Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Affiliates Friend or Foe?

I am a person that likes junk mail… As a little child I loved commercials… And even now as frustrated as I am getting hundreds of emails a day (that I don't always ask for) there are times I love to go through select emails and do research. Check out the offers – see how they are put together etc. Don't get me wrong there are days when I just check all and hit the delete button (those day when I am feeling overwhelmed) – but you would be amazed at what are in all those (extra) offers. Today the realization hit me… A Hugh number of e-ads (my name for them) that come in are trying to sell people on the preconceived belief that they can become rich just by being an affiliate to thousands of products and services… Now I am a big believer in being an affiliates when I have tried a product and/or service and love it. There is nothing wrong (in fact I encourage it) with letting everyone know about how fantastic a product/service is. If you get a little something from it great – that is the way it should be – give and take – ebb and flow, a reward for a job well done. However – I personally would never become an affiliate just for the sake of pulling in a little (or a lot of) extra cash. My reputation and credibility are much too important to me… Have you ever really thought about it? When you sign up as an affiliate you are telling the world that YOU endorse that product/service. What happens if it looks like a great product and doesn't work? Or the business sounds remarkably wonderful, however the individuals providing the offer lack in customer service and/or are unethical in what they provide?? Do you believe that anyone that gets burned once from you will ever come back? You've heard the old saying – burn me once shame on you, burn me twice shame on me… Did you know that when a consumer is happy and satisfied with a product or service, they may tell a friend or two (if and when it comes up). When a consumer is unhappy, they tell everyone that will listen… As vast as the internet and all its parts are – it can still be a very small place. The movers and shakers on the internet are still a pretty small bunch (in relative terms). If you are recommending bad products and/or services you yourself will soon be out of business. If you your goal is only to make a quick buck – no matter what the scheme… Don't waste you time. Honestly, you will not get very far for very long… Be sure and check out any affiliates you may be endorsing, like I have said I do believe in affiliates – in fact, I provide a 10% finders fee for anyone who does send customers my way – and I have made a really good living with referrals, but the referrals were genuine – a lot of the people that send referrals my way didn't even know I was going to give them a payment. In fact some clients refer people to me so they can get extra services for free! Great incentive… Remember: I do believe in affiliate programs. I endorse many affiliates but I have used their goods and services and stand by them. Make sure you do the same, know the affiliates you are endorsing if you don’t heed my warning it is going to come back and bite you in the (you know what!!)