Over the past two episodes, I’ve shared 14 benefits of affiliate marketing that you might not have thought of. Today, I’m sharing the final 7 in this series of surprising benefits of affiliate marketing. I’ll show how to turn competitors into partners, how to learn to run your own affiliate program, and have a LOT of fun!
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Previous Episodes of The Affiliate Guy
Surprising Benefits of Affiliate Marketing Part 2
Surprising Benefits of Affiliate Marketing Pt. 1
How to Promote MORE Affiliate Offers Without Burning Your List
The Most Important Question You Must Ask in Business
Surprising Benefits of Affiliate Marketing Part 3
So if you missed either of the first two episodes of this series of the surprising benefits of affiliate marketing, go back and listen to them now. I’m not going to recap those here, like I did in the last episode, just because of time as it’s going to take a long time just to recap them, but go back and listen to those because they’re important benefits that you might not have thought of.
One of the things that I will kind of recap that I did share, I showed how you can use affiliate marketing to learn how to sell in order to gain confidence in your selling abilities, without the risk of creating your own products. That’s one of the big benefits. Actually, a couple of the big benefits, how to use to do market research and train them to buy and how to create lasting friendships and partnerships. This is where we finished off last time and that’s what we’re going to pick up here with the 15th surprising benefit.
15) Reciprocal relationships on the tune of partners.
One of the benefits is that if you do well, promoting someone, they will often promote you as well. Now it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes a true reciprocal promotion isn’t possible.
I’ve covered this in past episodes where like one of the examples that I often cite is, you might run a landscape company, a company that is not a landscape company, but a company that works with landscape architects and you promote Ray Edwards copywriting academy to your audience, which makes sense, but it would make no sense for him to promote you.
So are there ways for him to return the favor above and beyond the commission? Of course, maybe he could introduce you to someone who could be a good partner, but more often than not, people want to help those who help them. Now, this is not a license to promote something only because that person might promote you.
You got to remember the first rule of affiliate marketing. Only promote things that are a good fit for your audience. But this is a big thing. If you go out and you do really well, promoting things, they might very well promote you. That’s where a lot of our partners have come from over the years. We’ve promoted people and then they’ve promoted us. Alternatively, maybe there are other ways for them to help you.
Maybe you promote them, but they have you on their podcast, maybe they don’t do a full affiliate promotion. Maybe they, as I mentioned earlier, might introduce you to someone who could promote you. Maybe they ask you to run their affiliate program. I mean, maybe that’s only me, but that has happened a few times. If you look back at our clients, Michael Hyatt, Stu McLaren, those are people where we were one of their top 10 affiliates and then they said, Hey, can you actually run our affiliate program? Now you have to know how to run affiliate programs and that’s a whole different ball of wax, but maybe there are ways for them, they see what you’re doing. Like, Hey, could you write our copy? Could you help us with this automation? Could you, whatever, there are all kinds of ways you might be able to help them. Show us how you promoted it. Teach our marketing team, we love how you do Facebook lives, can you teach our team how to do Facebook lives, all types of ways where you can create partnerships from that.
16) You can turn competitors into partners.
There’s the old saying that goes, “keep your friends close and your enemies closer,” but your competitors are not, they’re not just your competitors and they’re definitely your enemies if you have a healthy mindset. They can be your best promotional partners.
Probably it’s been 10 years since I left. But for 12 through 10 years ago, I ran the affiliate program for an up-and-coming DVD instruction company in Nashville. And our main course was a guitar instruction course. Now there’s a ton of guitar instruction courses online, but ours stood out for one reason. Well, for two reasons, it was not only the most comprehensive on the market, but it was also the most expensive and so this presented us with the perfect opportunity to get our competitors to promote us. Since all of our competitors offer cheaper courses, our course was the perfect upsell.
So they had a six-hour course on guitar that costs $47. We had a 30-hour course that cost 150 bucks or 200 bucks. It’s like a match made in heaven, right? Our competitors made more money, just totally fine with us and we got access to their customer database, which is a win-win.
We also promoted a bunch of our competitors when it made sense. Someone’s on our list for a year and they still haven’t bought our $150 course, we would make them an offer on one of our competitors, cheaper courses, odds are they weren’t going to like just suddenly after a year being on our list. So, now I really want to pay 150 bucks. So why not try to get something in their hands that fits their budget?
See, affiliate marketing is a community. This isn’t Coke versus Pepsi or Ford versus Chevy. Most people I know in the business are awesome people who’d rather work together than work against each other. So when you turn your competitors into partners, it creates massive momentum for both of you.
So here are four quick ways to use competitors as affiliates.
The first is about this. It is an upsell. If you have a low-priced product that isn’t as in-depth, offer a higher-priced, more detailed version from a competitor as an upsell. So it doesn’t matter what it is, it’s just something that’s more expensive and more detailed or more advanced, it could be something that’s more advanced down the road. Hey, they finished taking this course. Now go onto this one.
The second way would be as a down-sell for a specific part. So if you have a course on book publishing, for example, that sells for $2,000. What about a course on just book marketing? That’s only 200 bucks or 500 bucks or something. So it’s a down-sell for a specific thing.
Third to non-buyers. I just mentioned this, right? If they’ve been on your list and they haven’t bought your thing, it might be that it’s too expensive. It might just be that for some reason, they don’t resonate with that offer, find something else to market to them.
Then forth to a niche within a niche. This is where especially this works in the course world. I’ll give you an example from that and then you can apply it to your own stuff. If they’re going through your main course. What about some complementary courses? So when I talk about our guitar course example, one of the things that I realized was that this course is thorough, it’s comprehensive, but it’s not really digging in-depth into any specific type of guitar. Right? So like lesson 12 was all about, electric guitar lessons, 14 was all about the blues guitar, lesson 16 was about jazz guitar and there was one about fingerstyle guitar.
And so at the end of those lessons, we say, Hey, if you want to take your great example, that’d be blues guitar. You just learned a little bit about blues guitar if you want to take it to the next level, go grab Dan Denley’s blues guitar course. It’s a 10-hour course just on blues guitar. So, Dan made money, we made money and we got to serve our audience. But we worked with our competitors. We worked with our competitors all the time.
17) Everyone’s doing it.
This is kind of a surprising one and me kind of hesitate, almost sharing this sometimes, but everyone’s doing it. Everyone’s doing it. You know, like mom used to say if everyone jumped off a bridge, would you? And I’m like, I kind of have this weird personality. I’m like, well, what if everyone had a parachute because base jumping actually looks like a lot of fun, mom…. What, if they’re not jumping off a bridge to their death, details are the important mom. They’re just base jumping. Maybe that’s what they’re doing. But the fact that you have people like Jeff Walker, Michael Hyatt, Amy Porterfield, Tony Robbins, Dean Graziosi, Pat Flynn, Russell Brunson, Sally Hogshead, Pedro Adao, Pete Vargas, Stu McLaren just because they promote affiliate offers doesn’t necessarily mean that you should, but it’s pretty good company. And it proves to me that affiliate marketing isn’t just for small-time affiliates or small-time online marketers, it’s not just for beginners like almost all the big boys and almost all the big girls do it too. So I’m not suggesting that you copy everything that they do, but it’s a pretty good social proof for the validity of affiliate marketing.
So here’s the thing. The benefit is you’re in good company, you’re associating with these people and like we talked about before you can get noticed on these leaderboards and you can begin to stand out. You can begin to get introduced to really cool people.
And because everybody’s doing it, if I’ve beaten Jeff Walker before, well guess what, when Jeff Walker sees that he notices. I’ve beaten Russell Brunson and he notices that and, and it’s gotten me to doing really well in some affiliate promotions, it’s gotten me into places whereinto rooms that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to get to.
Many years ago, this was back when our son was three or four months old. So this would have been 2015. I finished in like 18th place, an affiliate promotion. I’m the only one, I sold like six courses, 2008. Of course, I sold six because I made like 7,000 – 8,000 bucks. But I won one of the prizes and was in the top 20, got to go to this mastermind with the other top 20.
Well, the number one affiliate did like 400 sales, the number two affiliate did like 312 sales and on down to like number six or seven, doing around a hundred. I’m in a pretty big company. I did, maybe I did like eight sales, I definitely did less than 10 and I’m in this room with them and actually, as I mentioned, the last episode, so it was Jonathan Milligan, so as my friend John Corcoran, I had a few friends there, it was really cool to finally meet them in person.
But also I got to be in a room with people who’ve turned out to be clients, people who have since then become promotional partners, people who we’ve promoted their launches and these people have made us, best guess, well, over half a million dollars in the last six years, that wouldn’t have happened had I not finished 18th place, like barely even cracking the top 20 and then I went to this mastermind. Sometimes we just offered the top 20 and it was a virtual mastermind, a virtual actually just a virtual launch debrief, but there’ll be on zoom with some of those big names and they’ll get seen and who knows where that’ll lead. That’s a pretty cool benefit.
18) You learn how to run launches and your own affiliate programs.
If you’re just starting out, I get it. It seems like it might be a pipe dream that you’re going to run your own affiliate program one day, or you’re going to run like one of these big launches, but you will and you will have an army of affiliates promoting you in your products and you want to learn how to run it before you actually start one.
The quote I’ve quoted so many times, Pablo Picasso, “good artists copy great artists steal.” And one of the best ways to learn any skill is by modeling, copying, stealing, whatever you want to call it, right? Promoting affiliate offers allows you to see the other affiliate managers and see those product creators in action.
So, as you’re promoting these things, ask yourself these questions, how are they engaging their affiliates? What tools are they providing their affiliates? How are they running their launch? What’s their sequence? What are they doing a Q and A on the last day? and that’s moving the needle.
When you promote these affiliate offers, make sure you look out for those success clues they leave behind, what makes them successful, what makes them not, do they do a launch debrief? A lot of times, as I said, we just did this with one of the top 20 got access to a behind the scenes and launched a debrief.
So attend it and learn what’s working for them, what’s not, are there things that you see them doing that you want to copy? Then copy it. I’ve shared this before, but years ago we promoted an affiliate offer and I got an email saying, we want to give you a thousand dollars for Facebook ads. It’s an advance on your commission and I went, I love that idea. So I went, wait a minute. What if we took that and tweaked it? and we did it as physical mail and it looks like a check and they get it and we call it a Fakebook Check. We actually give the template for those to our clients in Your Affiliate Launch Coach program. It’s really cool and it gets results in people. They end up responding and saying, Yes, I want to get a thousand dollar advance on my commission so I can run Facebook ads. We copy that.
10 years ago, there was this one affiliate program that they did a leaderboard as an image. They had pictures of the people who were on the leaderboard. I was like, we should copy that and so we, instead of just copying that, we were like, what if we put their pictures on? But we also gamify it and we show like arrows going up and down and what if we put the prizes next to their names? So they always know what’s the prize, that’s on the line if you finish in this position and like all these things, right? What are some of the things you see that drive you crazy then? Like you learn from that, right? and I hated it when affiliate programs are only provided like a daily update or sometimes not even daily.
So we created the first-ever live leaderboard. This is years and years ago. Now almost every affiliate program has a live leaderboard or at the very least they’re updating their leaderboard three times a day. What are those things that drive you? I hate when they make it hard, where all my links are like they should just be in one place. So we created affiliate portals where they were all in one place.
At least 50% or more of what we do for our clients and our affiliate program is copied from others or modeled after something they did. These are people we’ve promoted like Stu McLaren and now we run an affiliate program.
We saw how John Lee Dumas did stuff for his book launch and we copied a few of the things there. Josh Turner, I mentioned earlier, we saw some of the stuff we did a couple of episodes from the kind of a blast from the past with his affiliate manager recently should go check those out where we talked about having a Facebook group for your partners. They were like one of the first affiliate launches. This is 2016 they had a Facebook group. Now everybody has a Facebook group. Jeff Walker, his affiliate manager, John Walker. Chandler Bolt, I’ve learned stuff from him. Steve Olsher, learned a ton from him. Naomi McKenna, I learned a ton from her. Ryan Levesque and his affiliate manager Elliot Pitman and I go back 14 years back in a completely different industry. There are so many people like I’m probably forgetting at least half a dozen or more people here.
I’ve learned those things from watching them another good chunk of what we do as the result of seeing others, doing things wrong. And so we’re doing the same things ourselves. We just don’t know how bad it is until I’m in the affiliate’s shoes. So we see all these things, they drive us nuts as affiliates and we’re like, wait, we’re doing the same thing. We’ll stop doing that. Yeah, we’ve innovated in ways, tons of ways, we have innovated and basically invented something in the affiliate marketing game.
Like I said, the live leaderboard, and gosh, there’s probably a dozen other examples that we basically invented. But the majority of the stuff, the majority of our practices, the majority of what’s in our playbook for running affiliate launches comes from watching a lot of other people run launches and learn from them. So promote as many affiliates offers as you can within reason of course but watch and learn even after like two, you’ll be full of great ideas for your own affiliate program.
19) It serves your audience.
A lot of people think that affiliate marketing actually is a distraction for your TRIBE, that it doesn’t serve your audience Or they think it’s scammy, sleazy, or salesy. I get that. In many ways, those beliefs are justified. There are a few bad apples out there they get all the attention but that’s like judging the entire human race on the stupid actions of a few individuals. The fact is, if you have that fear if you don’t want to be sleazy or salesy. The fact that you have that is a good thing. It shows me that you care about your audience, your number one priority is to serve your audience. But here’s how it serves your audience. Affiliate marketing serves your audience by filling in the gaps in your own product offerings.
You think about it, if you’re a fitness trainer, you teach people how to eat right and exercise pretty much. That’s it. You have great products that focus on both of those core areas of fitness, but your audience also wants and needs to learn things like time management, stress relief, goal setting, productivity, natural healing, things like that, right? You’re not an expert on those, you don’t want to be the expert on those. You have no plans on ever offering products in those areas anytime soon.
So how do you serve your audience by promoting affiliate offers for those areas, for those people who do offer courses in those areas, or if you’re a financial coach, you teach people how to manage their money and invest as you teach them how to get out of debt, how to save, how to invest. That’s pretty much the three things that you teach, but your audience also needs to learn leadership and how to start a business, how to find work they love productivity, goal-setting kind of interests like the productivity goal-setting side. That works for just about any niche. But assuming you don’t want to teach on those subjects, how can you best serve your audience? By recommending other products that teach those subjects and then you actually make some affiliate income in the process.
That’s a win-win. If you think about this, the people who have more time, because they’re more productive at work, have more time to exercise and eat right. So they’re going to buy more of your courses and do better with them.
People who are better at setting goals will seek out financial coaching to help them reach their goals. Or if you’re a fitness trainer to help them hit their goals. In other words, your affiliate recommendations can actually help your sales not hurt them. So they serve your audience and they can help you make more sales of your own products.
20) It broadens your reach.
One of the things I love about affiliate marketing is that it allows you to reach new people. When you promote a product as an affiliate, you often actually attract new people into your tribe. I cannot tell you the number of times I have received emails and blog comments, even phone calls telling me they found me because of an affiliate promotion I was doing.
And the best part about those people is more often than not they’re buyers. They’re 50% likely to buy. So that means they’re their buyer and you want buyers in your list whether it’s a review post to a review video or an interview, I’m constantly attracting new people to my tribe and expanding my reach because of affiliate marketing and I’m attracting the right kind of people, those proven buyers,
It even happens when I email my subscribers about an offer. Those are some of my most forwarded emails. I recommend a product to, so-and-so on my list. They forward it to their friends and then I get the commission and I get a new subscriber. How cool is that?
Now, going back to the first part where I talked about reviews and stuff as I mentioned in the last episode, but if you want to learn how to write a review post, this is what’s going to allow you to broaden your reach and attract new people. So this is the kind of post where somebody searches for a product name and then the word review. Then you show up. So you rank high on Google and other search engines, but let’s be honest, like 90% of all searches are through Google. So you’re going to rank high. That’s important. We want to rank high. So you’re going to rank high on the search engines, but you also want it to convert. You want it to look good?
You want it to be laid out easily readable by the person who’s searching. If you want to be able to write a review post that ranks and converts, go check out my Ultimate Guide to doing just that you can find it at Mattmcwilliams.com/reviewposts. We’ll put a link in the show notes for that.
21) It’s fun.
It’s like I had to tell you, I love what I do for a living. I love working with affiliates. I mean, I love working with people, but I love working with affiliates. I love being an affiliate. I love engaging with you. I love promoting affiliate offers because it’s usually fun.
The money is great and I probably wouldn’t do it for free, but it’s a lot of friendly competition in the Facebook groups like the trash talking and getting to know people, surprising myself. When we try something in affiliate promotion and it works. It actually works and I’m like, yeah, this is working.
Then we make more sales than we expected. That’s fun, developing amazing relationships as I talked about connecting with awesome people, helping my tribe find awesome services. I think I said it already, but like trash-talking with the other affiliates and when I’m beating somebody being like, haha, it’s like, it’s all fun. And life needs a little bit more fun, doesn’t it? We’re also serious. So we need that fun and it just is so fun. So get in on the fun. join the fun. I encourage you to join the fun. If you haven’t already started affiliate marketing today and if you have already started ramp it up.
If you need some guidance along the way, if you need some programs to join, go check out Mattmcwilliams.com/whatsup. Find out some of the upcoming programs like just go pick a few that look good to you. Join those programs.
If you want to take your affiliate marketing game to the next level, you need a little guidance. Go check out Mattmcwilliams.com/quickstart. That’s our quick start guide to getting started with affiliate marketing and if you have any other questions like, Hey, I don’t really, I don’t know what the heck I’m doing but I need help. I’ve got some specific questions. Shoot me a text. I’m in Fort Wayne, Indiana. So that’s our area code here -260-217-4619. Just shoot me a text and let’s connect.
So that all 21 surprising benefits of affiliate marketing. I hope that you got some good information out of that, that this is my hope that this has inspired you to get more into affiliate marketing and to see all these benefits and then to be looking for the ways that like how they benefit you. I think when you know these benefits, it opens your eyes to what’s possible and that’s what I’m hoping you see.
So with that, we’ll wrap up and I will see you in the next episode. We’ve got another series coming up. This one could be five parts. I’m actually not sure I haven’t recorded it yet, but it’s like three to five parts. I don’t know. We’ll see five lessons from two huge launches.
That’s hard to say five lessons from two huge launches. I want to say two huge, I don’t know, five lessons from two huge launches that we ran and yes, I guess it will be five parts we’ll see. I mean, making it shorter, it’ll still be five lessons. I just don’t know if I’m sure two in one episode yet till I record it.
So stick around, make sure you subscribe. So you don’t miss any of those episodes cause you don’t want to miss them. And I’ll see you then. Thank you so much for listening today. Remember to check out all of our deep dives into affiliate marketing at theaffiliateguy.TV and if you have a question, ask it at asktheaffiliateguy.com who knows maybe you will even be featured on an upcoming episode. And lastly, if you haven’t yet make sure to leave a rating and review wherever you’re listening to this episode. See you soon.