Four or so years ago, I walked into my first IAMCP meeting in Irvine. I met so many people that day and have continued to meet someone new every single meeting I’ve been to since. After a while though, just meeting lots of people won’t be enough to justify all the time spent out of the office. You need to start turning your pile of business cards into productive partnerships that are bi-directionally beneficial.

Of course, our ultimate goal is to get to a point where we are referring business to other partners that fill an expertise gap our client needs filled and vice versa. But the partnering should begin before the client raises their hand asking for help. Here are five activities that will help you make the most of your membership and begin getting tangible value from your partnerships.

  1. Leverage IAMCP Tools to get connected – Outside of the in-person meetings, IAMCP offers all kinds of tools and platforms that allow you to connect with other members. First and foremost, make sure your profile on the IAMCP site has been updated with your photo, contact information, and a detailed description of what your company does. If you are looking for other members to help with a client need, that’s a great place to search and those updated profiles make it much easier.

Secondly, take advantage of social media to connect with IAMCP and other members. Take a few minutes to find IAMCP So-Cal on Twitter and LinkedIn, and start looking for other members there too. Once you’re connected with everyone, it makes it easier to keep up on each other’s product updates and events, but it also helps you build meaningful relationships.

  1. Do a Content Swap – Most marketers share in the struggle to keep finding fresh, relevant, educational content they can share with their audiences. This challenge provides the perfect opportunity for you to leverage your partnerships and share educational, thought-leadership content to post on each other’s websites and blogs. There are a few really compelling reasons you would want to do this: linking content to each other’s sites will help both companies with SEO, your clients will know about these additional services you can provide, and it will broaden the search terms that will drive potential customers from the search engine to your websites.
  2. Plan a Client Appreciation Event – With your powers combined… you can plan a really fun event that your clients will love and come away with some new prospects! All you need to do is find a few partners that offer complementary solutions, decide on a venue, promote it and split the costs.
  3. Do an Email Campaign – Spread the word about your new partnership! Send an email to your clients to let them know about the new solution or service you can offer them by way of this new partner. Offer them a compelling call to action like downloading an ebook, whitepaper or video on the challenges your new partner solves so you can track who might be interested in working with them. From there you’ll be able to make introductions and start referring business.
  4. Say it with a Video – There are few things more engaging than a quick video. Letting people see your face and hear your story is much more compelling than having to read it. Have someone film you and your partner talking about a mutual success story or just the ways your two companies partner together. That one video can live on the web forever and be a continual draw to potential customers who may want to work with you. Revisit points 1-4 here for other ways you can leverage that wonderful video content.

Next time you go to an IAMCP So-Cal meeting, come prepared to propose one of these five activities to one of your fellow members. Or better yet, take out that stack of business cards you’ve been collecting at all these meetings and give someone a call. If you and your partner get hung up on the execution of any of these ideas, let us know and we’ll be happy to help you get it going.