As an entrepreneur, you've probably experienced the highs and lows of business. It's totally normal, and that's why the Bible says to invest in many ventures (Ecclesiastes 11:2).
One way to do that is through affiliate marketing. On today's episode, you'll get insight into how affiliate marketing can protect you financially and allow you to build multiple streams of income.
I'll also share some tips on how you can start your affiliate marketing journey today (even if you have no audience) and how to choose affiliate programs that are actually worth your time.
If you're looking to passively increase your business revenue using content you already plan to create, tune in!
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About The Host:
Jo Harris is a copywriting expert and business coach. She teaches entrepreneurs how to scale a flexible online business that gives them room for Christ, family, and ministry.
Before coaching other entrepreneurs, she wrote copy for multi-6 & 7-figure business owners in the B2B space, generating multi-6 figures in revenue.
Outside of her professional life, she is also a wife, mother, evangelist, and teacher of God’s Word.
Today we're gonna talk about how to start affiliate marketing with no audience. This is gonna be a pretty juicy topic. You may have heard about affiliate marketing before, but maybe you don't have an audience and you kind of shrugged it off. While today, I'm gonna walk you through the steps that you can take to get started.
But let me walk you through why this is so important. I'm not trying to sell you on affiliate marketing, but what I am trying to sell you on is multiple revenue streams for your business. Because here's the thing, you don't know what's going to happen in the future. None of us know, and you need to protect your business yourself, your family, from anything that could come up, right?
So if one revenue stream happens to dry up, you have other sources of income that are helping to sustain you and your family. So on today's show, I'm gonna walk you through the steps that you can take to add affiliate marketing as a revenue stream to your service-based business. And I'm also gonna teach you how to choose the right affiliate programs that are even worth your time.
There's tons of them out there, but not all of them really yield. Good results, so you don't wanna waste your time on them, right? I'm gonna show you how to pick the right ones. So let's dive right in. So number one, I'm I'm gonna start from zero. If you have no existing audience, but you wanna get started, the first thing that you need to do is start building an audience. Even if it's small, it doesn't have to be big. You don't need 10,000 followers on Instagram to start affiliate marketing, even if you only know 10 people who may possibly be interested.
Hey, nurture those 10 people. Start where you are. I started with seven people on my email list, and it sat right there at seven for a long time. Now I have over a thousand people and these are engaged subscribers, and it took some time to get there. It took hard work, but you can do it. You wanna start by creating a lead magnet that is gonna help position you as an authority, something of high value.
I see a lot of generic lead magnets out there, and what I mean by lead magnet is a free resource that's valuable that people get an exchange for giving you their email address and signing up for your newsletter. So there's different, kinds of lead magnets you can create. I'm not gonna go deep into that cuz that's not what this show is about today.
But you wanna find a lead magnet that your audience would be interested in that's tied to what you offer in your service-based business, and start building an email list. Then you want to choose a social media platform where you can start building authority. Now, sometimes social media can be a little bit annoying, and you might hear me say that and roll your eyes and be like, Joe, I don't wanna be on social media.
I understand. But if you can find a way. To be active and consistent on social media, get results, and it's not overwhelming you or taking up a lot of your time, would you do it? Would it be worth it to you? Think about that because being active on social media, even if it's one platform and you're just posting once or twice a week, It can help you to build your email list so that you have an audience to sell to, and now you can add more revenue streams to your business.
That's using wisdom, right? You wanna be wise as a business owner, be prudent for the future because you don't know what's gonna happen. So to protect your business, protect yourself, start building an audience that gives you leverage. Right now you have more opportunities to create new offers in your business that are not just one-to-one offers.
It's a really excellent. Thing for you to keep in mind for your business. So choose a social media platform where your target audience hangs out. Whether it's Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, anywhere. But start with one. If you can do two, fine, right? But you wanna start with one and you wanna be consistent, okay?
Then start sharing authority, building content. So share about your process. Share about your opinion regarding your industry, right? That's really going to help draw the right people in to engage with you, and then you have an opportunity to share your lead magnet and build your email list. Once you have that, you wanna think about how you wanna deliver your content, right?
So you have a social media channel, you have your email list, you got a lead magnet going on, but what works well for you? Do you love to blog? Do you wanna have a blog and create SEO rich content and use Google funnel traffic to it? Or do you wanna show up on video and do lives on Facebook or on Instagram?
Do you prefer just doing. Graphic posts for Instagram, or maybe you like to write and you just wanna write content for LinkedIn, right? Think about what works well for you and create content that is in alignment with what you love, so that way it doesn't become a burden for you. Then next you wanna choose affiliates that you wanna partner with.
So let me backtrack a little bit and explain more about what affiliate marketing is. So affiliate marketing is when you partner with another brand to promote their products or services, and then you get a commission when people sign up and purchase using your link. So for example, I have an affiliate program for my courses, my trainings.
And people can sign up as a partner for free. And just by sharing my freebies, when people opt in using that link and they end up making a purchase down the line, they will get a commission. So that's what affiliate marketing is. And what's great about it is that you are already gonna. Create content to promote your business.
So why not sprinkle in some affiliate links from brands that you love and trust and wanna recommend? When we love something, when we find a product, a software that we love, don't we get so excited about it that we wanna share it with other people? Well, what if you could do that and get paid for it when people sign up?
Wouldn't that be amazing? That's simply what affiliate marketing is. Now, I know that. Some people may have a bad connotation with it because there are people out there that abuse this. And that's not what I'm for. I'm not for that. I'm for finding products that you love and that can help people, and then talk about those products, share them, and then you're gonna get paid in the process. How amazing is that? So you wanna find affiliates that you know are gonna help your audience that you love, that you can confidently recommend and learn the terms of the partnerships, okay? Because you wanna make sure that it's going to be worth your time.
I have seen affiliate programs that are not worth the time. There's a particular software that I use and I got a link, a little message that said, Hey, when someone signs up, Through your referral, you'll get, $20 off or something like that. I'm like, that's fine. That's an incentive. That's great.
But am I gonna go super hard pushing this? No. So, You want to look at the terms, how long does the tracking last? So let's say someone uses that link, how long before that what's called a tracking cookie? How long does it expire for Me, for example, with my tracking system in my program, it never expires because I don't rely on just a cookie.
I you capture the email and then that person's affiliate credit is gonna be attached for the life of that subscriber, so it never expires, right? You wanna find programs like that to work with because it's gonna be more worth your time. Then the commission, how much are you gonna get paid for every person that signs up that purchases, you wanna look at all of that and take into consideration if it's worth your time, and of course, you wanna make sure that it's going to be of value.
You don't wanna just promote something just for the sake of it. And there are so many ways to go about finding potential affiliates. The best way to start is to write down a list of the products and softwares that you already love and already use, and then go to their website and see if they have an affiliate program.
Most of the companies do, right? I do, for example. So, Whatever it is. I have a client and she loves dsa and she's an affiliate for dsa. Now, I'm not saying that they're necessarily the best program out there, but I'm just giving you an example, it's something that she uses every day. She loves sharing about it anyway, so she just goes ahead and throws that affiliate link in there and she shares it with people on her email list.
It's really not that much extra work because she's already talking about this program, so it's great to start with the products that you are already using. And when I say product, it can be a digital product, it can be a software, not necessarily a physical product, but depending on the nature of your business, maybe it is.
I know some people have an Amazon storefront where they make a list of the different products that they have purchased. On Amazon and what they recommend using, and when people purchase using their link, they get a commission off of that. So that's another way, right? You can put that on social media within your blog if you wanna expand and do YouTube content.
And I know that if you're starting out in your business, The thought of even starting a YouTube channel or anything like that, it might sound overwhelming. But that's why I recommend start with one thing that you can be consistent with whatever it is. If it's just writing LinkedIn posts, I. If it is, maybe you do wanna start a YouTube channel.
Maybe you wanna go live on Facebook, but whatever it is, just find what works for you and what you love. But I'm telling you, investing in growing your audience is really going to help your business and protect you from the unknown because now you have options. You can expand, you can create digital products, you can create trainings, workshops, all sorts of things because you have an audience that knows, likes and trusts you, and now you can sell to them.
Now once you have that in place, the final component of that is to create spicy content and sprinkle your affiliate links in that content. So remember that I said this is content that you were already planning to create, to market your business, and all you're doing is adding affiliate links, right?
Kind of like a, that. Postscript, that PS at the end of an email, you're just adding it in. So you're not really doing a ton of extra work, depending on how hard you wanna go with this, right? Some people, they go super hard with their affiliate marketing and it's kind of a full-time job for them, but that's not what I'm talking about here.
I'm just talking about adding it as a simple revenue stream to your existing business so that it's not putting a huge weight of extra work on your plate, but it's just something simple that you can add to create more revenue streams. So when I say spicy content, you may have heard me talk about this.
I love to use that term Spicy. Spicy copy, spicy content, because I don't want anyone in this group creating something generic. I am not for that because it's not gonna convert, we're all about conversion optimization in this group. I'm a conversion copywriter. So you're always gonna hear me talk about conversions, and when it comes to creating something spicy, what I mean is something that's engaging, something that's going to hook people, something that's actually adding value to their lives, okay?
Because right now, as it stands, the internet is a very noisy place. Everyone's creating content, everyone's trying to get, increase their visibility and that sort of thing, right? So you want to stand out. And create content that's really high value. Think outside the box. What are the questions that people are answering, right?
And how can you add more value? So for example, if you see other people posting about a specific topic in your industry, how can you add even more value and share? Go in depth, share what other people aren't sharing because maybe they don't wanna give too much away for free. Go that extra mile and you will notice that people are gonna be more engaged.
People are going to genuinely appreciate you. And let me tell you that this works because I can't tell you how many people. Come to me in the dms or in comments and just they share their appreciation for the content that I'm sharing, even just my free content and how it's helped them. And that tells me that people are burned out by generic content,
they want value, they want something that's actually going to help them. So go that extra mile, right? It's going to establish you as an expert, build your authority in that way. And then that way, You can also share your affiliate links. People are already getting value from it, so they're not gonna be bothered that you're promoting something that's gonna help them.
So don't feel like, oh, I have to be pushy or salesy. No, no, no, no. That's not what we're talking about here. I. Because remember, this is an added revenue stream, so there's no pressure to hit a certain goal with it. You're just putting it out there to see what happens and see if it can bring in a little bit of extra income for your business.
Now, do you recommend setting up sales pages for bigger ticket affiliate products? That is an excellent question. And you know what?
You probably know this about me. A lot of my answers, it always comes back to, it depends, right? It depends on how hard you wanna go with it. You can absolutely do that, and I've seen other people do it, and it can help bring more success. So if you really want to invest in a particular affiliate program, go for it.
Do it because you're gonna see results, right? Some things in our business, the more effort that we put in, the more results we're gonna see. So go for it. And. If it's something that you don't have the capacity for, then use the assets that are given to you. If you can find affiliates to work with that have assets already created, that's even better.
For example, in my program, I give my affiliates everything. I give them the copy. I already have a landing page and sales page set up. I make it as easy as possible. So you wanna find affiliate partners that actually care about your success, that actually want you to succeed, want you to make affiliate sales and are gonna make it easy for you, okay
because that's gonna save you time and energy, and it's just gonna make the working relationship so much better. But let me tell you, don't sleep on affiliate marketing because it is just a great bonus to add.
And I've said it already, but let me say it again. There's no pressure to be pushy or salesy. You're just sharing products that you love because you're not relying on this as a primary revenue stream. This is just bonus. So if you can think of different ways to add. Even if it's a small extra revenue stream, those small beginnings, it's going to add up and it's really going to help you in your business.
And. Let me tell you, if you want to learn more about how you can build an audience that you can sell to, I have a new course coming out called List Lingo, and it's coming out next month. It's an affordable step-by-step training that teaches you how to build an email list from scratch and.
My exact process for writing, engaging email copy, and actually growing your audience. Let me tell you, when I started, like I said, I had seven people on my email list. Now I'm almost at 1500 and it's still growing. So inside of this training, I'm literally teaching you the exact steps that you need to take to replicate my process to get results for your business,
and I created this for people who are not tech or marketing savvy. So if you're just starting out, This course, it will meet you where you're at and it will hold your hand and take you step by step through every phase of building an email list. I will show you how to create a lead magnet from scratch, how to create a landing page.
I show you all the tech aspects of it on screen so that you can literally do it with me. You can have the video playing with your screen open of your email platform, and you can literally follow the steps that I'm taking so that you can replicate it. I made it super simple, so. I'm really excited about that.
If you wanna learn more about list lingo, you can sign up for the wait list. It's at the virtual mama.com/list lingo, but if you're even a little bit interested, just go ahead over, read more about it. No pressure if it's not a right fit for you.
But if you are interested in building a list and finding more opportunities to grow your revenue stream, I highly recommend checking it out. So thank you all so much for spending this time with me. Bye.