I just finished a couple of projects for clients. This is always a good feeling. One of my strengths is “Acheiver”, which means I love (a-hem, LOVE) to get things done, checked off my list, wrapped up and put away. Normally, I jump right into the next thing without taking time to celebrate.
This time, however, I decided it would be good to look back at some numbers. Since I track my time and revenue (among other things), I noticed two things:
How did #2 happen?!
I’m magic… An alchemist…
The increase in revenue was due in part to generosity (I received extra pay for going above and beyond the agreed terms), but in greater part was do to a strategy I have for adding revenue without discounting…
Using affiliate offers…
Now, before you shrink away in disgust and call me a greasy salesman, let’s talk about whataffiliate offers are.
Basically, if a vendor has an affiliate program, and they know that I am responsible for a sale of one of their products or services, if I am in their affiliate program, I get a commission.
Simple as that.
Affiliate marketing, especially online, has been associated with scams, snake oil and smoke and mirrors for a while now. However, the essence of ethical (affiliate) marketing is pairing a person’s wants or needs with a product or service that fits those needs.
When a client comes to me and needs a recommendation for hosting (something you must have if you want a site on the internet), I recommend JustHost.com (not an affiliate link). I am an affiliate for JustHost, but I also use their services for this site, and have been very happy with their customer service, and I’m happy to recommend them.
When a client comes to me with a small budget and wants a beautiful site, I will most likely point them to a paid theme shop. Why? If they pay for a theme, they can get support with it (veryimportant). Also, if they find a theme they like, and I’m part of the affiliate program for that theme shop, I’ll get a commission.
So, when I use affiliate links, it’s because I can recommend a service I have used or know to be valuable of my clients, and I do it with 100% integrity. For example, on this site, if you see an “*” next to a link, it probably means it’s an affiliate link, which I’ll note at the bottom of the post.
In my last two projects, affiliate income helped me to increase my revenue by 30% on average. This did not increase the price of my services in any way for my clients, and it provided them with services and products they needed to move their sites forward.
Almost as an afterthought, I realized that affiliate offers are also good for helping me niche down in the area of building and arranging websites.
It’s easy to go join an affiliate program for every little thing a client may want or need. However, this is bad because:
For me, the question is not “how can I get an affiliate offer for this product?”, but rather, “what products are consistently awesome for my clients that I can make them aware of?”
Find the best offer for your clients. It’s best for them and best for you. It also keeps you focused and not chasing the cash.