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11 Ways to Make the Initial Ask When Looking to Establish a Partnership

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It is often intimidating to reach out to an established business with a partnership opportunity. But as entrepreneurs and small businesses, you can make a big impact to show potential partners that you are a worthwhile investment by employing a few key strategies. Thanks to the power of the internet, we are now all on a level playing field and opportunity like never before might just be an email or introduction away. However, for this to take place many of you will need to step outside of your comfort zone to make that initial ask first happen/

The first hurdle is making the initial ask. When reaching out, try to highlight your common goals with the organization or how you can offer value, while not first asking for anything in return. You should also have a concrete plan in place that shows the benefits a partnership would have for all those involved. And never underestimate the power of a confident and humble attitude when it comes to earning their respect.

We asked 11 entrepreneurs from YEC to share their best advice for reaching out to a big potential partner.

1. Use Your Network

Big businesses are just like small businesses — they are composed of people (just a lot more of them). Reaching out to, say, GM is a tough goal, but finding a specific connection to one person in that business is very manageable. Try your personal, professional, family and alumni networks. You’re looking for someone who can introduce you with a warm introduction

John Rood, Next Step Test Preparation

2. Prepare to Bring in Another Vendor

You’d be surprised by what you can accomplish when you team up with another business that offers complementary — not competitive — services. For instance, smaller marketing agencies eager to work with enterprise brands may need to affiliate themselves with larger marketing providers who already have a working relationship with their target companies.

Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep

3. Find Complementary Goals and Objectives

Reach out to businesses whose products or services complement yours and establish common goals and objectives. When you’re both working toward the same end result, the partnership will be more sound and beneficial to everyone involved. If you’re a financial planner, you probably want to partner with accountants, lawyers and other professional service providers to refer customers to each other.

Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

4. Define the Value You Create

Before hitting send on that email or asking for introductions, spend the time to really hone in on the value that you bring to the potential partner. Even though the mutual benefits are clear in your head, realize that they will be approaching it from a cynical point of view. They know how it will benefit you so make sure they know how it will benefit them. Make it easy to say yes.

Douglas Hutchings, Picasolar

5. Be Ready With the Plan

Larger businesses have larger liabilities, and that means they can’t act with the agility of smaller businesses. A strong plan and enough early notice is very important in order to pique the interest of potential partners, so make sure all your ducks are in a row before you make first contact.

Matt Doyle, Excel Builders

6. Begin With Intensive Research via Web Presence

Before you personally address a prospective partner, begin with thorough research of the company’s web presence. Begin with an in-depth study of the business’s website, taking a close look at case studies. Also, check out the business’s social media pages, observing how they market themselves and interact with their audience. This will provide valuable preliminary information before talks begin.

Obinna Ekezie, Wakanow.com

7. Be Humble, Yet Confident

The key to formulating partnerships with larger or better-established businesses is to be both humble and confident. It’s important that you come to the negotiating table with humility, but while being sure of your brand, product or service. Understand when it’s the right time to listen and the right time to assert yourself, and you’ll quickly earn respect and a new partnership.

Blair Thomas, First American Merchant

8. Identify the Ideal Candidates

Find out what type of business would work well with yours in terms of skills and resources as well as value alignment. Additionally, do the research to see if these ideal candidates have ever done partnerships to see what went right or wrong in the past. This can help narrow the list of established businesses to approach and save a lot of time and effort.

Cynthia Johnson, Ipseity Media

9. Have the Right Attitude

Too many people reach out with a “Here’s what I’d like you to do for me” attitude. If you’re a new business seeking to partner or collaborate, your tone should always be “Here’s what I can do for you.” Have a specific idea in place and present it in a way that benefits the person you’re reaching out to.

Leila Lewis, Be Inspired PR

10. Offer a Very Concrete Benefit

Unless you have a specific number of clients, services or increased visibility to a niche audience that you can offer, it’s not worthwhile for a big business to spend time in partnership discussions with you. Identify a specific gap that would be difficult or expensive for them to execute on in-house and explain how you can provide value in a way that they may not be able or willing to.

Roger Lee, Captain401

11. Start Casual

Always start with a casual coffee meeting to develop a more personal relationship with the established business. Once you are able to connect with them outside of business, it will make them more willing to work with you on upcoming partnerships and projects that are mutually beneficial.

Bryanne Lawless, BLND Public Relations

Are You Making Enough Connections with Your Business?

There you have it, some of the best expert tips from successful entrepreneurs and business owners who have actually gone through the process of making that initial ask, and helped launch further success and opportunities for their companies. If you enjoyed this expert round up, I recommend you also take a look at our previous ones on expert SEO tips and best tips for making money online.

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5 Reasons Why Your Business Should Be Writing Blogs Right Now

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Blogging is a great way to get your website noticed and generate more traffic and sales. 86% of companies use a blog on their websites, so you can’t afford to miss out.

You may think that blogs aren’t that important, or that they don’t make a lot of difference to your business. But they are a lot more effective than you may think.

Blogging can increase your lead generation by 67%. Whether you’re a new or established business, this can prove invaluable. Here are 5 reasons your business needs to start writing blogs now.

1. Generate Traffic

Blog posts add more content to your website and thus attract more people to visit your site. Creating web content means that you can direct your readers to other parts of your website.

This means you can write a post about one of your products or services and use yours as an example. When readers discover this, you have a greater chance of boosting sales.

2. Boost SEO

When it comes to marketing your business, SEO is king. SEO determines where your website ranks on search engine results. In turn, it impacts how many people find you.

There are a lot of things that affect your SEO. Things like a fully optimized website and using the right links can make a real difference. Hook Agency says that having the right SEO can double or even triple your traffic from search engines.

Once you have your website sorted, blog content is next. The more blogs you write, the better the SEO. Use popular keywords and terms that your audience would search for. This will make your posts rank higher on search engines and get customers your way.

3. Create a Brand Voice

There are a lot of company blogs out there which may be interesting, but they have no distinctive voice. When they have no voice, they all blend into one.

But if you write blogs with a specific voice, you make an impression. When people can recognise your writing style, they recognise your company.

Set featured imageTry to give your posts a personality. They are more fun to read and will keep people coming back to read for more. They make your brand more trustworthy and encourage people to choose your brand.

4. Showcase Your Services

When it comes to your business, you’re the expert. You know all about your own products and services, so use your blog to show off this knowledge!

Explain what you offer and what you can do for your customers. People want brands to know exactly what they’re selling and it makes you more reliable.

It also serves as a free way to advertise your business. You can write as much or as little as you want on the services you’re offering.  

5. You Stay Ahead of the Curve

When you give your website a blog, you’re also future proofing your business. Those who don’t have blogs are lagging behind and missing out on a lot of great opportunities.

It gives you the chance to be creative and boost your business in a whole new way. You can also add other media like videos and photos to your posts to boost your SEO even further.

Chances are, you’ll find blogging very fun. Regular content on your site gives your business a firm presence and will keep you on the SEO map for longer.

Your Business Needs to Start Writing Blogs Now

Now that you know how important it is to start writing blogs for your business, it’s time to get started. It’s a fun creative challenge which can lead to more traffic and more sales.

Want to start a blog on your website? Check out our services and see how we can help you set it up.

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Cyber Monday and Black Friday Deals Going on Right Now!

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Black Friday is always a great time to take advantage of the huge holiday sales rush. Not only is this true with retail locations, it’s also MASSIVE for online businesses and shopping as well.

To provide our audience with a selection of the best Black Friday offers on the market today, we’ve hand selected a few of the best out there. Not only are these tools that are trusted and used by thousands, they are also tools and solutions that we love and personally use daily.

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Discover how to start a profitable online business by mastering affiliate marketing, content creation, social media, paid search & more.

Starting a website or a blog is EASY.
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Blogging.org University has created “The Complete Guide to Affiliate Marketing & Blogging” to make the concept of creating an online website, blog, brand, or business easy for anyone.

In these video sessions, industry expert Zac Johnson, will walk students through everything they need to know to create a successful and profitable blog online. Such topics include finding that perfect niche market, creating a site from scratch, how to make money with affiliate marketing, and much more!

And of course, all students get lifetime access to all course content, videos, and updates.

Online Coaching with Industry Expert Zac Johnson

Zac Johnson is the Founder of Blogging.org, and has been making money online with content and affiliate marketing for over 20 years now. Having first started making money online back in the mid-to-late 90s, Zac first found affiliate marketing success with Amazon.com, then started building out his own sites and ad campaigns.

Over the past two decade, Zac Johnson has lunched hundreds of websites, thousands of ad campaigns and has also taught his students how to make millions of dollars in the process.

The Complete Guide to Affiliate Marketing & Blogging” is simply one of the best courses for learning how to create a legitimate and profitable business on the internet, while also being 100% taught through lessons created by Zac Johnson himself.

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Quick and Effective Tips to Maximize Speed of your Website or Blog

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Few things are worse than when you click over to a new website or blog, and then it’s loading slow as anything. With everyone having an extremely short attention span, and so many options for other websites and entertainment online, a fast loading website is a must for every blogger, brand, or business on the internet.

There are also many benefits associated with a fast loading site, beyond just user experience. Google is now penalizing sites that take too long to load, and boosting up other sites that a mobile-optimized and running super fast.

Depending on how technical your design or WordPress skills might be, the process of speeding up your site and maximizing it’s optimization might vary. To help with this process, I’ve listed a few of the best working methods below.

Optimize your Homepage to Load Quickly

With the homepage being one of the most vital parts of your website or blog, you should be doing everything possible to make sure it loads quickly. Different things can be done to speed up your homepage such as lowering the number of posts on the main page, minimizing applications and widgets from third-party sites, and also optimizing your images so they are either loading as a smaller sized file or through a CDN service. It’s also a good idea to use an SEO friendly theme or template, as these are more often cleaner with their coding and already optimized right out of the box.

Use an Effective Caching Plugin

If you are using a CMS like WordPress or blogger, then using an effective cashing plugin can contribute nicely in the process of making sure your site is loading as fast as possible. Since caching is an apparatus for a temporary storage of web pages to diminish bandwidth and to improve page loading performance as well, it saves the server’s time to make web pages load faster. Caching plugins are easy to install and use. All you need to do is perform some research online to see which plugin is best for your site, then click a few buttons to have it installed right within WordPress. Once this is done, it’s usually just a matter of copying the account number of your CDN and letting the hosting provider and WordPress plugin do its work.

Use CDN (content delivery network)

We’ve already referenced content delivery networks or CDNs, a few times now. The way these solutions work is that they host a version of your site on their server, and then loads the content from another server that is closest to that individual’s location. More and more site owners and bloggers are using CDNs not only to improve page load speed but to provide users with a great experience to make them stay longer on the website. Also mentioned earlier, this can help with how well a site ranks in Google, while also moving your site above the competition. Moreover, if one of your server locations is overloaded due to huge traffic and visitors, then users can automatically be switched to a new server location to enjoy fast loading website experience.

Improve Your Hosting Plan

If you have a slow loading website or blog, it’s likely due to your hosting plan. If you are pushing a lot of traffic through your site and making money in the process, you should definitely upgrade from a shared server. Shared hosting is often fine for new site owners and bloggers, but as your site gains more attention, backlinks, and traffic, it will also likely be using more server resource. On a shared server, your site is also sharing the server resources with many other sites — sometimes hundreds, or even thousands! Upgrading your hosting plan to a VPS or dedicated hosting package can greatly improve the performance of your site as well. So, if you are still using a cheap web hosting plan with an average price below $5/mo and receiving massive traffic from search engines, then it would be the right time for you to upgrade your hosting plan with a better one to speed up your website loading speed.

Use Optimized Images

Big images take up a lot of space and resources when it comes to loading data from your site. This is especially true with very high-quality images. While these images are going to play a big role in the beauty and engagement on your site, there are still ways to optimize such large images so they load faster and put less stress on your server. There are many plugins are available that can drastically reduce the file size of an image without reducing the quality. Image optimization will not only help you boost website load time but will also save disk space for more files and media. If you really don’t want to overload your website with plugins, then you can also use online image reducer apps and software to optimize image before uploading to the media library of the site.

Minimize HTTP Redirects Requests

How and where content is being loaded on your site can also affect its overall performance. You may need to use redirect requests to redirect the web browser from one URL to another. There are a variety of reasons as to why you might want to do this, such as to specify a new URL location, to track visits and clicks on the site or to connect different elements of the website with each other. Since redirects might be necessary to enhance overall UX of the website, you should only be using the redirect requests that are most important because excessive redirect requests can have an ultimate impact on the loading speed of your website/blog.

Don’t Leave Your Audience Hanging

When browsing the internet, few things are more annoying than accessing a slow loading website. It’s hard enough to get someone to visit your site, let alone stay for a few seconds. Don’t give them a reason to leave right away because your site isn’t loading as fast as it should be.

Follow each of the simple and effective site speed optimization tips above to make sure your site loads as fast as possible, ranks higher than the competition and also doesn’t disappoint your audience when they hit your site.

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