Transcript: How to Earn Cash For Your Business Without Creating Any Products With Pat Flynn

May 11, 2023

PAT FLYNN: “If you just simply go toward them and promoting them because of the money potential, without really thinking about whether or not that product is actually of service to your audience or not, that's where you get in trouble, because here's what might happen. You might get a hundred dollars per customer for a product. You might get a cold email or something, ‘Hey, we have a great product. It would fit for your audience.’ ‘Sure, I'll promote it for you. This, like, sounds great.’ You promote it, and that product is terrible, or the customer service is wack, and all of a sudden, they have a bad experience. Your audience has a bad experience with that product, but they also now remember, ‘Oh, Pat told me to get this, and it didn't work. I don't really know if I could trust Pat's recommendations anymore.’  

“So you want to think about—and this is how you decide what to promote as well—just what is most helpful to your audience? And often, it's stuff that you're already using anyway. You just got to create that affiliate deal and get that affiliate link.” 

INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started. 

AMY PORTERFIELD: I need to tell you about a podcast that I love. It's called Imperfect Action, it's hosted by Steph Taylor, and it's brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network. And it's a bite-sized online-marketing podcast for business owners. So Steph is going to answer all of your business-marketing questions and deep dives into all things online marketing, content marketing, social-media marketing, and marketing strategy for business owners. So if you love Online Marketing Made Easy, I think you're going to love Imperfect Action as well. I loved her recent episode about how to turn your audience into paying clients. Uh, yes, please. And she talks about how to use better call to actions, streamline your sales funnel, and so much more. You can listen to Imperfect Action wherever you get your podcasts. 

Hey, there. Amy, here. If you tuned into my podcast last week, you know that I did an entire solo episode about affiliate marketing and specifically my own journey with affiliate marketing and some of the tips I learned along the way. Well, I got a huge response from that episode, and many of you were like, “Give me more.” Well, that's what this week is all about. And specifically, I thought, “I'm not an expert in affiliate marketing, but one of my very good, long-time friends is absolutely an expert. Like, the expert of all experts.” And his name is Pat Flynn.  

Now, Pat Flynn is a bestselling author, the creator of the Smart Passive Income blog, and the host of the highly rated Smart Passive Income Podcast. And what's really unique about my relationship with Pat, you don't even know how many times a week I hear someone say, “Amy, I found you through Pat Flynn's podcast,” because I've been on it a few times. Or someone will say, “Hey, I started following Pat Flynn because you’re such a fan and you talk about him a lot.” And so we have a lot of similar audiences, so you might already be a fan of this gem of a human being, but if not, you are welcome because you're going to be introduced to someone that you're going to fall in love with very quickly in terms of just who he is as a human being but also his strategies and his advice on how to build passive income.  

So beyond his sheer brilliance when it comes to digital marketing, I think what I love most about Pat is that he openly shares his wins, his losses, and all the hard lessons he's experienced along the way. He even has published his income reports on his website, where he has shown how much money he has made each month, which when he first started doing that many, many years ago, he was, like, the first of the first to do it, and it was very alarming. Like, oh my god, this guy is sharing all the details about how much he spent and how much he made. And I think that really put him on the map, and it gave him this unique edge.  

So he's really creative, very strategic. And I wanted to bring him on the show because, as I mentioned, I shared last week about how I use affiliate marketing and some of the tips I've learned. I learned them all through Pat. And I wanted to bring Pat on today to kind of dive a little bit deeper. And he's going to share some strategies of how he uses affiliate marketing in unique ways, how he goes deep with some affiliate relationships, and how he's a little bit more surface with others, and how he decides where he puts his focus. I thought that was the most interesting part of this interview, but you're going to get a lot out of it. So I won't make you wait any longer. Let's jump to it. 

Hey, there, Pat. Welcome back to the show. 

PAT: So happy to be back. It's been a while, I feel like. 

AMY: It really has. And I just absolutely love talking to you. It's funny because we're on a time crunch now because every time we get on an interview, we don't even hit Record, and we're just talking, talking, talking, talking. And so I thought, we better get started, and anything else we want to share, we can just share it on the show.  

PAT: Yes. 

AMY: So first, tell me this. How you been? What's new? What's going on in your world? 

PAT: Oh, my gosh. First thing that comes to mind, my kids are much older now. My son is thirteen. I have a teenager now. It's wild.  

AMY: I will never be able to understand how your son is thirteen. 

PAT: Because I remember you remember when he was just, like, a little baby. 

AMY: Yes! 

PAT: And you know, my daughter's ten now. And they're, like, little adults, or seemingly like that. And it's so much fun, but it's also scary because time’s going quickly, you know? So I'm even more now focused on, well, how do I maximize my time? How do I get more bang for my buck? and all that kind of stuff, because I only have five summers left with him and eight with my daughter. So that's the first thing that comes to mind.  

Second is business is going really well. SPI is a well-run machine, and we've got an amazing team there.  

But the newest thing—we were just talking about this—is a small side project that's kind of blown up, and this is in the world of YouTube. I started a YouTube channel about Pokémon. And yes, like, Pikachu and all that kind of stuff. And it might become the most valuable thing I've ever created.  

To give you some numbers really quick, every video we come out with on Deep Pocket Monster, which is the name of the channel, has maybe five hundred thousand views within a month. And more than that, the revenue is—the revenue and take home, because I have a very small team, is more than SPI right now. It's wild.  

AMY: That is wild. And if you think about how many years you've worked on SPI and then how many years you've worked on this YouTube channel, that's insane that it is actually surpassing that revenue.  

PAT: Some people see this new channel, and this is their first time being introduced to me, and they say, “Pat, you're an overnight success.” And I say,” Ha! No,” because I've been doing this thing since 2008. I just so happened to create this channel, with all the mistakes behind me, all the learnings, all the trainings in year thirteen. So, no, not overnight success. And this is one of those things with all of us. It's a journey, you learn, and you can take those skills and translate it into other things. So, you know, sometimes I have an emotional crisis and, you know, maybe one day I go a day without sales. I'm like, “This is it. This is the last sale I’m ever going to make. Like, I'm done. I'm screwed. Online business is over.” But then I remember, no, I've gained all these skills, and I've learned all these things that can be applied elsewhere. And it's just fun to kind of walk the walk again. And it's now a great case study for anybody starting on YouTube. 

AMY: It absolutely is. And it got me thinking and why that story actually relates to what we're talking about today, one of the coolest things is when you continue to grow the business that you have and you get it to a place that is working really well, you get this opportunity to have some fun, to explore. Like, this, I think, kind of started as a passion project, right? You didn't start it to say, “I'm going to make more money than SPI.” 

PAT: No, no. This started because my kids got me into Pokémon during the pandemic. And then I started researching the YouTubers and watching all the videos. And then, my entrepreneurial brain was like, “Oh, there's a lot of holes in here that I can fill.”  

And now I've picked up fishing as a hobby. This is the last thing I'll share. It's very meditative for me. It's been super fun. And I'm trying really hard not to create a YouTube channel about it, because I really want to just focus it on, you know, me, even though I see opportunity there as well. That's the one thing as an entrepreneur, once you learn these skills and what is possible for you, you see these opportunities everywhere, right? And it's kind of just now it's a matter of what you'll say no to and opt out of that will help you move forward.  

AMY: And that's a quality problem, right there.  

So let's talk about the opportunity that we're bringing to the table today, and that is affiliate marketing. First of all, how did you even get into affiliate marketing? because you've had, you know, you, like me, were in a nine-to-five job, moved on to building this business. Where did affiliate marketing fit into all of this?  

PAT: I love that we're talking about this, because it is literally the easiest way to generate additional income. Whether you have a business or not, it’s easy. And it almost sounds too good to be true, but that's also why it has a negative connotation in many cases. And we'll get into that, I'm sure.  

But my first experience with affiliate marketing goes back to 2008. So in 2008—this was a long time ago—I got laid off from my architecture job. I started a website to help architects pass an exam—this is my story that a lot of people know—and that website took off. I started selling my own study guide, my own product, that was essentially a PDF file sold through PayPal. And it did really, really well.  

But after researching more about how to increase sales, I learned about this thing called affiliate marketing. And it was funny because I already had companies that were advertising on my website. This was back when, in the blogosphere days, when you would sell, like, a 125 by 125 pixel on the sidebar of your website to another brand, right? And I was doing that. So these brands were paying me money monthly to be on my website.  

But I reached out to one of them after I heard about this thing called affiliate marketing, and I said, “Hey, do you have an affiliate program? Might I be able to sell your product, and instead of you paying me monthly just to kind of get traffic, like, let's do this deal where you pay me if only I give you customers and they actually go through?”  

And that's actually a great reason why companies love to do affiliate marketing because they don't pay the person who they’re owing money to unless there are sales coming in. And it was a great deal because for every sale that came in for this product, which was an exam prep sort of supplemental thing that I was offering—again, another company made it—I would make twenty-two dollars per sale if I got a customer through. They were paying me two hundred fifty dollars per month to be on my website, but they said, “Okay. Well, it can only be one or the other. Do you want to do the traffic version where we're paying you two fifty a month guaranteed, or do you want to do twenty-two dollars a person who comes in?” And I said, “Okay. Well, I would only need eleven or twelve people to come in to make it, you know, more worth it.” So I switched it out. I changed the link from just the general route URL to the affiliate link that they gave me. And in that first month, I had pushed a hundred fifty people through as customers.  

AMY: Whoa. 

PAT: So I made way more money— 

AMY: Yes. 

PAT: —doing affiliate marketing. And I started to question, like, how many people did I send through before that I'm not getting credit for? Like, I could have made way more money back then. So even to this day, now fifteen years later, that website is still up, and it's still generating an income passively through simply just linking to that other company's website through my affiliate link. Fifteen years of passive income. 

AMY: That’s huge, right there. Fifteen years of passive income. Because one of the things that—I did a podcast solo starting to talk about affiliate marketing, and one of the things I said is the day I decide not to do this business anymore—let's say I'm, like, I'm too old. I'm done with it, way in the future—I will still be making money from those affiliate deals that started, like you said, fourteen, fifteen years ago. That is really powerful. 

PAT: Right. And you have some of those going on right now, I'm sure, right? Like, you've pushed people to different software or email-service providers, etc. years ago that those articles, those podcast episodes especially, are still feeding people through, and you're still getting paid for that, right?  

AMY: Absolutely. That in and of itself, we could end this podcast now, to say, like, why is affiliate marketing so powerful? Right there.  

But we've got more. So I'm excited to chat about the specific affiliate-marketing strategies that have worked well for you. But before we dive into that, can you give just a brief rundown of what affiliate marketing is, for my listeners beyond, I know you just said you grab that link, but is there anything else that we need to kind of say about affiliate marketing before we get into the strategies? 

PAT: Oh, for sure. The number one thing is you want to focus on what is most helpful for your audience. This is where a lot of people get it wrong, because affiliate marketing is such a great opportunity, companies are offering commissions when you send people through. You might already be even be using these products. But there's a lot of people who have great commissions for their products. And if you just simply go toward them and promoting them because of the money potential, without really thinking about whether or not that product is actually of service to your audience or not, that's where you get in trouble, because here's what might happen. You might get a hundred dollars per customer for a product. You might get a cold email or something, “Hey, we have a great product. It would fit for your audience.” “Sure, I'll promote it for you. This, like, sounds great.” You promote it, and that product is terrible, or the customer service is wack, and all of a sudden, they have a bad experience. Your audience has a bad experience with that product, but they also now remember, “Oh, Pat told me to get this, and it didn't work. I don't really know if I could trust Pat's recommendations anymore.”  

So you want to think about—and this is how you decide what to promote as well—just what is most helpful to your audience? And often, it's stuff that you're already using anyway. You just got to create that affiliate deal and get that affiliate link. So that would be number one. Focus on the problems of your target audience. These products that already exist are there to help serve them. You don't have to even create them yourself. That's one of the benefits of doing affiliate marketing is you could promote somebody else's product that's already fine tuned. It's from a person or a company that you trust. They take care of the customer service. All you have to do is send traffic through that link, and that's all you need to focus on, the ToFu, or top of funnel, as we call it inside of SPI. ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu, middle and bottom funnel.  

AMY: Okay. I have not heard you use those terms. Those are good.  

PAT: Yes. So once you have everything set up, I love affiliate marketing because you can plant all these amazing seeds now, even if you're just starting out. Let's say that you're starting a podcast for the first time today. If you have a product that you know you use that would help your audience, your target audience, mention it, talk about it, share that affiliate link, even if you have zero audience right now, because as you grow your audience, more and more people are going to hear that episode or read that blog post or watch that video, and every time that happens is a chance for that person to go through that link and then give you credit for that, and that company will pay you.  

And this stuff grows month over month. I mean, a lot of times these affiliate offers are, you know, one-time payments. Like, anything you promote on Amazon, for example, which is a very small percentage, you know, you get paid that one time somebody purchases that thing, plus anything else they put in their cart, by the way, on Amazon. 

AMY: Oh, I didn’t know that. 

PAT: Yeah, yeah. I once got, like, a two-hundred-dollar commission. So I promote books on Amazon, right, and they're through my affiliate link. But whatever else a person puts in their cart, I also get a commission for. And one time, somebody bought an above-ground pool. I don't know—like, you get to see what you get credit for. And I earned, like, three hundred dollars that day from somebody who went to buy—it might have been your book or somebody else's book that I promoted, but then they were like, “Hey…”— 

AMY: That’s crazy. 

PAT: —”…we need a pool.” So, you know, we got credit for that.  

But the holy grail of this is when you can promote a company who has a recurring monthly payment or offering. You know, it requires a monthly payment to be a part of that company, like an email-service provider or, you know, like, you have Kajabi, etc. Those companies, many times, will continue to pay you the affiliate every month the people you send through continue to pay. And so this—like, imagine sending fifty people through this month, and then another fifty people through the next month. Well, now you have a hundred people who are paying this company, and then now you get a credit for and are getting commissions. And I’ve had monthly checks upwards of a hundred thousand dollars from a single company before because of that.  

So the opportunities are there, and you just got to ToFu. 

AMY: You got to ToFu.  

So, okay. So here's the thing. I've been doing affiliate marketing for a number of years, and there's been a lot of trial and error on my end to figure out, like, which products are going to resonate with my audience. So if you're just first starting out with affiliate marketing, how do you actually choose the products or the software or the services or whatever it might be that actually are going to work for your audience and for your business? 

PAT: Great question. So I would instead of focusing on the products, you want the products to insert themselves into a process. So to give you a quick story, in 2010 I had built a website publicly on Smart Passive Income. And this was a website that showed everybody the entire process: how to pick the right keywords, how to build the website, how to write the articles, how to rank in Google, and then how to get paid on AdSense, which I did. In seventy-three days, I built a website targeting the words “security guard training,” number one on Google, and it started generating revenue.  

Throughout this entire process, which I wrote a blog post every week, keeping track of the process and everything I was doing, I told people the steps. Step one: you want to figure out what keywords. Oh, by the way, here's the tool I'm using to help me do that. And you'll start to have people go, “Oh, that's interesting,” and you'll start to gauge whether or not those are getting clicks. You'll get a lot of questions about that, “Hey, can you show me how to use that?” or “Can you do a deeper-dive demo on how you use that product? I mean, I see that you use it to do this, and I'm following along.” And that's the best thing about this sort of show people how it's done, and then the products just insert themselves into the process, because you're not even selling at that point. It doesn't feel like selling at all. In fact, you're actually giving the whole process away in that part.  

The other thing is if you also focus on the goals, you can do—one of my favorite strategies, I talk about this in my course—is the free way versus headache-free way. When you show people the free way to do something and how laborious it is, how much time it takes, how much work it requires, but then you show people the headache-free way to do it, which is a software or a program or something that you can then, you know, share the affiliate link to, it becomes so obvious and clear why that is of value.  

So in 2011, once—the series was called the Niche Site Duel because I was dueling somebody else to build a website faster than them and earn money, we started to notice a lot of people asking even more questions about keyword research. Keyword research today is less important than it was back then, when building websites. But when people were curious, I said, “Hey, I'm going to do a webinar for you. It'll be a completely free webinar, and I will show you for free how you can do keyword research in a way that you won't even need to buy anything.” I mean, that's an amazing deal for people who especially are just curious about the situation. So I had a couple thousand people show up to this very valuable webinar.  

The first half I walked people through, like, a twenty-step process on how to do it. A lot of steps, a lot of work. It was confusing. I used spreadsheets, all these things. But in the end, it was a very valuable sort of asset for people, and they could follow along.  

But the second half of the webinar, I said, “Okay. That was the headache way to do it—or the free way. Now I'm going to show you the headache-free way to do it. Here's a tool. Remember everything we just said for thirty minutes? Here. Boom, done, three seconds.”  

AMY: That is good.  

PAT: You know? “You get the same result. And hey, you don't need this tool to get the same result. But I use this tool, and if you want to use a tool, if you want to use it as well, here's my affiliate link.” And then boom, boom, boom, the commissions just come in.  

And then, not only do you get commissions coming in, you get people saying, “Thank you so much for introducing this amazing tool to me that's going to save me so much time.” So even that strategy alone will work when you have a product and you can show people, like, “Well, here's how you can do it. But here's how you can, like, you know, save a lot of time. And time is money, these days, I think.” 

AMY: Amen to that. 

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So I was going to ask you, like, I know that a lot of people know that you can take an affiliate link and you can put it in a blog post, you can mention it on a podcast episode, or post it on social. But in your course, you teach people a lot of innovative and effective strategies that go beyond that. But I think you probably just covered a lot here, where you did that webinar. You showed the free way and the headache-free way. And one thing I learned from you early on is that you built out these pages, teaching someone how to do these things, and there's affiliate links throughout that. That's really valuable. Can you think of any other one that we could share that people are like, “Oh, I would have never even thought to do that”? 

PAT: Oh, for sure. I mean, you got to get a little creative. And that's the cool thing about the way I teach affiliate marketing is it's almost like a recipe book. You choose, like, “Well, what meal do you want to have?” “Okay, well, I want to promote a software.” “Okay. Here are ten different ways you can promote a software,” and you can kind of pick and choose based on how aggressive you want to be or your style and that kind of thing.  

So a lot of people don’t know that you can actually make a lot of money promoting books. I think that's the number one thing that most of us share anyway. 

AMY: Yeah. 

PAT: You know, like I said before, you can earn additional income through what else people put in the cart. So, you know, yes, you could write a blog post review or do a review podcast about a book. But one of my favorite ways is to start a book club. So now you're bringing a whole bunch of people in to get value from the books that you're reading. Like, imagine you're in this book-club email list. It can just simply be run via email, Amy. You have a book club, and you say, “Hey, next month, next month's book is going to be The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. It's one of my favorite books because of this. And click here to go and grab it on Amazon right now,” or “Go to this page to learn more about it. And then go and grab it before we start our conversation about it next week.” And now you have people with motivation to buy it because they're actually going be using the thing and using it with you.  

And so you're doing a bunch of things at the same time with a book club. You're, yes, getting affiliate clicks for those books. But more than that, you're also bringing a community of people together who now do this on the regular. So it's not just, like, that one book sale. It's a book sale through an affiliate link every month from every individual who is in this book club. So imagine a thousand people in this book club. 

AMY: That's going to add up, especially when I just learned that everything in their cart counts. That’s the most bizarre thing I’ve ever heard. But what are you doing to foster the book-club part of it? What does that look like? 

PAT: Yeah. So in our community, we often come together and we have a monthly book-club meeting, where we just know that, hey, book-club meeting happening. It's a two-hour Zoom call. We often have book-club leaders that are in there who will facilitate. And again, just people will read these books anyway, but when you read them with other people, just, like, you know, like, you get more value out of it. So people love to do this because they can work through something together. They have, you know, people who speak the same language to bounce things off of. And I find that a reading experience is better when you're not alone. So it's a win for everybody. That's what I love about this kind of affiliate marketing, where it's a win for everybody.  

The way that affiliate marketing used to be, because of the way it is possible, there used to be these, and I think there still are, these websites like ClickBank, and you remember, like, JVZoo and all these other places— 

AMY: Yes! 

PAT: —where you could go and just, like, there's millions of products you could choose from, products that you don't even know or didn't even know existed but have nice commissions. And what used to happen was people would go there, find really nice products with really good commissions, and then grab that affiliate link, and then pay for ads to show up on Google or Facebook to try to, like, drive traffic through those links that way. But the problem with that is, like, you never know who that customer is on the other end. You can’t talk to them. You can't provide them more value. It's simply a money play. And whenever I've approached things from a money-first perspective like that, it's always failed. So, you know, I think the future is community, and when you know what your audience and community need, you can offer them these things that are not yours, but you can still get paid for, and everybody wins. The people get what they want; you get a commission; the company gets, you know, some love as well.  

And that's the other sort of like level two of what I teach with affiliate marketing is once you start pushing some volume for these companies, you can reach out to them to ask for favors. You can get them to send you things early, before they even come out so you can get early access, which if you then have a YouTube channel, you get to film a video about that thing before anybody else, and it drives more traffic through your affiliate link. Many of these companies, I've now become an advisor for. 

AMY: Oh, that’s cool. 

PAT: Like ConvertKit, for example. So when they see that you're doing a lot of volume, like you get now almost, like, a say, “Oh, it would be really great if the company did this. It would help me sell more.” And they're like, “Oh, that would be a great idea.” And they, like, implement that thing. And now you're actually in conversations with the marketing department or the CEO of that company and may even be able to influence how that product evolves in the future. Like, that happens pretty often. It's wild.  

AMY: I love that. It's like playing a bigger game. Like, it gets you out there. And now you are meeting new people that you didn't know before. You’re making connections you didn’t have before. I love that. 

What I love about how you teach affiliate marketing—I think you are the best of the best in teaching affiliate marketing. I've learned a lot from you over the years—is that, one, you do it with heart; two, you encourage people to be creative how they do it. Most people think they just grab a link and tell people to go to that link. But you're literally putting effort in behind this, and it absolutely shows. Would you say that you do less affiliate partnerships but more deep, or would you say you have tons and tons out there?  

PAT: I mean, I would say there's two levels, right? There are the ones where it's really obvious that this is a product that my audience would love. So we go deep with that company. For example, right now, Circl is a big company that we are involved with, with our community. They have an amazing affiliate program. We're creating a course together. We're doing events together and creating them and co-promoting them, right? We're going deep on that relationship, and that benefits both parties, and we get paid an affiliate commission as well. It’s a recurring affiliate commission, too, so that's nice. It continues to stack and stack and stack.  

But then there's, like, the keyword-research product, right? I don't have a relationship with that company. It's just an amazing tool that I use, or you know, a book that I read from an author who I don't really know, but I still think it's valuable. I don't go deep with them. But if I'm mentioning a book I love, I’ll pop in the affiliate link anyway, and that's that. So there's almost like two tiers.  

I would say that quality is better than quantity, by the way, because, obviously, if you promote a hundred different things, then it's just confusing. And on that, I do want to offer a very big realization that I had over the years, which is if you have two products that you use that do virtually the same exact thing, listeners, might you think it's better to promote both or just promote one, right? Do you give people the two options and they can kind of choose which one they like, or would you prefer or think that one is better? And it's interesting because when I ask this question to a lot of people, they often say, “Oh, well, two's better because you're giving people more options. They can see what they like.” But the truth is one is better. One will convert much better. Why? Because now you're not telling people, “Hey, here's two things that you might use.” You're now telling people, “Here's the best one. I'm not even going to have you have to worry about making the decision, because I've done the research, and this is the one that you need so you can get those results faster.”  

And that's what people are looking for, somebody to step up, to almost be a filter, to be the curator of all the options that are available out there in the world. You can be that person to step up to say, “No, no, no. I've done the research. You don't even need to think. I've done all that for you. Here is the one product you need. Here's a demo on how to use it. Here is an interview on my podcast with the founders so you can get to trust that product even more.” 

All these things play a big role in the overall sort of story that you're telling about how this product integrates into your brand. And it just, I mean, especially with evergreen content, it lives on, and you continue to get, you know, revenue over time. 

AMY: I love that. I totally agree. I was hoping you'd say one over both of them. Anything that you all are using that you're loving, that's exactly where you want to start. But while you were talking about that, I thought, one of the things I'm seeing a lot now that influencers have popped up, and they're, like, very, very popular on all the social channels is that sometimes it feels a little sleazy. Affiliate marketing feels sleazy, and that's why sometimes you're inclined to be like, “This is not an ad. This is not an affiliate link.” And I hate when I see people say that. And I've even found myself saying it, like affiliate marketing’s bad. So what is that about, and what do we do to kind of sidestep that feeling? 

PAT: Somebody called me a Flynn-fluencer once. I don't know how I felt about that.  

AMY: Well, that's a great name.  

PAT: Flynn-fluencer? 

AMY: Flynn-fluencer is exactly right. 

PAT: I don't even know if I want to be even an influencer, let alone a Flynn-fluencer.  

AMY: I know. 

PAT: That's, like, double self-centered.  

Anyway, so let me provide a metaphor. You, the audience, you have information, you have access, you have the experience with a product that you know can serve your audience. And your audience is drowning in the ocean. They're overwhelmed with whatever it is. It's hard to breathe under all that pressure and the overwhelm and the confusion of whatever it is you're serving them with. And you're on this boat. You've already gone through the trouble, you've already solved that problem, and you have that problem solver in the form of a life ring. Would you tell that person that's drowning in the ocean of their problems and challenges right now, “You know what? Like, this life ring? I didn't make it. Somebody else made it. I know it can help you, but, you know, it's not mine, so I'm not going to throw it out to you”? No, you wouldn't say that. Or even worse, I use this metaphor normally when I talk about fear, because, like, would you say, “You're too scared to throw it out to them and save them. You're going to clutch on to it tightly because it's not a perfect ring”? No, you're going to throw it out to them anyway, right?  

So that's how I want you to approach affiliate marketing, because it is of service to your audience to share these things that are helpful to them, that can help them save time, that can help them save money, that can help them have less headaches and less stress. They're going to potentially find these things anyway, and if you can do them the service of helping them and showing them that these things can help them, that is of service to them. It would actually be a disservice to not do that, right, which means it's that much more of a responsibility for you to make sure that these are the right products for them, because the truth is, once you know that this is helpful for an audience, like, you're going to start talking about it in a way that's so genuine that it'll never even feel like a sale at all.  

If you are promoting something and it feels salesy, I feel like that's a signal that maybe you don't necessarily really believe that this thing can help people. That's my counter to that argument all the time. If you are promoting something and it feels a little bit salesy or sleazy to you, do you actually believe this can help people? Because the truth is, if you know you had a cure for a disease, you would shout so loud about this thing, knowing it would serve them.  

AMY: So true. Like, here's a great example that you mentioned earlier. I, too, am a huge fan of ConvertKit. It's the only email-service provider that I talk about the most. And I'm an affiliate. And when I tell people, “Oh, you need ConvertKit,” there's not even an ounce of “I'm being salesy” in my mind. I never even thought that. And I have felt salesy over time. I've been in business enough years that I've been off, and it's, like, doesn't feel right. But that one, I'm like, “Here. You're welcome.” It's almost like I want to tell everyone “you're welcome” for me telling you to buy this. That's how good I think it is. 

PAT: Right. Then, that begs the question, “Well, what if you're not there yet, and a product may or may not be the right fit?” Use that product and maybe even show other people how to use it to a point where then they are thanking you for it, because then you will know and you'll have that confidence to promote it.  

And then I think, you know, that, combined with common sense and your gut feeling, I mean, obviously you can take a product even one as good as ConvertKit, and you can sell it in a very sleazy way. So using your gut and using your common sense along with that is important as well. But again, if you, like, 90 percent of the battle of affiliate marketing is just choosing the right product. And something like ConvertKit—you know, hashtag not sponsored, by the way. They're getting a lot of love in this podcast—they have a product that almost sells itself. That’s the best, when a product is so good that you just have to show people, and they go,” Oh, I want it. Like, give me your link.”  

And another lesson is when you continually share with your audience these amazing products that serve them, like, I get people reaching out to me now that say, like, “Hey, Pat. This new product came out. I was going to get it, but do you have an affiliate link for it?”— 

AMY: Oh. 

PAT: —”because I want to make sure you get credit for it.” And it's like, wow, your audience wants to pay you back in that way when you show up and serve them. And oftentimes, I'll say no, and that's okay. And then many times I do have an affiliate link, and then I get paid a little extra as well. So that's important.  

And then, the other thing—and I know we're going to cover this in a workshop that I'm going to host for your audience a little bit later—but there's some finer details to affiliate marketing that you got to look out for, like the legal aspects of it. You got to be following the FTC regulations when you promote, and those kinds of things, and those are important. And, you know, there's a lot more strategies to cover as well. But hopefully, we've given your audience, like, you know, an inspirational rundown of what's possible here. 

AMY: I think we have. I think at least, those of you listening, your interest is either piqued or you're like, “Bring it on. I want to know more about this.”  

So Pat's going to do a special training. I'm really excited about it. Tell them about the training, what it's all about. And then you and I came up with a funny link for it, so stay with me for a second. We’ll tell you our link. But tell us about the training. And it’s totally free. 

PAT: It's totally free. And we'd love to help you out and give you the first steps to, you know, generate revenue. A lot of people who have seen this training in my audience have earned, within a week or two, especially if they already have an audience, an additional five hundred bucks a month, kind of just almost out of thin air. And I say that again because it kind of feels that way when you do it right. And again, when you do it in the way that I teach it, it feels good. I don't want you to sell and then feel like you have to take a bath after, which, you know, there are a lot of people who sell, and then I still feel like I have to take a bath based on their strategies. But, you know, I promise you, this is easy. You just have to know the right steps and avoid the biggest mistakes, and that's what we going to talk about. And I'll walk you through some very specific examples. And there is something I like to call the affiliate marketer’s secret weapon that I'll reveal there for you and exactly how to do that. So, you know, there's a lot fun things.  

And my goal with these kinds of things, especially these trainings that I do, is I want to hear back from you a year later, after the training happens, and reach out to me and go, “Pat, it was that training that changed everything for me.” I get a lot of that, and my goal, especially for somebody else's audience, and especially yours, Amy—you’re a dear friend, and you’ve helped out my audience so much. This is my way of giving back, and I can't wait for it. So we'll have some fun. And I don't know if you want to reveal our funny URL.  

AMY: So we decided the URL is 

PAT: Money! 

AMY: And I said, “Is that too aggressive, Pat?” And then we looked at each other. We’re like, no! That's what they want. You want to make some more money with affiliate marketing, so it's Go there right now and sign up for Pat's free training. I will be there. I'm very excited about it. And listen, Pat's been in the business fifteen years, right, Pat? 

PAT: I’m so old. Oh, my gosh. 

AMY: You’re so old. I’m pretty sure I’m older than you. And also, the name of Pat's company is Smart Passive Income. This man, there's no one—and I really mean this—no one that you should be learning affiliate marketing from other than Pat. He is literally the gold standard. So this is free. He will literally blow your mind with the strategies he's going to teach. He's always full of integrity. You'll walk away feeling inspired, excited, driven to take action. So go sign up.  

Pat, thank you so much for being on the show. I'm really looking forward to your training.  

PAT: Thank you so much. We'll see you soon. Thanks, everybody. 

AMY: All right, my sweet friend. If you really want to level up your affiliate marketing or if you've never done it before and you just want to get started, please do yourself a huge favor and register for the free training, How to Generate More Revenue Faster without Creating New Products. Now, I want you to sign up before it's too late. We are going to do this training live. I'm very excited about it. I think you're going to love it. So That's 

Over the years, affiliate marketing has been a huge source of income for me and has helped me grow in ways that I never thought I would grow. And I want you to experience that as well. So even if you're just a little curious, get yourself on that free masterclass.  

Thanks so much for joining me. I'll see you same time, same place. Bye for now. 

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