One thing I have seen done in the past that works really well is finding another webmaster who is willing to work with your for a limited time so that you let people on your site know about their site and vice versa. For example, maybe you are both admins on forums, and you both place a line in your signature letting people know you are partnering with the other site (ex. for the month of May). Or maybe it is a banner exchange. Or maybe you write in each other’s blog once per week.
Has anyone ever done anything like this?
I did it a while back and it worked well, and then I forgot about it. I was thinking of trying it again.
I had success with that back when we were doing Joomla work, a few years ago. We did a cross-promotion with another Joomla shop (they were more into products, we were into services) and it worked very well,
I’d look for a 6 month promotion period, though. It takes some time to get it together, promote, execute, etc.
Joint Ventures like this are an excellent way to get new business and the question I always like to ask is “Who else already does business with my ideal customer?”
JVs are inexpensive if you can do an even swap as mentioned and even if you offer to pay someone for leads or clients they send your way, you’re not risking anything since you’re not paying until you get the clients.
For the web designers here looking for local business, partner up with someone else who already works with the kinds of business owners you want to work with - like an accountant or even a local office supply business. You could offer a special discount to their customers which makes them look great and you benefit too.
Another example from the real world is the tax preparation business who setup kiosks in the local walmart just before tax time. I’m sure walmart received either a percentage or sales made or a fixed rate for renting the unused floor space - and the tax preparer got access to the thousands of people that walked by on the way out of the store each day. You’ll see this with more permanent businesses too like the McDonalds, Bank, and pretzel bakery that all have their own outlet inside walmart.
This is one of the few marketing methods out there that’s really a win-win with no real downside for anyone involved.