When I first started my online business, I followed all the steps I was given. I listed out my strengths and tasks I enjoyed completing, I figured out who I loved working with, and I really zeroed in on how I would deliver amazing results to my audience so both of us would be energized by the transactions. I really believed that was all I needed to know about growing my business. My plan to grow was to get more clients and, in time, start charging premium pricing.
Business friends introduced me to the idea of affiliate marketing. “No way!,” I thought. This was not in any of the marketing info I was reading at the time. I wanted my business to be on the up-and-up, not built on some get-rich-quick scheme. But more and more people in my industry continued to talk about it, and I knew these were influencers I really respected.
Maybe it was time for some myth-busting.
Myth #1: Affiliate Marketing Doesn’t Make Sense for the Type of Business I Have
idn’t want a business just made up of affiliates. I wanted a business I could call my own and not one dependent on other people. What if those affiliates I decided to align with went out of business? Or what if they changed their philosophies and no longer aligned with the things I promoted? Did I really want to be known as someone who dropped links and spammed my audience all the time? Nope.
I feel very strongly that everything I want in my business is built on relationships. It is important for me to take the time to get to know my audience and to build trust with them. My business as a Pinterest Strategist teaches other businesses to do this as well. I help them nurture their own customers at the start of the marketing funnel and build relationships from the beginning of the search.
You can listen to your audience, get to know them, and learn how to connect them with the best solutions. Sometimes, you may not have all the skills your clients need. I offer Pinterest Strategy. I might consult with a client who needs website design or social media templates, neither of which I happen to offer, but I can take the time to associate myself with affiliate partners who do.
Myth #2: I Need a Big Audience for Affiliate Marketing
As a new business owner, I really believed I needed a large audience to be successful with affiliate marketing. It made sense that the more people who would read my blogs or see my posts would have the potential of clicking on my links that would ultimately lead to any referrals.
In reality, the numbers aren’t what matters. The most important thing is that you are reaching the right people. And you know this to be true with your own marketing efforts. When you are speaking to the right person with the right offer in an authentic way, you have a better chance of securing a working relationship. Compare this to speaking to a hundred people with a mismatched offer and an insincere way. No sale will likely take place.
So focus on seeking out the right affiliate relationships to align with your audience as you grow. It will have more meaning to you, and to them. And the size (of your list) won’t matter.
Plus, if you didn’t know, I am a Pinterest Strategist who uses Pinterest to drive most of my traffic. Pinterest is my favorite way to passively drive traffic to my blog posts and grow my email list which do have affiliate links. But, you can also use Pinterest to send traffic directly to your affiliate sales pages. You can learn more about Pinterest for affiliate marketing in The Ultimate Guide to Making Money Using Pinterest.
Myth #3: I Need to be a Tech-Wiz to Set Up an Affiliate Program
While I am good at a lot of things, I am not necessarily a tech-wiz. So I have to admit I was a little concerned that setting myself up as an affiliate for others had me a little leary. Would I be able to keep track of the links? How would I calculate the proper revenue? Was there an easy system for segmenting my list properly? What about the legal issues? How would I handle taxes? It was a little overwhelming.
Remember, if you partner with the right programs, they will be professionals, and all of this information will be specifically handled for you through their operations department and in their contract. Since it’s a partnership and you are helping to promote their business, they should make it easy and stress-free for you to support them. It should be a win-win proposition. If not, listen to your gut.
Myth #4: Affiliate Marketing is Not a Reputable Way to Run a Business
I worried about this point a lot. I already mentioned the idea of feeling spammy and link-dropping on my audience all the time. But I also worried about the idea of if someone’s program or product is so good, why are they paying other people to promote it for them? I mean, in a way, isn’t that like paying those actors to dress up like doctors on tv and pretend a medication works? Shouldn’t people be sharing just because they want to? Not because they are paid to share?
Affiliate partners don’t seek you out and bribe you to sell for them. It’s usually a voluntary program you enroll with once you have had a stellar experience with a company or program, and you want to share that with others. The company simply thanks you for sharing your compliment with others.
Myth #5: My Business Isn’t Built Around a Popular Affiliate Marketing Niche
I believed I had to be in the business of fashion, health and fitness, or money-making in order to really make an impact. Again, my inner guidance bells started going off. My business was based on providing value and service. It is centered around building relationships with my clients as a Pinterest Strategist. I created my reputation on getting to know my clients’ businesses and how I could best maximize the potential of their businesses for them.
What I didn’t realize was that I could utilize affiliate marketing through products and services I was already using in my business: ConvertKit, Tailwind, TastyPins, and CanvaPro, for example.
The Best Way to Learn the Truth About Affiliate Marketing
Once I learned I could be authentic to myself and my business while maximizing the potential of affiliate marketing I started researching the best way to learn all the ins and outs, I knew April already from the online space and knew she knew her stuff so when she launched her Master Affiliate Marketing Group Program, I jumped in. While it sounds overwhelming, I came to realize affiliate marketing is just a form of passive income from another business as their way of saying thanks for referring their product or service. I explain more about it in my post The #1 Secret The Most Profitable Small Businesses Know That You Don’t.
I was able to dispel all the myths I was holding about affiliate marketing through April’s program. She assured me there is a right way to do it, and a wrong way. The right way was listening to my instinct, building relationships, sharing products, and programs I truly loved and believed in.
In addition, I was assured that the most successful business people have multiple streams of income, specifically passive income.
Bonus news? In her course, April even showed me how to design an affiliate program for my own products. Meaning I could have other businesses share my courses as affiliate partners or as a service provider, it was a new service I could offer clients. No messy tech or legal set up required! And I would be able to maximize the potential of their audience reach.
April already is an affiliate marketing pro. She combined three of her courses into this one group program. Therefore, she already knows the questions students are going to ask, and she provides the answers before you know you need them.
You can learn more about April’s course, Master Affiliate Group Marketing, and hear from other profitable business owners who have learned a variety of ways to make money with affiliate marketing.
And if you want to learn more about affiliate marketing using Pinterest, let’s set up a time to chat.