How Affiliate Marketing is Different

In affiliate marketing, you are paid when you send sales or leads to a merchant who sells goods and services on the web. When you hear people talk about “pay-for-performance” marketing, this is the kind of thing they are talking about. You are paid a fee – usually a commission – for helping sell somebody else’s products or services

How Affiliate Marketing is Different

Let’s take a moment to see how affiliate marketing is dfferent from some other ways to make money, especially online.

Affiliate marketing is not MLM.

Even though MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) and Network Marketing companies pay you a commission on sales of their products — and they may even give you a website to market their products — they are NOT affiliate marketing. Unlike MLMs, you never have to pay to join a legitimate affiliate program.

In addition, you almost never have to purchase an affiliate product yourself, although that can certainly be helpful in getting to know the product. A few affiliate programs are “closed,” meaning that only those who have purchased the product are invited to promote it. Closed programs are usually for highly specialized products. But unlike MLM, you never have to build a “downline” of affiliates below you. Some affiliate programs are called “2-tier,” because they will reward you for bringing in new affiliates – called sub-affiliates – by paying you a tiny percentage of their sales.

But even in a 2-tier program, the 2nd level commission is usually quite small, and paid just on sub-affiliates you personally refer to the program. There is no recruitment of a “downline” with multiple tiers. Nor are you paid for merely referring sub-affiliates. It is only when they make sales that you are paid an additional commission.

Affiliate marketing is not selling YOUR products.

In affiliate marketing, you don’t develop, manufacture, or distribute our own products. Instead, you are promoting someone else’s product and sending the consumer on to the merchant to make the sale and deliver the product or service.

So unlike eBay, self-publishing a physical book or DVD, or building your own product in your basement or garage, you do not produce or ship any physical products. You also never keep any inventory on hand. All that is taken care of by the affiliate merchant.

Affiliate marketing does not involve customer service.

If you create your own product – whether it is a digital product like software or an ebook, or a physical product like a hat, toy, or DVD – you need to deal with customer questions, complaints, exchanges, and returns. In affiliate marketing, you never do this. The merchant is responsible for handling all customer inquiries and complaints.

Affiliate marketing does not tie you to one product or merchant.

When you sign up for an MLM or develop your own product, you are essentially “stuck” selling only those products. But with affiliate marketing, you can choose from thousands of merchants and hundreds of thousands of products. And with affiliate marketing, if you decide you don’t want to promote a particular merchant or product any longer, you are free to sign up with a different merchant and promote something else. In fact, many affiliates make a good living promoting dozens of different merchants and hundreds of different products, using multiple websites.

Search Results

Reasons Why Social Media Marketing Didn’t Work for Your Business

An objection which I am given almost daily as I interact with prospects & talk to people about Social Media Marketing is “I have tried SM marketing before & it didn’t work”

In my opinion & experience there is huge value in social media but I am not deluded. I realise that not every business has found that it works very well for them or at least in the short term they didn’t see a decent return on their investment, whether that investment came in the form of expenditure of the their time, money or both. Therefore they conclude that SM marketing is a waste of time & money. But hold your horses!

SM Marketing may not be a good fit for your business, it’s true. However please don’t be too hasty either. Thousands of businesses are having fantastic success.
Before you toss SM Marketing on the scrap heap please consider these factors. Some of you may get validation that it really isn’t for your business but some of you may reconsider & give it a second shot, this time doing things a little differently.

Let’s look at some possible factors as to why to Social Media Marketing didn’t work…

1. All businesses are different & there are so many different variables when attempting to connect with your target market using SM marketing.

Social Media works best for companies that serve the whole of the country or even internationally. For those local businesses out there, it will be a little trickier. It’s just a fact unfortunately. There may only be a certain limited amount of people within your geographical location, interested in the topics you are talking about.

Does this mean local businesses shouldn’t bother with SM Marketing? No that’s not what I’m trying to say at all. I am just saying you need to have realistic expectations & also consider wisely how much you invest in Social Media.

I believe that every business big or small should have a Social Media presence, remember it’s about quality not quantity. A few loyal fans & followers can still be worth a lot to your businesses bottom line. Keep them engaged & strengthen the relationships you have with them. You know your business better than I do. So if you feel that your business is extremely micro-niche or geographically tight then I wouldn’t spend any money on social media at all but some carefully managed time instead. 15-20 minutes a day spent interacting with fans & followers is more than enough to give awesome value to them & keep an active Social Media presence without breaking the bank or wasting hours on SM that could be put towards something more productive.

Consider carefully how much you invest in SM marketing. Make sure it’s the right fit for your type of business & is likely to bring more rewards than expenses.

2. Some businesses are just a better natural fit than others when it comes to Social media marketing. Social Media is all about engagement. For some businesses this is easy & for others there may be a little more imagination required.

Some businesses & organisations will always have pockets of people who want to listen & talk about the things relevant to their business. Fashion, arts & crafts, authors, restaurants, speakers, coaches, cookery, sports, theme parks, news, religion, charities, health, music, film, TV shows, the list goes on and on. There are certainly way more interesting enterprises out there than bland ones.

But there are bland ones. And you know who you are. Accountants, precision engineers, adhesive manufacturers, plumbers, locksmiths, taxi drivers, again the list goes on. Should businesses like these like this still use Social Networking? In my opinion yes, although less exciting people still need these kinds of services.

Get your thinking cap on & think of ways to make your business interesting or at the very least informative. This will still help to get people talking & interacting with you. Just accept that you may never get as many people talking as businesses in other slightly more “fun” markets.

3. You were trying to do it yourself but you were doing it wrong. A lot of people mistakenly believe that their dabbling and fooling around a bit with social media themselves counts as a well thought out & executed Social Media Marketing Campaign. And then they are surprised when it doesn’t work.

This is very common especially amongst small business enterprises that may not be able to afford to have it outsourced to a professional or have a marketing employee do it in house.

If you can afford it out source it. If that doesn’t fit well with your marketing budget & you have to do it yourself then get educated. There are plenty of courses, seminars, mentors & workshops out there to help you learn. If you are really on a shoestring budget spend some time scouring the web looking for free information on social media blogs, websites & video channels. But make sure you do. There is no point spending time on something if you are doing it wrong. Social Media marketing isn’t difficult & shouldn’t take long to get up to speed but it doing it the right way or wrong way is the difference between it paying dividends or not.

4. You didn’t give it enough time. Social Networking takes time. Relationships take time.

Expecting to do the Social Media thing for two months & then giving up obviously isn’t going to work. Please be aware that Social Media is not an instant fix but a long term solution.

Kind of sucks right? No not really. Because once someone is a true fan or follower of your business, who knows how many years into the future you will be interacting? If your business is a flash in the pan business then sure it will disappointing not to see results straight away. But if you intend to be in a business a long time, think long term. If you deliver good value to your target market consistently over a sustained period of time, your target market will begin to sit up and take notice. And then your social media presence will build momentum & take up a life of its own thanks to the viral nature of the internet.

Rome wasn’t built in a day.

5. A poor product or service will not be fixed by Social Media Marketing. Even if you are doing Social Media all correctly, there are factors outside Social Media which need to be in place first.

Market research, social proof, a website with good copy & a compelling call to action. Social Media is a good way to drive traffic to your website but if your landing page is poor & does not immediately provide what there are looking for then it’s all for nothing. If you have no testimonials or social proof then you will struggle to sell online. If there is no demand for your products or services then SM Marketing will not help you. Nor will telemarketing, PPC, SEO, Direct Mail, Yellow Pages, Radio or TV ads or any other type of marketing work for you.

I’m not saying that this is you, but trust me I have had people approach me with these problems, totally unaware that they had them. They wanted me to help them because nothing else was working & maybe SM Marketing would change it all around.

That’s not how it works.

If you are selling & business is going reasonably well, then yes jump on the Social Media bandwagon because you know your business works already. If you aren’t selling very well through any other mediums then go back to basics & don’t even consider Facebook, Twitter etc until that changes because it will prove fruitless.