How Can I create a Referral Program for my Video Creation Website?

20 replies
Hi, I'd like some ideas on how to go about setting up a referral program for my video creation website.

I create high quality videos for businesses (explainer videos, animations, etc) and I have my own website for my business.
I want to partner with some agencies that can refer clients to me (eg SEO agencies) to drive more business, as things have been slow.

How can I create some sort of referral program that is clearly transparent to my partners, so that they can clearly see how many clients they referred to me in a month, and what their commission is? (i'd prefer if they can see it in real time, i.e. reflects immediately each time someone they refer buys a video from me).

I ask because I think its important for the potential partners to be convinced that they will get credited for every sale that they send to me, and I think one of their key questions will be...."How am I sure that if i send you clients, I will get my proper commission for the sale, every single time?? (And not get scammed out of some sales....lol)".

I'll love to be able to answer that question very clearly for them (even before they ask) by showing them a simple, clearly transparent, credible system I have set up to ensure they are credited for every one of their sales.

Any ideas on how I can set that up cheaply or for free? (I'm on a budget, as a relatively new business).

Or any ideas on any other thing I can do to solve that problem?

Thanks in advance.
#create #creation #program #referral #video #website
  • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
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    Whenever I refer anyone to a provider for anything, it is generally someone I have constant, close contact with. They either tell me they used the services of my referal, I ask occasionally and if they do, I see it on their website.

    In instances where I need tracking. I make them order through me and then I outsource the job myself.

    For videos, you may be overthinking this.

    Additionally, if you are so new that you must do something like this for free or darn close to it, I would question your success as a video creator and producer. If I were you, I would concentrate on producing videos and not on developing a referral system for a business that doesn't look like it actually exists.

    Just my 5ยข

    Frank
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    • Profile picture of the author VideoGuy001
      Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

      Whenever I refer anyone to a provider for anything, it is generally someone I have constant, close contact with. They either tell me they used the services of my referal, I ask occasionally and if they do, I see it on their website.
      Yea, that may be your model, and I'm sure that works just fine for you and for many people.
      However, I've seen some video creation sites that have Partnership pages on their sites, where they request for partners/affiliates to sign up, much like how any regular business would set up an affiliate program.
      I would just like to know how they set it up, so I can set up something like that myself.

      I believe its a valid method of generating new business, i.e. having someone selling complementary services refer clients to you, much like how IM businesses recruit affiliates to handle most of the marketing for them while they focus on fulfilment.

      Of course the potential partners are going to look through my sample videos to see if they are satisfied with the quality before they agree to be partners, no agency worth its salt will want to partner with someone producing crappy videos as it will negatively reflect on their own brand. So if they are satisfied with the quality and terms, they sign up, ....if not, they take a walk.
      But the referral program structure has to be on ground, for them to even consider signing up.


      Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

      In instances where I need tracking. I make them order through me and then I outsource the job myself.
      I don't get this part.


      Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

      For videos, you may be overthinking this.
      How so? Could you please shed more light?


      Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

      Additionally, if you are so new that you must do something like this for free or darn close to it, I would question your success as a video creator and producer. If I were you, I would concentrate on producing videos and not on developing a referral system for a business that doesn't look like it actually exists.
      Yea, you're right. Its relatively new as a formal business. I have been doing a little bit of it on the side, as I had a full time job that was taking a lot of my time. Now I want to take it as a business, and so I created a website for it.
      But I'm confronted with the chicken-and-egg situation...how can I concentrate on producing videos when I don't have clients coming to my site to order those videos? So I decided to go with creating a referral system, where my partners can handle the bulk of sending clients to me (for a commission) while I focus on "producing the videos" as you suggested.

      Hope the picture is a bit clearer now.
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      • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
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        • Profile picture of the author VideoGuy001
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          • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
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            Originally Posted by VideoGuy001 View Post

            I;m not fully convinced creating free videos is the most profitable use of my time.
            All businesses have start-up or costs or costs associated with any proposed expansion. If things didn't take an investment of time and/or money, who wouldn't be in business?

            Stop looking for the easy way out. Do what in the end you know that you need to do and get moving. Everyday wasted is a day you'll never get back. Take it from an old man. :-)

            You've been really generous with your time, BigFrank, and I really appreciate every bit of it. Thanks a lot.
            Hope something I said might benefit you in some small way. Good luck.

            Frank
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    So I decided to go with creating a referral system, where my partners can handle the bulk of sending clients to me (for a commission) while I focus on "producing the videos" as you suggested.
    Use an affiliate platform or self-hosted program.

    If you are using WP there are plugins available.
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    • Profile picture of the author VideoGuy001
      Originally Posted by Brent Stangel View Post

      Use an affiliate platform or self-hosted program.

      If you are using WP there are plugins available.
      For affiliate platforms or selfhosted programs- any specific recommendations or links to follow and research up on? Cos I'm not sure what exactly I should be searching for to create something like this.


      Yes I use WordPress. Any particular plugins in mind, or leads on what to look for?
      Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author AceOfShirts
    Do you have a shopping cart or normal PayPal button for your website purchases?

    You need to make sure the affiliate program plugin integrates with your site. I use and recommend WPAffiliate. It is easy to integrate with PayPal buttons and also comes with directions on how to integrate with most of the popular shopping carts. I mainly use the WPShopping Cart they offer and together they offer a ton of features.
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    • Profile picture of the author VideoGuy001
      Originally Posted by AceOfShirts View Post

      Do you have a shopping cart or normal PayPal button for your website purchases?

      You need to make sure the affiliate program plugin integrates with your site. I use and recommend WPAffiliate. It is easy to integrate with PayPal buttons and also comes with directions on how to integrate with most of the popular shopping carts. I mainly use the WPShopping Cart they offer and together they offer a ton of features.
      Yes I use a normal Paypal button on my website.
      But I'm also planning to setup 2checkout soon, probably this week.

      Thanks for the plugin suggestion, I'll check it out ASAP.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    While my reasoning is different, I do agree with Frank that you may be overthinking this.

    If you're aiming to work with professional agencies, you can likely get by with a monthly report along with their referral payment. Just itemize the referrals by date, name, fee, etc.

    Willmaster.com sells an inexpensive script called Master Form. One of the things you can do is set it up to send email notifications to multiple email addresses whenever a form is submitted. Give each partner a referral code (like an affiliate ID) and use a bit of javascript or php to add their code to the form. On submission, the ID also tells the script where to send the form data. Even simpler would be to give each partner a referral page with their ID hard coded into the form. I'm guessing that you won't be working with a large number of partners.

    Have the script send partners a notice when one of their referrals asks for a quote, or whatever process you use to initiate the sale. Then they can compare that to the list of sales made on their referral payment.

    Since you're still in the early stages of building your business, many of these efforts to expand are going to cost you more in sweat than dollars while you work out how, and if, the effort is worth pursuing. If the answer is yes, then you can work on automating a proven process.

    Unless you intend to grow your video business into a big enterprise, I think you'll find that a handful of good partners will keep you as busy as you want to be.
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    • Profile picture of the author VideoGuy001
      Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

      While my reasoning is different, I do agree with Frank that you may be overthinking this.

      If you're aiming to work with professional agencies, you can likely get by with a monthly report along with their referral payment. Just itemize the referrals by date, name, fee, etc.
      Thanks, that is really the simplest way forward, and my preferred model initially, as I like to keep things really simple. But I was wondering if the agencies wouldn't have doubts about being given due credit for their referrals if there is no transparent automated system in place.



      Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

      Willmaster.com sells an inexpensive script called Master Form. One of the things you can do is set it up to send email notifications to multiple email addresses whenever a form is submitted. Give each partner a referral code (like an affiliate ID) and use a bit of javascript or php to add their code to the form. On submission, the ID also tells the script where to send the form data. Even simpler would be to give each partner a referral page with their ID hard coded into the form. I'm guessing that you won't be working with a large number of partners.

      Have the script send partners a notice when one of their referrals asks for a quote, or whatever process you use to initiate the sale. Then they can compare that to the list of sales made on their referral payment.

      Since you're still in the early stages of building your business, many of these efforts to expand are going to cost you more in sweat than dollars while you work out how, and if, the effort is worth pursuing. If the answer is yes, then you can work on automating a proven process.

      Unless you intend to grow your video business into a big enterprise, I think you'll find that a handful of good partners will keep you as busy as you want to be.
      Thanks for your suggestions, will check them out.
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by VideoGuy001 View Post

        Thanks, that is really the simplest way forward, and my preferred model initially, as I like to keep things really simple. But I was wondering if the agencies wouldn't have doubts about being given due credit for their referrals if there is no transparent automated system in place.
        Unless you plan for this to be totally hands-off, there will be some conversation before a professional agency starts sending you leads.

        It's not like Clickbank, where any yahoo with an account can start promoting. And these agencies aren't (or shouldn't be) relying on your referral payments as a significant income source. If you provide good work, they aren't going to be like that CB affiliate sitting in Mom's basement hitting refresh avery couple of minutes to see if they made a sale.

        Here's the most likely scenario from the agency's POV...

        They and their client agree that they should have one or more videos. Client asks if they can recommend someone. They point to you, and give the relevant contact info.

        At some point, they will see their client either using your videos or not using them, It's a simple matter to ask how the referral worked out.

        If the client says they bought from you, and there's no referral payment, you'd best have a really good explanation.

        As I said, the odds are that you won't be working with large numbers of agencies, and they won't be sending large numbers of clients to you. A simple email reporting system, along with a good relationship between you, should be plenty.
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        • Profile picture of the author VideoGuy001
          Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

          Unless you plan for this to be totally hands-off, there will be some conversation before a professional agency starts sending you leads.

          It's not like Clickbank, where any yahoo with an account can start promoting. And these agencies aren't (or shouldn't be) relying on your referral payments as a significant income source. If you provide good work, they aren't going to be like that CB affiliate sitting in Mom's basement hitting refresh avery couple of minutes to see if they made a sale.

          Here's the most likely scenario from the agency's POV...

          They and their client agree that they should have one or more videos. Client asks if they can recommend someone. They point to you, and give the relevant contact info.

          At some point, they will see their client either using your videos or not using them, It's a simple matter to ask how the referral worked out.

          If the client says they bought from you, and there's no referral payment, you'd best have a really good explanation.

          As I said, the odds are that you won't be working with large numbers of agencies, and they won't be sending large numbers of clients to you. A simple email reporting system, along with a good relationship between you, should be plenty.
          I like the way you analyse and simplify things.
          I think i'll probably go with a simple monthly report via email like you suggested, then scale up to some automation if need be as my operations grow bigger.
          Thanks again for your lucid analysis.
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  • Profile picture of the author bwh1
    They are just sending you leads and you do all the dealing with the client or do your resellers do the legwork and you just do the production?

    I'm asking as a simple lead business would be more like an Affiliate Network where they get a share from a price you name...you do basically all the work and have a better idea what are your costs and time for dealing with the business to get all right (images, copy, voiceover etc...then producing)

    If you do only production and your clients do all the work in collecting stuff and asking for images etc..then you should go for a reseller offer, meaning that your video would be sold to the SEO guy which then put his price on it based on what he would like to charge for his time spend.

    Second option can be done with a simple Paypal button

    First is possible over any affiliate platform such as e-Junkie, or https://www.zaxaa.com/

    My opinion
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    • Profile picture of the author VideoGuy001
      Originally Posted by bwh1 View Post

      They are just sending you leads and you do all the dealing with the client or do your resellers do the legwork and you just do the production?

      I'm asking as a simple lead business would be more like an Affiliate Network where they get a share from a price you name...you do basically all the work and have a better idea what are your costs and time for dealing with the business to get all right (images, copy, voiceover etc...then producing)

      If you do only production and your clients do all the work in collecting stuff and asking for images etc..then you should go for a reseller offer, meaning that your video would be sold to the SEO guy which then put his price on it based on what he would like to charge for his time spend.

      Second option can be done with a simple Paypal button

      First is possible over any affiliate platform such as e-Junkie, or https://www.zaxaa.com/

      My opinion

      They'll basically be sending me the leads while I take care of the rest.
      So yes, its more like your first scenario. Will also check your suggestions out.
      Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    There's a lot more people willing and able to create videos than there are people able to get leads and sales. What's your plan to get these folks that get sales and leads?

    Unless you already have some contacts, it seems to me you'd be better off spending your time finding clients yourself and cutting out the middle man.

    Another option is to create videos to sell your own services and affiliate offers. These can kill two birds with one stone and also act as part of your portfolio.

    Again, tons of people can make videos. But few of them are good at getting clients. IMO your one and only focus should be on getting paying customers and outsource creating the videos.
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    • Profile picture of the author VideoGuy001
      Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

      There's a lot more people willing and able to create videos than there are people able to get leads and sales. What's your plan to get these folks that get sales and leads?

      Unless you already have some contacts, it seems to me you'd be better off spending your time finding clients yourself and cutting out the middle man.

      Another option is to create videos to sell your own services and affiliate offers. These can kill two birds with one stone and also act as part of your portfolio.

      Again, tons of people can make videos. But few of them are good at getting clients. IMO your one and only focus should be on getting paying customers and outsource creating the videos.
      Finding clients myself may take much more time and energy than it initially appears, especially as I am not that skilled in marketing, and dont have massive resources for playing around with paid traffic while climbing its (sometimes steep) learning curve, with its associated costs.

      I've actually tried out facebook groups, craigslist posting, Reddit posting on specific "Promote your business" threads to avoid spamming, with no traffic to my site.

      So I opted to rather focus on creating the videos (my strengths), while allowing someone else to send the leads to me for a commission.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kurt
        Originally Posted by VideoGuy001 View Post

        Finding clients myself may take much more time and energy than it initially appears, especially as I am not that skilled in marketing, and dont have massive resources for playing around with paid traffic while climbing its (sometimes steep) learning curve, with its associated costs.

        I've actually tried out facebook groups, craigslist posting, Reddit posting on specific "Promote your business" threads to avoid spamming, with no traffic to my site.

        So I opted to rather focus on creating the videos (my strengths), while allowing someone else to send the leads to me for a commission.
        You still have the same marketing issue, the only difference now is you are trying to find people that will send you business instead of finding business for yourself.

        Again, specifically where do you plan on finding these agencies that will send you business? You still have to market and sell to them too.
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        • Profile picture of the author VideoGuy001
          Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

          You still have the same marketing issue, the only difference now is you are trying to find people that will send you business instead of finding business for yourself.

          Again, specifically where do you plan on finding these agencies that will send you business? You still have to market and sell to them too.
          Yep, on Google. Cold calling.
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  • Profile picture of the author julesw
    my first thought was a cart like SamCart - it looks professional, you can customise it and split test and it has an affiliate module that your refers can sign up to and see their stats etc
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  • Profile picture of the author AronParker
    You can use Samcart, or even Clickfunnels Actionetics or something.
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  • Profile picture of the author vikash_kumar
    Another Vote for "WP Affiliate Plugin", if you're using WordPress and want to convert into an efficient platform.
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