Picture two young children on the playground. They’re running around, having fun, until one of them falls off the slide. The child isn’t hurt, it’s just a minor scratch, but the crying still brings all of the parents running. That’s just what moms and dads do.
So one mother reaches into her bag looking for Neosporin, while a dad has Band-Aids already in hand. Meanwhile, a third mom tells them to try her new spray on bandage with built in pain reliever and antiseptic…and after a few quick squirts, the child stops crying. The band aid is also invisible and the mom says that the body degrades it away as the cut heals, so there’s no tearing the skin a few days later.
This, my friends is affiliate marketing.
The third mom was not trying to sell anything, nor was she giving a pitch for some great new product. Instead, she saw a child in need and she happened to have the best possible solution, and the other parents quickly saw the value in it as well. Even so, there was no selling involved at all except for a few of the parents saying, “Where’s you buy that?” Or “Who makes that product?”
Now compare the story above to what you’re doing on your site.
When I visit you, will I think, “This person is genuinely trying to help me!” Or will I just see yet another sales pitch written like ten thousands other sites out there? And if I need more information, will you force me to give you my email address beforehand, or are you going to try and build up a little trust first? Because I want to know things like (using the example above)-
- Does that liquid bandage stuff stop the pain?
- How do you take it off?
- How long does it last?
- Will it help heal the cut?
If I don’t know these things then I’m definitely not going to try your product.
So when you think about affiliate marketing, don’t ask yourself, “How can I sell this to the masses?” The masses don’t care about what you want, nor do they care about you personally. They just want to find a solution to a very specific problem within their lives and they want to buy it from someone that’s being genuine.
Very few people bother with the genuine route here though, because they read in an eBook somewhere to be mysterious with big flashing titles and a smooth hook that sparks curiosity. And do you know who buys from sites like that? People who don’t know what they’re looking for in the first place, but they’re hoping beyond hope that you’ll deliver magic in a bottle.
Guess what though?
These “dreamers” as I like to call them are literally one in a thousand. So you have to spend great amounts of time building lists, driving traffic, paying for ads and doing a dozen other things so your business can ignore 999 out of every 1,000 people on Earth. Because the first 999 are going to see through the tactic and backspace right out, and you're wasting all this time trying to find a needle in a haystack. That’s completely stupid because there are billions of products out there that everyone wants to buy. Everyone. Why aren’t you marketing those items instead?
I’ll tell you why- it’s because you’re one of those people who are looking for magic in a bottle yourself. Because it doesn’t matter that millions of corporations all over the planet use Internet Marketing to sell their products and services in an honest, upfront way, you’re still hooked on that first eBook you read that promised fabulous riches without doing anything but building a list and plugging in generic ideas for $79.95 a pop.
If you want to learn about true Internet Marketing, then visit a company like Threadless to see how they sell products. Learn how they’ve built a brand based solely by listening to what their customers want to buy, and how that process has made them the fastest growing company in America.
Or check out Lolly Wolly Doodle, which was started by a single mom who needed more money to make her kids dresses for the holidays. She sells more through Facebook than any business on the planet, yet you don’t see any sales hooks on her sites either. It’s just genuine conversation and people love her for it…because she somehow knew what Internet Marketing was before she ever even dreamed of being in business for herself.
So here’s the lesson for the day- be like that mom on the playground who just happened to have a better solution than the other parents. She wasn't trying to sell anything...her only goal was to help. So get to know your potential customers, focus on meeting their specific needs, and show them true value…and you will become a true internet marketer. We can talk about actual sales another time.