The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.  In this graphical demonstration of a principle called "reification" AND in business...

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In this graphical demonstration of a principle called “reification” AND in business…

I have good news…

If you’re a regular reader of Breakthrough Marketing Secrets, you know I have two itches I can’t help but scratch…

One is music. I can’t get away from it. I loving making electronic music. And I’d love to be involved in the music industry, even if it’s in a very minor way, as something that straddles hobby and work. (Including but not limited to selling my own music.)

The other is the nonprofit world. This is more of a short-term itch. Yet I still can’t help but scratch it. I see this huge opportunity gap among nonprofit fundraisers. While they are pros at direct response marketing in the mail, they’ve failed in applying even what’s been proven in other markets to fundraising online. An easy fix, and the opportunity to make a huge impact.

I’ve spent a while bouncing off the edges of these markets, never really getting traction.

Fair enough. I wasn’t making it a full-time pursuit. I still spend the majority of my time with my primary clients — big direct response publishers, mostly in the investment space.

And yet I can’t get away from either music or nonprofits. I just keep coming back to them.

Recently, I’ve had breakthroughs in both areas — and it’s reminded me of an incredibly important marketing and business-building lesson I want to share with you today…

First let me share my breakthroughs, then the lesson…

In music…

I’ve been actively building out my site to promote and eventually sell my music, at (you can stream my track House Head (since ‘99) there, and download it by signing up to my email list). But that’s not where my breakthrough came…

As part of working on my production, I’ve spent a ton of time reading up on production techniques. Getting tutorials here and there. And along the way, I’ve come to prefer a handful of places online that reliably have good information.

Then I stumbled onto some information about one of those sites. Namely, that they have a HUGE email list of people signed up to get their articles.

And I came to realize that there may be an opportunity involving providing value to their list, helping music gear manufacturers get their new gear in front of this large audience, and me helping to enable it all with my writing skills.

In short, a three-way partnership that would have benefits for EVERYONE involved.

In the nonprofit space…

I put out feelers to a few folks, and ended up connected with a nonprofit providing an awesome service to active members of the military looking to transition back to civilian life. Now I don’t care where you fall on the political spectrum, helping veterans once again become productive members of civilian society is a noble pursuit.

Even better, the guy who is running this nonprofit is already direct response friendly. Meaning he is already in tune with many of the direct response methods I’ve recommended.

It just took an outside person to come in and point out the opportunity for him to think it makes sense.

And when I spoke with him, he had no problem with part of the compensation package being me using his nonprofit as a success story, should we get this to perform as I have no doubt it will.

This is a partnership that could help his nonprofit make a bigger impact with their mission, and that can get me what I want which is my first success stories using my new approach to fundraising — giving me a toehold in this market.

The lesson learned from these two experiences, that applies in any business and any industry…

In short, partnerships can help you achieve more, faster.

I tried on my own to make inroads into the music space. And while I was able to get on the radar of some pretty big players, I was limited in what I could offer. But in finding a partner with a list, identifying who might want access to that list, and bringing them together… Well, there’s opportunity.

Also with nonprofits. No matter how sound my thinking, my telling the industry there was a better way was like standing in the middle of a river and telling the whole river to start flowing uphill. But by finding ONE person to work with who would be happy to do things differently, I can suddenly start carving out a (small) new path that could turn into something very, very big.

This is a version of what’s been called host-parasite marketing, joint venturing, strategic partnerships, and many other things.

The key is to not make it about just you, to make it successful.

I once heard that a startup business with more than one founder is dramatically more likely to succeed than a new business run solo. I can think of a few reasons that might be true, but it is — no matter the reason.

The same applies for projects, and the next big thing you want to do with your life.

Who can you align yourself with — who can you partner with — that YOU CAN BRING THEM A TON OF VALUE and in return, you get what you want, too?

Yours for bigger breakthroughs,

Roy Furr

Editor, Breakthrough Marketing Secrets