me and I’ll pay them good money for it’. I tell them to think about it and to think about yourself. Your business model is not to make money selling other people’s products. Your business model is to make money selling your product, and that’s what your partner’s business models are too. They don’t want to make money selling your product; they want to make money selling their product. They’ll sell your product if it helps them sell theirs; if the equation works out then it’s a great equation for all parties and it’s a win-win. That’s the concept, and that’s where it’s moving to. Everybody’s got their own thing and they really want to promote it, so we do joint ventures now to find the win-wins.

Jason:
It’s interesting what you’re saying here. Certainly there are people out there who don’t produce products at all, and they literally just market other people’s products. Those are affiliates, as we’ve always called them. Are you saying that those are by the wayside and everybody’s now doing their own product creation? Did affiliates run scarce? Is that what brought on the need for this new iteration?

Chris:
To an extent, yes. It’s a qualified yes because they haven’t run scarce. They’re currently in the process of running scarce. We haven’t seen the end of it but there is a very dramatic diminishment of the number of affiliates whose business models are to just promote other things. The most successful affiliates get to the point where they realize ‘Jeez, if we had our own product, we’d be making a much bigger piece of the pie’ and so they create their own products or they hire their own products. The publishing models and capabilities that are out there these days are so turn-key now it doesn’t take a lot to get yourself published. It doesn’t take a lot to create an online course or to create a video channel, or to create something that’s a product.

Jason:
So part of the reason for this is it’s got a lot easier to become the product creator.

Chris:
Yes, that’s part of it.

Jason:
So a lot of these affiliates that were formerly just selling someone else’s product are now creating their own. Now, you mention that, and I want to just ask you to comment on that really quickly – I know it’s not the topic – but what platforms are you referring to that make that really easy?

Chris:
We deal with a lot of digital products, so things that are able to be sold and delivered digitally online. The platforms I’ll mention tend to be more digitally oriented, but there are some that make it easy to facilitate creation of physical products too. In terms of digital products www.udemy.com is a platform for building your own course – it’s not the only one. There are movie creation platforms that allow you to plug-and-play your own videos. Google Hangouts, which is becoming ubiquitous, is one of the easiest ways to create video interviews, video round-tables and video courses – anything you could imagine, it’s just so easy. Those are just a few that popped into my mind. Oh, there are also numerous eBook publishing companies that will do various pieces of the publishing model for you. Some of them do go from end to end, while others will just do certain pieces of it. www.BalboaPress.com is one that we work with quite a lot; there’s also www.BookBaby.com, which is the book division of www.CDBaby.com, and they just go on. Think about this: every Mac owner is an owner of Garage Band, because it comes with every Mac. Garage Band is such a simple tool to use for doing high quality audio recordings – you could create an audio series just on your Mac, with that program.

Jason:
Okay, so it’s much easier to publish, which has changed the game. What about some of the companies out there? ClickBank comes to mind, and is certainly the 800-pound gorilla in the world of affiliate marketing – what’s going on with them and what does this mean to them? Is that a model that’s in decline because of this new paradigm?

Chris:
Well, sort of, but not necessarily. I call those kinds of companies (ClickBank, ShareASale, Commission Junction) public affiliate networks. Those are networks where, as well as having the affiliate offers, they also have affiliate reach. They have the affiliate partners. So you as an author – say you’ve written a book and you want to get affiliates to help you sell your book, you can go to www.shareasale.com or www.clickbank.com and join their program, put your offer up and access their existing database of affiliates that will hopefully like your book and want to put it in their blogs or on their sites or do something that will make them money and you money. It’s an older model and I call it a public affiliate network because it’s really open. There’s a classification of those that are kind of open to anybody. As long as you have a product and you sign their agreements, you can put it up on their system. What generally tends to be the case with those kinds of programs is that they’re a little disappointing. You put your product up there, you push it out to as many affiliates as you can and maybe in a couple of months you end up with 100 affiliates that have signed up to promote your offer. You’re then thinking ‘Wow, that’s fantastic, 100 affiliates are going to promote my offer’ and a few months later you’ve made maybe $5 and you’re thinking ‘How is that possible? I’ve got 100 affiliates’ and it’s because it’s essentially a passive model. You don’t have any control over whether those affiliates actually do anything for you. They may sign up for your affiliate account, they may sign up to promote your book, but other than putting it on a blog and leaving it there, they may not do anything. You really have no control.

Jason:
Yeah, so you get a lot of people who are interested but uncommitted.

Chris:
Exactly. A lot of uncommitted people. And if you’re lucky, and it does happen so not to take anything away from those, it does happen sometimes that you’ll get one or two big ones and that’s great. There’s also a category of networking, which I call the private affiliate network, which is a whole host of lesser known affiliate networks that are not public – not just anybody can join them. For these you have to be approved and they have to want your offer, but they have a little bit of a higher quality of traffic. They have websites with lots of traffic that sometimes put affiliate offers in. In around 2010-2011, there used to be 400-500 of these out there, and dozens and dozens of offers going through these channels. Just to give you a sign of the times, there are now probably less than 200 of those.

Jason:
Okay, if you want to say anything more about that please do, but I want to transition into what the ideal is. What is your model like, and how can you make it work well?

Chris:
Well, I can give you an example as an ideal situation. Let me preface it by saying there are two things that most people find obstacles with in the joint venturing model, which remember, is an exchange of promotion and affiliation. You’re promoting each other’s products and you pay commission to each other on that product. The two obstacles are incompatibility in the size of the two partners and also incompatibility in the content of the two partners. Say one partner wants to promote the other, but the other doesn’t want to promote the first one back.

Jason:
Okay, so first give us a size example. How do you know what ‘size’ someone is? I assume that means annual revenue?

Chris:
No, what is means is how much traffic they can generate in their promotion: how many clicks can they drive to your landing page.

Jason:
So how do you equate that? How do you know what that is?

Chris:
Well, in my business, we know what it is because we work with the same affiliates over and over so they become our repeat partners. In a new relationship, we do testing, we do estimations, we make certain partners that we don’t know well go first so that we can measure their traffic. Some partners are savvy and they know exactly and they’ll say ‘Hey, we sent out an email to our email database and we can get 5,000 clicks’ and other people have no idea and will say that they don’t measure that. At that point you say ‘Okay, well we’re going to have to start measuring it’. We usually do it on a click-by-click basis. If one partner can drive 10,000 clicks to an offer, and the other partner can only drive 1000, that’s going to be an incompatible size. That’s one obstacle that we try to overcome by doing appropriate match-making. We are essentially match-makers. We find partners that are compatible, and the other obstacle is also about match-making. It happens when one partner really likes the other partner’s product, but the other partner doesn’t like the first partner’s product back and they don’t want to promote them. That happens all the time too, and so another part of the match-making is finding compatibilities. One really good example: I was working with a green drink, super-food style company and this was an example of a company that had a physical product. They had this product that they were selling and I was introducing them to the JV model and they were saying ‘We don’t really want to promote anyone else; we just want to promote our own products’, and I hear that all the time. Like I say, no-one really wants to promote other people’s products, so I said ‘Well, think about it. One of our partners that I would hook you up with is a movie maker. They have a documentary movie that is all about health and vitality, and it encourages people to do things like eat well and use supplements like green drinks. Wouldn’t that be something you’d want people to watch?’ and they’re like ‘Oh, well if it’s something like that we’d partner with them!’ So it just took some explanation because that’s the kind of partnership we try to put together – we try to put together extremely compatible offers. Also, just individual preferences and quirkiness with every single client; they have their own thoughts on what they will and won’t promote, so it’s working within all of those parameters.

Jason:
Most of the audience listening is in the info products business, and they’re usually digital products, as we talked about earlier. How would someone engage with your company, or at least engage in this process and get started? I, personally, have info products – or my company does, I should say. How do I go about finding the right match, if you will, and how does someone listening do that? If they’ve got a book on health or a course or something on yoga etc..

Chris:
Well, the do it yourself way is you look online for the kinds of partners that are in the same business as you are, you look at things like online summits and webinars and the kinds of things where people are trying to promote themselves, and you connect with them. You can contact them and go to LinkedIn or wherever you can to make the contact. Here’s the key: You want to approach them with what can I do for you, not what I need you to do for me. This is one of the biggest mistakes people make, when their initial contact is ‘Hey, I have a product and I’d like you to promote it for me and I’ll pay you a lot of money percentage-wise’. Nobody wants to hear that. What they want to hear is if you approach them with ‘Hey, I saw your product line and I think it’s great; we’d like to promote it because it’s really compatible with what we do, and if you’d like to know more about what we do, give me a call’. Now you’ve led them in to being curious about who you are, and you’re offering to do something for them. Then you can explain to them ‘The way this works is that we’ll promote you and we’re happy to put you in our newsletter, and we’d like you to promote us back again’, and that’s how you enter the conversation. Some people you approach will know what you’re talking about, and some people won’t have any idea of what this joint venturing is all about and you just have to explain it to them. You do that over and over, you get as many of those as you can and you try to match compatibility in size and content. There’s a bit of groundwork to do to find the right kinds of partners that happen to be the right size to match you. That’s why I set up my company. We specialize in body, mind, spirit, earth digital products, and so if you happen to be in any of those areas or if you cross over into any of those areas, then we already have hundreds and hundreds of joint venture partners that do this, and we just hook you up. We have synergies because we’re concentrated in the body, mind, spirit, earth marketplace, so we can shortcut a lot of that process. People in that marketplace then hire us to match-make for them, but also to do the management of the whole process because there’s a lot of email back and forth and negotiations to make it all work. We do that whole piece. If you’re in a different market, maybe you’re in the pet training market, or something, and maybe there isn’t anybody that does joint venture match-making in that market, you kind of just have to do it yourself and find the right kinds of partners to build those relationships.

Jason:
Give out your website, tell people where they can learn more about this, if you would.

Chris:
The main website is www.LaunchMoxie.com.

Jason:
Fantastic. Just give us any final words and tips on successful co-op marketing and joint venture marketing.

Chris:
Yeah, I think I’ll just repeat that one of the keys that’s always good to remember is that most people are bombarded with marketing offers, and so if you approach partners to do joint venturing – and I hope you do, because I think it’s the model of the future – just remember to approach them with what I can do for you first. That’s what people will respond to: what’s in it for them and what are you able to do for them. Then you can come around to ‘Hey, and by the way, we have this other thing that you might be interested in’.

Jason:
Well, Chris van Buren, thank you so much for joining us today.

Chris:
Thank you, it was a pleasure.

Outro:
Copyright the Hartman Media Company. For publication rights and interviews, please email [email protected] This show offers very general information. Opinions of guests are their own. Nothing contained herein should be considered personalized personal, financial, investment, legal or tax advice. Every investor’s strategies and goals are unique – you should consult with a licensed real estate broker or agent or other licensed investment, tax and/or legal adviser before relying on any information contained herein. Information is not guaranteed. Please call 7148204200 and visit www.jasonhartman.com for additional disclaimers, disclosures and questions.