How brand marketing helps an Affiliate marketer. I am the swamped parent of two very active boys, ages one and four. I’m grateful to God above for them, but like most parents of young boys, they leave me utterly worn out by their anarchistic tendencies: stomping around, yelling, and all the other greatest hits.
My four-year-old is at the point in his life where he needs a little nudge towards independence, so I’m beginning to instill that in him. Like most parents, I want him to be self-reliant instead of always freeloading off of others. Cute at two, very unbecoming in the college years.
During this new phase, I’ve learned something, too. I found the same concept of self-reliance goes for affiliate marketers. If you constantly lean on others without learning the fundamentals, you‘re poking holes in your boat from the start. Nowadays, you‘re the ultimate marketing tool!
Not only must you put forth the effort, but you need prioritizing solid, consistent, long-term brand growth over the “short game,” i.e. that catchy sales funnel or that awesome solo ad. They may bring in some money, but they‘re not what’s important in the long run.
How Brand and Trust Works
No, it’s your brand and who you are that will allow those sales to drip in passively, at a consistently growing rate through brand marketing. All of the other stuff (funnels, ads, new tools/techniques, etc.) is just fancy tools for your toolbox. When people trust and believe in you, then they will buy. That’s it.
Of course, I’m not teaching my little guy how to be an affiliate marketer – yet – but that self-reliance is something I hope he picks up on quickly. In the same way, you as an affiliate need to rely on your voice and your unique talents to create a lasting impression that represents you perfectly.
The market is like a Tokyo metro station in the morning rush hour. You need to find a way to stand out amidst the wave of black suits and ties. According to Vick Strizheus, owner of the entrepreneur training company FourPercent: become an online entrepreneur, not just an affiliate who depends wholly on the merchant to profit.
So, how the heck do you do that?
How can you build your brand, and do brand marketing to avoid becoming the kid who has to wear Velcro sneakers until high school? If you know the principles and gained the necessary knowledge we share in our previous article about affiliate marketing. Try these by gaining, and you’ll at least be on the track towards independence.
Yes, the real yourself. Pretending to be someone else will become a huge stress-builder because you’ll always have to “embellish the truth” to maintain that image. Looking at you, Lamborghini rent-and-returners.
Let me put it this way. The more “yourself” you are, the easier and more meaningful your content creation strategies will be. If you always have to say to yourself, “Okay, I have to act like this” before you type a single word, it’s going to be a huge hassle.
On the other hand, if you’re upfront about everything, your content will flow almost like a stream of consciousness. After you get the hang of it, your audience will begin to seem like a friend of yours. Just be real with them and yourself.
Create a website for branding
Now I will be the first to tell you I do not know how to manually create a website. So, fortunately, there are professionals for hire on Fiverr and Upwork.
Anyways, back to my point about creating your website…this is so critical when it comes to getting out from under the merchant’s wing. Your website is your home base, and it allows you to rotate content and offers so you’re not stuck with the same merchant. It should show your personality while staying on topic.
Your site should hone in on your mission. It should concisely and attractively list your services, and this top-level info should be proudly slapped onto the homepage. You’ll see on my homepage that my training and blog info is close to the top. Not a coincidence, my friend.
Create your brand logo
This is your stamp – it represents your entire online empire and adds a ton of legitimacy to your operation. When people see your logo on Google, they should get the impression that you know what you’re talking about.
The logo helps in brand marketing it must be unique and attractive. Hire a designer if need be!
Create your own sales funnels
It’s tempting to use the funnels that merchants provide from a convenience standpoint, but as Aaron Chen says, those are training wheels. Just like with my little Evel Knievel and his sweet Spider-man bike, you need to pop those suckers off eventually.
Don’t get me wrong – if you’re a complete newbie, those funnels are a great start, but no more than that. If the offer is popular enough, there may be dozens or hundreds of affiliates using that same funnel. That’s like everyone bringing a Spider-man bike to the park and ruining my son’s coolness!
I’ve talked about sales funnels before, so if you’re looking to get more in-depth, you should check it out!
Create your lead magnet
A lead is a potential buyer, and the magnet is what strengthens the incentive for them to buy, opt-in, call for more info or whatever. This needs to be helpful, heartfelt and personal. It needs to come from you, so the customer can build a relationship from the beginning.
For example, you can throw up a single video or a series, featuring your actual mug providing awesome content in the form of training information, reviews, tips, and tricks, etc. Free e-books work as well, but it has to be personal and heartfelt!
Brand marketing through social media
Yes, you’ve got your website, which is awesome, but that’s just a home base. You want to wade into the very lush ponds that are YouTube (more like an ocean), social media and so forth to increase visibility, drive traffic (Click here to see how)and – remember – build that brand awareness for the long game.
If you do it correctly, you can create a nice traffic flow that builds upon itself with snowballing momentum. Great on video? Keep posting, replying to comments, and linking (responsibly) to your website and/or offers. It’s not all about the direct sale – people aren’t watching YouTube spend money.
Build that list for brand marketing
Nothing is more important to the sustainability of an affiliate’s profits than the email list. When everything else fails, your list is yours. It’s filled with your people that are interested in what you have to offer and provide.
From his book, Affiliate Marketing Ultimate Guide 2019 Ronald Roberts emphasizes to create your list and do not just buy from email lists to mercilessly send sales pitches.
If you provide value and solutions, in the form of your content and legit products you’re promoting, your list will stick with you if you take care of them.
Seriously, I mean it. Website crash? Go to the list. Merchant tanks on you? You still have your list. Can’t manage ads and campaigns because of an emergency? As long as you have a drip set up ahead of time, that baby will keep churning away. Lists=loyalty and consistency. Make sure to build one.
Let me loosely structure the analogy this way:
I’ll say my son is the affiliate and I’m the merchant, right? I want him to know that he can always come to me, no questions asked. That will always be my duty as a father, and he should know that.
However, I want him to get out there and do things for himself, like any decent parent. If anything ever happened to me, I want him to be able to provide for himself and a future family.
In the same way, as affiliates, learning how to become independent gives us the best of both worlds. You and I get the support of a merchant and the super awesome convenience of not holding actual inventory, but you and I also know how to grind out results on our own if we have to or want to.
That’s what I want for all of you, and myself, and my son. Being an affiliate doesn’t mean that you’re chained to a pole for your entire career. It means that you have a solid foundation and, if you set it up correctly, plenty of room to explore. Get out the pliers, folks. Training wheels are off.
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