Are you struggling to attract affiliates for your program?
You’re not alone! I started my online shop in 2015 and let’s just say my affiliate program got off to a rocky start. Thankfully, with a few hard-earned lessons along the way, I righted the ship just one year later. Now, we have affiliates consistently and confidently selling for us every single day.
At the end of the day, your affiliate program isn’t a numbers game. Quality is far better than quantity, and that is as true for you as it is for your affiliates. They want to know that their efforts to promote your products will net them a return (preferably in cold hard cash). The best affiliate relationships are a two-way street.
So how do you get the right people in your program? Let’s talk about just a few of the ways to attract the best possible candidates for your affiliate program that will bring your digital products to a whole new level.
To create a successful affiliate program, you need to recruit the right people to promote your product. Your first instinct may be to find the top leaders in your industry; that’s what I wanted to do! After all, they have the audiences and starpower to boost your product into the spotlight.
Speaking as someone who sees the back-end every day, though, I have a secret to share with you: big names do not always lead to big sales. In fact, micro influencers (figures with 1-10,000 followers) actually sell the most volume! They have cultivated small yet devoted communities, which means if they get excited about your product, the response can be amazing.
You don’t need to find affiliates with huge followings or who are super well-connected. Focus on finding complementary influencers and niche business owners, even those that aren’t directly in your industry! For example, a photographer who sells stock photos can partner with a copywriter who writes Instagram captions; a very natural affiliate relationship can stem from that already thriving working relationship.
Don’t be afraid to think out of the box. Find people who are passionate about what they do and who do something that is in alignment with your brand, offer, and overall vibe.
Whether you realize it or not, you already have some existing networks to draw upon. Make sure to tap into these online communities (i.e. Instagram and Facebook) as well! You can invite members of the groups you are already involved with to learn about your affiliate program. They already know your name and, since they are likely in your industry, they have a vested interest in the product as well. The response may surprise you!
Then, of course, there is the tried-and-true method of inviting influencers to try and review your digital products personally. This gives them the chance to fall in love with your product and get excited to share that product with their audience (and even earn a commission at the same time).
One of my favorite places to look for affiliates is actually our own customer base! These are our best affiliates and it’s not hard to see why. They already have the most access to the product, and since they’ve used (and loved) the product themselves, they can confidently talk about it in ways that marketing promos just can’t. They may already champion your brand on their own time for free; your affiliate program is just a smart way to thank them and give something back.
You may already have some prime affiliates waiting in the wings that you don’t even know about yet. They are searching your pages to see if you have an affiliate program in the works. Some of them may ask directly, but don’t let the shy ones slip through the cracks!
Give all of your information on the affiliate program up front and in an easy-to-find place. This gives them a chance to research what your expectations are and, more importantly, how your program can benefit them in the long run. Hook them in with a well-designed reference page that answers all of their questions ahead of time!
I have a handy training portal for anyone who wants to become an affiliate for The Contract Shop®. This gives them a walkthrough of what they are expected to do and, on the flip side, what they can expect from me in terms of support. I host everything here: swipe copy, brand imagery, graphics, and more!.
The easier you make it for them to sell, the more likely they are willing to do so.
Who doesn’t like a good perk? Your affiliates are already going to do a good job, so you can reward them with bonuses for their hard work in terms of a little extra commission for certain promos and products.
You can even incentivize with a special bonus period — we’ve played with this ourselves. This involves organizing their referral period around one of their own launches or events for a boost in commission. Everyone gets more engagement, and at the end of day, everyone has something to gain — it’s a win-win!
Here’s a tough nugget of love that is never easy to hear: even if your affiliate program is designed perfectly, it still can’t outperform a mismatched product. It’s kind of like trying to run a marathon everyday to work off that heaping bowl of pasta: eventually, you’ll just be tired, miserable, and wondering why doing everything “right” isn’t paying off with awesome results.
If your product isn’t selling on its own, it could be that you need a bigger audience, but it could also be that your product needs some tweaks to make it something your customers will get excited for. There’s no shame in going back to the drawing board and improving your product as much as you can.
Your hard work in this area will pay off. Having an amazing product increases your chances of finding affiliates because people will want to talk about it. I’ve had to do it myself, and trust me, the extra time and energy is worth it!
These are just a couple of the ways you can attract the RIGHT people to be affiliates for your program. I actually have 8 ways I consistently drive traffic and sales to my online shop, and I outline all of them in my Simple Sustained Shop Sales™ System — affiliates are just one!
Spots are open NOW, so if you want to learn all the ins and outs of expanding your digital product shop, join today. It’s never too late to reinvigorate your shop and supercharge your sales.