You may be looking for a new way to boost your sales and to grow your business without using paid advertising. If so, you should explore the option of creating an affiliate program.
An affiliate program is a partnership between a business and an affiliate partner in which the business makes arrangements to pay the affiliate a commission for every sale made from the affiliate's referral. In short, you find people to promote your product to their audience, and you pay those affiliates a percentage of the sales made.
You may also see terms such as also known as joint venture partners or JV used to refer to an affiliate. This type of business relationship will work for established companies as well as new entrepreneurs who would like to grow their business and generate sales.
Now you may be wondering how does creating an affiliate program fit into your overall marketing strategy for your business? Do you even need to create one? One major benefit of creating an affiliate program as opposed to doing paid advertising is that you are guaranteed a return on your investment. Now what does that mean?
When you invest money in paid ads you are not guaranteed a sale. However, with an affiliate/JV partner program, you will only pay commission on actual sales made. This type of program is also a great way to sell your products or services fast as you are reducing the time it takes to get leads organically on your own.
It is so much easier to convert customers from your affiliate program as they have been referred to your product or service by someone they already like, know, and trust. A referral from someone carries much more weight than a pitch or an ad to a cold audience.
Now you may still be confused and wonder why would I want to pay someone for my sales? Essentially you are using someone else's audience. They are providing you with a sale that you probably would not have acquired on your own. In addition, if you are borrowing their audience, it is a great way to say "Thank you."
With a partnership, you both offer a benefit from each other, and you will definitely see consistency and an increase in your sales. But in order for this venture to succeed you need to choose your affiliates very carefully.
Before you start choosing your partners there are FTC regulations in place that everybody needs to be familiar with and agree to. The FTC regulation guiding for Advertising Marketing states, ‘Under the law, claims in advertisements must be truthful, cannot be deceptive or unfair and must be evidence-based. For some specialized products or services, additional rules may apply.’
In addition to following the guidelines of the FTC, you should also have terms and conditions for your partner program before you get started on recruiting. You should let your partner know that it is mandatory for them to disclose that they are an affiliate for your product or service when they are promoting.
Your next step is to create your Partner Promo Page. This is a website page that will have all the necessary information about your program, such as the commission structure, targeted audience, what's in it for their audience, terms, and conditions, etc. It is like a sales page for your partnership program to let affiliates know what the benefits are of signing up for your program. After you have finalized all this information, you are now ready to start recruiting.
You need to find people that are right for your business. You want to recruit partners that will take the time to promote your business because they love and believe in your product product. My advice is to grab a pen and paper and make a list of potential partners that will fit the bill.
1. Their values need to be aligned with yours. They share the same outlook regarding your product, and their audience will be receptive to the type of product you are promoting.
2. The partner has to know you and know your product or service. If they are familiar with both, these affiliates are able to provide true and accurate testimonials.
3. Your affiliates have an audience that can be served by your program. For example, you would not promote yoga products to an audience that loves dancing.
You can classify your partners into rings based on how close they are to you and how familiarized they are with your product or service. They can easily be classified into three (3) rings or what it referred to as...
The first ring will consist of the first set of people you think about recruiting. These are people that know you and know your product and believe in your product. This ring will consist of friends, family, close colleagues, and students that love what you do in your business and would actually sell your products or services for you. These are the first set of people you will be inviting to your partner program and sending to your promo page.
The second ring consists of people that may know you, but they need more information regarding your product or service. So this may be students of another product or service or maybe colleagues that are not that close to you.
The third ring or outer ring of individuals you should be considering are the people that don't know you yet but they are aligned with your product and services. For those in your outer ring, you should find a way to connect with them before you decide to recruit them as affiliates.
Give these individuals a chance to get to know you and fall in love with your product or service as well. Eventually, they will ask if you have a partner program or a way for them to refer people to your product. You can find these people by attending events relating to your niche or business and just finding the connections there. The more people you meet this way the more natural the connection will be.
If you are an established business or even a new entrepreneur looking to grow and increase your sales, creating an affiliate partnership program may be just what you need. Take the time to develop your partnership program by finding the right people to promote your business.
Select those who are aligned with your goals and business and who believe in your product as much as you do. Finally, once you have found your partners, no matter what ring they are located in, do ensure that you build your relationship with them and support them in any way needed.
Here's to your next launch with an affiliate program and partnerships that will catapult your sales to the next level.
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