Cross promotions: partner up and expand your base

Cross promoting with other businesses in your area or those that tie in, but don’t compete, with your products or services opens you up to a whole world of new customers. The trick is finding the right business to approach, and then deciding on a project to tackle together.

Choosing a partner company

Think about what kinds of services or products your customers need or want outside of yours, and then find companies that not only specialize in these areas, but who’s brand is one that marries well with yours. When you make the approach, be clear and honest about what you do, how you do it, and why you think teaming up will be of value to both parties. Then, ask plenty of questions, and really listen to the answers your potential partner is giving you. Cross promotions make another business an extension of yours, at least in the minds of consumers, so it’s imperative that they don’t drag you down. Doing your due diligence before coming to an agreement is essential.

Work together on a newsletter

Create a newsletter that ties the two brands together to provide content that’s valuable to both customer bases. Having two heads involved cuts your workload in half and brings in expertise that enhances the trustworthiness of the content you’re creating. And it also gets your name in front of the partner’s customer base (and vice versa).

Remember, the goal here is value – don’t just trade off posts marketing your respective businesses. For example, a florist shop partnering with an Etsy shop selling unique home decor could create loads of content on floral arrangements in different vases, tablescape ideas, and tips for decorating a fireplace mantle, while a local hotel and boat rental company could come together to create tourist guides to the city they both work in and the surrounding areas.

Get together and give back

Sponsoring a charitable event or cause together doubles funding, doubles staffing, and dramatically improves both business’ brand reputations. Bonus – you also get access to the charity’s audience. Your catering company could work with a local event center to sponsor a dinner for your area’s Children’s Hospital; or, your screen printing business could work with a local clothing store to make new jerseys for the high school’s football team.

Plan out specials

If you’re working with a brand, you already know that your two businesses have customers with similar needs. So, help them out a bit while leveraging your partnership to increase sales. Are you a graphic artist specializing in web design? Team up with a writer and offer a discount to clients for choosing the other party’s services. Run a coffee shop? Set up a coffee bar in the doughnut shop’s store on Sunday mornings, and set out their doughnuts in you shop on the same day; or, have each store hand out coupons for the other’s products. This is also one area where your products don’t really have to match perfectly: your home cleaning company could team up with a local construction company for referrals and discounts; a tanning salon could partner and cross promote with a clothing boutique.

To make sure that what you’re doing works, start any cross campaign as a test: go small, and talk with your customers to see how they’re responding. If both bases are excited, keep going, and go bigger!


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