Most online entrepreneurs have been exposed to affiliate programs in one way, shape or form.
Whether you’re an Amazon affiliate raking in a little side change sharing your fave beauty products (no judgment!) or you’ve witnessed the affiliate launches of superstar coaches firsthand (or even participated in some), affiliate marketing is everywhere online.
Just so we’re on the same page, affiliate programs for online courses work like this: The course creator chooses affiliates (other business owners) to promote their course to their own audiences, in return for a commission.
It can be seriously lucrative for both parties when it’s done right. And better yet? You don’t have to be a ‘big name’ coach to create an affiliate program to call your own.
Here are 4 reasons affiliate programs are the perfect way to profit more (and stress less) from your online course:
1. Affiliates Equal Built In Social Proof
While having testimonials on your sales page (or emails or social media) are still necessary and important, the truth is, most people won’t know the people in the testimonials. To your audience, those people singing your praises are strangers.
However, when people hear about your program straight from the mouth (or email list) of someone they already deeply know, like and trust–that’s true social proof. Just think about how much more likely you are to buy something if your biz bestie tells you about it rather than a random influencer in a TikTok video. It’s the same principle at work here–and you can definitely use it to your advantage!
2. You Can Reach New Audiences Super Quickly (and Easily!)
When someone signs up to be an affiliate for your course, they’re agreeing to share your course with their audience. You can structure your affiliate program any way you’d like, which means you get to decide how they promote it (and how often).
Some affiliate programs only admit people with a certain number of email subscribers or social media followers. Some affiliate programs require affiliates to promote to just their email lists, others require the affiliate to promote on social and still others require both. Who do you want to see your course? And how easy do you want to make the process for your affiliates?
No matter what, the number of fresh eyes seeing your course can multiply quickly–especially if you have multiple affiliates. Even just 10 affiliates with 500 people on their email lists means 5,000 new people will hear about your course, right from someone they trust–for free!
3. Affiliate Programs Require Little Maintenance
Around here, I’m all about keeping things simple and streamlined. While it can take a hot minute to set up the back end of your affiliate program, it’s a fairly chill and low maintenance method compared to other marketing efforts. You don’t have to spend countless hours glued to your phone or laptop creating content. Instead, you can snag your beauty Z’s while others doing the selling for you. Um, who doesn’t love the sound of that?
Of course, you’ll need to do your part, too. This means you’ll need to ensure that you provide your affiliates with everything they need to succeed and make sales, from compelling swipe copy to high-quality graphics to hyper-clear directions on exactly what they need to do to promote your course in the most mutually beneficial way.
4. Affiliate Programs Work for Live and Evergreen Offers
It’s true: Affiliate programs can work for you no matter how you choose to get course out into the world. While I’m a big fan of offering digital courses that don’t require me showing up live, I do still run ‘live launches’ of my digital courses. For example, I might choose one course to promote that month for a specific timeframe and possibly for a discount.
I also offer other digital products that are simply available around-the-clock, all the time.
When you’re running your own affiliate program, you can choose to allow affiliates for either situation. If you’re running a live launch, you can leverage affiliates to sell more copies of your course in your specific ‘launch’ timeframe.
You can also create an affiliate program that allows people to share your course (or any of your other products!) with their audience in whatever way they see fit, at any time–like via a “resources” page on their website, in their own welcome email sequence or by sharing their link in their own blog posts, for example.