How The Heck Do You Get Affiliates!
I LOVE this question.
Because it means that you are FINALLY starting to ask the RIGHT questions.
As a project manager of eCommerce items, my main role is to help entrepreneurs bring their vision to life. Take your product or service from an idea to an actual product that your peeps can purchase.
However, 99% of the time, Entrepreneurs get lulled into the Noah’s Arc belief that “If you build it, they will come.”
So, when it’s built and no one is beating down the door to purchase, those same entrepreneurs feel confused, defeated, and walk around thinking there's a big ‘L’ for loser on their forehead.
Just because you’re creating your dream product or service does not mean it will sell. I don’t care how much research you’ve done to ensure that it’s what the people want. In order for your beautiful, magnificent creation to sell, you need to get the word out! And you alone, is not enough. You need to amplify your voice times ten, times twenty, times one hundred, a thousand… you get the idea. Affiliates are your surround sound speaker system!
So, how the heck do you get affiliates?
1. Set Up An Affiliate Program
If you don’t know how, CLICK HERE to check out my article on the topic.
2. Make Your Super Fans Your Evangelists!
Your Super Fans LOVE you. You know who I’m talking about. I’m talking about the 20% of your list that geeks out over you and your stuff. They are the first to like and comment. They read your blogs and newsletters. They talk about your stories during their dinner conversations.
Now, it’s time to thank them for it by making them an affiliate. Give them a chance to earn a little cash for chatting you up!
How do you let them know about this opportunity?
Write a blog post invite
Send an email newsletter invite
Post an invite on social media
If you have a strong CRM program, do some research and figure out who your true evangelist fans are - figure out who the 20% super fans are and then reach out to them in a more personal way. This could still be in a group email to your super fans, but in that email you make mention of some of the things that you notice that these people do specifically. Make them feel special. Tell them you’ve noticed their engagement. Thank them. Consider offering bonuses or extra incentives for any of the 20%-ers who sign up as an affiliate (just for signing up! Show the love back!)
If you have the resources, within the 20% super fans, look for fellow business owners or people with big social media followings. Then, reach out personally, and see if there’s an opportunity to collaborate. Perhaps you can co-host a webinar or podcast, etc.
3. Bloggers & Businesses
Research Bloggers and Businesses in your industry and in industries that also serve your ideal client. Put a list together of these bloggers and businesses. Gather as much information as possible including as much contact info as possible. Learn, what topics do they cover? How do they publish their information?
Then, pitch to them. In your pitch, be sure to include why you like their blog or company and a way that your recommended collaboration will benefit their clients. For example, if you pitch a guest blog, make it a content-based article (not a sales article) that includes their affiliate link to your website. With a business, perhaps offer to provide a free gift as a part of their next launch or to interview the CEO and share that interview with your list, or to create some content in your area of expertise that overlaps with theirs to further support their list. Be generous!
For more on pitching, CLICK HERE.
4. Ask Your Friends & Acquaintances to Make Introductions
While your immediate friends or fellow entrepreneurs might not be the right people to promote your new product, they may know people who are. So, start setting up friend dates or reach out via email and tell your friends about what you’re up to. Let them know you’ve set up an affiliate program, ask if they can think of anyone whom they could introduce you to as a potential affiliate, and let them know that you promise to treat that person WELL! For some of your friends, you may already know exactly who you’d like them to introduce you to — so go for it. Ask for that specific recommendation.
Be sure that your request is genuine and comes from a place deeper than your wallet. For example, you might say, “I’d so love an introduction to Sally. I’ve been girl crushing on her since she wrote an amazing social media post a few months back that had me crying. I would LOVE to interview her and talk to her about additional collaborations.”
5. Follow Up & Set Deadlines!
Sending one email, text, social media post or newsletter is NEVER ENOUGH! People are busy and while they may be super excited to become your affiliate, they may have too much going on in the moment to follow through. So, don’t hesitate to set deadlines and follow up. And, by follow up, I mean multiple times using various platforms. And then, do it again a few months later and perhaps try a new angle. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take!