Building your email list and client base is easier than you may have imagined, and the secret is Joint Venture partnerships. When you partner with other professionals, your network is unlimited. Today, author and speaker Rich German takes us through the steps of creating and executing successful J.V. Partnerships, from creating your product, finding the perfect free offer and bonus add-ons, and taking your new email lists on a valuable process that ends in the sale. We discuss the different types of J.V. Partnerships, the steps to a successful product launch and more!
Hello, and welcome to Marketing Speak. I’m your host, Stephan Spencer, and today we have Rich German on with us. He’s the co-founder of the JV or Joint Venture Insider Circle and the JVX Conference, which I actually attended not too long ago in the fall. It is an amazing event and he has like, 300 and some people, I think, in attendance. Rich is a best-selling author, a speaker, and a business and lifestyle coach. Since 1999, he’s conducted over 18,000 individual coaching sessions so he is a coach to the extreme—that’s a lot of coaching sessions! He’s the co-creator of the JV Insider Circle, as I have mentioned, and we’ll learn about that in the course of the episode but it is an amazing community of folks who want to JV or joint venture with other people there looking to get on other people’s stages and to put joint programs together and search for really cool kinds of partnerships. Rich lives in Laguna Beach, California and when not working, he can be found on the ocean paddle-boarding with dolphins and whales. So, welcome, Rich! It’s great to have you!
Thank you, Stephan. Great to be here!
Yes, so let’s talk about joint venturing as a starting point. We’ll get into information marketing and all sorts of other types of online marketing in a bit but let’s start where you’re most known, which is in the joint venture world. What is a joint venture in your experience versus what I used to think of as joint ventures were more just like, you found a business together with somebody or you have two different companies that form a business together and it’s all legal on paper, it’s an S-corporation, a C-corp, an LLC, or whatever, and then you try and build something or create something but in the information marketing world, it’s more of just partnering, kind of more adhoc, and trying to promote an event together or something so, let’s define for our listeners what a joint venture is in information marketing terms and how it works and how you would leverage a JV partnership?
Perfect! First of all, I’m excited to be here to talk to you and your audience. I hope that everybody listening picks up a couple of gems today. My main modality, as you’re saying, or building my business has been through joint ventures. I’ve been a coach since 1999, and like you said, I’ve done over 18,0000 coaching calls and honestly, what happened for me was like, I kind of got burned out years ago from doing so much one-on-one coaching. It was great and I made a difference that way but it was really trading time for dollars. When I started my own company in 2008 and put myself online as an online marketer, I really wanted to create more leverage than just coaching people one-on-one and that’s when I discovered joint ventures. I think everybody listening is probably on e-mail lists of different people and in my mind, the best way to explain a joint venture is, so you get an email from someone in your other list and they’re talking about someone else. They’re driving you to opt-in typically for something free—a report, a book, a video, whatever from someone else and then you enter your name and email and now you’re in the person’s list. They give you a bunch of free content and then eventually, they’ll take you through a sales process where the goal is that you’ll buy their program or product and then on the back side, those two people who have formed a joint venture, they’re going to do some type of profit-sharing so there’s a million different ways that you can joint venture. I think the most common is what I just explained which is basically a cross-promotion-we promote each other. You can take it deeper than that and there’s definitely people-I actually have a full partner in my business so that is a much more advanced joint venture and the simplest terms is just someone promoting someone else through cross-promotional emails. The more advanced forms of a joint venture would be like, a telesummit or maybe you’ll lead a telesummit and you pool together 10, 20, or 30 experts and everybody is interviewed and comes on and talks about a specific topic. A book collaboration where 12 people join together and each one writes a chapter and, boom, you’ve got a book is also a joint venture. There are many different forms and the most common is the one that I have explained—cross-promotional emails. This is pretty much the only marketing strategy that I use. For me, it’s been the fastest way to build my audience. With my partner, we built a list of just under a hundred thousand targeted people and 99% of that, we do a little advertising but for the most part is through joint ventures that we built our mailing list. It’s pretty much just the one technique that we use and we love it so, that’s pretty much the gist and in simple terms, joint venture in my world.
Great, so you have a hundred thousand people in your email list—that’s pretty impressive!
And how long did it take you to build that list up to that size?
I’ll tell the final story. So, as the economy was crumbling in October of 2008, I was working for another coaching company and was coaching 50 clients so I was basically attached to my headset all day every day. The environment in that company was really negative, painful, and bad so even though the economy was crumbling at the time and I had a very steady income, I had had to quit. So I quit that job and then the next day I woke up and now, all of a sudden, I have no clients, which meant no income so I said to myself, “Alright, what do I need to do?” and the first thing I said was, “Well, to get clients!” and to sell programs and products, I need to have an audience so I kind of stumbled into this world of joint ventures and I would go out and what I did at that point was, I created my first program. It was an eight week-class and I started going out and looking for people that were already talking to the audience that I wanted to be talking to—just like you are talking to me right now. You know, you and I have a similar audience. We work with people that have online businesses; they want to build their business; they want to become better at marketing; and what not so I went out and found people that were already talking to the people that I want to be talking to and I would have them interview me. We would do an interview and then I would promote my eight-week class and I didn’t even call it a joint venture at the time but that’s exactly what it was. So, I did that and I quickly realized that it was a really good way to build an email list with, basically, no money upfront and within one year, I built my list from zero people to 10,000. As I got a little bit more advanced, and this is actually after I put my last book out and this is way back in 2010, I did my first bidding launch where instead of doing just a one-off joint venture with one partner, I pool together dozens of people to all promote me at the same exact time. That was my first big online launch and through that, I was able to grow my list from 10,000 to 50,000 people and then since then, it’s just kind of snowballed and now, through continuing to do joint ventures, we’ve built a list to just 100,000.
Let’s say you have five or ten different J.V. partners that are promoting you at the same time during a launch, how do you get your list size increase because they’re not going to give you their list—they’re just going to mail it to their list on your behalf and get a percentage commission. So, how do you get them on your email list if they didn’t buy the product?
So, they’re opting in to get my free stuff—we had a launch that we’re gearing up for right now and, essentially, our partners are going to mail, for three different pieces of what’s called, pre-launched content. So, the pre-launch content, in our case, is a video series—there are three videos, each one is a different topic. The partner will mail first to their entire list for the first video. Anyone who wants to see that video will enter their name and email and as soon as they enter their email, now it got them on my list. Then, these partners will mail again for the second video and again for the third video so the first week of the launch is really about building a large list. And so what happens is, in the launch, everyone that’s already on my list will get all the videos and then all these partners that are mailing, I’m hoping that will add another 25-50,000 people, if not more, by promoting these videos and then we start taking people through the sales process. We’re driving them to webinars, we’re sending them a video sales letter, we’re doing a coach-a-thon where they can come on to a big, live Q and A call and sales emails and what-not so it’s a pretty extensive email process that we take people through. So, we get the emails and that’s how the list is built. Then we sell our product, that’s where the partners get paid because anytime someone buys our program—we have a year-long coaching program where we teach people how to do exactly what I’m talking about, by the way, because we teach them how to do joint ventures and then we put them in a community where they all network, partner, and support each other—so when we sell that program, that’s when the partner gets paid. The partner helps us build the list, we help them because they’re offering great content, great value to their list when they watch our videos. The partner benefits when a sale is made because that’s when the commissions paid so launches are really exciting, they’re nerve-racking, and they’re very effective in many ways because the public gets served through great content. The partner gets served by offering great contents to their list and there’s commissions that they make and then me, obviously, I build my lists, I make sales, I fill my program. The launch pretty much sets up our entire year. The launch is also how we fill our live event, if you want to talk at any point about our live events—that’s how we fill a live event is by selling people into our program and then they come to our live event.
Right, so if somebody signs up for the video sequence through one of your J.V. partners and then they end up buying from you and what they end up buying is a J.V Insider Circle membership—
They don’t get an opportunity to buy into the JVX Conference yet because that’s not what’s being promoted through that launch—it’s the J.V. Insiders community.
Let me explain how we do it, it’s a great question. When they buy J.V. Insider Circle membership, they get certain things and, basically, we make an offer to people and you get A, B, C, and D and then we give them bonuses: bonus 1, 2, and 3. The basic thing that they’re buying is a year-long membership in our community. They’re getting access to our database of potential J.V partners, which is the real value of what they’re buying as it’s the community they get to be a part of, so that’s the core of it. Then, we bonus-in some things. The first bonus and—think about this whenever you offer a bonus, you want to make it something that, without that bonus, the program is kind of incomplete—so think about for my example and anyone listening, think about your own business model and how you can incorporate this. There’s a couple of things you need to make our thing complete: (1) is you need to know how to do joint ventures. So the first bonus we offer is an eight-week training called Instant J.V Formula, where we take you over a week so we teach you how to get ready to do joint ventures; we teach you how to really master the art of the joint venture—because if you can do a joint venture then, obviously, you’re not going to be able to maximize all the great people in the community. So, that’s a cool thing. Everyone in our community goes through the same training so everybody’s talking the same language and are on the same playing field. The second thing we bonus-in, is a ticket to our live event so it’s one thing to network with people online, on Facebook, and what-not but you know, Stephan, you were at my event. When you go to an event and you’re in front of people, that’s really where relationships are solidified. What we do is, we throw in a ticket to our live event as a bonus. If somebody that’s not in our membership wanted to come to a JVX—J.V Experience is what we call the event—they’ll spend a thousand bucks to come. That’s a lot of money so you get it for free as a bonus and a part or membership so the beauty of that is a couple of things: (A) if somebody is halfway across the world and they’re not going to come to the live event, well, remember it’s just a bonus. If it was part of the core offer, they might say, “Shoot! I can’t come to their event. I’m not going to buy the program but as a bonus to the program, it’s like, if they can’t use it, it’s not the end of the world so that’s one reason we do it that way. The other reason we do it this way is because, for anyone listening, if you’ve ever hosted a live event, think about what is the—Stephan, you and I have talked about this—as someone leading a live event, what is the biggest fear that you have?
You don’t fill the room.
Right. Waking up and you go walking into the event room and nobody’s there, right? I’ve been leading this live event for three straight years and every year, I’m terrified no one’s going to come and it’s a totally made-up fear, by the way, but it’s normal. It’s a normal fear. The morning of the event, I get out the elevator, I walk down and there’s hundreds of people and all so I can breathe and enjoy the event. It’s hard to fill an event. It’s hard to sell tickets to an event but if you sell a program and now you’re working with these people and they get to know you and love you online and now they get a free ticket to this event as part of program, they’re going to want to come. They’re going to want to meet you. They’re going to want to meet the other people in the community. This is the technique we use to fill our live events. I have only ever lead three live events in my life. I’ve been a part of hundreds and been to hundreds but where I was the guy paying for and the guy leading it, is really been only three JVX.’s the last three years in a row. The first JVX, we had 250 people in a room. That was really good for my first event ever. The second year, we had about 275. Then the event you were just at in the fall, we had 340 people who were in the room. If I did it, where I had to just sell the tickets, I’ll have a hell of a time getting, you know, 340 people in the room and it would have been a lot more stressful so I like low stress and high volume so that’s how we do it.
Yeah, that’s genius. So, do you charge a seat deposit to get people to show up?
Yeah, we charge a $195 refundable deposit so they paid it just to hold their slot and we, basically, say, “Hey, we need to know if you’re coming. We have to let the hotel know for rooms and, you know, setting up the ballroom and stuff like that” and then when they walk in to pick up their badge,, we give them that money back. We also set up our V.I.P. table right next to the main registration table and we tell them, “Hey, if you want to upgrade to V.I.P, that $195 bucks will go towards that.” so it’s a good way to upsell people into V.I.P.
Right, well upselling is a really important profit maximizer. So, what makes the V.I.P experience so much more valuable for an attendee and a must have?
I position it this way, any time I go to an event, I upgrade to V.I.P and the reason is, I want to hang out with the other people who are at the V.I.P level. For example, at my event, we have something super cool that’s called, in the first event, we called it, Shark Tank, and it was so popular but we don’t want to get sued so we change it now, it’s called The Shark Attack—it’s the J.V. Shark Attack. What we do is, we bring in our top joint venture partners, who are essentially the who’s who of the coaching industry, and we have them on this panel and we do a contest with our members and we pick five people and they get to pitch their program or their product to this panel of sharks. What’s cool about it is, if you do a great job, which most of them do, at least 1, if not, 2, 3, 4 or more of the sharks, who all have a massive list and huge exposure, they will promote that contestant to their lists. At the same time, everyone in the audience gets to hear their pitch. You were there, you can explain it maybe even better as someone who watched it. It’s intense and it’s terrifying for the contestants but it’s so fun and it’s really the highlight of our event. Well, guess what, before the Shark Attack, we have a lunch for all of our V.I.P.’s and the Sharks are there and so, if you’re a V.I.P, you’re rubbing elbows with top level people and that’s really the way we position it. We give them upfront seating, we let them in the room before everybody else, there’s a couple other perks of it but mainly, it’s coming to the V.I.P lunches and rubbing elbows with top level people. You know, this is simple advice but if you want to achieve more in life, hang out with people that have more than you and V.I.P is typically the place to make that happen.If you want to achieve more in life, hang out with people that have more than you, V.I.P is typically the place to make that happen. Click To Tweet
Yeah, exactly. I had such a great experience being a Platinum Partner for three years with Tony Robbins and rubbing elbows with people who are billionaires and mega millionaires. It was great to have that kind of a peer group so great advice to get a V.I.P. upgrade wherever you go but it was a really unique model that you had, I thought, with the Shark Attack panel and having those preeminent marketers on the panel. Folks like Christian Mickelsen, who I had gotten to know through Platinum Partnership as a matter of fact.
I know he’s a part of that.
Yeah, so that’s a really great—
He’s a good example. Christian, who is a good friend of mine, was on Tony’s stage. I’ve seen a video of Tony standing onstage and Christian is standing right next to him doing his talk. I don’t think that would happen unless he was part of Tony’s Platinum Program, which you can share if you want, but that’s a very expensive program. You pay a lot of money to be a part of that, right?
Yeah, $130,000 or so a year or something around there.
That’s a massive investment and I’m sure that impacted Tony’s decision to put Christian on stage, right?
Oh, for sure! Well, I got to speak on Tony’s stage a couple of times. I spoke at a business mastery in Las Vegas.
Twice. Two different years. Let’s talk about upsells and how to do a V.I.P. upgrade, to do private coaching, or a mastermind—something that is more than the regular ticket that they were spending. What are your tips or piece of advice for somebody to build out those profit maximizers?
We do upsells in a few different ways. When we do our lunch, our focus is just getting people to buy and invest in our basic membership of J.V Insider Circle. As soon as they buy, we then send them to an upsell page, where we first mention our premier membership level so our basic membership is $1,997, well, let’s call it $2,000 bucks. That’s the basic core membership, which is a huge value. I mean, I literally think we could charge $5,000 – $10,000 just for our basic membership but our program is based on volume, the more people we have in it, the better it is for everybody in the community because it’s more potential J.V. partners. We’ve made a strategic decision to leave it at $2,000. However, once they join, they are immediately sent to a screen with a video, thanking them for joining, and telling them about our premier level. The premier level just gets them more access to myself and my partner, Milana. Basically, they get an extra call a month and smaller group-setting led by us. They get a V.I.P ticket to our event and we do a big giveaway every year so the focus of that level is list-building, which is a big challenge for a lot of people building the biggest list so within that program, we do this giveaway about everybody—it’s a joint venture, really, within that level where everybody gives away something for free and everybody promotes it and everybody pretty much gets hundreds, if not, many hundreds of opt-ins from that, so that’s a little perk that we do that people love. That’s a $2,000 upsell to be in that premier level. The next thing we do, and this is actually brand new that we’ve never done before and we actually kind of borrowed—for lack of a better word—the model from how Tony Robbins did his coaching when he had Business Breakthroughs International, and so the model is, when you sign up for our program, as a bonus for paying in full, so people can pay in full at $2,000 or they can do a payment plan of six payments of $397. If they pay in full, which, obviously, we want them to pay in full because we collect more money upfront and more money overall that way. When you can get people to pay in full, do it, versus having to chase people down for payments. When they pay in full, we give them three one-on-one coaching calls with one of our coaches so I have a team of coaches that work for me and we have people three one-on-one calls. Personalized one-on-one coaching calls, which is a massive value and we use those, obviously, to not only give three great coaching calls to the people but we get them, hopefully, hooked on the power of one-on-one coaching and then at the end of those three calls, we have another salesperson call them with the goal of upselling those people into one-on-one coaching. We’ve actually never done this model before. In the past, we’ve offered one free coaching call and it’s semi-effective but I know from people that used to work at BBI with Tony were telling me that this model seems to be a lot more effective so in that, we cannot sell people into a year-long coaching program and that will range anywhere from $12-24,000 depending on the level that they take. The third upsell that I’ll share is at the live event, The J.V. experience, so again, everybody is pretty much coming for free as a bonus ticket as part of being a member. Some people, I don’t know if you got a free ticket from someone, Stephan, when you came or you paid but the majority of the room is our members and then we have other people that are either invited guests or paid—you know, people who paid to come. Nobody gets in that room unless they are a targeted person for us. For us, our main audience are coaches, authors, speakers, experts, leaders, anybody with a message that they want to get out into the world in a bigger way and so, they’re hot leads in that way and then at the event, we offer, what we call, our big player coaching program, which is an $18-24,000 coaching program that includes one-on-one coaching, a live event led by myself and my partner, Milana. It’s a really good program so we use a live event, basically, where we lock people in the room for three days and that’s a really good way to upsell them so that’s what we do there.
Got it, and so when you’re offering these different packages and things you have pay as you go sort of option or like a three pay, or pay over six months sort of option, but you also have the option to pay all at once and you get more stuff and you said that you actually will collect more money from them overall by getting the money upfront—
Even though they’re going to spend more money if they do it overtime—
In terms of that package, let’s say it’s a $2,000 package, they’re going to pay less for that package by buying it all upfront but their lifetime value is going to be greater—
If they spend it in one lump sum.
Yes, so like with our core program, it’s $2,000 if you pay in full or you can do six payments of $397 so if you add it up, $2,000 versus, basically, $2,400 so I think it’s (A) because they pay all the money upfront. Typically, those are more committed people that will actually digest and use your program so they’re more committed upfront. Every program is different but when most people just, I don’t actually know our exact number and I don’t want to give the wrong number, but not everybody stays the whole 12 months so people tend to drop out, there’s always going to be some attrition in any program, I don’t care how good it is, there’s going to be attrition. Things happen in people’s lives where they can’t stay or they quit their business or whatever it is so whenever you can entice people to pay in full, it’s better and plus, you don’t have the accounting to deal with and no chasing people down, like I said, if they’re not making payments. It’s a lot less stress to work that way.
Yeah, it makes a lot of sense.
And we offer great incentives. I can’t wait to see what happens at our upcoming months where we offer these three free coaching calls because to me, that’s a massive value, who wouldn’t want that? I think people will do whatever they got to do to pay in full but typically, we make it really enticing and we’ll have about, I think, a 60% of the people who will do a full-pay option, which is strong.
Yeah, it is and so, when somebody is selling your stuff as a J.V. or an affiliate, I guess the typical model is 50% commission—that’s what I keep hearing over and over again so is that typical from your point of view as well?
No, I think the typical is 30-50% and here’s the difference: If you’re selling a straight-up information product like a home study course where people buy it and you, as the one who created it, you have to show up and really do anything. They buy and they get it. That’s where 50-50 is very, very acceptable. But, like our program, it’s a year-long coaching program. I’m going to show up and lead in an eight-week training. I show up and lead the three-day event and it goes on for the whole year. There’s monthly calls, there’s all kinds of interaction so when that live coaching component is there, that is pretty darn common that the split to the partner would be less so 30-35% to 40% in that range so, again, if you as a leader, if it’s a home study program where you don’t have to really do much interaction with the client, 50% or maybe even 60% is very generous. If there’s a live coaching component, or a long program interaction, then less is definitely acceptable so you’ve got to really balance it, it’s got to be a win-win. It’s going to be a win for you as a business owner looking at your profit and it’s going to be enticing to the partner financially. Money definitely talks with J.V. partners so it’s a win for them financially for them to promote you.
Right, and if they’re promoting your, let’s say, event and you decide to make the tickets free, maybe just charge a seat deposit to make sure they show up—
I don’t have a partner promote my event.
Right, but what if I wanted to do that or what if somebody listening wanted to do that.
You can but just pay a percentage on the upsell.
Right, so the incentive is for the J.V. partner, they’re going to get a piece of the back-end, whatever Mastermind, or private coaching, group coaching system that you’re going to sell and the event.
Yes, and I don’t like doing email promotions. I have people come to me often quite honestly, and say, “Hey, at this live event, will you mail for it?” 99% of the time, I’ll say no and the reason is, it just won’t convert in most cases. What will convert, and I did this to help fill my event last year, and Stephan, you and I talked about this separately, before my event, I like to go out and speak at other live events. So last year, leading up to my event, I went and spoke at three different live events. I didn’t sell anything but I got out there and I did my pitch on how great joint venture partnerships are and why everybody needs to do joint ventures and in the end, I said, “Hey, if you like this conversation and you want to meet a great J.V partner, or potentially, great J.V partners, come to my live event, which is in a month or, you know, a week or whatever it was from that time,” and almost, I would say, I spoke in one room that had 150 people, another that had maybe 90, and then another one had like, 50, so let’s say all together, let’s call it, 300 people that I spoke to, I would say that 75% of those 300 filled out the form, saying, “Oh my God, I want to come to your event!” so maybe, that’s 200—I’m not making up number, I’m estimating on the fly, I think that’s maybe 225-230 people who filled out a form and gave me and said, “I will come to your event,” and of that, almost half, we had about 100 people at my event that came from those events. So, why did they come? They were at an event, they are people, and they are workshop attendees. People that, this is going to sound stupid and obvious, but people who go to events go to events so it made sense that they would come to my event and we had almost 50% of them showed up, which was great where email marketing and events still always jive together as well so I don’t like promoting live events. I like promoting online stuff online and then I love promoting events at event. Hopefully, that makes sense.
Yeah, makes a lot of sense. So, if you’re bundling a live event with a product or some sort of home study course, you’re going to get more traction because then they get instant gratification—they buy something they can start consuming right away and the J.V. partner is more interested in selling that because they’re going to get more from that than just a pure event by itself. It’s just a win-win for everybody.
Yes, actually not super common that people will pay big commissions on an upsell on a live event and you know this, Stephan, to put on a live event, it costs a lot of money. So, without having that upsell, that’s how people really make their money on live events in most cases. Either they’re selling something or they bring in another speaker and they’ll do a revenue share with whatever that speaker sells. I mean, it’s not easy to monetize in events so it’s not common that people pay big, fat commissions on big upsell packages. That’s kind of where the business owner can really cash in.
Yeah, so there’s something I want to point out to our listeners that it was a really cool, unique feature to the J.V. experience or JVX Conference. I’ve never seen this before and those are the JVX match cards. Could you describe that to our listeners how that worked and how that came about? Because that was genius.
Oh, thank you! I was wondering what you were going to say that was so different. So, we have 300+ people in the room and everybody in the room is in a different niche. They’re all coaches, authors, and speakers but you worked in the business niche and this guy works in the health niche and she works in a relationship niche and, you know, everybody does different things so what we have is people who would bring in a, instead of a business card—I don’t know about you but if someone ever gives us a business card, it immediately goes in the garbage. But we have people printed out like, a postcard-size card and it basically had their name, their niche, the name of their business, it had what they’re product or offer was, and they put it on these pretty cards. Then, at the event, the huge reason—probably the biggest reason people come—and I hope they come a little bit because they want to hear me on stage but I know that they’re really coming because they want to network and they want to meet the other people in the room so we did multiple massive networking sessions where we broke people down by niche. We put them in a circle and we gave everybody two minutes to do their little J.V. pitch where they shared with that circle what they do and what they’re all about. And then, people are like, “Oh my God! You do that, I have an audience that would like what you’re doing or we should talk, we could collaborate, we can do this, we can do that,” In the moment, partnerships and relationships are formed and then people just pass out their J.V. match cards so when people leave they have these match cards, makes it really easy to follow up, and so many unbelievable connections or relationships were made based on how we did that.
Yeah, it was really cool and I did go to the trouble of creating a match card for myself prior to coming to your event and it definitely added more value rather than just handing out a business card. I really thought about what is my pitch, what is my offer, what’s my commission, and all that sort of stuff so that people could quickly see that this is the value prop.
Yeah, our running joke is, the last thing you ever want to do is go up to someone and say—when they say, “What do you do?”—and say, “I’m a life coach,” because they’re going to say, “Really? I’m a life coach too!” and so was my mom and so was every other person that I know. Like, there’s nothing unique about that, where if you go to them with a very unique proposition, then they can really say, “Oh, wow! You do that. That’s different, that’s unique!” My audience needs that. We should talk, we should partner, we should look further into this so, yeah, and we got it.
Now, where does live streaming fit into the equation here because I’m seeing a lot of events now doing a live streaming, in addition to or instead of, recording the event?
Yeah, live streams are good. It’s a profit center. You know you can sell the live stream of your event for $200 or $500 or whatever and then people can watch your event from all around the world in their underwear if they want. We don’t use it at our event and the main reason is, ours is really a networking event so half the time of the event, we’re not in the room and I’m not on stage and we are doing these breakout networking sessions and things like that so for us, it didn’t make sense to do a live stream. However, I know other people use it very successfully so I’m not the guy to really talk about live streaming worth.
Got it. Do you record the events?
Oh yeah, I mean we had our video team back there filming all time. We actually-the first year, we paid a lot of money to have them record it and edit and we put this whole JVX live recordings together and I thought, because everyone loved the event, it would sell really well, but it was a total flop. Nobody wanted to buy it. It didn’t work. I think there is something about our event, you got to be there. It’s the experience of being there and that’s really where the value is.
Let’s talk about telesummits because early on, in the conversation, you mentioned that was one way to do a more advanced type of J.V. I’ve done kind of telesummits way back in the day, probably a decade ago. I did this with marketing profs and I got together these thought leaders’ summits where I contacted, just cold-calling basically via email, folks like Seth Godin, Doc Searls, and Steve Rubell, and some really big-name people back in the day and I got them to say yes to attend and participate in this thought leader summit just calling in by phone to a conference line where we recorded the thing–
And I didn’t pay them. The marketing profs didn’t pay them. They did it on their own volition for free. Robert Scoble was one of the panelists as well. It was a lot of fun and so, definitely I was able to leverage that in various ways. How do you leverage or recommend people leverage telesummits to get big-name people with big lists and lots of reach on social media to participate with you?
You’re really speaking to the beauty of the telesummit. You could be someone with no name out there at all, however, if you pull together a telesummit, and in that telesummit you’ve got some big name people, even one big-name person is all you need, all the sudden, like we said before, you’re rubbing elbows and you’re rubbing shoulders with big name people so it’s great for your credibility. You did yours 10 years ago. If you came out of the woodworks today] and try to do it, it might be harder to get those people because telesummits are so common today. However, you’d be surprised. Everybody wants exposure. You know, why am I doing this podcast interview with you right now? I do it for many reasons but one of them, obviously, is hey, it’s going to get me some added exposure so I don’t care what level people are at. Everybody wants more exposure and telesummits are a good way to get exposure. The key is this, I said a minute ago that telesummits became very popular and there’s a ton of them. Because of that, you have to be very specific if you’re going to do a telesummit. You can’t do a generic telesummit on “here’s how to make more money”, it has to be a very specific, unique theme or people won’t be interested. You’ve got to get really deep into a specific niche and a theme for a telesummit and I still think that they can be effective. To me, a telesummit is about credibility and it’s about building a list. I wouldn’t recommend doing a telesummit just to make a whole bunch of money. If you want to make a lot of money, then I would recommend a product launch, like we talked about before. A telesummit is easier to pull together. It’s usually gets some big-name people on board and really get you out there if that’s what your goal is so that’s where I recommend telesummits.
For me, what made it really “slam dunk” was getting Seth Godin.
But what got me Seth Godin was first, I started with Toby Bloomberg, who was an industry friend and I got her to commit to be in this thought leader summit then she was friends with Robert Scoble and she said she would get Robert Scoble to agree to be in the summit as well, and so she got him to say yes and once I had Robert Scoble, then everything went easy-peasy from there so Seth Godin said, “Oh yeah, totally, I’m in!”
That’s what I said before. The key is you get one big-name person and then once you have them, then you’re going after other people and you can say, “Hey, I’ve got Seth Godin,” and they’ll say, “Oh, I want to go where he’s in. I’ll do it!” and then it snowballs, like you said.
Exactly. Yeah. Now, if it’s a product launch—so that’s more involved of a process—what are the components of a successful product launch? Of course, you have to have some big-name J.V’s, hopefully, to mail to their lists and announce the new product or whatever thing that you’re selling. But there are other components that you’re going to need some sort of back-end system. I use Infusionsoft. A lot of people use Ontraport. Some people use ClickFunnels, Active Campaign, and so forth, so what are some of the essentials from your point of view?
We could spend probably eight hours just on that question alone. And I know we’re probably running out of time so the short answer is, the key to a successful product launch is (A) you need a great product. That’s by far the most important thing. If you don’t have a great product, I don’t care if you have all the partners and all the stuff. It’s not going to matter so you need to have a great product that the public needs. (B) You need a great sales process. I’ve seen some crappy products sell because the person really knew how to sell but notice, I said, first you want a great product because there’s a lot of internet marketers out there who just know how to sell and they don’t really care if people ever consume their products and that is not a philosophy that I live by, so I think (A) you got to have a great product. (B) You need to have a very good sales process. (C) like you said, you want to have some really good J.V partners who can really spread the word about your free material, which will lead into your sales process. Then the fourth part, I think for a short answer, would be really having the back-end stuff, which is a combination not only of the technology needed but also the manpower or having people that can do the technology. I’m not a tech guy. You know, I’m the face of the company. I lead the webinars and things like that. I have people who love the technology part. I write the copy and I’ve been very involved in that but as far as creating opt-in pages and webinar opt-in pages, sales pages, and etc., I don’t do that stuff so you need the back-end stuff to handle it for sure. I think those four components: a great product, a great sales process, great partners who promote it, and then the back-end for sure.
Is there a particular launch that you think is just a really stellar launch that’s worth emulating?
Yes, so Justin Livingston who works with Callan Rush is a very close friend of mine. I’m in his high-end mastermind. He’s kind of my go-to guy for all things launches. Jeff Walker is the granddaddy of Product Launch Formula. I’ll be at his event. I don’t know what it is but I’ll be there and he pretty much invented it, so having access to these guys is huge. They’re really good at it. Christian, you mentioned before, he’s great with launches. So, if you’re going to do a launch, they’re not for the weary at all. They’re stressful. There’s a lot of moving parts. I would not come out of the gates tomorrow and say, “I’m going to do a massive product launch!” You’ve got to earn your way into that, I believe, and so the best way is to look at other people within your niche. Get on their lists and watch how they do things. So, if you’re in the coaching space like I am, get on my list, and that was my big plug for this interview, and watch how we do things. We’re really good at emulating what other people are doing that works so you definitely always want to bring in your own style and your personality but there’s definitely some best practices that work and we definitely follow best practices.
Great. Well, this was fantastic. I really appreciate your time, Rich, and how would folks get onto your list exactly? How would they work with you directly if they wanted to or become part of the J.V. Insider Circle? How do they take the next step with you?
Yeah, real simple. Thank you for asking. Our main web site is JV, like joint venture, JVInsiderCircle.com. Just go there and you can opt-in for a free report. It’s right there on the main page and that gets you into our system and you’ll start getting all of our emails. The best way, by the way, if it makes sense for you as a listener, if you’re a coach, author, speaker, expert, or a leader of any kind, you can for sure join our community and that’s a great community that you can really benefit from. If you’re really interested in launching something, the best way is to support our launch. When you become a partner of ours, you’re then led in behind the curtain on how we do a launch so you’re really seeing the whole process not just as a customer but as someone that, potentially, would lead a launch so I always tell people, if you want to do a launch, support our launch and really see how we do things so that’s a really good idea. JVInsiderCircle.com is our main website. If you want to go to my personal website, it’s Rich German— R-I-C-H-G-E-R-M-A-N.com. If you’re interested in all things lifestyle and ocean stuff—I’m an ocean man and when I’m not working, I’m out on the beach or out on the water—and so, there’s more ocean-related stuff there, or you can follow me on Facebook if you’re interested in ocean stuff but from a business standpoint, JVInsiderCircle.com is the way to go.
Perfect. All right and listeners, be sure to go on to the Marketing Speak website at marketingspeak.com for a checklist from this episode and the full transcript. Thanks for listening and thank you, Rich, for joining us and sharing all that great knowledge.
My pleasure! Thank you, Stephan. Thanks, everybody!
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Your Checklist of Actions to Take
☑ Create a free offer that your client base would be interested in, which will add value to your paid products or services.
☑ Make sure the back-end of your business is running smoothly, with a team who can handle things like tech issues, customer service, etc.
☑ Sign up for the J.V. Insider Circle to network with potential J.V. Partners, and save your spot at the live JVX event as a bonus.
☑ Price out your partner commissions based on your offer-if you’ll be putting a lot of time and effort into the participants after they register, a 30-40% commission makes sense.
☑ Put together a telesummit with even just one big name in your field, it adds credibility and allows you to partner with people with massive lists.
☑ Create two or three bonuses that you can add to your paid packages. Now, your clients are getting more value, but since it’s just a bonus, it’s not a big deal if they can’t participate.
☑ Create unique experiences for live events, like the JVX Match Cards or Shark Attack competition.
☑ Always upgrade to the V.I.P level at any live event, so you are around the high-level professionals that you want to emulate.
☑ If you are holding a live event, even if it’s a free bonus, have a fee that is refundable to hold a spot.
☑ Create emails that are engaging leading up to the sale or product offer-you want to make sure
that people continue to open your emails, even after they received their free gift.
About Rich German
Rich German is the co-founder of the Joint Venture Insiders Circle and the JVX Conference. He teaches people how to leverage the power of joint ventures, and his insider circle is the world’s largest community of JV-minded entrepreneurs. He is a best-selling author, a speaker, and a business and lifestyle coach.