How to Start Your Online Business or Grow an Existing One

Hundreds of step-by-step video tutorials and tools show you how to find profitable markets, get product ideas, source the best products to sell, build profitable websites easily, and drive qualified traffic. Plus, discover how to outsource it all.

Everything you need to start or grow your own highly profitable web business — regardless of size or model.

  • 1,000s of ready-to-sell products
  • Ideal for any skill level or business
  • Learn anywhere, anytime, 24/7
  • Use it risk-free for a full 30 days

Want More? Click Here For Details »


Monday, June 8th, 2009

Affiliate Tip #4: Invest in Your Business

Affiliate Tip #4: Invest in Your Business

istock 000007826703xsmall 150x150 Affiliate Tip #4: Invest in Your BusinessEditor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of five quick affiliate tips by guest blogger Robert Plank. Videos of each are also posted at the end of this article. Enjoy!
– Michel Fortin

No product vendor likes potential affiliates to ask for free “review copies.” It reeks of inexperience and penny-pinching. If you want to promote a product and need to see what it looks like on the inside, just bite the bullet and pay for it like everyone else.

As an affiliate, you have two relationships to work: with your buyers, and with the product originator. When you try to go the cheap route, you burn too many bridges early on.

Let’s also remember that whenever you pay for something, you’re more likely to take action with it. Just imagine you’ve work and saved your entire life for your dream car. Once you buy it, you’re going to actually use it and take extra care of it, right?

Then imagine somebody gives you the car outright. You didn’t earn it, you didn’t work for it, and didn’t pay anything for it. You still might cherish the car but you aren’t going to enjoy it the same way.

The same is true for getting “affiliate review copies” of products. If you actually buy the product, you’ll have more of a drive to promote and make your money back.

There is also no excuse for trying to save money buying from yourself as the affiliate to get your review copy. People have tried to justify themselves doing this for years, but there’s simply no way to explain it without sounding cheap.

Can you really see Michel Fortin, John Reese, or Frank Kern asking for review copies from each other? No way… $20 or even $100 is a drop-in-the-bucket investment for their business. You want to model those people.

Did you know that Russell Brunson and Matt Bacak attend each other’s $20,000 workshops, and pay each other for hourly coaching? There is no “keeping score” to see who makes more money off the other’s coaching.

If one of them needs an extra boost in their business, they pay for the tools and it pays off.

Usually I will pay full price for even my closest business partners’ products, even though I “could” get it for free — I’d prefer to have the tax writeoff, stronger relationship, and extra motivation that comes with paying full price.

I don’t always buy the products I promote as an affiliate… but if you want a review copy, pay for it instead of calling in favors. You owe it to yourself, your product originator, and your customers to actually invest in your business.

About the Author


You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
Secrets of a 10% Conversion Rate

Secrets of a 10% Conversion Rate

New! Paul Hancox combines direct selling and copywriting techniques to produce online conversion rates as high as 10%. His 127-page report shows you how. Click for more »

  • Pingback: Affiliate Tip #4: Invest in Your Business

  • http://bettyfellows.com/blog/116/affiliate-tip-4-invest-in-your-business/ Betty

    Robert,
    This is an excellent tip on a subject that isn’t often addressed. When getting started as an affiliate, it is very important to build good relations. By purchasing a copy of the product we show that we are professionals and are willing to commit to the product.

    Thanks for the info and a big thanks to Michel for publishing it.

  • http://bettyfellows.com/blog/116/affiliate-tip-4-invest-in-your-business/ Betty

    Robert,
    This is an excellent tip on a subject that isn’t often addressed. When getting started as an affiliate, it is very important to build good relations. By purchasing a copy of the product we show that we are professionals and are willing to commit to the product.

    Thanks for the info and a big thanks to Michel for publishing it.

  • http://www.dianecorriette.net/ Diane Corriette

    Hi Robert

    What a different way of looking at things. I always hear about marketers being sent a review copy of a product and it’s helpful to do that if you want to get your product in front of a “guru” in the hope they might promote it but actually asking for products didn’t even occur to me!

    I don’t think I would mind if a well known marketer like yourself or Michel Fortin emailed me and asked me for a review copy of my product though :)

    For me it would depend on who is doing the asking!

    thanks for the great article
    Diane

    P.S. Still turning articles into videos!!!

  • http://www.dianecorriette.net Diane Corriette

    Hi Robert

    What a different way of looking at things. I always hear about marketers being sent a review copy of a product and it’s helpful to do that if you want to get your product in front of a “guru” in the hope they might promote it but actually asking for products didn’t even occur to me!

    I don’t think I would mind if a well known marketer like yourself or Michel Fortin emailed me and asked me for a review copy of my product though :)

    For me it would depend on who is doing the asking!

    thanks for the great article
    Diane

    P.S. Still turning articles into videos!!!

  • Guest

    Great insights, Robert – thanks…. I’m finally getting started with affiliate marketing for my trading sites, and your series has provided a lot of useful insights. Good ideas re buying vs asking for review copies for affiliates, I’ll keep that in mind. Thanks again for sharing your insights, they make a lot of sense.

    -k

  • http://www.CopywritingSuccess.com Ken Calhoun

    Great insights, Robert – thanks…. I’m finally getting started with affiliate marketing for my trading sites, and your series has provided a lot of useful insights. Good ideas re buying vs asking for review copies for affiliates, I’ll keep that in mind. Thanks again for sharing your insights, they make a lot of sense.

    -k

  • http://affiliate-bookmarks.com/Website/ Bill Vlasak

    Many new hopefuls join affiliate product promotions to try and make a few sales to get started.”Then they will buy” some other products or maybe ones they are promoting.Investing in a product to start with to invest in their own future should be the way to go , but they have heard of or experienced debt for products that didn’t give them the “secret entrance” to the affiliate marketing world.

  • http://affiliate-bookmarks.com/Website/ Bill Vlasak

    Many new hopefuls join affiliate product promotions to try and make a few sales to get started.”Then they will buy” some other products or maybe ones they are promoting.Investing in a product to start with to invest in their own future should be the way to go , but they have heard of or experienced debt for products that didn’t give them the “secret entrance” to the affiliate marketing world.

  • http://www.therealmikegriffin.com/ Mike Griffin

    Believe me if someone gave me my dream car I would cherish and enjoy it more than buying it myself.

  • http://www.therealmikegriffin.com Mike Griffin

    Believe me if someone gave me my dream car I would cherish and enjoy it more than buying it myself.

  • http://affiliate-bookmarks.com/Website/ Bill Vlasak

    { Hit the wrong button and posted unfinished. }
    Instead,they flounder and download tons of free information and never fully read nor study it.Worst of all they don’t take suggested actions.
    One step at a time allows a toddler to walk before he can learn to run with the big boys.

  • http://affiliate-bookmarks.com/Website/ Bill Vlasak

    { Hit the wrong button and posted unfinished. }
    Instead,they flounder and download tons of free information and never fully read nor study it.Worst of all they don’t take suggested actions.
    One step at a time allows a toddler to walk before he can learn to run with the big boys.

  • http://twitter.com/TheAffiliateGuy TheAffiliateGuy

    Affiliate Tip #4: Invest in Your Business http://ow.ly/cY7i
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://www.nickthacker.com/ Nick Thacker

    Hmm, interesting post.

    I’ve heard the phrase “if you can’t your friends/family to buy your product, why would anyone else?” and that seems to fit here as well. I do feel, however, that the correct way to get “affiliate review copies” is to NOT ask for them! If the product originator wants to give review copies of their work, they probably will–it’s your job as an affiliate (and your right) to make it known that you want one, but not to be pushy.

    A simple, “hey, I’d be interested in reviewing your product if you’d like a testimonial,” will show a benefit to both parties.

  • http://www.nickthacker.com Nick Thacker

    Hmm, interesting post.

    I’ve heard the phrase “if you can’t your friends/family to buy your product, why would anyone else?” and that seems to fit here as well. I do feel, however, that the correct way to get “affiliate review copies” is to NOT ask for them! If the product originator wants to give review copies of their work, they probably will–it’s your job as an affiliate (and your right) to make it known that you want one, but not to be pushy.

    A simple, “hey, I’d be interested in reviewing your product if you’d like a testimonial,” will show a benefit to both parties.

  • Bill

    Well, call me cheap then. I can understand buying when somebody has a reputation already and it is clear that their product will provide value. But I am not going to go around spending money on every product just to see if its worth promoting or not.

    Samples or free demos are part of every business I have worked in offline. You can’t ask a distributor to buy your product first if he wants to sell it. Why is internet marketing different?

    Sure, there are people who make a habit of seeking freebies and then not producing much in return, but you can quickly figure out who those people are. But I don’t think that’s what you are talking about here.

  • Bill

    Well, call me cheap then. I can understand buying when somebody has a reputation already and it is clear that their product will provide value. But I am not going to go around spending money on every product just to see if its worth promoting or not.

    Samples or free demos are part of every business I have worked in offline. You can’t ask a distributor to buy your product first if he wants to sell it. Why is internet marketing different?

    Sure, there are people who make a habit of seeking freebies and then not producing much in return, but you can quickly figure out who those people are. But I don’t think that’s what you are talking about here.

  • http://www.needmoney.com/ Mogul

    Yeah I often find it useful to risk large sums of money, because it produces an almost frantic drive to make whatever a success, to recoup the money.

  • http://www.needmoney.com/ Mogul

    Yeah I often find it useful to risk large sums of money, because it produces an almost frantic drive to make whatever a success, to recoup the money.

  • http://twitter.com/Millionaire11 Millionaire11

    Affiliate Tip #4: Invest in Your Business | Marketers Board http://u.mavrev.com/8zw2
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/freagle_fan freagle_fan

    Affiliate Tip #4: Invest in Your Business – http://tinyurl.com/l8wma5
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/GoAskChris GoAskChris

    Affiliate Tip #4: Invest in Your Business.. http://bit.ly/nTvww
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/grandmapeg grandmapeg

    Do you treasure gifts others give you? Robert Plank says you aren't going to enjoy a car given to you in the same way you would one that was paid for by you. We were given two cars, purchased new and used cars and have been grateful to God no matter how it arrived.

  • http://twitter.com/grandmapeg grandmapeg

    Do you treasure gifts others give you? Robert Plank says you aren't going to enjoy a car given to you in the same way you would one that was paid for by you. We were given two cars, purchased new and used cars and have been grateful to God no matter how it arrived.

Confessions Of A Website Copywriter

Confessions Of A Website Copywriter

New! Possibly the Internet's best copywriting ebook on how to write proven sales copy for the Internet, from writing and web design, to testing. Highly recommended! Click for more »