Agency Partner

Vidyard's Partner Program from the Partners' Perspective

Alex Glenn
February 1, 2021
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Agency Partner
February 1, 2021

Vidyard's Partner Program from the Partners' Perspective

I'm so glad you asked this question because what I'm currently getting isn't working, it's generic out cold outreach emails.

Ryan Ruud, CEO of Lake One Digital, Partner of Vidyard

This is part three of our deep dive into how Vidyard is growing their partner program. My guest today is Ryan Ruud, CEO of Lake One Digital, a top Vidyard and HubSpot partner. He and his team solve gnarly technical problems in both marketing and sales. In this session, Ryan is very open and transparent about what he does with his partners.

Main sections:

[00:06:36]  How to choose partners

[00:10:59] When to explore a partnership further

[00:13:10] Why you want to go deeper into relationships.

[00:17:25] What really works during the courtship period of a potential partner

[00:19:15] What does not work and how enablement fits in

[00:24:30] Getting a go-to-market in place and executed early.

[00:27:21] The value of having an action plan in partnerships

[00:29:18] Communication channels

[00:33:05] Effective partner newsletters

[00:38:12] When it’s time to explore new partnerships with competitive tools or services

[00:41:15] Best practices for cold emails


Resources: - The leading sending platform. - Partner tracking and payouts. - A free account mapping solution. - our guest. - to see Vidyard’s program.

Episode Transcript

Alex Glenn: 

[00:02:31] All right, everybody. This is part three of our deep dive into how Vidyard is growing their partner program. My guest today is Ryan Ruud, CEO of Lake one, digital, a video card HubSpot data box. A list goes on an avid savvy agency partner. These guys solve gnarly technical problems on both marketing and sales. Ryan is very open and transparent about what he does with his partners.

[00:02:59] In this session we learn when and why he goes deeper into relationships. We learn about his go to market strategy with new tech partners. We learn what Ryan would be excited to read in a partner newsletter. We learn what keeps Ryan excited and keeps him going deeper into these relationships. We learn what the first thing Ryan does with each new partner and we learn what Ryan's closest tech partner does, which he loves the most.

[00:03:29] And also he explains a few of the things that he hates. So without further ado, let's hear from Ryan. 

[00:03:35] Ryan Ruud: [00:03:35] My name's Ryan Reed. I'm the founder and CEO of an agency called Lake one. We're based in Minneapolis. Um, but our team is fully remote. We were remote before the pandemic or before it was cool. I like to say our vertical is, uh, primarily B2B organizations, manufacturing technology.

[00:03:53] Professional services, folks that have really gnarly sales processes, a really complex sales and marketing processes. And our staff, uh, is we're a HubSpot, uh, solutions partner. So we run a lot on HubSpot and then we branch out. Throughout the entire ecosystem. Uh, HubSpot's uh, app ecosystem is expansive.

[00:04:15] It's like the universe constantly expanding. Um, but there's a lot of kind of core tools that we, uh, we use internally, uh, within that space a lot. Um, Assana, uh, lead feeder, vid yard, um, some kind of course. You know, common things that you'll hear a lot, um, on the ad side, ad roll, uh, average Facebook, LinkedIn in cycle for data management, as we think about partnerships, vid yard lead, feeder HubSpot, obviously my thought process kind of around technology, uh, is a technology is not the strategy, but really trying to find ways to pick and choose technology elements within a stack that solve business problems.

[00:04:54] So that's kind of the way we've structured. Uh, our organization and that's kind of our value proposition to our client. And right 

[00:05:01] Alex Glenn: [00:05:01] before we started recording, you mentioned some of your experience and mentality around partnering with software. So can you take me back through that? So what do you consider partnership is, would be the high level question, but how does the partnership work inside of Lakewood?

[00:05:17] Ryan Ruud: [00:05:17] So for us, uh, a partnership really, uh, is about, you know, is, is this going to be able to be something that we can plug in to. Our clients technology ecosystem in a, in a way that adds value, um, to the organization's ultimate, you know, marketing and sales data and flow, but specifically, does it, is it a point solution or is it providing a solution to a, uh, a common problem?

[00:05:42] Um, so for us, it could be, you know, especially over this last year, we saw a tremendous surge in people. Struggling to adapt to issues around the pandemic, changes in the way people are selling. And all of a sudden, Hey, I can't see face to face with people. I'm not breaking through inboxes the way that I used to, um, which is actually the way we.

[00:06:05] We added one of our newer partners, vid yard. Like I basically bang down the doors with them, trying to, to, to see if I could be a partner, if we could start using their tools, uh, with some of our clients who used to travel a lot. Um, so that's the way I approach it is where we're really trying to provide solutions, um, you know, be kind of a solutions engineer for our clients.

[00:06:28] Um, and that's, that's the way I look at finding a technology partner to bring into our ecosystem. Uh, to solve a problem for a client. You 

[00:06:36] Alex Glenn: [00:06:36] mentioned two tools there, a sauna, and then obviously the highlight tool video card. A sauna is being used by agencies, right? Most agencies do not see a partnership opportunity there with a tool that they just use internally that their clients may never ask about may never use versus video vineyard, where most of the partners of video card that I talked to will onboard with video card for this specific purpose from day one.

[00:07:02] To learn how to build a service, a video sales training service, or adding video to some lead generation stuff that they're doing for their clients. So talk to me about what you guys do for the products like us on them. Do you look at the asanas of the world in your stack as how are we going to get more from them?

[00:07:21] How are we going to partner with them? Because we love partnering. Or do you sort of, you know, pick and choose based on who's more active and who comes to you? Talk to me about how those partnership conversations start with the assanas versus the videos. 

[00:07:38] Ryan Ruud: [00:07:38] Some question, candidly, it's a little bit of a hybrid in both cases.

[00:07:42] Um, so big yard. I actively sought out clients had a pain point. I out trying to find, you know, doing kind of a tack of that. Yeah. And you can talk to the guys at vid yard and they'll laugh at you. They'll laugh about this because I literally was banging down the door. I think I. Sent like three emails through the website, chase down, Rob sales.

[00:08:08] Uh, and it was like, I really want to talk to you guys about partnering. I've got like three customers right now, three clients that need you. So please, like, can we meet yesterday? Um, but, um, it's not decided. It's not necessarily that we weren't thinking about it. Cause I have a frame of mind when it comes to technology that if we're using it for like one, I try to teach, treat, take one as a sandbox for every everything that if, if we're doing it for ourselves, there's a possibility that a client might have these needs, uh, case in point.

[00:08:42] So we, we use a sauna for all of our project management. Um, clients are in there, they can see it. We tried to embed really tight with them. Um, and we run daily stand-ups with them or weekly stand ups with them. Um, all of a sudden we start having clients asking like, Hey, this is actually a really cool tool to work with you guys on.

[00:09:01] Could you help us implement this in our own organization, which then starts making me go, huh? Maybe there's something there. And this actually did happen because then I started exploring to see, does. A sauna offer something like that. Do they offer a way for agencies to either resell via partner? Not that I necessarily want to get in the project management consulting business, but if at the end of the day, I can add more value for my clients by helping them make better analogy decisions.

[00:09:35] That that's really the way that I look at it. There's going to either be one. I have a client that I know has a pain point and here's a technology that can solve it. That's going to be a proactive. Yes. This is a partner partnership or. I'm going to be using a tool in my own business, and I'm going to have a client that's then going to ask about it.

[00:09:54] And then that's going to send me looking to see, okay, is there an opportunity here? And the way I measure those opportunities isn't necessarily that I need to want to build a bunch of services around it. But like I said, I'm not going to do that with a sauna, whereas we are, we would, and we are, and we did, and we do around the yard.

[00:10:12] Um, but it's really about just creating that value. 

[00:10:15] Alex Glenn: [00:10:15] Love it. Okay. Well, I need to make sure that everybody that's an agency using my product is thinking about partners. So if I'm the Assana of the world, Panda doc, I think sits in this boat too, where it's a backend tool for the agencies harvest, you know, these types of tools.

[00:10:32] If I do have a partner program and I am looking to enable Ryan to go out there and introduce my tool to his clients, I have to start getting Ryan to think about that. I have to put that into his thought process at some point in the use of the tool. Right. So if, and when did that sort of light bulb go off, right where you said, you know what, we're getting really good at a sauna.

[00:10:59] Why don't we start suggesting and maybe assisting our clients with implementing a sauna. Do you remember a specific point? Did they reach out to you? What happened? And when did you start exploring that partnership? Further? 

[00:11:11] Ryan Ruud: [00:11:11] The clients, clients were the ones that I asked her, you know, they, they liked the way we manage them in it.

[00:11:17] And the ease of use within the tool, uh, which honestly it was a bit of a paradigm shift for me in thinking, um, And this isn't a knock on us, on it at all. So if somebody from a Sonic hears us, like, don't go screaming at somebody, they, there was no outreach. I, I went and did the research on it. So I think the way you frame this up really, you know, about if you're a, if you're a tool that is potentially being used by an agency that has the ability to be exposed to the agency's clients and the clients could potentially also be.

[00:11:55] A customer or user of your tool, maybe not directly as directed, you know, HubSpot or vid yard, but who doesn't have any for project management. I mean, it's not just agencies everybody on the planet could marriages could benefit from project management tools. I mean, it makes sense to put together some version of an outreach plan, especially, you know, if you figure out who your super users are and say, Hey.

[00:12:25] Here's the way that we can support you, uh, and communicating the value of this to your clients. Because at the end of the day, everybody wants to be more efficient and, um, not, not have staff overload because that's a very real thing. I mean, it's so easy to sign up for things that if we get, I asked a lot, like our clients tend to trust our recommendations on.

[00:12:52] So many other pieces of technology that aren't even part of the ecosystem that I'm talking about here, that it, it just behooves, you know, that. That person in charge of channel at any of these to think about it that way at any of these apps to think of it that way, 

[00:13:10] Alex Glenn: [00:13:10] have a framed it better. So I got what I needed out of that question.

[00:13:15] That's an important one. I think for partner managers and other agencies to understand is, is the opportunity that exists. And now we have to talk about when and why you go deeper into those relationships. So you are very much cemented into the HubSpot partner program. It doesn't sound like you're going.

[00:13:32] Anywhere there, there are other tools in your stack where, you know, they, they may be partners, but they're not meeting the need anymore. And then there's tools like video card where they could be earlier in the partner stage, uh, in this partner track, if you will. And you're looking to do more. So I just want to hear.

[00:13:51] How you make the case to your team. So double down on a partnership and what are some of the first things you do with those new partners when you have decided, right. And that could be content creation that could be involving them into a Cosell strategy. You know, what do you like to think about as the first step to this partnership and making sure that you're getting ROI?

[00:14:16] From the time that you spent, 

[00:14:18] Ryan Ruud: [00:14:18] the very first thing is I want to, I have a, when we're ready to go, I don't want to just be proactive. They going to, Oh, well this tool looks interesting. Maybe I'll do a partner check with them. Um, in every case where we actually have, you know, a legit partnership signed by DocuSign, it started off with I've identified a client problem.

[00:14:46] And we need a solution and I vetted technology G options, and I believe you're the best one for it. So let's talk about that and let's talk through these. Yeah. That's that is literally step one. Um, I remember like vid yard, we talked about Vidyard. That that's exactly how that scenario played out is conversations with the client.

[00:15:11] Here's the pain point? Did the research for them? Knocked down the door, that vid yard to have that conversation. Um, from there, it's really about saying, okay, how can we then tie your product into our, our service offering? Um, you talk to agencies all the time. So you understand that agencies are all cuts of all different flavors, right?

[00:15:41] Where. Yes, you do part of marketing as part of what we do, but the way we really distinguish ourselves or the way we think about ourselves is we're really focused on solving those gnarly technology problems. Um, Whereas somebody else might be thinking about, Oh, I just want to plug it in because we're, we're, you know, a creative agency or we're a video shop and we just need a tool that supports our clients that way.

[00:16:11] But for me, with, with these partner choices, as I need to make sure that. They fit into the way we sell. Um, and that that's been really key. HubSpot is, has it has been, and always has been really good at aligning with the way that we sell the vid yard team has been fantastic at aligning with the way we sell and really wanting to understand.

[00:16:37] Um, so that they can be an extension and a resource for us when it comes time to bring them in as a product expert. That's 

[00:16:45] Alex Glenn: [00:16:45] a perfect thing to note. So, uh, if you didn't already get that picture about Ryan from the, uh, introduction, they solve gnarly technical problems, uh, around sales and marketing sounds like mainly, uh, for your clients and the tools that Ryan chooses.

[00:17:03] He has done a lot of product vetting ahead of time and is very savvy with the product side of, of the service operations. Right? So the tools that he's got in his stack can well support these new services now as a partner manager. And I'm trying to get into a relationship with Ryan. I'd like to get into his stack.

[00:17:25] I'd like to know, um, what really works, you know, what should. Let's just say I meet the product, um, minimums, I have checked those boxes, you know, what should I be doing to make sure that you and your team are actively thinking about and having meetings and considering partnering with me? Right? What are some of the things that really work for you around the courtship of a potential.

[00:17:54] Partner. Right. And this is a partner. Let's say it's a heavier lift, right? Let's say I'm Salesforce and I want you to replace it. HubSpot. What are some of the things that you like to get from these partners that work for you in this courtship? 

[00:18:08] Ryan Ruud: [00:18:08] I'm so glad you asked this question because I, it, what, what I'm currently getting, isn't working, it's generic out cold outreach emails.

[00:18:22] Here's my product. Will you meet with me? I don't know. I mean, I don't have time. Like if I have to go re like I you've heard me say now multiple times that the Genesis for starting to explore a new potential partnership is usually based on a client pain point within the categories of things that we support.

[00:18:49] If you, we make it very simple to understand, you know, the work that we do with clients it's right there on our website. And there's a, what we do. Come to me with, Hey, here's where I think we could fit into the work that you do with clients and could solve some really specific problems that we're seeing.

[00:19:07] Um, that would be a really great starting point. If you want to try to proactively catch my attention 

[00:19:15] Alex Glenn: [00:19:15] to be my next question, which is what does not work for you. So let's just go deeper into that. So, Um, this podcast is about enablement. Enablement means a lot. You know, you've got to, obviously first when Ryan, I mean, it sounds like the product itself can win, uh, regardless of the partnership team and some things that you're throwing out, Ryan, but let's just say you're between two technology.

[00:19:41] You don't have the. Bandwidth to learn both. Right. A good example of this is click up versus a sauna. Right? A lot of Assana partners are being pulled towards click up and, um, and vice versa. Right. So, you know, if, if I'm the click up team and I want you to stop thinking about going to market with a sauna and pushing us on a back on your, your customers or vice versa, and I want to win you over.

[00:20:08] Is there anything I can do? That would make the case to you and your team to say, you know what. It's worth it for us to start exploring, click up. What are some of the things that come to mind immediately? Anything from experience or things that you've heard, other agencies are getting that you wish you had anything at all at all, 

[00:20:26] Ryan Ruud: [00:20:26] give you a similar scenario.

[00:20:28] Um, so HubSpot and SharpSpring, I think sharp Springs done has gone very aggressively after. HubSpot, um, especially after agency is, and hasn't worked on us yet. We're, we're very well embedded into the HubSpot ecosystem, but I think the challenge is, is trying to figure out the, and I don't even know how a partner manager would be able to do this, but like, how do you figure out what are the unknowns?

[00:20:57] I mean, for the Isana example you gave, but you're not just having to displace, assign in terms of. Hey, don't talk to your clients about this. We would have to completely change our own internal processes, which is an even bigger lift. Um, so that's one big hurdle. What I thought has been really interesting about how sharp spring has gone to market and communicating with agencies is they're very well aware of what perceived shortcomings are.

[00:21:29] Um, For HubSpot being sold in, into a certain market segment around, um, Oh, long-term fixed pricing and they've hammered that, um, it's not working for us just because of, you know, I believe that the ecosystem around HubSpot is really strong and driving towards the future. Um, but that to me is. The one way that, that it could work.

[00:21:53] It potentially is if you really understand, Hey, the here's where our shortcoming is, and this is what we've done to fix that in our product or in our partnership. Um, engagement, talk to that. I mean, it's the same thing as, as we would be doing, if this was a, you know, a sales enablement conversation with, you know, uh, not a partner channel, find the pain.

[00:22:18] Alex Glenn: [00:22:18] Find the pain. I like it. Yeah. So I'm converting a new partner in, this is not the premise, but I love to hear this. And it's always good for interesting to say what works, um, on the outreach side of things and on just discussion side of things. So product yes. Has to be there. It's got to meet some minimum, so you've got to talk to the same audience.

[00:22:36] So we're past that. Now we're now we're to the conversation standpoint, when maybe Ryan's gotten a few emails he's maybe replied to one, is he hasn't set a meeting yet. He hasn't been that interested. Uh, but if you, as the partner team can go to Ryan and say, you know what I know you're using HubSpot and I'm looking at your case study page, and I see you have a lot of manufacturing.

[00:22:56] I bet those manufacturers are reaching these issues with HubSpot and you know what? We have a large and deep presence in manufacturing. Here's what we're doing. Here's how you would do it. And here are some of the steps. Some of the lightweight steps to getting started, right? Maybe will give you a sandbox account.

[00:23:13] Maybe we'll give you a free account. Maybe we'll give you a couple of free licenses to just give a couple of your clients. If you feel like there's a need, and then we'll go deeper into the relationship and we'll get you warmed up. So let's keep this sort of, role-play going. I like this. This is fun, but, um, I want to hear, so let's say hypothetically I'm SharpSpring and I did convert you and at least to a call, you're not.

[00:23:34] Totally taking HubSpot out of your stack, you guys are going to stay on a HubSpot. You love it, but you do have clients that could use that other product, right? So we're in this conversation now I've given you a couple of accounts. Maybe you've even shared one with your client and they've gotten some feedback.

[00:23:51] Back to you and it's not bad, it's not great, but it's enough to say, you know what, I could easily sell this. Right? So now we talk about enablement. So we're in this sort of a world where you're using it a little bit, but you're not fully partners. So some of the things that come to mind around going to market or sort of making that decision.

[00:24:10] Is there a really awesome scenario where a partner has come to you, they've converted you pretty quickly. The relationship's been awesome and they're giving you everything. You need to go to market with them and they're making the case so that you say yes, and you do everything to put them in front of your clients.

[00:24:30] Let's talk about any of those scenarios, pull on vid yard, ribbon, HubSpot. Talk to me about, what's worked for you to get a go-to-market in place and executed early. 

[00:24:40] Ryan Ruud: [00:24:40] The yard was and continues to be just phenomenal. Like I said, we went to them because we had specific client problems that we needed to solve at that point.

[00:24:51] Honestly, hadn't even gotten to the point of, Hey, how are we going to build. A service offering around that. I just want to solve my client's problem right now is really where my brain was at. At that point. I'm like this sucks. The pandemic is killing sales opportunities for people. Um, so how can we, you know, facilitate and make it easier for people to, uh, breakthrough inboxes?

[00:25:17] Um, and it, it was VGR, that was the one that was like, okay, cool. We can help with that. But. Well, let's think through the go to market strategy because we dig the, the way you're thinking and the way you're selling and like what your position, like they fully took the time to understand, you know, our philosophy and our mission, and then said, yup, that's great.

[00:25:40] Now let's spend the next few weeks together and put the packaging and the service together, which normally. For would have probably taken months just because I got too many other things that are constantly pulling me in different directions, that if I actually want to launch a new service offering, that's how long it would literally take.

[00:26:00] But with them because of how like pulled together and guided, they had it, we were able to pretty much go. I feel like it was within weeks. Like we had a few meetings, some conversations had a full go to market plan, ready to go launch. You know, the press releases, landing pages, content to support it, did the certifications and the training.

[00:26:23] And we were standing up clients like. Within a month and couldn't have done it without them. That was a slam dunk. That was a win. I was the quickest conversion at can imagine be replicating that. 

[00:26:37] Alex Glenn: [00:26:37] Yeah. And you know, there were some macro factors. Of course you mentioned COVID you mentioned clients being virtual.

[00:26:44] There was a need, um, video, our zone, a killer job of putting their brand out there and making it. Making it an easy sell for you. If you brought video card to your client and you expressed the use case, I don't think any, client's going to look at video card and say, what is this? You know, they're, they're all going to want it.

[00:27:02] And I know that's kind of NVIDIA's favor, but not all tools listening have that marketing presence that video card has. And they do have a little bit more of an uphill battle. Let's give them some tactical, like, go here, do this type of advice. I like to do this. Um, but do you recall anything Vidar? Did that immediately pushed you deeper into the partnership?

[00:27:21] Yeah, so 

[00:27:22] Ryan Ruud: [00:27:22] some specific things we had basically an action plan. They worked with us on putting an action plan together. Ribbon did this too with us, um, and. For me, at least I needed that to hold myself and my team accountable to being able to get things done. So it was, you know, okay. Here's let's think about service, the solution packaging.

[00:27:44] Here's some thoughts we have on it. Do you want to put a draft together? We'll work with you on that even, um, here's you know, let's try to get a outline of it by this date. Let's get the landing page up by this date. They also came along, um, and really supported our announcement. So we shared it, but then they also gave a lot of extra horsepower behind it, internally with their team, which is always just nice to see, um, that.

[00:28:14] They they're putting some skin in the game on that as well. Um, I think those are two really critical things that no matter how large your organization is from a partner perspective. So I really look to, uh, my partner team, whether you know, the channel team at HubSpot or at mid yard, So just help keep me accountable and to be able to really add that extra punch to the, to make it a one, two punch.

[00:28:41] I mean, that's, that's what a partnership is supposed to be. Yeah. 

[00:28:44] Alex Glenn: [00:28:44] Great answer. And, um, the communication, this is part of it too. It's it's not easy to get partners to be engaged in the communication aspect, which includes the training. I think I put training under the communication. So when I'm onboarding you, Ryan, The yard is less of a heavy training process.

[00:29:02] It's easy to understand. It's easy to do, but then there's HubSpot and then there's other tools that require more knowledge. Um, maybe some certifications, maybe not, but there's time in there. There's bandwidth from you and your agency. And you may have to get employees to take the trainings and do that kind of stuff.

[00:29:18] Right. So. Warming up the communication channels with you. Can you give partner teams vice and underneath communication channels? What do you like and dislike around partner webinars? What do you like and dislike around the Slack groups on the channels of communication, the actual mediums, right? And the frequency, anything come to mind?

[00:29:41] Because 

[00:29:41] Ryan Ruud: [00:29:41] we're kind of selective about who we fully partner with. We're not managing dozens of legit partner relationships. Like again, I'm using air quotes here in the fact like DocuSign assigned that we have experienced in a ton of technologies to support it, but the people we truly. You know, link arms with and sing kumbaya with are a handful of really trusted partners.

[00:30:03] From a communications perspective. I really like a really, really tight communication Fred with them. So we have regular meetings, whether it's me with a sales counterpart there, we brainstorm regularly on new ways to join market and sell. We have actually shared Slack channels between our team and our channel team.

[00:30:28] I'm not as big on the webinars, uh, just cause I feel a little webinar to death, but, um, I prefer more of the real-time communication. Um, and that's kinda where the shared Slack channel comes in and being able to really establish trust and rapport as quickly as possible. 

[00:30:48] Alex Glenn: [00:30:48] Okay. So you like Slack partner webinars, although sometimes necessary, especially with larger programs, uh, can be a little bit, um, uh, annoying or just kind of irrelevant.

[00:30:59] I've I've heard from a couple partner teams that were invited to webinars after not being communicated with. Over months and they got to the webinar thinking that there's going to be some really big announcement, some really awesome, valuable information to be had. And this new partner channel manager person that was stepping into the role, took the entire hour to explain how the product worked.

[00:31:21] Two apartments. Um, that was pretty funny, sorry that hasn't happened to you, but it sounds like there's, there are communication channels that are working for partners, at least in your case. Slack is one of those. Um, are there any types of partner newsletters that you really enjoy receiving versus ones that you don't?

[00:31:42] Um, any aspects about the partner newsletter that are relevant to mention. 

[00:31:46] Ryan Ruud: [00:31:46] Uh, I'll be honest. There's not, I don't think there's any that I, I maybe open the HubSpot one once in a while, and I'm probably gonna get a nasty gram from my channel partner there if he hears this. But it's, there's just so much noise sometimes that I feel like the newsletter.

[00:32:05] That's why I like that Slack channels. If there's something that, that we need to know, I'd rather just have the person, our point of contact be, you know, Hey, Here you go. Like, what I love is that our folks are our folks over at feed yard practice, what they preach and they'll send us a, a vid yard video summarizing, you know, a couple of things or sharing a quick update, which for me is a much more digestible form of communication, um, than having, you know, another email in my inbox.

[00:32:37] Alex Glenn: [00:32:37] Yep. Okay. Got it. Yeah, I like that. So, um, using the product obviously is it works in this case. Um, you don't want to force it if we give them any advice. Now, talk to me about this. I mean, let's say I was your partner manager. And the partner news letter that I'm going to send you. Um, if I broke it up into a few parts, what I would do is I'd say, all right, well, I want to get all of my partners into the content calendar.

[00:33:05] And in order to get Ryan to open this partner newsletter and be eager to open it. I'm going to make sure every time I send out a partner newsletter, there are co-marketing opportunities inside the newsletter in section one. Right? So that could be, Hey, we've got an article coming up about B2B sales and we need a couple of testimonials and we'll put your face and your logo and your back link.

[00:33:29] Although your testimonial, right? Or below your, your, your quotes, um, or maybe there's a highlight potential. Maybe there's a webinar coming up that I'm hosting as your partner, and I'd love you to speak. Right. Put all those into the first section. Um, second section, I don't know, maybe, um, maybe we could, uh, showcase.

[00:33:50] A partner of the month. Right. And what they're doing with the, and be really detailed, don't just say, Oh, Ryan's doing great. He's increased revenue by X amount, but really show like Ryan is doing this with vineyard. This is exactly how he sets it up. Here's a long form piece of content that Ryan gave us about how he does it.

[00:34:09] He's killing it. So do what Ryan does, right. That could be a good partner newsletter and then, you know, events and whatever else in section three. Would that be something that you'd be interested in opening? Yep. 

[00:34:18] Ryan Ruud: [00:34:18] And I would add a third section to that. I actually talked about this with, with our friends over at ribbon is use cases really like, cause they're, they're seeing across the partner ecosystem, like things that are cool and unique ideas, which.

[00:34:35] Could help spur things within our own client base that we hadn't even thought about. Having that dropped in there too, would be really fun. You know, being able to say, Hey, this is a really interesting application of this technology to solve this. 

[00:34:49] Alex Glenn: [00:34:49] And that is a perfect time to ask a question that I am going to be selfish that I have.

[00:34:55] Uh, and I loved you because you have so many partners, you've got so much of this going on and you are a tech savvy individual. We have a couple of agencies that have submitted long form, almost like help desk type articles to our partners saying, Hey, you know, I'm crushing it with adding you to Google tag manager and Google analytics and, um, showcasing screenshots and all this into a really awesome.

[00:35:21] Almost like a help desk article. Right. And then submitting it to them to publish on their blog. And then obviously they use that to say, Hey, I'm the expert. They get a lot of inbound from that because a lot of their customers find it. It's a long tail keyword. Like how do you use blank product with Google analytics and Google tag manager?

[00:35:39] Question you ever done anything like that? If so were, if not, why. And what would you do if your partners actually offered you the ability to give them an article that they would 

[00:35:53] Ryan Ruud: [00:35:53] not yet? We haven't, I'm trying to think if we've done content or. Partners. Um, I don't think so. We have some in the hopper actually coming up with ones we've talked about, but I think that's a fantastic implementation of, you know, the way I see the partnership rolling out because the technology companies need services firms in many cases to really make sure that there's.

[00:36:18] Tools remain sticky. And that in every case, I mean, in some cases, organizations have the resources and capabilities in house to manage some elements of it. But I think. You know, to really get the best value out of it or to get the full return out of it. You're going to need to talk to somebody at some point about, you know, what's the best way to manage recurring projects in a sauna, or can we brainstorm some about, you know, how should we really be thinking about call to actions in feed?

[00:36:50] Alex Glenn: [00:36:50] Yeah, I agree. I'm very curious because I don't see it enough and I'm wondering why. So I like to ask agencies. You know, you have a great use case for vid yard is built into your funnel. It's probably plugged into your automations in some level. I'm sure it's integrated with HubSpot. What is the problem with tech companies?

[00:37:09] Not going to Ryan and saying. Why can't you show that off on my blog and a detailed article and all we'll make it worth every moment of time that you spend doing it by putting that in my newsletter, putting it, you know, on the homepage of the blog and sticking it there for a little while, putting it on my social channels.

[00:37:27] Right. Um, yes, you do have to give away the secret sauce. You do have to say, yeah, this is how I do it. And yeah, competitive agencies will read it. But it gives you so much thought leadership and you'll probably get leads. Uh, and as long as it's a unique use case video card and all these other tools that can do that with all of their agencies, as long as the publication is a different use, like video card plus blank.

[00:37:53] In this use, right? You would have one, another agency would have another. So I'm just really curious why it's not happening as much. So thank you for that. And then we have a couple of minutes left, so I want to be very, uh, crucial with these last couple of minutes and get some good stuff from you. So we talked about you changing one of the tools in your stack.

[00:38:12] I'm not going to name any names. But this tool you may be growing out of a little bit, or it's not meeting your needs. You're exploring new partnerships with competitive tools or, sorry, you're exploring competitive tools, not quite partnership yet, but hypothetically you got on calls, not with their sales team, but you went through their partnership channel, right?

[00:38:31] So you looked at who was their partnership manager and you said, Hey, I'm exploring your tool. I'd like to talk to you about what it's like. In the program and you got on calls with partner manager, a at one tool and partner manager B at the competing tool. Is there anything that's almost like red flag say they are exactly the same on the product side and you can't make the decision based on product alone.

[00:38:54] So you go to the partners teams and you want to find out if one program is going to be where you want to be, and that would make your decision to buy the product. Right. Is there anything that comes to mind with. That conversation happening, you know, if we just envision it happening, what could be said to convert you to being my user slash partner versus the competitors and anything that I could potentially say to shit the bed essentially.

[00:39:22] Ryan Ruud: [00:39:22] Yeah. I think the biggest thing is, um, I don't know that there's a specific thing that could be said to me. I'm going to be evaluating to see what kind of onboarding do you have? What kind of support do you have going forward for our team? Um, But this is kind of the way that the process goes within our organization.

[00:39:44] I mean, we're established, we're stall small, nimble like agile agency. So I usually will do the vetting of the technology and the tool pull somebody in ones where, you know, at a point where we're ready to say, yep, let's pull this in, pull this technology and as a partnership, and I want to make sure that the tool that we're bringing in has a partnership team that.

[00:40:09] Can support the rest of my team and making sure that we can one implement, um, an activate the tools and technology at a level at a caliber that I expect for our clients. Um, and to that, my team has access to resources. If they bump into roadblocks and this isn't to say that like, they need to be a support desk.

[00:40:34] But like if one of the things that I absolutely love about how HubSpot is structured is that they, the channel partnership with HubSpot is here's pre-sale and here's strategy. We have two resources that can help. Navigate issues that may come up and that's really, to me is the big thing that I'm evaluating.

[00:40:56] Alex Glenn: [00:40:56] It was a really good quote. So we may actually use that to lead off the episode. So just to reiterate or put that into context, HubSpot, what they're doing there. Is separating the strategy and the team and the communication process and the training. Is that what it is that's really appealing about that.

[00:41:15] Or talk to me a little bit more about that specific last 15 seconds. What HubSpot does versus what most partner teams 

[00:41:22] Ryan Ruud: [00:41:22] do. So like I have two resources as a part of my solutions partnership, where I can talk to one person that had just focused on sales and. Talking about the product, talking about pricing that helps with the, how do we sell it in and actually have the conversation with our clients.

[00:41:39] Do the demos, do the negotiations and the pricing as necessary, or like for a renewal, it helps. Basically navigate, how do our clients have the sales conversation with HubSpot? And then the other person is somebody that, Hey, we have this really complex inbound problem tool, problem usage problem that will strategize with us and work through like, how can we solve that with a client?

[00:42:06] Alex Glenn: [00:42:06] And then where and who, and what should partner teams do with Lake one, anything in particular or not do. 

[00:42:15] Ryan Ruud: [00:42:15] You stopped me right 

[00:42:16] Alex Glenn: [00:42:16] there. Don't send terrible cold emails that just talk about your product. It sounded like 

[00:42:23] Ryan Ruud: [00:42:23] how many of those I get it's ridiculous. Hey, this is a really cool product. Do you want to be our partner?

[00:42:30] I mean, like, can you imagine going into, into a bar and being like, Hey, can I buy you a drink when I get married? Wow, 

[00:42:37] Alex Glenn: [00:42:37] no, I love it. If anyone listening is interested in seeing what bad and good cold emails, partner emails look like, please reach out to me, Alex, at partner programs, and I'll get you a copy of that, but we've seen some terrifying emails.

[00:42:50] Um, but the best practice that I've heard from most of my agencies is don't talk about your product so much. I can look into your links and explore that on my own. Really get to the gist of what you're going to do for me today. Why should I care? And who does it reach? What does it do for me? Really? What is the value?

[00:43:07] And then give me a free account on your way. Maybe I'll reply to that email for sure. I love it, Ryan. Well, you know, you're the partner, uh, hopefully the partner man managers and agencies listening, understand a little bit clear, you know, how to work with an agency like yours, a savvy. Technologically focused apt agency.

[00:43:28] That's doing B2B marketing and sales, um, optimizations. Um, so hopefully this was good, Ryan. Thank you very much for the time. I'll let you get back to your Friday. Thanks a lot. .

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