Someone just asked me if I would promote their product as an affiliate. Here’s my message to him (and anyone else looking for new affiliate partners), plus a few things to think about before recruiting new partners for your business…
Video Transcript and Relevant Links
A couple days ago, I did an “Ask Me Anything” on Instagram. I had this question come in: “How do I get you to be an affiliate for my course? I’m setting up a WordPress membership site.”
So there’s a couple ways to take this question. Are they asking me if I would be an affiliate, or just in general how to get affiliates?
The reality is, for anyone who has a big following who would be a great affiliate for you, they get more requests to promote stuff than they could possibly handle. So no, I don’t know who you are. We’ve got no relationship. It’s just coming in out of the blue. There’s no possible way I would ever say yes to a request like this.
If you’re really asking more about how to approach affiliates, the deal is this…
If you’re reaching out to an influencer, or someone who’s got a big following, or has your perfect audience, who has put in a huge amount of time and effort into attracting an audience that you want to put in front of, that’s a big ask from you.
You might think, “Oh yeah, well I’m going to pay you commission, so it’s awesome for you.” Well, there’s literally a limitless number of things that I could promote – it just goes on and on. And for me to promote for any individual person has a real individual opportunity cost for me because I could be promoting something else. I could be building my relationship with my tribe. I could be sending them content that builds that relationship. I could be promoting something of my own. So there’s a real direct cost to me to promote for you. And yes, I might get some commissions from you, but there’s a lot of other people that are sending me commissions, as well.
The thing is, (just because) there’s a digital business, an online business, it doesn’t suspend the laws of business. It doesn’t suspend the laws of relationship that exist and have existed for hundreds and thousands of years. The reality is, the way that you do business is through a relationship. Nothing about digital business changes that.
If you look, my business is driven by partners and by affiliates and by doing promotions for other people, with other people, and getting other people to promote for me. There are very, very few people, I think, that have had the longevity and the partner support that we have had. The way I have done that is by building relationships, long-term relationships.
So my top partners that I have, I’ve spent years, and in a couple cases over a decade, developing and nurturing that relationship. Pretty much all my top partners, I’ve met in person, at an event. We’ve gone out to dinner together, we’ve shared meals together. We pass messages – we text back and forth. We are part of each other’s lives. So this isn’t something you just send out a direct message for.
Boy, it’s like, it’s raining, it’s thundering, we’ve got the garbage truck. This is the perfect video shoot here.
But, if you want to play the affiliate game, if you want to get affiliate partners, joint venture partners, it’s a long game. All business is a long game. How about that for a tweetable? “All business is a long game if you want to build a real business.” Affiliates and joint ventures are no different from any other part of the business.
So how do you get me to be an affiliate? You develop a relationship with me. You build value with me. You find a way to build value in my life, to deliver value. You find a way to deliver value to my people. You build a relationship over time, and that’s how we can become affiliates.
So I’m Jeff Walker. The rain’s starting to come down. Wherever you’re watching this, scroll down, leave a comment for me, and let’s go get ‘em this week.
I wish I had the bandwidth to publish articles n videos every friggn day. I have a genuine love for my followers and more than the money I just want to help them understand “the physics of the stock market”. I continue trying to find ways to push out enough content but the bigger I grow the harder it is. Shouldn’t it be the opposite?
True Market Insiders
BTW Jeff, you changed my business when I bought your product launch formula course in I think 2006. We quickly tripled our revenue from 2.5m to about 7m. Been following you ever since.
Way to go Chris!! Great space to help others with!
Jeff, I bought you book for about £10 (GBP) about 18 months later we have probably made profit of about £50,000 (GBP) from the product launch formula book!!! Now I’m sure you agree no where can you invest a £10 a little bit of time then get this much percent rate return!!!
Thanks a lot
No thanks 50,000 times
Great video Jeff! I agree with you 100%. I too work on building relationships, and have been doing that since 2002. I believe that I first met you at The Master Listbuilding Workshop in San Antonio around 2003.
Building REAL relationships has worked well for me 🙂
All you said is 100% right and I could not agree more.
I think promoting for a partner you know personally as well as his product is as crucial as knowing his style in connecting with YOUR list AFTER the JV launch itself.
Some of them are exaggerating and producing much noise which is not in line with your style.
One of the biggest values in the partnership or in the friendship, is the kind ability of the sincere relationship or even laugh with you … and … the ability to stay with the joint thoughts with you at a drop of a hat, if you need a shoulder to cry on …
The fact, that the friends and partners must love and respect each other unconditionally, for everything that you are … or may be aren’t …!?
Having great partner is a gift like no other…and, I am waiting for the devoted partner for some years, not only because my spirits and ideas had been uplifted … not only because my high dreams are so necessary, valuable and dear for me, but I truly hope, that with the clever partner, I still can enjoy the life in my developing country Georgia or elswhere, as I love doing honest, kind and smart business too much!!!
Dear Jeff, if you have seized the necessary hint or notion in my message, please send me your thoughts about partnership with the Georgian person and I shall write and share some details about my projects!!!
Marie Grace Berg
Couldn’t agree more. JV’s are built through relationships!
Great vid! I will keep trying, but to date, I’ve picked all the wrong people. Time and energy invested but no return.
Your video title sparked my interest, because I have always appreciated successful entrepreneurs sharing about the experience of the wrong and right ways to approach them about affiliate partnerships. Kind of obvious, in a way, what the answers are, but it’s great to know a bit more in depth about your personal experience and reactions to premature asks.
And, as always, thank you for delivering the value of warm encouragement along with your well-informed perspective. I liked your tweetable, “All business is a long game, if you want to build a real business.” And “let’s go get ’em this week!”
Wow! I’m honored that you actually made a video about my question Jeff!
BUT the question actually came from a genuine place. I believe that I can help your audience.
I’m in the PLF alumni group and have been both at LaunchCon in November 2018 and PLF Live in April 2019 and met you in person. BUT of course with so many people around you in those events you can’t remember all of us and I did not mention my abilities to help your community either.
The question arose from the need I’ve noticed in the community where a people ask about what platforms to use for their courses and such. And since many of them already use WordPress I actually have a solution for them. My background is as a software developer so tech comes easy for me. Unfortunately relationship building does not come as easy as the tech as you now have experienced.
Have an awesome day!
PS. Could this count as a beginning of our relationship?
This video really hit home for me, Jeff. I agree with you that all business is a long game based on developing relationships that add value. What a great follow up video would be is learning how to develop that relationship with a potential JV partner without coming across as either an inconsiderate jerk or scammy. Thanks, Jeff for everything you do – really appreciated!
Couldn’t agree more, Jeff. It’s all about developing relationships. To make a dating analogy, you’d never walk up to someone and say, “I know who you are but you don’t know who I am. Want to go away for a weekend?” Yet, some think that approach can work in business. It doesn’t. Relationships are everything, and taking the time to build them is a wise investment. Casey
Great video & advice, as always Jeff Walker! It’s all ‘relationship’. isn’t it! Every single part of this entrepreneurial journey. When I think about all those I come in contact with in any capacity, and decide to participate in biz with…. the Know, Like & Trust works every which way.! partners, clients, mentors, product providers, co-groupies, everyone we connect with and work with. Is it a fit? do we align? Can I trust you with my ‘baby’? ( the biz). Are you going to do what you say, show up, be a good, kind person, and be around for the long haul? AND… for me….do we have fun?? 🤗
That’s really what it takes!
Thanks to have been a great mentor, I hope to build a deeper relationship with you sharing mutual valuable knowledge.
Keep going with your tips!
Hey Jeff, great video advice this week and also a masterful lesson of how to deal with unexpected it issues (noise, thunders and rain) while shooting a video.
Winner winner chicken dinner post Jeff!!
One note, the relationship to the inner self is the most important…if you truly do not know the patterns of the subconscious then people will not see what you really have to offer and thus any potential business relationship with a partner ( an extension of the self) will fail. I enjoyed the small Ki demo at PLF and enjoyed seeing the crowd focused on this metaphysical thing called “energy”…..after all chi, ki, prana, mana is the “fuel” that moves all of our inspirations ahead ( if you can’t tell, this energy “stuff” is a 40+year “hobby” of mine)….. : )
I agree. And the subtext to your video and transcript may I add:
When we as business owners, create a JV and Affiliate program, we need to put this information in our Disclaimer area for the opportunity – that it is NOT a two-way street. That anyone who is accepted as a JV or Affiliate is expected to market “for” that program, but other than commissions earned that Program Content Creator ( ex: Jeff in this case or us for our businesses) will “not be cross-promoting for the new JV or Affiliate.”
Why I think we need to write this in our Agreements and disclaimers:
In regular day to day business, not web-based, I have marketing partners. We DO cross-promote each other when we agree to partner or affiliate. We have a “normal” clause in my or their template Agreement that if we didn’t want to do that, we’d have to remove the clause.
So I have made the mistake Jeff refers to way back in 2012. I didn’t sign up as an JV with an A Lister “because my content was not ready for the A lister to cross market. I assumed based on 20+ years of marketing partnership experience I needed to have my content ready to market.”
Jeff has made a very important marketing video here. It may really help clarify how web- based marketing JVs and Affiliate programs differ from “standard” ( is anything really ‘standard ‘?!) business practices. You “don’t have to wait until you have a bunch of content ready to cross market to be a JV or Affiliate.”
Mor Maty Seck
The partners represent indeed, the company as a whole and they are like the lungs of society. Without them, society could not function properly. Everyone has a specific role and everyone contributes to the smooth running of the company as a whole.Thank you
I just do t know how to have a sales relationship with someone with the relationship. I always try to build that first. I and/or the clients may find we are a match made in heaven ..,,,or hell.
Either way is a win!!
By going after sales alone, you rob yourself of future success and growth potential.
Relationship for the sake of sales- That is fake, not authentic and a recipe for disaster and a way to get world wide fame…The wrong way.
Be real. Research before you get churched.
When you go shopping for yourself, do you enjoy a nice sales person who isn’t pushy, not commission only and sees you as the end of the month numbers?? Then why in the world would any of us do it the other way around.
If you’re like most people who enjoy a friendly and courteous shopping experience….
SELL THE WAY YOU SHOP!
(MattCrump.tv) Thanks Jeff!! Great post.. trash truck and all!!
Jeff, Thank you for delivering on-going awesome video content. You Rock!! Yes Personal Long Term Relationships is where it is at. Many Blessings, Jiah
I was thrilled with this video. Too often people expect that business will just happen when at the end of the day business success is the result of personal relationships. Years ago I used to teach. People do business with people they know and like.
An excellent video.
Thanks Jeff, you make a good point that business is built on relationships. Always has and always will be.
Relationship building is the key step to promote any business. I agree with you 100% and a great video delivered, keep it up! Thank you.
It’s mind bogglingly to me how some just straight out and ask “Can you promote my stuff?” without first building a relationship. I would be the same Jeff!
I receive multiple requests like this a month and am grateful for your care in response – and for your answer as a guidance statement coming from a positive assumption place in your heart.
Thank you for once again sharing your elegance grace and class in helping your circle. I learned from you again today – thank you. ~dorene