Mastering Affiliate Marketing in the Fitness Industry

word of mouthI’m sure many of you have heard it said, or even said yourself, that personal training businesses and fitness businesses are best marketed through word-of-mouth.

And there are some fitness businesses that do well on word-of-mouth alone and do not utilize a structured marketing plan.

But remember, “I’m Bedros Keuilian, Fitness Business Marketing Expert,” and if you know anything about me and what I teach, I don’t ever tell people to rely on word-of-mouth alone.

But today, I am going to tell you to rely on word-of-mouth. HOWEVER, this isn’t your ordinary grassroots movement I’m talking about here. In my online marketing world, we have our own version of word-of-mouth that has the potential to operate on a massive scale.

I’m teaching you today about Affiliate Marketing.

“Affiliate Marketing is the fastest way to grow your online business.”

Interested?

This statement was the core message of Rick Kaselj’s presentation at our Online Info Blueprint seminar held earlier this month. He is a master at finding, managing, and using affiliates.

He is incredibly successful because of it.

And that is why I am going to teach you all about it.

The following is a crash course on affiliate marketing: what it is, how it works, and how you can use it to promote your online information product, your boot camp, or whatever other product or service your fitness business sells.

Now, for those who aren’t familiar with the term, Affiliate Marketing is a method of exchange that allows online marketers, personalities, or anyone with a decent sized mailing list, to make money by both selling and promoting their products as well as others’.

So what does that mean?affiliate marketing

Oftentimes when companies or individuals are launching a new product, they reach out to other online marketers and ask them to participate in the launch. By using online programs (most use Clickbank.com) individuals or businesses can incentivize other marketers to spread the word about their products by offering a percentage of the revenue that comes from each marketer’s referrals.

So if a friend or colleague is launching a new product and you have a large email list, he will ask you to become one of his affiliates and have you send out an email to your list describing and promoting his product. To encourage you to do so, he might offer you 75% of the money generated from every paying customer that finds his product webpage by clicking on a link located within your email. Make sense?

Now that we all know what affiliate marketing is and we have a basic understanding of how it works, I’m going to give you lots of tips and tricks, rules, guidelines, and best practices that will help you break into the affiliate world and start using it right away.

First, lets talk about how we find and make affiliate relationships.

The most direct and obvious method for acquiring affiliates, or even becoming an affiliate, is networking.

By regularly attending seminars, conferences, or any other events that bring together large amounts of experts in your industry, you can meet people, take names, and get yourself on lots of affiliate lists. (If you’re at a loss as to where you should go, there are always TONS of potential affiliate partners at the Fitness Business Summits, The Fit Body Boot Camp World Conferences, The Online Info Blueprints, and any of the masterminds).

If you have a nice sized list or have a loyal readership, you can advertise yourself as a great potential affiliate. You can also find others who might be willing to use their own lists to promote your product. Either way, you’re going to benefit and make a bit of cash.

For the times between these conferences, or for those who are unable to attend, there is still another way to find affiliate partners.

This is where email comes in.

However, this is not as simple as an in-person handshake, quick conversation, and exchange of information.

Everything works differently on the internet and, while you might appear as a friendly, mild mannered, attractive business partner in-person, one wrong move online and you’ll have everyone thinking you’re a snake-oil salesmen out to steal their bank account numbers and bombard them with Nigerian money order scams.

So here’s how you get affiliates online— safely and reliably.

The simplest way is to research other online marketers in your niche, or whoever might be interested in promoting your product, and send them an email.

Simple in principle, but not in practice.

First of all, just check out websites. If you would like someone to promote your product, find his or her contact email and have at it.

If this method runs dry or you aren’t able to find or attract any partners, there is another method you should try.

Find the biggest online marketers in your field or niche and hunt around on their websites until you find their “Affiliates Click Here” link. Sign up to be on their affiliate list and wait until they start sending you emails.

Those emails will be a goldmine of potential affiliates. They will tell you who sells the most, who the top performers are, and who you should be contacting and asking to promote your fitness product.

And while it may seem sneaky to find people’s unsolicited information in this way, this is normal practice in the affiliate world. But to make sure your messages perform well and find you partners, I’m going to teach you exactly how to write your affiliate getting emails.

Your emails should always stick to the following truths and guidelines:

affiliates— Affiliates hate email. – While this may seem contradictory, it really shouldn’t. Who doesn’t hate email? It’s full of scammers, spammers, and junk— especially a publicly online email. So you need to differentiate yourself, make yourself appear interesting, and explain exactly who you are and what you need as quickly as possible. It should only take a few seconds for the reader of your email to realize why you are messaging and that you are a legitimate potential partner. This isn’t easy, but as long as you keep it simple, concise, and genuine, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem.

— Build a relationship before you ask them for anything. – Your introductory email should be just that: an introduction. Don’t ask them to send any emails or for any other form of help in your first correspondence.

— It isn’t about you, it’s about them. – Potential affiliates don’t want to hear about how great you are, how awesome your product is, or what they can do you help you. Instead, your focus needs to be wholly and absolutely on them: how you can help them, what you can do for them, how you should be able to make them money, and how they are the greatest. Flatter, grovel, and compliment your way into a relationship with them.

— Find ways to actively help them. – This goes along with the previous point, but what I want to stress here is the importance of offering some kind of valuable help and offering it instantly. Perhaps you can send a free copy of your product or some other gift that they will appreciate. If you want them to send out an email for you, write the entire email for them and have everything ready to go so all they must do is copy, paste, and send. Add as much value to your relationship as possible and start doing it with the very first message you send.

With all these guiding principles in mind, here is a proven format that should allow you to reach out to potential affiliates and consistently get positive responses.

1. Introduce Yourself – Remember, keep it simple and do it right away. Don’t try to be cute and do not ever try to conceal your purpose. You aren’t trying to sell the idea of affiliate marketing, but you are selling yourself.

2. Build Credibility – And here is where you do your self-selling. Make sure your voice, tone, methods, and content all work to present you as a reliable, legitimate, and valuable partner.

3. Thank Them – Here’s where the groveling comes in. Let them know how grateful you are for everything they have done, may do, and will do.

4. Help Them – Finish your email with whatever form of help or value you will be offering. This ends things on a positive and will leave a great impression.

Finally, I’m going to leave you with some closing tips and tricks that should help you in your quest to master the world of affiliate marketing:

For new products, and especially when you are working with newly acquired affiliates, don’t be afraid to offer 100%, or even 110% commission. This will guarantee interest in promoting your product and is another way you can offer help or assistance to potential affiliates.

It is likely that you won’t make much profit during launches. By the time you pay out your commissions, fees, and other expenses you may even find you have lost money.

However, this is not a failure. Plan to not make money off your launch product, but be sure to push your upsells. Paying affiliates is merely paying for traffic. As long as you capitalize on that traffic with upsells you’ll make some nice profits.

EVERYONE is a potential affiliate. Don’t ever let an opportunity to form a relationship and make some money pass you by.

handshake

 Nothing beats skin-on-skin. Awesome emails are important and you will absolutely need to rely on them, but nothing beats in-person networking. So do whatever you can to put yourself into situations where you can find potential partners and form relationships.

And there you have it people. Everything you need to know to get started in Affiliate Marketing. Nothing is easy and nothing can be mastered in entirely in just one blog post, but begin here and you should have a great head start as a brand-new member of the affiliate marketing universe.

Committed to your success,

Bedros