People ask me all the time what makes a successful affiliate marketer. Unfortunately, many times, it’s those who fail that seem to get the most attention, and that’s not the type of publicity you want.
So here are the top 12 most common mistakes that unsuccessful marketers make. Thankfully, anyone can avoid these errors. Use this guide to ensure that you don’t fall into these same traps.
1. Focusing on opportunity first, instead of product
Many affiliate marketers – especially those who are new to the field – get so caught up in the idea of making a quick buck that they forget about the actual product that will help them make money. The fact is that if you don’t have a great product that satisfies a need for your target audience, those dollars won’t ever roll in.
Frankly, no one should think of the field of affiliate marketing as a get-rich-quick outfit. Empower Network helps by providing the tools you need to be successful, but you still need to work hard and stay focused to grow your business.
2. Sending out mass emails to solicit sales
Of course, most of us know the basics of staying out of trouble when it comes to emails, like not sending bulk messages to a purchased list. But there are still a ton of subtle mistakes that could land you in hot water. In some instances, these errors could lead to your emails being considered as spam and, in extreme cases, could expose you to lawsuits. That’s a business-killing mistake no one wants.
Make sure you’re aware of all the rules when it comes to sending emails, like always including a physical mailing address in the footer and not using the word “free” in the subject line. Those who ignore these rules never succeed.
If your product is good and your business ethics are sound, you’ll have a successful company and won’t need to resort to such tactics. It’s always best to do your homework, know your audience and use more targeted methods to achieve success.
3. Spamming people on social media
First of all, let me state clearly, once and for all, that this never works. Those who do this are exceptionally annoying in the short term and serve to give the entire field of network marketing a black eye in the long run.
There are far better ways to engage customers on social media than bombarding them with information they don’t want, didn’t request and don’t need. Leverage social media as the helpful tool it can be by figuring out the best ways to connect and interact with your target audience on the various platforms.
4. Highlighting the features of the product, not the benefits
You probably know people who talk about themselves incessantly, seemingly without even taking a breath. That’s what it’s like when you go on and on about the wonderful features of your product without highlighting how it will benefit your customers.
Today’s consumer wants to know how your product will affect them and make their lives better. In addition, don’t be afraid to discuss both the strengths and weak points of your product. Not every product will work for every person. Acknowledging this will increase your credibility and trustworthiness among customers and prospects.
Knowing what your customers want or need takes research and effort. If you’re unable to do that, they probably won’t purchase whatever you’re selling, no matter how many bells and whistles it has.
5. Neglecting to do the homework
No matter what field of business you choose, it’s absolutely imperative that you understand your market. That means knowing your target audience, having a thorough grasp on your product and staying aware of the competition. You also need to keep up on trends and tools that can help make your business grow.
Affiliate marketers who fail to do their homework find themselves constantly behind the curve and eventually out of business. This is one of the main reasons why some affiliate marketers are unsuccessful.
6. High-pressure selling techniques
When was the last time you bought a product just because the salesperson was pushy? Most people are much more likely to walk away without buying anything in that situation.
Online shoppers have proven particularly unforgiving when it comes to high-pressure sales techniques; it’s too easy for them to simply click away from the site.
Those who are most successful in the field of affiliate marketing realize that if their products fulfill a need or solve a problem for consumers, and it’s easy for the consumers to find those products, they will. The trick is being in the right place at the right time when the prospective customer is ready to make a purchase. At Empower Network, we show you how to optimize your website and business to make it happen.
7. Failure to stay focused
Many people still have the wrong impression of affiliate marketing and make costly mistakes because of these misperceptions. For example, some believe that you can simply set up your site and then do nothing else.
To be successful, you need to think of affiliate marketing like any other business. You have to constantly stay focused on how to make it better. That means research, planning, measurement and adjustments to ensure that you’re keeping customers happy and providing value. Soliciting feedback can help you figure out what’s working and what isn’t. Frequent communication and customer engagement should give you an idea about what to tweak and what to avoid.
Affiliate marketers who aren’t vigilant about their businesses are doomed to fail. Half-hearted attempts and unclear strategies lead to unsuccessful businesses. But if you’re committed to your success, Empower Network can help with proven tools that will guide you on your journey.
8. Forgetting the importance of relationships
No man (or woman) is an island; we can’t do it all alone. You could try, but it wouldn’t be much fun. Not only that, but the relationships you build along the way are actually crucial to your success.
Some affiliate marketers get so focused on developing their businesses that they forget to cultivate the customers on which their companies are based. Building relationships with customers is a critical part of doing business today.
These days, consumers expect more from the companies they do business with, even online. They want to know that the company is trustworthy and will add value to their lives. Competition is so fierce that either you comply or you forego success and are forgotten yourself.
There are many tools to help you engage with customers, like informative blogs, social media posts and detailed reviews. Keeping clients happy and making sure that they always have a good feeling about your product is just the tip of the iceberg.
It’s also a good idea to maintain relationships with your fellow affiliate marketers. You never know when a casual conversation or networking event will create a spark that you can use to grow your own business. At Empower Network, we offer events throughout the year for our members to come together for brainstorming, barn raising and energy boosting because, yes, it’s important.
Some do this by making false claims, overstating the benefits of their products or posting fake reviews they didn’t earn. Others may tell outright lies about their products or those of competitors.
Savvy consumers always see through these lies, no matter how small, so don’t do it. While you might fool a few and make a couple of sales, what you lose in terms of trust and credibility is never worth the price. Thanks to social media, word-of-mouth reviews can now go viral and global in an instant. That’s great if the feedback is good, but it can destroy your business if the review is bad.
Billionaire businessman Warren Buffet once said, “It can take a lifetime to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it,” and never has that been more accurate than it is today. Once you’ve lost consumer trust, it’s practically impossible to get it back.
If you’ve chosen a good product, promoting it will only take hard work, not untruths. Lies are the lazy way out.
10. Selecting the wrong product
Have you ever had a job you hated? We’ve all had at least one job that wasn’t a good fit, where it’s a struggle to get out of bed, knowing that a huge chunk of the day is going to be lousy. No matter what reason you had for disliking the job, you were probably unmotivated and ineffective in that position.
The best jobs are those you would do even if you didn’t get paid. Like the saying goes, if you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life.
You also have to make sure that the company you choose is a good one. A bit of research will answer questions like whether it has a good customer service model and a viable, quality product. It’s also important to beware of cons and scams, like being required to pay expensive fees just to get started. These kinds of operations never pan out.
In affiliate marketing, it’s crucial that you find a product you’re passionate about and want to promote long-term. Those who don’t will feel stuck and unhappy, leading to an unsuccessful business. At Empower Network, we believe in striking the right work and life balance so that our members can do their best and achieve their dreams. It all starts with finding the right product.
11. Choosing too many products
Multitasking has become the million-dollar word in business today. Still, study after study has shown that it doesn’t really work. You always end up concentrating more on one thing and sacrificing the others in the process. In the end, the more you try to get done, the less you actually accomplish. The same principle applies to affiliate marketing.
Some people think that if you have a few fish in many barrels, you have more chances to be successful. In reality, you’ll spend most of your time trying to corral all those little fish, making you tired and unproductive. If you do this,you’ll be working harder than you need to, leaving you unfulfilled and unhappy with your work-life balance.
They say that a jack of all trades is a master of none. You will fare much better if you select one product and focus on making it the go-to item for your customers and prospects.
After a while, once you’ve perfected a successful technique, you can think about including other products, but it’s important to go slowly and never bite off more than you can chew. Whatever you choose, make sure you proceed with your overall goals in mind and don’t lose sight of the strategic plan you’ve made for your life.
As I’ve stated time and again, affiliate marketing is not a lottery. You have to work hard and use the tools available, like those Empower Network provides, to grow your business and make it a success.
But there are always those who seem to think this sentiment doesn’t apply to them – that they’re the exception to the rule and will make money quickly and easily. As a result, they run around with no real plan and are apt to make impatient, rash decisions in the pursuit of a quick buck. This leads to a big letdown when they discover the truth for themselves.
The most unsuccessful affiliate marketers are the ones who don’t take the time and effort to make their businesses sustainable and profitable. Perhaps the saddest part is that they’ll never know how terrific their businesses might have been.
Ultimately, you can learn a lot from the mistakes (and successes) of other affiliate marketers. A willingness to learn and an open-minded attitude will help you succeed. Using the tools Empower Network provides will take you even further.
Did I miss any mistakes? What errors make up your list of things to avoid? I look forward to learning from you.
Jonathan Cronstedt is the CEO of Empower Network, LLC. Empower Network is a leading affiliate marketing and direct sales company that’s helping tens of thousands enjoy the “Empowered Lifestyle.” Jonathan enjoys travel, spending time with his wife and red wine.