What Is Partner Marketing and Is It Right For My Business?

Partner marketing is a marketing strategy involving the strategic collaboration of two businesses, or between a business and an individual that has a solid personal brand, in which both work to accomplish mutual goals together.


Benefits of a Marketing Partnership

  • Increased brand awareness 
  • Improved Clarity of Brand Identity
  • Works well as a B2C or B2B Marketing strategy
  • Broadens the purpose and scope of your marketing strategy
  • Can save time and money
  • Expands your target audience
  • Extends your Marketing Budget and Capability
  • Your giving added value to both audiences

Let’s establish that partnership marketing is kind of a broad term that includes many different categories underneath it. 

So we are going to uncover some of the popular types of marketing partnerships, what they are good for and whether or not they could be a good strategy for your business to implement.

Remember when pursuing potential partnerships, to first consider your future vision and goals. This will help you choose the partnerships that will most likely lead to mutual success, while also benefiting and connecting to your target audiences.


Most Popular Types of Partnership Marketing

  1. Affiliates, Influencers, and Ambassadors

A partnership with bloggers, social media influencers, and other content creators who your audience trusts within your niche. 

These kinds of partnership marketers will promote your business on their own channels, and then place the links to your business on their website, blogs, profiles, etc. . This means that when a person makes a purchase using an affiliates link, you will pay the affiliate or influencer a commission of that purchase.

This is best for companies that have high retention rates, mainly because they are more likely able to afford to pay their affiliates a commission every time they bring in a sale. 

Brand Ambassadors are similar, but their purpose goes a bit deeper. They intend to form a relationship with your audience, in hopes to influence them to take a desired action. They do so by sharing more authentic stories and experiences they have had with your business or product on social media.

Affiliates and influencers on the other hand, usually focus more heavily on making as many sales as possible. So while similar, they do have their differences. Making it important to establish goals and expectations early on, in order to know which is best for you.

Affiliate marketing programs usually work best for ecommerce, beauty, apparel, tech, health, and subscription based businesses.


  1. Strategic Alliances or Strategic Partnerships

These are carefully considered partnerships between two individuals or businesses that share the same values, visions, or goals. 

In a successful strategic alliance each partner is able to:

  • Increase their resources
  • Expand their audience
  • Strengthen their brands
  • Accomplish mutually beneficial goals
  • While still remaining independent.

If you’ve heard of co-marketing, affinity marketing, outsourcing partnerships, or even equity alliances, each are variations of a strategic alliance.

These types of partnerships are known to work beneficially for any type of business. As long as the partnership is formed with good intentions and careful consideration.

Since these alliances do tend to be long term in nature, there are some commonalities that make them so sustainable.

Some Common Traits of Successful Strategic Alliances:

  • The strategic partnership is essential to the achievement of a main business objective.
  • The partnership is indispensable in creating or maintaining any business aspect that functions as a competitive advantage.
  • The partnership improves the ability to overcome competitor threats.
  • The partnership builds, supports, or maintains strategic decision-making.
  • The partnership significantly reduces risk.

3. Nonprofit Partnership Marketing

Many brands like to form partnerships with a non-profit organization, and for good reason.

This is great because it benefits the non-profit, as they gain a new avenue to raise money and awareness for their cause, while the business gains points and credibility in the eyes of their audience too.

Non-Profit Partnerships can be one of the best opportunities to grow your brand’s impact, awareness, and trust. 

Your audience will certainly recognize when a partnership is established only to advance your business status, while lacking true compassion and empathy for the cause that you now claim to support.

Prioritizing good intent will ensure that whichever partnership you choose, will be carefully aligned with your purpose, values, and vision.


Important Questions to Ask When Searching for A Strategic Partnership:

  1. Is the potential partner’s audience similar enough, but not a direct competitor?
  2. Will both audiences benefit or gain something from this partnership?
  3. What could this partnership accomplish in order to provide maximum value to both of our audiences?
  4. What strengths and weaknesses do both partners bring to the table?
  5. Have I done my own research on the potential partners audience?
  6. What Benefits or value can I offer in this partnership?
  7. Do my values and visions align with theirs?
  8. Have both partners discussed and identified relevant mutual goals, and established what each partner can realistically accomplish within this partnership?
  9. How do we plan to track the progress of this partnership?
  10.  How do both parties plan to support each other throughout this partnership? This helps you make certain that everyone involved is satisfied with the direction of the process as it progresses.

Leading with good intentions and maintaining communication can be the key to forming a long-lasting and beneficial strategic alliance. Partnerships should be a clear two-way street.

Strategic partnerships are known to be massively beneficial to grow the awareness, impact, relatability, and overall success of your business.

Social Media Basics For Marketing Your Business

It’s common knowledge that social media has transformed the way in which the world operates, and the business world is no different. Social media has been growing rapidly for almost 2 decades, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

Social media platforms are not only a way to keep up with friends, family, or the latest news. It is also offers an opportunity for businesses and brands to make deeper connections, create an impact, and discover new opportunities for growth.

As of recent statistics, there are currently 3.78 billion daily active social media users which is about 48% of the global population.

So many of us already know how to use social media for personal purposes, but do we know how to effectively use it in a professional capacity? Let’s find out.


How To Use Social Media For Your Business: The Basics

1. Start With A Why

In many ways, business is what leads our society into the future. This means that your business idea is much bigger than you alone and should require careful thought, reflection, and consideration. Take the time to gain clarity about the reason that you want to launch this business, product, or idea.

It’s important in the realm of social media, that businesses be more transparent and engaging than they may have been capable of or comfortable with in the past.

Social media puts you in a place of leadership and influence over your audience, so it comes with an added responsibility for their well being too. Which is why it’s important for a business to lead with it’s why, before it tries to sell it’s how or what.

That will really be the difference maker whether or not your content is inspiring or manipulating your audience on social media.

2. Design your content strategy around your customers

This falls in line with establishing your why (purpose or desired impact) before establishing a how (strategy or system)  or a what (product or service). 

 According to Simon Sinek in his famously valuable book “Start With Why” he says that: “A WHY is just a belief, HOWs are the actions we take to realize that belief, and WHATs are the end results of those actions. When all three are in balance, trust is built and value is perceived.” 

This is the best way to grow your audience, by building trust and providing value first. So in order to do this the right way you will need to know who your audience is, what they stand for, and what they need most. 

It’s interesting that social media forces business owners of every size to learn ways to relate more closely with their customers, as if they were a local small town shop. When in reality a great number of interactions are done online and through social media.

This has given businesses the ability to stay at the forefront of their customers’ mind at any given moment, which understandably has its pros and cons.

3. Find the right balance of quantity and quality

A common concern among business owners about social media is whether or not they are posting enough, or too much, and if what they are posting is good enough to “work”.

The effectiveness of your content can really come down to many factors. So you have to decide what is the best balance and strategy for you, your business, and your audience. 

Ultimately one of the biggest deciding factors in this is: good intent. If your intentions are good, it will show and that alone will draw the right people to you.

Consumers are more able now than ever to recognize a company that has bad intentions or hidden agendas. It’s important to get to the core of what your intentions are with each piece of content before dedicating the time to creating it. Is your goal to get someone to “click through” or is your intention to make a meaningful connection and provide as much value as possible?

Social media is a real and exciting opportunity to unleash the power of word of mouth, but you have to give people good things to talk about. Your audience will be happy to see more quantity from you if your content is quality but more importantly created with good intentions at the core.

4. Keep track of your progress

There is a common phrase stating, “what gets measured, gets managed”. Which is understandably true because results do in fact count, and trackable results are in fact usually desired.

So in order to measure our progress, we should try to develop an understanding of the metrics that are easily quantifiable, and those that aren’t. For example, things like company culture can’t exactly be quantifiably measured but are still just as significant. It’s good to make sure that we don’t neglect the things that aren’t easily trackable, but are still essential to the brands and businesses overall success.

Let’s Break Down The Important Social Metrics That We Are Able to Monitor:

There Are Basically 4 Different Types of Trackable Metrics:

  1. Awareness: These Metrics highlight your current and potential audience.
    1. Brand Awareness
    2. Audience Growth Rate
    3. Post Reach
    4. Potential Reach
  2. Engagement: These metrics show how your audience is interacting with your content.
    1. Applause Rate
    2. Average engagement rate
    3. Amplification Rate
    4. Virality Rate
  3. Conversion: These Metrics show the effectiveness of your social engagement.
    1. Conversion Rate
    2. Click Through Rate (CTR)
    3. Bounce Rate
    4. Cost Per Click (CPC)
    5. Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM)
    6. Social Media Conversion Rate
  4. Consumer: These metrics help you understand how your active customers perceive and feel about your brand.
    1. Customer Testimonials
    2. Customer Satisfaction (CSat) Score
    3. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

For full descriptions and how to track these metrics yourself click here.

5. Experiment and mix up your formats

Social media really follows social trends and human behavior, so it’s best to stay flexible in your strategy and execution.

Experimenting with different styles and formats can help you get familiar with what may connect best with your audience and find ways to more effectively communicate with them.

This can also include playing around with a variety of hashtags for your posts. Hashtags are like SEO for Social media. If you don’t really understand what SEO is, that’s okay. SEO is essentially related to what we search for on google and the same goes for Hashtags on social media.

The goal is to intentionally use relevant keywords and hashtags so that your content can be more quickly accessible for your audience.

Does your brand know how to use hashtags in a way that gets the most value out of them?

Let’s find out.

10 Types of Hashtags To Use On Your Social Media Posts

  1. Industry Related Hashtags
  2. Niche Specific Hashtags
  3. Brand Related Hashtags
  4. Image, Visual & Design Related Hashtags
  5. Caption Reference Hashtags
  6. Community Hashtags
  7. Target Audience Hashtags
  8. Event Hashtags
  9. Celebration/Holiday Hashtags
  10. Trending Hashtags

According to a recent Instagram statistic, posts that include at least one hashtag, attract significantly more engagement than those that feature none at all.

This just means that followers really do engage actively with hashtags. If you can dedicate some time to specifically researching hashtags on platforms like Instagram, you could seriously boost the potential impact of your social media presence.

Utilizing hashtags and doing some research into which tags are best for your content can make a massive difference to increase the effectiveness of your social media efforts.


So to wrap this post up, many of us clearly see that that there is a lot of information to take in when it comes to social media marketing for a brand or for a business. So this is quite literally just the tip of the iceberg. 

Brands are continuing to develop their social media strategies, and they absolutely should. There are an abundance of options when it comes to content marketing, and businesses are trying it all in order to discover what works best for them.

Social media isn’t a one size fits all kind of thing. It can take a significant amount of time and energy to maintain. Which means that it is helpful to be clear on what your foundation is, and what vision for the future you are hoping to inspire before you click post or publish.


Would you like to learn more about social media and content marketing tactics for your business? Let us know!

Understanding Negative Capability: How Being Comfortable With Uncertainty is Your Greatest Asset as an Entrepreneur

The atmosphere of collaboration and teambuilding can feel uncertain and ambiguous at times, causing it to be overwhelming and challenging for many people. Which is part of why the discomfort of collaboration can unfortunately lead many people to avoid it all together. Luckily there’s a solution.

There is a concept called “Negative Capability” that was initially coined by Poet John Keats when describing writers like Shakespeare and artists like Picasso who were able to work within high levels of uncertainty and doubt, and even find a way to delight in it and produce incredible work.

Keats used the term to describe one’s ability to accept not having an immediate answer, and being willing to explore how something could evolve before a clear outcome appears.

This concept not only applies to writers and creatives, it applies to business, our personal struggles, and even our collaborative relationships too. 

So we have put together a quick explanation of how negative capability can welcome curiosity, focus, and resolution in your life as a collaborator.

Regardless of industry, this skill can help you boost your team building and collaborative processes exponentially and all you need to do is look within yourself.


What Negative Capability Looks Like In Action:

Negative Capability is the advanced ability to accept uncertainty, mystery, doubt, and ambiguity. Often in entrepreneurship, we lack a template, or instruction manual to follow step by step for our ideas. Yet we still manage to enjoy the journey and many of us even have a tendency to delight & relish in the sense of feeling lost. That’s in essence, part of the experience of utilizing Negative Capability.

To understand a bit better let’s discuss the difference between Passive & Active Uncertainty and how it will shape our understanding of Negative Capability.

Passive Uncertainty:

  1. “Fight or Flight” impacts decision making
  2. Typically comes from a place of ignorance or general insecurity
  3. Supports ‘Decisive Action’ that at times can irrationally and irritably reach beyond fact and reason.

Active Uncertainty:

  1. Uncertainty that comes from being without a template to follow
  2. The ability to delight and relish in the sense of feeling lost
  3. Supports ‘Reflective Inaction‘. Which just means to resist defaulting back to defensive routines when leading at the limits of one’s knowledge.

Negative Capability deals more in the realm of active uncertainty. Which is the uncertainty that comes from lacking a template to follow, and from paving your own way in life with little to no direction to help guide your way.

This type of uncertainty is common in team situations and collaborative environments because there are many minds with many different ideas and perspectives, causing a lot of ambiguity.

As a creator, ambiguity is just part of the game and that’s exactly why it’s important to learn how to cooperate with one another.

Which we can do that by suspending critical judgement until the end result & staying flexible to many possible outcomes rather than being overly attached to an early vision of success.


How Does Practicing Negative Capability Impact Your Life & Work?

  1. You’ll feel less hurried and chaotic.
  2. Increased curiosity & desire to discover truth.
  3. Enriched decision making capacity.
  4. Provides an alternative solution to managing stress. anxiety, and overwhelm.
  5. Establishes a mental foundation for navigating collaborative disagreements.
  6. Reduces pressure of fallout from missed expectations and misunderstandings.
  7. Makes a more flexible environment for communication, opinions, ideas & feedback.
  8. Infuses mindfulness and reflection into the work life processes.
  9. Encourages exploration, experimentation, innovation, and adaptability.
  10. Ensures that you don’t prematurely jump to conclusions that may appear more certain, but are in fact suboptimal.
  11. Helps your team remain focused and excited even when a project may be far from its end goal.
  12. Gives you the chance to appreciate fully and experience wholly the things that to others, often appear to transcend logic.
  13. Unafraid of being wrong or making mistakes because you see these as opportunities to grow and gain knowledge.
  14. It encourages the mindset that there are things that reason, alone, cannot always adequately explain. 
  15. Pushes you to remain flexible to many possible outcomes rather than being overly attached to an early vision of success.

So How Do You Practice Negative Capability?

  1. Disregard the need to analyze and control every detail when working within a team, or collaborative partnership.
  2. Practice regularly thinking and playing with new ideas and perspectives without judgement.
  3. Always tell a story with your ideas and vision, because in reality you are the only one who can actually see your vision. Which means you’ll need to get really good at storytelling and really believe in your story too.
  4. Push yourself to explore situations where you are less knowledgeable, experienced, or comfortable and let yourself sit in that uncertainty. Use this to challenge yourself to adapt, grow, and gain knowledge about something that you may not be super familiar with.

Negative capability is a universally accessible mental tool that can help us all grow and continue a smooth transition into a more flexible and collaborative work culture. 

2020 absolutely catapulted this transition far ahead. Which is exciting, but now that the chaos is winding down we are able to continue the transition more mindfully and make sure that all of our collaborative efforts prove to be impactful and well thought out.


If you are interested in learning more about this topic or how to overcome your own collaborative roadblocks:

Reach out to us anytime, or read the book linked below that was used as inspiration for this post!

Concept of “Negative Capacity” excerpted from book: HBR Review : Guide to Managing Strategic Initiatives : Lead with confidence, overcome roadblocks, and put strategy into action.

Mastering Collaboration Without Hesitation

When evaluating collaborative environments, we see that if we are able to combine the right people, with the right skills and values, and the time to build trust and communication, teams can accomplish truly incredible things.

Collaboration is a hot topic, and is hugely important to the success of so many initiatives. Yet, there is still plenty of hesitation around collaboration, so we want to address it head on.

Collaboration isn’t a yellow brick road to success. You will most certainly have to navigate some hurdles along the way. Many of us have overcome a fair share of hurdles to embrace collaboration in our own professional or creative lives.

Collaboration comes naturally to some, and naturally more challenging to others. 

We each face different hurdles when it comes to mastering our own collaborative contribution. Yet, there are some difficulties that all individuals and teams regularly face when striving to cohesively work together.


Fear

Fear is pretty relevant in all areas of business but especially when it comes to collaboration. We don’t often express our fears around working together, but our actions often prove the fears to be true. Fear of collaboration is an unsubstantiated fear, but it still has a negative impact on the effectiveness of countless teams.

Many fears around teamwork and collaboration are rooted in fears that our environment won’t value our ideas, visions, and opinions.

Fears are very personal, and take personal initiative to overcome them. When you shift to embrace your fears and contribute confidently within your team, you can open up a whole new world of possibilities.

Common Fears Around Collaboration

  • Fear That Someone Will Take Your Idea
  • Fear That Someone Will Make Something Better Than You
  • Fear That You Will Fail or Be Wrong
  • Fear That You Don’t Know Enough to Contribute
  • Fear that You Will Take the Blame if the Project Fails
  • Fear That Our Knowledge and efforts will be less valued than others.

Mindset

We can begin to welcome and empower collaboration by changing our mindset. 

Our ability to work coequally within a team can be disrupted when we are so set in our own perspective, that we cannot even recognize someone else’s viewpoint in its entirety.

As humans we can easily think that we are the best, and that we know best, when in reality we may not. Which can cause us to hoard our knowledge, ideas, and skills from others.

A common misconception about collaborating is “if I collaborate or discuss their ideas with someone, the other person will steal my ideas and run off into the sunset with them!”.

While this “could” happen, it probably won’t. Because, even if someone does run with your idea, they could never bring it to life in the special way that you can.

This is why we have brand loyalty and are able to enjoy brands like Nike, Adidas, Reebok, and more all within the same “ business sphere”. Each coexisting to provide the most value and best products for their customers in their own unique ways.

Yes, they are competitors, but they each have their own audience and loyal brand supporters. This seems to be working out just fine for each of them, so don’t worry too much.

Remember nobody can do you (or your ideas), like you can.

Don’t hide yourself and hoard your knowledge from the world because that really serves no one, not even yourself.


Team Culture

The culture and organizational structure in which your team operates can have great impacts on its collaborative success. When a company’s culture is rooted in fear, competition, or politics then the potential for effective collaboration will be limited. 

Fear based work cultures are most harmful to employees and their quality of work. This type of culture isn’t conducive to the sharing of ideas, and often leaves employees feeling alone and invaluable in many collaborative settings.

It’s been proven that when a team focuses on tackling a “common enemy” or shared challenge outside of the organization, it helps bring the team closer together and motivate them to work harder and more cohesively.

One of the biggest signs of fear based work culture is competition within the team itself.

Competition should only ever exist outside of a team. Competition within collaborative environments tears teams apart and makes accomplishing success more challenging.

Lastly and maybe most importantly, commit to recognizing contributions and celebrating successes within your team. This ensures that everyone feels valued and supported within the team, and those team members will be more likely to maintain or improve their contributions in the future with confidence.


Tips To Master Collaboration Without Hesitation

  1. Make a safe space for the wisdom and feedback of others.
  2. Embrace the uncertainty of collaboration by giving everyone permission to fail.
  3. There are actually no foolish Ideas. Many of the greatest ideas began as foolish ideas.
  4. Prioritize acceptance over agreement. Acceptance is always the best way to come to a fair and effective agreement.
  5. Collaboration thrives when every person involved can contribute with acceptance, clarity, and support.
  6. Collaborative ideas are collectively inspired, and they stem from something much greater than ourselves. Avoid becoming overly attached to your ideas when collaborating. They are not yours to keep so it’s okay to release them and see what happens.
  7. Recognize efforts regularly & celebrate success as often as possible.

Come work on your collaboration and networking with a community of likeminded business owners and entrepreneurs at our weekly BOSS Board Meet Ups! More Info Here.

If you would like to learn more about Project 3810, our community, and how we are equipped to serve you, click here.