May 3, 2007
When I returned from Iraq in January 2006 I put up a website and started marketing myself online in the all of the usual ways:
- Article Marketing
- Ezine Publishing
- Free E-book Downloads
- Social Networking
- Forum Posting
All of these methods worked in some fashion. I achieved some results with article marketing and noticed that the more I did it the more positive results proliferated. It’s a great long term strategy. Blogging was more immediate and I found the SEO benefits more than rewarding. The free e-book downloads resulted in building a modest size list of e-zine subscribers, but writing and mailing my newsletter every week became a time consuming chore. At least I saw my name in print – again.
While my marketing efforts resulted in some sales, and still do, my most important marketing move by far has been a different way of marketing altogether. I simply accepted a partnership agreement with another marketer. Since then, my business – and my partner’s – has skyrocketed.
Many people shun partnerships because of the risk of losing control. While losing control is possible, it is unlikely if you screen your partners carefully. If you build trust between your partners and respect each other’s strengths then you can develop a winning business strategy and be insurmountably more effective. That was my experience.
One day, I happened upon a website that was offering the same services that I offered. Content. As a professional writer, I’ve got a diverse background in the printed word to include journalism, creative writing, and technical writing. I tried to steer clear of article ghostwriting because of what I perceived to be low pay. The ads on the freelance job sites continue to amuse me:
Need a ghostwriter for 500 articles. Deadline is one week. Topics vary. I’m willing to pay up to $1.50 per article.
I laughed at those jobs. I couldn’t imagine anyone surviving on $1.50 per article. Still can’t.
When I decided to apply for freelance writing work through a ghostwriting service I stumbled upon last summer, I did so with some trepidation. After all, one can never be sure how such things will turn out. Within one month I was getting more work from this one customer than I was getting from all my previous customers combined. I didn’t have time to pursue other work. What did it matter? I was making a decent living. I wasn’t getting rich, but I was eating every night – and I was making more than $1.50 per article. Then one day out of the blue my boss called and said he wanted to offer me a chance to make more money. How could I refuse?
I soon started managing the company’s work flow. He sent me more work. I didn’t have time to write any more but that was OK because as manager I was scraping a little bit off the top of other people’s production. Henry Ford’s maxim – it’s better to make 1% off of 100 people’s efforts than 100% off of your own – became my new motto. The business continued to grow – thanks in large part to my boss’s ability to sell, his spectacular SEO and PPC skills, and my ability to manage and organize people and projects. My wife was a fitting help mate. She took over management of some of the business functions, freeing me up to focus on other things. We continued to grow.
Today, Chris McElroy aka NameCritic and I are partners. We are both committed to growing the business by tending to our respective duties and relying on our managers to keep it organized and delivering quality services in a timely fashion. It’s worked out well. I am more successful today, and have learned more about Internet marketing than I ever thought possible, just because of this one partnership.
Partnerships are the best way to build a business fast. Just ask any affiliate marketer. But you do have to adhere to certain principles to be successful in any partnership:
• Build trust – If you expect your partner to trust you, give him to reasons to.
• Respect your differences – The reason you have a partner is to increase your productivity by focusing on the things that you do well and letting others do what they do well.
• Have clear divisions of responsibilities – Know your place within the organization; do what you do best and let others do the same.
• Develop a common vision – No business can survive if key decision makers have divergent views on central issues related to the business.
• Bring something to the table – What do you have to offer? You can’t attract partners if you have nothing to give.
• Talk every day – A business partnership is like a marriage; you’ve got to have constant contact.
In the time that I’ve partnered with NameCritic I’ve seen others try to branch out on their own only to fall on their faces. I’ve seen good people try to nose their way between us and our clients only to be cast aside for their lack of judgment and integrity. Those are sad cases of low regard for business ethics. In business, online and off line, it isn’t what you think you know or believe you can do, it’s who you are at the deepest levels of being. Successful partnerships depend on strong character, integrity, and mutual respect. Those are qualities that are a little bit out of fashion, but important nonetheless.
Author: Allen Taylor is the operations manager for Article Content Provider and Blogs.pn. For more information about how you can get affordable high quality content visit www.articlecontentprovider.com or call 717-528-4005.