Building An API Partner Program For

I am working with on a number of fronts when it comes to our partnership in 2018. One of the areas I’m helping them build, is the partner program around their API service. I’m taking what I’ve learned from studying the partner programs of other leading APIs, and I am pulling it together into coherent strategy that can put to work over time. Like any other area of operations, we are going to start small, and move forward incrementally, making sure we are doing this in a sensible, and pragmatic way.

First up, are the basics. What are we trying to accomplish with the partner program. I want to have a simple and concise answer to what their partner program does, and is designed to accomplish.

The partner program is designed to encourage deeper engagement with companies, organizations, institutions, and government agencies that are putting solutions to work, or are already operating within industries where services will compliment what they are already doing. This partner program is meant to encourage continued participation by our customers, through offering them exposure, storytelling opportunities, referrals, and even new revenue opportunities. The partner program is open to the public, just reach out and we’ll let you know if there is a fit between what our organizations are doing.

It is a first draft, and not the official description, but it takes a crack at describing why we are doing it, and some about what it is. After looking through our existing partner list, and talking about the objectives of the partner program we have settled in on a handful of types of partner opportunities available with the program.

  • OEM - Our deeply integrated partners who offer a white label version services to their customers.
  • Mutual Lead Referral - Partners who we are looking to generate business for each other, sending leads back and forth to help drive growth.
  • Co-Marketing - Partners who include in their marketing, as well as participate in our partner marketing opportunities.
  • Reseller / Distribution - customers who are authorized to resell and distribute services alongside their work.
  • Marketplace - Making sure is in leading application and API marketplaces, such as Amazon Marketplace.
  • System Integrators - Agencies who offer consulting services, and are up to speed on what does, and can intelligently offer to their customers.

We are currently going through our existing partner list, and preparing the website page that articulates what the partner program is, and who our existing partners are. Then we are looking to craft a road map for what the future of the partner program will look like.

  • Storytelling - Opportunities to include their products, services, and use cases in storytelling on the blog, and via white papers, guides or other formats.
  • Newsletter - Including partners in the newsletter we are launching later this month, allowing for regular exposure via this channel.
  • Testimonials - Getting, and showcasing the testimonials of our partners, and also giving testimonials regarding their solutions.
  • Case Studies - Crafting of full case studies about how a partner has applied solutions within their products, and services.

We have other ideas, but this represents what we are capable of in the first six months of the partner program. It gets the program off the ground, and has us reaching out to existing partners, letting them know of the opportunities on the table. It begins showcasing the program, and existing partners on the showcase page via the website, and invites other customers, and potential customers to participate. Once we get the storytelling drumbeat going for existing partners, and start driving traffic and links their way, we can look at what it will take to attract and land new partners as part of the effort.

Adding another dimension to this conversation, the telling of this story is directly related to my partnership with Which means I am a partner, and they are one of my partners, and this storytelling is part of the benefits of being an API Evangelist partner. As part of the work on the partner program we are looking at not just how the storytelling can be executed on, but also here on API Evangelist. We are also looking into how the reseller, distribution, and integrators tiers of partnership can coexist with the consulting, speaking, and workshops I’m doing as part of my work as the API Evangelist. We will be revisiting this topic each week, and when I have relevant additions, or movements, I will tell the story here on the blog, as I do with most of my work.