Passive income is revenue that an individual or a company generates without actively working for it on a regular basis. Make no mistake, it can sometimes take a great deal of upfront effort to generate passive income. But once the initial lift is completed, little to no active effort is required for that revenue to keep coming in on an ongoing basis. This makes it a really attractive method of earning revenue, especially over time.
Partnerships provide companies with an opportunity to generate this kind of passive income. For example, an agency may generate revenue (very actively) by working on client projects. But if they also sell software subscriptions on behalf of vendors, and that vendor offers them 15% of the monthly recurring revenue (MRR) of customers they sold to, then the agency will receive a nice chunk of passive income each month.
Example: With passive income from partnerships rolling in every month, marketing agency CEO Lissandra can feel confident that she could still pay all employees, even in dry months without a lot of new clients.
It’s helpful to understand partners as a part of how a company can choose to scale. The standard way a company does this is to hire talent internally, growing its go to market teams. Alternatively, a company can look to partners, third party entities, to grow its reach, similar to your sales and marketing team without increasing headcount. These partners can be individuals, consultants, or companies. There are many different kinds of partners each of whom provide different types of values, including affiliate partners, referral partners, and reseller partners.
Also see: Affiliate partner, Referral partner, Reseller partner, Technology partnerships, Strategic partnerships
The partner journey describes each step a partner goes through when learning about, joining, and earning value through a partner program. It can be likened to the buyer journey. The steps of the partner journey can be defined differently depending on the business, as can the order of certain steps. However, most partner journeys generally follow this structure:
Interest > Recruitment > Activation > Investment > Devotion
The interest stage is where a vendor gains the interest of potential partners. Recruitment involves informing potential partners of your product and offering a partnership. Activation represents the first value earned by the partner. Investment is when the partner recognizes vendor value and invests further time and capital in the relationship. Devotion occurs when partners are ready to scale with you.
Example: Jenn found that only a small percentage of partner were making it to the investment phase of her partner journey, so she decided to spend more time and energy ensuring partners hit their activation targets within their first two months of joining the program.
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