The Power of LeverageIf I had to choose a favorite word, it would be “leverage”. I just love it. The idea of using other people’s money, networks, resources, contacts, time and what else is just fascinating. Of course, it’s not about taking advantage of them; it’s about creating mutually-beneficial relationships, or else it just won’t happen.
One of the ways we can use leverage on the Internet is by creating joint ventures. Basically, they are short-term (or long-term) agreements where the parties do something for each other. But you know how much I hate theory and fancy words, so I’ll do what I do best; I’ll teach by using examples.
Let’s say you are a motivational speaker and will give a seminar in Chicago. You have 100 seats and you want to fill them all. There are a few things you can do to promote the event yourself (read How to Promote an Event Online) but there’s a limit to how much you can do personally. What if you could partner with people with access to thousands of individuals in Chicago that are interested in motivational speaking events? That would be amazing, wouldn’t it?
Step 1: Identify Potential Join Venture Partners
The first thing you should do is to come up with a list of potential joint venture partners:
– Administrators of Facebook groups about Chicago, motivational speaking, entrepreneurship and business owners.
– Administrators of Meetup groups around the same topics, in the Chicago areas.
– Administrators of LinkedIn, BizNik, Plaxo, and Ryze groups.
– Bloggers that write about the topics mentioned above.
– Editors of newsletter around business and entrepreneurship in Chicago
If I had to take a guess, I’d say that all those groups together have 100,000 members. If the group administrators agree to send information about your event to their lists, you will have absolutely no problem filling those 100 seats. In fact, I can assure you that there will be a waiting list.

Step 2: Identify What JV Partners Want and Give it to Them
This is actually the hardest part of the process. Most of the time, money is not what motivates people to spread the word about you. These are, in order, the top reasons why a group administrator will agree to send your information to his list:
– He thinks that his readers will find the announcement highly interesting.
– You’ve created a relationship with him and he wants to help you.
– You have a revenue-share agreement in place.
– You’ve offered him cash or some other kind of compensation upfront.
Take a look at the list above once more. Note that cash is last on the list. An announcement worth spreading the word about is #1. Group owners spend a lot of time and energy building their groups; they are not going to throw all their effort away promoting trash, so make sure that your event (or whatever else you want to promote) is of great quality. This is crucial to your success anyway.