I’ve made it abundantly clear that I believe you should promote affiliate offers before you have your own product. But what if you already have a product or several products? Should you promote your own products or should you focus on affiliate offers? Today I’m going to show you how this isn’t an either/or question. You can (and should) do both.

Your products or affiliate promos - which should you focus on?

I get questions all the time from people who are trying to figure out how and where affiliate marketing fits into their overall business and marketing strategy.

They’re afraid that by promoting affiliate offers they will be cannibalizing their own product sales and disrupting the momentum they are creating.

Promoting your own products as well as affiliate offers is a delicate balancing act, but today I’ll share with you three things you must do in order to make it work in your business.

1. Shift Your Mindset

You have to shift your mindset from viewing affiliate promotions as a distraction to seeing them as an important part of your business.

I see evidence of this all the time when people talk about reciprocal promotions. They’ll say something like “I have to promote so-and-so because he promoted me.”

But when you change your mindset, you can start to view promotions as not an obligation, but just a part of your business.

Let’s use an example from the brick and mortar business world.

Let’s say you make chairs.

They’re beautifully handmade and you put all your blood, sweat and tears into making the best chairs for your customers.

Won’t your customers also want to purchase cushions for those chairs? And maybe side tables? Perhaps some coasters for those side tables?

And wouldn’t it make sense, if your customers will want those things in addition to your chairs, for you to sell them to them?

But your focus is building chairs.

You’re not going to sew the cushions or build the side tables.

And yet, if you offer those things, they could easily become 30%, 50% or more of your business.

Does that make the cushions, side tables, and coasters distractions?

No, of course not! They are a PART of your business.

Cracker Barrel is the same way.

If you’ve ever gone into a Cracker Barrel, you know that you have to walk past a store to get to the restaurant and eat.

cracker barrel store

No one goes to Cracker Barrel to buy a knick-knack, they go to eat good food…but it’s hard to leave without buying something!

It’s a part of their business.

Shift your mindset to look at affiliate offers the same way as you would the complimentary products in these two examples – as an important part of your business.

2.  Plan Your Promotions

You have to plan out your promotions – for your own products and for affiliate offers you want to support.

I love this quote from Michael Hyatt,

“What gets scheduled gets done.”

My team and I meet once a month to plan out our content for the upcoming 4-8 weeks.

We don’t only plan out our own content and launches, we also plan out upcoming affiliate promotions we want to share with our audience.

If you aren’t doing this already, start now.

Pick a few upcoming affiliate promotions you’d like to promote (you can see my recommendations here) and get them on your calendar.

By getting them on your calendar next to your internal launches and promos you’ll be able to have a good balance of promoting your own products and promoting affiliate offers to complement your products.

Then, once you’ve scheduled them, make sure you put together a promo plan for each promotion.

Sample affiliate promo plan

By doing this you can remove the majority of the stress of promoting because you know what and how you are going to promote day-by-day during the launch.

So if you aren’t now, create a content calendar and plan out your content as well as affiliate promotions that you want to support.

FREE RESOURCE: Get our sample Promo Plan for your next affiliate promotion.

3. Focus On Relationships

Make sure you are developing as many two-way relationships as possible.

Find people that you can support that will support you back.

Now let me be clear, not every affiliate offer you promote will be a reciprocal, but if you promote 10 promotions in a year, 4-6 of them should have the potential of having a reciprocal component to them.

That means that you might not always promote the biggest launches. You might promote someone who only has 18 affiliates because it’s a good fit and he’s going to promote you in return.

Promoting affiliate offers is not always about the commissions you will earn.

RECOMMENDED PROGRAMS: See all of our upcoming recommended affiliate programs here.

It’s about the long game, so begin focusing on and developing those relationships that have the potential to benefit and support your business in multiple ways — not just in the short term.

Affiliate promotions can and should be a critical part of your business and marketing strategy. By sticking to these three keys, you’ll be able to successfully promote both your products and affiliate promotions.

How have affiliate promotions benefited your business in addition to the commissions you have earned?

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