When it comes to mentoring, affiliate marketers sometimes preach the party line without practicing what they preach. These mentors pass on advice to their downline. This is advice that the mentor received from their affiliate program manager. They tout this advice as gospel and encourage their downline to put it into practice.
Their downline, in turn, implements these marketing tactics with enthusiasm. They feel that if the advice came from their mentor it must be gold. This whole process works well if the affiliate mentor has a thorough knowledge of what they are teaching their downline. The problem comes when an affiliate mentor preaches marketing advice without really knowing the ins and outs of what they preach.
What happens next is the worst thing that can happen to an affiliate mentor. This is when a downline member questions their mentor for more in depth knowledge of the topic preached to them. This is when the mentor cannot answer them or intelligently convey to them more advice or tips.
They have not put into practice themselves the very things they are teaching their downline. They are at a loss on how to teach further their downline on a marketing tactic. They now appear as less than professional to this downline.
An affiliate mentor caught in this trap will lose the respect of their downline team. Those new to affiliate marketing who are open to advice from others can quickly become discouraged with a program.
If not discouraged they will probably not seek help again from an affiliate mentor who failed them. This in turn can lead to problems down the road for the affiliate mentor who decides to hold training sessions with their team. They may find attendance or interest for these meetings to be wanting.
It's all because the mentor no longer leads from a position of credibility. The mentor may now appear to his or her downline as one who is inexperienced and learning on the fly. That's why it's important for anyone aspiring to mentor to become well versed in affiliate marketing methods.
To be a successful affiliate mentor you must understand affiliate marketing from two perspectives. The first is from a general Internet marketing perspective. The second is from your particular program's perspective. When you understand and practice the methods of each yourself, then you can successfully teach.
Consider Internet marketing in general. It's imperative you become knowledgeable, through practice, about the main ways to promote a business online. This means you study search engine optimization, email marketing, article writing and article marketing. It also means studying link exchanging, newsletter marketing, how to use reciprocal exchanges and social forums. These, and more, are all typical ways to build an online business.
However, you do not stop at learning the basics of Internet marketing. You must now consider your particular affiliate program in all its uniqueness. This means knowing and using your affiliate product. It also means bringing yourself up to speed on the specific marketing initiatives of your program.
The best affiliate programs have a wealth of resources that they offer program participants. To mentor effectively you must familiarize yourself with these resources and use as many of them as is possible. You then teach your downline the methods you actually use and try. As you learn more, you teach your downline more.
The key is not to try to appear as knowledgeable about a method when you haven't implemented it yourself. There is nothing wrong with telling a downline member that you cannot vouch for a program method until you study it further. Of course, you now have to take the time to study it further.
Whether a general Internet marketing method, or a specific program initiative, take the time to learn. If you are new to forum searching and posting, don't try to explain this to your downline until you give it a whirl. Once you can talk intelligently about it, begin to teach your downline. You will teach with more confidence and appear as a trusted authority to your team.
Practice what you preach when it comes to mentoring. Make sure, though, that you do the practicing before you preach. When you do, your downline will take what you teach to heart. They will then implement the methods you teach, to theirs and your success.
Jim Slader manages the affiliate program at Article Marketer, the largest article distribution service on the Internet. Earn commissions on a product that virtually sells it; become an Article Marketer Affiliate today. Join the winning team: it's quick and easy .