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Getting Affiliates to Sell Your Stuff (Part 2)

I have found there are 3 basic types of potential affiliates. Some people may disagree with this because some marketers believe the only good affiliates are the first type I will mention. But what they are forgetting is that every affiliate had to begin somewhere, with some product. Why shouldn’t it be yours?
Getting Affiliates to Sell Your Stuff (Part 2)

The First Affiliate Type is People Who Are Already Proven Affiliates

No doubt this is the easiest source of affiliates in that they’re already sold on the concept of affiliate marketing.

In addition, they have EXPERIENCE at affiliate marketing – always a good thing. You don’t have to sell them on affiliate marketing. You only need to sell them on YOUR program.

You’ll need to prove yourself – prove your product does what it says, that your sales letter converts, that you are already getting sales. Your number one selling point to an experienced, potential affiliate is your CONVERSION rate and price point. The higher the conversions, especially in conjunction with a high price point/payout, the more likely you are to capture their attention.

Remember to warm these people up. You want to make friends before you need them to promote your product. Dropping out of the blue as a total stranger and asking them to promote is far less effective than getting to know them first and THEN asking them to promote. Common sense, but I know a lot of marketers totally skip this step and go straight to asking for the promotion. That’s like trying to go all the way with a girl without so much as a first date or first kiss. It seldom works.

The easiest place to find experienced affiliates? Find the affiliates who are promoting your competitor’s products because those affiliates are your best bet. You can simply Google your competitor’s name and see who’s promoting those products. Easy, right? And that is a million dollar tip right there, in case you missed it.

So you’ve decided you want seasoned affiliates, and you know how to find them – but what do you do next to actually recruit them?

Here are the steps I take…

First, I consider how my product is a good fit for their audience. For example, I go to their website if they have one, I look at their content, and I see how my product fits with their content, their niche, their target market – and I make some notes.

Second, while I’m on their website I look for specific places where promoting my product would be a natural fit. For example, if my product is a hair tonic and they have an article on hair care, it’s a perfect fit. If my product is a course on how to do social media marketing and they have a blog post on social media marketing, it’s a great fit. I write these places down because I’m going to be sending this information to them. I’m trying to make everything just as super easy as possible for my future affiliates.

The third thing to look at is how is your product better than what they are already promoting? Does it pay the affiliate a higher commission? Does it convert better? Is it a better product for their customers?

And then fourth – how do I warm this affiliate up to me? I don’t want to just jump in cold turkey and say, “Hey, I’m so and so, will you promote my product?!” I mean, I could, and once in a blue moon I might even get a response to that. But even so, I don’t do that. Instead, I like to approach them through social media, personal email, etc. without mention of promoting anything.

You could ask to interview them on a specific topic – that’s a great way to warm people up. After you are on the phone with a person for thirty minutes or an hour asking them questions and listening carefully to their answers, you can’t help but bond.

You could also offer to write guest articles for their website or posts for their blog. Be sure to add comments to their blog – I guarantee they read those, and when they keep seeing your name, they’re going to remember you when you contact them.

And the rest is up to you. There is no one way that works every time. Your product is unique, you are unique, your potential affiliate is unique – and so you’ve got to use your people skills and your good common sense.

Two things I might mention – do sell yourself and your product, and do keep track of your conversations with each potential affiliate.

What I mean is, do tell how well your product converts, how low the refund rate is, if you pay instant commissions, if people are raving about your product, and so forth.

And keep a log of your conversations with each potential affiliate so you don’t forget what’s already been said, what you’ve learned about the affiliate, and what you promised to do.

Also, don’t forget to stay in touch. Sometimes it takes days, sometimes weeks, and sometimes months to bring a good affiliate into your fold. It’s well worth the time and effort spent if that affiliate then makes lots of sales for you, adding not just money to your coffers but also buyers to your list. Be patient; they’re worth the wooing and the wait.

The Second Affiliate Type is Someone Who Is NOT An Affiliate (yet)

These folks have a website or a blog, and perhaps they’re promoting their own products – they’re just not promoting anyone else’s.

So why would you target them if they’re not affiliates? Because if you can convince them to promote your product, they can actually be MORE effective than other affiliates BECAUSE they don’t normally promote other people’s products.

They’ve got trust established with their readers, perhaps more trust because they aren’t constantly pitching a new product. And when they finally do promote an affiliate product, their readers will take notice.

Think of it this way – You subscribe to Dave’s newsletter and you read Dave’s blog. And every month or two Dave comes out with a new product, which you may or may not buy. But that’s it – Dave never promotes other people’s products. Then one day, you get a glowing report from Dave that says you really should check out this great product he just found. What are you going to think? You’re going to think this product must be absolutely awesome if a person who never promotes other products is telling you to take a look at it.

What if you’d gotten the same recommendation from Steve, who sends you a new offer every single day? You probably wouldn’t pay much attention to it because you know that Steve is just in it for the affiliate commission.

There are two hurdles you’ll need to overcome to bring a brand new affiliate into the fold: First, since this person hasn’t done affiliate marketing before, you may have to walk them through the process. You want to explain how it works, why affiliate marketing is a good thing for them, and how it can result in a big reward versus a small investment of time.

The second hurdle is you’ll want to demonstrate to this person how your product or service is in line with what they’re presently doing. If their list consists of retired people who garden a lot, then you’ll want to show how your product fits right in with that market. Perhaps you sell an ointment to remove stiffness, or a padded cushion for kneeling while working in the flowerbeds.

However, if your product is how to make money online, then obviously it’s not a good fit for this person’s gardening niche. Never approach someone to be your affiliate if your product is not a good match for their list. You’ll just waste their time and yours.

But if you can show your future affiliate how their audience will benefit from your product, you should have no problems.

The steps you take to win this person as your affiliate are very similar to #1 above. Take a look at their website and determine if your product is a natural fit for them, and why. Look for places on their website that would be good places to promote your product.

Next, think of the possible objections they might have to being your affiliate, or being an affiliate in general. How will you answer these objections?

Warm the potential affiliate up using any of the methods we’ve already mentioned. Think of what information you will supply them with – conversion rate, why it will sell well for them, etc. And then keep track of your contacts with them. Follow up until they either tell you “No” three times, or until they say yes.

(Getting 3 “No’s” is an old technique from sales, and actually quite effective. Just because they say “no” once or twice does not mean you can’t offer new information that they can then base a new decision on. However, if you get to the third “No,” it is usually best to stop. You don’t want to appear obnoxious. And guys, this rule of 3 “No’s” only applies in business, not in love.”)

The Third Affiliate Type Is Your Product Purchaser

If you’re thinking the seasoned affiliate marketer is the easiest affiliate to recruit, guess again. Purchasers of your product believe in it enough to buy it with their own money and use it. And who better to be your spokesperson than someone who already uses the product?

So how do you recruit them? Sometimes it’s as easy as mentioning your affiliate program in your product or the related materials. And don’t just say, “I have an affiliate program.” Instead, give them all the details. Tell them what you pay, how well it converts and how easy it is to promote because of your copy and paste ads and emails.

Then send them an email or two or three, again telling them about your affiliate program. This might be a paragraph or two at the end of an email, or an email devoted entirely to your program. Don’t make it a hard sell – you’re informing them more than selling them on the concept of making some money by promoting your product.

Let them know they don’t need a website – they can promote in forums, on Twitter, Facebook, etc. You’ll want to basically educate them on how to promote your product.

Most of your customers will never promote for you, but the ones who do can sometimes outshine a seasoned affiliate simply because they passionately believe in your product and they’re able to convey that to their readers. They’re credible, they have a lot to say about your product, and they come off as a fellow buyer rather than a seller. Best of all, they can share the results they got with your program with their readers.

Using a mix of all 3 types of affiliates, you should have no problem finding people to promote your products. The key when approaching affiliates is to warm them up, keep track of your conversations, and continually follow up, even after they have begun promoting. Treat your best affiliates like your best customers because they are the ones who can continually send you sales, not just this week, but for years to come.

Getting Affiliates to Sell Your Stuff (Part 1)

Getting affiliates to promote your products can be easier money than you could make on your own because…

Getting Affiliates to Sell Your Stuff (Part 1)

– They attract buyers you otherwise never would have received.

– Those buyers can become repeat buyers. It’s easier to sell to someone who’s purchased before.

– Your earnings from affiliates is essentially free money – minus the work you put in to attract and work with the affiliates.

“How to recruit an army of affiliates who are just waiting to promote your product! Blah blah blah.”

Did that headline look familiar? One of the myths about getting affiliates to promote your products is that they’re just out there waiting for you to call them to go to work. No such luck. Affiliates are hit with a lot of different offers to promote – and the better the affiliate, the more offers they receive.

So how do you find and recruit good affiliates? We’ll cover that in detail. First, let me share…

The Internet marketing community will tell you it’s super easy to get affiliates. Not true. The reality is that it’s work. But that’s also good news for you because 99 out of 100 product owners either won’t bother with the work or they won’t know what to do to get affiliates. That’s why you’ll enjoy a distinct advantage over them by the time you finish this article.

To get affiliates, you’ll need to convince them that you and your product are worth promoting. You’ll need to build trust. And you’ll need patience as well. Potential affiliates often won’t say yes the first time you ask, or they’ll say yes but then they’ll get distracted and they’ll go promote something else unless you follow up.

The challenges of recruiting affiliates:

Again, there is no army of affiliates waiting to promote your product. Whenever I hear that phrase, “army of affiliates,” I picture a zombie army standing just outside my door, waiting for their marching orders. But I’ve been in Internet Marketing for many years now, and I have yet to open my door and find that army, no matter how many products I produce.

Announcing is not enough.

Simply announcing that you offer an affiliate program is not enough. A common myth among new marketers, no doubt propagated by seasoned marketers – is that all you need to do is create a product and announce your affiliate program and the affiliates will come. Not true.

You’ve got to grab attention.

When you want people to sell things for you, you’ve got to get their attention. Remember, affiliates have lives, too. They’re busy with their day to day stuff as well as running their own businesses, and you’re trying to add more work to their already busy day. You’ll need to grab their attention and get them to realize that promoting your product is well worth their time. And there are things you can do to make it easier for them, as well.

You’ve got to educate your potential affiliates.

Affiliates may not know anything about your product or how your program is relevant to their audience. Your product may be different from anything they’re currently promoting, and you’ll need to educate them on how your product is a great fit for them.

Affiliates have a thousand and one choices. Daily.

Good affiliates get approached all the time. How do you stand apart from the crowd? You’ve got to make your program seem so much better/juicier/more valuable/more suitable than any other.

You might want to be choosy.

When an affiliate promotes your products, they represent you. But what if they’re not the sort of person you want your name and your products to be associated with? Or what if their style is completely different from yours? For example, if they’re super hypey and your not, you might not want them to promote for you. Look for those affiliates who are the cream of the crop. Think of them as your sales force – you wouldn’t hire just anyone to sell your product.

The best affiliates are the hardest to win over.

Realize that the best affiliates are approached non-stop night and day. Imagine if everyone was trying to get a piece of you – what would you do? You’d be cautious, and you’d filter all of these offers in some way so that you wouldn’t have to deal with them all. Be prepared to work to get to these affiliates.

More is not necessarily better.

Only a handful of your affiliates will make the vast majority of your sales. That’s why you’ll want to spend your time recruiting a few good affiliates who sell like crazy, rather than trying to recruit massive numbers of affiliates who do nothing.

Now that you know some of the myths and challenges to recruiting and using affiliates, in tomorrow’s article I’ll share where you will actually find your future affiliates, and how to approach them.

How to Get More Eyeballs On Your Content

So you slaved over your latest blogpost – and nobody tweeted it or shared it on Facebook? Or perhaps you wrote a dozen new articles – and all you hear are the sounds of tumbleweeds drifting across your screen?

How to Get More Eyeballs On Your Content

It’s harder and harder these days to capture attention – namely because attention spans are getting shorter as people are deluged with more and more things to watch/read/do.

Here are some fast tips to make your writing – shall we say – more readable.

Forget your honors English class and write like people speak. Not sure if you are? Try reading your writing out loud. If it’s awkward or stilted, work on it.

Break it up. Seriously. Ever get an email that’s a one page paragraph? Could you read it? DID you read it?

Hit the enter key like this.

Often.

Use subheads. People like to scan what they’re reading, and if something captures their attention they dig deeper. That’s why you want to add subheads to your blog posts and articles.

Not Sure What A Subhead Is?

It’s like a mini headline inside your article or blog post. See the line above.

Bold your important points. If you make your key concepts bold, the scanning eye will see them and often stop to read the complete sentence.

Use photos. Photos catch the eye like nothing else. Better yet, use photos that have at least one face in them. Studies show the eyes will linger longer on a photo of a face.

Caption your photos. The second most read copy on a page is the photo caption, so make it count. Don’t just write one or two words – think of it as a headline to generate interest. If you need two or three lines, go for it.

Use bullets and numbered lists. What’s typically the third most read part of a sales letter? The bullets. (No surprise – headline and photo captions are the first 2.)

Use links. Link to relevant info on your own website and to your research on external websites. Internal links keep your readers on your website longer, while external links show that you’ve done your research and know what you’re talking about.

Implement these simple tips and you’ll get more people paying attention to your content. With a little bit of practice, you might even give late night television a run for their money.

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