Offline Consulting Question: Go for Aweber commission or not?

14 replies
Hi fellow Warriors,

I have a bit of a general question here. I am looking into getting into some offline business consulting for local businesses. I have followed much of the work of Warriors such as Maria Gudelis, and want to make a splash in this market.

One of the most ingenious ways of profiting from this model I have heard is setting up autoresponders for clients to help them capture leads and to maintain contact with that lead to bring them back over and over again.

This is all great stuff. But my question is more of a back-end one.

Lets say I get a client interested in purchasing my "autoresponder package".

Would you recommend that I have the client personally sign up their own account on Aweber (using my affiliate link), meaning that I am generating a monthly commission through Aweber itself...

Or would I be wiser to simply use my own Aweber account to create the client's list and charge them personally?

My gut instinct says that the second option is the way to go. But I am fully aware that I may be overlooking an obvious legal ramification or potential profit boost that I had not considered.

What are you thoughts on this?

Send the client to the service directly and collect an affiliate commission (plus charge them the monthly fee for managing the service)

OR

Send the client directly to ME, and do not collect affiliate commissions, but charge them a monthly fee (perhaps larger than would be otherwise?)

-Thanks everyone!
#aweber #commission #consulting #offline #question
  • Profile picture of the author vagabondette
    I would do the first. You need them to have their own Aweber account and, unless I'm misunderstanding, in option 2 they would be using your account and you would be charging them. This could get to be a PITA if they ever decide to move away from you. Personally if I were hiring someone I would not want to open myself to the potential of them holding my site hostage (not that you would do that) if things went south. I'd insist on separate accounts for the security of all parties.

    I always sign clients up under my affiliate IDs by the way. Autoresponders, hosting, etc. these are the sites I use and I'm familiar with so they're the ones I recommend. I might as well get a little kickback for it.
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    • Profile picture of the author TMJonsson
      Originally Posted by vagabondette View Post

      This could get to be a PITA if they ever decide to move away from you. Personally if I were hiring someone I would not want to open myself to the potential of them holding my site hostage (not that you would do that) if things went south. I'd insist on separate accounts for the security of all parties.

      I always sign clients up under my affiliate IDs by the way. Autoresponders, hosting, etc. these are the sites I use and I'm familiar with so they're the ones I recommend. I might as well get a little kickback for it.
      Yea, I definitely agree regarding the affiliate ID. Anything that you CAN get credit for, DO IT!

      I guess my point is, for things such as autoresponders, and web hosting (one I did not mention in OP), "hosting" these things yourself may pay higher dividends than the affiliate commission would have.

      For example... Why take "only" a 50-100 dollar one-time commission from Hostgator, when you could host the client's site on your VPS or Dedicated server and make that much every few months indefinitely?

      See my point? I guess I am just wondering what my incentive is to leave all that money on the table, other than the fact that if the client decides to leave, the site is being "held" by me.

      Frankly, that is another good aspect of insuring that the customer remains with your services. This is assuming you are doing a good job for them of course. If you are not delivering results, then you should take responsibility and offer to transfer their site free of charge.

      But if you *ARE* delivering results, they may decide that they can now afford to "drop" your services and finish the job themselves. If you are hosting their site, they may have second thoughts, since you will tell them that they are fully within their rights to do so, but would have to assume ALL the upkeep and development responsibilities themselves.

      If *I* were a business owner who had no web design knowledge that would intimidate the heck out of me, and there is no WAY I would fire the consultant.

      Thoughts?
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      • Profile picture of the author JesseT
        Originally Posted by TMJonsson View Post

        But if you *ARE* delivering results, they may decide that they can now afford to "drop" your services and finish the job themselves. If you are hosting their site, they may have second thoughts, since you will tell them that they are fully within their rights to do so, but would have to assume ALL the upkeep and development responsibilities themselves.

        If *I* were a business owner who had no web design knowledge that would intimidate the heck out of me, and there is no WAY I would fire the consultant.

        Thoughts?
        I can tell you from personal experience how that works out. If ou are delivering the results and their business is building, the next logical step for your client will be to move everything "in-house." The thing is, they most likely wont tell you that until they are no longer in the need of your services. Thats how I got my job. My previous employer wanted all of his website development/seo/sem in-house so he hired me and dropped his SEO/SEM guy after the transition. After that was settled we moved his site from the company (read morons) who were working on their site. You never want to intimidate a client unless you are looking for protection money . Believe me though, if you think you will keep a client based on fear you will be proven wrong time and time again.
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  • Profile picture of the author vagabondette
    I still wouldn't do it. Probably because I've been burned before. I require separate accounts as both a vendor and a client. What if they start doing something with their portion of your account that could put your whole account in jeopardy?

    At the very least you should give them both options.
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  • Profile picture of the author TMJonsson
    Valid point.

    I suppose that would depend on if you were giving them access to update the site or not.

    But yes, would NOT want the rest of my account banned because of a naughty client!

    Anyone else have thoughts?
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  • Profile picture of the author gottahave
    Who owns the list of subscribers?

    If I was the merchant/client, I would not want to allow control over the names and email addresses obtained under the control of anyone else even if there is a close working arrangement. There are too many areas for abuse to occur and its the merchants/clint whose name could suffer.

    In cases like this, you need to put yourself in the shoes of your client and look at it from their prospective. They are the ones paying the money.

    Without doubt you should set it up through your affiliate link and then the merchant has "ownership".
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  • Profile picture of the author J. Barry Mandel
    It's an easy decision.

    Become a reseller and allow your clients to have full access to their own email leads list.

    If they ever want to access their AR then let them, otherwise every single time they want to make a change they will depend on you to do it for them and trust me you want to make everything as hands off as possible
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    • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
      First if you're actually worried about trying to make a commission from Aweber subscriptions of your clients you really need to think bigger.LOL.

      You certainly can have multiple clients on your own Aweber account and if they're only even going to be really tiny lists there's a good argument to be made for that.

      But with Aweber's new pricing structure you're probably better off getting your clients who will be building any substantial list their own Aweber account.

      But do it FOR them as much as possible.

      In other words if you have to get on their computer (or get them on the phone) and fill in everything for them to set up their account do that.

      I would also NOT give them access to the account to begin with.

      Believe me you don't want someone who's not familiar with using Aweber messing around in an Aweber account.

      Having whole lists deleted or gibberish emails sent out is not fun.

      Kindest regards,
      Andrew Cavanagh
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  • Profile picture of the author Rachel Rofe
    I require them to have their own account and have them use an affiliate link (YourGetResponse.com - so it's not as if they know).
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  • Profile picture of the author waihon
    If you have reseller or private label accounts of web hosting and/or autoresponder then you may get your clients to sign up under your reseller/private label accounts.

    However, if you don't have such reseller/private label accounts, you shouldn't use your own account to manage your clients' websites and/or autoresponders. Your clients are the rightful owner of their websites and/or autoresponder lists.

    Under that situation, getting them to sign up using your affiliate link would be a much better option. It would elimiate future legal and technical issues related to the ownership of such websites and/or lists. Besides, you could continue to earn affiliate commissions as long as they continue to use such services from third party vendors even though they stop using your consulting service.
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  • Profile picture of the author john2k
    Referring them to Aweber would surely pose less risk to your own account & give you residual return as well. CampaignMonitor.com is also one to consider. I've never used them but they seem similar to Aweber but they also provide a branded reseller type version.
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  • Profile picture of the author Colin Palfrey
    Run the whole thing for them and charge more. This is what I do
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    I write articles and eBooks - PM me for details!
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