As an entrepreneur, I believe in keeping my eyes wide open for opportunities – all the time. This is how I started learning about affiliate marketing. Way back when I was starting out as a baby entrepreneur, building my first accounting practice, I was looking for ways to maximize my productivity. Building a business is HARD. You have to create a lot of resources.
One of the key things I wanted to keep in mind and eventually accomplish was to make sure that I monetized on all my resources. If I could earn twice but spend the same amount of hours creating one resource, that’s my entrepreneurial happy space.
It’s all about creative problem-solving. This is how I realized that there is such an incredible opportunity in partnering with the appropriate affiliate program provider. This goes back to the cornerstone economic concept of using complementary and by-products to increase turnover in the same production cycle.
Imagine you sell fashion jewellery, and you write blogs detailing the story behind each piece (including images). You then post pictures directly to your Instagram page. This content strategy appeals to customers who boost their self-confidence by dressing up – they digest your content, and if done right, your potential consumers will buy your jewellery.
Taking your time to develop your content, you increase your brand awareness. The more readers you have, the more affiliate opportunities you create. A jewellery cleaning company could pay you for sending your readers to buy their products based on a review or “how-to” post you make.
You’re still providing value to your customers and increasing your earning potential by helping sell someone else’s products for a percentage of the sales.
If incorporated strategically and appropriately, affiliate marketing could result in:
- Increased relationship with strategically positioned entrepreneurs in your network, who could even become co-suppliers.
- Increased opportunities for selling to engaged customers.
- A higher return on time invested in creating essential resources for your business.
What not to do to be successful as an affiliate marketer
Well, that’s pretty easy. Don’t treat your engaged consumers in a way that you wouldn’t want to be treated. You wouldn’t like to be cheated, fooled, tricked, or forced into buying something you don’t really need, right? Well, neither would your engaged consumers!
Just keep it honest, open and communicate. If you’re including affiliate links, state why you’re doing so – what is the benefit to your engaged consumers?
If you’re including affiliate links in your content, it could be wise to disclose this to your readers upfront and maybe just explain your reasoning for doing so. And no matter how good the commissions, never recommend a product that you don’t really believe in.
As an affiliate program provider myself, I cannot tell you how detrimental forced, tricked or treated sales are to any brand. It just starts the whole business relationship with the customer out on the wrong foot. If a customer relationship starts off on the wrong foot like this, it makes it almost impossible to give that value.
How do I start?
It’s important to understand that you’re not going to become a millionaire overnight. Unless you get this really right, chances are this is never going to bring in the big bucks. However, it does create a trickle of passive income – a separate but complementary income stream, to support your main revenue-generating activities.
Especially when you’re just starting out as an entrepreneur – you might not make much from affiliate marketing. Still, because the affiliate program provider is probably more established than you, it could help you get started with generating funds for your business a lot sooner.
If you’d like to start with an easy program (compared to some of the ones I’ve seen), I recommend starting with the Explore ProTech Online Speed Networking Affiliate Programs. Sign up, earn 25% commission on all ticket sales to our Networking Events and have fun practising using affiliate links to create a separate and passive income stream for your business to support your main business activities. You may view all Explore ProTech Affiliate Marketing Programs over here: https://www.protechaccounting.com/affiliate-program
About the Author
Nestene Botha (CA)SA RA is a Registered Auditor, Chartered Accountant and Co-Founder of Explore ProTech Entrepreneurial Haven. She’s on a mission to save the global economy – one small business at a time. Take the Networking Personality Quiz to find out more.