What are strategic partnerships? Why should you build them and how would you go about doing that?

This week on the podcast, I want to answer a question I got asked on LinkedIn by Claire Sanders – a Business Development Manager from an Independent Brand Design agency based in Cornwall. If you’re interested in finding out more about strategic partnerships, what one might look like, and how you can build strategic partnerships that work for your business, you’ll find a lot of practical tips and examples in this episode.

And at the back of this episode, I have a call to action for you. Think about your audience and about businesses you’ve come across that have similar ideal clients to yours. Or can you think of any businesses which feel aligned with your brand and your ways of working? Start connecting and building relationships with them with a view to find a way to potentially work together.

And remember – the people you work with, surround yourself with, and recommend to others are a reflection on you and your business. So choose carefully, but try this out, as when you build strategic partnerships that work, they can be worth their weight in gold!

Tune in, and you will learn…

What are strategic partnerships?

  • A strategic partnership is a relationship between two commercial enterprises, usually formalised by one or more business contracts.
  • Strategic partnerships between smaller businesses (like coaches or consultants, for example), don’t need to be formal. But it’s important that both parties benefit from the strategic partnership. It has to be a win-win for everyone involved!
  • Strategic partnerships work when you have some shared common ground – for example, a similar target audience or similar brand price or value perception.

Why build strategic partnerships?

  • Strategic partnerships can bring benefits to your business. For example, assuming you don’t have an agreement where you have to give referrals, by being in a partnership with a business that will refer your products or services to their clients, you could reduce your marketing spend. The only money you’re spending is the time you’re investing in building relationships with other businesses.
  • Whenever I recommend a supplier to one of my clients, it’s easier for that supplier to close the sale. Because my clients trust me and know I’ve used the supplier before (or know someone who has), they’re confident they’re going to get value from my referral. In other words, when I refer business to one of my clients, those leads are much more likely to convert into sales.
  • Your strategic partners can become your business support network! And that’s important, especially if you’re a solopreneur and find working on your own lonely. And if that’s you, you might be interested in my podcast episode Working for yourself can be lonely sometimes.
  • In a nutshell, strategic partnerships can be a lot of fun!

How do you build strategic partnerships?

  • You can find strategic partners in different ways. For example, via networking, through referrals, or on LinkedIn. Find people that you trust and connect with them. Aim to build relationships and talk about ways you could work together.
  • If you’re looking to connect with potential strategic partners on LinkedIn, focus on the hashtags you’re using, engage with other people’s posts, and think about writing content that resonates with your audience. If you share similar audiences, your potential strategic partners’ audience may come across your brand through your content.

Examples of strategic partners

So what do strategic partnerships look like?

  • You could run join competitions or joint events with a strategic partner. In doing this, you bring similar target audiences together, and both businesses can connect with their ideal clients.
  • Or you could bundle two products together. If your product is complementary to a product a strategic partner is selling, why not sell them together?
  • Think about the wedding industry. If you’re a wedding photographer, for example, you could connect with venues, florists, wedding influencers, makeup artists, hairdressers, dressmakers, etc. How could something similar work in your industry?

Other useful resources 

If you’re interested in the topic of strategic partnerships, you might find this article useful: 11 Of The Best Strategic Brand Partnerships In 2014.

More about me

Speaking of strategic partnerships, I’m the process of creating The Business Greenhouse Club. It’s a brand new space for female entrepreneurs to connect, learn, and support each other. It’s ideal for anyone who wants to grow a thriving business while looking after your own health and wellbeing. So watch this space, as it’s coming very soon!

And if you’d like to work with me to help you grow your business, check out my Work With Me page. You can book a FREE 30-minute discovery call. Let’s discuss the challenges you’re facing and talk about how I can help you grow your business! And if you have any questions for me get in touch via my website or connect with me on LinkedIn, and I’ll aim to cover questions on the podcast.

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