When you think of the typical affiliate-vendor relationship, you think of vendors paying the affiliates to share their assets. You drive the traffic, you pre-sell the audience, you create an extra incentive like a bonus, then you pocket a commission when people buy through your link. The vendor provides the product, the sales letter, fulfillment and customer service.
Now let’s turn that model on its head for a minute…
Imagine if the vendors helped you drive the traffic… and you still enjoyed a nice split of the profit.
Sounds good, right? So good that you’re probably already whipping out your magnifying glass to read the fine print.
But good news is that there is no trickery going on here. Instead, you just need to think outside the typical affiliate mindset and come up with ways to get the vendor to help you make more money.
It’s no secret that vendors are really eager to help affiliates, especially affiliates who have a good track record. That’s why they provide things like email swipes and other creatives, so it is super easy for you to promote their products.
But let’s step beyond basic affiliate tools and think about how else the vendor can help you.
One idea is to recruit the vendor to do an interview or even a webinar with you. For example, you set yourself up on a Google Hangout, ask the vendor for some juicy secrets related to the niche, and then promote the vendor’s product using your affiliate link.
The key to this strategy is that the vendor will usually advertise the webinar to his subscribers, social media followers and blog readers. That means you’ll get a lot of free traffic this way. And when someone buys from the either the live webinar or the recordings, you get a nice commission.
Let me share two tips before we leave this idea…
The first tip is to be sure the vendor is prepared for the webinar. If the vendor does a lot of webinars or interviews, then this should be a walk in the park.
However, if the vendor is new to this sort of stuff, then your job is to make sure he’s comfortable. This doesn’t mean you need to set him up with a silk pillow, a fruity drink with an umbrella in it. and someone fanning him during the webinar. That would be a nice touch, but it’s not necessary.
Instead, you just need to make sure the vendor feels prepared, such as by creating a list of possible questions or topics ahead of time so the vendor knows what sorts of things you might ask.
A word of warning, though – don’t turn this into a scripted interview, or it will end up being awkward and robotic. Give the vendor a general idea of what to expect, but neither one of you should be reading from a script.
The second tip is to be sure you have people register for the webinar so that you can build a mailing list from these efforts.
Be sure to segment this list so you know these subscribers came from a specific interview. That way, in the future when you promote this vendor, you can offer this list a special bonus or something similar since they’re already warm leads for this offer.
Okay, so moving on…
Another way to get the vendor sending you traffic is to create a lead magnet for him or her.
In other words, you create a free report, book, software, video, infographic, mind map or other downloadable tool or resource. This freebie should be focused on promoting the vendor’s offer using your affiliate link. Then you give this lead magnet to the vendor to offer to his subscribers, blog readers and social media followers.
Still another way to get the vendor sending traffic your way is to create a bonus product for him or her.
This is a bonus product that’s designed specifically to complement or enhance the vendor’s product.
For example, if the vendor is selling a golfing guide, then you might create a video illustrating specific golf grips.
Or if the vendor is selling a weight-loss product, you might offer a calorie-counting app.
The point is, you create something specifically for the vendor to give away to his customers. This bonus product should work to drive people to your lead magnet page. The cool thing is that every subscriber you get from this tactic is a known buyer, so you’re building a very valuable list.
Another way to get a vendor sending traffic to you is to do some guest blogging.
If the vendor has a blog, then you can offer him or her free content for that blog. Ideally, any content you offer should be exclusive or semi-exclusive content, perhaps just appearing on your blog and the vendor’s blog. But the way to make this work is to focus your article on a topic based around the vendor’s product. Then within the article you can drop your affiliate link. It’s a win-win idea, because both you and the vendor make money.
Still another way to get a vendor sending you some traffic is to ask him to write an article for your blog.
Alternatively, you can ask the vendor to do an text based interview, where all questions are asked and answered via email. You can then edit this interview and post it on your blog, along with your affiliate link to the vendor’s product.
The reason this works so well is because many vendors will promote their articles or interviews on their own blog, on their social media platforms and/or to their newsletter subscribers.
Big hint: You up the chances of the vendor promoting the content by specifically asking him to promote it. That’s right, just ask. Tell him the benefits of promoting – namely, that he’ll make money and add a new customer to his list whenever someone buys from the links in the article or the interview.
So there you have it – five different ways you can get the vendor to send traffic to you and help you promote his products. If you’ve never tried these ideas out before, I think you’ll be surprised out how well they work. That’s why I suggest you get started ASAP by emailing, Skyping or otherwise getting in touch with your favorite vendor to land an interview or offer some free content. I think you’ll both like the results.