Guest Post by: Louise M., a Wealthy Affiliate Member
As an affiliate marketer, measuring your improvements is important, comparing what you learn with what you apply, going through your to-do list daily… But these objective improvements aren’t everything. They prove you’re on the right path but they unfortunately don’t guarantee success. The way you treat the affiliate marketing “game”, how you position yourself has a real impact on the results you’ll get.
If I had to make a list of the top 5 qualities of the successful affiliate marketer, having the right mindset would definitely come first. No wonder why the big boys in business have strong personalities and inspiring success stories. They have “that little something”.
Experiencing a mindset shift as an affiliate marketer isn’t as abstract as you may think. It’s real, it’s tangible. The mindset doesn’t only define the way you think but also the actions you choose to take.
The bad news is: It’s not given by God, it’s not a super power nor magic and it’s not effortless.
The good news is: It’s a decision! And you can take it now. It’s almost like a shortcut because it puts you on a different level, a higher one. It implies bigger/faster results and more responsibilities too as you’ll become a real entrepreneur first in your mind and then “for real”. But, as Spiderman’s uncle said: “With great power comes great responsibility”. Indeed, failures are part of the ride and you’ll always be the only one to blame.
Ok, we can agree that this introduction can be pretty blurry for those of you who don’t have that “success mindset” yet. So I am going to break the mindset shift concept into 3 parts where I will explain what the mindset changes I’m talking about really imply in terms of action. And we know money comes from actions, not wishes.
From acting inside the box to interacting outside of it.
Knowing the steps to take when starting affiliate marketing isn’t the hardest part. There is loads of information out there. Getting a clear picture of how it works and picking a good training program is important. When you start, you’re taught to put each task in different boxes. Sure being organized is important, keeping things simple is essential, but seeing it as a whole can greatly help you. Having a path to follow doesn’t mean you can’t go beyond the path’s limits, twist it a little, bring something more.
When tasks are not connected to each other, they at best only provide the results you’re expecting. This is cool, but they rarely exceed that expectation. I’ll take backlink creation as an example and blog commenting in particular.
If the tasks you have to do aren’t connected to each other in your mind you may end up doing this:
- write a trivial blog comment (because you want to create 15 a day and don’t have time to write more than “cool post, thanks for sharing!”)
- send a preformated link exchange request to 10 bloggers
- send a preformated guest post request to 10 bloggers.
It’s time-consuming and less effective than if you decide to “care” about such interactions. Indeed such tasks are just interactions with people.
When I started blog commenting, I decided to take it seriously and write very few blog comments per day (4 actually) but write good, relevant, different comments.
Here’s what happened…
After writing a blog comment on a PR4 blog (my blog has no page rank and was brand new), the author of this blog visited mine, commented on it, sent me an email and asked me if he could add a link to my blog on his blog (no real benefit for his blog) and invited me to guest post on his blog anytime. That’s it!
Ok, maybe there’s a bit of luck here but I worked for this and it exceeded my expectations. I didn’t have to ask for link exchange or guest posts, the author of the blog I commented on just asked me! And it didn’t happen just once.
What this illustrates is that this business, just like any business, is made of people and you have to interact with them. Contact people, ask questions, congratulate them. I often contact companies just to say thanks for their competent customer service or something I find great about their business and you have no idea which doors interacting with people online can open. Be curious, open, and dare. It’s always worth it. Your personality, your potential has value in this online business. You can use it and you should.
Also, keep in mind that the people who can teach you the most in this affiliate marketing business actually base their business on helping others. It’s the core of their business, the mean by which they eventually sell things. Observe how they work, question their strategies, interact. This leads us to another important part of the mindset shift which is the relationship with your prospects/subscribers/customers.
From selling to connecting
They want to have the choice and you need to trust them. I trust my visitors. I know that if they trust me back and believe this or that product can be of any help for them, they will purchase it. They are people, not clicks or stats, and most of all, they are not an abstract mass and shouldn’t be spoken to as if they were just the cog in the wheel of your money machine!
You know by now how important targeting your visitors is. Well, I believe targeting them is about knowing them more, connecting with them. I’m still surprised to see how the online world sometimes loses its offline roots. What I mean is that, in the offline world, you wouldn’t buy a self-help book from a guy who is constantly around you in the sole purpose of selling you this book, telling you that he knows what you need and got the best self-help book on Earth for you but that you need to buy it right now or… you know what I mean.
If I can give an advice here, I would say that each time you’re not sure whether the tone you’re using with your visitors is right, transpose the situation to the offline world. See? Human relationships are not that complicated. Keep your speech simple, honest, don’t say you know what people think or feel if you don’t but talk about you and spread the word about quality products and you’ll eventually sell what you’re promoting.
Connect first. Sales will come. Affiliate marketing can be that simple.
From being a prospect to being a marketer
This I believe is the most important step in this mindset shift. It’s about how you perceive yourself, your marketing efforts, the side you decide to be on. You’re a marketer. You run a business. Ok, this business for now is just a squidoo lens, a couple of articles on several directories and one product you’re affiliated with but it’s what you’ve built so far and it will grow.
“Thinking big” can be pretty abstract for some of you, I can understand that, but it simply means defining your priorities differently and not putting limits to what you can accomplish. Priorities is what differentiate a marketer from a half-way-between-prospect-and-marketer person.
Marketers don’t look at shiny objects, don’t believe in miracles, only in themselves. They don’t Google “how to get rich doing nothing”, they do, they keep doing things. They don’t know everything, they specialize themselves in something and get help for the things they don’t master.
Do internet marketers have a secret? Well, yes. They do. They rarely say it but… they work their butt off! That’s the only secret. They are so convinced about the results they can get that they work, work and work again. With consistency. With a positive mind. With a good philosophy when they fail. They always move forward.
You need to be a marketer before getting any results, not the other way round. Isn’t it logical? You can’t wait until you’re successful to start taking this business seriously, right? You have all the cards in hand. You’re the linchpin.
Now let’s play!