What's your visual strategy? Three multi-colored dandelions represent a visual identity you'll share with the world.

What’s Your Visual Strategy? 5 Easy Ways to Start Building a Vivid Visual Identity for Your Online Business

You have a content strategy, an email strategy, and a launch strategy. But do you have a visual strategy?

If that question makes you want to run for the hills and hide, stick around — I’ve got you covered.

This article is going to share five easy ways to get started building a visual strategy for your online business.

No design degree required!

These are strategies anyone can implement, starting today. 

I’m going to share resources to help you — and plenty of examples so you can see what a memorable visual strategy looks like.

Dive in to learn visual strategy: Use the five tips in this article.

Let’s dive in! 

Read article …What’s Your Visual Strategy? 5 Easy Ways to Start Building a Vivid Visual Identity for Your Online Business

How to create a lead magnet: A man at his desk, smiling.

How to Create a Lead Magnet in an Afternoon [Start with the Free Template]

Want to grow your email list? This post will show you how to create a lead magnet (or opt-in incentive, or freebie) that will …

  • Attract the right prospects
  • Entice them to hand over their email address
  • Allow you to nurture the relationship before you ever ask for a purchase

Creating a valuable gift to entice people to join your email list sounds straightforward. But there are a few nuances to building a lead magnet that prospects find irresistible.

We’re going to cover them all right on this page.

In this article, you’ll get everything you need to create a lead magnet in a single afternoon.

You’ll get:

  • A step-by-step process for creating an ebook lead magnet so you can follow along and get it done
  • A list of lead magnet ideas for inspiration
  • A free lead magnet template so you can create your downloadable in a single afternoon
GET THE FREE LEAD MAGNET TEMPLATE

Read article …How to Create a Lead Magnet in an Afternoon [Start with the Free Template]

Focus in business: How to use the power of your mind to build your online business faster, woman meditating in front of a laptop

Focus in Business: How to Use the Power of Your Mind to Build Your Online Business Faster

This month I’m celebrating the tenth anniversary of BIG Brand System. And I’m thinking a lot about the power of focus in business.

The importance of focus in business can’t be overstated.

When I look back on these past ten years, I can see that when I put my head down and focused on hitting just a handful of milestones, my business grew by leaps and bounds.

And when my focus was scattered?

Sadly, I ended those weeks (and sometimes months) without much to show for the time I spent at my desk.

That’s hard to admit.

But if there’s anything I’d like BIG Brand System to share, it’s what I’ve learned from my successes and what I’ve learned from my mistakes.

Because, my friend, if you can learn how to focus on online business in a way that helps you be successful faster, all my mistakes will have been worth it.

Learn how to harness the power of focus in business using the five simple steps I share here.

Read on to put them to use in your online business starting now.

Read article …Focus in Business: How to Use the Power of Your Mind to Build Your Online Business Faster

How to Succeed With Your Online Business: Start with These 17 Free Resources

Wondering how to succeed with your online business — but feeling a bit overwhelmed as you build it?

Truth is, there’s Too Much Information out there. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, welcome to the club.

Overwhelmed dog

You’re in very good company.

C’mon in and stay a while, my friend.

Because right here on this page, I’ve gathered some of my top (free!) resources in one place. No need to click around the entire internet.

If you need online business tips and tricks, you’ve just found a whole page of them — complete with a free quiz that will clarify your best next steps, free worksheets, two free workshops, and more.

All in all, there are more than 17 free online business resources on this page, divided into the categories below.

Ready to find how to succeed with your online business — without feeling overwhelmed?

Read article …How to Succeed With Your Online Business: Start with These 17 Free Resources

Do You Have the Courage to Grow? Presenting 6 Joint Venture Examples That Boost Your Email List and Profits

Ready to grow your audience and profits — and make new friends in the process? The joint venture examples here are the answer!

The joint venture approach is perfect for you if you’ve built an audience and established your authority already. It’s a way to leverage your professional relationships in a way that benefits both parties.

The joint venture examples here can grow your email list and your profits faster than anything else you do in your online business.

Your audience grows because your joint venture partner presents you as a trusted resource to their audience.

And your profits grow when you establish a trusted relationship with this new audience and offer them a solution to their challenges.

There are lots of benefits and a few things to watch out for in these types of partnerships.

In this article, I’m sharing joint venture project examples and ideas. I’ll also share examples of what to avoid when creating joint venture partnerships.

These cautionary tales come from my personal experience! I hope you benefit from the wins I’ve experienced and the mistakes I’ve made.

Ready to grow with joint ventures? Read on.

The benefits of joint venture partnerships for online business owners

In the best joint venture partnerships, both partners benefit. They leverage the goodwill and good name of both people or businesses.

When you approach joint venture partnerships with care, each audience benefits, too.

When deciding who to approach to partner with you, ask yourself:

Will the partner’s audience feel the partnership directly benefits them?

The partnership must feel like a natural combination — the best of two worlds.

Joint venture examples are great, but first you have to consider who you'll partner with. This Venn diagram shows how you can think about this.

Joint venture partnership examples

The perfect joint venture partner for you is someone with an audience of people who will be interested in your topic.

Let’s look at some examples of good joint venture partner matches (and a few bad ones, too).

You sell a course about writing a personal memoir.

Your audience consists of budding authors with a story to tell. They’re in the second half of their lives and want to leave a legacy in the form of a book.

PERFECT JOINT VENTURE PARTNERS:

  • A joint venture partner who offers editing services.
  • A joint venture partner who writes about self publishing.
  • A joint venture partner who sells a course on marketing books.

NOT-SO-GREAT JOINT VENTURE PARTNERS:

  • A joint venture partner who offers home improvement courses to people in the second half of their lives. (Same audience but no direct connection between the topics.)
  • A joint venture partner who has courses on telling your personal story. (Direct competitor to your product.)

Remember, your joint venture partner doesn’t have to have an audience that’s an exact match to the audience you want to attract. But their audience must be interested in your topic and want to learn more.

Beware these joint venture dangers

Be cautious when deciding who to pair up with, especially if you decide to co-create a product or offer a service together (examples below).

Long-term partnerships demand that you do due diligence and find out how the person you want to partner with runs their business.

Use these joint venture examples with caution! There are a couple of red flags to watch for when looking for a joint venture partner.

Avoid entering into joint ventures with:

  • Partners without a proven track record in business
  • Partners who aren’t responsive to your emails and messages

Like anything else in life, watch how your prospective partner behaves rather than what they say. Their current behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.

It’s important to start with a legal agreement that spells out division of workload and terms for terminating the partnership.

In the heat of excitement over a new partnership, it’s hard to imagine terminating the agreement! But it’s essential to hash out how termination will happen.

Six joint venture examples

Joint venture partnerships range from simple to complex. Here are six joint venture examples, starting with the easiest to implement.

  1. Joint venture marketing
  2. Joint venture affiliate offers
  3. Joint venture educational presentations
  4. Joint venture sales presentations
  5. Joint venture bundles
  6. Joint venture/co-produced products or services

Read on for details about how these examples work.

Simple marketing exchanges are the first joint venture example.

Example 1: Joint venture marketing

Joint venture marketing can be as simple as a “preferred provider” mention in an email or on a website.

Where appropriate, you can reciprocate across your platforms and recommend each others’ businesses.

This is different from recommending specific products (that’s the next example). In this case, the partners endorse each others’ businesses.

That can sound like this: “When it comes to learning ___, I always turn to ___.”

If it only makes sense for one partner to recommend the other, the promoting partner can be paid for placing a recommendation in a newsletter or on a website.

This paid relationship should be disclosed, of course. Justine Grey shares more on disclosing affiliate relationships here.

In this joint venture example, you can earn commissions with joint venture affiliate offers.

Example 2: Joint venture affiliate offers

Joint venture affiliate offers allow one or both partners to earn a commission for recommending a specific product or service.

In this joint venture example, any affiliate offers compliment or expand on what the offering partner already sells. They offer an affiliate product or service that is perfect for a subset of their audience.

Example:

You teach advanced stock trading techniques. Your courses and services are designed for people who have years of experience trading stocks and want to trade at a professional level — but as a hobby.

You don’t want to teach complete beginners. But you know a portion of your audience is beginners. They don’t understand the basics and want to master them so they can become more proficient.

You are approached by someone who has a course called “Stocks 101: Everything You Need to Know to Start Trading Today.”

The product owner offers you a 25% commission on every sale. You add affiliate links to this product every time you talk about beginning stock traders on your blog or in your emails.

This joint venture example is meant to expand your reach by offering purely educational presentations.

Example 3: Joint venture educational presentations

Joint venture partnerships don’t have to generate profit immediately. Instead, you can focus on list building, like in this joint venture example.

How do you build your email list with a joint venture partnership?

Offer educational information to a partner’s audience in exchange for an email address.

This means you ask the partner’s audience to sign up for the information that’s hosted in one of these places:

  • Your own webinar platform
  • Your own website
  • Your social media page or group
  • Your email marketing provider

To get access to the information, the partner’s audience must join your community.

This is a very common joint venture example — the partner webinar. Use it to get your products and services in front of a whole new audience.

Example 4: Joint venture sales presentations

Joint venture webinars are a fantastic way to deliver valuable, dynamic information to a fresh, new audience.

The partner’s audience signs up on your webinar platform so you have a way to deliver the webinar replay and follow up with your product offer.

Make this easy for your joint venture partner by providing them with:

  • Pre-written emails that can send to invite people to sign up
  • Promotional graphics they can use to share the event information
  • Pre-written social media posts they can copy/paste to promote the event

Be sure to contact prospective partners well in advance. Because this is an event that will need promotion, they’ll have to weave it into their already planned promotions so they don’t overwhelm their audience.

Use your creativity when trying this joint venture example. Find complimentary products and services you can bundle with a joint venture partner and sell.

Example 5: Joint venture bundles

Want to really wow your audience with an unforgettable offer?

This joint venture example takes a bit of effort to put together, but it’s well worth it.

Create a one-of-a-kind offer by bundling your product or service with a complimentary product or service your partner offers. Create a brand-new “not available anywhere else” bundle.

These bundles work best when there’s real synergy between the audience and the products offered.

Ideally, you’ll discount the bundle so that the products together cost less than the single product on its own.

Example:

You teach quilting to beginners. You have a $400 course called “Beginning Quilt Making” that teaches the basics.

You partner with someone who has an audience of crafters, some of whom sew. That joint venture partner has a $200 course called “Learn to Sew in 7 Days.”

You bundle these two courses together during your presentation and — during the limited time promotion — sell the bundle for $395.

You agree to keep $295 ($105 less than your usual course price) and your partner agrees to keep $100 ($100 less than their usual course price).

Your audience gets a bundle of products that make sense together. And they’re able to purchase them at a deep savings compared to buying them separately.

This is the longest-lasting and most complex joint venture project — a co-produced product or service. It's worth trying if you find the right partner!

Example 6: Joint venture/co-produced products or services

This is the most advanced of the joint venture examples I have for you in this article.

I have created two products with joint venture co-creators.

We had complimentary areas of expertise that we brought to the table. Together, we came up with courses that were richer because we both contributed to them.

Before you join together, speak frankly about your expectations, work habits, likes and dislikes. Really get to know each other. You’ll be working closely with this person — are they someone you want to spend lots of time with?

It’s also important to spell out your terms of separation!

That may sound counterintuitive. But in the case of many projects (as was the case in my two joint venture partnerships), business and personal changes may cause one or both partners to need to pivot their focus.

Having a well-thought-out joint venture partnership agreement that spells out how you’ll terminate the partnership helps each partner feel secure as they more forward.

Grow faster with these joint venture examples

Joint venture projects can boost your email list and your profits.

If you’re working to scale your business, use the joint venture examples here to map out a plan for leveraging your professional relationships to grow your business faster.

Branding 101: 7 Business Name Traps to Avoid

Today’s post is about seven pitfalls to avoid when you create a brand and business name.

Your business name is an important element that’s directly linked to your ability to grow.

Your business name can make your brand or it can break it.

Don’t hinder your progress by painting yourself into a corner with a name that will hold you back.

Learn what to avoid and what to do when you create a brand and business name by avoiding the seven traps here.

Read article …Branding 101: 7 Business Name Traps to Avoid