AFFILIATE MARKETING FOR COURSE CREATORS
It made me think of MLM’s and get-rich-quick schemes.
That was, until, I started to make real money from promoting products and services I was already using.
I’d be mentioning them anyways – so why not get PAID to tell others about them?
You see, promoting products and services I use is called Affiliate Marketing.
I’m a consultant, a service provider, and an online educator for novice course creators.
The software programs and services I use are also software programs and services that my clients and students need.
I’m an affiliate for 30-40 products and services that I use, and that I recommend to my students and clients.
With VERY little effort, I now make an additional $1,500 per month by promoting products and services I use and love to my email list, my clients, and my students.
On top of that, I have affiliates who market and sell my courses on my behalf!
They are affiliates of my products. They generate the leads, and are paid a commission when those leads convert to sales.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
In the simplest of terms, affiliate marketing is “the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.”
You, as a course creator, can earn additional revenue from being an affiliate for other people’s (or company’s) products, services, and/or courses, but you can ALSO have affiliates who promote your courses for you!
Have Others Generate Leads and Sales With Your Own Affiliate Program
What if you didn’t have to spend as much time marketing your own courses?
What if you only paid for your marketing WHEN a sale was made?
Well that, my friend, is why you want your own affiliate program!
Having your own affiliate program is the best way to have others generate leads and sales for you, with VERY LITTLE EFFORT on your part, and no advertising budget required.
You give others monetary incentive for sharing your solution (aka your course) with their audience. They give their audience what they need (your course!) and you get sales.
There are two kinds of people who are most likely to refer your course to others – students who’ve completed your course and had exceptional results, and influencers in your niche whose audience wants what you have.
How does it work?
If you’re using an LMS like Thinkific, it’s a breeze. You can make anyone an affiliate on your Thinkific site and sales are automatically tracked for you. You have full control over approved payments, payout policies and payment schedules.
When you set a person up as an affiliate (on Thinkific) they’ll get access to their Affiliate Dashboard where they can view their affiliate information, their unique affiliate links (to share with their audience), and financial reports (commissions, payouts, etc.).
Let’s say that Jane becomes an affiliate for you. She’s going to take her unique affiliate links and share them with her audience via social posts, emails, etc. Now if Brad clicks on that link and lands on your course sales page, Thinkific drops a cookie in Brad’s web browser. Brad gets distracted with a phone call and doesn’t return to your course sales page for several days but, because Thinkific dropped a cookie in his browser, Thinkific knows that Jane was the one who referred Brad – so when he purchases your course, Jane will get a commission! Pretty cool, right?
The best part of having affiliates for your courses is that you only pay for successful sales. You’re not paying your affiliates to market your courses on your behalf. Only successful sales from clicking on an affiliate link result in a commission for the affiliate!
Bump Up Your Affiliate Incentives
As you’re only paying affiliates for successful sales, you want to help them GET those sales, and there are several ways to help them out.
- Allow your affiliates to enroll in your course for free (if they haven’t taken it) so that they can share their results with their audience. After all, testimonials are the best social proof!
- Offer a generous commission structure – 30% to 50% per course purchase. You want sales without having to generate leads? This is the way to do it!
- Provide your affiliates with an Affiliate Guide, suggesting promotion methods, terms, etc.
- Provide your affiliates with swipe files for copy and images they can use to promote your courses
- Provide your affiliates with a discount code that they can pass onto their audience
Become An Affiliate and Earn
When I realized that I could actually create an additional revenue stream by suggesting and recommending products, services, and even other courses that my audience wanted, I was hooked!
Getting paid to recommend products, services, and/or other courses THAT YOU’RE ALREADY RECOMMENDING is a great way to make some extra revenue and add an additional revenue stream to your business.
You’re already making recommendations to your students, clients, and customers. Why not make some extra money by doing what you’re doing now?
- If your courses teach students how to paint you could become an Amazon affiliate or a Dick Blick Art Materials affiliate and link them to the products you recommend there. If they purchase, you make a commission.
- If your courses teach students how to garden you could become an Indigo affiliate and link to books you recommend, or become a SeedsNow.com affiliate and link to seeds to purchase.
- If your courses teach students hairstyling, you could become a Sally Beauty or Luxy Hair affiliate and link to hair products
See how easy that would be?
How Much Can You Make?
Like everything else in life and business, you’ll get out of it what you put into it.
Commission can vary from 5% to 50% depending on the affiliate, it could be a flat fee per sale, or you could get the product for free with each successful sale. It could be recurring (monthly, in the case of a subscription based purchase) or it could be a one-time commission. It’s important to understand the terms of each affiliate program which you’ll have to agree to when you apply to become an affiliate.
Posting your affiliate links once in a while on your Facebook page or in your Facebook group may generate enough commission to take your family out for dinner once a month, but by utilizing a promotional calendar and specific tactics (which I give you in my Affiliate Marketing 101 training) you’ll greatly increase your revenue.