Why on earth would anyone who has a list of subscribers want to promote someone else's affiliate link for a product launch, instead of their own...
I've actually done exactly that twice this week, and it's not the first time I've done it.
Fair Warning: I gotta warn you here, this is the longest blog post I've ever done, it's over 2,500 words...
I hope it's worth reading, but feel free skip bits when you think I'm "rambling".
As a reward for reading it, there's 2 x $50 cash (you need a paypal account to receive it) up for grabs somwhere down the bottom, but for the question to make sense, you will need to read at least some of the post...
I earn a living online, and promoting things to my subscribers is a significant part of that income, although I am fortunate (or maybe I've just been doing this long enough) that I have enough other income streams (always important for a healthy business) that I don't have to rely on this one method of making money, which grants me a certain degree of freedom, as I mentioned in my last post.
but that doesn't answer why I would choose to promote someone else's affiliate link for a good/big product launch and miss out on a bunch of potential income..
"imho" (that means in my humble opinion, for any net newbies who've managed to stumble across my this blog) there are actually a LOT of reasons why it's worth doing this.
I think the best way to illustrate it is to give the 4 of the best example I can remember of when I've decided to do it, why I made that decision, and, of course, the "wiifm" (what's in it for me) factor:
1. a few months back Mike Filsaime launched his "7 figure code" product.
It was one of those BIG launches where almost every big name in the game was not only promoting, but offering BIG bonuses.
I was signed up as an affiliate, but a day or so before the launch I received an email from Russell Brunson with details of a bonus he was offering, which basically offered the chance to go and spend 2-3 days with Russ, seeing exactly how he runs his whole business.
Now as far as I was concerned, that was worth more than the cost of Mike's product, in fact I probably wouldn't have bought the product myself if it wasn't for that bonus, it was what I was really interested in.
In this situation I just didn't see how I could promote the product through my own affiliate link when I knew my subscribers would get far more value from Russ's offer, so that's what I did.
=> "what's in it for me"? (aka wiifm)
Well, in this case I was expecting to go and spend a weekend with Russ and learn a lot from that, which would (imho) make up for any potential loss of commissions.
note: I say "potential" loss of commission/income as in a situation like this launch it can actually be very difficult to make any sales at all, no matter how good the product, as the bonuses being offered by the "big guns" offer so much value, so in a case like this (imho), it's better for my business, to build the trust with my subscribers by showing them what I believe is the best bonus available.
as it happened, the "wiifm" factor didn't work for me, unfortunately "life" got in the way and I didn't get the chance to take up my bonus opportunity and have yet to meet Russ, but that's my problem.
I'm hoping that the good karma will come back to me at some point and I'll meet up with Russ, and if I'm lucky he'll remember me because of what I did, and yes, I did make sure his support team let him know I was promoting his offer, that's just common sense. 🙂
2. there was another big launch sometime last year which was a similar situation, "big names" offering BIG "
bribes" bonuses for people to buy through their links.
With this one I simply didn't feel like trying to compete, so instead I put together a list of the bonuses on offer for my readers to choose from, and made a few notes as to which I thought were the best.
well, I have to admit on this one I simply thought I'd give my readers the chance to compare all the bonuses (and hopefully build more trust with them by doing so), and give my opinion on the bonuses available, as some really seemed to suck compared to others.
As it happens, one of the marketers who I picked as offering a "valuable" bonus was on my list and appreciated the mailing, and I've since JV'd with him, so (imho) good "marketing karma" can work..
so on to the most recent two examples from this week...
3. Keith Wellman had a big launch this week and I probably wouldn't have been on board as an affiliate (as I don't know Keith and haven't JV'd with him before), except for "happenstance".
Keith Wellman (KW) has apparently heard of Keith Baxter (KB) and wanted to send him an "attention grabbing" JV invite for the launch, so went looking for a mailing address for KB.
Now way back in 2005 I bought the TopKeywordLists.com membership site off KB (from the handsome profits that the keywords supplied, combined with KB's AdSense site building tool, had earnt me).
As part of the deal KB was kind enough to allow me to leave the salespage "as is", simply because it was written for him and the testimonials all refer to him, so it made no sense to change it, but we did change the postal address listed on the site to my business address.
So a couple of weeks ago I popped in to town to pick up my business mail and discovered a package that I wasn't expecting, including a personal JV invite DVD from KW to KB, as well as a real cool tiny flying remote control helicopter, which I kept, sorry Keith(s)!
being keen on doing the right thing, I let KW know he'd sent the parcel to the wrong address and got in touch with KB on his behalf.
I've just realized that the last few paragraphs are actually a bit off topic and more "backstory" than was probably necessary, sorry, I'll get back to the point...
So as I did end up being an affiliate for KW's launch, why didn't I promote my own affiliate link?
Well, I did kind of, you can see the actual blog post here: Keith Wellman's Million Dollar March
The problem I had with this one was that I didn't have a copy of the product, so I had no idea how good the product actually was, which always makes me think twice about promoting something.
To be fair, I have good reason to believe it's good, as I know that Charles Kirkland was one of the "test subjects" used to create the course and Charles's SEO Code Breaker is an excellent product that I did promote when it launched a while back (having had the chance to check it out beforehand, thanks Charles!).
Basically that was all the "recommendation" I could offer my readers about the product, so when I started getting emails from the "big guns" with big bonuses on offer, it seemed the simplest solution to also recommend that if someone was interested they should look out for emails with the bonuses and pick the best one..
caveat: I did include my own affiliate link in the post just in case anyone wanted to use it for some reason, and, as far as I know, no one did.
ok, last example as this post is getting a bit longer than I planned, although this could be the longest example...
4. Sometimes the reason for promoting someone else's affiliate link can be as simple as the fact that you get on with someone and are quite happy to "throw the business" their way, although it is very easy to do so when that person is also offering a VERY GOOD bonus for a launch where "BIG bonuses" aren't being thrown around like they've gone out of fashion.
OK, so I can't leave it at that, but this one requires not only more detail, but some (possibly unnecessary) "backstory" again, sorry..
Rob Benwell launched a new product a couple of days ago.
I didn't like his last product, and I told my subscribers exactly that, you can read the original post here:
now I dont like going negative on a product, in some ways I would prefer not to say anything about such a product, especially when it's from a well respected name like Rob (who's previous products I had liked, a lot), but it comes down to whether I'm actually doing the "job" that my subscribers subscibe for, i.e offer good advice..
If my job is to keep my readers informed not only about the stuff that is worth them looking at, then equally I have to let them know about stuff that I don't think is worth them spending their money on.
with this particular product I wasn't on board as an affiliate and when I checked out the salespage it looked interesting, so I paid up and went to check out what I'd paid for..
I was more than a little disappointed (perhaps because the sales letter did it's job to well), so much so that I requested (and promptly received) a refund..
How could I claim to offer my subscribers sound advice if I then neglected to tell them about this..?
I knew that doing so was potentially writing off any future possibility of JV'ing with Rob, but that's the price I have to pay (and will) for giving my subscribers my honest opinion, other wise why should they listen to me...
So when I found out Rob had a new product coming out, obviously I was interested in seeing what it was like.
As it happened I somehow (can't remember how offhand) discovered that Ben Shaffer was on board as an affiliate for the launch and I asked him if he could send Rob an intro for me, he was kind enough to do so and Rob replied letting me come on board as a (potential) affiliate (I guess he wasn't aware of my "review" of his last product).
He even let me have a review copy of the product to check out.
Whilst all the other affiliates for the launch were sending out their "it's live, go check it out now" promotion emails, I was sat reading the report and making notes.
This time I wasn't dissappointed and it was well worth taking the time to read, the notes I was making started off as notes for my subscribers, but quite quickly changed in to notes for myself as well.
Rob was back on form, but much as I was itching to now get a promo out for the report, I wanted to finish reading it so I could give my readers a clear picture of why Rob's new product was so much better than the last one.
By the time I'd finished reading the report and making my notes there was quite a pile of promo emails for it sat in my in box, so before I wrote my own promo I decided to have a quick look and see what other marketers were saying about it.
I deleted most of them, but then I came across Ben's.
Now I could say that I decided to promote Ben's links because I know he recently got hit with a fairly hefty and unexpected bill from one of those government departments that you REALLY can't ignore, and I know what that's like, I was there last year.
but to be fair, it was really the bonus he was offering that caught my eye, even though I'd already got a copy of Rob's report, the bonus made me tempted to go buy it again to get Ben's bonus.
So the solution was pretty obvious, let my readers know about Ben's bonus offer, after all, it was Ben who put me in touch with Rob, which allowed me to get a copy of the report for free to review, and made me want to promote the report..
it's back to marketing karma again, Ben did good by me, so it was easy to do return the favor and offer my readers the best value at the same time, one of those "win, win" situations, right?
so where's the "wiifm"...
now here's where you need to pay attention.
I am basically a decent guy, (but) I'm also a marketer (although certainly not the best around), as well as a guy who tries to look for the positive "angle" in any situation, and perhaps I'm also just a little bit sneaky, but in a good way I hope (imho).. 🙂
first of all, I'm now on Rob's JV list/"radar", so there's the potential of doing more JV's with him in the future (until he reads this post), and I'll be more than happy to promote his stuff if the quality of his future stuff is the same as this, as was all his stuff previous to Quick Fire Profits.
I actually paid full price ($500) for his Niche Domination course last year (and was very happy with it), which is included as a bonus for the new product, now that's one heck of a bonus..
although, from what Rob says in the latest report, my timing may not be perfect, as he's about to take a bit of a break from the IM JV world for a few months, while he concentrates on building his own business (fair enough imho), so I may not see any benefit from the potential new JV relationship for some time, but I'm a patient person too, the future always holds a LOT of potential..
now here's the "sneaky" bit (imho), I have no idea how many of my readers would have bought through my affiliate link, certainly not as many as did through Ben's link, as his bonus offer was damned good.
but then Ben and Rob don't know just how many of my readers DID buy through Ben's link..
what all three of us do know (yes, I made sure both Ben and Rob knew what I'd done) is that Ben has been one of Rob's top affiliates for the launch..
how much I managed to help out is unknown, but I'd like to think (and I hope they both agree with "my humble opinion") that my efforts were "helpful", possibly even "significant".
after all, my subscribers have been known to push me well up in to the top end of quite a few "JV competitions" (e.g. the current ultimate traffic launch, which ends on friday)...
So is that being "sneaky", or seeing an angle (although I have to admit I didn't think of the "angle" until afterwards, I'm not that sharp, honest), or just a good marketer, or just a good JV opportunity seeker, or simply seeing a good deal for my subscribers, or just a way of getting a new product to review for free because I wasn't sure I'd like it, or..?
##### 2 x $50 up for grabs!!! #####
If you've managed to read this far you deserve the potential of a reward, so I'm offering $50 each for the TWO best answers posted before Monday 10th March...
What potential "angle" have I missed?
I'll decide on my favorite answer and I'll ask Ben or Rob to decide on the second, if they'll agree to do so, or even still talk to me after reading this post...
If they haven't got the time, then I'll ask Neil Shearing to pick the second winner, if he doesn't enter himself that is..
note: "funny" answers will not be ignored. 😉
and if you're interested in what I thought of Rob's new product (yes, I really did like it and learnt some new stuff myself, which doesn't happen often nowadays, I've been doing this IM stuff a little while now) you can check out the full post (it's not as long as this one, I promise) here:
and last of all, I did warn you that it's a long post, the longest I've ever done I believe, so thank you for hanging in there and reading (or just scrolling?) all the way to the bottom..