Affiliate Programs: Making money when you buy stuff
Three times this week, I’ve had conversations which boil down to the naivete of business owners.
The only way to bust outta that naivete is by learning. By putting yourself outside of your bubble. Of course, going outside the bubble also means we also have to “up” our critical thinking. I am continuously learning. I have my fair share of naievte. Hell, I’m going on a two day treck to a leadership conference in Vancouver BC and sitting in a room with 200 business owners who are 1-3 financial levels ahead of where I am. And getting out of my bubble is the only way to open my eyes, stretch, and learn. Because I don’t know what I don’t know.
So let me offer this eye opener:
When someone recommends a link, a company, a service, without really talking with you about what you want and desire from your business, please, for the love of all that is holy, ask them if they are part of an affiliate program and then ask them exactly how this referral will serve you right now.
I’m a consultant. That means I listen to my clients, pull all kinds of information out of them, find out what their needs, wants, pains, fears, desires, and goals are, and then I connect those goals to solutions. Many times, my clients, by virtue of the conversation itself, create their own solutions. On other occasions, we find solutions for them in the form of vendors of services and pre-created systems.
Sometimes, depending on the service, vendor or solution, I may receive a reward for making the introduction to that vendor. See those little squares on the side of some of the pages of my website? Yeah, those are affiliate links. I get paid a commission when people click them.
What’s crucial, and frankly ethical, in working with clients is taking the time upfront to find out what you wanted. When I recommend a service or pre-existing system, it’s based on your desires and my experience seeing what could work for you where you are now. My job and purpose on this earth is to show you, Mr. and Ms. Small Business Owner, how to figure out how to run your business better. When you learn that skill, you serve your clients better, make more money, have more time, and go galavanting off to get a pedicure while you business makes you money.
I may or may not receive a referral reward. That, to me, is secondary.
Here’s where I got pissy this week:
Not every consultant or coach is upfront about the commission thing. And for some, making a commission takes precedence over making sure the service/system is a good fit. Okay, okay, I know that not everyone is a jackass. There are a few in the world though and they spurred this post.
When you work with a coach or consultant in any area of your business or life, and they recommend a system to you without getting to know you, your business, your goals, and pulling out of you what you really want to happen, please have a big-ass red flag pop up. There is no way in hell I can figure out what you want and what’s best for you without talking with you one on one for a dedicated period of time. I guarantee no one else is so savant like they can either.
Know why? Because you’re not them! And they aren’t you! What has worked for them is not necessarily the right fit for you and your desires. If you want to model them, that’s cool. Just know what you’re seeing from them is the outside of the box. You don’t know all the work, time, energy and sacrifice they put into getting what they have. All of that is inside of the box. You may not want all that comes with what they have.
Moral of the story: Use your critical thinking skills here, good business people. Ask questions. Make sure you’re participating fully when you work with your coaches and consultants.