Joseph Ratliff Writer, Researcher, Thinker

Tag Archives: Affiliate Marketing

A HUGE Disconnect From Offline To Online When It Comes To Affiliate Marketing…

I’m noticing a HUGE disconnect as it applies to the “affiliate marketing” industry when it comes to the management and recruiting of affiliates.

I’ve read an awful lot of complaints etc… from merchants about the quality of affiliates, some hurtful comments about “ethics” and paying commissions, and the like.  All of these could be solved by a seemingly simple technique used in the offline world when it comes to recruiting and developing sales people.

Because that’s all that affiliate marketing is…commissioned sales (you do pre-sell).  It’s just the online equivalent.

It’s not the full-version of offline sales, as you don’t actually “sell” the item being promoted in most cases, you let the merchant do that.

But still, the following could help merchants recruit/develop quality affiliates:

–Interview them. Either online or over the phone (novel concept, using the phone).  You can set up an interview designed and implemented to qualify out those affiliates you wouldn’t want involved promoting your program anyhow.

–Train them. Another novel concept, actually providing quality (not cheap) training and development programs that your hired affiliates can use to learn how to presell your products.  I’m not talking about skimping here either, don’t just throw up a bunch of cheap-ass videos and expect your affiliates to want to watch and “go make you proud.”

I am talking about monthly training webinars your affiliates MUST attend to remain affiliates for your product.  You offer valuable data, training, masterminding, etc…etc… here, and really connect with your affiliates, instead of acting like the typical, lazy merchant (if you’re not offering much).

–Fire them. That’s right, if you don’t see performance from your affiliate, fire them.  Have set parameters in place where it’s clear to the affiliate what is expected from the outset…and if they don’t meet those expectations, they can “hit the road” as they say.

Affiliates who sign up and don’t perform at all are doing you no good just sitting there.  So, don’t let them sit there.

–Motivate them. On the flip side, actually put effort into motivating and retaining good affiliates.  This is business, so have incentives in place for performers, along with real prizes in contests, cruises, masterminds etc…etc… all designed to keep your top affiliates wanting more.

In other words, for you lazy merchants out there, quit treating your affiliates like dirt.  If you actually put the effort into cultivating the relationship with your affiliates…it will pay off.

I’m realizing this is turning into a deep subject, so more on this topic in later posts…I have to think about this a little deeper. 😉

Rules? What Rules?

I’m actually quite surprised at the number of people who learn a concept, then don’t expand on that concept in other ways that no one else does.

Example…

CPA marketing. Many people know it as putting up a website, driving traffic to it, getting people to take a simple action online…then possibly getting paid.

So who said you can’t do it offline?

Help an offline business owner “drive traffic” to their place of business, having people fill out a form, and for every form someone fills out (for a contest, prize, whatever)…you get paid. You can count those, so “tracking programs” and such won’t rob you of commissions (not saying they do all the time).*

*unless the business owner is a crook, but that rarely happens.

You’ll educate the business owner on the value of having a customer list in some cases (which could result in a consulting fee for you)…and they’ll thank you for showing them a new revenue stream.

Now, before you light up your email program to tell me how simple this sounds, I didn’t reveal every single detail, because I want to challenge you to expand on this idea (and others) for yourself.

(I know, I know, work a little…)

You could make up some excuses why this won’t work…that you have to talk to business owners about business…how you don’t want to “sell” anything (which you won’t be doing if you talk to a business owner AS a business owner yourself instead of selling)…etc…etc…

If you have come up with “reasons” why this won’t work…you’re right…it won’t. If you can see past those and make it work, you’ll realize that your local business market is pretty much untapped for this sort of thing (and even if it isn’t there’s plenty of room for you and competition).

So what’s with the title to this post?

I wanted to help you understand that so long as what you’re doing isn’t illegal, immoral, or unethical (like violating terms, etc…)…then you’re pretty much free to conduct business in creative ways.

Nobody said affiliate marketing was an “online only” activity, did they? 

5 Reasons Your Internet Business WILL Fail This Year (and a free download)…

The Real Uncensored Truth About Making Money With Affiliate Marketing

Nothing held back in this one. If you’re easily offended, don’t read this post.

I’ve received questions via email about “getting into the business”…

“Is this a good source of part-time income?”

My opinion: It can be, but the mentality of “part-time” income can make it more challenging to compete as an affiliate marketer…and this is an extremely competitive business.

“Do I really have to sell?”

My opinion: Yes.  This is a selling and marketing business model, period.  If you don’t understand marketing or sales before starting…you’d better start, or you’ll have a hard time.

Some good books to read on the subject and get you started…

Influence by Robert B. Cialdini, PhD

Master the Art of Selling by Tom Hopkins

Breakthrough Advertising by Gene Schwartz (if you can find it)

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

“I don’t really want to be seen as one of those aggressive marketers, do I have to be?”

My Opinion: Being “seen” as an aggressive marketer usually occurs when you forget that this is a people business…not a money business.  On the flip side of that, if you don’t market aggressively enough, you’ll leave money on the table. Finding your balance is really a matter of common sense, testing, and tweaking.

“Is this one of those cutthroat businesses?”

My Opinion: Yes.  Pure and simple.  In affiliate marketing, just as much as you can spy on your competition and discover patterns, they can do the same with you.  Your success depends largely on street smarts, developing a large following, and the strong branding of yourself and your marketing message.

“Can I start to develop a full-time income within 30 days?”

My Opinion: Depends. If your skills are in sync, and you’ve got a deep rooted passion for helping other people find what they need to add value to their lives…then yes.  If you think you’re going to step into this business from scratch and make 1000’s overnight…you might want to keep your day job.

I haven’t decided whether or not to continue this series, answering questions via Skype then posting here for your education.  Feel free to leave your thoughts below…