The Affiliate Marketer’s Mindset Shift

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 The Affiliate Marketing Mindsetlist 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.

Exciting, right?

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

There’s something very important that many marketers wish they had known earlier in their career. It’s pretty simple but it makes a huge difference and you probably heard about it before…

Stop selling. Best advice ever!
New internet marketers often have the will to sound like big companies, to sell and use the well-known promoting techniques. But affiliate marketing is different, it’s about connection first, especially as we often target micro-niches and always need to find a way to be listened to, to make the visitor stop and stay. This time frame is extremely tight.
It’s challenging for sure but articles that are blatant ads don’t stand a chance. Customers have changed, they want more quality, more honesty, and they hate to be sold something. As Seth Godin says “People don’t buy what they need. They buy what they want.”

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!

Louise M.
Blog Author: The Purple Choice

32 thoughts on “The Affiliate Marketer’s Mindset Shift”

  1. Thank you. I was starting to think ( I am a very beginner marketer if I can be called it yet, trying to make sense of it all) that all this money making industrywas mothing but a scan, just about taking advantage of people. I do not want to earn money in that way, your article has reassured me a little bit….

  2. Hi,

    Wonderful advice and so true that sincerity always pays off, unfortunately there is so little of it around now. Hats off to you :)

  3. After reading your article the only thing that I ask myself is, ‘How am I gonna repay you?’

    Thanks for the trouble that you had taken.

  4. Louise, This is excellent, everything you have said is right on spot and this post is exactly what i have been looking for. I am training my kids and i will have to show them this.

  5. Hi Louise,

    What you say is so very true, in my opinion. On any of my [day job] courses [ I teach people who are unemployed] the first thing I introduce then to is a session called ‘set your mindset’.

    So, when I joined WA a week ago I started with this success mindset firmly in place. I have hit a little learning plateau today but continue to keep focused and reliant on this way of thinking.

    Reading your blog has really helped – the tips re: positng comments [ quality not quantity seems to be the message here] and the motivation in general. You have a lovely writing style.
    cheers!
    Carole

  6. Excellent tips Louise – thank you! It is truly a decision to be committed and focused for that shift toward success to begin.

    Thanks.

  7. Thank you, your words are truly motivational, I could read your blogs all day. We all need inspiration and you do it very well.

    Best wishes,

    Vincent

  8. Hi Louise,

    How nice to read your work here. Great job! This is an excellent article especially for newbies.

  9. Louise….
    I thoroughly enjoyed your post here. You really enforced my determination.
    I absolutely loved it and hope there is more.
    Lynn

  10. An excellently composed article. Genuine and pleasingly inviting. A pleasure to read.

    I would love to get your advice on persuasion without any design on future sales of anything, rather, demystifying muddied water by bringing reasoned truthful thought to people who have been misled through their emotions by very effective marketers in disguise.
    Sincerely, no veiled reference to you or anyone else here. This is offline world without MLM or sales affiliates of any kind, nor any direct sales.

  11. Louise,

    This is a really great post and really sound advice. Thanks for taking the time to share your point of view with us!

    Krizia

  12. You gave me some interesting things to think about….,

    * ‘The way you position yourself’ and
    * ‘Having that Little Something’

    That’s actually why I wrote a tiny
    little eBook about having that ‘Little Something’, having some ‘Success Secrets’
    that I do think are somewhat ‘Special’ since I discovered them while working
    as a Creative Sales Support Employee at a Big Entertainment Company.
    It goes without saying that I am NOT going to tell you anything
    more about it, because that might look like Selling, and I totally agree
    that you better ‘Serve than Sell’, or ‘Connect’ as you say.

    Or as they say in Sales:

    ‘Don’t sell the Soup, Sell the Smell’

    So I am sorry if I now accidently I might
    already ‘Sold’ a little of the Smell of the Soup :)

    BTW talking about ‘Serving’ I actually wrote a post about
    Sales Strategy on my Blog yesterday.

    All the Best,
    To your Happy – Affiliate Marketing – Inspiration,
    HP

  13. If you ask me what is the most important thing in building your online empire, then this is it… It’s the right mindset that enables you to keep doing, keep learning and most importantly keep evolving since this business is so dynamic, a regular knowledge update is a must.

  14. Thank you for bringing and shinning the light back into a matter that sometime gets very dim. I’m new to affiliate marketing and one of those that has struggled with my campaigns. Now I know why. I am glad and very thankful that you have taken the time to put together this blog enriched with excellent advice, things that a “newbie” can easily fall astray . I must agree A positive Mindset for success is the 1st key, patiences is of virtue,, sharing and communication is a must. Thanks for the Great Advice!!

  15. Hi, Louise. Good advice! I started out with ads everywhere, and still have too many. (Takes time to get to everything on my list.) My best conversions happen when I have offered valuable information about why a product was helpful to me. For instance, a rolling backpack for college students is a must to prevent back, neck, and shoulder pain. Those books are heavy! Anyway, the more I keep it based on my experiences and the experiences of others I know, the better my conversions.

  16. Thanks Louise, Great info! I think that’s why Article Marketing works so well, especially if you write the article like you’re talking to a friend, not writing a sales letter. Whenever I write, I always pretend my friend is sitting there listening. My words come across a lot better that way. That’s also why I read your post to the end, I felt like you were talking only to me. And that’s what makes a blog “sticky.”

  17. Well-written and thought out article. Makes the very important points of “stop selling,” stop throwing up affiliate pages and scattering them out to God knows who with pay per click stuff, stop underestimating your buyers by insulting their intelligence and stop trying to take shortcuts by not learning everything you can about your market and your product. All done by Louse with a positive spin on what you should not do to be a successful internet marketer. A ‘should read’ for every newbie. Will save a ton of money, heartache and headaches. Well done.

  18. This is a great article. We all need to understand we are out there to sell our products. We do need to be able to communicate with others. Yes we do need patience.

  19. I read this post three times because it was so good. I especially liked the tip about imagining that you’re in the offline world selling a product. Thanks for posting.

  20. HI Louise,

    What I read in your article is so true, we need to get out of the selling mindset into the connecting mindset and let the selling portion take care of itself. And I am looking forward to being a linchpin (lol) as you put it. What i find is that when you present the product you plant a seed in the customers mind whether they want the item or not. How I found that out when I was demoing a product for a marketing firm this past weekend and I got more sales that way. I will keep your advice in mind.

    thanks so much Louise , keep it up and I would love to see more of your articles.:D

    Take care

    Virginia :D

  21. this is great….i’m gonna keep this bookmarked as i want to join WA but am still kinda on the ropes if you know what i mean. i am very interested though and just want to say thanks for the great post :)

  22. It’s hard to deny that mindset is so important. My problem with mindset is keeping at a niche until the tipping point. Affiliate ADD. I also still hear people around me who hate affiliate reviews because you have to scroll through 7 pages of Google results to get an honest review and recommendation.

    Affiliate marketing is not going to disappear any time soon. I’m amazed that more top corporations don’t cut out retailers and go more to affiliates. As people need income in bad times, I imagine the number of affiliates will skyrocket.

  23. Hi Louise,

    Nice post! Just bookmarked your blog for reading later.

    I am a newbie at Affiliate marketing and I wasted about a year trying to find some way to make quick money online. This post is worth more than some of the “guru” stuff I have bought! Actually, I don’t consider my bad experience a waste of time. Now I know what not to do and I think I’m finally on the right path :-)

  24. Hi Louise.

    Enjoyed the post very much.
    I’m currently reading “LinchPin” by Mr Seth Godin nice to see it is affecting others as well.

    Write some more you are very good at it.
    Cheers.

  25. Louise your insight is terrific. I also believe that when you are passionate and that passion shows your sales will reflect such.

  26. Very good advice Louise. Key is communication and sharing with others, and a lot of patience. Yes, be a linchpin.

  27. Great post Louise, I concur.

    It was when I stopped selling to customers that I started to have more consistent conversions. I think we as a society have built up an immunity to ‘buy now’ and sale price etc.

    So by being nonchalant about your campaigns in terms of how you pitch products, will result in more conversions.

  28. Mind set is very important when starting any business online or offline.
    Great reminder :)

    – From acting inside the box to interacting outside of it.

    – From selling to connecting

    – From being a prospect to being a marketer

    Are all true…

    Thank You For Sharing

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