Build Once, Sell Twice, a philosophy by Jack Butcher, the founder of Visualize Value, emphasizes building digital assets that you build once and can sell any number of times.
Isn’t that what every business owner, including you, dreams of?
We want to pour our efforts into making a remarkable product once and set up a sales cycle that sells products perpetually.
Affiliates get you the closest to realizing this dream!
(Almost) everyone knows what a sales guy does: sells your product for a commission.
Affiliates are a more refined version of your target audience. So, no more selling to cold prospects!
And just like a salesperson, they do this in exchange for a commission. But the great benefit is that it is (truly) scalable with no liabilities of hiring someone.
Since the selling is happening online, this method clocks in revenue 24*7, with no stop, with no deterrents, and works even when you’re fast asleep.
Shopify defines affiliate marketing as:
This holy grail of a sales method sells products of all domains: from consumer products like makeup kits to educational courses.
But it’s been observed that B2C dominates the affiliate market with a king-size portion of over 80%.
Now that you understand what affiliate marketing is, let’s try to mentally absorb what an affiliate persona is:
What is an Affiliate Persona?
Just like buyer persona brings clarity to what your ideal customer looks like, an affiliate persona helps you understand what your ideal affiliates are out in the market for, what do they desire to promote to their audience, what mission do they feel most attached to, and which product would they go above and beyond to promote, etc.
The most ideal affiliate is the one who is well-connected to your target audience through their website or newsletter or a social media channel, etc.
What does that tell you? It suggests that your ideal affiliate will have a high-quality traffic source that they leverage to influence their audience.
You can very well be agnostic of the channel that they use, but they must be deeply connected to your target audience so that when they promote your product to them, their audience believes in your brand and hits that CTA (call-to-action).
To learn more about affiliate personas, you can always check out some of the top affiliate marketing courses.
Can You Make Them Feel Special?
In the dating world, the most beautiful women and the most successful men are chased the most.
Why? Because they capture people’s idea of a perfect woman and man.
You would set yourself up for failure if you approach them with nothing better or special to offer them. You would be rejected outright!
The only way to be with the perfect person is to add value to their life and make them feel something that they crave for.
Just like that, ideal affiliates are offered affiliate partnerships all the time.
So how can you stand out in a sea of companies trying to get their attention?
What can you offer better?
What value could you add to their lives that your affiliate partnership feels like a privilege to them?
How do you become a brand that they would love to promote?
Umm, while you’re busy coming up with a special something, let me give you an idea that costs (almost) nothing:
A newsletter that helps your ideal affiliates make more money, period.
Now suddenly the ball of power is in your court, isn’t it?
No one rejects a resource that helps them make more money.
So what would these affiliates want from a newsletter — insights that help them make more money.
This wins half the game of signing up affiliates for your ecommerce store as they would be drawn towards your emails.
The power of attraction, you see?
Build an intimate relationship with them by sharing regular updates on the highest-selling products.
Instill a feeling of beating other affiliates’ performance by sharing the average click-through rate from all affiliates.
Record interviews with top affiliates for tips to maximize revenue as a podcast episode or a YouTube video and share with them via your newsletter.
Create a beautiful and thriving win-win equation with them using a no-cost method — email marketing.
The power of emails cuts through any constraints that your business might have.
Tactics To Sign Up Affiliates
The Good Ol’ Cold
Most of the best relationships in life begin from small and meaningful talks.
On the internet, it happens via a cold email.
No, no, cold emailing doesn’t mean blasting a big email list with your sleazy pitch and hoping to catch a big fish.
The right kind of cold emails begin a conversation and carry a healthy intent to realize an objective that serves both parties in the equation.
Create a list of influencers that you wish to sign up as affiliates in the decreasing order of engagement rate.
Now it’s time to send a personalized cold email to each and every person on the list.
Why personalized, you ask?
Again, if you make someone feel important, the probability of them being responsive heightens exponentially.
Catch their attention with an intelligently crafted subject line because no matter how great your offer is, if they don’t open your email, you’re getting no response.
Don’t celebrate yet because your top-notch cold email campaign can yield you zero response.
But don’t lose your heart as the money and relationships lie in follow-ups.
Pursuing someone makes them feel worthy and in turn, strengthens the chances of them picking you amid a sea of email notifications.
The meatier the deal, the more the follow-ups.
If your favorite influencer fails to respond to you, wait for a couple of days and follow up with them via an email designed around this template:
Play around with the list of proven templates and don’t give up until you get what you want.
Doesn’t take long for the domino effect to take over, period.
An Sometimes, Words Aren’t Enough
Social media has become an undeniable part of our lives and we have been attuned to stories with a duration of 15-60 seconds.
Even though you get 60 seconds for in-post videos on Instagram, the ideal video length is 30 seconds.
Speak your message loud and clear.
That’s the philosophy of online content consumption, whether you like it or not.
Your ideal affiliates belong to the community that lives and breathes this philosophy. So, to communicate with them, you need to (also) speak to them in the way that they understand best, which is videos.
Videos save time by accomplishing in under 5 minutes what would take textual content more than 10 minutes of focused reading.
And you must remember the infamous low attention span factor when it comes to online content consumption.
Now that you understand the importance of communicating with your prospects via videos, you must be thinking of the kind of videos that could help you keep ideal affiliates interested in your brand and product.
People with a money-making mindset like to work with people who are serious about maximizing their revenues.
Every effort matters.
Use videos to share insights about UX and UI changes that you’re making to increase conversions.
When affiliates get to know that a brand is relentlessly improving their product and sales cycle, the confidence in the partnership grows, and so does their involvement in promoting your products to offer you increased revenue in return.
Go a step further. Create high quality images and videos about your product that your affiliates can quickly plug into their marketing assets. You do not need to make high ticket software purchases – there are plenty of affordable graphic design tools that can get the job done.
Please remember that it only takes bite-sized measures to deepen a relationship.
Invest In Marketing Automation
Your job as a business owner is to take care of tasks that machines can’t and let machines control the chores that they handle most efficiently. Whenever a task can be automated, invest time into looking for good tools that can help you streamline your workflow.
Marketing expert Anthony Lee defines marketing automation as:
You could completely automate your affiliate sign up process: from marketing your affiliate program to getting them being a part of it by using a simple process:
Investing in marketing automation enables you to play in the field of big dogs where before only players with deep pockets could win.
Technology has leveled the playing field. It’s not the battlefield that rewards only the tools of money anymore.
A company with a decent marketing budget and a few employees can clock in six figures!
And yes, Jack sells via a Shopify store!
Don’t Be Spammy
Even though it’s a no-brainer, it often gets ignored — DO NOT SPAM WITH AN AFFILIATE PARTNERSHIP.
Whether your prospect is cold or warm, whether you’re sending a personalized cold email or weekly newsletter, don’t manufacture a sleazy sales environment that’s only about your affiliate partnership.
Write like you would talk, convey your offer in 20% of the email content, lay out their possible gains clearly, and leave some room for a natural follow-up.
You should also experiment with your newsletter subscribers by attaching an email signature mentioning your affiliate program. It is considered ideal to do so once a month. Don’t do it more, or you’d most likely land up in a spam folder.
Be patient, and you will get there. Trust the process.
Building a successful Shopify store takes more than just having a winning product.
It requires you to whip out creative workarounds for the biz constraints, build meaningful relationships with customers and affiliates so that the selling never stops.
Sometimes it’s as simple as capitalizing on social proof to build instant trust with your audience who would have otherwise bought from a ‘well-known’ company.
Does the idea of signing up affiliates to your Shopify store via email marketing sound exciting to you? Let me know in the comments below.