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Affiliate Marketing (Part 3): 4 Strategies to Run Your First Affiliate Marketing Campaign

Make money… while you sleep?

Many people look at affiliate marketing as an easy way to get huge payouts. Just do a little work, prompt other people’s products, and Ka-Ching! The money rolls in, right?

Well… it’s not quite so simple. While affiliate marketing can be a lucrative aspect of your business, you have to think strategically about how to make it work for you. I’ve got some tips that will help you effectively use affiliate marketing to bring in revenue.

If you missed the last two posts about affiliate marketing, I talked about the basics and finding affiliates to promote your products and courses. Today, I’m talking about how to run a successful affiliate program selling others’ products.

Making Money with Affiliate Marketing

The get-rich-quick gurus say, “Hey, you don’t have to develop your own products… You can become an affiliate marketer, and BOOM—you’ve got a profit!”

But that’s not my experience. I’ve successfully made affiliate marketing one of the primary revenue streams in my business. However, nobody should use affiliate marketing as their sole business model. If you want to last in entrepreneurship, you have to diversify your revenue streams. Affiliate marketing is one such stream.

If you want to make a successful business venture out of affiliate marketing, you have to take a few initial steps. First, you need an audience. Once you’ve got that, what’s next? How do you know your role and responsibility as an affiliate marketer?

In affiliate marketing, reciprocation is the name of the game. 

When you want people to promote you, they expect you to promote them in return. It can be great. It can also be a pain if you know of someone promoting you whose product or business model doesn’t fit your standards. Your audience’s trust is important, so how do you handle that?

By the way, if you want to hear this in podcast form, simply follow this link.

Keeping Your Audience’s Interest 

When you’ve invested time and energy to build your audience, you don’t want to throw every product you find at them. You don’t want to promote offers that make them question whether or not you have their best interests in mind.

Your audience wants to know they can trust you to show them items and courses of quality and value. They want to know you care about creating the best purchasing experience for them. When you have that kind of relationship with them, you both benefit from the offers you bring to the table.

The more your audience knows, likes, and trusts you, the more they will opt to buy from you over other competitors.

So how do you make decisions about what to promote? How can you set yourself up for success so that you crush any affiliate promotion you run?

If you’re unsure about how to build an audience, I’ve got some guidelines that work in any market. Check out my FREE guide for the strategies I use every time I start with a new idea!

4 Tips for a Successful Affiliate Promotion

Use these four approaches to establish your audience, bring in revenue, and kill it with your affiliate promotions:

  1. Launch a Product

I built my audience in several ways: email lists, webinars, podcasting… I also spent time developing a community in a Facebook group. But my favorite way to build an audience is through product launches.

I especially like using product launches because it creates a built-in list of buyers. My community formed because they bought from me. This means the people on this list respond when they see me promoting valuable products. They trust me to offer items worth their money.

Even when you don’t have a big audience, launch some products so you get that list of buyers. When you do get that list, your affiliate marketing efforts will be more effective than if you had a collection of freebie seekers.

  1. Promote Products You Use

Show your audience that you use a product and you get results with it. I do this in two ways.

I implement a software or training inside my agency business and watch the results. If I like what I see, I promote that product to my community. Then I can go to my audience and say, “Hey, look! I use this, and it really helps me!”

I also look for ways I can promote tools I already use every day. This works because I can show them proof that this product really works and will give them results.

  1. Offer Bonuses

Maybe you’ve experienced opening your inbox to three or four people emailing you about the same new offer. When vendors launch a product, affiliates jump on board to promote it. This is especially true in competitive marketplaces. 

How do you make your promotions rise to the top? Offer a bonus. If you have another product to supplement a promotion, offer it to buyers at a steep discount (or for free!) when they purchase through your affiliate link.

Make sure your bonuses stay congruent with your promotions. To choose a good bonus offer, think about how it helps your audience take the next step. This stacks value on top of your promotions.

But don’t offer too many bonuses. You want them to be effective, not overwhelming.

Two or three are plenty when they give the extra support your audience needs to take action.

  1. Consider More than Financial Gain

Nothing’s more frustrating than buying a course only to have the domain expire because the creators got tired of it and moved on. You don’t want to promote a software to buyers that just disappears one day. As the promoter, take the responsibility to investigate vendors and products beforehand. Is the vendor a quality businessperson? Do they offer ongoing support? Do they have a stable business? 

How does this product fit your audience and their goals? They don’t have the time to do extra research. As the person with the audience, do your homework and make sure you present offers with good support. Choose products with ethical business people behind them so your buyers can get help if they need it.

Look at the quality of the offer, not just the financial gain. I look for products that fit with what I talk about in my community, products that I can easily integrate into what I teach. When they supercharge a process I already promote, the customer sees the benefit of the purchase.

Look at affiliate promotions from more than just a financial perspective. This mindset serves me well in my business—it’s one huge reason my business grew quickly!

Give your buyers a great experience with your promotions and products, and they’ll see you care about their success.

Stay tuned for next week’s post about the affiliate webinar game.

For more secrets the so-called “gurus” won’t tell you about making money online, check out my podcast:

About the Author
Tom is the host of What's the Secret podcast and co-founder of Offlinesharks.com

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