At a glance, affiliate marketing and network marketing feel like a dream. You simply have to like a product of another company and then sell it forward.
You don’t have to spend hundreds of hours coming up with an entire business plan – no product creation, no shipment, no customer support, and no end-of-the-day financial recording, and so on.
This is exactly why so many people across the world want to get into either affiliate or network marketing. The commissions sound incredible and you only have to promote some products online.
However, a surprising number of affiliate and network marketers fail in this endeavor. But before we move and learn why this failure happens, let’s discuss what affiliate and network marketers are.
Affiliate marketing is essentially a marketing effort where you earn a commission for promoting another company’s products. For instance, if you like a product, the company may approach you to promote it via affiliate links.
Each time a person clicks on that link and makes a purchase, you get a commission for that sale. This is the bare bones of what affiliate marketing is. The affiliate marketer is the middle person who bridges the gap between the consumer and the seller or entrepreneur.
A very recent example of affiliate marketing includes brand collaborations that YouTubers these days partake in.
Network marketers are similar to affiliate marketers in that they promote another company’s products without being involved in the actual business. However, unlike affiliate marketing, network marketers have to make a small upfront investment.
This is usually for purchasing a product sample kit to use in their marketing efforts. Besides this, the same principle is followed as each network marketer earns a commission for every sale they make.
The cosmetics company, Avon, is one of the most prominent examples of network marketing. They provide their network of mostly salesgirls with a kit of makeup, which they use to promote the products.
Back in the day, this mostly consisted of doing house calls. They would go door to door and get orders from the women. They would then send the orders back to Avon and they would handle the shipments.
Now, network marketers take this practice online.
Why do affiliate and network marketers fail online?
According to some resources, around 95% of new affiliate and network marketers fail. They start on the path with very high expectations and give up not long after because they don’t bring in enough money.
While there are a plethora of other reasons why this happens, our focus is on the lack of personal branding.
Most newbies assume that they only need an online connection to make money through affiliate or network marketing.
Instead of focusing on creating and leveraging their personal brand, they spend resources on diverting traffic. They follow temporary trends and jump from one bandwagon to the next, which ultimately doesn’t provide enough returns.
Not too long ago, when I was starting out my journey in the marketing field, I was in the same boat. Not knowing the importance of branding myself, I ended up losing a significant amount of money on online advertisements.
When I realized that all the money I spent wasn’t actually bringing the results I expected, a light bulb went off. After doing some due research, I realized the importance of building my own brand.
The advantages of building a personal brand and then generating leads through it proved a useful strategy. Furthermore, it didn’t involve me having to spend thousands of dollars on advertising.
How will personal branding benefit network and affiliate marketing?
There are many benefits associated with personal branding. Since I can speak from my personal experience, here’s how I benefited from putting myself out there on the internet:
Access to Opportunities
It’s true that no one will approach you with their money if they don’t know who you are.
Having an established reputation just allows you to get access to exclusive deals, give you leverage while negotiating, and makes it easy to foster trust.
When people trust you, they come to you instead of you always having to approach them. Since your name will be recognizable among others, clients will come to you.
Future business possibilities
When you have an established personal brand in the market, the path of creating your business will be easier. Having your audience’s confidence in your brand, you’ll be able to leverage your brand and create a successful business out of it.
One example is Michele Phan. She is another beauty YouTuber who gained success for her makeup tutorials. She leveraged her brand on YouTube to create the mail delivery beauty company, Ipsy.
When you Google search your name, what comes up?
The answer to this question is an incredibly important one. The internet is a free space where anyone can write anything about anybody. This can seriously impact your reputation if you don’t already have an online presence.
Affiliate marketing works because your customers trust you. This wouldn’t be the case if you don’t exist on the internet.
Establishing a personal brand allows you to take charge of what is said about you. This is imperative for achieving success in your affiliate and network marketing efforts.
What can you do?
Start with the Basics
Start with figuring out how you want to portray yourself. It is crucial that you remain authentic in your approach. Furthermore, be reachable and responsive. Starting with this mindset will drive you in the right direction.
Buying a domain name that is either your own name or your business’s name is important. It allows your customers to recognize you amongst a sea of competitors.
Narrow your Niche
One of the most common mistakes new affiliate and network marketers make at the beginning is thinking they can do everything. It’s okay to experiment, but you need to narrow your niche. Find what you’re an expert in and stick to it.
Choose Your Platforms
This is mostly in reference to advertising channels. From social media to other outlets like blogging, vlogging, live streaming, podcasts, and more, choose the channels and platforms that resonate with your brand. But, make sure they are where your target audience exists.
For social media, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram along with LinkedIn are the most popular options. You can pick and choose other channels to supplement these social media platforms.
Cultivate a Relationship with your Audience
It’s incredibly important that you have a strong relationship with your audience. Use your chosen platforms to build a relationship with your audience and share your story. Portray your authentic personality so people find you relevant and trustworthy.
Monetize your Brand Strategically
Don’t fall in the pit of promoting whatever comes your way. The trick to successful network and affiliate marketing is being picky with what you promote. Make sure you test out the product/service yourself and then do your research on the company itself.
If there is any discrepancy between what you’re promoting and the actual product, you will be the one held accountable for false advertisement. Consequently, this will have a negative impact on your reputation.
In the end, it’s about finding your niche and your strength as a marketer and using them to build a strong brand, truly representative of you as a person.
When you have that, leveraging it and finding success becomes a reality.
Finding a domain name
Choosing your niche
Picking the right channels
Connecting with your audience
Promoting what you actually like
These above mentioned points can make all the difference, regardless of whether you’re using personal branding for affiliate marketers or personal branding for network marketers.