It’s a question I hear time and again: What makes a successful affiliate marketer?
I have often said that the field of affiliate marketing brings out the best entrepreneurial spirit in our members. With Empower Network, it’s possible to have a great life and a wonderful, satisfying career – as long as you’re willing to work hard. Here are what I believe to be the top qualities of successful affiliate marketers.
1. Be clear about what you want.
Most of us believe that we know exactly what we want. Often, it’s not until we actually take the time to write down a list of priorities, the goals we want to achieve and how close we are to making them a reality that things become clear.
To make it even more helpful, break your lists down and categorize them. For example, you can separate long-term and short-term goals, and life goals versus professional goals.
2. Plan, plan and plan some more.
Planning for your success is more than just a well-worn business phrase or something for you to say you are doing when there’s really nothing happening. It provides a useful method to better organize your thoughts and demonstrate that you are steadfast in achieving your goals.
Map out your path and envision various scenarios as well as how you will overcome obstacles. This way, no matter what’s waiting around the corner, you will be better prepared and know that you’re equipped to handle it.
Jumping into the water and flailing around until you find something to hold onto or waiting for rescue does not constitute a plan. Even the most profitable, so-called “overnight” success has to start with an idea combined with a way to execute it. Empower Network can show you how to work your plan, use it to conquer the affiliate marketing field and lead to your ultimate victory.
3. Do your homework.
It’s important to find out if affiliate marketing is the career for you before you fully commit. The field can be very competitive but there is help available. You should talk to some of the current members of Empower Network to learn about what they actually do and how they spend their days. The best way to do this is to attend the live events to experience the culture of the field.
Once you decide that it’s what you want, the next crucial step is to narrow things down and locate a company that’s doing something you think you’ll enjoy. That old saying, “If you work in a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life,” is absolutely true.
It is difficult, if not impossible, to become great doing something you hate. Just think about this: If you awaken every morning dreading your day and the way you have to spend it, how much effort or passion are you really going to put into make your company the best it can be?
To find the right external opportunity, you should start by looking internally.Figure out your own worldview as well as the personal goals you want to achieve, then find a company that most closely matches your ideals.
You can also research the various tools available for affiliate marketers to make your job easier. There are numerous online resources which can prove helpful as long as you know how to use them properly, and Empower Network will guide you in the right direction.
Pledge to become the best affiliate marketer you can. This includes knowing as much as possible about your target audiences, doing research on your market and creating a strategy. Then, you can be happy doing something you love each day while you work to improve your financial well-being.
4. Find inspiration.
Connect with others in the field through Empower Network events and resources. Read books that provide motivation and guidance for your journey. I highly recommend How to Get Rich by Felix Dennis, The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, Leading an Inspired Life by Jim Rohn and, of course, the Bible.
In addition, remember that your best inspiration is you. Trust your instincts and blaze your own trail. Tell yourself every day that those who told you that you couldn’t were wrong.
Surround yourself with people whose love and support will give you that extra boost we all require for true success. At Empower Network, we encourage our members to find that ideal work-life balance which is so critical in helping to achieve goals.
Whatever inspires you, make sure you have plenty of it on hand to help you push through the rough times. Swallow that hot, steaming cup of self-confidence and be everything you’ve always wanted to be.
5. Be tenacious and persistent.
The field of affiliate marketing is full of those who start out with fire and excitement only to quickly crash and burn. You don’t want to be one of them.
Many newcomers to the field fail or give up, often because they lack the tools and resources necessary to become great. Others may fall into the opposite trap, collecting mountains of books, courses, software programs and information and listening to people from all sides, rapidly becoming overwhelmed and losing focus. These mistakes can be costly and destroy your career before it has a chance to get off the ground.
It takes both time and effort to succeed in affiliate marketing. In addition, you need to possess a healthy level of tenacity to maintain the same energy and drive that you have when things are good, even when your business is in a slow period. It’s easy to think about throwing in the towel during these times, but a positive, persistent attitude will help get you through it.
At Empower Network, we help entrepreneurs like you handle the challenges of affiliate marketing, such as payroll and technical issues, that can zap your energy and distract you from your focus. If you resolve not to give up, we won’t, either.
This will free up some time to concentrate on other tasks to improve your business, such as engaging with your customers, developing special offers or promotions and using all the tools at your disposal to grow your company.
6. Maintain a willingness to learn.
We all know a few know-it-alls. They believe they have studied all that there is to know about a subject and refuse to accept that others may have something to contribute to their vast knowledge. These people are no fun. Worst of all, they sometimes have incorrect information that they insist on sharing with everyone else, actually spreading damage and doing more harm than good to their area of “expertise.”
In affiliate marketing, there is much to learn, and having a pigheaded attitude will get you nowhere. Additionally, you must pace yourself. You can’t expect to become an expert in a day and get rich tomorrow.
Without the right help, networking and training, you might feel as if you’re trapped in a maze, not knowing which way to turn to get to the other side. Empower Network offers web software, marketing and leadership tools for start-up, home-based, small and medium businesses. This helps to ensure your business is moving in the right direction.
7. Gain the ability to understand your customers.
In any kind of business, but especially affiliate marketing, it is critical to develop a perception of and appreciation for your customers and their needs. While you are working to explain your product, remember to highlight the benefits instead of the features. In other words, it should be all about how your product answers a need or solves a problem for your customers.
You must learn your market, why consumers purchase the way they do, and where your company and product fit in. This is important when it comes to establishing trust, turning needs into leads and creating super fans for your product.
Consumers today expect companies and brands to add value to their lives and to explain how they’re doing it. Some tactics in this area can include blogging and demonstrations of your social responsibility. Empower Network’s signature product is a viral blogging system geared toward helping its affiliates use the Internet to grow their businesses online. It leads them from disenfranchisement through to full self-empowerment.
Above all, keep in mind that customers are human beings. On the other side of those email blasts and online orders are real people who need to feel valued and respected in order to keep doing business with you. Even in business-to-business companies, there is still an actual person making the purchasing decisions. Your customer service must be handled with professionalism, diplomacy and maybe a bit of humor to get the job done.
8. Remember that you are your brand.
You are your biggest brand ambassador. As such, you are representing it all the time. From the moment of your first contact to repeat sales, your customers must feel your confidence in your product.
It’s not enough to think that as long as you have a sound product, the branding will take care of itself. You must work at it through promoting, selling and living it every day.
9. Exhibit patience and discipline.
The field of affiliate marketing is rife with those who dive in seeking overnight success, only to have their dreams dashed and their businesses fail due to a failure to realize that success in this realm takes hard work. If you have the misconception that affiliate marketing is equivalent to hitting the lottery, perhaps it’s not for you.
As you become more involved with the affiliate marketing culture and Empower Network, you will probably find it enjoyable and that it offers a level of freedom unheard of in other organizations. However, you should not mistake this feeling of independence and openness with easy work.
It will take time, patience and discipline to stay the course and become successful. Yes, there’s that word you heard over and over while growing up from teachers, parents and coaches, stressing that having discipline can mean the difference between making your goals or missing the mark. Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s just as important in affiliate marketing.
Don’t be swayed by all the get-rich-quick rumors and deceptive gimmicks you find online. Especially when working online, it’s easy to feel like you can slack off and wait for the orders to come pouring in. However, a little effort goes a long way, and if you compel yourself to do something every day with the goal of moving your business forward, it will only make you more successful.
10. Maintain an ever-mindful approach to business.
Affiliate marketing is not a field where you can put your plan into action and then walk away, expecting things to take care of themselves. While Empower Network does provide the entrepreneurs on our team with the tools to grow, there is still much work to be done on the part of the business owner.
You must stay on top of trends and ahead of the competition. It’s also essential that you keep an eye on the market, be aware of where your competitors might be lacking and seize opportunities to gain and retain customers. To do this, you have to be mindful of changes in the industry so that you can adapt and adjust if necessary.
Even when there are unexpected bumps along the way, if you’ve done your homework and kept your customers in mind at all times, you will be able to remain calm and weather the storm. Empower Network will be there to assist you along the way.
Do you use other tactics on your way to being a great affiliate marketer? I’d love to hear about any ideas I may have missed.
Jonathan Cronstedt is the CEO of a leading affiliate marketing and direct sales company, Empower Network, LLC. With the products and services available through Empower Network, the company is helping tens of thousands enjoy the “Empowered Lifestyle.” Jonathan is a car enthusiast who enjoys traveling and spending time with his wife and puppy.