You’ve heard the saying, “No man is an island,” and no business is either, for that matter!
I don’t know of any business out there that isn’t dependent on different partnerships and promoting relationships that help business grow and thrive.
When it comes to a consulting business, it’s no different.
I’ve written before about how important networking is to the trajectory of your business. And having affiliate partners is like taking the next logical step from networking. In fact, many of those in your business network would probably love to help you spread the word about what you do, whether it’s about your products or services in general or when it comes to specific promotions.
Case in point:
Recently, I held an online webinar called Catapult Your Business with Corporate Workshops. I promoted it to my own email list, through social media and through personal contacts I have in my network. But I also asked specific partners if they’d be interested in promoting it as well. In doing this, I nearly tripled the number of registrants that I had. In return, my affiliate partners get a commission from sales that have come via their promotions. In Internet marketing, they call this a win-win. I mean, what’s not to like!
These promotions with affiliate partners not only helped grow my list, e.g., more people now know what I do, but I can now engage with those people in different ways, including through my newsletter and other special events.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when pondering affiliate partners for your business:
1. Make sure you feel really comfortable with the people you’ll be asking to help promote you.
While it may seem like a simply thing to have someone email their list or post on social media on your behalf, it’s important that they do so with tack as their promotions can help or hinder your brand.
2. Set out the parameters of the relationship right from the start.
Ensure your affiliate partner understands what you expect from them with regard to helping you promote (e.g. send 2 emails to their list and post twice a week on social media), and what percentage of sales they’d get on specific products or services. In fact, you should always obtain a signed agreement in this regard.
3. Always ensure you give them what they need to make their job easier.
When you have an event or product launch, it’s critical, when you’re planning your marketing strategy, that you take into consideration at what point your affiliate will need to start doing their promotions. Affiliate best practices are to give them all the content, images they need, e.g. all pre-written and designed for them, so all they need to do is send them out/post them at relevant intervals. Also be sure that you don’t ask people to help you promote something during the same week the event is being held. All marketing needs to start at least 4 weeks out from your product launch or event. When you provide your content to your affiliates, be sure to state when the promotion period is so they can plan accordingly.
Lastly, keep building your network of affiliate partners as you grow your business. They will become invaluable to you, and as such, you need to treat them well. Let them know how much you appreciate them. And naturally, in turn, do everything you can to help them promote their own products and services. Affiliate partnerships are a 2-way street, and one that ideally should stand the test of time as you grow and flourish.
© Kim Chernecki
Kim Chernecki is CEO and Founder of Freedom Street, a global training and coaching company that helps high-performing consultants, coaches and other experts land lucrative corporate contracts. She is the creator of the Land Corporate Clients Fast-Track System, and is a top-rated sales performance executive, facilitator, coach, advisor, speaker and strategist. A 25-year entrepreneur, Kim has consulted with executives from 100+ leading North American and Fortune 1000 companies and has, herself, started up and helped grow 8 businesses and business divisions. Kim is also the Founder of the Trailblazer Forum, a Toronto-based, 3x/yearly live event that brings entrepreneurs together for powerful business-building opportunities.