So you wanna be an affiliate…
Looks easy enough, right? Seems like all you have to do is pick a product to promote, find an eager group of buyers, slap up a banner ad… and you’re in business.
Everything I just said about affiliate marketing is completely wrong. For starters, you don’t pick a product first. Instead, you start by picking a niche. Basically, you find the money stream and then put yourself in front of it.
Secondly, slapping banner ads up isn’t going to get you anywhere. Oh sure, you might get a few clicks here and there. But as the saying goes… even a broken clock is right twice a day.
The Surprising Truth About Affiliate Marketing
I want you to scrub your brain of everything you’ve heard about affiliate marketing. Because if you’ve started dabbling with it and you’re not making money, then someone probably fed you some bad information. That’s not your fault.
But we need to get rid of that misinformation. I wish I had one of those Men in Black doohickies that would just erase the bad affiliate marketing info that’s lurking in your brain. Unfortunately, I don’t have one, so I need to ask you to watch this video with an open mind… okay?
The first thing I want you to know is that an affiliate marketer wears whole lotta hats. I’m not talking about fedoras, cowboy hats or those silly crocheted beer-can hats. I’m talking about business hats.
Let me explain…
First off, you’re a marketer. That means you’ll quickly become adept at social media marketing, joint ventures, search engine optimization, media buys, guest blogging and all sorts of other ways to drive targeted traffic.
You’ll also wear a filtering hat. This means you sort through potential affiliate products to find the best solutions for your audience.
You’ll also wear a bit of a mind-reading hat. Okay, you won’t actually be mind-reading, but you will do some market research
to get inside your prospects’ heads. Once you do this, then you can pick products they’re anxious to buy, and write sales copy that gets them pulling out their wallets.
You’ll also need to don your writing hat. That’s because you’ll be writing sales copy, newsletters, blog posts and other types of content.
Sometimes you’ll wear a bit of a tech hat. Sure, you can outsource your tech jobs like maintaining your website, but a lot of affiliates prefer to just learn how to do it themselves. And really, with tools like WordPress, it’s not that hard.
The next hat you wear is one as a relationship expert. And that brings us to the next important point you need to know…
A lot of affiliate marketers think the key to making sales is to add value to an offer, meaning you offer a special bonus to those who buy through your affiliate link. Sure, that’s part of a good strategy.
But here’s the #1 secret that super affiliates know which gets people lining up around the block to buy from them…
People buy from those they know, like and trust.
Think about your own purchases and you’ll know it’s true. If you’ve spent a little more money on a product because you preferred to buy from someone you know, like and trust … then you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Maybe you bought the name brand headache medicine because you don’t trust the generic. Same ingredients, same effect… and even though the name-brand cost a bit more, you still bought it.
The same goes for shoes, clothing, food, laundry detergent, cars, smartphones, books and everything else you buy. I’m sure there are plenty of times you’ve spent a bit more because you wanted to buy from a company or individual that you knew, liked and trusted.
Your prospects are the same way – they don’t necessarily buy something from you because you dangle an enticing bonus in their face. They buy because they know, like and trust you. You’ve engaged them and you’ve built a relationship with them.
So now you see why you need to wear a relationship hat. While it’s possible to approach cold prospects and sell a few who-zee-whats-its here and there, you’ll do much better if you build a list, engage that list, build a relationship with the subscribers and then promote solutions that you know will really help these folks.
And that brings us to the final point…
What sort of niche should be you be targeting?
Here’s a key – find a niche of rabid buyers who’re likely to buy several products from you. Find people who are super passionate about some topic or hobby.
Take the example of bodybuilders. Serious bodybuilders buy a ton of stuff. They purchase books and instructional videos on how to do their sport and how to compete. They purchase bodybuilding supplements. They buy all sorts of weights, benches and machines. They buy lifting gloves, lifting hooks and back supports. They buy heating pads to soothe sore muscles. They buy a ton of healthy food.
I could go on and on. Point is, the serious bodybuilders are a wildly rabid market that buys a lot of information, and they purchase a wide range of expensive products, mid range products, and consumable products.
Here’s another example of a burgeoning market…
The vaping / e-cigarette market.
Vaping isn’t something people just do – it practically becomes a lifestyle for the rabid folks. So they purchase multiple devices, dozens of c-cigarette liquids, t-shirts, spare parts and guides. Then these vapers also go to meet-ups, conferences and expos. They’re a rabid audience because they’re engaged, they have money, and they’re snapping up every new thing that hits the market.
Do you see what I’m saying? This is the sort of market you want to go after. So take a few minutes and think about what sorts of rabid, passionate markets are all around you – because one of them could be your ticket to affiliate success.