Making Co-Branding Work: 3 Tips to a Smooth and Profitable Partnership


Last month we discussed a Facebook marketing campaign that in three weeks, generated $43,000 in commissions. That campaign was created with one of our co-branded realtor partners.

If you really want to step up your marketing game, but don’t have the money, time, or experience to pursue the more advanced tactics, you can consider co-branding.

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This type of co-branding for expertise you don’t have can bring huge benefits. And it costs much less than hiring contractors, since your co-branding partner is footing some of the bill.

However, because you’re depending on another company not just for marketing space—but actual expertise you need to get the job done, you need to have them closer than you may otherwise have a mere marketing partner. Here are three tips to better manage such a close arrangement.


Use BaseCamp

You won’t be working in the same office. However, strings of emails are going to get confusing and lost. The last thing you want is to be trying to dig up emails from months ago to check who said what when your name’s on a co-branded marketing piece.

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To better handle the co-branding relationship, we recommend you use BaseCamp. BaseCamp is an online system for managing long-distance collaboration. You can set tasks, to-do lists, and manage deadlines. Instead of sifting through thousands of emails, your co-branding project is always right there, with all the attached resources.

By using BaseCamp, your co-branding project becomes more of a virtual office than a chain of discussions.


Set clear expectations of work at the outset

Don’t just bring people on board with vague ideas of what you want to establish. Rather, have a defined campaign in mind.

Even if you do not have the expertise in a particular area, you should still define the exact scope of work you require, rather than leaving it open for decision by your co-branding partner. Of course, this can be subject to discussion with your co-branding partner, but by the time you start doing actual work, tasks to be done should be clearly defined.


For example, if you’re partnering with a lender who is able to bring Facebook marketing expertise, you might set the tasks of:

–  Define offer: Clear reason for leads to respond
–  Write script: 150 words
–  Hire voice actors
–  Write Facebook copy

This follows the outline in our previous white paper, Your Blueprint for Realtor Marketing that made $43,000 in Three Weeks. Defining the jobs to be done this way allows them to have deadlines and be checked off in BaseCamp. It brings the accountability needed for any successful project.


Quantify everything in writing

Beyond setting the scope of work, what else do you expect of your co-branding partner? How about:

1.  Profit share of each party
2.  Expenses to be incurred
3.  Deadlines
4.  Who will perform the work
5.  Contact names of key people
6.  Conflict-resolution processes

The more you quantify everything, the clearer expectations will be, and the smoother your experience will be. The trap is approaching a co-branding agreement like your daily business. You know how you like to do things, but your co-branded partners do not.



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