When I came online with my home based business, it never occurred to me that I would be actively involved in affiliate marketing as well. In fact, I didn’t even know what that meant.
After a couple of months of digging in and learning, light bulbs began going off and I realized that this was all part of the Multiple Streams of Income I’d heard so much about.
Affiliate marketing has become a staple in my online business and once you see how and why it works, you too, will experience multiple streams of income.
Many people decide to be affiliate marketers and this is where they promote products found at Clickbank, Commission Junction, and other companies who host thousands of products.
You can also create your own products and offer those to others as an affiliate products.
However, this post covers only specific types of affiliate marketing such as those used as a natural occurring event when building an online network marketing business.
In this post, I share with you the following:
1) What affiliate marketing is.
2) How to pick and choose your products.
3) What never to do.
4) How to market your chosen products/services.
5) How you are paid.
6) 7 Fast Action Steps you can Take to Get Started Today
If you have a home based business using the network marketing, MLM, or direct sales industry and your desire is to leverage technology to build it (marketing online), you, like myself, will also be actively involved in affiliate marketing. It will naturally occur.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is simply referring a product or service that someone else has created and when they buy, you receive a commission.
If the product is a one-time purchase, you will make a one-time commission.
If the product or service is a monthly subscription, you’ll make commissions each month as your customer pays. So, if you have 10 customers on a $100 per month commissionable subscription, that’s $1,000 a month.
The Home Based Business Industry Is Made up of Affiliate Products
The home based business industry is made up of affiliate products. Just about everything from the network marketing, MLM and direct sales company you align yourself with, to the training platforms and systems you’ll use, to the books, software, tools and resources you’ll use are affiliate products.
I can think of very little that is not affiliate related.
What this means is that just about everything you use in building your home base business, you bought from someone who made a commission.
You may be asking,
“What? My home based business company is affiliate marketing? I thought I owned my own business?”
Many home based entrepreneurs do a double take upon hearing this. They are so wrapped up in “owning their own business” that they don’t stop to think that they are not owning their business just because they join a network marketing company. Let me explain.
1) You don’t own your network marketing business.
When you join a network marketing, MLM or direct sales company, you are not the business owner of that company. You are not the decision maker, you didn’t create the products or services, you don’t pay their bills or even have a key to the building.
When you signed on the dotted line to join the company, you signed on as an affiliate. You don’t own the business in any way, shape or form. If this company decides to close the doors tomorrow and call it quits, your income from that affiliate product ceases.
Furthermore, if you do something they don’t like in terms of violating their policies and procedures and/or terms and conditions, they can terminate your affiliate status.
2) The business that you DO own is YOU, Inc. You own your name, your brand. And your name and your brand can offer products as an affiliate to others.
I own my name and my brand. My brand has multiple streams of income representing many different products and services of which I pick and choose. These products and services fit together for me and what my business model looks like. If one product or service goes out of business or changes their policies to the extend that goes against my business practices and I don’t feel comfortable offering it to others, then I can remove that product from my menu of services and replace it with another.
How to Pick and Choose Your Products
Early on, here’s what I discovered. I required specific tools and resources necessary for the day to day operation of my business. Through the natural course of building my network marketing and home based business, I found they were all affiliate products in and of themselves.
I knew these same tools and resources I required, were likely to be the same ones that my business partners would need as they begin their entrepreneurial journey.
I discovered even brick and mortar business owners could benefit from some of the same tools I was using. Tools like blogs and autoresponders for example. As I began to realize new entrepreneurs needed these, I thought, “heck, they’re going to buy them anyway, I’d like them to purchase them through my affiliate link and generate a commission.”
You want to do this as well and offer them to your business partners and others you talk with as they start their businesses.
Your products will of course be your network marketing, MLM or direct sales company products and services. After that, look to see what you yourself are using and benefit from. Make an inventory list.
I’ve provided a few examples of ones I use (these are outside your primary network marketing or direct sales product/service).
1) Autoresponder (email program to stay in touch with your customers/clients/partners) such as Aweber.
2) OnlineTraining Platforms that teach you how to build your business such as Renegade Professional or MyLeadSystemPro.
3) Books and materials such as Magnetic Sponsoring
4) Software (article submission, webinar hosting, keyword research, to name a few)
The nice thing about the affiliate marketing of products and services, is it allows you to make money regardless of whether others join your network marketing business or not. In fact, 98% or so of people who are in communication with you through your list, will not join your primary network marketing company. They will however, benefit from the other products and services you offer to build their own primary business. And if you develop a good reputation for only offering valuable products for a good price, you will have loyal customers buying from you for life.
If you use a product or service and are happy with it but have not applied to be an affiliate, be sure and do that. You can usually find the link “partner” or “affiliate” somewhere on the website. If you can’t find it, email or call the company and ask for the link to fill out your application. Normally the application is a very short, 1 minute “fill in the blanks” event.
What to Never Do
A very important factor with affiliate marketing is this. Don’t offer just anything for the sake of making a buck. This is the fastest way to go out of business. People enjoy buying products and services that are of true value, have a money back guarantee and will add value to their life and family. After all, isn’t that what you buy?
I make a rule that says unless I own it, have used it, or otherwise trust the source with my business life, I don’t offer it. I’m asked all the time to market new products coming out both from those I don’t know or have a relationship with and even products from those I trust and whose name is recognized industry wide. If it’s another “same” product with no additional value to my clients and customers, I don’t market it.
You want to be professional in all you do and offer. Your lineup of products and services is a reflection of you and your brand (your business). Think of your own experiences with your favorite stores and restaurants. What would a bad experience with your favorite stores and eateries do for your perception of them? It definitely puts a dent in there so offer your list the best.
How to Market Your Chosen Products/Services
There are multiple ways to market the many products and services you offer. Here’s a list of the 8 most popular ways.
1) Make a video about the product and submit it to various video sharing sites.
2) Make a blog post about the product.
3) Create a “resource” page on your blog and include the ones you use and provide value.
4) Send an email to your list letting them know the benefits and value of the product/service.
5) Post on your Facebook
6) Tweet about it
7) Write an article and submit it to article directories
8) Share with others in normal and appropriate conversations
9) Establish a blog specific to that product/service
How You Are Paid
You will be paid via check, electronically through PayPal or direct deposit to your designated bank account. I am paid all three ways and it depends on how each affiliate product is set up. Sometimes they will tell you the way it’s going to be…. other times you have a choice. And I will say, that in all the time I’ve been an affiliate, I’ve never missed receiving a payment and that’s a great track record for the industry. I’m not saying there’s never bumps, I’m only sharing my personal first hand experience.
7 Action Steps You Can Take Today To Get Started With Affiliate Marketing
1) Take an inventory of your products and services you enjoy and benefit from.
2) Fill out applications to become an affiliate for any of those that you don’t have.
3) Create a page for your blog called “Resources” and publish it.
4) Choose one of your products, write a review and post it to your blog.
5) Email your list about your review and link to your blog,
6) Share your post on Facebook.
7) Share your post on Twitter.
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