When it comes to marketing, strength really lies in numbers. You may think this refers only to the audience you’ve managed to build before launching your online course or to the reach you have on various social media platforms.
Those numbers are significant, but I want to emphasize the advantages of not standing alone in this business.
Doing things yourself may give you free creative reign, but it’s more costly and requires greater effort.
Once you’ve built your e-learning portfolio, you should decide if you want to start and sustain the marketing process alone or enter a mutually beneficial joint venture.
What is an online course joint venture?
In a nutshell, joint ventures are commercial partnerships between one or more entities with distinct identities. Joining one will not mean altering the name of your online course business or anything related to your branding.
The simplest form of a joint venture is affiliate marketing, where you share links to other products and services through your content and your partners do the same. There are many types of joint ventures, from everyday social media posts, conferences, webinars, live streams, sponsorships, embedding content on each other’s websites, etc.
How an online course joint venture helps your business
Entering a partnership with someone can have many benefits for your online business:
Learning the ropes quicker
Entrepreneurship is partly about passion and inspiration and partly about how well and how fast you can learn in a trial-and-error process. Designing quality e-learning material is only the first step, and good marketing can make or break your business.
When you go into a joint venture, you get more experience faster. If your business partners have been around for longer than you, they can share valuable lessons. You’ll get a steeper learning curve with less worry if they are also at the development stage.
Gaining access to a larger audience
When you decide on embarking on a joint venture, it’s essential to do some research and weigh the benefits. One such benefit is getting access to new audiences. Granted, you’ll have to share yours as well.
That’s why you must pick partners whose business is compatible with yours. If you are designing online courses about healthy living, pairing up with a bakery will not work well for either of you. On the other hand, if you partner with a company specializing in self-care products, you’ll gain access to an audience that may be new yet interested in what you are selling.
Building (or joining) sales funnels
Depending on where your partner is at in the marketing process, there may be an existing sales funnel you can join – and if it’s an efficient one, that’s great! – or you’ll have to build one together.
Regardless of the situation, by being part of a joint venture, you have more chances of pushing your e-learning courses. More leads generally mean more sales, and as long as you watch the process and constantly adapt to client preferences and demands, you’ll be on the right track.
Your e-learning content is intellectual property and therefore belongs to you. You are also the one responsible for keeping it updated and relevant. However, the other parts of doing business can easily be divided into tasks that you share with your partner.
The best way to make a joint venture successful is to have each member playing to their strengths. You may want to focus on networking and content marketing while your counterpart takes care of the financial side. They are all equally important, and it helps when you don’t have to become a jack of all trades just because you decided to become a learning entrepreneur.
Equity and communication
So far, joint ventures have nothing but advantages. It’s important, however, to communicate effectively and ensure that everybody’s needs are met and there’s progress towards all goals.
Sharing is essential, and so is developing a mindset of interdependence. It’s about taking advantage of mutually beneficial factors in the market, not each other. Communication is vital in achieving success, and you must be both assertive and empathetic. The results can’t always be the same for both companies, but at least proportional equity needs to be. You should lean on each other occasionally and build each other up all the time.
Being a learning entrepreneur is a great venture in today’s online market. Finding the right partner and taking the online course joint venture path can make success more attainable and several aspects of doing business a lot easier.
Raluca Cristescu has over ten years of experience in corporate training, focused mainly on soft skills for customer service and direct sales.