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What We Talk About

There is a way to leverage OPA that you might not be thinking about – brand partnerships with people OTHER than fellow entrepreneurs. In this episode, Therese Tarlinton will talk about how to find and secure those partnerships…

And she’ll help you understand what you have to offer that you might not even be thinking about.


Therese’s Website (while you’re there, check out the list of 103 assets you have in your business you’ve probably forgotten about that you can leverage in a partnership)

Therese’s Book: SWAP: Marketing Without Money

Find Therese on Instagram
Connect with Therese on LinkedIn
Follow Therese on Facebook
Watch Therese on YouTube

Check out the entire library of business 101, organic promotion and branding episodes.

Our transcript hasn't been proofed, so there will probably be some errors. Sorry about that!

Alyson Lex 0:02
If you've listened to Jenny and I talk for more than five minutes, you've heard us talk about ope other people's audiences, and leveraging other people's audiences in intentional and strategic ways is like a superpower for your business. And so when we, I saw Teres on a live stream on someone else who's actually was a guest a few episodes ago, and I had to reach out to her because she specifically talks about working with other people and collaborating in a way that makes sense for your business. So I was so excited. Jenny was so excited that she said yes, to being on this episode to talk to us today about strategic partnerships, and how to really create and build them. Therese, thank you for, for being here with us today.

Therese Tarlinton 1:05
Oh, it's a pleasure. I'm so happy to be here.

Alyson Lex 1:09
So tell me a little bit about what partnerships look like, like how, what kinds are there for our business? Sure.

Therese Tarlinton 1:21
So partnership to my absolute passion I've been in marketing for for a really long time. And and I guess it's a it's a lever that I think that not as many people use or pull as they could. So I guess people are very aware of, you know, influencer marketing, they're very aware of like affiliate marketing, where you might use a coupon code or a link, to actually entice somebody from another audience to come to you. But my history has been around really using the power of strategic partnerships in terms of branding. So for me, when you do a partnership, you you are kind of using the power to actually talk to another audience, you're using it to kind of elevate your own credibility in your industry, and you're using it to improve your profitability. So your ability to get more money into your business. So and you're not what you're not doing is you're not relying on Facebook ads, you're using it a different way. Now, we all know that, as you say about other people's audience, so other people saying your name is always going to be, you know, more, more engaging, and more compelling. New saying your name 50 times. And that's because obviously, we all look to others to actually, you know, we say, Hey, have you been to that restaurant, hey, I need a new hedge. I thought, hey, I mean, and so you're always looking for recommendations, because it's, you know, it feels good, we love to give recommendations, we love to receive recommendations that feels nice and safe. So in terms of in a, in a way, and when I say a corporate sense, obviously, you can be a small business, or you can be a corporate but, but in a professional sense, there's there's three main types of partnerships. And the first one is where you use your your product or your service. So what you normally do with a course of business, you use that to actually in a partnership with another brand. The second one is where you actually create a digital partnership and you use your your skills and experience a talent or writing or video or to actually create something that is a digital magnet to pull people into your business. And the third is about an in person event. So something real and up close, where they get to really hear your story, buy into your value, you know, get to kind of peek behind the curtain and see what you're really like and really engaged with, with the value with the business. So those are the three main types.

Jennie Wright 4:20
I'm a big fan of all three, although it feels like forever ago since I went to an in person event. A very long time. I actually am I love using the digital partnerships, because I think those are really great ways to leverage different skill sets. It's actually what Allison and I started doing. Because that was you know, Alison's really great at copywriting. I'm really good at funnel building together. We're like, you know, some super duo and it was benefiting us like Allison's like I need a new lead magnet. So you know, she writes a lead magnet and I create the page and so on and so forth. Oh, that's actually how our friendship started. And we were able to leverage that to raise each other up. And I think that's a wonderful way to mastermind. And I think with the three types of partnerships, what are the things that we need to be wary of? What do we need to watch out for, so that we don't fall into any mistakes are cracks?

Therese Tarlinton 5:20
I think the biggest thing is, sometimes I guess it may be the ego or the envy in terms of you, you see another business, you're like, oh, my gosh, there's, they're smashing it, they're doing so well, I want to be, I want to ride on their coattails I want to I want to be part of their, their magic formula. And really kind of jump into it is as more of a fan. And so this is really about what like, what are your values? Like? What are your values of the company? But also like, what's your objective? What are you actually trying to get out of it? And as I said, In the beginning, this is this is about, like, what is your from a strategic point of view? Are you trying to get emails for a database? Are you trying to grow an audience on social? Are you trying to actually get the credibility of a big bank or a big telecoms company, or the credibility of another brand, to elevate your standing in an industry? You know, are you trying to actually get heard, you know, on a stage or on a podcast, because you're actually, again, trying to build a different type of credibility, so that the worst thing that you can do is just kind of girl fan, and go, Oh, I love them, I love them, my world would be completely if I could actually just do something with that company, because I actually like them. It's not about like, you could go out to dinner, you know, this is about what what you can actually do for your business to move it forward. And in this whole thing, this is not a bartering system. Partnerships are not, I'll trade you, you know, two posts for a story. This is not a bartering system. This is about a company actually saying my customer looks like this. And I want to create something amazing for my customer. But they couldn't get, you know, from from each brand individually. So what can we both do together to actually create the ultimate customer experience? And we can both grow in the process, and that grow that that word? Is your objective? So how do you want to grow? And what kind of metric Do you want to grow? What can you measure after that fact. But it's really going in with this sense of generosity, but also abundance to kind of go, I want the customer to have an amazing experience. And so whether that's actually as a gift with purchase, whether that's about you know, getting a free, a free downloadable book, whether that's an event, and they actually get to experience a service that they wouldn't have already got. So it's the worst thing you can do is, you know, go in because you like somebody, and also go in with like a battery mindset.

Alyson Lex 8:16
I think too, and Jenny actually noted this down in our notes, where we're building the show notes here behind the scenes that, you know, if you do the whole, I'm a fan. So I want to join forces. That's not really a strategy. And it means that you might just end up changing your directions multiple times, because you're just working with people that you like, and kind of taking what you can get and doing all of the stuff that isn't intentional. And I really like how she pointed that out. So I thought I would say it out loud.

Jennie Wright 8:51
Allison, yeah, that was just a show note, but wring it out girlfriend, I was actually I wanted to say something here, because I thought it was really interesting. And that has to do with these, like strategic partnerships, and digital or otherwise. And one of the things that you have to figure out is, I find is to make sure that there is a an equal exchange. So I did a partnership with somebody a number of years back, and it wasn't an equal exchange. They had an audience and I had skills. So in their mind, it was access to my audience means you do all the work. So that was a challenge on my side, because I didn't feel like it was a an equal balance. And a different partnership that I did, the person actually thought that their name was going to be just enough to bring everything with them. And, you know, I learned a lot from both of those partnerships, quite honestly. My partner would probably beg to differ that I shouldn't have done them in the beginning and I actually completely agree, but I did learn something from actually doing them and And that would be that you have to have absolute equality, or at least, at least make sure that people know, on both sides what that means. And that's something I mean, Allison and I have had multiple conversations, and some of them challenging and difficult on the equality of the partnership that we have, because both of us have struggled with, Hey, I feel like I'm pulling some of the weight here, etc, etc. And have you found when you're talking to people about this, that that's something that they need to really consider as well.

Therese Tarlinton 10:40
Yes, of course, I think as, as I kind of said, it's partnerships are, most of the time, you know, money changing hands, it's a sense of goodwill, and you go into this, actually say, Hey, this is this is what it's going to look like. And this is what we're going to do to create an experience for the customer. And so because there's no money changing hands, in a lot of times, it's not documented. And it's not kind of thought thought through. It's, it's just a sense of, hey, we could do something fun, do you want to do something together, we'll just try something. But but it really should be almost like if you were going to do a marketing campaign. So if you're going to do a campaign, you would look at all the assets and all the opportunities to have a great conversation with that customer. And so within your partnership, that that is not and that's I guess the difference between when you do an influence our style of marketing, and when you do a partnership. So in my experience, an influencer is somebody who has a really strong following in one, one, usually particular area, and that that is usually a social channel, a medium, they could be incredibly strong in in style, they could be incredibly strong on YouTube, it could be a podcast, but it's but it's one thing. Whereas a partner is somebody that you're actually saying, hey, I really think that we can do something together. And I think that we could actually have a conversation in this forum. And then we can actually follow up within the email. And then we can actually do a, you know, a webinar that dives deep or a workshop that we can actually get them to walk through a process and come out with an outcome. It's actually using different tools and different mediums to create a full, full partnership. So when you are talking to another company about doing something together, it should almost be like you were briefing a external advertising agency, and actually paying that agency. So you would say, this is what I'm going to do on this date, it has this audience, this is going to be the call to action, this is going to be the you know the metric that we're going to aim for. And actually and on your side, what I'm looking for, you know, what, together, we should be doing this, on this many stories on this many posts. You know, here's how we're going to follow it up. What's the measure? What's the marketing automation, like all of these types of things. So you can actually have a, as I said, like an agency where you're going in kind of very open eyed and saying, Look, I want us both to get to the end of this, and feel really great about it. And I want the customer to literally be knocking down our doors thinking this was a great collaboration. So what is your measure of success? What would you love to see happen? Here's my measure of success. Here's where I would like to grow. Here's what I would like to happen, and actually being really upfront and clarifying what are the success messages for each party, and also what that success measure is for that customer. So we want the customer to feel this, to do this, to act this way. And so were both going into it with a with a spirit of intention on not just bartering not saying, Well, I've done my two Facebook posts. And so that's enough, but actually saying, okay, you know what this is really working. So I might actually share this on LinkedIn as well. Or I might actually just do a little bit extra not because I have to, not because it's documented. But because I want the customer to really feel like this is this is worth it. Or the customer might come back and actually have some questions and you're like, great, that's a great question. You know what, I might actually do a quick Insta story or real or Facebook Live and actually talk about the answer to that question, because that might clarify it for a whole bunch of other people as well. So be very clear about why you're doing it.

Alyson Lex 15:00
Okay, so I'm really sitting here trying to envision some different scenarios, because earlier you talked about, you said something about a bank, like a partnership with a bank. And when I think partnerships and strategic partnerships or joint venture opportunities, or any of the other words that you can use to describe what we're talking about, I think, me and someone like Jennie, who is similar business, I don't think about partnering with a bank, or a, quote unquote, big company, if you will. What does that look like for someone in the industry like coaching or online service business? What does that look like?

Therese Tarlinton 15:46
Sure. So big, big brands need what small brands have. And that is about agility, flexibility, and engaged audience and authentic voice, a face an identity. And a lot of big companies are quite, you know, and I'm, you know, obviously big companies have have 100 good things about them. But sometimes they you know, because they are a bank, or a large telecommunications company, or something like that, they, they kind of are viewed by the public is just a necessity in the world, they, they are quite faceless. They're just you just see a profit or a share cost, you know, they're not, it's not a person. So they need partnerships more than ever, and you will see them doing things. So, for example, I know, a bank that I use has a really strong women in business program. And they actually invite small businesses to come in, they teach them different elements of business, they have networking, and that's because they want to tell their stories, they need the identity of small companies with with real people, one to have a connection, because otherwise, they're just to share value. And to they need the storytelling. I mean, like, how, how often can they talk about, I've got a credit card, I've got a bank account, like, you know, they're, they're not commodities, I don't want to say that they're a commodity, but, but the difference between one bank and the next is sometimes a percentage of an interest rate. Yeah. So so this is about and there's a, you know, a telecommunications company, again, they're really, really strong on content. And so they're always actually looking for small businesses, how they, how they, what their next challenge is, how they can communicate that next challenge, maybe how that challenge was fixed by them having, you know, better internet or, you know, upgrading their phone or something else. But they can't just keep talking about this, the service that they provide, they need to actually talk about how they're helping small businesses. So, so yeah, so I would definitely say within the companies, they are looking to, to, to have small businesses tell us story to make them more identifiable and more personable.

Jennie Wright 18:24
So banks aside or whatnot, but how would people in the entrepreneurial world leverage or get these types of partnerships, what's the steps that they need to start taking, so that they can start experiencing having these types of things?

Therese Tarlinton 18:41
Great. So within that you, so definitely look at those brands that you'd like to partner with. And as I said, it could be telecom or bank, or it could be somebody within an industry. So for example, I work in building, big, big, big multibillion dollar building company, we work with trainees and architects all the time, we want to hear their story, we want to see them on the tools, we want to see how they've actually bought our products are life and made that that thing like a brick, a very basic building product. And they've transformed it, they've brought it to life and been able to create a beautiful home or a commercial building. So within your industry, look at the brands that are very large look at their content, look and see how they end most often they will definitely be storytelling, and then it's about approaching that brand. Now, big brands need content just as much as small brands do. In fact, they need a more and then they probably need a higher volume. And so that is about being really specific about what is it so if I approach a big brand, it is what is it that I can offer? Not you the bank, but I can offer the bank's customers or the bank's customers like to know what story can I tell that would actually be enticing for them. So again, from a building point of view, it could be that you're, you're building a certain project, or you're using a certain tool or product. And so it's about how, what the what is the transformation, you're going to take something and make it into something else. So within the big, big bit, the big brands, they definitely have a whole suite of marketing people. The first thing, easiest thing to do is actually even just sending a DM. And that's because a DM on Instagram, it's always going to get to marketing. Now it might go through an agency, if the agency is external, they will 100% share that inquiry, because I don't want to get in trouble. So the end, so that will definitely go to Marketing. And then it's about again, as I said, it's not about I want something like give me something I want to be in your direct mail I want to be, but it's around, hey, I'm actually doing this experience with your product. And I would love to share that story to help others. And so when you're actually going to them with an offer, that they can use, that they can gain from then they're great. And so you will find that they again looking at all of their assets, they will create that assets or it could be a piece of content on their website, they will then put that piece of content usually in an EDM, they will usually share it on social as well, they might actually put it in terms of, you know, five things that are going to change your world in 2020. So they'll actually use part of it as a portfolio of, you know, other types of pieces of content that they can pull together could definitely be used as a quote in a brochure. So they're looking for how can I take this person this this great person in this community? Who is and when I say they don't want to say the word, but they're not a big brand that people know. They're Jilin, Joe Bloggs, you know, they're just a normal, small business, they might be a trainee, they might be a little agency that you're operating at a second bedroom. But they're they're a normal little business. They might be a solo entrepreneur, or maybe they might have two staff, but they're a small business. And small businesses want to know what other small businesses are doing. And small businesses want to know what that next medium sized that person with 100 staff? How did they get there? What are those tools that they're using? So again, if you're ever approaching a big brand, it is about what story can I tell that will help their customer?

Alyson Lex 23:01
You make it sound really easy. And I have to say I'm a little skeptical that it's that easy, because then everyone would be doing it. So I feel like there's there might be a step in between figure out what their people might want, and then send them the DM on Instagram that I'm missing. And maybe I'm just not picking it up. Is there a step I'm missing?

Therese Tarlinton 23:30
Absolutely. It's really their first step. So I've got I guess, you know, a bit of a recipe that I would that I would follow to do a partnership and and that first step is always about the hardware, it's really discover it's really rediscovering your assets you are sitting on a mountain of value you as a small business. But I guess sometimes it's hard to see your own value. So the first thing is to really do a stocktake what have I got, and an almost this is how I always think of it. If if you got a phone call tomorrow and someone wanted to buy your business, they were actually they were like you know what, you've smashed it. I want to I want to take you on a take your knowledge I want to pay you I want to bring you into a bigger company are owned by you and set you up and you can go and sell off and your boat, you would put together everything you have in your business that is a value that you would sell, you'll be able to put a price on the right. And that and we normally only do that it's like you only you know finally do your renovation or fix up your garden when you're about to sell the house. But you've been in that house for 10 years and you really haven't enjoyed or done up the garden. I really enjoyed it. You just did it up to sell it because it's a value at the end of that process. So this is about do a stocktake actually look at Add all the assets that you have in your business. And you have many. So when I talk to small businesses, they're like, I don't know, I just, you know, I might have my second bedroom, I'm doing my best. And I say, I bet you've got at least, you know, 20 assets that you could use. And then like, I'm not sure. So I have actually done a list of 103 assets that you probably have in your business that you forgotten about, or you don't realize you have or they're sitting on a, you know, sitting in a hard drive somewhere. And those kind of 103 things that you could use that you could leverage to do a partnership with another company. And when you look at that, that either around, not just people always think, Ah, it's about my Instagram following, right? And I'm like, no, no, no, I do deals all the time with people who had zero Instagram, following, like, it's not about your social following. What is your skill? What are you not even when I say no one, it might be you unknowing to make the best pie or you have a killer, you know, baggage that you make that people line up down the street for? Like, what have you got, that is actually a value to other people. And it could could be around your skill set, it could be around your sales team, it could be around your retailers, or who else is actually selling your product? It can be around you as a leader. So what are you known for? Do you have a family history, that maybe you grew up in a wine growing region, and so you know a lot about different types of wine. So it can be professional, it can also be personal. Again, to be able to leverage, yeah, leverage that story, like maybe you've been a triathlete, maybe you, you know, have won a competition in terms of like a baking competition, or a singing competition, like not something that is your core business. But it's about that connectivity and for how you can use it.

Alyson Lex 27:17
So then, how do we take that and communicate it via this Instagram DM, so I've got my list, I know who I want to work with, I have this idea that, you know, they're going to love to hear this story about this asset. Cool, that's what their people want. Now, I just send that in an S in an in a DM, and they're going to feature me on their website.

Therese Tarlinton 27:44
So a lot of people actually never contacted businesses, because they're a little bit, they feel a little intimidated by it. So the first thing I'd say is actually just, you know, take a deep breath, and actually contact them, they don't have that many people contacted them and not as many as you think. The second thing is to really look under their bonnet a little bit like kind of do a bit of a stalk on them. So I know, as you know, a big brand that that I work for, we're short on video, we don't have as much video as we'd like we'd love more video. So if somebody approached me and actually said, I want to tell my story, and how I'm going to tell that story is by video. And what I can do, I can actually create a piece of content that goes for X amount of minutes, but But I could also chop that up and we could actually have it as reels we can put it in stories, we can we can utilize it in different ways. I know that's an asset that I'm lacking. So when you are looking at a bigger company, actually just look at what they've got, like has they got a really strong LinkedIn presence, but their YouTube is like nothing or their YouTube is just really boring. Like what are what are they lacking? What do you what would you like you're looking at them. As a potential customer. You're like, yeah, you know what, you're good there but Oh god, it's like crickets over here. There's nothing. So look at what they're doing. And look at what they're lacking. You are always going to get an amazing response. If you are saying I'm looking I'm actually I'm looking at what you've got. And I would love to offer you some video content for your customer to help tell the story then you're actually addressing one what they need and to how they need it.

Alyson Lex 29:46
And that is how you get them to respond positively and just instead of just saying betta

Therese Tarlinton 29:52
Yeah. And again, it's not about it's not about you. I want I want to be on your video. I want this. It's about Ah, hey, I've got a great story, I think your other customers would really love to hear it, because I'm just like them.

Jennie Wright 30:09
There's a lot in this episode to unpack about your method of getting this to like getting this to happen. And we've taken like so many notes. So we're gonna put all of this on the show notes on the website for people to see. So if you're interested in knowing more about this sort of format on how you can partner and create those great partnerships and reach out, like we were talking about today, then go on over to system to, this is going to be episode 182. So just put system to, forward slash 22. And you can go check that out. Where can people find you connect with, you get to know more about you tell us all the details there.

Therese Tarlinton 30:48
So I'm the only to raise talent and in the world. So which is great. So you can find me on all the social channels that I'm out there, I love LinkedIn. So please connect with me there. If you on my website to raise talent I actually have their 103 ways, there's a short video series that actually looks at and when I say 103, you only need five, right? You only need a few. It All I'm trying to show you is that there are so many ways you have so many assets. So don't let the 103 freak you out and think oh my god, I have to have 103, I'm just showing you that out of those 103. If you can't find three of those 103 that you're sitting on, that you can do partnerships with, I'd be very surprised. So that's there. I also have a book, which is called swap marketing without money. And that's available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble Walmart target, topia, as well.

Jennie Wright 32:07
So you're pretty much everywhere and being the only person in the world apparently with that name. I mean, that is a claim to fame right there, then it's going to make it really easy to find you. So check that out. I like the 103 ideas, we should check that out. For sure. Just want to say thanks. Thanks for getting up early. I think You're up early. Because you're in the future. We're in the past right now because of where you live and the time of day that we're recording this. So we really appreciate you taking the time to tell us all about how to sort of get this going, you know how to really connect with people and create these lovely partnerships. So we really appreciate it.

Therese Tarlinton 32:39
Oh, it's been an absolute pleasure. And I really appreciate your time. Thank you so much.

Jennie Wright 32:43
Absolutely. And again, make sure you check out the show notes. And so you can learn more about how to do all of this and we just want to say thanks so much. If you're listening, do consider leaving us a review and liking on whatever platform you're on to make sure that you don't miss an episode. Thanks so much for being here, buddy. Take care



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