10 Secrets of the Super Affiliate Mindset
by: Anik Singal
Contrary to popular belief, super-affiliates don’t really DO things differently than affiliate underachievers. Super-affiliates promote the same products. They use the same SEO techniques. They have the same headaches. And they work just as hard.
But super-affiliates THINK differently. Their minds and attitudes go far beyond the commission check. For them, affiliate marketing is not just a business. It’s a CAREER. And that professional mindset makes a huge difference in how and when they take action in the marketplace.
I’ve worked side by side with many super-affiliates. I’ve even helped create a few. They all share a special kind of mindset. So as you read these 10 characteristics of affiliate super-achievers, ask yourself, “Could I learn to think this way?”
#1 – Super-affiliates think creatively.
You know what you’ll get if you do what everyone else does? You’ll get what they get… only you’ll be splitting it with them, and all their imitators.
In today’s Internet marketplace, you need to be a leader, not a follower. So super-affiliates don’t follow the crowd. They sell TO the crowd. They take the most successful marketing techniques, apply them to selling the most popular products… and then add a unique spin.
It could be as simple as offering one unusual, but highly valuable bonus. It could be as sensible as using low-cost offline marketing, while everyone else is breaking the bank on expensive PPC. It could be as innovative as dumping the sales letter, and substituting a quiz or contest. But super-affiliates always, always, ALWAYS look for ways to be alittle more creative than their competitors.
#2 – Super-affiliates learn the hard stuff.
Less than 10% of people who start their own business are successful. Why? Most fail because they lack direct sales experience, don’t bother with a marketing and business plan, or get into debt promoting products that don’t have a market. In other words, they flunk when they get tested on the really tough aspects of business.
Super-affiliates are different. They learn how to do all the “hard’ things other people shy away from. They learn about selling and they get good at it. They set goals, make daily and weekly plans, and measure their progress. They don’t waste time creating huge content sites unless they have hard evidence that those sites will eventually bring them BUYERS (not just browsers or researchers).
And most of all, they keep their eye on PROFITABILITY. Not just traffic, not just visitors. Super-affiliates look for a return on their investment of time and effort, as well as money.
#3 – Super-affliates follow up.
Most affiliates can attract prospects. A few can convert prospects into customers. But only super-affiliates turn existing customers into repeat customers.
Super-affiliates know that the person who has already bought from you is the most willing prospect for your backend products, upsells, and cross-sells. These current customers are also the cheapest to sell to. So super-affiliates are always thinking of the lifetime value of a customer… and always offering them the best value and deals.
#4 – Super-affiliates give before receiving.
Super-affiliates invest time and money giving something of REAL value. Before they ask for the sale… and before they seal a JV. Maybe they give away useful content. Maybe they offer a valuable resource. Maybe they offer to put in some sweat equity for a piece of the action. Maybe they offer customers a chance to win something… or a smile.
But no matter WHAT they give, super-affiliates do business in a spirit of openness. It’s not about beating the other guy. It’s about networking and making alliances. It’s about viewing the Internet marketplace as one great big “small town.” It’s about saying “let’s talk.” And it’s about putting something – money, effort, or reputation – on the table BEFORE making demands.
#5 – Super-affiliates know how to receive.
Giving is the best first step – but it’s only the beginning. Once they’ve hammered out a deal or given something of value, super-affiliates also know how to take what they rightfully deserve.
That means they don’t just pre-sell… they ASK prospects for the sale. They’re not afraid to capitalize on a good deal. They LIKE profits and don’t apologize for being successful. And if they’re working on a JV, they state their expectations clearly, forthrightly, without a lot of fuss… and don’t de-value their list or reputation with cheesy offers.
Yes, the best super-affiliates receive their just rewards graciously, without throwing their egos around. And they not only say thank you. They look for ways to turn a “thank you” into an opportunity to generate more customer loyalty and more sales down the line.
#6 – Super-affiliates think strategically.
Affiliate marketing isn’t a game of chance. It’s a profession. Super-affiliates are just as savvy about their industry, and just as uninvolved, as other expert professionals.
Which means super-affiliates spend quality time thinking, planning, preparing, and evaluating. They analyze their sites, products, and sales. They try to understand WHY one technique works and another doesn’t. They think about trends and ponder the mentality of their customers.
Bottom line is, super-affiliates LOVE their work.
#7 – Super-affiliates test and analyze.
Profit, profit, profit… super affiliates are hard-headed about profits! They split-test carefully. They think about WHY one ad pulls better than another… and they try to duplicate the results. They analyze their traffic, stats, and user purchase patterns. They’re fanatics about knowing their visitor to sales ratio on a daily basis. And they’re obsessed with ROI.
If you want to say goodbye to the ranks of affiliate underachievers, learn to love the numbers like the super-affiliates do.
#8 – Super-affiliates know when to go for volume over commission.
Here’s a very well-kept secret of some super-affiliates: you can earn a fantastic income from cheap untargeted traffic. Believe it or not, not every super-affiliate is brilliant at creating content or opt-in marketing. Some just concentrate on traffic — more and bigger traffic — and make money off of sheer volume sales and contextual advertising.
Here’s the basic formula, oversimplified of course: Let’s say that on a given web site you get 1000 unique visitors per day, or 30,000 visitors per month. If your average monthly profit from that site is $1500, then each visitor is worth 5 cents ($1500 divided by 30,000 visitors).
So in this example, if you spend 5 cents to attract a visitor, all you can do is break even. But if you can spend a lot less to get a visitor — say only 2 cents — you’ve got the potential to make some terrific profits on cheap traffic! Sure, it’s not going to be tightly niched traffic. But it’s also the kind of traffic that fits well with products that have mass-market mass-appeal, or even commodity products.
#9 – Super-affiliates work a plan.
Successful affiliates have a simple business model: they replicate their success. Once they find something that works, they tweak it slightly, test, evaluate, and repeat. Some of the most profitable affiliate empires follow this simple, repetitive pattern. Consistent effort tends to yield consistent results, especially online, where certain types of marketing (like SEO) take time.
And more importantly, super-affiliates follow a schedule. So much activity per month, so many promotions, so many sales. When they fall short of their goals, they figure out why. If they can’t, they cut their losses and try again.
Working a plan all boils down to discipline. Organization, tracking, and daily project management are a way of life for super-affiliates.
#10 – Super-affiliates never quit.
They may ruthlessly dump under-performing products. They may cut their losses if the profits don’t flow. But super-affiliates don’t give up. They assume that they’re going to have some bumps and hard times. They look at setbacks as essential learning experiences that, in the end, help them build a stronger business.