Okay, maybe it’s nothing quite as glamorous as a hijacking, but I have pulled off a pretty good trick, I think.
Two months ago, I started writing a book tied to a training program called Partnering Profits. This week, we’ve introduced the training to 45,000+ Copyblogger subscribers. Over the next few months, it’ll turn into a full-fledged business that I’m co-owner of.
I don’t say it to brag. In all honesty, I kind of cheated, at least in the eyes of some people. I didn’t spend two or three years writing content for a blog, building trust with my readership, and hobnobbing with gurus so that they would promote my products. No, I didn’t do any of the things that you’re supposed to do.
Instead, I took a shortcut. I partnered with Brian Clark and hijacked not only his blog, but also his status, wisdom and connections to accelerate my success online.
Pretty sneaky, huh?
The Truth about “Hijacking”
Actually… not really.
What I refer to as “hijacking” is really just an interesting way of describing an ancient partnering model that beginners have used for millennia to speed up their path to mastery. It works in any industry, not just blogging, and if you do it right, your “victims” are more than happy to comply. Brian certainly was.
What am I talking about? Apprenticing.
The basic idea of apprenticing is that you go to work for a “Master,” and in exchange, they train you, connect you with people that can help you, and support you as you learn. Blacksmiths and bakers did it in the Middle Ages. Doctors and professors do it today. It’s also a partnering model that you can use as a blogger or Internet marketer, but for some reason, very few people seem to be doing it.
So… would you like the inside scoop on how I did it?
In the Partnering Profits Preview teleclass, we gave you step-by-step instructions on how you can use the Apprenticeship Partnering Model yourself. Today, I’m going to give you the behind the scenes story of how I became Brian’s apprentice. You can get the full story in the Partnering Profits book, but in the meantime, here are the Cliff Notes, so to speak.
The Biggest Misconception about Partnering
You see, the biggest misconception people have about partnering is that you have to be a “somebody” before anyone will want to partner with you. Sure, being well-known helps, but it’s by no means required. If you’re a nobody, you just need to learn how to position yourself so that you can catch the attention of people that can help you.
I’m living proof.
A little over one year ago, I was something like a real estate matchmaker. I paired big time developers with investors that wanted to cash in on the real estate boom. Over a three-year period, I helped put together seven investment groups that controlled a combined $50 million of real estate. In exchange, I received stock in every deal. On paper, it made me a millionaire.
But then, last year, the real estate market imploded. All of the stock I’d been accumulating over the past three years was not as valuable as a roll of toilet paper, and so was my expertise. No one needed a real estate finance guy that specialized in starting new developments. If I wanted to avoid starvation, I needed to find a new career, and I needed to do it fast.
“Hmm,” I thought to myself. “I wonder if I can use the partnering strategies I’ve learned in real estate to make myself a success online.” Yes, I was only a nobody, but that had never stopped me before. All I needed was a way to grab the attention of the Internet elite, and then I could sweet talk them into partnering with me. I was sure of it.
How was I going to do that? By starting a blog, of course.
The Launch of On Moneymaking
Here I was, a 25-year-old that had built several multimillion dollar businesses almost entirely over the phone and the web, without being able to move from the neck down. Who wouldn’t be interested in a story like that? Besides, most personal finance blogs are almost fanatically focused on frugality. There had to be people out there that wanted to learn how to increase their income, and I was the guy that could show them how.
So, in October of 2007, I launched OnMoneymaking.com. It was almost instantly popular. Within a month, I was pulling in over 1,000 visitors per day, and within two months, I hit the 1,000 subscriber mark. The partnership proposals weren’t flooding in yet, but I was certainly getting attention. If only I had a system for monetizing that attention, I’d be set.
It just so happened a guy by the name of Brian Clark was willing to show me how to do just that. He was launching a new training program called Teaching Sells, and I could sign up for a great charter member price. It occurred to me that this might be exactly the chance I was looking for. So, I handed over my credit card on the first day.
The Infiltration of Teaching Sells
When I signed up for Teaching Sells, I made a decision. I wasn’t just going to sit back and sponge up the content. I was going to become an active member of the community, doing my best to build relationships with the other members and catch the attention of the instructors. By the time the course was finished, I wanted to have an A-list partner.
For the next few weeks, I spent time each day answering questions on the forums. One area, in particular, where I was able to help people was with attracting joint venture partners to promote their membership site. I posted a detailed tutorial on how anyone could go about attracting partners, and before long, everyone was buzzing about it.
That’s when Brian started to notice me. Seeing some of my forum posts, he checked out my blog and was impressed. Soon, we were chatting in Skype and swapping stories about past partnerships. A friendship started to develop, and within a month or two, he offered me a chance to guest blog here at Copyblogger. Naturally, I took him up on it.
From Guest Blogger to Associate Editor at Copyblogger
Anyone should want to write for Copyblogger. For one, you can put a link to your blog at the bottom of every post, pulling in a nice flow of new readers, and for two, that link is from a blog that passes you a lot of trust in the eyes of Google.
But really, I didn’t write for either reason. Secretly, I hoped to become a popular writer on Copyblogger and pop the partnership question to Brian. Of course, if I wanted to do that, then I’d better pump out some truly stellar content. It was my one and only chance to prove my talent.
And so I did. I finally had the courage to propose a partnership to Brian.
And, as you can probably guess by now, he accepted.
How to Convince a Superstar to Partner with You
Regardless of their field, all superstars have a common problem: an overabundance of opportunity. Because of their status, almost everything they do is a success. They also have more projects that they would like to work on than they could possibly do in a lifetime. And it bothers them. They really and truly would like to do it all, but they just don’t have enough time.
That’s where people like us come in.
The reason Brian was interested in taking me on as an apprentice is I enabled him to kickstart several projects that he might’ve never found time for. Basically, he needed someone to share the workload so he could focus on what he does best: designing and implementing wickedly smart marketing plans. Then we’ll divide the profits, making me enough money to become a full-time Internet entrepreneur and padding his bank account with another income stream.
It was a good deal for both of us, and still is.
Did we tailor our partnership to our individual situations? Sure we did, but you can use the model for any industry. Just find someone with an over abundance of opportunity and then offer to help them pursue it in a way that they otherwise couldn’t. If you can do that, as well as prove to them that you are capable of helping them carry it off, then convincing a superstar to partner with you is relatively easy.
If I’m a Beginner, Can I Still Use Partnering to Get Ahead?
One of the most common questions we’ve gotten about Partnering Profits is, “Does this stuff work for beginners, or is it only good for A-list bloggers?”
Well, just look at my story. I was pretty much a nobody when I partnered with Brian, and he was already well known. Yet, despite the seeming inequity in that relationship, we were able to structure a partnership that benefited us both.
So, the answer is that partnering works for everyone. Whether you’ve got 300,000 subscribers or none at all, partnering can help you get ahead faster than you otherwise could. In fact, you might say it’s a strategic imperative.
To find that out, you’ll just have to check out that preview teleclass recording and download the sample chapters from the Partnering Profits Manual. They’ll show you why partnering is not only perfect for beginners, but it’s probably the only way anyone is going to survive in the future. Plus, you’ll get to hear the never before told story of Brian’s businesses before Copyblogger, as well as a step-by-step process for finding your own apprenticeship.
It’s good stuff, I promise. Click here to download it all today.
About the Author: Jon Morrow is an Associate Editor of Copyblogger and co-founder of Partnering Profits.