The agency world is rife with competition, and you have to be on top of your game to make your mark and secure those clients. And that's exactly what a partnership is designed to help you do!
Ultimately, a partnership is about working together, learning from each other, and growing together.
How does it work?
Well in some ways, partnering with your software vendor is a typical business partnership - an agency builds solutions using the software and contributes with a fee or subscription, and in return the company behind the software offers a range of profitable benefits, exclusivity and a better ROI. Depending on where you go, the business model of the CMS vendor and other factors, you'll find different kinds of partner programs.
For example, some companies offer affiliate partnerships with limited benefits and a focus on a commission on reselling.
Here at Umbraco, we have implementation partners (building solutions) and technology partners (integrating tools). The idea is that our partner agencies sell their own knowledge and expertise, not the product (you can leave that to us).
One thing is for sure: there are heaps of benefits to be had from partnering up with your software vendor. But we're sure you're busy - so here's 5 main benefits as shared by our own Partners.
#1 Be closer to the action
No one works closer to a software vendor than their partners, and that opens doors that you may not even know existed. Explicit benefits vary between different software companies and their partner programs, but you can typically expect things like:
...exclusive insight and level of detail into the company, product and market trends;
...direct contact with a dedicated partner manager who helps you get the most out of product and partnership and inspirits your success;
...networking opportunities at regular summits and events with big names and big minds.
At Umbraco, we take it a step further by encouraging our Partners to have a say in the direction of the software itself, through regular summits and communication through their Partner Managers. After all, it's you and your clients who will be working with it!
“As a software development firm, we firmly believe we should have partnerships with any tools we offer to our clients.”
#2 An official stamp of approval
As a partner, you will get an official partner badge (like the one above) to show off on your website, your marketing collateral and any and all communication.
An official partner badge is one thing most partner programs agree on, and that's because it's a big one. Why? Because it's the ultimate trust signal to potential clients.
A Partner badge is of symbol of credibility, an official verification of your skills and expertise, and an indicator of a good relationship with the software you use.
Think of it as like the Twitter Verified icon, but for building websites.
“The official stamp of approval on our website helps send a positive trust signal to our clients. A signal that this is a platform that we are committed to and very well versed on.”
#3 Get peace of mind
Let's be real - things go wrong. And more than we'd like them to.
As those working closest with the software, it makes sense that Partners would have access to the best support possible. A support package under your belt doesn't just mean having someone to reach out to when you need answers or run into issues: it's a weight off your shoulders - especially for those large-scale, high visibility and business-critical projects! And with a dedicated point of contact/partner manager, you'll skip the queue of support tickets and rest assured your issue will be personally dealt with.
That means less stress - and more valuable time and resources spent on the important stuff. And as for your clients? Some peace of mind for them too!
While direct support might not always be exclusive to partners, becoming a partner could mean bumper savings on support packages. For example, a standard Enterprise plan would cost around €15000/year, whereas the Umbraco Gold Partnership (the highest tier possible) is just €12000/year - which includes the highest level of support for partners. Bargain-hunters will love this one!
“If we ever needed to get real support involved in the project, becoming a Partner seemed like a good step.”
#4 Be the first in the know
Things are constantly changing. It's more important than ever to stay ahead of the game. Whether that's new technologies, market trends of the product itself.
As a Partner, you'll get your own carefully crafted news updates about the latest news and details about new features, so you never miss an important update or the news that's relevant to you.
At Umbraco, we like to give our Partners a heads-up about new updates, new products and important changes - all before they reach the public. Our partners love having that edge of being the first in the know, and getting the heads up to prepare for change.
That's because it doesn't just benefit you: as new products, features, and opportunities become available... your clients will get them first.
"The ability to showcase on our website that we are a Registered Partner helps us show clients that we are familiar with the platform, and display credibility, expertise, and competence.”
#5 Stand out from the crowd
All of these benefits unite to create a strong advantage over the competition and make you the option with the credibility and the accreditation.
As competition gets tougher and tougher, you really want to put your best foot forward. In a sea of agencies, and hundreds of thousands of clients, there are surprisingly few partners. That's just one reason why you can get the edge by becoming one!
All in all, becoming a partner sends a trust signal that you’re committed to delivering quality solutions and serious about success.
"The partnership has brought extra referrals and greater ability to pitch campaign-based websites to existing clients, and sold more projects to new clients."
A future worth investing in
Think of it like this - a partnership is an investment where the more you put in, the more you get out of it. In a good quality partnership, both parties are collaborating and corroborating to make gains on both sides.
Partnership fees can vary extensively across different platforms - and quite dramatically too. However most software and experience platforms will offer partnership options in tiers - so you can get started the way that fits you and your business model.
Some even start at an entry-level tier which is free and with no strings attached: this allows partners to try out the ecosystem, and see how things work out for them before progressing to a higher and paid tier.
This is exactly how it works with Umbraco, where you can start as a Registered Partner and get the best possible onboarding experience, or even just get a taste of the partnership - for nothing at all!
As you experience your business grow and watch your ROI climb, you can rest assured that there is space for your partnership to grow too. Higher partnership, better relationship with your partner manager, more benefits = even more success!
Or of course, you can enjoy the free trial that never ends...
Whichever stage you’re at, we’re ready to meet you.