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How To Find and Recruit Affiliates For Your Affiliate Program by LynnTerry

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

If you have an affiliate program, your highest priority is to recruit active affiliates and get them to promote your product or service.

You may have already done everything you can think of to get your affiliate program in front of people, yet you're seeing very little response. And it’s a great opportunity! So why aren’t they biting?!

Just one or two super affiliates can out-perform the rest of your affiliates combined! As a super affiliate myself, I get a lot of requests to look at various affiliate programs. From my personal experience, I’ll share ways that you can recruit "super affiliates" successfully…

First, The Basic Groundwork...

There are three things you need to do upfront to make sure affiliates can find your affiliate program.
If you haven't yet done these steps, they should be your top priority tasks. The first two will require a very small investment of your time upfront, but continue to pay off for years to come. The third is more time intensive, and can easily be outsourced to a dedicated Affiliate Manager if you prefer. Forum networking has major viral potential though, so it's worth the time invested. Make friends in the affiliate world, and you’ll get super-profitable referrals!

Finding Super Affiliates

Now that you've done the groundwork so that affiliates can find you, it's time for you to go out and find them.

The most obvious place to start is on Google. Take the top keyword phrases in your niche and do a search. Make a note of the paid advertisers, the bloggers, the websites, and the communities that show up in the top 20 results.

Check YouTube, and look for active affiliates or those with popular video channels in your niche. Search is going social, so you want active affiliates with video presence and/or social media skills.

Next, check Twitter. Use http://search.twitter.com to perform searches on your keyword phrases, your product/site names, your competitors and their product names, etc.

Find the people who are already talking on your topic. Whether they are a “super affiliate” yet or not, they are reaching your target market. And they are likely interested in ways to monetize that conversation.

Recruiting Super Affiliates

Once you find affiliates you want to work with, or the people in your niche with "reach", it's time to make contact and invite them to your affiliate program. These hand-picked recruits are generally busy people, and get bombarded with requests and opportunities. You'll want to plan your approach carefully.

First, contact them where you find them. And do it while the conversation is "hot". If you find them on Twitter, enter the conversation there or send them a DM (direct message). If you find their blog, contact them through their contact form at the blog. If they offer a number, pick up the phone and call.

You'll find that each marketer or affiliate has their preferred mediums and channels - figure that out, and contact them where they are most likely to respond (email, Facebook, Twitter, etc).

Do your research - get to know them before you shoot off a message. Address them by name. Include something personal, such as their great article on XZY or their top ranking for ABC. (forget copy & paste canned emails!)

Did I mention they are already successful and therefore super busy people?? Keep your messages short and simple. REALLY short and simple.

Do NOT bombard them with follow-up messages or phone-calls. If you send an email, DM them on Twitter, comment on their blog and leave a voice mail – all within 24 hours – they will likely never work with you out of fear you’ll harass customers they refer to you in the same way. Don't be annoying, be appealing.

If you can, offer them something extra. That might be a 2nd tier, an exclusive interview, first dibs at a new viral report, a coupon code to share, higher commission rate, etc. Anything that gives them an angle and an edge - and an incentive to seriously consider working with you.

Discovering or Creating Super Affiliates

New high performers appear on the affiliate leader boards all the time, so don’t limit yourself to known super affiliates. You may just discover the perfect affiliates for your program, and turn them into super affiliates yourself. ;)

There have been merchants who took a chance on me in the past, and went out of their way to help me succeed with their program – well before I was known as a super affiliate (under this name, or certain pen names).

Always give an affiliate the benefit of the doubt. You never know when or where you’re going to find your next top affiliate.

Stay tuned - in my next post I'll share the two things you should NEVER do to your affiliates...

About Lynn Terry:

Lynn (@LynnTerry) has been working from home and online for more than 14 years, and is both a super affiliate and a professional blogger. Subscribe at http://www.ClickNewz.com for creative ideas and actionable tips you can use today!

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lynn, what a great post! Could you touch on approaching people who have no idea about what an affiliate is, monetizing etc. Like a straight niche that isn't aware of IM stuff?

10:48 PM, May 26, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lynn,
It's people like you that make my job a lot easier. As a newbie to affiliate recruitment, there's an initial feeling of being overwhelmed based on the "where do I start" question followed by "where do I go" question.

You've helped answer those questions.

Thank you.

10:13 PM, October 19, 2011  

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