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I’m Hailey – content strategist and founder here at Your Content Empire where we help you create more profitable, purposeful and productive content — and hopefully enjoy yourself more while doing it too. Learn more about me here >>


How to Add an Affiliate Program to Your Course (Even with a small email list)

As business owners, numbers matter.

The number of followers we have.

The number of people on our email list.

The number of people buying from us.

The number of hours we are working.

So on and so forth.

But when it comes to affiliates and running a successful and profitable affiliate program, there’s a common misconception around numbers that I want to share with you…

That in order to run a successful affiliate program, you need to have a lot of affiliates OR affiliates who have big lists themselves in order to be profitable.

Umm… NO!

That’s right… Your affiliate’s list size DOES.NOT.MATTER!

And you don’t need a ton of affiliates in order to have a successful affiliate program or launch.

There’s an example I *love* to share with people about the power of affiliates with small lists (or no lists at all!) and how they can still be beneficial to your business!

One of my clients runs a personal development course for women twice a year. Her program is $347 and is for any woman who wants to open herself up to experiencing more pleasure in their love life.

During her last launch, we reached out to a small group of women who had previously taken the program and raved about it to see if they’d like to become affiliates.

8 women agreed to be an affiliate for my client.

These are not women who are all entrepreneurs and have been growing their list and could share my client’s program with thousands of other women.

They are women who are passionate about the work my client was doing and would be a great referral source because they had seen the benefits of my client’s program.

They were ideal affiliates!

And the sign up results?

Those 8 women referred a total of 17 sales.  (These new sales were all women who had not previously been on my client’s list and were new to her work. )

The financial results?

My client offered her affiliates a 50% commission.

17 affiliate sales x $347 = $5899

Commission paid to affiliates: $2949.50

Revenue for my client from affiliate sales: $2949.50

Most exciting result of all?

17 new women are now opening themselves up to more pleasure in their personal lives. And they would not have been introduced to this work without the help of the affiliates.

As you can see, it IS possible to have a profitable affiliate program even with a small number of affiliates who have little to no list themselves.

Who makes an ideal affiliate partner?

In my not so humble opinion, there are three types of people who make great affiliates for you {no matter what industry you’re in!} where list size doesn’t matter at all.

  1. Your Biggest Fans

These are people who know your work and know you personally and who will rave about you to everyone they know.  Typically these are people who, even if they haven’t bought your programs, services or products, still know about your work through being connected with you on social media, your newsletter list and in person networking events and love what you are about and want to share your work with their community. They are familiar with your content and are huge fans of you personally, so they will tell the masses (aka their own communities) about you and always shine you in a positive light!

  1. Past Clients & Customers

These are people who already know and have experienced the positive impact your work has had on their life/business, and when they share you with their community, they’ll be able to use their own testimony of their work with you to share about your offer.  The fact that they already bought from you will automatically establish credibility with their audience which create that know-like-trust factor for you.

  1. Colleagues with an engaged audience of your target clients

If you have colleagues who have an engaged audience that could really benefit from the products, services or programs that you are offering, and you and the affiliate do not offer the same things, they would make an ideal affiliate because your offering will help fill a gap in the affiliates offerings and their community will benefit greatly from this.  And remember: It doesn’t matter if their audience isn’t huge… Just because someone has a huge audience doesn’t mean they have a super engaged audience. That’s an important distinction to make because a small audience who pays attention to your affiliate’s recommendations is more valuable than a huge audience who never sees your affiliate’s emails or social media posts!

Next Steps

My biggest hope for business owners is that they don’t list size stop them from creating amazing affiliate partnerships with people who could help propel their business forward by sharing about their work with their communities.

I invite you to go through the list above and make a list of 10 people you can reach out to today who fit the “ideal affiliate partner” criteria above.  Once you know who those 10 ideal affiliate partners are, you can then begin to invite them to be an affiliate for your business.

Just remember…. List size does not matter!

This was a guest post by Kelly Morrison from The Virtual Peacock. My passion has always been supporting my clients with their online tasks, and these days my primary focus is on helping entrepreneurs with online launch support and email marketing, as well as affiliate program set up and implementation so that they can make more leads, make more income, and deliver exceptional experiences to their clients.  I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of 6 and 7 figure launches for some of the most amazing online business owners, and love being an instrumental part of my client’s success. Visit www.TheVirtualPeacock.com for more details.

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