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What Is An Affiliate Scheme?
An affiliate scheme in its basic form is like a referral fee. You have information that you share about someone’s product or service, and if someone signs up for that particular thing you get a referral fee.
The process is simple, your affiliate member shares a specific affiliate link on their site, social media platforms, via email etc.
The person being referred visits the site and the techie magic happens in the background where it tracks the IP address from where they have come from. This means that once the person orders, it will be registered as a sale and the affiliate member will receive commission for that sale. As the person running the scheme you can set any length of time for the tracking to allow for commission, for example you might set one year from the day they first click on your page, which means if they don’t sign up there and then, but come back later your affiliate will still earn a fee.
What Are The Benefits Of Having An Affiliate Scheme?
For the business running the scheme – It’s a way of getting in front of a wider audience, and through word of mouth, rather than promoting through ads etc. Yes, you’ll lose money through the commission fee you’re paying out, but you may never had come across that new client without the affiliation.
For the affiliate – They are getting a reward for recommending people to you. This might be something they’ve been doing for you already – but now they get a reward for doing so.
How Do You Set It Up?
I used a WordPress Affiliate Plugin for mine – you simply add the plugin to your website, choose what affiliation fee you’re offering, add in some links to where you want people to click through too. Set up a page on your website to focus on your Affiliate Centre. This will explain to your potential affiliates how the programme works, and you’re pretty much done on the techie side.
The next step is to share your links with people. What I find helps is to explain in monetary terms what an affiliate fee might mean based on each of my programmes, so they know what the referral fee is, and they then understand what that means to them. It makes it more real and better than saying, “You’ll be getting x% of that programme.”
I have a document that explains how my scheme works. What I’ll need to keep track of is letting my affiliates know of any new programmes I set up as I go, updating them on any price changes, any special offers that I might run etc.
You can also build elaborate affiliate programmes, where you have a Facebook group to support your affiliates, set a leader board to show who’s doing the most sales and more, you might offer additional rewards etc. That’s not for me, not yet anyway. I might change my mind in the future.
There are lots of ways that you can build your affiliate programme, one of my friends spends lots of time developing different ways in which to make her affiliate programme a success. For now I’m happy to just KISS, with mine (Keep It Simple Sweetie) and offer the link to my clients and subscribers to share if they believe they have received great value from me and my programmes, and believe it would be worth referring to someone else. I’ve given a couple of examples in the Affiliate Centre of what people could share, but I’d much rather it be in their own language than mine. That’s more authentic.
Is An Affiliate Programme The Right Thing For You?
So, I wondered if an affiliate programme was the right thing for me. Well, the way I see it is this… I have some clients that absolutely love what I do and I think it’s only fair that they get some kind of ‘gift’ if you like, for referring business my way. It’s a way of me rewarding their loyalty somehow.
I often get offered the chance to be on affiliate programmes with people. For me, it’s really important that I only promote what I’ve personally used. I might promote one product from someone but not another, and that’s purely because I haven’t personally used it. I don’t want to vouch for anything I’m not personally familiar with.
Be very careful who you decide to promote as it can damage your credibility
The same applies to when doing joint ventures with people. As I’ve said in the past, they can be a great way to build your visibility and get in front of a wider audience, but you need to be strategic in who you choose to work with.
I am currently an affiliate with a few people and have personally used their products. I’m in the position in business where people trust what I share, so it’s important to keep that credibility intact by only recommending people/companies that are of high value and great content.
So, should you have an affiliate programme or not? I can’t answer that one for you. I guess there will be another blog post from me once I’ve figured out whether I like it or not, but for now, it’s the right thing for me and my business. My only hope for it is that people only share if they are genuinely interested in what I do and how my programmes might help someone they know. It’s free to join, so pop on over and sign up with me.
Your call to action this week: Consider if an affiliate programme might be a good fit for you, either now or as part of your business plan going forward.