Advice for reaching product creators?

19 replies
I'm curious if anyone can offer advice, resources, websites, whatever, that will help me in getting in touch with product creators. My site is designed around reviewing products I've personally used. I won't list anything I can't actually use/review, but many creators are rightfully skeptical of affiliates who want to review their product. Any ideas for maneuvering around this problem?

I'm also looking for advice on the proper etiquette of getting in touch with these people without appearing to be a spammer or freebie seeker. Basically I'm curious what is standard practice for this?

Thank you warriors.
#advice #creators #product #reaching
  • Profile picture of the author Web Tempest
    what kind of products? digital or physical?
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    • Profile picture of the author Robert M Gouge
      Originally Posted by Web Tempest View Post

      what kind of products? digital or physical?
      All digital for now. Software, ebooks, courses, etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author webapex
    Be Somebody!

    If your lucky enough to be an established influential affiliate, or can mention your mailing list of thousands of potential buyers then you might get their attention, though they expect successful affiliates will have the budget to just buy review copies.

    I agree that too many many regurgitated sales pages are used in pre-release promotions of products that they have not actually seen. Seems like you just have to rely on the reputation of the producer.

    I'm guessing everyone is families with jv notify pro, where you can get a head start on promoting a new (unseen) product.

    jointventures.jvnotifypro.com/
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    • Profile picture of the author Robert M Gouge
      Originally Posted by webapex View Post

      Be Somebody!

      If your lucky enough to be an established influential affiliate, or can mention your mailing list of thousands of potential buyers then you might get their attention, though they expect successful affiliates will have the budget to just buy review copies.

      I agree that too many many regurgitated sales pages are used in pre-release promotions of products that they have not actually seen. Seems like you just have to rely on the reputation of the producer.

      I'm guessing everyone is families with jv notify pro, where you can get a head start on promoting a new (unseen) product.

      jointventures.jvnotifypro.com/
      While I agree, it would cost me thousands of dollars to populate my site before I started getting any serious traffic. Not really wanting to spend that kind of money when I'm sure there are people out there who would be more than happy to provide affiliates tools they need for some quality promotion. I'm just not sure how to reach them or what a good etiquette would be.

      Just PM'ing people would be frowned upon, would email contact be viewed the same? I'd assume so. Just unsure how to get this ball rolling.

      Thanks for the JV site, I'll check that out.
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert M Gouge
    Bump for daytime warriors.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Frei
    Use video.
    Your initial message will say what you want ("give me your review copy"), give a short introduction, so to speak. In the initial message you put a link to a page on your site(or youtube) with a video explaining why product creators need it, what is the process (like, "you send us the files, my staff reviews, then we send you a link to your product's page"). The video makes it more personal and easier to trust you.
    Also, avoid looking like a one-man army. That's quite repelling.

    Cheers,
    Alex
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Do a series of press releases about some of the other products you are reviewing, and publish them on sites such as prweb.com. They will find you.
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  • Profile picture of the author jacktackett
    Originally Posted by Robert M Gouge View Post

    I'm curious if anyone can offer advice, resources, websites, whatever, that will help me in getting in touch with product creators. My site is designed around reviewing products I've personally used. I won't list anything I can't actually use/review, but many creators are rightfully skeptical of affiliates who want to review their product. Any ideas for maneuvering around this problem?

    I'm also looking for advice on the proper etiquette of getting in touch with these people without appearing to be a spammer or freebie seeker. Basically I'm curious what is standard practice for this?

    Thank you warriors.
    Sam England has a new WSO out that covers networking for new folks that I can highly recommend.

    Most people are super busy, but there are some techniques I've learned from Willie Crawford, Jason Fladilan, and others at various Warrior events.

    First and foremost offer to help them out in some way when you introduce yourself. Also think outside the box when attempting to contact them. The one thing I've heard over and over is to get someone's attention send them snail mail - yep a physical letter. So many IM'ers turn to email, skype, PMs etc that you're just part of the back ground noise.

    Its an old adage, but true - the more you help others get what they want, the more you'll get in return.

    Good luck!
    -Jack
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by Robert M Gouge View Post

    I won't list anything I can't actually use/review, but many creators are rightfully skeptical of affiliates who want to review their product. Any ideas for maneuvering around this problem?
    Buy the product.

    Seriously, I'm not saying that as some greedy product creator who just wants more money. It's just that if you're a serious affiliate marketer, you're going to make dozens or hundreds of sales when you promote me. Buying the product is an investment.

    If you are asking me for a free copy of the product, there are only two reasons for that.

    1. You don't know whether my product is good enough for you to sell.

    2. You don't expect to sell enough of my product to recoup the cost.

    So that request basically comes through like this.

    "Hey, I don't think your product sounds all that good, and I probably won't sell many of it anyway. Can I have it for free?"

    Um, no. Go to hell. I want affiliates who like my product and will sell a whole lot of it. And if you're about to sell $15k worth of product, are you really going to whinge about having to pay $50 for a copy beforehand?

    Of course not.

    So by asking for a free copy of my product, you're telling me outright that you aren't a very good affiliate to have on my team.
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    "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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    • Profile picture of the author AnitaCross
      Originally Posted by webapex View Post

      Be Somebody!
      Agreed.

      There are many ways to "Be Somebody!" For starters, be active on the Warrior Forum. Comment on threads where you have some experience. Don't comment if you don't have anything to say. Be the kind of warrior you want others to see you as.

      "Lather, rinse, repeat" on other forums.

      If you have purchased products in the past, products that still have value, go ahead and review those. Don't worry about an affiliate link, you are building your reputation for knowing your stuff.

      Originally Posted by jacktackett View Post

      First and foremost offer to help them out in some way when you introduce yourself. Also think outside the box when attempting to contact them. The one thing I've heard over and over is to get someone's attention send them snail mail - yep a physical letter. So many IM'ers turn to email, skype, PMs etc that you're just part of the back ground noise.

      Its an old adage, but true - the more you help others get what they want, the more you'll get in return.
      It isn't enough that you will review the product.
      • What can you really do for the creator?
      • Are they new to their market?
      • Will your review give them some much needed publicity?
      • Does your review site draw traffic of a different demographic than here at the Warrior Forum?
      • What is your traffic like?
      • Do you have a large list?
      • In short, what makes your review more valuable than someone else's review?
      • And what makes it more valuable to the creator than the money s/he'd get if you bought it?

      As Jack mentioned, get active in a networking group or two. It can help build your reputation. It may also result in getting a free review copy from time to time. Just don't ask, let them ask you if you want one!

      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      Buy the product.
      If you want to "Be Somebody," buy the product. Review it. Get noticed.

      You don't have to spend a fortune if you are reviewing WSO products. Ryan Rice had a really nifty WP plugin, a few weeks back, that started at $2. Set up alerts to tell you about new WSOs. That way you can get in on the best price (if their using "dime sale" format).

      You don't need a lot of products to start anyway. If you are truly using the products, it takes time to go through the materials or install the software or plug-in. It takes time to implement the solutions.

      You can't review 10 products a day and do right by the product or the reader. If you try it, you will greatly reduce your chances to "Be Somebody."

      Originally Posted by Alex Frei View Post

      Use video.
      Video can be a shot in the arm, or a death knell. Depends on the quality of the video. I won't even consider buying anything from Ryan Deiss after suffering through some of his videos. Too much chatter, not enough solid info. If the info can be presented in 5 minutes, a 20 minute video is a waste of my time. And lots of people feel that way.


      My suggestion would be--if you are going to use video--to do a video review of the product, put it up on Youtube, then embed it on your site. Set up annotations with a link back to your site or channel. Don't go overboard on annotations, or people won't bother to watch. If your video reviews are any good, that's one more tool in your arsenal.

      Getting to the point where people come to you and ask you to please review their product is your ultimate goal. If you can build your reputation as being an honest reviewer, and get great traffic, and build your list into the 1000s, you won't ever have to ask for a review copy. You'll be turning people away!

      In any event, if you go around asking for review copies, the reputation you build will be counter-productive to your goals.

      Best of luck,
      -Anita
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    • Profile picture of the author Robert M Gouge
      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      Buy the product.

      Seriously, I'm not saying that as some greedy product creator who just wants more money. It's just that if you're a serious affiliate marketer, you're going to make dozens or hundreds of sales when you promote me. Buying the product is an investment.

      If you are asking me for a free copy of the product, there are only two reasons for that.

      1. You don't know whether my product is good enough for you to sell.

      2. You don't expect to sell enough of my product to recoup the cost.

      So that request basically comes through like this.

      "Hey, I don't think your product sounds all that good, and I probably won't sell many of it anyway. Can I have it for free?"

      Um, no. Go to hell. I want affiliates who like my product and will sell a whole lot of it. And if you're about to sell $15k worth of product, are you really going to whinge about having to pay $50 for a copy beforehand?

      Of course not.

      So by asking for a free copy of my product, you're telling me outright that you aren't a very good affiliate to have on my team.
      Pretty rude I'd have to say.

      Everyone started somewhere and not everyone is in a financial position to spend an average of $27 a pop across 300-500 products to the tune of $10,000 to fully populate a site like I'm trying to do.

      You have no idea who I am, no idea of my life or financial situations, so to make rude ass assumptions like you have here is pretty uncalled for and unwarranted.

      And, most vendors I've contacted in regards to product reviews have been more than happy to partner up with me.

      Just because you think like an ass doesn't mean everyone else does.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Williams
      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      Wall of text here.
      This is great for super affiliates, but not everyone starts out as a super affiliate.

      I had one affiliate who could only manage to drive 2-3 sales per month to my site, now he averages 4-5 per day and it keeps going up.

      Everyone starts somewhere.
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      • Profile picture of the author RLINKEN
        I can tell the difference when Affiliates come to me asking for a review product. compared to a freebie seeker.

        I like receiving professional, well written letters stating

        A. Your website
        B. Your Plan
        C. Your Mailing List Sign Up (If they have one)

        Also, EMAIL ME from your website's Email and not gmail/hotmail/yahoo!

        Easy way to know you are legit is to show up with a legit email address that proves you've invested in this.

        I don't need/expect affiliates to purchase my product nor would I want to if I decided to fire out some affiliate emails for an inner niche product. Show some credibility, be professional, ask for the affiliate area and banners and show up with a domain email and you should get the copy, unless the guy or gal is an A$#, then don't waste your time on them, as they probably aren't to appealing to customers anyways
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      • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
        Originally Posted by Robert M Gouge View Post

        not everyone is in a financial position to spend an average of $27 a pop across 300-500 products to the tune of $10,000 to fully populate a site like I'm trying to do.
        Wait, what? I thought...

        Originally Posted by Robert M Gouge View Post

        My site is designed around reviewing products I've personally used. I won't list anything I can't actually use/review
        Yeah, that's what you said all right.

        So which is it? Because I'm pretty sure one of those has to be a lie.

        Just because you think like an ass doesn't mean everyone else does.
        Walk into any store you like and ask if you can have something for free, because you'd like to recommend it to your friends but you only recommend things you've personally tried.

        When they say you have to pay for it, respond angrily that you can't afford all the things you'd like to try, and they clearly don't understand your situation. :rolleyes:

        Originally Posted by Kevin Williams View Post

        I had one affiliate who could only manage to drive 2-3 sales per month to my site
        Did you give him a copy of your product for free?

        Because I don't care how many sales you drive. I care whether you believe you can drive sales, and are willing to work for those sales.

        If you ask for a free copy of the product, I don't believe either of those is true.
        Signature
        "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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        • Profile picture of the author Robert M Gouge
          Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

          Wait, what? I thought...



          Yeah, that's what you said all right.

          So which is it? Because I'm pretty sure one of those has to be a lie.
          Everything listed on my site I have personally used.

          Paying for some and using others through partnerships with the vendor. Just because you slam the door, presumptuously, in the face of new affiliates doesn't mean other people run their businesses that way.


          Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

          Walk into any store you like and ask if you can have something for free, because you'd like to recommend it to your friends but you only recommend things you've personally tried.

          When they say you have to pay for it, respond angrily that you can't afford all the things you'd like to try, and they clearly don't understand your situation. :rolleyes:
          This thread began in an effort to seek advice on the "proper" way to approach vendors and discussing these techniques to form profitable and lasting partnerships.

          I'm sorry if you have an overwhelming flood of affiliates who simply want your products for free, who have no intention of selling it for you. Not all affiliates operate this way. If this is your tainted and cynical view of the vendor/affiliate relationship, then that is your right.

          And, even though you pride yourself on running around warrior forum trying to be someone who "tells it like it is", it gives you no right to come in here, tell me to "Go to hell", and make baseless judgements on my character or the service I'm trying to provide to product owners.

          Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

          Did you give him a copy of your product for free?

          Because I don't care how many sales you drive. I care whether you believe you can drive sales, and are willing to work for those sales.

          If you ask for a free copy of the product, I don't believe either of those is true.
          And it's your right to think this. I'm just thankful that other product owners don't share your incredibly cynical, short sighted view on relationships with new affiliates.
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          • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
            Originally Posted by Robert M Gouge View Post

            This thread began in an effort to seek advice on the "proper" way to approach vendors and discussing these techniques to form profitable and lasting partnerships.
            Okay, I've been trying to write a post that made this clear for the better part of an hour, and I just don't care anymore.

            If you want a profitable and lasting partnership, Dale Carnegie nailed it: arouse in the other person an eager want.

            Vendors who have affiliates and JV partners do not eagerly want to give away free products.

            They do eagerly want to make money while someone else does the work.

            When you are a stranger, they do not believe what you say until they can verify it through a source they trust.

            There is no source they trust more than their own business records.

            Buy their product, so your email is in their database. Now they know who you are.

            Promote their product, so you have sales stats in their affiliate dashboard. Now they know you can make them money.

            NOW you can tell them "let us partner and make a lot more money," and arouse that eager want.

            If you still don't get it, screw this. I'm done. Do whatever the hell you want.
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            "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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        • Profile picture of the author Kevin Williams
          Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

          Did you give him a copy of your product for free?

          Because I don't care how many sales you drive. I care whether you believe you can drive sales, and are willing to work for those sales.

          If you ask for a free copy of the product, I don't believe either of those is true.
          Yes, but I will admit they were unusual circumstances. The guy was pretty persistent and got me on Skype and we chatted for a bit about why he wanted it for free, how he was going to market it, etc.

          He worked for it.

          Edit: Also, you can't be an affiliate for my products unless you're already a member or I set you up a special account, because I don't want false reviews.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin Williams
    Most of my affiliates PM'd me here. I like getting pm's here because I'm here anyway.

    If they show me an example of their affiliate site(s) and why they would want to promote my product, I give them a free membership that starts 30 days in, so they can see the first 30 days of content immediately.

    Just prove you're an affiliate who really wants to sell it and you can convince a lot of people.
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  • Profile picture of the author NWJewelry
    If it's software why not try asking them for a trial offer? That way it expires, you get to use it, at little cost to them.
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