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…
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.