How To Manage and Sell Affiliate Programs
How To Manage and Sell Affiliate Programs – Getting Started Do you remember your first real job? The anticipation of starting with a new company, learning new things, dealing with new people, trying to absorb everything you can as quickly as possible. Maybe you were a little overwhelmed for a few days or even a few weeks.
Now, remember how you felt after one month. You had learned so much, met a lot of new people and you were comfortable with your surroundings and work environment.
You became a regular employee. You did your job and you did it very well. You knew what to do and when to do it and the job soon became a natural order in your life.
Working affiliate programs can give you that same feeling of awe, anticipation and bewilderment, when you first start. There are so many things to learn and understand. There are many new products, services, rules, suggestions, etc.
Now, take a deep breath and remember that if you stick to a good program, and work through the tough times, your day will come. Starting a new program is just like starting a new job. You need to take some time to get to know your new opportunity, get familiar with what is going on, think about how you want to promote this opportunity and set some goals. In short, you want to make a plan!
Do you want to earn a lot of money or just a few hundred dollars of extra income each month? How much money are you willing to invest? Let me stop right here and tell you that you are going to have to invest money. There are too many people and programs on the Internet that tell you can make money with free advertising and free programs. YOU CANNOT! Money has to come from someplace or someone. If you think you will be able to generate an income on the Internet with no investment, stop reading right now.
Make a Plan:
There is a phrase that Scuba Divers say and that is: “Plan your dive and dive your plan”. Use these words of wisdom for your affiliate program. Make a plan of action and stick with it. If you choose to work on a program and you are going to work on that program for one hour a day, then make sure you accomplish this feat. Do not jump all over the place and the absolute worst thing you can do is to work on a program for a few weeks and then jump to the next program.
I once worked for a company where the President wanted to bid on a project that was outside our scope of expertise and we had absolutely zero chance of getting the contract. I was busy with some very lucrative contracts and I was going to focus my energy on those contracts, and I refused to waste 3 days bidding on a project that would take me away from my main focus. To make a long story short, I was released (fired) and replaced by a “yes” person.
Not only did they not get the new contracts, they lost the current projects I had worked so hard to acquire. His company went out of business less than 6 months later. The moral of this story is you need to choose your battles.
Find a good program and be fiercely loyal to the program. If you believe in what you are doing and you are with a reputable company, and you do your part, you will succeed. Stand by your convictions. You are going to have people tell you how much money they are making with their program or how you don’t have to work at all and you will get paid. Do not believe this. If you do not have to work and you will get paid, why do they need you?
Planning requires you to establish a budget, decide on marketing, have a good place to work, etc. Each of us will plan differently, but the basics are the same. Each of the planning details will be discussed in greater detail throughout this book.
All we need to say here is this is the most important aspect of your program. Without advertising and marketing, you are going to fail. Get more details about this most important aspect of your affiliate program later in this book, but remember entire books have been written on marketing and advertising, so we are not going to cover every aspect but we will give you a good overview.
You are now in management, because you will be managing yourself as well as your affiliate partners. Management is essentially taking care of the business at hand and doing so in a fair and impartial manner.
Managing your affiliate partners should be one of your first issues of the day. Too many people join a program and then are forgotten.
I use Outlook to maintain this information, but I also have a customized affiliate management program that works in conjunction with my website. ACT or any other quality contact manager would also work very well. If your affiliate partners succeed, you will succeed.
From a marketing perspective, you will spend 80% of your time and money to acquire a new affiliate partner, don’t waste this effort and then let your partners fend for themselves. Keep in touch with them, help them, give them advice and guidance and work them in a manner that will benefit each of you.
The following is some of the information you will what to maintain about your affiliate partners:
Phone – if possible
Location – City, State, Country
Level – some programs have different levels of membership such as free, paid, gold, silver, etc.
Cost of their membership
Personal details are always good to know—B-days, family, spouse, etc.
Maintain this information for each of your affiliates and keep it updated. You should have some form of contact with your affiliates every week. Keeping in touch with your affiliate partners is imperative if you want to be successful. I hear the same thing from members every day about the programs they have joined and then they never heard from their sponsor again until the sponsor had something else to sell them.
As you build your affiliate partners engage them in a conversation, telephone works best for me, but you can use a chat room, or simply email. Ask them questions; get to know what they need and what they are looking for in the program. I had one guy tell me he wanted to make $3 million in 3 months. I was firm, but nice when I told him he had the wrong program and the wrong goals.
Let me go off course for a second, you are not going to make millions of dollars in any affiliate program overnight. Can you make money, absolutely, but it is going to take some work and time and investment. There is no other way around it.
I received an email while I was writing this that read: Big Money, No selling, No promotion! It is amazing to me that people fall for this, but then it is amazing when a restaurant is made to pay millions of dollars to someone who gets burned while drinking hot coffee.
There are no free rides in this world and if you believe the hype and outright lies on the Internet that you can, I am afraid you are in for a serious letdown and you are going to lose money.
Okay, let’s get back to your affiliates. You want to know as much about these people as you can. People like it when someone takes a sincere interest in their lives. People want help and direction and guidance. They will feel better about you and they will be stronger promoters for you and the program.
If all they get from you is email after email telling them about this program or that program or emails that berate them for not making sales, they are going to drop you and the program and never look back.
You are now managing your affiliates and they will respond to your encouragement and help in a positive way. Treat them like numbers and they respond in a negative way.
This is a very important aspect of your affiliate marketing. Do not believe the hype that says you can make money with no money or rely solely on free advertising. Free advertising does work, but it is a long-term commitment. Remember, all those free ads are going to other people looking for free advertising and wanting to promote their programs.
Decide how much you want to budget for advertising and stick with that number. Maybe you can only afford $20 a week or $20 a month. That is fine, use that money wisely, test your advertising and know where your sales are coming from.
Reinvest your profits into more advertising using the same resources that worked with prior ads. Drop those resources that do not work and keep the momentum going. Get a good Ad-Tracker system. A good one to review is Analyzer
send. This is the only way you will know what works and what does not work.
If you are sincere about making money online, then it is recommended you budget a minimum of $100 per month for the first few months. If you have a quality program and use your advertising budget wisely, you will recoup this money many times over. Remember, most people involved with affiliate programs do no advertising at all, so even a small ad budget is going to quickly move you to the head of the pack.
The amount of money you make with your program is going to be in direct proportion to the amount of time you spend with it. If you work full-time, then obviously your time is limited, but plan on a minimum of one hour a day. Do not spend 7 hours on Saturday or Sunday and ignore things the rest of the week. You want a consistent approach to your program. Work a little each day or night and get yourself in this mode of thinking. Remember that little saying: inch-by-inch everything is a synch, yard-by-yard and everything is hard.
Schedule your time and stick with it. My father always said that you have to be willing to give up something now, for something better in return. Give up a few hours a week of television, or sleep now, for a more secure financial future down the road. You can do it, but you will need to be dedicated and firm with yourself in the process.
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