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Digital Marketing Partnerships For The Win

If you’re reading this article, the chances are good that you probably own some type of agency. There’s also a good chance that if you’re reading an article like this one, you probably are looking for some unique ways to grow your digital marketing business through partnerships. You’ve already tried it all; keyword optimization, PPC ads, Facebook ads and even (GASP) cold calling. However, we’ve found through talking to other digital marketing agencies that marketers DON’T do their own marketing, HATE doing outbound sales and fill up with DREAD at the thought of spending time on their own business instead of working on getting results for their clients.

Well, I’m here to tell you that there is another path…

There’s another way that you can gain access to dozens of clients that are eager to utilize your marketing services. These same new clients are already paying monthly for marketing, getting results, and are laying out some additional budgeting dollars for future marketing campaigns.

Does this sound too good to be true?! It isn’t…it’s partnering.

What is partnering?


Partnering: “a person who takes part in an undertaking with another or others, especially in a business or company with shared risks and profits.”

Example:
At The Guerrilla Agency, we offer various SEO services, Web Design, PPC, email marketing, etc. We figured out early on that most agencies offering SEO either aren’t doing it at all (and just advertising it) OR they’re doing a poor job at it, underselling it or worse…claiming they’re doing it monthly but aren’t doing anything for their clients. From there, we offer to do all the intensive SEO labor for their clients while they take a cut of the profits.

Our Proprietary Partnering Process


We call up and agency, ask if they do SEO and if they don’t, WE PARTNER!

What a “proprietary process” right?!

Ok… here’s what we really do.

Step 1: Develop a Gameplan


You have to decide in what ways you’re going to partner with other agencies and come up with a set of offerings that make financial sense for both you and your partners. E.G., We partner with agencies in one of the three following ways.

White Labeling


At The Guerrilla Agency, we offer a white label SEO program. In essence, white labeling is the process of removing all of your agencies branding and providing your services to your partner’s clients under their brand name. In our example, our bread and butter price for our managed SEO service is $2K/Month. Our agency partner would then sell that SEO service to their clients at $2,500/Month. They get $500, their client receives a fantastic service, and we get more business.

Pro’s of White Labeling

  • You can sell to multiple (and in some cases dozens) of clients AT THE SAME TIME.
  • You don’t have to build a relationship with several clients, just one; your partner.
  • You can charge “full” price for your SEO services, and it’s on your partners to upsell the clients they already have a relationship with.
  • If everything goes correctly, you both make money (and they get their monthly in the mailbox).

Con’s/Risks

  • If your relationship deteriorates with your partner, you could lose multiple (and in some cases dozens) of clients AT THE SAME TIME.
  • Sometimes this is a tough sell because most established agencies with multiple clients are very protective of their brands.

Internal referrals


If an agency isn’t interested in white labeling your services, they can refer clients to you for that service for a cut of the monthly net. At The Guerrilla Agency, we usually do around 15% in perpetuity.

Pro’s

  • You can sell to multiple (and in some cases dozens) of clients AT THE SAME TIME.
  • You can get a healthy pipeline of leads if you find the right partners.

Con’s/Risks

  • Your agency partners don’t make a ton of money from some of these smaller services. E.G., if you’re selling SEO at 2K/Month, and agency partner would only make a few hundred/month.
    -Because it’s only a few hundred a month, sometimes agencies aren’t willing to put in the effort to refer them over.

External Referrals


The final way we partner with other agencies is by referring business out. We’ll usually do this for things like custom software development, app development, branding, etc.

Pro’s

  • You get a kickback (usually 10-15%) of the overall project price.
  • You build up some relationships that can possibly become a source of leads in the future.
  • You feel good about helping others out.

Con’s/Risks

  • You might refer one of your clients to a new partner to make a buck, only to realize they aren’t great at what they do (and your clients get pissed).
  • Your “partners” never pay you.

Step 2: Find Partners


Ok, here’s the fun part, finding partners. We recommend always starting with your existing Rolodex. Finding partners in agencies that you already have a relationship with (or know your work) is going to be easier than finding new ones entirely.

After you’ve exhausted those options, you can start looking for agencies that offer comparable services to your agency. If you do web design, reach out to SEO/marketing agencies that don’t provide it. If you do branding, reach out to marketing/web design agencies that don’t do it.

How do you find them?
Here’s our process.

We go out to Google and use the search bar. We type in every search term we can think of that would be inside our niche.


Next, we create a list in a tool like Trello (or your weapon of choice).

We search those emails in a tool like Norbert.

We go to Linkedin and find the person we need to contact AND CONNECT WITH THEM (now they have seen your face and recognized your business name).

Step 3: Pitch Your Partners


We send them an email with the subject line “Linkedin/Connection.” and say something like this:

I just asked to connect on Linkedin! INSERT PERSONAL THING ABOUT THEM, SO THEY KNOW IT’S NOT SPAM.

A little about us:
We’re a boutique agency here in town called The Guerrilla. Primarily, we work with clients on SEO, Content Marketing, Strategy, and Guerrilla Video.

We just launched a white label program, and I would love the opportunity to work with you in some capacity. We can either work directly with your clients through our white label program or through a referral.

In good faith, I’d like to offer you some free SEO work, so you can see how creative we can be on accounts.

Let’s schedule a meeting to discuss further if you have time in the near future.

Thanks again!

This email is just our template. Feel free to make it your own (or copy it altogether).

Partnerships are thebomb.com 


Partnering is one of the ways that we’ve been able to grow our agency, and we’ve seen this work for several small, medium and even large agencies. You can’t offer every service to every business and neither can your partners. All it takes is one or two successful partnerships to double or triple your monthly business revenue (trust us).

So get out there and start partnering OR you can call us, we’re always open for a conversation ;).

Until next time.

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