Can you promote a product you haven’t personally used? I get that question all the time from new affiliates (and seasoned ones as well). You will hear a lot of very successful affiliates say that they only promote products that they use personally, and I totally understand why they say that. But I believe that you can, and in many cases, should promote products that you haven’t used yourself. Today I’ll share with you why – and how to decide when to do so.
I’m sure you’ve heard people say something like “I only promote products that I have used personally.”
They say that as a way to add credibility to what they are promoting.
They’ve used it. They’ve experienced it. They can recommend it firsthand.
I totally understand that. As a matter of fact, one of the products that I have had the most success promoting over the years is Michael Hyatt’s 5 Days To Your Best Year Ever – and my success in promoting it has been due, in large part, to my personal experience with the product.
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But is there ever a time that you CAN promote something you HAVEN’T used?
And is it even honest to do so? (some people actually believe it isn’t!)
YES and YES! Here’s why…
Let’s say that you are in the market for a new SUV, and you’re looking at the Lexus RX.
I have never personally owned a Lexus RX…but I know that they are great SUVs.
How do I know that?
Because Lexus has a reputation for building great vehicles.
I own a Lexus sedan and LOVE it.
I have a few friends who have owned Lexus RXs.
Edmunds rates the RX highly.
All of that means that if you’re looking at purchasing a Lexus RX, I would feel confident in telling you that they are great SUVs.
The same goes for promoting products as an affiliate.
So the big question is, when is it ok for you to promote a product you haven’t used before?
I’m going to give you five criteria for when it’s ok to promote a product that you haven’t used yourself.
Just to be clear, not all five of these have to be true, but three out of five should be.
1. You like and trust the creator.
If you like and trust the product creator, you can speak to his or her knowledge, skills, and integrity…even if you haven’t used their specific product.
For example, I haven’t personally gone through Brian Dixon’s Amplify Method course…but Brian and I have been in a mastermind group together for over a year and I consider him a good friend.
I have no problem at all recommending his content and products because I know the type of person Brian is and the way he will treat my audience.
2. You have used another product the creator offers.
Let’s say you’ve never used Joe’s specific product. But, you HAVE used on of his other products.
You can honestly assume that the quality and value will be consistent from one product to another.
For example, we recently finished up the launch for Kevin Harrington and Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale Masterclass.
It was a brand new course…so no one had used the product.
However, hundreds of affiliates were willing to promote the launch because they had used other products from Kevin or Zig and had great experiences with them.
3. You know someone who has used the product.
This is exactly what you are doing when you tell someone that your friend went to the new restaurant downtown and said it was great.
Secondhand testimonials are VALID testimonials, especially when you know and trust the person making the recommendation.
If you know someone who has used a product that you haven’t personally used, their endorsement is enough to give you the confidence to promote it. Plus, you can use their success story in your marketing.
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4. You can read/hear product reviews.
This is what you and I do all the time when we shop on Amazon. We read the product reviews and then we determine whether those reviews are convincing enough to purchase the product.
Likewise, if you’re going to promote a product you haven’t used before, you can feel confident in promoting the product if there are other people that have shared their good experiences.
When I am considering taking on a new client for a launch of a product I haven’t used, often I will ask for the name and contact information of three random customers.
I want to talk with them and hear their experience with the product.
I’m looking for their review in order to determine whether it’s a product I am comfortable running a launch for.
You can do the same thing as an affiliate.
5. You can get a sneak peek at the product.
Ask if you can get review access to the product.
This isn’t always possible, but often you can at least get access to one module or a few sample lessons.
Looking at those samples will give you a good idea of the quality of the product, as well as a feel for the style and personality of the creator.
And remember, only three out of five of these criteria have to be met in order to feel comfortable promoting a product you haven’t used.
If only two of them are true, I would recommend thinking long and hard before promoting the product.
If four or five of them are true, it’s probably a good fit for you to promote, even though you haven’t used the product yourself.
If three out of five are true, ultimately it’s a judgment call and you will have to weigh out the pros and cons for yourself.
(Go back and look at my Lexus RX example at the beginning of this article…how many of these criteria did I list?)
I’ve created a checklist you can use to evaluate any potential promotions, including products that you haven’t used personally.
Not only CAN promote products you haven’t used, it’s probably a MUST over time. You could be missing out on really great promotions if you DON’T.
Just be sure to use the criteria above and my checklist to decide which products YOU should promote.
Do you promote products you haven’t used? Why or why not?