Practical Advice: Answering Your Holistic Marketing Questions

This is the 3rd in a 3-part series on Affiliate Programs. Click here to read the first post discussing the benefits of Affiliate Programs. Click here to read the second post to get an in-depth look at Affiliate Programs from the perspective of your being someone else’s Affiliate. In the issue you’ll learn about how to run your own Affiliate Program.

PRACTICAL ADVICE is a regularly appearing column in the RPA 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.

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.

In order to have a successful Affiliate Program you’ll need to keep track of your affiliates’ sales and commissions. I recommend investing in an affiliate tracking software to ensure that your affiliates get credit for the sales that they bring to you. The more you can automate your system, the easier it will be for you. In addition, an automated tracking system will make your affiliate program more attractive to prospective affiliates, especially if they are seasoned professionals.

There are many kinds of Affiliate Tracking Software. I use 1ShoppingCart.com because it includes a bulk mailing system, a shopping cart and an affiliate program all in one. This system does it all and it’s the backbone of my thriving practice. Being able to automate certain details of your practice is the key to expansion and growth. It frees you to concentrate on your business instead of having to attend to repetitive administrative tasks. I’ve tried other systems and I’ve found 1shoppingcart is the most versatile, efficient and affordable. Click on my affiliate link to see how 1shoppingcart can support your practice.

Make Your Affiliate Program Attractive

The way you structure your affiliate program can make all the difference for its success. After you’ve decided on your affiliate tracking software, the next thing to consider is your commission rate. Most affiliate programs offer between 25% and 50% commission, depending on the price of the products and services being sold. I’ve found that it pays to give a generous commission to make it worth your affiliates’ time and effort.

Next you’ll need to decide how often to pay out the commissions. You want to make it so your affiliates receive their money fairly quickly, but balance that with what is convenient for you, so you don’t overload yourself with work. I pay my affiliates 35% commission on my proxy groups with payments made monthly. If you offer refunds on your product or services you may want to hold back paying commissions until the close of your refund period. (Ask me how I know.)

You’ll need to decide how long you will keep the referral window open. This is important because most people don’t buy on their first visit to a website. Prospective affiliates may want to know if their referrals purchase from you at a later time whether they will still get credit for that sale. Depending on your software, you can decide whether to set this for a number of months or even years. Obviously, the longer the term the more attractive your program will be to prospective affiliates.

Support Your Affiliates

The more support you can give your affiliates the more success you will realize. Keep in mind that most people are not professional Internet marketers so it may be up to you to teach your affiliates marketing basics including how to access and use their unique affiliate links.

Don’t assume that just because someone signed up to be your affiliate that they will be pro-active in promoting for you. You may have to guide them each step of the way and do things to make it easier for them.

Be prepared to put in the extra effort and give your affiliates all of the promotional materials they will need. By providing well-written emails that they can copy, paste and send, sample Facebook posts and Tweets, you’ll make it more convenient for them to spread the word about you and your work. Other materials could include banner ads for their website, articles, free reports and even doing a free teleconference for their audience.

Find Affiliates

Once you have your affiliate program set up then you can start inviting people to participate. The best affiliates will most likely be people who know you and trust your work so why not invite people from your own contact list? You can also reach out to colleagues and other professionals whose work has synergy with yours. Networking on the web and in person are great ways to establish collaborative relationships. Become an affiliate for someone else and then invite them into your program.

Affiliate programs are the embodiment of the new energy of unlimited abundance. Having an affiliate program can challenge you to move beyond the limitations of competition into a more expansive energy of generosity and collaboration. It’s well worth the extra effort. I love paying my affiliates each and every month and I’m grateful to have their support!

You’ve gotten a lot of valuable information over the past few posts. Wouldn’t you like to see for yourself how an affiliate program can help grow your business? To see an affiliate program in action please take a look at mine 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 Massachusetts, 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

Practical Advice ~ Answering Your Questions on How to Grow a Thriving Energy Healing Practice

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.

Tracking

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.

Other Considerations

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

Practical Advice ~ Answering Your Holistic Marketing Questions

PRACTICAL ADVICE is a regularly appearing column in the RPA 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.

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: While Affiliate Marketing Programs have been around for years, they seem to be relatively new to the energy healing field.

In essence, an Affiliate Program is a referral program where Affiliates earn commissions for telling their contacts about a product or service. There are different ways that Affiliate Programs are structured. The most common is that when you become someone’s Affiliate, if your referral buys their product or service you get a commission. Conversely, if you have an Affiliate Program, you would pay a commission to your Affiliates who refer paying clients to you.

In this post we’ll discuss the benefits of Affiliate Programs. In the next issue we’ll take an in-depth look at Affiliate Programs from the perspective of your being someone else’s Affiliate. In the issue after that 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?

There are definite benefits.

Cross Promotion Feeds Abundance

First, in order to be a successful Affiliate it helps to have an Abundance Mindset. If you’re concerned about competition, that referring your network to someone else means that you’ll lose clients, or that you’re building another practitioner’s practice instead of your own, it’s time to do some Resonance Repatterning® around these limiting beliefs.

In fact, successful marketers have discovered that cross promotion builds markets and everyone benefits. If you think of Resonance Repatterning as a specific niche in the broader market of energy healing, the more people talking about Resonance Repatterning, blogging about it, tweeting about it, posting on facebook–and having Resonance Repatterning sessions–the quicker it gets into the mass consciousness and becomes known by a broad spectrum of people. Think of Reiki or Yoga which 30 years ago were not that well known, but now seem to be household words.

There’s no way that you could possibly serve all of the potential Resonance Repatterning clients in the world, and you probably wouldn’t want to try. But, if we Affiliate with each other it makes it easier for each of us to offer a wider range of services to our clients.

For example, if your specialty is helping women with infertility and my specialty is weight loss, rather than me entering the infertility market by offering sessions, I can promote you and your services instead. This leaves me free to continue developing my unique area of expertise, while giving me the opportunity to expand my scope and help serve the infertility market. It’s a win-win-win. As practitioners, we both increase our income, more people experience the positive life-changing benefits of Resonance Repatterning and the Resonance Repatterning process becomes more well-known.

An Affiliate Program can work for us even if we’re serving the exact same niche. For example, say we both specialize in helping people increase their abundance and prosperity. When I promote your sessions and you promote my sessions, we are creating a larger field of attraction for both of us. There may be people in my network who are not drawn to working with me at a particular time, but these same people may be drawn to working with you. In this case, when they decide to work with you, I still earn some income that helps sustain me and my practice. Whereas had I not promoted you, I may not have received any income at all at that time.

Share the Workload

Another benefit of being an Affiliate is that you don’t have to keep developing new programs, services or products to keep your market interested. You can let other practitioners do all of that for you. This is a great convenience if you’re just starting out or if you’ve been in practice for a while and need to take some down time.

Think of it this way, whether you’re offering your own services or promoting for someone else as their Affiliate, either way you’re going to have to do some marketing in order to be successful. The beauty of being an Affiliate is that you don’t have to do anything else. All you do is outreach to your network and let someone else handle the myriad tasks that come with developing and bringing a service or product to market.

Increase Your Stature and Expand Your Scope

If you’re just starting your practice, Affiliating with a practitioner that is in a higher price range than you can raise your value. When your contacts see what other healers charge, they perceive your services as being worth more, too. Conversely, Affiliating with someone who is offering lower priced services or products allows you to serve those people who may not be able to afford you, but who are happy to buy at a lower price point. In this way you can offer your clients more pricing options without having to lower your own prices.

Embody the New Energy of Unlimited Abundance

On the practical level, being an Affiliate is a great way to supplement your income without having to give more sessions or develop more products. And yet, it’s so much more than just a revenue sharing scheme. It embodies the new energy of collaboration and cooperation. Affiliate Programs are a new way of working together for the benefit of all. They challenge us to shift our perspective from scarcity and competition into an expanded view of the abundance that is available for everyone when we work in unity.

This is the first of a 3-part article introducing Affiliate Programs. In the next issue we’ll take an in-depth look at Affiliate Programs from the perspective of your being someone else’s Affiliate. In the third installment you’ll learn about how to run 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 and 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

Practical Advice

PRACTICAL ADVICE is a regularly appearing column in the RPA 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.

Q: Given that Resonance Repatterning is an empowering process for positive change that can be used on any problem – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual–  should I really develop a “target market?”

A: The short answer is, “Yes!” There’s an old adage that says if your market is everyone, then your market is really no one. This means that if you cast too wide a net in terms of who you want to attract as a client then it’s difficult to connect with people on a personal level.
Marketing experts agree that when you are writing sales materials — whether it’s emails, on-line sales pages, flyers, print ads, radio ads, etc. – the most effective approach is to write as if you are speaking to only one person. If you have identified your target market and know what they want and need it will be easier for you to develop effective outreach material.

In this information age, people get bombarded with input so they filter it. In just a few seconds they’ve already decided what’s relevant and what’s not.

You need to get people’s attention, then you need to hold their attention long enough to let them know how you can help. The more specific your message the more likely it will get filtered in to the people whom you most want to reach. That is, the people who are really interested in what you have to offer. If your message is too general it’s more likely to get filtered out – by everyone.

The way to get people’s attention is to be very specific and to speak their language. For example, I am currently offering a 12 session series called “Transforming Money Archetypes and Karmic Contracts” and I’ve written specific Repatternings for the different archetypes and karmas. My target audience is people on a spiritual path who are tuned into the evolution of consciousness and the great cosmic shift that is happening. If I was marketing these same Repatternings to business clients I would use very different language. I wouldn’t talk about archetypes and karma.  Instead, I might say “Success Profile,” or “Money Type.”

When choosing your target market, it may help to keep in mind these words I once overheard from a fortune teller, “People have 3 areas of concern – health, relationships, and money. If you stick to these 3 areas you’re bound to hit on something that’s relevant to them.” I would add a fourth item: having a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

There’s another old saying that we teach what we most need to learn.

Through the principle of sympathetic resonance you’ll likely attract clients who mirror your issues, so why not focus on the one area of your life that you’d most like to change? For example, when I first started my Resonance Repatterning practice back in 2001, I was unemployed and needed my practice to start earning money from the get go. Because money was an issue for me, the first thing I did was a series called “100 Days of Wealth.” As you can see from my two examples, I’ve been in practice 10 years and I’m still offering Repatternings on the same topic as when I started out.

Here’s another way to decide on your specific niche: Consumers buy from people they know, like and trust. Telling your own success story about how you changed your life with Resonance Repatterning is a great way for people to get to know you. That you’ve been where they are now let’s them know that you understand their pain and you have a solution to get through that pain. By focusing on your own area of greatest transformation you can offer similarly situated people hope. In addition, you’ll have no trouble speaking from your heart and using language that they can connect with. What’s more, your personal experience, knowledge and insight make you an expert on the topic.

This brings us to your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Identifying your target market ties into what marketers call your USP. Your USP is what makes you stand out in your field.

Once you’ve identified your target market you’ll have more clarity on why you’re the best practitioner for this market.

Your USP lets people know what they can get from you that they can’t get anywhere else. Why should someone choose you over other practitioners? Your unique selling proposition may include the number of years you’ve been practicing as a professional, certifications that you’ve earned, the life experience you’ve gained in overcoming specific hurdles, awards that you’ve won, etc.

Your target market and your USP are integral to your mission and vision for your practice. Think of them as intentions that you set for your business. Having a clear intention can serve as a guide to discern whether a particular task, project or joint venture fits into your business model. Knowing who you are, what you are offering, and to whom you want to offer it brings clarity and power to your marketing activities and your practice as a whole. And as we know from Resonance Repatterning resonating with your intentions is the key to manifesting them. Resonating with your target market and your unique selling proposition is the key to manifesting your thriving practice!

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 sessions, global distance healing proxy groups and live workshops. Visit her website at http://LizTobin.com

Practical Advice

PRACTICAL ADVICE is a regularly appearing column in the RPA 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.

Q:  What is a Virtual Assistant and how can one help me?

A few years ago I went to a seminar and the trainer said, “If you want to play a bigger game, you’ve got to have a bigger team.” Hearing these words was a big wake-up call for me because as a pioneer in using Resonance Repatterning® remote distance healing proxy groups to facilitate personal and global transformation, I have a big vision for my practice. I always knew that I’d have to hire help if I wanted to truly manifest this vision, but I was reluctant to take that next step. When I heard these words, I knew it was time for me to take a leap of faith and hire a virtual assistant.

A virtual assistant (VA) works as an independent contractor remotely from their location, not in your office. Virtual assistants can handle a range of tasks including bookkeeping, billing, customer service, social media networking, updating your website and database, search engine optimization, etc. There are a number of ways you can engage a virtual assistant. Your VA can be a solo-preneur who has a select group of clients that she works with for a set number of hours every month. There are outsourcing firms where you give them your tasks and they then farm out the work to their stable of associates. Both of these options require a contract where you pay for a set number of hours per month, month after month. There are also sites like elance.com where you can find people on a task by task basis, instead of having an ongoing monthly contract.

I have to admit that taking on a VA was a big leap of faith for me. My first assistant was a college kid who was eager during the interview and said that he knew all about marketing and web 2.0. But I soon discovered that he didn’t have the attention to detail that my business requires. Any savings I thought I was realizing due to his low hourly rate were quickly expended on the high number of hours it took him to correctly complete a task. Needless to say I was relieved when a couple of months later he emailed me saying that he no longer had time to work for me.

After that experience, I spent months researching outsourcing companies and sites like Elance. I realized that I was getting stuck in analysis paralysis, so I repatterned my fears and limiting beliefs, and got clear on what I wanted. I decided that I didn’t want to always be putting out bids and interviewing people. I wanted to build an ongoing relationship with a competent and trustworthy professional who would get to know me, my business, my systems, and the tasks involved. But I also wanted some flexibility in being able to add more hours if I had a big project one month, and carry over hours if I didn’t use them all the following month. I may be paying a higher hourly rate, but the continuity of relationship that I have with my VA is worth it to me. Now that we’ve been working together for about a year I don’t need to spend much time explaining to her what I need done.

In addition to the expense, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to take the lead and delegate effectively. In order to make the most of my VA I have to give her tasks in advance to allow enough time so she can plan her work week. It took me a while to get over my resistance to this because I was used to flying by the seat of my pants. But as a result I’ve had to get more organized, do advance planning and manage my time better. I now have more time to devote to the things that I am the expert at in my business. I’m doing a lot more writing — articles, e-books, blog posts, social media, etc. I used to dread writing because I was always under pressure to get it done. Now I actually enjoy it because I have the time, and the more I write the easier it flows. Since hiring my VA I’m averaging about 2 radio interviews a month, developing new joint ventures, using social media more, and I now have an active affiliate program.

I’ve developed new skills that I wouldn’t of have had the opportunity to develop had I stayed going it alone. Rather than feeling bogged down by administrative details, I am able to do the creative tasks that I love and this keeps me energized. In short, I would say that building your team is a way to not only grow your business, but to grow yourself.

Elizabeth Tobin, JD is a Certified Resonance Repatterning® Practitioner who earns her livelihood through her full-time Resonance Repatterning practice. Geographically based in Boston, MA, Elizabeth serves an international clientele with individual telephone and skype sessions, proxy groups and live workshops. Visit her website at http://LizTobin.com