It really doesn’t matter if you are just starting out as a VA because you will still be building your own network of contacts both on and offline. In addition, you will be building up your client base and your clients will form part of your network as indeed their network will become part of your network at some point too.
Therefore, it could be that you both agree that when they come into contact with someone who requires the service each of you provide, then you would have an exclusive introduction process. If the introduction led to business, the strategic partner would receive a referral fee.
It could be that you actively promote each other’s services via online marketing, to include you guest blogging, tweeting and writing in newsletters for one another, therefore providing exposure to one another’s database.
It could be that you put on training courses or events, and your role is to promote the event to your database and conduct the marketing activity, whilst they deliver the training and you share the profits. The training course could be based on a need your clients or local business community have a need for i.e. LinkedIn training or how to brand their business…what you are doing is bringing the right expert to the audience.
It could be that there is a great product out there which you know will benefit your client and the way you both work together, for instance, the online finance management tool called xero.com. You could earn what’s called an ‘affiliate fee’ or earn a discount for each month the client is using the product.
Either way, be clear what you are both bringing to the relationship, how it will work, who will manage the process, how you will make decisions and how you will both benefit financially if there is money involved.
When you are networking for your business, you will reach a certain amount of people. When you are networking online, you will reach a wider audience. When you create a strategic alliance with someone who in turn promotes you, you are reaching a far wider and extensive audience based on people you may never have connected with through your own networking. Your exposure can significantly increase. Even if this doesn’t bring you an income immediately, it is likely that it will raise your profile in line with the person
you is your strategic partner. If they already have a great reputation and a following to match, people will start to accept you as someone to also follow. People build trust in you if your strategic partner is putting their neck out to promote you.