If you have been running a business online for any length of time, you have heard about affiliate marketing. In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is all about selling other people’s stuff (i.e. their products or services). Affiliate marketers tend to have large lists of people who are interested in a very specific niche, so their audience is very targeted.
They are very protective of their list and will only make offers to them which they know will be of interest.
Affiliates tend to be male (72.5 percent) and the predominant age group is 25-34 (29.7 percent), followed closely by those in the 35-44 age range (23.9 percent).* Many have been working in the field less than two years, and consider affiliate marketing a part-time source of income.
As a business owner with a service-based business, I have spent a significant amount of time building a list, promoting my business, writing blog posts – all in an attempt to attract the type of client who can afford to hire me for my services. Not an easy feat given where things are at economy-wise, but clearly not impossible as I have been in business for six years.
I decided to look into affiliate marketing as a way of getting the word out specific service packages I am promoting. I was looking for additional sources of revenue in the form of leads, as well as a new source of traffic for my website. Here are some of the things I learned along the way.
- Know your brand – you need to have a clear understanding of your own brand and how you want to have it represented online. Affiliates will take on the task of marketing, but you need to provide them with specific guidelines for how they can market your brand.
- Know your audience – you know who your ideal client is. You need to engage affiliates who are going to have the “ear” of that specific audience. There is no point marketing dog collars to cat lovers right?
- Provide tools and resources – the more support you can provide in terms of tools and resources, the better results you will see. The bottom line is the product or service you are marketing is your own. No one knows more about it than you do.
Be prepared to write copy for e-mail blasts, Facebook posts, LinkedIn updates – as well as Twitter tweets. Create banners in different sizes. The more resources the better.
- Offer incentives – as motivated as many affiliates are with the rate of commission they are going to receive (industry practices put it between 25-50% depending on the product/service price) – there is nothing like some friendly competition.
Offering additional incentives in the form of gift cards, or a new techy gadget (depending on your budget) is a great way to get your affiliate marketers motivated from the start to the finish of your campaign.
I hope this gives you more of a comfort level with working with affiliates. When done correctly, affiliate marketing can be a great source of exposure and income for your business.
About The Author:
Lisa Rodriguez is a small business consulting and virtual professional who specializes in helping coaches, consultants, speakers and other online entrepreneurs create productive businesses
Her firm, Next Level Consulting specializes in WordPress site customizations and membership website development. We also provide customized social media marketing campaigns, leveraging Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest (to name a few) to get your message and brand out into the marketplace.
Reach out today for a free consultation and let us partner with you towards YOUR business success – Serious Solutions for Serious Entrepreneurs.
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