When it comes to affiliate marketing we’ve all heard the big promises, and the sad stories.
While no one knows the exact statistics, it’s safe to say that over 95% of affiliates fail to make any substantial money and fewer than 1 or 2 % are making a full time living.
So, affiliate marketing is tough – no doubts there. But it still remains the starting point for almost all who try to make money online. It certainly was for me.
So let’s deal with how YOU can gain the upper hand, earn commissions, and move toward being in that happy 1 or 2%.
Unlike other online marketers, I never show Clickbank screenshots or talk about the money or prizes I win.
That’s because my Momma raised me better. 🙂
But I have been the #1 affiliate for every product I’ve promoted in the last year.
While I don’t do as much affiliate marketing as I used to, I do promote other peoples’ products a few times a year. When I do I work hard to do it right.
How did I do it?
I’m going to share my secret weapon in one moment.
Before I do allow me to share three principles that drive my affiliate marketing, and help me earn commissions.
These are the pillars on which my affiliate marketing business rests. While I don’t share exact numbers of what I earn I will say that I earn much more than the average American income from my affiliate marketing alone.
That’s not including the DOE or Followup Selling Systems or any of my books, etc.
I say that not to brag but to say that this technique works. And I want it to work for you too!
First, my three principles.
- I never promote anything I have not bought and used. People on my list know this and that causes my recommendations to carry more weight.
- I give the people on my list a high amount of value with no strings attached. If you have been on my list very long you know that I give freely.
- I don’t over-promote. Some marketers pound away with every new launch that comes along. Not for me.
What these three things do for me is simple – it allows me to do very well with a relatively small making list. You’d be surprised how small my list is.
Which is why I wrote the book “How to make BIG Profits from a small malling list.” It’s currently off the market but will be back soon.
Enough build up. Now to the secret weapon.
My secret weapon is so simple you might miss it at first glance. So take a moment to consider what it really means before you read on.
My secret weapon is this …
I add value to the product I am promoting
Told you it was simple. 🙂
What do I mean by “adding value”? I’m glad you asked.
I mean this – I help people succeed with the products I promote.
It’s easy really. Because I only promote what I buy and use I can be very open and honest about results with those who buy from my link. I can share case studies, ads I wrote, ad sources I used and more.
So how can YOU put this into practice in your own marketing?
There are six proven ways. I’ll share them and a brief word about how to do each. I’ve done each.
After all, what good is knowing what to do if you don’t know HOW to do it?
First the list, then the “how to.”
1. Provide a valuable bonus
The key here is simplicity itself. Give buyers from your link something that compliments or expands the product they just bought.
In the list following I’ll make some very specific suggestions of what that looks like. I have done each of the things listed below and know they work wonderfully well.
If you want to give them something else that will work as well. The gift does not need to compliment what they bought, but if it does you will find your sales are higher.
One exception is if you own you own product. If you do then giving away your product to buyers can be very powerful indeed.
Full disclosure: I’ve never given away access to my own sites but have used this with clients when they wanted to give away their product as a gift or targeted bonus.
Last tip – if you do own your own product and don’t want to give it away consider using a discount code. That works very well if the product is in demand.
2. Offer personal help
This is the big one. If you have succeeded with a product and are willing to share personally you’ve got it made.
The best way to do this is to set up a private Skype chat and only approve those who provide their receipt. Since Clickbank won’t show you who has bought from you (what’s up with that?!) this is the best way to move ahead.
More about how to set up the Skype situation coming very soon. Be on the lookout for that.
3. Write a resource guide for the product
People love resource guides. A great resource guide will list tools and resources, both paid and free, that will help the person use the product you are promoting. It does not matter if the site you are promoting provides a resource guide – your buyers will appreciate your take on what tools work best.
If you want a cover for your resource guide see the note in the next suggestion.
4. Create a quick start guide
How many times have you bought a product and wished you had a step-by-step guide for using it? We’ve all been there. I’m working on exactly such download-able guides for all of my products right now. I believe members need, and deserve, exactly that.
If you want to supercharge your affiliate sales just write such a guide, or have it written, and then give it away as an exclusive bonus. Buyers will love you for it. A PDF file, easily created from Word or Pages will do just fine for this.
I have found that getting a custom cover for your Quick Start Guide does help with this. I use and recommend VA Classroom for this type of work. Other options include ODesk and eLance.
5. Hold a webinar about how to use the product
If you are comfortable with webinars or teleseminars this will work very well. Best of all, it’s highly durable and repeatable. Do the webinar once and use it many times. Now that’s leverage!
IMPORTANT: Please never record the inside of a membership site without the site owner’s permission. We have had affiliates do that at the Directory of Ezines only to find out that it is against our terms of service. They would have saved everyone a lot of grief by just asking first. Please ask before recording anyone’s site, not just mine.
6. Record a FAQ webinar, teleseminar or write a PDF
Everyone is in a hurry today and wants to save time. That’s understandable. Many people who work online do so after they work their day job. Tiring to say the least.
So give buyers what they want and help them save time with a great Frequently Asked Question guide aimed at buyers only.
Just list the questions you had before you bought, and shortly after, and then answer them in the best way you can. You don’t have to be a great writer to do this. In fact, being plain-spoken will work better than soaring prose ever could.
INSIDER TIP: In many cases the product owner will be happy to help you create these value added items.
Now —> HOW to do this.
It’s incredibly easy. Just include in all of your advertising that you are offering an exclusive bonus for buyers. All they need to do is contact you (give them a way to do it) to collect their bonus after they buy. They can send you their receipt and you can provide the bonus. They can do that via email or your website.
Easy. Simple. Effective.
Want to add more power? If you can create more than one bonus item you can rotate them and give them expiring dates. Or only offer X number of bonuses.
When using scarcity like this to sell you want to do it with integrity, so be sure to honor the X date you set (or the limited number) and change the bonus offer. This works especially well with your offer of free help via Skype or email.
This keeps everything tidy – you get sales now because your bonus is expiring and maintain integrity too. A real win-win!
Soon I’m going to share my secret weapon for automating this entire process.
You won’t want to miss that one. This is something I normally only share with paid members of my sites but this week I’m giving you that inside stuff.
See you then.
Have questions about this technique? Leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to help.