PRACTICAL ADVICE is a regularly appearing column in the Repatterning Journal. Elizabeth Tobin, JD; Certified Resonance Repatterning® Practitioner answers your questions about creating a thriving Resonance Repatterning practice. If you have a question that you would like answered or if you would like to share your views about any of the topics discussed here, we welcome your comments.
This is the 2nd in a 3-part series on Affiliate Programs. Click here to read the first post discussing the benefits of Affiliate Programs.
Q: I just recently heard about Affiliate programs. Can you explain what they are and how they work? And why would I want to join someone else’s program or even start my own?
A: An affiliate program is a great way to earn extra money. It’s a way to increase your market reach by collaborating with other people who have products and services that are of interest to your target market. When you become an Affiliate you tell your contacts about someone else’s products and services and you receive a commission. You can also set up your own Affiliate program where you pay out a commission to people who send you referrals.
These are 3 common structures that Affiliate Programs follow:
- Pay Per Sale: Affiliates get paid a commission when their referrals make a qualifying purchase.
- Pay Per Click: Affiliates earn money when they send a referral to the merchant’s website.
- Pay Per Lead: Affiliates get paid if their referral gives the merchant their contact information, usually by completing a contact form on the merchant’s website.
Pay Per Click and Pay Per Lead usually don’t pay high commissions so you need to be sending a large volume of traffic to the merchant’s site in order to make money. For this article let’s focus on Pay Per Sale because that usually pays the highest commissions if you’re just starting out.
In this post we’ll take an in-depth look at Affiliate Programs from the perspective of you being someone else’s Affiliate. In the next edition you’ll learn about how to run your own Affiliate Program.
At first glance, becoming someone else’s Affiliate may seem counter intuitive, especially if you are still building your own energy healing practice. You may be wondering, “Why would I want to do this? Are there real benefits to this? And what are the drawbacks?”
There are definite benefits, and there are drawbacks. See my last post for a discussion on the benefits of Affiliate Programs.
How to Evaluate an Affiliate Program
First and foremost, you’re putting your reputation on the line. Before you decide to become an Affiliate make sure that the person or company is reputable. It’s a good idea to first be a customer or client so you know first-hand that you are promoting a valuable, high-quality service or product. The more enthusiastic you are about the product or service the easier it will be for you to inspire others about it.
Know Your Market
Obviously, you’ll want to evaluate whether the product or service is aligned with your market. For example, trying to promote automotive audio equipment when your contacts are interested in energy healing would not be the best fit. You would need to develop new contacts for this new market, or become an Affiliate for products and services that are more closely aligned with the contacts you already have.
Second, make sure that the Affiliate Program has a way to track your leads and sales. The best programs give you a unique Affiliate Link. Your Affiliate Link has a special code embedded in it so when your referrals click on your link the Affiliate Tracking Software knows that person came through you.
Find out how long the referral window stays open. Some Affiliate Programs give you credit months and sometimes even years after your referral’s first visit to the merchant’s website. This way even if your referrals don’t make a purchase on their initial visit, if they return to the website at a later time and make a qualifying purchase you will get credited with the commission. The longer the term, the better for you, because if your referrals really like this merchant and come back for repeat business you could earn yet another commission–earning truly passive income!
A potential downside is that you must use your unique Affiliate Link when you promote, otherwise the system has no way of knowing that the sales came through you. This may involve a little bit of a learning curve. Most programs are easy to learn and to use, and once you become familiar with the system you’ll have no trouble.
If you’re new to Affiliate marketing, look for programs that offer some support to help get you up to speed. If you have a question or an issue is there someone you can communicate with at the company to help you? Will the program provide you with promotional material or do you have to write it all yourself? What is the commission structure? A 5% to 15% commission may not be worth your while, but a 30% to 50% cut might be. This is a personal preference that only you can decide.
Commitment and Consistency Are Key
A segment of a social network (Photo credit: WikipediAs with any endeavor the more you commit, the more you will reap the benefits. Just sending out an email with your Affiliate Link, or posting a banner on your website probably won’t get you great results. It generally takes several exposures to a new product, service, or idea before people feel ready to try it. For best results you’ll need to introduce people to the product or service multiple times. Just as you need a systemized approach when publicizing your own products and services, the same is true when selling as an Affiliate. The most successful Affiliates nurture it as a viable part of their business and revenue stream. You are planting seeds that will come to fruition if you are consistent and persistent in your outreach.
Hone Your Skills
I once heard someone say that no matter what business you are in, you are really in the business of sales. Learning about marketing and sales and putting that learning into practice increases your likelihood of success. This is true whether you are promoting your own products and services or whether you are Affiliating with somebody else. When it comes to marketing, lots of people find it easier to endorse somebody else than to “toot their own horn.” If this is you, becoming an Affiliate is a great way to learn and practice while you work through your resistance. Once you feel comfortable marketing then you can transfer these skills to promoting yourself.
Free Your Time AND Expand Your Abundance
Let’s face it, building and sustaining a thriving energy healing practice can become more than a full-time endeavor. It takes a lot of consistent outreach activity to get clients through your door. And that’s just the beginning.
Now the real work begins. You’ve got scheduling, returning phone calls and emails, consultations with curious prospects who need more info before booking a session, and then finally, actually doing the sessions. Then comes the follow-up customer care. If your clients have questions or issues after a session that’s more phone calls or emails.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my work and I’m energized by it. But I’ve also found in over 10 years of professional practice that there are times when you need a break. The beauty of being an Affiliate is that you get paid for doing only a fraction of the work. You do the initial outreach and leave all of the rest to someone else. What’s more, if you find a good affiliate program that pays residual income, you can get paid on a monthly basis without adding to your monthly workload.
This is the 2nd of a 3-article series introducing Affiliate Programs. Be sure to look for the next issue where you’ll learn about setting up your own Affiliate Program.
If you’d like to see an Affiliate Program in action take a look at my Affiliate Program at LizTobin.com
Elizabeth Tobin, JD is a Certified Resonance Repatterning® Practitioner has been earning her livelihood through her full-time Resonance Repatterning practice since 2001. Geographically based in Boston, MA, Elizabeth serves an international clientele with individual telephone and Skype Audio sessions, global distance healing proxy groups and live workshops. Visit her website at http://LizTobin.com