There is a killer myth that says that most of your sales will come from only a few affiliates. This myth is so pervasive that I have literally heard one of the top names. Someone you all know. One of the top names in the internet marketing space claimed this as a statement of FACT from stage. In fact, the exact quote they used is this: “90% of your sales will come from your top 3 to 5 affiliates.” Let me be brutally clear here: This is nothing more than a cop out. An excuse to not work with smaller affiliates. An excuse to go out and get your 3 or 4 best buddies and a few other people and call it a day. Today, I share why this myth is flat out WRONG and how to develop an ARMY of loyal, dedicated affiliates of all sizes.

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Previous Episodes of The Affiliate Guy

MYTH: To Get Affiliates You Have to Know People & Do Lots of Reciprocal Promotions

MYTH: You Don’t Need an Affiliate Program

How to Find Affiliates: The Ultimate Guide

Creating Urgency in Evergreen Affiliate Promotions

How to Hire a JV/Affiliate Manager

MYTH: Most of Your Sales Will Come from Only a Few Affiliates

Most of your sales will come from only a few affiliates. Ever heard this one? Well, it is a myth. It’s a lie. And today I’m going to bust this myth and destroy this lie.

So this myth is so pervasive. That is a hard word for me to say, that most of your sales will come from only a few affiliates.

It is so pervasive that I literally heard one of the top names, someone I guaranteed like 99% of the people listening know this name. One of the top names in the Internet marketing space claim this statement as fact from stage. His live event claimed it as fact. In fact, the exact quote and I got the replays of somebody. I love the guy. I got the replay.

So I went back and listened. The exact quote he used is this “90% of your sales will come from your top three to five affiliates”. Now let me be clear here-

This is nothing more than a cop out. It’s an excuse to not work with smaller affiliates, an excuse to go out and get your three or four best buddies and a few of their, like other people, call it a day. But I go back to what I said in the last episode.

My hunch is that by listening to this today, you aren’t one of those types of people who’s contentious to sit back and run your little insiders club with a few affiliates. And that’s it. Am I right?

So in a moment, I’m going to share some cold, hard data in this episode that completely destroys this myth. But before I get into those, I want to share two things with you. In a moment, I’m going to share two submyths that make this a big myth, seemingly so true, but also remind you that this episode and this whole little miniseries on these affiliate program myths, these killer myths that people believe about affiliate programs, it’s a part of our how to find affiliates, the

ultimate guide series that we’re doing. And you can find that at mattmcwilliams.com/FindAffiliates I’m going to tell you right now that when this thing is done, it’s already amazing. It’s about halfway done. We’ve got tons of video lessons, podcast episodes, bonus post pdf downloads, and I mean, gosh, there’s so much stuff.

We’re only halfway through and it’s already the best training there is on finding affiliates. So it’s going to get twice as good because we got so much more to add. We’ve got more live lessons coming up and just so, so much more.

So you want to check that out. mattmcwilliams.com/FindAffiliates so I mentioned that there’s two submyths that make this big myth that most of your sales will come from only a few affiliates. True, the submyths, number one, is you have to personally know all of your affiliates. This says that you have to have a personal relationship with every single one of your affiliates. In other words, you need to be best buds.

If you are going to run an affiliate program that is consistently growing year over year, though, this is simply not possible. It’s not possible to know every one of your affiliates. When you look at the big programs, we’re talking the programs I’ve run, not Target.

I consulted theirs, but I didn’t run it. Adidas, Shutterfly, Michael Hyatt companies like big, massive affiliate programs. I didn’t know 5% of the affiliates. Maybe with Michael, I knew ten. I might have known ten. That’s it.

That’s all I knew. I didn’t have a personal relationship with any more than that. It was impossible. At adidas we had 100,000 affiliates. At Shutterfly, I think we had close to 50,000 affiliates. You can’t know all of them.

The second submit is that small affiliates are not worth the hassle. That is not true. Let me tell you why people think this is true.

They think it’s not working with a small affiliate, somebody who, quite frankly, is where I was five or six years ago to where you might be today. Because I’m going to invest a disproportionate amount of time with you. To get what?

One sale, two sales, no sales, maybe three or four? It’s not worth the time, they say. But here’s what I know.

If I help 100 small affiliates today, if you fast forward three years, 20 of those affiliates are out of the, they’re out of the game, they’re done. They’re doing nothing. No loss.

They didn’t make that many sales from them anyway. Maybe two sales from them combined, 50 of the affiliates will have grown by 50%. Marginal growth, not that big, 100% maybe

Okay, they go from one sale to two. But what if they go from an average of, say, a half a sale to one sale? That’s 25 sales. Okay, still not that impressive. Right. So what do we, that’s 2050.

Ten of the affiliates will grow by 200%. Nice. Okay. Now we’re getting some good growth. Another ten affiliates will grow by 3 or 400%. Now we’re starting to really get some return, right?

About five affiliates will grow by 500, 600%. But those other five, and it might be three, it might be seven, they’re going to grow by 10,000, 20,000%. They’re going to go from having an email list of 1000 to 180,000 in three years.

Why? Because they hit Oprah. They got featured in a major magazine. They figured some stuff out. And here’s the thing. They will be loyal to you.

If you help them when they’re starting out, they will be loyal to you. They grow and you will create this army of affiliates. You’ll create this massive army of affiliates.

So let’s look at what happens when you. The 80 20 rule says 80% of your results will come from 20% of your affiliates. When you ignore that and you create an army of awesome affiliates, let’s look at what happened.

So Michael Hyatt, one of his recent launches, we ran. Keep in mind this was a massive seven figure launch featuring some of the biggest names in the Internet marketing world. Okay, we’re talking the leaderboard.

Here’s the top seven for you. Jeff Walker, Sally Hoggs had Ray Edwards, Pat Flyn, Jeff Goyne, Stu McLaren, John Lee Dumas. That was his leaderboard. Like, holy freaking crap. Right?

That’s a leaderboard right there. These are some of the biggest names in online marketing. And yet the top three, Jeff Walker, Sally Hogshead, Ray Edwards only accounted for 14% of sales.

His top ten only accounted for 27% of sales. Top 10, 27%. But the myth says 80 90% of your sales will come from your top three or five. Three to five. But his top three only counted for 14%. Five hundred affiliates made atleast one sale. That is an army.

There’s no risk of losing if our top affiliate didn’t promote that year. The next year, for example, our number two affiliate didn’t promote, didn’t kill us. Wasn’t that big of a deal.

In fact, if I look up and see of that top seven, three of the top seven didn’t promote the following year. And yet it was a bigger launch. How is that possible?

Because we had diversified. And of those 500 who made one sale, I think it was like 540. Like 500 of them were bigger the next year, about 500 of the 540 promoted. Again, we created an army. Ray Edwards, nearly the same number numbers as Michael, his leaderboard, Jeff Walker, Jeff Bullas, Don Miller, Michael Hyatt, Dan Miller, Craig Ballantine, Chandler Bolt.

Lot of recognizable names. His top 3, 19 percent of sales. Not 90, not 80. If like, I’m doing an infomercial here. Yeah. What are those called?

Infomercials? Yeah. Not 70, not 60, not 50, not even 40, not even 30 or 20%. But 19% of sales were in the top three. Only 34% came from the top ten. Only 34%.

Just barely over a third of all sales came from the entire top ten. We had 16 affiliates who doubled their sales year over year. Two of our top ten, Ernie Spencen.

Ernie the attorney. You’ve never heard of him? More than likely, but he doubled his sales year over year.

Mike Kim. More than double the sales year over year and beat Jeff Walker. Why did I spend the time with him the year before?

Because I know the principle here. He was a small affiliate the year before, finished in like 24th place. He had like three sales. He’s a friend of mine, so I happened to invest a lot more time in him, but.

More than doubled, well over doubled and won the thing won the thing the next year. So this myth that you need to know everyone, you need to know everyone, you need to be able to only a few of your affiliates are going to come from so this myth, this myth that most of your sales will come from only a few affiliates, it is absolutely not true. And those sub myths that you need to know all of your affiliates and that it’s not worth working with small affiliates, those are not true either.

So this was our third myth in this quick little series here. And tomorrow we’re going to bust myth number four, that you have to hire someone to run your affiliate program for you. It is not true.

So if you want to know how to find the right affiliates for your business, whether you have an affiliate program yet or not, go check out our how to find affiliates. The ultimate guide at mattmcwilliams.com/Findaffiliates we’re adding stuff there and I’ll see you in the next episode.



Text me anytime at (260) 217-4619.

Or…check out some of my free reports to help you get on the right track:

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Affiliate Program Terms & Conditions Template

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2 thoughts on “MYTH: Most of Your Sales Will Come from Only a Few Affiliates

  1. Hey Matt, I have been following you for a few years now and replied to one of your podcast a few months back about putting together an affiliate program. I received an email in response, in reference to a future podcast that would be live sometime in August, but lost the email. Yeah…I know right up there with my dog ate it. Anyway… I know that you have many podcast covering this topic, but I am looking for a step by step outline for those of us that are (not) tech savvy. I had seen you and Thembie online through a email/link you had sent shortly after Covid started, discussing her Virtual Assistants and their services. I was wondering if you have a link to contact her in reference to hiring a VA/Month for (unlimited) tech work, if it is still being offered? Also, if you have a step by step process to set up an Affiliate Program available I would like to purchase it and give it to one of her VA’s, to finally get the Affiliate Program set up on my site. I have been trying to figure this out for years, literally and just want to get this done. I have about 60 Affiliates interested and want to do this ASAP. After everything is set up, I plan to hire an Affiliate Manager to help promote it and at that point would like to know a bit more about your ideas for commission structure before it goes live. Thanks Matt!

    Looking Forward,
    Elisa L.

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