That's right! You really can sell products and services you don't even have.
I get it, you feel like I'm blowing smoke up your bum and that I'm about to present you with some “get rich quick” scheme or voodoo magic.
I assure you I am not about to do any of that.
Instead, I want to re-introduce you to the idea of affiliate marketing – aha, there it is, the black magic!!!!
I know, affiliate marketing has a bad rap thanks to some sneaky people conducting shady business online.
As with everything, it's the bad 1% that tarnishes the other 99% when affiliate marketing is used in a very constructive manner.
It's the 1% that draws the news.
Think of cities like Ferguson and Baltimore – it looks like everyone is breaking everything.
This simply isn't true. The vast majority of people who are protesting are doing so peacefully.
Most residents and businesses are just trying to make it through these trying times, they're not out there breaking things.
But, the news only shows the 1%.
Affiliate marketing's reputation is much like that 1%, when in reality it's an amazing concept that allows you to …
- Sell products you don't even have
- Sell more products
- Help your customers get what they want
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Straight from Wikipedia:
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate's own marketing efforts.
Approach It Like Referral Marketing
No matter the definition, I want you to approach affiliate marketing the same way you approach referral marketing.
To clarify the differences – affiliate marketing is less personal (more about money) than referral marketing (more about recommending something or someone that one truly believes in).
In both instances, something or someone is being recommended to someone else; however, the reasons behind the recommendations change slightly.
Of course, it's still about making more money; however, when approaching it purely from a financial standpoint, the likelihood of doing something unethical increases more so than when approached from the standpoint of truly trying to help.
Someone in it for purely financial gain may recommend a product or service that they know is garbage, or that they've never used, just because it pays a huge commission.
While someone who truly wants to help will only recommend products and services that they've personally used and had great results. Then they'll share these products/services because they know they'll help others with the same problem.
The point I'm trying to drive home is this: Take care of your customers by referring great products and services first and foremost – the money will follow.
How To Figure Out What Products And Services To Sell
Figuring out what complementary products and services you can refer to your customers, that you don't already offer, is surprisingly easy.
All you have to do is … drum-roll please … put yourself in their shoes!
From start to finish, walk through the entire process of what a customer goes through while doing business with you.
What will they immediately need?
What will they need a week from now? Two weeks? Two months? A year?
How about your audience in general?
Not only demographics like age, gender, race, marital status, etc, but what do they enjoy doing? What are their life goals? What other problems do they have?
What Do They Ask About?
More than likely you have people asking questions like, “Do you have this?”, “How do I do that?”, “Where can I learn more?”
Questions like this are pure gold.
And, more than likely, you're referring the person to someone after they ask such a question, which is great because you should help them! But, why shouldn't you earn a commission for the referral?
It's money left on the table.
If you're having a hard time coming up with products to refer to your customers, Amazon can help get the juices flowing.
All you need to do is go to Amazon.com.
Search for a product you sell (or one similar).
Scroll down until you see “Frequently Bought Together”, “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought”, and “Sponsored Products Related To This Item”.
You'll be presented with pages and pages of products that relate to your product!
In this example, I searched for a basic Dewalt Battery Powered Drill.
Sure, everyone who sells a drill probably sells drill bits as well, but how about “pretty” pink cases? Did you ever think to try and sell one of those alongside your drills? Probably not, but now you can refer people to a business that does!
If you can't come up with anything at all, Send Us A Message or leave a comment below, and we'll help you get ideas flowing!
Straight from Wikipedia:
An affiliate network acts as an intermediary between publishers (affiliates) and merchant affiliate programs. It allows website publishers to more easily find and participate in affiliate programs which are suitable for their website (and thus generate income from those programs), and allows websites offering affiliate programs (typically online merchants) to reach a larger audience by promoting their affiliate programs to all of the publishers participating in the affiliate network.
Essentially, an affiliate network connects people who have things they want sold to people who don't have things, but want to sell.
There is a plethora of well established affiliate networks out there. Here are a few:
- Amazon Associates: Yup, everything on Amazon can be sold for a commission
- CJ: Big, well established, trusted
- Rakuten Marketing: Similar to CJ
- ShareASale: Similar to CJ and Rakuten
- ClickBank: More for digital products
If a product or service exists that you know you want to refer people to, but it's not in an “established” affiliate network – all you need to do is head over to Google and search “Product/Service Name + affiliate”.
99.99% of the time, you will be able to find a business that has an affiliate program that you can apply to and work with.
If you've browsed the “established” affiliate networks and you've searched on Google and you're still coming up short – find a business that offers what you want and simply ask if they have any kind of referral program.
More often than not, they will.
And, it probably won't be as easy as joining an “established” affiliate network; however, if the product/service will help your customers – it's worth it.
Never, ever, ever, promote a product or service that you do not actually support. Never, ever, ever, promote a product just because it offers a “huge” commission.
Your customers’ trust is worth more than money.
Are you ready to start building sales funnels? Checkout The Sales Funnel Training Vault!