Week 13: Write a Pitch Letter to a Potential JV Partner

badge-partnershipsChoose one of the potential partners that you identified in weeks 1 or 3 and write a pitch letter to that person/organization outlining your idea for a joint venture. Be sure to include:

  • What’s in it for them
  • Why you’re a good match
  • How the partnership could work
  • Next steps (call to action)

Post the link to your project to this page no later than 9:30 a.m., PST, Monday (April 22, 2013).*

Additional Suggested Reading





About Tea Silvestre

Executive Producer of Prosperity's Kitchen, author and marketing coach to solopreneurs.

  • Here ya go!!! The last project of the Kitchen. *sniff* On the plus side, my person is quite intrigued by the contents of this letter and we shall be talking further presently! 🙂 :>


    • Score: 16.5/20 (4 – 4 – 5 – 3.5) What a creative project to work on, Birdy! I love the idea of a co-owned product between you and Nathara – very relevant to both your audiences. Your letter is fun and friendly and has the right tone given your existing relationship with her. My only suggestions would be to spend a little more time on some of the details. If things are TBD, that’s okay (you can say so), but also make suggestions as a starting point (e.g., WHEN – propose an actual date best guess). Also, I know that your personality and branding are big on the emoticons and casual conversation, but you might think about toning them down just a teensy bit (don’t eliminate *all* the emoticons, just about half — too many symbols can be a bit distracting and cause the reading to slow down. Also, something meant to be so professional; even between good friends should reflect a little bit of that, too.) Be sure when you do the contract that you identify who owns (and what happens to) the intellectual property. Especially important if someone decides they want/need to exit the partnership.

  • Salary Negotiators Week 13 Project: Write a Pitch Letter to a Potential JV Partner: https://docs.google.com/file/d/1qFU-r0F3RSoPzjI_UR3fgHPhRfamyVFEyOjqLMotJlkOD5Pj9sJlYPxlmqOw/edit?usp=sharing

    • Score: 16.33/20 (3.67 – 4 – 4.33 – 4.33) From Gina: Love this! Video is great on the product site too. The proposal letter itself could benefit from a little more specificity – i.e. mention the name of the product “Salary Negotiators University” to build a bridge of relevancy. Too vague and you might lose her or confuse her. Good luck!!

      From Tea: The way I’m reading this pitch letter it sounds more like an affiliate program than a JV (but maybe it’s just a matter of clarity?). Also, we talked about writing these letters as if you’d already had a few interactions with your potential partner first. You’d probably not want to pitch someone cold as the chances they’re respond at all might be nill. Start by 1) commenting on her blog posts; 2) sharing her stuff on social media; and 3) engaging her in short pithy conversations via Twitter or FB. Then you can send this letter and she’ll recognize your name. From there, if this is a true JV, you want to talk first about how you can each contribute to the project. If it’s just an opportunity for her to sell on your behalf, you might want to do more research and see if she even does that sort of thing. Perhaps she could review your product? (Don’t ask her to write a blog post about it right off the bat. Just see if she’d be interested in looking at what you’ve got so far.) Many folks who DO affiliate programs will only do so if they have seen/used the product first. Her recommendation of your thing will affect her brand and so she will be unlikely to do that without having built up a relationship first.

      From Nick: “Joseph, good letter – right up until your “”What’s In It For Me”” – which took a great letter and turned totally spammy – actually, only the second half of the sentence did it: “Your readership would benefit from an additional venue in which to improve their career, and you could potentially make a lot of money (for example, a 1% signup rate of your 300,000 monthly visitors @ $20 = $60,000/month).” Instead of phrasing it as a pitch with the value being on the dollars, try it as a question: “I’d like to see if you think a joint venture would have some value for both you and your audience. I think our audiences are similar in composition, (demographic data here), and I’ve seen a good response from them while building it out. I think it could be even better working in tangent with an expert like you – so I’d like to work side-by-side with you to share resources and – to be honest – try it out on a larger audience.” That matches closer to your overall letter, but if I were to get pitched “Hey, if 1% of your 300K audience jumps on this, you’ll make $60K this year… (you just have to let me access your list)” I’m going to think – this guy just wants to pitch and I’ll lose 100K subscribers in the first week. Also – if I have to click through a link instead of get an “elevator pitch” version of the project, that adds work and a mental roadblock. In your letter, the title is the most descriptive element of the project… but there’s no further mention of it. Anyway, just something to keep in mind – I would also have elaborated further in the audiences section on specifics (and show that you’ve read Alison’s content). Overall, a strong first attempt! I’d love to know what she says!”

      • Thanks for the feedback. Esp. Tea and Nick. Yeah I need to build rapor before pitching Alison. And Nick thanks for the avoiding spamminess tip. Thanks.

  • Here’s my pitch letter to David Steele from the Relationship Coaching Institute.


  • Janet

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BZGg3Ujf7SA9q_yw8CxdCdVwYAm_dw7-xZiQF8zULgY/edit?usp=sharing My “pitch” letter is to Michelle Hastie, my former teamie, and nice full circle “ending” to Prosperity’s Kitchen. Gonna miss this show! 🙂

    • Michelle Hastie

      Can’t wait!

      • Janet

        wow, yay!!

    • Score: 15.67/20 (4.67 – 3.33 – 3.67 – 4) From Gina: I really love the creativity of this project and the ideas bubbling up around it. Also love the conversation tone of your letter. The project itself though falls short for me in terms of relevancy. Yes the ebook itself can become a creative showcase for your portfolio that may lead to new design clients but that’s the long road. In other words, the readers of the e-book and manifesto are not likely to be potential design clients. I’d love to see this creativity applied to an idea and partner that directly brings value to your target audience.

      From Tea: This is a highly creative idea, Janet! Way to think outside the box. My only concern is that this project doesn’t truly fit into your overall marketing strategy — it *does* feel like a bit of a side road initially — but if you put more emphasis on creating a design sample for your portfolio, and a slew of great photos and marketing materials for your own biz, I think it could work. Obviously you’ve still got quite a few details to hammer out with Michelle (if she wants to move forward), my question would be who would do the writing? Logically, it makes more sense if she does the writing as this would be a book much more appropriate for her audience. In that case, even though you’re offering to do all the technical/design stuff, the 50/50 split might need to be reworked. She could look at this as giving you free coaching in exchange for you being willing to be pubic with where you are now and the process you go through to get where you want to be (physically). Also – I’d find out what percentage of her list consists of biz owners. If she doesn’t have more than 5-10%, it might also not be worth your while. Things to think about!

      From Nick: “Janet, I love this project… a lot, really. I think it’s a brilliant idea, but I’d suggest giving a little more thought into who the audience for this book will be – why they want to purchase it, what they’re going to get from purchasing it, and so on. That’s really the only thing I saw missing from this particular pitch. Both of you would be pitching it; so it has to be crystal clear who you’re pitching it to and why! :-)”

  • Here’s my pitch letter to Dana Prince of Dana Prince Writing – https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/34622108/PK13-PitchLetter-SharonHurleyHall.pdf

    • Score: 16.5/20 (3 – 4 – 5 – 4.5) Love this letter, Sharon. The tone is friendly and confident and doesn’t assume too much too early from your potential partner. This is a solid project that should create a whole new level of greatness for you. One thing I’d recommend: don’t worry about building/writing this entire thing first — start marketing sooner and enroll students before you pour your hearts and souls into a whole slew of content. Outlines yes (you need to share that for marketing). But you can write concurrently with marketing.

      • Thanks, Tea – that’s the next step. I’ve got the content half done so it’s time to put the marketing into place .

  • Michelle Hastie
    • Janet

      love the connections between money / body.. there is definitely a connection between how you price yourself and your self-worth (body image). you nailed this pitch!

    • Score: 15.33/20 (3.67 – 4 – 3.67 – 4) From Gina: “Love the enthusiasm here Michelle! There is a red flag for me though. Most of the joint-venturous peeps I know prefer to test the waters with partners before stepping into big projects. A 3-day retreat feels a bit like prosing marriage on a first date. (Sidebar: it took a bit of reading and re-reading to realize a 3-day retreat was involved). What if you kept it simple to start (and an easier yes) by inviting David to be interviewed on the topic of Weight and Money? You can track the response and then, if the feedback is off the charts, propose a next step. It could be a free call to grow your list, or a paid teleclass that you split 60/40 (love giving the lions share to A-list partners too!). On the proposal itself… lead with the benefit to “them” (David) first. Keep your initial communication short. Become as visible to David as possible. Look to leverage the people you know who know David. ”

      From Tea: Lovely work, Michelle! As I mentioned before tho — for this pitch to be successful, you’ve got to have an existing relationship with David. Start commenting on his blog posts, social media posts and engaging him in conversations online. When you attend his next event, see if you can introduce yourself and let him know how much you admire what he’s doing. See if you get him to take a photo with you and then share that on social media and tag him. You want to develop enough of a relationship with him that you can then send a much shorter email asking if he’d be open to looking at your presentation. Sending the pitch as is would likely feel weird to him and he wouldn’t read it. I’d also dial back the $$ explanation (hourly rate part) as I’m sure he does this kind of thing in his head. Just tell him what you expect the entire project to bring in and what split you propose. But let him know you’re open to negotiate any parts of it. Also let him know what you bring to the table in terms of audience size, web traffic etc. — yes, he’s got a sizeable list, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t appreciate being exposed to a whole slew of new people. The thing to remember is that any potential JV partner will be hyper leery of working with someone they don’t already know, like and trust. Your brand affects his brand just as much as his affects yours. And so he’ll be cautious. But I think once you get to the KLT level, he’ll be open to talking with you about this one.

      From Nick: “Michelle, This was a well-constructed pitch. I gave Joseph the same note – but, the monetary part of the pitch is something that can be discussed after the initial pitch, because when you do it up-front, it seems pretty scammy. The reasoning: you don’t know about their target market from the outside, so it’s really hard to say, “You’ll net 120,000 if 20 people sign up.” The other thing you asked for was access to his list; and not just a sub-set of folks who had purchased before, but the whole list 😛 That can be tricky to ask for, for sure. Anyway, I love how you tied everything in to his audience, his products, and his work – the more you do that the better off you’ll be when it comes to getting his attention and keeping it for the work in a joint venture. Good job!”

    • Score: 18/20 (4.33 – 4 – 4.67 – 5) From Gina: Loved everything about this – from idea to presentation. Best advice… start to gather some real world feedback on the idea from the Mom’s/daughters you know. Consider doing a beta launch to test the idea, gather feedback and fine tune the offering for a full launch. (Sidebar: My daughter and I would have loved a resource like this – she’s 20 now though – but you never know lol)

      From Tea: This is a project that really has legs, Tiffany. I also love the addition of the charm bracelet as a way to “gamify” your content. The only reason I didn’t give you a ‘5’ on this one is because it’s an idea borrowed from Gina — but you get massive points for borrowing the right stuff. Let us know how it goes? (fyi – she and I gave you exactly the same scores in exactly the same categories, so it’s official.)

      From Nick: “Tiffany, I love this. The video is solid and a great example of putting things in a way that folks will understand (audio/visual/ and written). It’s highly unlikely that a prospect engaged in those different ways would say no – unless of course, it was just a bad match or bad timing for them. Even so, you’ve got a solid pitch here. You didn’t make promises about how much money the other person would make, you kept to the goal of the end product, which tells me that it’s going to be a solid launch if the other party believes in the end goal as much as you do. The ONE thing I took exception with was that you made them go through MeetMe.com instead of just replying to your email in order to talk more with you… I’d have just put my phone number or my email address on there and told them to just call or reply. Additional steps add roadblocks you just don’t need if the other party is so busy they don’t know how MeetMe works and can’t take the time to figure it out…”

  • Our entry for this final mission is available at https://www.dropbox.com/s/1is7er90ho2t45a/BookLaunchCollaboration.docx.


    • Score: 16/20 (3 – 4 – 5 – 4) Nice work, Bara. There are a few spots where I wasn’t totally clear on what you were proposing and places where sentences could be polished, but overall this is a very solid pitch. Be sure to include a clear outline of what’s in it for them in terms of money (if that’s going to be part of the offer). Right now, you’ve couched it simply as exposure to each other databases. That might not be enough — will you be capturing emails? Then say so. Will your attendees see a pitch from your partner at all (a chance to buy something?) – say so. Think about it from their point of view and then answer their questions. Let us know how this one goes!

  • Stacey Shanks
    • Janet

      sounds amazing!

      • Aww, thanks, Janet. I loved yours, too! ~ I just got your proposal and there will be a way we can work together on this project. Let me see what I can do. We MUST make this work, Karma! 🙂

    • Congrats on winning the Play-at-Home project, Stacey! Your feedback is on the Winners’ Showcase post.

  • Here is my JV pitch letter for our last mission on PK (sniff sniff): https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-rAP4jSeWt5allGUmdmeDJYc2c/edit?usp=sharing

    • Janet

      you’ve thought this out really well! when i was viewing it on google drive, there was a pink ‘anonymous panda’ icon… green anonymous crow, etc. new to me!

    • Congrats on winning the Runner-Up prize, Evelyn. Your feedback is on the Winners’ Showcase post.

  • Here’s my solo submission for the final mission! (part of Conscious Entrepreneurs team): https://docs.google.com/file/d/0ByHBb2VCcqAoQlY0eFU2OW4wTFU/edit?usp=sharing

  • Colleen Conger of Digital Photo and Design JV partnership pitch to the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce – http://bit.ly/13qMSo4

    • Score: 16.33/20 (3.67 – 4.33 – 4 – 4.33) From Gina: “Great idea to partner with the local Chamber Colleen. In terms of visual presentation, I’d recommend highlighting this benefit statement “How do you keep the business community growing and increase membership to the Chamber?” so that it’s one of the first things they see/read. And there’s one paragraph I’d recommend re-wording – the one that starts with “All I ask from you is access to the Chamber’s membership list.” How can you ask for what you want without the risk of getting their guard up? Their list is their baby. The paragraph continues with “Specifically, the ability to get put myself in front of the Chamber members so they will have the opportunity to meet me, talk with me and to exchange thoughts and ideas. In a nutshell, have some good ol’ fashioned networking.” This sentence as it stands doesn’t pass the “so what?” litmus test… and it comes before you start to flush out the benefit to them. My best advice is to expand and edit so that it’s hyper-focused to what’s in it for them.”

      From Tea: Getting yourself in front of a whole group of people at once is definitely a smart move. But not sure asking to have access to the Chamber’s list is the right way in. Many chambers are short on cash so the fundraising part would appeal to them. Let them send out the invite to their list. Let them collect the money (or offer it for free) and then you show up and do your thing. If you hone this pitch even more, you can use it with other groups too — helping their members be stronger and more successful is definitely a priority. But fundraising is right up there, too. Love the tone of your letter. But watch the enthusiasm as it can feel almost like a sales pitch — you shouldn’t need to sell him that hard on why this project is a good idea. Also – your flyer is extremely text heavy. I know you’ve got a lot of details to share, but maybe you can do a 2-sided flyer and break things up with some visuals.

      From Nick: “Colleen – Overall, a very strong letter. I can tell you the ONE thing I know a Chamber doesn’t want to do is give away their email newsletter list. Or even access to it. They have to work really hard to build it up and this guy doesn’t trust you for a pile of beans just yet. So… instead I’d have re-written the whole offer as a proposal to teach a class for the CoC. You don’t need access to the list, the folks who will attend and sign up for YOUR list afterward will be your core customers. Give away crazy value for free – teach the class (or maybe the basics) – have folks sign up for additional information… get them on your list. It’ll work out great! Anyway, strong letter otherwise, good job!”

  • Megan Everett

    Here’s my JV partnership pitch letter to Melissa Dinwiddie of LivingACreativeLife.com — pursuant to a conversation in which I actually did pitch the idea, and why I believed it would be fantastic for both of us:


    • Megan Everett

      Update: Melissa (the real-life recipient of this pitch letter) loved it, and says I should get an A+ 😉 We meet today to make specific date commitments! YAY!! — Thanks for the timely mission, Tea! 🙂

    • Score: 17.5/20 (3 – 4.5 – 5 – 5) Megan, wow – you really show why you’re so good at what you do (organizationally). Love the layout, tone and the fact that this isn’t a cold letter. Since you never reiterate exactly what the partnership IS, I can only infer based on the details you’re sharing. It sounds like a solid way to approach a class with another colleague. So glad to hear that Melissa is loving it, too!

    • Score: 16.67 out of 20 (3.33 – 4.33 – 5 – 4) From Gina: The relevancy here is excellent although it’s more of an affiliate opportunity versus a joint venture. Your proposal letter is very well done however, unless you know Pat very well and regularly submit proposals or share ideas, I’d recommend reaching out with a short curiosity-based note first to get Pat’s attention and *permission* to send more information. This way he/she will be on the lookout for your proposal and more open to reading it through versus feeling “pitched.”

      From Tea: This is a great affiliate program, Jayne. And while not a true JV or joint project, I think it could be fruitful for you. One piece of advice: folks who don’t usually affiliate stuff aren’t used to being asked to “sell” anything. Consider changing the wording to “share” to soften the scariness of that for them. You really want them to see that you’ll do all the work and they only need to “share” your great stuff. For those who are familiar with affiliate marketing, the word “sell” won’t be an issue.

      From Nick: “Jayne, as Tea mentioned – an affiliate program is a lot different than a JV, but really, it’s not a bad start. Affiliate programs can open the doors to JVs, and the way you’ve structured your affiliate program is pretty solid. I think it’ll definitely be the foot in the door you need in order to create a bigger, more integrated JV with this partner in the future. Overall, your offer was solid, the details were explicit, and you were very open about your mutual goals. Well done!”

      • Jayne Ubl

        Thanks for the feedback everyone. I do know Pat well as we’ve had three meetings already and one more where I will ask her if I can send her this “pitch. I do like the idea of share vs. sell and agree with how people can feel about the word sell. As for a JV in the future we have already opened the door to take the Safe Communities Parent program with all its PPT slides and format to other cities as a franchise opportunity because many driver’s ed instructors either don’t have the time or the resources to create great parent/teen meeting within their programs. They are happy to turn it over to us, but we have to figure out how best to make it work for us overall…we are mulling ideas (this is the BHAG that I had earlier in the compeitition and is in the works, just really haven’t thought through all the details yet so didn’t add it to the mission, even though it could have made a difference!)

        • Jayne Ubl

          Oh one other thing Gina, I like the idea moving forward with other organizations to send out the curiosity-based note first– that makes alot of sense.

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