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AMY PORTERFIELD: Hey there, welcome back to another episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast. I’m your host, Amy Porterfield, and I am excited because we have Pat Flynn back on the show.
If you know Pat you’re probably in love with him just as much as I am. I mean, like a work kind of love. Let’s be appropriate here. He is a father. He is a husband. But I’m in love with this guy when it comes to learning online marketing strategies because he has such a big heart.
The guy genuinely cares about the work he does and the people he serves. I can’t necessarily say that about everybody in the online space so I really wanted to point out that he is the real deal and you’re going to see that come through in everything he talks about today.
The topic today is affiliate marketing. When you do affiliate marketing, if you come from a place of integrity and with a lot of heart it really comes through and I think that’s literally the secret sauce to making affiliate marketing work for you. Today guys, you’re going to learn from the master.
Raise your hand if you could use a little extra cash in your business right now. Raise your hand no matter where you are. I know that might be weird if you’re on a subway right now with earbuds in and you just raise your hand out of nowhere.
But do it. It kind of feels good. You’re declaring, “Heck yeah, bring it on. I’d like a little extra cash.”
Who wouldn’t, right? In my first few years of business I really could have used a little extra cash as I was building everything and figuring it all out. Truth be told I went into debt in my first few years of business and I don’t actually think that was necessary.
Looking back I could have been more strategic in how I approach everything. Also, if I had taken advantage of affiliate marketing in the way that Pat’s going to talk about it here I would have had a nice stream of revenue coming in kind of like in the back end, passive revenue, so that I could work on the big projects that I was so eager to jump into.
This episode could literally change the game for you in terms of having some extra cash to build on those big projects you’re working on right now.
I’m sure most of you listening know Pat. But, for those of you who don’t, Pat is the host of the uber popular Smart Passive Income podcast. He is an author. I highly recommend his book, Will It Fly?, if you’re trying to figure out if your business idea will really work.
He’s a high-paid speaker so you might have seen him onstage already. But if you know anything about Pat you also know that his title of dad and husband would go in front of all of those other titles.
He’s a great friend and someone I truly admire and I love having him on the show. By the way, Pat has earned over $3 million in affiliate marketing commissions since he started his business, $3 million!
The guy knows a thing or two about achieving monumental success. Since we’re talking about affiliate marketing, this episode is brought to you by Pat Flynn’s program, 1-2-3 Affiliate Marketing. Of course I am a partner with this program because I believe in it so much.
Pat created this program to teach you step by step how to authentically generate more income with affiliate marketing. If you like my style of teaching, the step-by-step let-me-show-you-how-it’s-done style, then you’re going to love how Pat teaches inside of this program.
He takes you through the entire process to get up and running with affiliate marketing or to audit your existing affiliate marketing to make it stronger and better. The cool thing is Pat has generously offered $200 off his program for my listeners and a bonus mini course. How cool is that?
You can find out all the details at https://www.amyporterfield.com/patflynn. Make sure to check it out.
We’re going to talk about his program and all about affiliate marketing in this episode so let’s get to it. I won’t make you wait any longer.
AMY: Pat Flynn, thank you so very much for coming back on the show. It’s been a while.
PAT FLYNN: It had been a long time. Every time I hear Rick coming back on the show I get super jealous because I’m like, “I want to come back.”
AMY: Rick is going to love that you said that. Maybe you and I should just do a regular thing. Rick’s out, you’re in, we’re good to go.
PAT: Alright. That makes me feel better.
AMY: I’m really glad you’re here because we’re talking about one of my favorite topics today. We are talking about affiliate marketing. This is something that is so incredibly doable for my listeners so we’re going to make it really actionable. Does that sound good to you?
PAT: It sounds perfect.
AMY: Before we get going, my audience knows you. This is not a thing where you have to introduce yourself or tell people about yourself. Why don’t you share with us something that you’re excited about right now. What’s going on in your world? What have you been working on? I just want to do a proper ease into this.
PAT: I have a lot of things going on, a lot of irons in the fire. As you know, one of the most exciting things I’m experimenting with right now…that’s what I always like to do, I like to try new things and I call myself the crash-test dummy of online business because I like to put myself out there, try things, see what works, see what doesn’t, and then report back for everybody else just like a good crash-test dummy does.
But I’m not a total dummy. I’m kind of smart about this process so we’ll see. The thing I’m most excited about is actually a physical product that my videographer and I invented actually.
AMY: Okay, I forgot about this and we had just talked about it when we got coffee a few weeks ago. Tell my audience about this. This is exciting.
PAT: I had never done a physical product before. Seriously, after going through the process that we’ve gone so far (and it’s not even ready for sale yet) I’m so appreciative of the fact that we live in a digital world because physical products…It’s a crazy process from the prototyping to manufacturing.
We haven’t even gotten to shipping and all that kind of stuff yet. There’s just a lot of things going on. We got a patent pending on it which was a whole process and all of those kinds of things.
Really, where this came from and where any good business comes from is solving people’s problems. This tool we built solves a problem we’ve been noticing in the world of blogging. That’s video blogging.
Often times you will go to conferences and you might even see people walking around your city holding Joby Gorillapods, which is like a tripod with flexible legs that kind of bend. You hold the camera out and they kind of have their arm out there.
That’s not what those things were meant for but there are millions of them and people use them. I used it myself but my hands are tiny and I’m not that strong so the camera gets really heavy and I knew there had to be a better way.
Caleb and I came up with the idea to create a solution for that. Essentially, if you can imagine a tripod where the legs fold into each other to create a sturdy handle that can then switch quickly back to tripod mode (in and out of each of those modes) and we call it the switchpod.
You can actually check it out at switchpod.co if you want to see what it looks like. We’ve gone through a dozen prototypes and have spent thousands of dollars so far. We are hopefully going to Kickstart that later but it’s a lot of fun to experiment with something new.
It kind of gets me excited about where things could go and we actually tested this on the field at a video conference lately and have shown it to people. We filmed their reactions and everybody wants to buy at least three or four of them and that’s the reaction we wanted so all signs are good.
AMY: So cool. When do you think people can actually buy them?
PAT: Our goal, obviously there are a lot of variables, but we want to get it to people and in their hands before the end of the year.
PAT: If you go to switchpod.co you can see it, sign up for it if you’re a videographer, and again, it’s just a fun experiment and we will see what happens. Maybe it will sell to a tripod company for $10 billion. I have no idea what’s going to happen.
AMY: Okay, we’ve put it out in the universe. Yes, and yes. Done and done. That’s exciting so congratulations.
PAT: Thank you.
AMY: I saw the excitement in your eyes and how you talked about it when we got coffee the first time when you told me you were working on this. I’m really excited for you. I’m going to be one of your first buyers. You know, I’m not a big video person but I do enough that I could use this. It could be valuable.
PAT: Thank you, Amy.
AMY: Sign me up. I’m there.
PAT: What’s really cool is, again, like I said earlier it gives me a huge appreciation for the online space that we’re all in. When you consider the easiest ways to generate income it’s what we’re talking about today, affiliate marketing.
AMY: Nice segue. You must be a podcaster. Nice way to bring it back. I like it.
PAT: I’ve done this a couple of times.
AMY: As I mentioned, I’m very excited you’ve come on the show today because affiliate marketing is a perfect topic to dive into for my listeners. I say that earning affiliate commissions can provide just enough to help pay the bills associated with getting your online business up and running.
As you and I both know, affiliate marketing can be a huge income generator. I think you have said you earned over $3 million with affiliate marketing since you’ve gotten started. Is that right?
PAT: Yes, and that’s just to give you some perspective. Almost 70% of all of the income I’ve ever made online has come from affiliate marketing.
AMY: That’s insane. I always tell people if they’re interested in affiliate marketing you’ve got to talk to Pat Flynn. He’s done it from the get go. You are the guy to kind of break it down for us and that’s exactly why I wanted to have you on the show.
I know most people understand what affiliate marketing is. Just to make sure we’re all on the same page talk to my listeners about what you are referencing when you say “affiliate marketing” and why you consider it the most powerful form of income generation.
PAT: Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission, essentially, by promoting another person or company’s product. The crazy thing is people in your niche right now are buying products. If you can be the one to recommend those products and show people that these things are actually helpful then that company can pay you as sort of a thank you for doing that.
My first foray into affiliate marketing actually came after I created my own product, an eBook. Back in 2008 I had launched book to help people pass an exam in the architecture industry. That was going very well.
In addition to that I was supplementing my income with advertising on my website. Then one day a friend of mine introduced me to affiliate marketing. I said, “Wait, I could reach out to these people that I’m actually advertising with on my website and they can pay me if I make sales instead of just paying me a lump sum every single month?”
That’s interesting, let me reach out to the person I have been promoting on the side bar of my website and see if they have an affiliate program. The interesting thing is on their website they didn’t but when I asked them they said, “Oh yeah, we have an affiliate program and we’d love to bring you in. You’ve been a great person to send us traffic through advertising. We can definitely give this a shot.”
I was sending a few thousand clicks a month over their way for $1,000 a month. I thought it was fantastic. I was making $1,000 a month just through banner ads. But, when I switched to affiliate marketing and essentially for their $49 product I was making $22 per sale. I ended up making $8,000 per month, essentially, from promoting them as an affiliate.
AMY: In that time where you were in your life would you agree that’s a game changer?
PAT: It is an absolute game changer. The crazy thing was I didn’t have to do much else different than what I was already doing. I was already sharing this product because I had used it myself. I was already putting links to this product on the website.
What was the product? The product was an online exam simulator for this exam I was helping people with. It makes sense because I could tell them to get my guide, “Here it is. By the way, if you want to make sure you know all of the questions you might get asked on the test here is an exam prep simulator. Here’s my affiliate link so get that.”
It was kind of a no brainer next step for people. Often, when I teach affiliate marketing it’s about the steps that are involved that help them reach their goals. Somewhere in there might be your products. Other times it might be other people’s products. Either way you can still generate an income from it.
The beauty of affiliate marketing is that you don’t have to invest the time and effort to create a product to sell because those things already exist. Like I said earlier, people are already buying these products.
You can begin selling something as an affiliate as soon as you have a platform to sell it on.
AMY: If it’s so easy then why does it sometimes feel so hard for people? Why aren’t more people doing it? So many people are just halfway doing it rather than going all in. What do you think that’s all about?
PAT: It is simple but not easy.
AMY: That’s a good way to look at it.
PAT: If that makes sense. I can go on Amazon right now and grab a link for it but to convince a person on the other end to buy this product through my link is a challenge. The big challenge in this, especially when you’re promoting other things like online courses and what not, they are not your products.
When you sell your own products it’s likely to an audience you’ve already built a relationship with. But when you’re selling other people’s products or other companies products that trust isn’t as strong as if it were your own product.
You have to work a little bit harder to get a person comfortable to the point at which they would then finally click that link and make that purchase. But we’re going to go over a number of strategies today, I’m sure, to help make that trust factor show up even though you’re not promoting your own product.
Affiliate marketing had sort of earned a negative connotation in the world of online business for a while. It is because it is so simple to do. The reason I say that is because many people are going to find products that pay well first.
When they find a product to promote solely based on how much money they can make first and then ram it down everybody’s throat it just doesn’t feel good. It’s obvious that people are in it for the wrong reasons.
You have to approach affiliate marketing like this: You want to treat these products as if they were your own. If you couldn’t imagine selling that product yourself and trusting that company to take care of your people like you would take care of your people then it’s an obvious “no” when you promote that product.
That’s why it’s got a negative connotation. It’s so easy to find products, grab a link, and share it. It’s just become spam crazy. But that’s great for us who are in Amy Porterfield Land and Pat Flynn Land because we attract the people who are doing this for the right reasons.
Affiliate marketing can be a game changer for you because it is simple to do and because you’re going to learn all of these things we’re going to talk about today.
AMY: I always say that learning affiliate marketing through Pat is the best way to go because if you guys know Pat, which many of you do, it never feels spammy or salesy or that he’s jamming it down our throat at all.
Instead, it feels like he’s a really good friend and says, “Listen, I’ve got this really good idea for you. I know how to make it easier. I have this product I want to recommend,” and it always feels authentic.
That is just your nature but learning from somebody that it comes natural to is the best thing so a huge compliment to you for that one.
PAT: Thank you. You can actually recommend products and get thanked for that and make money.
AMY: Yes, you said that earlier. When someone buys from you, when they are already buying it already, if they buy it from you it’s like a “thank you” for recommending and I thought, “Wow, that’s a mindset shift right there.”
Getting thanked after somebody buys something that you’ve been an affiliate marketer for has got to feel really good. You also know you’re doing it right.
PAT: Who hands you $20 and says, “Thank you for letting me give this money to you.” That’s essentially what’s happening here.
PAT: If you’ve ever recommended a product to a friend or a movie to a friend or a book to a friend then you are already doing affiliate marketing, essentially.
AMY: That’s true. Keep that in mind because when you’re recommending something to a friend that feels very natural. That’s what you want to bring into your affiliate marketing as well.
There are two types of affiliate marketing, passive and active. Tell us the difference between the two and give us some examples of each. I thought it would be cool if you used an example of us. I’m an affiliate of your program, 1-2-3 Affiliate Marketing.
What is that an example of? And then, give us an example of the other one.
PAT: It’s not about the product. You can promote the same product passively and you can promote it in a more active manner. A passive example, let’s say you’re promoting 1-2-3 Affiliate Marketing, which is awesome by the way. Thank you for being an awesome affiliate for the course.
A passive way to do it would be to grab your affiliate link from me. You get a special commission as a result. By the way, you always have to be up front with the fact that you are an affiliate, at least if you live in the U.S. It is FTC rules. You have to make sure people understand there is a relationship there and that you get a benefit if people click the link.
I like how you just kind of naturally put that in there. You say, “I’m an affiliate for your product,” and now everybody knows. I love the way you did that, by the way.
A passive way to do it would be to grab the link. You have a page on the website that lists a lot of products and tools you recommend and use. You just insert the link there, add a little description on it, and there you go. Once you set it you can almost kind of forget it.
It’s there and as people go through your website and hear you link to the page or you happen to link to it in an email, for example, that page is already there and my link is there.
Perhaps it’s also in Email #4 in your auto-responder series. You just happen to mention the product, 1-2-3 Affiliate Marketing. It’s there and people see it. It’s passive. You put in the work up front and now it’s kind of continually working in the machine that you’ve built.
Another way to do it would be to write a blog post and give your take on it or a review of it or show people the inside of it in a demo video or something like that. These are things you set up once and then can continue to work for you over time. That’s a passive format of affiliate marketing.
An active way to do it would be for you and I, Amy, to set up a special webinar for people and then there is a launch sequence where people get excited. We come on and teach a little bit more and at the end of the webinar we share a special deal or offer for that program and it’s only available for a short time period either altogether or at a certain price or with certain bonuses that go away.
Perhaps it has more of a live launch kind of feel. That’s what an active promotion is. There are pros and cons to each and you can do both, which is really nice too.
AMY: I’m a big fan of doing both. I’ve always had different resource pages where I link to all of the programs and tools I recommend. Then a few times a year I’ll do something more active. I think this podcast is even a great example of a more active participation in being an affiliate.
Of course we’re talking about affiliate marketing. You all now know I am an affiliate of 1-2-3 Affiliate Marketing for Pat. But I’ve done this a few times on the show where I believe in something, I think my audience really needs to pay attention, and if they’re ready for it dive in and learn all they need to learn to make it actionable inside of their business.
I’ll do a special podcast all about that and it has proven to be very valuable. People will say, “Oh my gosh, I got the program. I’m making $2,000 extra a month. This is awesome, “ and then they get really excited, which completely lights me up. I live for that stuff.
PAT: Me too. Seeing results from my students is why I do it also. You’re actually already doing something I teach in the course, Amy. You are inviting the person who owns that product that you are promoting on your show. That’s a very smart thing to do whether you have a blog or a video channel or podcast.
Now people who may not know who I am or not know much about me, when you promote 1-2-3 Affiliate Marketing they now know me. They hear my voice. They can understand the benefit of not just the course but of working with somebody like me if they want to go deeper.
That’s a really smart thing to do so I would recommend it. Here’s the big takeaway here with affiliate marketing. You have to treat these products as if they were your own.
PAT: Most people fail with affiliate marketing because, “here’s a link, I’m going to put it on my website, I’m done.” You might write a blog post about it but that’s it. If you were promoting a product that you created that you know can be completely helpful for your audience would you just mention it in passing in a blog post once and that’s it?
No way. When you approach it almost like it’s your own product then you will win. Another auxiliary example of that is if you had your own product you would obviously show people the insides of that product and what it’s like.
But, for whatever reason, affiliate marketers like to just keep it as “oh here’s the product, here’s what it can do for you,” and that’s it. Why not show them the insides of whatever it is that you’re offering? If it’s a physical product show them a video of how that thing works and actually how to use it and some of the benefits of it but also how easy it is to work.
If it’s an online course you could even show people what the dashboard looks like and some of your favorite parts of it. Now even psychologically people are seeing what they are going to get before they get it. The mirror neurons in our brain are like, “Ooh, I can see myself doing that. Wow, it’s that easy? I think I can do that too.”
You would do that with your own product but for whatever reason most people don’t for affiliate products.
The last thing is that I like to take it one step further and say that I know it’s not my product, “I am an affiliate for it but if you have any questions about this let me know and I will answer your questions right away about this product that isn’t even mine.”
Do you understand how much more secure a person feels when they understand there is somebody they can talk to related to a purchase they are about to make? You would do that with your own product.
For whatever reason, affiliate marketers don’t do that with their own so when I am recommending a product I always say, “Hey, you know what? If you need some help with this or if you are having trouble understanding how this all works shoot me an email.”
When I say that people ask, “You want me to invite emails and communication? I don’t know if I have time for that.”
If you don’t have time for that then you are doing business for the wrong reason. You have to understand that when people ask you questions about products they are almost there. They just need to hear a safe voice on the other end letting them know to do it because it’s going to be “easy” or this is how that thing works, “Okay, I’m in.”
AMY: This is all so good because I want to give a few quick examples of how exactly it’s worked in my business showing you that what Pat teaches in 1-2-3 Affiliate Marketing is exactly what I do, which is why I promote it.
I would never promote anything that I didn’t believe in and that I didn’t actually use inside of my own business.
Here’s one thing. When I promote B-School, you all know I’m a huge affiliate (I go all in), like Pat said, I literally treat it as though it’s my own program. I have two examples of what you just said, Pat.
I’m still delivering on bonuses and content to my B-School bonus members and B-School is actually over. Marie’s done with the program. The eight weeks has happened but I’m still delivering because I promised some stuff beyond the due dates of the end of the program.
I feel it’s my program. I’m still very much in it. I have a live event coming up in the summer. I treat it as though it is my own program. That made a huge shift. I didn’t always do that but when I did that I was blown away by the response and the revenue it generated. I totally believe in that.
The second one, during the B-School launch I did tons of DM me and Instagram me with any questions you have and I will answer them personally. That was a game changer so I love that you say “even when it’s not your own program learn the program enough so that you can answer as many questions as people have.”
That was huge for me because there was a connection.
The third thing I want to say that you say to invite the creator of the program or product onto your show or blog or do a video with them. I did this with Ray Edwards a while ago. He was promoting one of his copywriting programs. I talk about Ray all the time. I’m a huge fan.
I did it for the sole purpose of knowing that my audience needed to know Ray and should learn from him. It just so happened that he had a program that was live at the time so I mentioned it. I told people where they could go. I got $40,000 on one podcast by just having Ray on the show genuinely talking about copywriting and why it’s so important.
PAT: I love that you said that last part, “genuinely talking about copywriting.” I did a very similar episode with the founder of ConvertKit, Nathan Berry. I’m an affiliate for ConvertKit. I’m also thankful to be an advisor for the company as well.
I invited him on the show, not to pitch ConvertKit, but to talk about his story that all led to why ConvertKit came to be and how he bootstrapped it. I don’t know if you know that but he didn’t get any funding to build ConvertKit to what’s now earning over a million dollars a month, which is pretty amazing.
AMY: I am so proud of him. I love him.
PAT: Right? That story was so inspirational that it really helped solidify that trust that people may not have had before people listened to that episode and then go, “Wow! I use a different email service provider but this is a real person. I can hear their voice and I understand the mission behind this company he’s built. I’m going to make the switch.”
Because we’ve been keeping track, that episode alone has generated over $50,000 in affiliate revenue. The cool thing about promoting an email service provider is it’s recurring income every single month.
I’m not making $50,000 a month, you can see on my income reports, I’m making about $15,000 to $20,000 a month from ConvertKit. It’s pretty ridiculous the kinds of things these things can do.
What’s really cool is I check the stats every single month in my podcast. That episode, even though it was recorded more than a year ago, is still getting thousands of downloads every single month.
AMY: I love this. This is exactly why it’s so important to bring the human touch to your affiliate marketing. Pat, I think you probably agree with this, when we find two or three really quality programs or services that we love you can do more than that with affiliate marketing and we will get into some tactics, I promise you, but one thing I found is when I choose two or three people I want to align with and promote their programs I can go all in like you do with ConvertKit.
We’re making the time and we know it’s worth it instead of spreading ourselves too thin and saying, “I’m going to do this with 20 or 30 people.” Does that make sense?
PAT: Yes. Another kind of similar example, there are many email service providers out there, just to go along with the ConvertKit example, that are great. I could recommend five different ones for people but when you choose to do it that way versus really honing in on the one that you know is going to help your audience the best or the one that is your favorite you’re going to confuse people.
You get paralysis by analysis, that’s what they call it. When you hone in on one, because you are the authority and go-to person, people will go with your recommendation. If you have two or three similar solutions for a problem your audience has it may benefit you to just hone it down to one now.
There are cases where it might make sense to have more than one but here’s the way you approach it. You have to allow people who come across your website or across your brand to have it be so clear to them that the particular product is for them and them alone. Then it’s going to work.
For example, if you had two products and one was for people who had “this” income level and that was very much purposefully built for them versus another one for a much more advanced group of people then the person can make the decision if they are a beginner or advanced.
“I’m advanced,” so this one is the obvious choice or, “I’m a beginner,” so this is the obvious choice. That’s the only time when multiple offers for the same solution would make sense.
I’ve trimmed down the offerings and in doing that I’m making more money.
AMY: That’s so good. I love the idea of trimming down the offerings. It’s so smart. Some people are listening and they are already doing some affiliate marketing but they want to kind of make sure they are doing it right and they are choosing the right affiliates to partner with and they’ve got things dialed in.
Other people are listening and they haven’t really done any affiliate marketing. My questions is, how do you get started if you’ve never done affiliate marketing? If you’ve done it for a while what would an audit look like?
PAT: If you’re just getting started, what’s really great, like I said, it doesn’t take much effort to begin. Even though you may not have an audience or big audience yet you can plant the seeds now because people will come across your content in the future.
The more understanding of the problems and pains your audiences has the more likely you are then able to connect these solutions that exist with those pains. You can plant these seeds now and although maybe you’re not going to make so much money right up front then those things are already there so when you start building an audience it’s going to work for you and you’ve already built the machine. It just needs some gasoline, essentially.
If you are somebody who started with affiliate marketing, really going into your analytics and understanding what’s working already and what’s not working is a really easy strategy that all of us doing online business (no matter how we generate an income) are looking at the 20% of whatever of that is making 80% of our income or getting us 80% of the results and then really optimizing for those.
You might have one affiliate product, like we were just talking about, that’s performing better than others. In all likelihood there are so many more things you can do to better promote that from including it into more of your blog archive to inviting the founder on your show or on your blog and interviewing them to even creating a demo video for it, which is typically the most common hole I’m seeing with people who are doing affiliate marketing.
In addition to that you can, at some point in the journey, if you are making sales for another company, that’s a lot of leverage because you are essentially helping them make more money and they are paying you for that, yes, but you can leverage that relationship after a little bit of time.
For many of the top programs I have become an affiliate for, I have reached out to those companies and my contact there. I say, “Hey, I would love to do even more to promote this product. What are some things we can do together? How can you help me help you?”
You can often get a lot of good things that normal people wouldn’t be able to get access to because you’ve already started to prove that you are there to support them and they obviously want to keep you because you are a huge asset in their business because you’re helping them grow too.
It’s kind of a fun thing because everybody wins in this situation. You can do things like, perhaps, the affiliate link doesn’t go to the generic home page but it goes to a very specific landing page with a video or my name on it or my face on it.
I have done this with multiple affiliates and that is great because when people click on the link about that product on your website and they go to their website the problem is that you kind of hope for the best at that point because it’s now up to them to convert those people.
But if you have some sort of linkage or continuing conversation from your website to their website then it helps the process move forward a little bit more. In addition to that you can create offers like bonuses. That is something I have learned very well from you, Amy, you do a great job of offering bonuses so that’s a way for some incentive to go through your link, especially for something like B-School.
I think it’s really smart that you include these amazing bonuses that could be products in and of themselves, Amy. There are so many other people also promoting that product at the same time during that live launch that Marie does so people are really excited to go through you because they know, and you’ve trained them over time, that you have the best bonuses of everybody. I think that’s really smart.
Finally, I think just doing an audit and asking where else you might be able to promote the product. Are there any holes? Can you include it on a resource page? Can you create a more in-depth review about it?
I also think auditing your audience is a great thing to do in terms of knowing what else they might need help with.
One of my favorite strategies is to literally stop guessing. I do that by surveying my audience. I know what my next steps would be. I might not know the exact solutions right now but if I know the problems and pains they’re going through or perhaps I’ve already served them with my own product, I can ask what are some other things they want to accomplish and do from here now that they have built whatever it is that you’ve taught them to build?
“Oh, I want A, B, and C.” Maybe A, B, and C are products you can create as well. Maybe those products already exist. They might be products you already use and recommend that you now know your audience can grab onto as Step 2, Step 3.
That is an example of a way I’ve done affiliate marketing very successfully. It’s not talking about the product first but talking about a process first. Back in 2010 I had shared how I built a niche site in the security guard training industry from scratch all the way from keyword research to building the website to getting to #1 in Google for a specific keyword to making money on that website.
I just displayed the whole process for free. But within that ten blog post series the second blog post was about keyword research and I just happened to mention the keyword research tool I used.
I always contrast that with the way a person can do that for free, this is a strategy for you if you’re doing affiliate marketing, especially related to software, but also with online courses and programs, you could do a process for free. I call it the free-with-headache method.
Or, you could do it the headache-free method which is “Here’s a tool that can help you save thousands of hours over time and it can do this much easier for you because it’s more convenient.”
Step 2 is the keyword research, Step 4 was building the website so I mentioned the hosting company I recommend. Step 5 was the theme I used, which I also had an affiliate program with. Boom, boom, boom.
When the website got to #1 in Google my affiliate earnings for those products increased by 1000% because the proof in what I was teaching and the process I was giving them for free allowed them to want to do exactly what Pat did.
They went back to blog post #1 and followed the exact step-by-step process. Like I said, Step 2 happens to have an affiliate products. Step 4 happens to have one as well, and so forth.
AMY: I love that you brought up content. I have found that when I actually put in the effort and time to create content around my affiliate marketing promotions I want to do it’s a total game changer.
Your ten-part blog series was brilliant. It’s not like it took you five minutes to put that together but the payoff was huge.
PAT: It’s huge and people are still continually finding it and going through the process and I had done that years ago and it’s still working.
AMY: Yes. So you guys all know I promote the idea of creating your original content on a weekly basis. You are putting out a new podcast or blog post every single week. Beyond that I’d like you to look at your affiliate strategy and maybe there’s one or two things you want to be an affiliate for.
I’d love to see you put a multi-part blog post together or, again, invite the creator on your podcast or go the extra mile with content. Content plus affiliate marketing equals success. I want you guys to really think about that.
PAT: I love that you challenge your audience like that. It’s so great.
AMY: Yeah, I think it’s so important. Pat, you’re giving us all of these great tips. It’s so good but I want to even push beyond all of the great tips and challenge you and ask you if you can give us your #1 affiliate marketing ninja trick, something that can help my listeners get more conversions and earn more organic traffic?
AMY: Cool. I’m putting you on the spot and you just jump to it.
PAT: Actually, I had mentioned this earlier but I want to go deeper with it. That is creating a demo video for the product you’re promoting.
AMY: Okay, I’m glad you brought this up because I know this is something you teach inside of your affiliate marketing program, right?
AMY: This is good.
PAT: It’s a bonus that’s included for you guys and it’s actually a separate course that I included called Demo Videos That Convert. There is a specific strategy for creating these videos that can help a person understand they need to get this “now” and they need to get it from “you”.
I teach the whole step-by-step thing but I’ll give you some really important tips here. You don’t need to share every little in and out feature/process of this product. You want this video to be just enough to excite somebody but not bore them.
I say that because I see a lot of people do these demo videos. This is a great first step but they are an hour long because they show every single feature, button, product. It’s like a tutorial versus an overview of how the product can help them and what it can do.
There are also some specific editing and video strategies that you can use with the examples that you set up but you basically want to pick three features but also understand exactly how to share why those features exist and why this product is unique.
When you can package all of that into a video that’s anywhere between five to 12 minutes in length a number of things happen. People see it and want to do it too. They want to go in there and do exactly what you’re doing.
You can get organic traffic from this. If you actually look up ConvertKit in YouTube right now my demo video is #1 even before any of ConvertKit’s videos.
PAT: Of course, that helps me because I am getting all of this new exposure from people who are looking up marketing tools and ConvertKit specifically.
When they see the demo and can see how easy it is to use, that’s the big thing, show them how easy it is to use. The cool thing is you’re editing this video. It’s not live so you can make it as simple as you can. People want to go through that link.
I mention it in the video. It’s in the description on YouTube. I think that video has nearly 30,000 views at this point. Every single product I’ve promoted that has done the best has had a demo video for it.
I’ve continually been meaning to create demo videos, essentially, for everything I promote because it works so well.
AMY: For sure. Didn’t you do that with hosting as well?
PAT: I did. That video has hundreds of thousands of views. There are some specific tricks you can do on YouTube for keywords and titling and things like that to get higher rankings as well but really you’ve just got to do it.
I know it’s hard and the reason why most people don’t do it is because it’s scary to do video and it’s a little bit of work but that’s what’s going to separate you from those who are just promoting it on their blog with a link. This is a game changer.
AMY: For sure. I’ve seen what you’ve done with that. I know Michael Hyatt has done something similar. Those videos are huge game changers and I also know they take a lot of time, especially when you want to do them right and you want to make it simple. The more simple you make it the more work it is for you as the content creator. Believe me, I get that.
But it lives on and on and on. That’s where it’s worth the time.
PAT: It can be placed in multiple places so in that interview I did with Nathan I obviously mentioned the demo and I have the demo linked to in the show notes or actually embedded in the show notes. In the podcast I say, “By the way, if ConvertKit is something that sounds interesting to you and you actually want to see how easy this is to use I have a demo for you that will show you.”
It just all naturally fits in perfectly. The demo video is linked on my resource page. For people who want to just see what they’re going to get, which is most people, they see it and, of course, they are going to go to my link after that.
AMY: I know this is going to sound a little weird how I say this, but I feel that Pat is a great example for somebody who earns the right to promote these products and programs. He does the work. He provides value.
If someone is going to buy it regardless I feel you are earning it because of all the work. I think that makes a huge difference. I know I just like to give you compliments but I really do believe that.
PAT: Thank you. I appreciate it. I hope everybody understands that lesson in how important that is for your audience and you have to kind of earn their trust. You have to earn the right to sell to them. If you know you have these solutions then it’s your obligation. It’s your duty to sell these.
This was a big eye opener for me over the past couple of years, Amy, because I know we’ve been friends for a while and for the longest time I didn’t even have my own courses to sell. I was only doing affiliate marketing.
It wasn’t until I realized I was doing my audience a disservice by not creating my own products but I know there are people listening right now who are doing their audience a disservice by not promoting other people’s products.
Those solutions already exist and if you can be the one to help promote those products and introduce those products to your people then they will come back to you and take even more recommendations from you.
For those of you just starting out, affiliate marketing is a great way to begin monetizing because then that trust you gain through recommending other people’s products can then lead to, just like with me, selling your own products down the road.
AMY: Exactly. I’m so glad you brought this up. Don’t you feel as though the work you’ve done to promote other people’s programs, products, and services, have really been an amazing groundwork for you to now pull from as you promote your own?
PAT: Absolutely. In addition to that, the relationships I’ve built with these companies has unlocked a lot of new opportunities as well like now being able to speak on stage at the LeadPages conference or speak on stage at Craft and Commerce which is the ConvertKit conference.
Those people who know I am supportive of their brand will then share me with other people who are important in the same space and this is a great way to get into these niches and industries.
AMY: That’s another great point, for sure. A lot of my listeners definitely want to get in and make a bigger splash with their affiliate marketing so let’s save them some time and headaches.
I know you’ve given us a few of these already but what are some of the biggest mistakes that most people make when they are doing affiliate marketing?
PAT: The number one mistake is promoting the wrong product. Really make sure the product you are promoting is one that will help your audience but, better yet, if you have experience with that product yourself it’s just going to make the conversation between you and your audience so much easier and that trust is going to be built so much faster.
When you can share the proof that goes along with that product in how it’s help you or others who have already taken you up on that offer then it’s going to be much easier and more comfortable for people to make that purchase.
On the flip side a big mistake that a lot of affiliate marketers are making is they aren’t actually pushing hard enough. I think this is just natural for those of us who are here to serve our audience. We don’t want to annoy them.
We don’t want to feel we are too pushy. But, again, if you align the product perfectly with solving the person’s problem or helping them achieve a certain goal they have then you can and probably should push a little bit harder than you think. This is something I’ve struggled with as well with my email list.
I’m afraid to send emails sometimes because I don’t want to annoy people. But if you spend a little bit of time up front to make sure what it is you’re sharing is of value and can help them then it’s going to be much more well received and you will be thanked for it.
I would say that if you are starting with affiliate marketing and you’re going to be promoting these products that aren’t yours promote maybe one or two levels more and harder than you are comfortable with. It’s likely going to still be within the realm of comfort for your audience as well.
My project manager, Matt, taught me this mindset when it comes to selling, these products that you are creating and these products that are already out there are essentially cures to people’s diseases.
If you had a cure for a disease wouldn’t you feel obligated and have a duty to actually share that cure with as many people as possible? Absolutely. You have to share it. If you have a cure for cancer are you just going to write a blog post about it and that’s it?
No, you’re going to take whatever effort you can to make sure people see that know that it’s going to help change their lives. Although we might not be curing cancer, in a metaphoric level, we kind of are because people are going through some tough times and they need your help.
They have been struggling and they need to know from you what to do next and what to get next. That’s where you come in as the hero…Not the hero but more the Yoda or Obi Wan because with your audience you should be the hero of the story you’re creating. You are the guide and people will take recommendations from guys they trust.
AMY: That’s so true. I love that. I do. I want to talk about 1-2-3 Affiliate Marketing. I want to talk about your program because some people are listening right now and they’re going to need some instruction. They want to know exactly how to do it.
They are like, “Let’s not waste any time, tell me what to do.” I’ve got some questions about affiliate marketing in general but also about your program. Are you cool with that?
AMY: I think a number one question that comes up, because this comes up with everything I sell as well, do you have to already have an email list to make affiliate marketing work and also to implement your program?
PAT: No. Obviously, an email list. Hopefully your audience has taken your advice and obviously has created one. But if you’re going to do that later affiliate marketing is something you can definitely get involved with right now as long as you have a platform of any kind, even social media, you can benefit from using affiliate marketing.
You might be like, “Pat, social media for affiliate marketing?” Yes, if you do it the right way it can be done in a way where everybody wins. You earn a commission. The person you are recommending the product to is happy because they are helping themselves.
The company that is promoting that product that you’re pushing out is going to be happy to so all things are great. You do not need an email list to get started but it would obviously help.
AMY: Cool. I want to let you guys know that https://www.amyporterfield.com/patflynn it’s as easy as that. That link will take you to the sales page for 1-2-3 Affiliate Marketing. Here’s what’s cool about this. Everything Pat and I are talking about here will be seen in play throughout all of my promotion of his program and how he does things.
Here’s what I mean. When you go to that link Pat recorded a video that was specifically for all of you, my listeners. Pat, how long did it take you to record that video?
PAT: Three minutes.
AMY: Exactly. It took him three minutes to record this off-the-cuff video where he references me. He talks to you as one of my community members and then he encourages you to check out his program.
That instant connection between you, who came from my podcast, and you are checking out something of Pat’s is an alignment that makes a big difference. Those are the little things that he teaches in his program that go a long way.
You know that Pat and I are connected through this and you are going to see it in play right when you get to the page. I thought that was really cool. Also, when they go to that link they are going to be wondering if the program is for them.
Talk to me about who is right for your course and who is not right for it.
PAT: If you are online and you are here to serve people that’s the most important thing. If you are here just to make more money and that’s it then I think you are doing business for the wrong reason. But that’s typically not the kind of people I want to work with.
I come from an approach of serving first. This course teaches you how to do that with affiliate marketing and recommending these products. It runs through a process of choosing what I call a focus product. You can use the same process I’m going to teach you in the course for all kinds of different products but I really want you to hone in on that one product first.
Essentially, we go through a checklist of items you can and should do on your website. There are passive promotional strategies, active promotional strategies. We also have a checklist of things to make sure that is the right product to promote.
If you have products you want to promote and there is no affiliate program I teach you how to help that company start one or try to find one. There are ways to work around even if they don’t have an affiliate program and still getting companies to be able to work with them.
Really, this is for anybody who is there to serve an audience and they know they can be the trusted advisor for them. It’s not for people who are just in this for making money. It does require work. I’m not going to lie about that but there are other parts of affiliate marketing in this world where this is not that.
What I mean is when I first got introduced to affiliate marketing it was all about going into these affiliate networks, finding the most profitable product, grabbing that link, and then just spraying ads on Google Ad Words and now people are still doing this on Facebook where if a person clicks on your ad people will buy that product and you will earn a commission but your face and brand is nowhere to be mentioned in that process.
This is something that can help elevate your brand and help you generate more income and have more influence and become known for that versus the other way I was just talking about where you’re not even there.
That’s who it’s for and who it’s not for.
AMY: That’s so good. I have one more quick question. I know you have a Facebook group that is part of this program but what is the real benefit you’ve seen students get in that group?
PAT: My favorite thing in the group is when people come in and go, “Wow, this course has already paid for itself.”
AMY: That’s my favorite. Don’t you love hearing stuff like that?
PAT: Right. Sometimes it happens quicker than others for some but all the time we are getting messages from people. This is a student center that you get access to where I pop in every once in a while.
Really, it is community driven and we have some alumni in there who are doing very well and people are answering questions all the time for you.
In addition to that, and this is something that’s pretty unique to me, other internet business friends have told me I’m crazy for this but I do office hours every single week for my students as long as I’m not traveling.
Students can come in and ask any questions they want and I will be there and show up live with them in a face-to-face setting along with other students to answer any questions you might have.
People tell me I could charge $5,000 for an hour but they ask why I’m just giving it away to my students. I’m not giving it away, it obviously comes with the price. But when I took online courses back in the day it was just a little bit of access to the course creator and getting a few answers to just one or two questions that really became the game changer for me and what helped me get over those humps I had or the brick walls I was facing.
I want to offer office hours every single week and it’s also one of my favorite things to do. It’s a little bit of a selfish thing because I always come off those calls super high on life and I can’t believe I get to talk to my community and it’s also a great way, selfishly, for me to have a pulse on what people are feeling and what they need help with so that I can go back in the course and add more information if needed.
It’s not one of those courses where you see 500 videos and I keep adding to them over time. My goal with any of my courses (my podcasting course, this course, etc.) is to just give you the least amount of information you need to get the best results you can. I walk you through that process here with affiliate marketing too.
AMY: I absolutely love that. Okay, https://www.amyporterfield.com/patflynn is recommended. I am a huge fan of everything that Pat teaches with affiliate marketing. He is your go-to guy for sure.
Before I let you go what would you say to somebody if they’re thinking they are going to go all in on affiliate marketing? They have kind of dabbled with it but they are going to do it. What do they do today beyond buying your program? What do they do today to get the ball rolling?
PAT: When you come into the course just watch the welcome video. It’s going to fire you up and tell you exactly what you are going to learn. Then this is a big strategy I teach my coaching students. I also have a high-level mastermind group that I coach.
One of our favorite things to do are these visualizations. Even before you click “buy” I want you to think to yourself how you can best and better help your audience. What are some of the emails that are going to come back to you as a result of recommending these products?
How much is your income going to grow as a result of that? I want you to just think about that and feel that because it is a possibility for you. It may require some help. Some of you might have enough information from this podcast alone to go forth and conquer.
Some of you might want some hand holding and accountability along the way. In that case you can come to the group and I’ll see you there. But I want you to visualize what it’s going to be like to not just make more money through affiliate marketing but to help more people in all different kinds of ways and plant these seeds like I was saying for your business and brand so it can exponentially grow with you over time.
Once you do that it puts you in the right mindset. It literally wires your brain for success because what you tell yourself almost becomes true all the time. Whether you think you can or you can’t you’re right, says Henry Ford.
You can do this. You will succeed and I can’t wait to one day get a thank you. This is my visualization for all of you. I don’t know if any of you have seen my office tour but behind me in my chair in my home office I have a pin board with hundreds of thank-you notes from my audience and people I have served through my podcast and my courses.
My goal is to one day have you take a little bit of time and effort to write me a thank-you note for helping you discover new ways to generate income. It will happen. It will happen.
AMY: I love that. I love it. Let’s make it so. Pat, thank you so very much for being here. I love talking to you. I can’t wait to move Rick out and see you here again in just a few weeks.
PAT: Oh gosh!
AMY: He’s going to hate you.
PAT: I’ll talk to him soon and I’ll rub it in his face.
AMY: Just joking Rick. We love you. Thanks Pat for being here. I will talk to you again soon.
PAT: Thank you, Amy. Thank you everybody.
AMY: There you have it. I hope you loved this conversation with Pat just as much as I have. He is such a good guy and I love learning from him. Because we are all action takers I have two things I want you to do right away in the next 24 hours. In fact, if you could do it right now just do it so you don’t forget.
I want you to break out your phone or grab a notepad and just do a brain dump of all of the things you think you might want to promote to your audience. If you’re in the health and fitness arena I want you to think of the products and services your audience would find incredibly valuable.
It is something as simple as your favorite yoga mat to something like an online training program you know would elevate their experience if they were to dive in and actually do the work.
Think of all of the different things you might want to promote, a big brain dump. Then I want you to look over that list and I want you to choose one thing that you’re going to move forward with in terms of affiliate marketing right away.
You just got a lot of tips and tricks from Pat that you can apply instantly so there are no excuses. You can do this. This is very doable.
Remember, once you get going it becomes a whole lot easier. You’ve just got to start. Speaking of starting…That’s my #2 action plan. I want you to go over to https://www.amyporterfield.com/patflynn and just check out Pat’s 1-2-3 Affiliate Marketing course. It is fantastic.
He teaches all of the strategies that I’ve done from Day 1 in my business in order to build a really strong affiliate marketing foundation. If this is something that kind of excites you that you are really curious about Pat Flynn is the guy to learn from. There is no doubt about it I really, truly recommend Pat’s program and everything that Pat teaches you about affiliate marketing.
Finally, to wrap this all up I’ve got a question for you. Are you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not I want to encourage you to do that right away, right this minute. I have been brewing up some really amazing special guest episodes and I know a lot of you like my solo mini trainings I do on this show.
I’ve got some good ones coming your way. If you want to be notified every single time I have a new episode, including some bonus episodes, make sure you subscribe to my podcast right away and you will not miss a single episode.
Okay guys, thanks so much for being with me here today. I will see you same time, same place next week. Make it a great week. Bye for now.