According to an ancient African proverb, “If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together.”
In our noisy, volatile and rapidly changing world, experts, leaders and forward-thinking business owners are crying out for opportunities to connect and collaborate for mutual benefit. Would you like to align with like-minded people, build a fantastic support network and grow your authority, impact and income?
If so, this article reveals 4 creative and powerful ways to profit from Strategic Alliances. Do read on, comment and share to inspire others.
“If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together.”
#1. The Influencer Alliance:
It’s probably the oldest trick in the book. Over the centuries, governments, multi-national companies and small businesses alike have utilised ‘celebrity influence’ to spread their message rapidly and get the admiring (or peer-pressured) masses to rapidly buy in.
LinkedIn itself is such a great example. After it acquired the Pulse app from Alphonso Labs for $90 million in 2013, rebuilt it from the ground up and prepared to re-launch, it created strategic alliances with entrepreneurial influencers like Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington and others.
The more these influencers created and published compelling content which quickly went viral on the LinkedIn Pulse platform, the more desirable said platform became to the masses. It soon reached a point where almost everybody on LinkedIn was either wondering or asking when they would get publishing rights as well.
Think about your own business. How can you create strategic alliances with influencers who can help you spread and profit from your valuable message, products and services? You don’t necessarily have to shoot for the ‘A List’ stars right away. For instance, you could start by reaching out to local celebrities and bloggers in your niche.
#2. The Unlikely Alliance:
Strategic Alliances are traditionally created between friendly parties but that’s not enough reason to rule out your pesky rivals yet. In 2014, Apple and IBM shocked many when they locked arms.
According to Forbes Contributor, Michelle Greenwald, the alliance was designed to leverage Apple’s consumer experience and hardware/software integration as well as help to invigorate IBM’s image, which had sagged a bit in recent years.
And it worked.
Quoting Ron Miller of TechCrunch.Com, “One year in and 32 apps later, the partnership seems to be flourishing and giving both companies what they wanted. For Apple, it was a chance to learn about the enterprise and sell more hardware. As Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the time of the announcement, IBM understood the business verticals Apple wanted a piece of.”
Think about your own business. How can you create ‘unlikely alliances’ in your industry? How can you lock arms with your competitors for mutual benefit? You don’t have to be a commercial behemoth like Apple or IBM in order to make this work for you. For instance, two coaching practices or law firms can form an unlikely alliance in order to achieve their desired goals.
#3. The Co-Creative Alliance:
One of my favourite ways to build a strategic alliance is to co-create with like-minded people for mutual benefit. When done right, sharing the workload in this way leverages the strengths and insights of a group to make tasks easier, faster and more enjoyable.
For instance, many business owners can be seen co-authoring and publishing books and digital courses. You can co-create anything from expert articles and industry reports to live events, products and services. The opportunities are endless.
In a creative alliance, you can access the benefit of working with your co-creator as well as any other contacts and teams they benefit from. For example, if you co-create a book or live event with someone who has an in-house sales or legal team, you may profit from that resource indirectly and vice versa.
Think about your own business. What exciting projects can you partner with like-minded people on? It could be a great way to learn, make new contacts and grow your business.
#4. The Marketing Alliance:
Another great way to align profitably with others is through upfront marketing alliances. For instance, Affiliate Marketing – a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or buyer introduced by the efforts of said affiliate.
Although affiliate marketing is an age old practice, online retail giant, Amazon, arguably runs one of the most sophisticated affiliate marketing programs in the world. This has contributed significantly to the billions of revenue generated by the company since its launch on 5th July 1994 out of Bellevue, Washington, USA.
Referral Marketing is also another example of a marketing alliance. This is different from Affiliate Marketing in the sense that it relies much more on trust and personal relationships to drive engagement and sales.
Think about your own business. Do you need more affiliates and referrers? If so, how can you find reliable affiliates or referrers? Where can you find like-minded people you can create Profitable Strategic Alliances with?
We have examined 4 creative and powerful ways to profit from Strategic Alliances:
The Influencer Alliance, The Unlikely Alliance, The Co-Creative Alliance and of course The Marketing Alliance.
Which of these methods are you already using and which would you like to implement in your business? Think about it.
Next Steps To Success:
#1. Comment below to share your views, inspire others and increase your visibility on LinkedIn. Learning is a two-way street.
#2. Find and attend events where you can create meaningful and profitable strategic alliances or partnerships.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ọgọ (pronounced ‘or-gore’) is the Founder/Director at Creativity and Sense Consulting. She helps forward thinking business owners, experts and leaders in the creative and service industries develop themselves, their teams and their marketplace leadership using creative thinking.
From out of the box personal and business development training for leaders and teams to innovative platform building services – for experts who are too busy to write, she’s got it covered. The author of several books (e.g. a historical novel and a business title – plus a variety of content in media such as The BBC, The Independent Blog, Training Journal, Training Zone, Better Business Focus and Talent Engagement Review), she is certified in Business Mentoring from the award winning University of Northampton Business School.
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