What is affiliate marketing and how it opened up the way I think about all kinds of marketing
It’s the year 1995.
Mum and dad launched our first family business.
A fish and chip shop - one window of fish and chips and the other window with Indonesian dishes.
Back then, sales and marketing was simply “sales and marketing”.
Our takeaway food shop was located in a major shopping centre.
The shopping centre promoted itself to bring customers in. They also helped us with promoting our “offers”.
We had to compete with hundreds of other shops in the centre to get their attention and buy something from us.
What were our “offers”?
Our offers were special deals. We would quickly brainstorm. Print, snip and either letter box dropped or sat on our front counter. The offers were vouchers stating they could be claimed within a limited time. The customer would be tempted to bring back the voucher for presentation, happy to be getting a really good deal.
We could count the number of offers/vouchers used - as customers returned them. We would know how popular or not the offer was.
We paid an exorbitant amount of rent, we could barely cover the costs of running that business.
I was 15 at the time went to school, did my homework when I could and spent every ‘spare’ moment, working in the shop, helping Mum and Dad.
Fast forward to 2020.
We have access to a multitude of platforms and ways we can put our 'offers' in front of our ideal customer.
The problem isn’t the access to the number of ways. The problem for most entrepreneurs and those starting out with an online business, well really any business is "where do I start?"
Logically and in the beginning for our restaurant, Mamaku Street Food, Mum and Dad relied on me to launch our online presence.I did all their marketing, I was the go to in the family for everything "marketing". I had a degree and one time, I designed a wine bottle label as part of my degree. Mum and dad helped me at the time and so that's how I became the "go to".
In the beginning, being new was the reason customers would come and find us and try us out. Which at first was a great strategy. My sister is an interior designer and with the small budget mum and dad and my brother had, they furiously moved from imagination to creation of the cosy little corner shop in CLAYFIELD as it is now known.
But a few years on and subletting the restaurant to another family. Our helping hand turned awry. And the restaurant landed back in the family’s hands albeit with 12 months of back rent.
But for us, we battled on as we always have, seeking out the question: "what is the life lesson for our family? Will we ever learn? Why are we so trusting and generous? When will the time come where we stop working hard all the days of our lives?"
And "do we stop believing in the power of what’s possible? Or do we keep believing?" We started to build from scratch our business and it’s following with a slight name change, restoring an online presence. But it was literally like we were starting all over again.
During this time, my mum found a digital marketing learning platform which had opened her mind to the opportunity of online business. She shared this with me but I shook it off at the time.
She spent 18 months talking to me about affiliate marketing and at the time I was listening to her but not really hearing her.
What is affiliate marketing?
In a nutshell (let me out), it’s referral marketing.
It’s the promotion of another company’s products and or services, and the receipt of a commission in return.
My mum, husband and I have all worked in real estate in the past. It’s essentially no different to working with and for a client to sell their home or properties and receiving a commission in return.
Being an ex banker and home lending manager, it’s also no different to the writing of a home loan, similar to the way a mortgage broker will write a home loan for their client and get paid a trailing commission from the respective banking institution for writing one of their products.
You’re not just handed the commission on a platter though, are you? There is a mutual understanding that you are being rewarded for your hard yards, your marketing ability and ability to attract a new customer, or repeat custom with an existing client.
What is your ideal customer for the property? How will you write up the property description to appeal to your ideal customer? What channels will you use to promote the property? How will you monitor the effectiveness, essentially to know if you are on the right track? How will you keep communication channels open for both your prospective buyers and your seller? How will you get to know what your buyer wants and identify their buying signals?
In the case of writing a home loan, you are responsible for understanding what your customer wants, what’s important to them and how you’ll set them up for success by matching them up with the right bank and the right loan to suit their particular needs. It’s a long term relationship if you get it right. 30 years in fact.
When it comes to creating a business online, or even enhancing your online presence for a bricks and mortar business, understanding the mechanics of affiliate marketing can get you a leg up on the competition and on all kinds of marketing.
And in February 2020, I had the epiphany my Mum had been waiting for which was to connect the dots between the opportunity of the learning platform and our bricks and mortar and my passion for writing.
I realised that what the learning platform provided was much more than affiliate marketing but training around being effective in the way you tell your story, build your list, promote your products/offers, and tell more of your story.
What was even more amazing about the training was how it shines the light on the sheer volume of opportunities available online.
I soon learnt there were many options and many affiliate pathways. But most channels won’t tell you how to be effective. They tell you, yes you can be an affiliate for us, give you a personalised link and off you go.
The opportunity of a platform like mentors, is you receive tailored guidance on the pathways and channels that will most suit you and your talents, skills, knowledge and abilities.
For me, it’s like this you can get a casual pass to the gym. You can buy a 7 day membership to the gym. You can buy a yearly gym membership. Then if you are someone who knows exactly what you want and when you want it, you’ll get a personal trainer, who will tailor the way you use the gym, maximising your time at the gym and showing you how not to hurt yourself, how to do the exercises correctly etc.
The mentors platform is a membership base and there are a number of ways you can get started on learning about everything related to maximising the digital footprint of your online business even if you don’t yet have a business or dont know where to get started.
The unexpected surprise with this platform is its community of like-minded driven and committed individuals who are all at different parts of their own journeys, some leveraging affiliate marketing while others focus on their own niche markets. All give back to the community learning, doing and teaching things they learn along the way. What that provides is an honest, raw, real, authentic space, and people growing within that space to realise their own potential.
Mie Mie Wing Kee
8/4/2020 05:25:14 am
Very interesting story and love to hear more about affiliate marketing and online platform mentor
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Hi my name is Angela. I have loved writing since I was able to hold a pencil in my hand. I soon learnt I had a gift of connecting with my ancestors through writing before my 30th birthday.