Starting your own webinar business can be financially difficult. There is that need to first make your business known which usually entails for paid advertising to be taken care of. Charles Byrd shares the concept of joint venture webinars, a method of leveraging other people’s audiences to promote one’s own product. It’s a great way to organically grow your business without having to spend on marketing. All it needs is to create partnerships and actively promote each other’s products. Charles talks about the how to’s of growing your business by affiliation. He discusses how he got into this path with an amazing start of having over a thousand people on his first webinar. Learn from the JV expert as Charles provides some great tips on how to approach people and network, adding value to your business as well as building great relationships.
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Grow Your List with JV Ventures and Affiliate Webinars w/ Charles Byrd
I’m pumped about our guest on the show, Charles Byrd. Charles and I met in a Mastermind in San Diego. The cool thing that Charles specializes in is getting people onto his webinars and launching new products, new services, and new businesses using joint venture webinars. He has mastered the game of attracting new joint venture partners, affiliate promotions, and leveraging the power of webinar promotions to grow his list, product, sales, and business without doing any paid marketing.
I wanted to have Charles on the show to teach you how you can grow your business, how you can promote your webinar through partnerships and JV promotions. I want you to take extra special attention because if you don’t have money to pump into paid advertising yet, or if you’ve got paid advertising already taken care of, joint venture partnerships and affiliate promotions are going to take your business to the next level and it needs to be a part of your marketing strategy.
Charles, welcome to the show.
Thank you so much, Joel. It’s a pleasure to be on with you.
For those people who may not know who you are, why don’t you do a quick background and a quick introduction about who you are, what your business is, and what’s your history with JVs and in webinars?
My name is Charles Byrd. I came from a fifteen-year career in the Silicon Valley and thought, “I want to work for no one.” I started my own company and went into the online education space. I followed a friend of mine system, Danny Iny, who created a course called the Course Builder’s Lab. I launched a productivity course focused on teaching entrepreneurs to kill the chaos of information overload by learning to apply Evernote to their business and their life. I had no list. The list I had was pulling people in from my LinkedIn connections throughout my career. I had about 700 there, but I never even mailed them. It was just a list I came up with.
I learned how to do joint venture partnerships because Danny Iny invited me to an event. He asked me if I would be his director of partnership, so he became my biggest client. By learning from a master, he taught me how to do joint ventures. Then, I took my background in project and program management and my work in the Silicon Valley in being a productivity geek and completely optimized the workflow from running off a Google sheet to a full system that is an optimized machine. It has fueled some significant growth and it’s a self-perpetuating system.
What we mean when we say joint ventures and partnerships specifically with webinars is leveraging other people’s audience to promote your own products or services. There are different ways that you can do it. You can do webinar swaps, which is take your audience and promote your partner’s webinars to your audience in exchange for promoting your own product to their audience.
The other way to do it is through affiliates or joint ventures where you do a promotion to your audience with somebody else’s product and you split a portion of the sales you share in the revenue of whatever sales happening from that webinar. Talk about your productivity management course that you’ve been selling. Take us through the journey of the first webinar that you did, how you approached a partner, and where you are now. You’ve had some exponential success starting out with no list at all.
What I did was pilot the course. I was coaching the CEO of a real estate company and he invited me to speak on his stage in San Francisco. I created effectively a presentation which became the foundation for my existing webinar and delivered it from the stage. I got some people to sign up for my course for which the content wasn’t created. I had an outline for it, but it wasn’t like a video course at that time. I delivered it live in webinars a week apart with four sessions. That clued me in that I was on the right track. The feedback was good. I didn’t need to pivot because I was getting some decent feedback, although not a lot because I didn’t have a lot of students.
I converted that into a video course, added on camera bumpers, this and that. I’m a certified project manager and I was invited to speak by the Project Management Institute. My first webinar had over a thousand people on it. It was a cool opportunity. It wasn’t a webinar where there’s a partner and your pitching and all of that. I had that first win under my belt of doing that. I started reaching out to people who had shows, audiences or podcasts and told them what I was up to. In my case, as it turns out, lots of people want to be more productive and in fact, 92% of the people I speak to have heard of Evernote. Three-fourths of them already have it.
When I’m speaking around the US or in Canada, I ask, “How many of you have heard of it? How many of you have it, and how many of you know that you could be making better use of it?” Then, three-fourths of the hands go up. My first webinar was with a guy named Tom Poland who lives in Australia. His audience was around 3,000 at that time and he had me on. He does this five-minute show and had me on that. Then, we did a webinar and it had 50 people on it. I converted 18%, that also let me know that I was on the right track.
Every time you get a win like that, that’s part of your messaging, reaching out to the next group of people. I always told him right where I was at with the process. A few other people liked that, like Cathy Demers had me on her show. She’s been incredible. She’s got a big audience and doesn’t usually work with people who are new to the scene, but she could tell it was a good message and it worked great. That’s how I got started and it build over time. It’s not an overnight thing, but if someone shows you how to do it, it’s like anything. It seems like Voodoo magic until someone explains it and then you’re like, “I could do that.”
Essentially, what you’re doing is you’re leveraging other people’s audience to grow your own audience in a nutshell. It’s like anyone who has read Rich Dad, Poor Dad. He teaches people how to leverage other people’s money to finance your dreams. It’s like leveraging other people’s list, and your list is your most important asset in your business. Your personal list and other people’s list are the single most important asset in your business. You’re leveraging other people’s assets to grow your own business and it’s a win-win because you’re sharing the sales. Your partner gets a percentage of the sales and you get a percentage of the sales and you’re growing your list at the same time.
You’re providing them value on the way too because people are thirsty for this. This is one of the things you’re looking for as an audience that your message or product aligns with and complements. It’s a win for them because you’re bringing their people this fresh perspective and good ideas, and it’s certainly a win for you. I started with no audience, so it’s a way to get in front of people. You could build a webinar and mail your 50 friends on your list. It’s not going to do much. Getting in front of other people’s developed and nurtured audiences is fantastic. There’s no money out of pocket to do it.
You briefly mentioned you connected with Tom when you first got started. You said you were reaching out to bloggers and podcasters to connect with them. Tell us a little bit more about what happens when you reach out to bloggers and podcast. What does that process look like?
In Tom’s case, I was invited into a group that was focused on joint ventures. I was invited into a fold where there were people looking for that kind of thing. I’ll tell you a strategy I would recommend, and I did that was as effective and that is, find groups that have the kind of people you’re looking for on Facebook, like entrepreneurial groups, Internet marketing type groups. It took me a little while to figure this out because in my world, my Facebook friends were my real friends.
What I noticed was people in these groups would friend each other. I didn’t know why it took me a little bit to figure that out. It was a paid group, so I was paying to be in there. Then, one day it sunk in. You can make friends with the people in this group and then stay in the group if it’s giving you value. If it’s not, you cannot be in the group and then still reach out to all the same people.One of the things you're looking for is an audience that aligns with and complements your message or product. Click To Tweet
A strategy I highly recommend, if you don’t have a network and you’re not going to a bunch of events, is finding these groups, see who’s active in there, who’s moving and shaking, comment and like some of their stuff, contribute to the conversation, message them and say, “How about we jump on a virtual coffee chat?” No one will turn you down. You can talk about what you and they are up to, who their audience is. Then, in the back of your head, while you’re listening, and you should do a lot more listening than talking, you’ll try to assess if what you have to offer complements that audience. Nothing about it should be forced. You can tell them what you’re up to and if they agree then you can take things from there. I’ve booked a ton of webinars doing that.
You’re finding your target audience of influencers first. You’re in the productivity space, the project management space on how to become more productive. You’ve got a course on how to do this. You’re joining these groups that that would have a similar audience, they will be influencers that have a similar audience to what your message is.
The key thing is not just friend requesting them, it’s not that simple to connect with them. You can friend request them but there are other things that you have to do before they’re going to agree to say, “I’ll promote you to my webinar.” You mentioned liking and commenting on their posts. Why would somebody want to do that before you make a big ask of, “Can you promote my stuff?”
It’s all the difference between if they’re going to pay any attention to you. If I showed up out of the blue and I’m like, “Do you want to promote me?” The answer’s going to be probably, “Go away.” If we built a relationship over days, weeks, or even months on Facebook like there are people who like and comment on almost everything I post, of course, I’m going to have a conversation with them. I see their face every day, it’s in my feed. They’re contributing back and forth on things like that. It warms you up to them, makes you familiar, and then they’re far more likely to want a meeting.
Also, if you’re in one of these Facebook groups that are focused on entrepreneurship, online marketing or online education, that is your common platform to say, “We’re both in this group together. How about we jump on Skype or Zoom and have a virtual coffee chat?” That’s another easy way to do it and you can nurture this. It doesn’t have to be over this super extended period of time. If you’re in a group with someone, you can ping them and ask. I’ve never had anyone decline. Why wouldn’t they take a meeting?A benefit of webinars is as you deliver them, you get better and better at it. Click To Tweet
Speaking of somebody from experience who’s just getting into this game of leveraging joint venture webinars, every time that I talked to them, it’s like, “How do I reach out to people? What’s the strategy?” It boils down to adding value to them first before you ever ask for anything in return. Even something as simple as you friend request them, but liking their post, sharing their post or sharing an article that they wrote.
What I’m doing now is anyone whom I respect and want to connect with, I want to get their attention. I’m liking their stuff, which helps get them more visibility on Facebook. I’m commenting so they see my name. I’m sharing their stuff and it helps warm that up so much quicker than if I were to private message them and say, “I’ve got a great product. You should promote my stuff.” It doesn’t work that way.
Another fantastic tool is introducing them to people. Let’s say they’re working on something and they make a post related to trying to get this landing page up. If you know someone who’s good at that, you go, “I can introduce you to so and so.” It’s so easy, but it provides them value. The more you’re doing this, the more you’re paying attention to who’s online and going to events, you start building this little arsenal of, “I know three copywriters. I know someone who’s great at webinar and offer design.” You end up with this network of people where you know their specialty. I do intros almost every day and then they also start coming back.
One person gave me twenty introductions. I wouldn’t say I get twenty in a day all the time, but introductions happen almost every day. These things start snowballing and self-perpetuating. When you’re starting, is it that fast? Obviously not, but this doesn’t even touch on live events and all of those things, but let’s say you’re home alone. It’s crickets and quiet. You’re an entrepreneur wondering why the world is so quiet.
This is how you start getting more interaction. It’s not even about lining up the webinars. In fact, the conversation shouldn’t just be about the webinars, it should be learning about them, figuring out what they’re up to, finding ways you can contribute ideas or intros. What happens is frequently these conversations were of smart entrepreneurs. They end up being these mini-masterminds. I feel like I get to have mastermind time every day because I’m having these great conversations.
All it comes down to is if you want to leverage other people’s lists, you want to get into their world, find out how you can add value to them. Like and share their stuff is one simple strategy that you can do to build awareness of yourself as a personal brand. Learn more about them and nurture that relationship before you ask for anything in return. Learn how you can help contribute to them. How long have you been doing this JV strategy for your productivity and management course?
I started a little over a year ago, but in reality, I started about four and a half months ago because I had been managing Danny Iny’s all partnerships. In those nine months that I was booking full-time for Danny, I did five partner webinars. There’s nothing impressive there. Since my bookings and course have taken off, I book two to six webinars every week. For several weeks, I’ll do two webinars a day and I book them Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I would do what I did in nine months almost every week. I’m growing the list at about 2,000 a month. I started with almost zero and have grown the list to 7,000 in about four and a half months.
You haven’t spent anything on paid traffic. You’re building these awesome relationships with top-level influencers and sharing in the revenues. For anyone who’s just getting started, you can understand how this is a good strategy to help build your list, make sales in the process and build goodwill in the marketplace. There are other ways to do the similar strategy if you don’t do webinars, but why do joint venture webinar and joint webinar promotions allow for this to be such an effective strategy with connecting to other people?
It works immensely well because you’re providing value upfront, like in my webinar, this is the structure of it. Beyond starting with intros and stuff, I cover the big why, why the topic matters. You’ve got to light their imagination and awareness to the bigger impact, the message that you’re sharing has. The why is super critical. Then I go into a full free training of all of Evernote’s core features. I provide a ton of value right out of the gate. They don’t pay a penny for it. They’ll be spending their time to learn and the promise of my course is to spend three hours in the course, then you’ll save three hours a week going forward. I offer the deeper dive course and they’ll spend an hour plus with me. They’ll see my teaching style, the way I communicate.
A minimum of 10% of people that come to my webinars buy and I’ve had it as high as 42%. Most of my webinars range about a few hundred people. I had a partner, and something went wrong with how they promoted it. One person showed up and I managed to convert him in fifteen minutes so that webinar had 100% conversion. There’s no pressure to buy anything. They can just take the value. In fact, I even encourage it. I’m like, “If you have what you need from what I gave you for free, awesome.” It’s a win for the partner because I showed up and provided a free training to their audience.
Then, for the buyers, they get the deeper dive course that will save them three hours a week and for the partner, they get 50% of the commission in my case. There’s no upfront cost at all to get in front of these people. Another benefit of webinars is as you deliver them, you get better and better at it. Your conversions go up, your messaging gets smoother, your delivery gets better. I consider it like when you first started, it’s a sketch of this picture and then the more you do it, you’re adding in these brush strokes and color and phrases and you tightened the whole message.
What you’re saying is content is king. Webinars are the ultimate form of content marketing because you’re able to teach, you’re able to wow people, and you’re able to give them this transformation in a 45-minute to 60-minute presentation, build yourself up as an authority, give great content to your audience, and at the end you give them the opportunity to continue down this path of following you through whether it’s a course, a coaching, it doesn’t matter. You can sell products on webinars. That’s why they’re great with joint ventures and webinar swaps.
It works well and I don’t know of any other way to build an audience, list and reputation faster. Even if you’re running Facebook ads, you know all well and we have common friends who make a great living doing it that way, there’s more than one way to do it. I’m a big advocate of this model too because of the relationships you build. Spending time with Facebook is not the same as spending time with a bunch of smart entrepreneurs where you’re trading ideas, talking about what worked well, what could be better, getting introductions to the next wave of people.Spending time with Facebook is not the same as spending time with a bunch of smart entrepreneurs where you're trading ideas. Click To Tweet
I want to finish up our conversation with one more strategy for how we can line up more affiliate partners and JV partners. You talked about live events. How do you approach live events? A lot of these live events cost money to attend. Not only do you have travel costs, airfare, hotel, food and transportation, you also have the actual event ticket for some of these events. Some of them can be $500, $1,000 or $2,000. How do you approach these events and make sure that you get your biggest bang for your buck without coming across as salesy and, “I’m intentionally trying to talk to you to line up a partnership?” What’s the strategy for a live event?
I go to a lot of live events, some are Masterminds while others are bigger conferences. I’ve been to JVology. There are different strategies for those depending on what you’re doing. Any trip I go pays for itself in various ways. First, there’s no better way to build relationships then meeting people in person. How did you and I meet?
Live and in person.
Surely, we could have meetings like this. I have friends in Australia and other places that I meet with like this all the time. You can build relationships remotely, but there is nothing better than in person, going out to dinner, grabbing a drink, talking in person. The relationships I’ve built that way are by far stronger than any other way. If you want to connect with the movers and shakers, they’re the ones that get off their butt and flew to wherever the event is.
Then two, go to where the people are. If the movers and shakers in your industry go to an event, then show up there and talk to people. That’s exactly how I started. My first event was Jeff Walker’s PLF Live and I’m still in touch with one of the guys I met at the very first event. We sat next to each other and we’ve had many calls. When you’re meeting people in person, you’re not out to meet everybody. You’re out to build one to three relationships and maybe meet another ten or fifteen people. Certain ones just click, and they go from there. I went to eight cities and five countries. I did fourteen live webinars.
That’s sounds like a very productive person, that sounds like you work 100 hours a day.
That’s the pinnacle of where you can take this. That’s when I decided to start going to live events. I ponied up. It was $3,000 or $4,000 to go to this entrepreneur retreat. I’ve talked to three of those people. In fact, I was promoting Danny and his course and one of the people who bought it, I’ve met at that event.
You said movers and shakers go to events. What was fascinating is as soon as I heard that, I’m like, “That makes a whole lot of sense,” because I’ve been talking to my audience about how to identify hot buyers in any market. Webinars are great because if somebody signs up for a webinar and attends they’re four to six times more likely to buy. They marked it down in their calendar and showed up to the event. They’re super interested. It’s like they’re walking into the car dealership. They have a need for a car already. They walk into the lot and say, “Show me what you’ve got and if it makes sense then I’ll buy.”
Those are the people who raise their hand and show up for a live webinar. To take this to another point where you were talking about live events, the movers and shakers fly to events are super high-quality people. Those are the best of the best that you want to connect with. I’m always trying to figure out how to find the best of the best people to connect with. That’s a super high-quality connection that you want to meet. This is the best way to identify those screaming hot prospects, leads, partners, connections.
It’s hard to stomach if you’re not used to paying a bunch of money to go to events. I can’t recall a time I regretted upgrading the VIP because that further takes you into the fold of people who are doing incredible things. It’s not like every one of these events you’re going to come home with a ton of deals. Like the guy who gave me twenty introductions, he’s got a list of 140,000. I went to the Marketers Cruise and I was in line behind him to get coffee. We started chatting and hit it off. The guy books as many webinars as I do and we traded. In fact, we hung out at that event. Since then, we’ve been on for at least five hours of Skype calls doing best practice shares and introduction exchanges.
When you put yourself in the same room, at the same venue, the opportunity is everywhere.
I have way more opportunity than I can even keep up with. I could be booking ten webinars a week if I had the bandwidth to follow up. The reason I’m doing two to six is because that’s the bandwidth I have. Otherwise, I could do way more.There's no better way to build relationships then meeting people in person. Click To Tweet
Charles Byrd who has been a maniac at booking partnership webinars, JV webinars and affiliate webinars, and growing his business organically through non-paid marketing methods. We talked about why webinars are so great to promote to other people’s lists because you provide content, you provide value, provide goodwill to the audience, and you give them the opportunity to continue to follow you if it makes sense. It’s a win-win for the audience that you’re promoting it too. It’s a win for you, the promoter, and it’s a win for the influencer that you’re reaching out to.
There are so many benefits with JV webinars and affiliate Charles also talked about how to how to connect with these types of people at live events and in Facebook groups, and how to add goodwill and how to add value to them before you even ask them for a favor of doing a joint promotion. Charles, I learned a lot and we’ve already talked multiple times on this topic and sometimes you need to hear it ten times before it actually sinks in, but tons of great content in this episode. Tell people where they can go find you, where they can connect with you and learn more.
The public face, the list, it’s all focused on productivity. Another reason I’m booking so many webinars is because I have these productivity systems. The main product related to applying Evernote to your business and your life, you can find that at KillTheChaos.pro, killing the chaos of information overload, kill the cast out pro. I’m putting on a live event related to joint ventures because so many of my peers in the industry have asked how I do this. The info on that can be found at PureJV.com. I also consult clients one to one on that topic if I’m not doing a live event teaching it. There are two sources to track me down.
I highly recommend Charles. He has been a huge help to me as I’m getting into this JV game and the affiliate game. I’ve had affiliate webinars myself. As I’m promoting my own products and services, I’m looking forward to growing this, like Charles is teaching. Charles, thanks for hopping. We had a great conversation. I enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to staying in touch and meeting up with you at the next event that we’re both traveling to. For anyone who’s wondering how to work 100 hours a day, I was helping Charles reshape his productivity webinars. It was less focused on how to be an Evernote superstar and how to frame it into a bigger benefit.
About Charles Byrd
Byrd Word, LLC – Delivers Online Training and Internet Marketing — Enabling YOU to Connect with Your Clients to Better Meet Their Goals.
Charles offers a unique blend of professional and organizational skills spanning the following areas:
Online Education – Charles courses have reached over a million people in 2017. He specializes in productivity and joint venture partnerships running live workshops, product launches, program management, marketing, and technology.
As a productivity expert, Charles coaches CEOs and entrepreneurs how to “Kill the Chaos” of information overload. He is a life long learner and has a passion for helping others through his designed solutions.
He discovers and utilizes the latest technologies quickly. He is an innovative leader who is fun and easy to work with. He brings energy into a room while consistently delivering on substantial undertakings. He is creative, insightful and highly collaborative.