Perhaps you're more of the experienced guide, someone whose confident using the app and has already locked down the art of making a successful experience. Or maybe you're an embedded local, someone whose developed relationships with all your local hangouts and their owners, earning yourself a free coffee now and then or maybe a free starter on the house at your local cafe. If you're thinking you can take your FreeGuides experience to the next level but are wondering how then look no further than this simple guide to get partnerships with your local haunts.
But what do we mean by partnerships? Partnerships in this sense refer to developing relationships with local store owners, cafe owners or restaurant owners. You provide foot traffic to their store by sending your explorers to the shop, and in return, they receive a discount on their order. It's the definition of win/win with explorers tipping you for the access to a cheaper coffee which tastes better than most, and the local cafe owner getting a new customer to spread the word. FreeGuides lets you boost two incomes you want, and maybe even a little extra more for yourself once the owners see how many more customers are walking into their stores.
Step 1: Choosing your Spot
The first step to creating any successful partnership is identifying the hot spot that you know best. It can range from your favourite Ramen restaurant, your local cafe or even the pub up the road. We recommend looking to places you already have an established relationship with, owners you chat to every time you pop in or maybe the barista that knows your name and order the moment you walk in the door. Perhaps you want to take the angle of places you've seen which don't seem to get the foot traffic it deserves. The small little sandwich shop nestled in the back alley which only you know about is a perfect example of a business willing to take advantage of partnership from an established guide like yourself. The third option is for the truly bold, implementing a cold call like strategy where you start the relationship with your partnership pitch, hoping to improve an established business with your popularity on FreeGuides. Whatever the strategy you choose, the first step is always identifying the business for you.
Step 2: Develop Your Pitch
The next step to building your partnership with your local spot is developing your pitch. We're not trying to tell you that you need to rock up at the pub with a projector, PowerPoint slides and palm cards, but preparation is key to begin any successful relationship. To develop a successful pitch the first step is to identify key areas which you can assist in the business. We are not saying to critique the business to the face of the owner, but you need to develop a reason as to why they should buy into the relationship. This ties directly into the second step of a successful pitch which is identifying how you can assist the business. This can come in the form of either increasing foot traffics or an increase of word of mouth and general awareness of the spot. The third step is often the hardest, the ask. Many people stumble at this step but be confident on yourself and explain clearly to the owner what you wish to get out of the partnership, and what you want your new partner to do. This can come in the form of coupons, vouchers, reward cards or a whole host of added incentives your explorers receive for visiting your favourite spot.
Step 3: Making Your Pitch
Making your Pitch can be a daunting task, but if you've done your research then it will go over like a breeze. The best start is to schedule a meeting or maybe a coffee date with the manager and owner, so they understand that you're presenting a serious offer, whilst adding an air of professionalism to your ask. Make sure when you speak to the manager that you speak clearly and concisely, whilst defining explicitly what you are asking of them. All good meetings begin with a few minutes of casual chat, ask about there day or any topics of interest you know you both share, people are often put off if launched straight into a pitch, preferring a relational meeting before getting down to business immediately. Finally, make sure when you ask for your desired reward you explain yourself clearly with no fear. Be confident in yourself and your ability to be one FreeGuides best guides. We know you’re awesome, make sure they know too!
Step 4: Profit
This step goes without saying. Once you've developed your partnership and your explorers have started taking advantage of all the rewards you have organised, the tips will start rolling in. But it's not time to just sit back and relax, there's still more work to be done, as you'll see in Step 5.
Step 5: Maintaining the Relationship
Now that you’ve cultivated your relationship with your new partner, and have kickstarted the extra funds in your bank account, it’s not time to rest yet. It’s important to maintain the relationship you have with your new partner, so check in every now and then and see how they feel about your partnership. Whether its a call every so often or maybe you go in and have a coffee with, keeping a continuous dialogue with your new partner is important. Perhaps there are even opportunities to deepen the relationship and open up new revenue streams for you and your partner. Whatever the reason, maintaining your relationship is an unforgettable step in any partnership.