EP161 – Extend Your Client Work Through Partnerships

Here’s the situation. “Your parents went away on a week’s vacation.” Just kidding. No, for real. You just got a great lead. Super awesome lead. But the client needs work that is out of your wheelhouse. What do you do? We suggest partnering.

On this episode of the Smart Marketing Show, Jason and Bridget will be joined by Jen Miller of Next Door Marketer to gain some insight on how to find those magic partnerships.

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Partnering Helps with Time Constraints

Being a freelancer or an agency of one is great until you want to make more money. You either need to charge more or do more. That only works for a while. Then you have another choice: hire or partner.

“I’m not someone who can walk away from a deadline.” Jen Miller

Know yourself. If deadlines are important to you, then partner with a vendor who feels the same. In fact, Jen Miller suggests building in a weekend. Give your vendor a date that is before it’s due to the client. Time marches on and waits for no vendor and sites don’t build themselves — even with Gutenberg.

Partnering Helps with Growing Pains

Growth is good until you fall asleep while you’re typing. (Never publish without editing, by the way.) Networking (in-person, Slack Channels, etc) is so important. Get to know people and how they work. Ask questions. You never know when you’ll need a qualified referral (handoff) or a partner.

Checking in with a potential vendor or referral on their production schedule before recommending them to your client is just plain smart, Jen suggests.

“As an agency owner, you have to be willing to step in and do those pieces.” Jen Miller

Partnering Requires Communication

It’s like on a dating app when everyone says they value communication until there’s a communication problem. Part of good communication is open communication and frequent communication. This is where networking and systems meet.

“Check in to see how the partner is doing on the project,” Jen Miller says. After all, it is your client. In the end, the work is your responsibility. If you don’t want the responsibility of managing the partner-vendor, then you’ll need to handoff the client to someone. Even then, you may want to check in.

Project Management is Key

Project Management Systems are a huge part of successful communication. Choose a tool and use it consistently. Have a system. Sometimes a Google Sheet is good enough. A system only works if you use it.

It’s even a good idea to create a short training video to quickly onboard partners. If both you and your partner-vendor use a project management tool (Jen likes Basecamp 3), choose yours. It’s your client. 

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Jen recommends his Clarity.fm.

Jason recommends the Google My Business app.

Bridget recommends Seconds. It is an app for interval training timers.


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