Okay, so you're not a multi-national manufacturer or a big-box retailer. You're an affiliate marketer with a portfolio of products you promote. Does that mean you have to think differently than the big players do when it comes to marketing? It doesn't. To succeed as an affiliate marketer, you have to learn to think big, and then apply small.
What are the big successful manufacturers and retailers after? The answer is sales, and lots of them. Isn't that what you want? How do they go about garnering these sales? They advertise, promote, build relationships, offer quality, and back this up with customer service. You can do the same. The following are ways to connect with your niche just like the mass-marketers do:
The big players get there name out there consistently. You must do the same with your Internet business. What's the first name you think of when it comes to white bread? Why does their name come to mind? How often have you seen their advertising?
Do you have a unique web portal? Take the time and expend the effort to get this site recognized. You are branding yourself. You have a smaller budget but you are trying to achieve name recognition.
Therefore, advertise on free classified sites. Advertise in e-zines. Do you have some sort of budget? Then place ads on paid sites for top-link exposure. Do you engage in offline marketing initiatives? If so, then advertise in local newspapers and magazines. Print up colorful brochures describing your website and products. Paraphrasing media mogul Ted Turner it's early to bed, early to rise, work like heck, and advertise.
Walk through a mall or down a busy city plaza. Attend a major sporting event. Who's frequently at these places? Typically, it's a major corporation offering coupons, samples, free trials of this and that. Think soft drinks and soda. What companies are always out there getting people tasting and trying? I'm sure two or three companies immediately come to mind.
You have to do the same concerning marketing your affiliate products online, and yes, even offline. Online you can offer a free sample if a customer opts-in to receive emails from you. You can present coupon codes on your site for product or service discounts. There are the old two-for-one offers and other incentives you can promote. Offline you can hand out product samples and coupons as well to those you meet.
You don't always buy the first time a company presents a product or service to you. Don't expect your target market to either. You must build a rapport with your clientele based on trust. When your niche sees you as a reputable online entrepreneur, they will buy from you.
How do the major successful corporations build relationships? They do it by not making false promises. Reputable companies present what their products or services can do exactly. They do not insult their audiences' intelligence. The best companies do not promise more and offer less.
They and their salespeople spread out across the earthly and digital landscape and talk, and talk about their products intelligently. They then wait for informed listeners to respond.
As an affiliate marketer, you must build relationships by talking intelligently about your business and its products. Do this on blogs, social forums, and through article marketing. Engage in quality article writing and get your "talk" out via a good article distribution service.
Think of the corporate products you buy regularly. What brand of cologne or perfume do you buy? What brand of blue jeans do you normally purchase? Why do you buy these products consistently? It's because of their consistent quality.
You must offer quality affiliate products. Your "brand" as an independent affiliate marketer depends on it. People will see you and your web portal as less than professional if you offer inferior products. You may get a first sale; you will never get a second. On top of that, you risk negative word-of-mouth or click of the mouse chat going around.
The better corporations respond to customer enquiries as fast as is possible. You must do the same. Offer your customers help, information, guarantees. Offer them after sales advice on how to use a product better. Keep in touch with them with helpful tips and advice through a newsletter.
Customer service is actually very easy in concept. You take care of your customer from first exposure to your product to after sales service. It's no more and no less.
Learn to think big, on a daily basis, as the major corporations do. Then apply this thinking to your smaller business model. Business fundamentals apply to enterprises of all sizes. From a child's lemonade stand to that football-field size retail store, all must follow basic marketing principles. Those who do follow these principles, have a better chance of succeeding than those who don't.
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 .