I didn’t even know what affiliate marketing was until I took Russell Brunson’s One Funnel Away Challenge through Clickfunnels. One of their trainers said that it was, “a great way to get your toes wet when learning online business.”
I had to know more. Why was it such a great way to get started?
At the time, I already had an idea that I was not quite ready to create my own products to sell, but I wanted to sell something. If I had tried to create my own product right away 1) It probably would have taken me years, and 2) The quality would not have been NEARLY as good as products that were already out there.
In other words, to serve my customers better, promoting someone ELSE’s product was a better option, because my customers would then get the quality and support they needed.
And that is what affiliate marketing is: It is simply selling a product that someone else has created and earning a commission on each sale. You are a connector, connecting a product to those who need it.
It sometimes gets a bad rap, but it doesn’t need to. Almost every business (online or not) has a sales team, and they get paid to get a company’s product into as many hands as possible. Affiliate marketing is no different.
When it gets sleezy is when their tactics are UNETHICAL (which means that person already has a character flaw), or they do not meet one of the following criteria:
1. They do not USE the product
If you are going to promote a product or category of products, you need to be an actual customer and user of that product. If you sell Clinique cosmetics, for instance, you should use those products. If you sell pest control products from one company, I’m going to assume you do not actually use products made by another company. The fastest way to lose credibility is to not actually know about and use what you are promoting.
2. They do not LOVE the product
People know in a heartbeat whether or not you truly believe the product you are selling is the best. They see it in your posture, in your eyes, and in your voice. I only want to buy from people who obviously are in love with their product. That shows they have gotten results from it, and it has made a real difference in their lives. And therefore, I believe it can help me, as well.
3. They do not BELIEVE in the company
When a sales people or marketers believes that the companies they are promoting for are ethical, they sell with the heart. They do not hesitate when you ask about “behind-the-scenes” or the founder. And they are also not just focused on the money. These people really want to put their products in the hands of those who need them, because they KNOW they will change their lives.
If you use and love your product, and you believe in the morally upright nature of the company, you are ready to promote.
Now, when it comes to WHAT you promote, you will often hear of two categories of products in the affiliate marketing world: low ticket and high-ticket.
Low ticket items or courses are typically around $100 or less (though low ticket could also be a few hundred dollars). Traditionally, you could make a lot in commissions from low ticket, “front end” offers, especially if you were skilled at driving traffic.
The problem is that in recent years, advertising costs have been steadily rising, so it is getting harder and harder for those just starting out to be profitable. The number of sales you need to make in order to go above and beyond your ad costs is always increasing. Therefore, in today’s economy, I advise looking for high-ticket offers to promote.
A high-ticket offer could be one of two things. It could be a program or product that has a high up front cost like $1,000 or more (and I’m sure you can see how already, fewer sales are required to cover your ad costs).
Or, they could start as low-ticket sales, but a company also allows you to keep making commissions on the “back end”. For instance, you could sell a $47 course and make a certain percentage. If that customer continues on to, say, join a $97 per month coaching program or a $2,000 mastermind, you could make a percentage off of those, too.
Promoting for a company that allows you to make a commission on the entire funnel is what you want to look for (along with using it, loving it, and believing in the company yourself). My coach, Dean Holland, calls that an “Ultimate Funnel”. To learn more about what an ultimate funnel is in detail, check out Dean’s new book, The Iceberg Effect.
If you have tried affiliate marketing in the past, what kind of products have you promoted, and what has been your experience with it?