For entrepreneurs who sell products and offerings online, affiliate programs are a truly fantastic way to boost passive income.
Have your superfans do some marketing legwork for you! Reward them with commissions! Spread the word about your work farther than you could’ve alone!
However, as affiliate veterans know, managing affiliate programs takes a TON of work.
They need to be created strategically, overseen meticulously, and kept in good health by someone who understands your products, mission, customers, and goals.
Your program needs to include an affiliate disclaimer on your website, and in any promos, and just keeping track of that element can be a bit of a headache.
But teaming up with your virtual assistant to market and promote your affiliate program is a fantastic way to lighten the load.
You’ll still need to do much of the strategic decision-making yourself, but your VA can help with planning, promos, and follow up. Here’s how:
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Work With Your Virtual Assistant to Pick an Affiliate Offer
Your first step is to identify the product and/or program that you will be asking people to promote. Discuss this with your virtual assistant, and if necessary, ask her to do some research on either top-sellers that will perform even better with an affiliate boost, or lagging products that could use some help.
Which strategy appeals to you?
Outline some pros and cons, then make the decision together and start to plan a launch. (Even if you’ve already got a few products in the affiliate queue, you should plan for a full launch every time you add a new offering. It will create new interest in joining the program!)
Create some parameters around your launch, and decide who can apply to be an affiliate.
Ask your VA to grab some language from other affiliate programs to see how your colleagues are positioning themselves. For instance, I list the following 3 criteria on my own application page:
Please only apply if you meet these criteria:
- You have an established business with an audience of people who would love our products. This means you have a website, a list, and you’re making money. If you are not there yet, wait to apply until you have these things in place.
- You know what affiliate marketing is, and you’ve had some success in it already.
- You run your business with integrity first, always.
Being honest about your requirements up-front will save you and your virtual assistant loads of time and hassle screening out folks who won’t perform well as affiliates.
Create a Bonus Offer
Next, create an irresistible bonus bundle for anyone who signs up to be an affiliate.
Consider offering a higher commission rate for the first few sales, extra cash if multiple products are sold together, or a flat bonus for the first 1-3 sales to encourage new signups to promote your products enthusiastically.
Add a call or private session with you to sweeten the deal!
Also give affiliates a deep discount on your products if they want to buy for themselves. Since they won’t make commissions off self-sales, they should still have easy access to the offerings they’re promoting.
Collaborate With Your Virtual Assistant to Create Promo Content
Since you’re doing a full launch with all the bells and whistles in hopes of bringing in new affiliates, you’ll need a promotional plan.
Start by writing the content you will use for promoting your new affiliate offer, including blog posts, social media pushes, and emails.
Work with your virtual assistant to create a calendar that allows you to roll out this content strategically; dump it all at once, and people will get turned off!
Ask Your Virtual Assistant to Coordinate Promotions
Once you’ve got your content and calendar all set, ask your VA to handle promoting your affiliate offer across platforms, and ask her to do so consistently during the launch period.
Your content should have a unified message, but also be varied enough to keep user interest throughout the promo.
Once new applications start to roll in, put your virtual assistant in charge of answering applicant questions, screening applications, and getting new affiliates fully enrolled in the program.
Get Your Virtual Assistant to Handle Follow-up
Once the launch window has closed, ask your virtual assistant to follow up with new enrollees to make sure they feel prepared and ready to dive into promoting your offerings.
Your VA can also ensure they’ve received their bonuses, and if calls/sessions were part of the package, get them scheduled into your calendar.
She is likely the best person to handle ongoing maintenance of the program, too, answering questions and resolving issues as they arise throughout the year.
Work With Your Virtual Assistant to Recap
Once the recruitment period is truly over and the dust has settled, evaluate the launch and identify where there may be opportunities for improvements.
Do a post-mortem with your virtual assistant and talk about what was stressful, what went well, and where she could’ve used more help.
Since you’ll create a launch whenever you add a new offering to the affiliate program, these notes can guide you toward an even more successful promo next time!
Considering the amount of work that goes into an affiliate program, “passive income” may seem like the wrong term to apply!
But once you and your virtual assistant have worked out a system for recruiting and onboarding affiliates, this business add-on can be a worry-free money maker for years to come.
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