Even though you’re a solo service professional, you don’t have to go it alone when it comes to building your business.
Partnering with other service professionals that serve the same market in a different way can really pay off. For example, if you’re a professional organizer, you’re probably working with client who could use the services of a personal chef, interior designer, landscaper, painter and real estate agent in your area. By networking with these types of professionals, you can significantly boost the reach of your marketing efforts. You can cross promote one another’s services since you serve the same market without competing with one another.
Create powerful, profitable partnerships easily by following a few simple steps:
- Who do you already know that’s targeting your same audience?Think about your ideal client and the types of services they need besides yours. Create a list of professionals that are focused on serving those individuals. As you develop your list, be sure to focus on services that are complimentary to yours. For example, a graphic designer and copywriter have many of the same clients and can refer to each other.
- Research what they are offering and how they offer it.Find out more about your potential partners by researching them online. Look at their website, social media profiles and other online resources to discover more about their marketing approach. Do they offer monthly specials? Package deals? Custom quotes? Understanding their business model will help you with the next step.
- Craft an offer that benefits them.By getting to know how they do business, you can create an offer for a partnership that will benefit you both. Researching ahead of time will help you see exactly how your services can work into their offering. Your partnership offer with the other provider can take many forms – you can ask for referrals, you can create a product offering together, etc. Create an offer that is appealing to them primarily and you’ll get a better response.
- Approach them about a partnership.Now it’s time to take the next step – making contact. Reach out to other service providers after you’ve researched them and taken the time to create a plan. In your initial contact, be sure to introduce yourself and explain what you do. Let them know that you serve the same audience they do and you would like to support them in their efforts to grow their business. Emphasize the benefit to them throughout the conversation and make it clear that you selected them to approach, and not everyone in the same field. Your interest is more likely to be accepted if they see it as a personal contact rather than a blanket outreach to every related service provider.
- Make it easy for them to send referrals your way.You can grease the wheel of your partnership by making it very easy for your partners to send prospects your way. Give them copies of your marketing materials so they know how to pre-sell your services to their clients. Follow up on all leads promptly. Ask your new partner what you can do to make it easy for them and what information they need.
Growing your business through powerful partnerships is a win-win situation. You will increase your reach without having to find the prospects yourself, and you can help your partner’s business grow as well by introducing them to your network. With some strategic planning and consistent effort you’ll easily connect with ideal partners, grow your business and serve even more clients who need the solutions you offer.
How can you implement this strategy into your business NOW? Share your plan by posting a comment below and I’ll reply with additional tips to help you get better results!
Hope you’re having fun in Chilly Pennsylvania! I am definitely not envious 🙂
I was wondering, How do I sell the benefits to the other partner if I’m new to the game and don’t have the clientele to offer referrals? Would they see this as one-sided?
Sydni Craig-Hart says
Thanks for the not Margo! I had a great time in Philly, but was quite happy to get back to the warmth of California! 🙂
This is a great question you ask. What you have to offer to your potential partners is not just your client base. You certainly have a wealth of knowledge to share. You have your own network of vendors and resources you can make available to them. And you are certainly in a position to refer appropriate business their way. They can also consider bundling your services in with their own, which gives them an opportunity to add more value to their own clients, without any additional cost or effort. That is all more than enough to warrant a partnership with your company. It’s all in the way you position yourself!
Judy Dippel says
Excellent suggestions for business partnerships. It’s so rewarding to bring my writing skills and mesh them with a graphic designer, for example. I do minimal graphic design, but love handing off the bigger stuff! In the long run, I don’t spend time struggling through it, and then I can concentrate on what I do best.
Sydni Craig-Hart says
Well said Judy! I’m so glad you enjoyed the article. What you describe creates a win-win-win! You and your partner get to do the work you enjoy and are best at and the clients quickly receives a high-quality finished product! Please let me know how implementing these steps works for you!
April Force Pardoe says
Great advice, as usual. I am an interior designer and recently partnered with a photographer to offer her clients my services to help them decide how to arrange their framed photos once purchased. She’s added it as part of her package to clients. We are also sharing each others blogs and I’m guest writing on hers with design tips. I love working with other creative business owners!
Sydni Craig-Hart says
It’s great to hear from you! And this is an excellent example of a powerful, profitable partnership. I’m so glad this is working well for you. Please keep me posted on your progress!