If you’ve been around the Internet for any length of time, you have likely heard you can make money through Joint Venture partnerships and affiliate programs. You may already be doing so, but not at the level you know is possible.
Without a doubt, partnering with the right people increases your market reach, credibility and revenue stream. It’s a great way to do business. Unfortunately, many people attempt to do so without really understanding how to gain the greatest benefit for all concerned.
More than one way to do this
There are numerous types of affiliate and joint venture partner arrangements and relationships. There are those where as an affiliate you simply search out products and services that you think your market wants or with very little interaction between the you and the affiliate. Conversely, you have those who seek out your products and services for their market, but have very little interaction with you.
There are affiliate programs where no one really knows who is behind the product, you just know you might be able to make money by selling it; whatever it may be. Usually a widget of some sort.
Which fits you?
Then there is the type of relationship where you do know who you are dealing with and your reputation resides in the quality of products and services you bring to your market. This type of relationship is quite appealing to many entrepreneurs. You do business with the affiliate because you know them, like them and trust them.
For the purpose of this conversation, we will focus on the relationships where either you bring an expert’s information to your market or they bring your expertise through products and services to their market.
One of the most important things you must do is determine how you can make the relationship a win/win/win. Win for you, win for your affiliate or JV and win for the end user – the customer.
It takes more than a message
In the context of this discussion, developing affiliate relationships takes more than simply posting something on your website or blog where people can click and immediately become and affiliate. Sure, you can occasionally find great affiliates this way, but to really optimize the potential there is much more that needs to be done.
Conversely, don’t assume that simply because you think what you have to offer is the greatest thing since sliced bread affiliate marketers will too. Your job is to search out those affiliates who have a great market match for your product and/or service. This can take time, effort and money to position correctly.
Here are some simple guidelines you can follow that are sure to open many doors for you.
- Know what your market wants when you offer affiliate products.
- Understand the needs of the experts you approach when offering your product/services for them to take to their market.
- Do your homework when it comes to commission rates. A very simple way to do this is join forums where other affiliates hang out. Which forums you select depends on your industry. You can also do research at locations such as ClickBank. As one of the largest locations to find affiliate products to sell and to post your own products you want others to sell, you can easily determine what you need to offer and what to look for when you are selling for someone by spending time on ClickBank.
- Nurture the relationships with those who are your top performers. Truth be told, only a small percentage of those who become affiliates actually do much of anything to sell your products and services. Then there are those who will sell and sell and sell. Rather than trying to get the low performers to raise their own bar, do what you can to support your high performers. This could be in the way of higher than average commission rates (sometimes even 100% commission for some products), surprise bonuses, a phone call or thank you card that is delivered by other than email, and special acknowledgements.
- Find out your high performers preferred method of communication. If you know they are on Twitter a great deal, sending direct messages to them through Twitter is better than a standard email. If you know they like to talk on the phone, take the time to occasionally pick up the phone to call them. If they like Facebook, private message them this way. If they like public recognition, blog, tweet and post on their Facebook wall to give them praise. You will be amazed at how far this can take things.
- Make being your affiliate an easy process. Provide the tools they need to promote your products and services. In other words, give them blog postings, articles, tweets, samples to give to their market, etc. Develop a private affiliate page where they can access this information. This can make all the difference in the world.
- Be a good pay. Don’t ever, ever, ever shortchange your affiliates. Pay them when and how you say you will pay. And pay with gratitude. It’s amazing how someone will be thrilled to get affiliates but when it comes time to pay them, there is resistance to writing the check or sending their commission to their PayPal account. Energetically, you are shutting down the flow of future sales if you do this. Pay with extreme gratitude.
The bottom line is treat your affiliates and joint venture partners how you want to be treated. With the right partnerships you can build an extremely viable revenue stream and business a lot faster than if you try to do it all on your own. In today’s world of business collaboration is the way to go.
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What is your experience, thoughts and feedback on affiliate and JV partnerships? Please leave your comments.
Great article Kathleen! Thanks for your comments on this important topic.
Leveraging affiliate and joint venture relationships has had a significantly profitable affect on my business. I have made thousands of dollars in affiliate income over the years and have created a lot of exposure for my business in the process.
One of the keys to my success in this regard has been my approach to these opportunities. I’ve always tried to focus on what I can give, NOT on what I’ll get in return. I ONLY recommend products and services I have personally used and found benefit in. I give 110% to my joint ventures, provide what I promise and show up the way I should.
Everyone appreciates someone who wants to give and people naturally respond by wanting to give back. It creates a wonderful experience across the board and is a win-win for everyone. If one approaches developing strategic alliances in this way, they’ll create successful partnerships that will benefit both parties for years to come!
Thanks for opening the dialogue on such a great topic!
The Smart Simple Marketing Coach