Most people start an online business so they can work for themselves and set their own schedule. However, even us lone wolf solopreneurs still need to interact with others to achieve real success online.
Networking is a task that doesn't have to take much time or effort, but it's something that you'll need to do in order to attract prospective buyers. Plus, it's worth your while to look for affiliates who can send you more subscribers and sales.
Making Yourself Available to Your Niche Audience
As a marketer, you might not feel that comfortable having to interact with your niche audience. But what you may not realize is, your followers feel intimidated having to reach out to you as well. There are many people who will continue to stay confused or in the dark about a situation rather than have to contact someone with questions.
A lot of times, they just don't want to bother anyone. They feel as if you are an expert and if they take up any of your time, you should be compensated for it, and they're afraid to get into a situation like that.
You want to be known as a niche leader who is there for your target audience to help them out just because they're a subscriber... and obviously you can't spend all you time coaching them all for free until they succeed...
But interacting with and networking with your target audience can generate good will, and it can be in bite-sized amounts. Sometimes networking can be done on social media sites like Facebook, and may be simple banter about something other than the niche topic.
For example, if you're in the anti-aging niche and you have an Instagram account, you might share a picture of yourself with your pet. Some of your followers may comment about what breed it is, how cute it is, or talk to you about their pet.
These seemingly insignificant conversations that take mere seconds to carry out help your audience feel as if they know you in some small way – which means you're helping build trust for future purchases of products in that niche.
You'll want to make it a two-way street. Don't always allow the conversation to simply come to you. Engage your audience, try to remember their names or little things about them that you can discuss now and then.
With potential affiliates, you form more of a working relationship where you have to speak to each other about money which is not fun, so it's good to get to know them on a more personal level. And then you can talk to them about a mix of business and personal life when you network.
I don't mean private information you don't want to disclose – I mean just talking about your favorite foods, tv shows and and sports stuff... You just don't want to be all business all the time, because then they never feel like they can get to know you or trust you.
Making Connections with People Who Can Help Grow Your Business
When you start working online as an Internet marketer, it can feel a little bit like it's you against the world. You have to make all of the decisions, learn things on your own, and motivate yourself to take action.
But there are lots of other list builders in your niche who can help you grow your business. Networking with them is one of the best ways to increase your traffic and give your business a big boost.
The first group of individuals who can help are those who you look up. This would be other marketers (whether they're in your niche or not) who have built and sustained an online business that's been around for awhile.
If you're really active with reaching out to other marketers and trying to network, you might be able to strike up friendships with successful marketers who might be willing to offer advice on things you may be doing wrong and tell you what you can do to get yourself on the right track.
You might be pricing your products wrong or failing to launch with a funnel – and they can quickly offer their insight. Normally, they want a coaching fee to talk about that kind of stuff, but if you're friends with them and naturally interacting and networking with them online, they might let you know when they see a glaring mistake that you're making.
You want to find and network with a group of people on different levels. Some may be below you in terms of success online, some may be on the same level, and others may be far ahead of you. It's always good to get feedback from a variety of people because often times, the more advanced people forget the little details that you need to know as a beginner.
Another group of people to mingle with online in order to help grow your business, are those who may at some point become a part of your team.
Becoming a team member doesn't always mean they will work directly for you. It just means you might outsource something to them in the future. Even if you didn't hire someone, it always helps to be friends with people who excel at copywriting, graphics, content creation, search engine optimization, paid ads, and more.
That way, whenever you have a question, they might be willing to help you with it. If not, they may be the best people for you to hire if you want to outsource something so you can work on other tasks in your business.
The Right Way to Recruit Affiliates to Promote for You
If you're creating products or training courses, it's a very good idea to find other list owners who can promote your products for you, to help you make more sales and build up your buyer list as well as your subscriber list. Affiliates can be a valuable resource, so you want to communicate with them carefully and build a genuine relationship with them.
You need to find out who promotes products in your niche. The first place you want to start is by looking at your competitors. Competitors in the world of online marketing are often each other's greatest supporters.
You also want to look at affiliates who don't have their own products on the market, but who do have a list or following in the niche and would be interested in promoting you. To find these people, you can look to see who has a review blog or look at the leaderboards for contests where affiliates were competing for a prize in that niche.
Once you have a list of potential affiliates, you'll want to spend time getting to know them. Start out by friending them on various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more.
If they do have a product of their own, you'll want to purchase it so that you can see the type of quality they feel is worthy of promotion in the marketplace. If you're hoping they will promote for you as an affiliate, don't contact them and ask them for a free review copy of their own product.
One thing you definitely want to do is get on their list as a subscriber to see what their style is like. This will help you determine how to network with them on a social level – are they funny or serious, short and to the point or long-winded?
You'll also be able to see what they promote from other people. This kind of data can tell you whether or not their list responds well to text based courses or video courses, as well as what topics they promote on a regular basis within the niche.
Be sure and engage with potential affiliates for quite awhile before asking them to promote your product. You'll want to take this step early on in the development of your online business so that when the time comes, you'll be able to reach out without it feeling spammy.
When you do have a launch in the works, make sure you contact potential affiliates a few weeks ahead of time. This gives them the opportunity to create a bonus for their buyers.
It also gives them the chance to put you on their schedule in case they have very limited availability in their emails. When you do approach a prospective affiliate, you'll want to send a few things to help persuade them in their decision making process...
The first is a link to your JV (joint venture) page. You may also want to give them the details about the product and launch in your first communication with them about this subject.
Make sure you send them a complementary review copy of the product. If you want them to promote items in your funnel, then send a copy of those items as well so they can mention it to their readers.
Don't make them ask for a review copy, and don't ask them if they want one. Just send it. Make it as convenient as possible for them. Another thing you may want to make clear is whether or not you're providing any additional perks for them if they come onboard for your lunch.
This might be an increased percentage for their commission, a bonus that you have created for them to give their list, a banner ad spot on your download page, advanced opportunity to promote the product before other affiliates, etc.
Another thing you may want to make clear as whether or not you're providing any additional perks for them if they come on board for your lunch. This might be an increased percentage for their commission, a bonus that you have created for them to give their list, a banner ad spot on your download page, advanced opportunity to promote the product, etc.
After you've sent this communication, make sure you don't bug the affiliate to give you an answer about whether or not they will be promoting for you. It's okay to send a quick reminder the night before launch, but if you get too pushy with the situation, they may shut you out and see you as a nuisance.
Watch Out for Reciprocity Traps
One danger you have to watch out for is getting stuck in a trap of reciprocating with other affiliates to promote their products if they'll promote for you. This is a common maneuver some marketers make in guilting people to promote their launches.
But there are problems with this approach. Aside from the ethical issues, if you promise to promote someone else if they promote you, you're putting your subscribers at risk. And those are the people you should be protecting. Some top marketers who earn a lot of money don't necessarily put out decent products themselves, and then you're on the hook to make a recommendation you don't truly believe in.
What's worse is, if you spent time building a rapport with your subscribers, you're going to have to betray them to fulfill your end of the deal with the other affiliate. So you're now compromised and they'll just think you're full of crap and the products you promote are scammy.
You can always have a rule that you'll promote for others with the disclaimer of if it's a good fit for my list. This lets you off the hook because then you can either be honest about the quality, price or other issue – or, simply say it's not a good fit.
You can expect some pushback from this strategy and also understand that some affiliates make promote you only one time, since you won't promote them back. But it's better to have your integrity intact than to burn bridges with the people who paid money to gain your guidance.
Going Above and Beyond with Your Networking Efforts
Another way you can network with affiliates and customers is to attend niche seminars where your customers can meet you and you can also have a chance to chat with affiliates in a social setting.
These kinds of meetings are held all over the world and often last a few days. During the daytime, there will be work groups and talks to attend, and at night, there's often a social element where attendees have fun socializing and having fun getting to know one another.
Normally, the alcohol is flowing pretty freely at these events, so be careful you don't get too hammered and do something wacky. That could potentially sabotage all the networking efforts you've been doing for weeks, months and years.
You could also create your own mastermind network. This is usually a close knit group motivated marketers all striving for further success who get together periodically and share insight and strategy with one another.
There may be a mastermind group that invites you to join them, you can ask around about one, or start one yourself. These individuals often meet up somewhere convenient or even in a virtual setting to help each other grow their success.
Networking can be a fun way to enjoy increased success. It's also a good way to find some camaraderie and avoid the loneliness that comes from working by yourself.
That way you can have some people to talk about marketing stuff with since no one else has any idea what you're talking about. Even if you're shy, there's bound to be a level of networking you are comfortable with. Networking an help build your business up very quickly and is very much worth the effort.