Blog Posts

How to Get People to Promote You

It’s another Expert Briefs, where I ask really smart business owners to answer your burning questions.

If you've missed past Expert Briefs, you can click on the undies to see them all –>

Last week I asked our panel of experts…


What's the #1 thing someone can do to get your attention so that you'd consider promoting them as an affiliate?

Here are their awesome, honestly wonderful answers.

Seriously, if you sell your own products and have an affiliate program – you will want to bookmark this page and come back often.

terryTerry Dean of My Marketing Coach says:

A lot of times people like to “give a system” here, but I'm going to tell you the last couple that got my attention for a first promotion.

Step one is to reply to one of my email newsletters. (You can get on my list here: Terry Dean's email newsletter.) That guarantees your message will get opened in my office. That's more likely to get my own attention than even a direct message through social media.

Get to the point quickly. Why does your product and offer fit my audience and what I normally share? If you quickly quote something I've recently said you'll probably get promoted past the gatekeepers to me.

Then you let me know why your product is a unique offer my customers will appreciate. This is more important to me than the EPC or numbers you claim. Simply put, if I don't know you yet, I don't believe the income per visitor claims you would make anyway.

Include a link to the download of the product or username/password to access it. I'm not going to waste time playing email tag with you. And then the product better fulfill what you promised. If I'm interested I'm likely to look at it when I get the time.

Have a unique offer. Seriously. Since I'm in internet marketing, so much new stuff is just routine and exactly like what everyone else is offering. Don't send another here's how to make your first $100 online or another “blind bus opp” offer.

Specialized products with a story behind them are required.

Thinking back to the ones that got me to actually promote, they either already had a relationship with me in some way or they had someone else promote already that I knew.

A relationship would mean they're a customer, commented on an article of mine, promoted me, sent a testimonial, or I hired them for a project (such as a VA, designer, writer, etc.). There's a reason I recognize their name beyond just their email asking me to promote.

If we haven't done business, then early in their contact they'll need to mention someone else I know and trust who promoted for them. For example, they could say, “Nicole Dean promoted for me two weeks ago and had excellent results.”

They've now passed that hurdle for me to read more.

During the contact, be direct and to the point. Don't try any tricks. Don't use a “teaser” at all…trying to get me curious to ask you more. I won't. I'll delete it if the whole “short” 5 W's story (Who, What, When, Where, Why) isn't in just a few paragraphs like the intro of a press release.

Long emails are deleted on sight (defined as a page or more).

The concise pitch should include what their unique promise is for their offer and either a link to check out the product immediately or ask me to simply reply for a copy.

I've received gifts in the mail, and they have grabbed attention but they still had these 3 major items.

You asked for the #1 thing, but it's not really one thing.

These are all required:

1) A unique, specialized promise that I haven't received 3+ pitches for in the past month.
2) A previous business relationship OR a relationship with someone I respect.
3) Concise email spelling out the 5 W's with an offer to try out a copy.

Terry Dean is pretty awesome! Check out his stuff at – My Marketing Coach.

KristenKristen Eckstein of Self Publish on Demand says:

First of all, please don't just assume I'm going to promote you. I've spent time and money to build my list, and I've built a level of trust with them that I don't wish to violate.

Here's how you can properly get my attention:

1. Learn about me.

Read my profile, my bio, and become my friend on Facebook. Interact with me, get to know me, and see if there's any sort of synergy in our relationship.

2. Understand I paid for my list.

This doesn't mean I bought the list from somewhere else. It means I paid blood, sweat, tears, advertising dollars, and hours of my and my staff's time to maintain my list. I care about them, so if you ask me to promote your stuff for free I'm not going to do it. If it's an affiliate product, make sure it's a good fit for my list. A great way to do that is to join my list & see what kinds of things I send them.

3. If you get through #1 & #2, approach me through proper channels.

Email me through my website to contact my business manager. She maintains a spreadsheet of potential JVs and will know instantly if you're a good fit to speak with me further.

4. I don't promote anything without either knowing the person who created it or trying it myself.

So either give me the product to try out, or let me get to know and trust you. My business is built on relationship, not sales. If all you want to do is JV with me to sell something or get me to sell your affiliate product, I'm going to say, “Syanara.” If we click and build a relationship, you have a great chance of me promoting you to my list. If I don't know you, a cold email isn't going to get you anywhere.

5. Honor your word.

If you say you'll do a guest blog post or have promotional emails ready for me, have them on time. We plan out our promotions calendar months in advance and need to make sure yours is going where it's planned to go. I understand “stuff” happens, so if you feel there will be a delay please let me know asap so we can move your promotion to a later date and fill it with something else. My team doesn't appreciate having to constantly deal with things last minute.

If you have any products that would benefit entrepreneurs in the speaking, coaching or consulting realm, we may be a good fit. I look forward to hearing from you!

Kristen is my Book Coach. Check out her program at Self Publish on Demand

Jeanette S. Cates, PhD of Organize Your Online Business says:

In order for me to promote someone as an affiliate, I generally have three criteria:

1. I need to be impressed with your product.

I generally buy a product myself first – to check out the product and the process.

2. I need to be comfortable with your sales process.

Too many upsells and inundating me with emails and offers after the sale turn me off.

3. I need to know you.

I may not have met you face-to-face (although in 90% of the cases I have), but I generally want to have been on your list long
enough that I know you're not going to pull any surprises. Another way I get to know people is by their being MY customer. Then we build a relationship where I am more open to promoting your product.

When all three of those criteria have been met, then I will generally ask YOU for an affiliate link.

I can count on one hand the number of times someone I didn't know approached me to promote a product I hadn't bought and it turned out well for my subscribers. So I am very careful and protective of my list.

Let Jeanette help you organize your business with her free tips -> Organize Your Online Business

kellyKelly McCausey of Solo Smarts says:

Demonstrate knowledge about who I am and who I reach, then offer me a full version of the product to evaluate. Offer to walk me through it personally if it's a big resource.

If you go above and beyond and offer to prepare unique content for my blog or be an interesting guest on my podcast I'm going to give it genuine attention.

By going above and beyond I mean …

1. Write me a terrific guest blog post, format it nicely, provide a unique image and send it WordPress ready.

2. Think up a list of ten or twelve great questions I could ask you in an interview and give me a blurb's worth of answers. This helps me to immediately see if you'd be a great fit for my audience. Really want to ‘Wow me'? Write up show notes in my voice to go with your interview! The more time you save me, the more likely I am to act quickly.

Be sure to check out Kelly's coaching program here. Solo Masterminds – it's where I got started!

David Perdew of NAMS says:

When I looked at Nicole Dean's affiliate account a few days ago, I pinged her and asked, “Nicole, did you know that you've made money every day with MyNAMS since May 1, 2012 except for 5?”

That was 5 days out of 139 days when Nicole didn't make a commission by promoting MyNAMS membership, workshop (our live event in Atlanta), and other products. That's a powerful story!

First, her response was “Holy Cow!”

And second, she said that's an e-mail… and a blog post.

Numbers don't lie.

I look at my numbers too.

I received this offer this morning:

“X (Big Name Marketer) has a new webinar that's killing it – we're doing $150-$170 per attendee that shows up…converting 15% up to 27% on the webinar.”

That's was part of a much longer message. Usually, I wouldn't have considered it because I don't have the relationship with the marketer, but…

…the numbers stopped me. Those are good numbers. He had my attention.

Now, I ask the other questions:

  1. What's the topic?
  2. Is the product any good?
  3. Does this conflict with anything that my current NAMS instructor base teaches?

The answer to the last question stopped me. Yes, it did conflict with a good relationship that I already have and promote. I won't screw that up.

But the numbers got my attention and I'll respond back honestly.

When you, the product owner, have numbers that reinforce the truth, and enhances the potential reward on my effort, I'll pay attention, ESPECIALLY if we have a prior relationship.

When I can click on a report that shows me exactly how much money I can expect if I drive a certain number of clicks using the average historical conversion for my interaction, I can plan my business accordingly.

The example above is from Nicole's affiliate report at Notice the key numbers are there: Unique Clicks, Conversion, Click Value, and Value Per Transaction.

With this kind of data, you can decide to drive enough traffic to generate the kind of money you want each month.That's the way the corporate world conducts business too.

McDonalds doesn't build a new store on an untried location without knowing how much traffic they will have on the first day, and making projections for the first-day totals and follow-up growth based on their historical data.

That data, combined with the location specific market research, allows the McDonalds corporate office and the franchise owner to know if they're making money when they open the doors.

I'm in business too. If I can't plan my income based on historical data, I can't set realistic income expectations.

You can give me special content and lot of promises, you can have celebrity endorsements and big marketers behind you, but if you can't show me average numbers, then I can't do business with you.

Numbers are the affiliates best friend. That's why I show them and talk to affiliates all the time about their numbers.

It gets their attention.

From Nik: Obviously I love NAMS – or I wouldn't promote it so much. My favorite part is the Workshop in Atlanta twice annually. If you would like to tell your readers about free webinars and get paid over and over and over again, sign up to become an affiliate here.

aliceAlice Seba of Step-by-Step PLR Guides says:

I'll start by telling you what repels my interest. Someone who approaches me with a high dollar value product, tells me the huge commissions I'll make per sale and then proceeds to give me a list of all their awesome, well-known JV rock star partners who have already promoted them.

First of all, I don't believe we need high ticket products to make great money through affiliate programs. Therefore, products that are inflated in price for the sole purpose of big commissions are of no interest to me.

Second of all, one's list of JV partners really doesn't amount to hill a beans on the reputation front for me. I know that JV rock stars are lured by dollar signs and will sometimes promote just about anything. I also know that just because someone was your affiliate, it doesn't mean that they are happy about it. I need to know your REAL personal reputation first and the reputation of your products and customer service first.

So now that we know what I don't like, let's get into specifics about what I do like…

In the Internet Marketing niche, the individual would probably have to be my friend who produces awesome stuff or possibly be introduced by a friend…and they still have to produce awesome stuff. It sounds cliquey, but it's not. I want to make sure I can trust that person, that they've been around for a while and I can vouch for their quality. If they're not my friends, I probably can't do that.

In other niches, I would be hard-pressed to figure out the #1 thing. Reputation is so important and I am more likely to seek out a reputable merchant than to be romanced by an individual or company I don't know. I usually seek out my own offers to promote and if I happen to know individuals in those niches and know they are solid, I will probably promote their stuff too.

That said though, in every market, if you have a product that is such an amazing fit for what I do for my audience, I will often take a look at it. Targeting is definitely important too and if you have just the right product, I might investigate further.

Alice has some really cool visual step-by-step PLR here -> Step-by-Step PLR Guides

RonnieRonnie Nijmeh of (< -click for a special free offer from Ronnie) says:

Do a personal video 🙂 Say my name, get to know me and my stuff, and record a genuine personalized video just for me. That'll REALLY make you stand out.

Simple, yet incredibly effective!

Shannon Cherry of Quick Tweaks for More Profit sent in this video:

Check out Shannon’s Cool program (and get a special discount here: Quick Tweaks for More Profit

Lain Ehmann of Business Love Potion says:

Buy my product and send me a testimonial! 🙂

I often get pleas for attention, for mentoring, for “lunch,” etc., from people who haven't even taken the time to buy one of my products, read my blog, or understand my audience. For instance, I just got several emails from someone who wanted me to push a crochet tool. I'm sure it's a great tool – but my audience is scrapbookers! Ummm… no thanks.

Show you've done your homework and invested in my business before you ask me to invest in yours.

Is your Blog just not getting the results you wanted? Sign up for a  Blog Critique from Lain Here

Nancy Marmolejo of Viva Visibility Blog says:

RELEVANCE. If their offer is not relevant to my list, then it really has no place. If it is relevant and provides a non-competing, complementary solution then I'm all ears.

Revenue is also important, a big commission will always turn my head, but first and foremost it has to speak to the needs of my list and provide a solution I'm not already offering. If I'm being asked to tie my list up for 2 weeks and the payoff is miniscule, then that's not a go.

Recognition is also a factor, meaning I like to partner with people who I either have heard of, heard good things about, or who have some visibility already in the industry.

And yes, I technically gave you three answers when you asked for one, but they all tie in together!

A great resource I created for prospective JV partners is an exclusive page talking about what I'm looking for. So let's add a 4th R: READ because I pretty much have it all spelled out on

Need more clients? Check out Nancy's resource – How to Get Clients to Find You, Follow You and Buy From You

NicoleNicole Dean of .. here! .. says:

My answer is simple.

My #1 Rule that can not be broken is the “What's in it for Them” rule – where “THEM” is my readers.

What RESULTS will my readers get if they purchase your product and take action?

Don't come at me with the “X Marketer promoted and had $X per click.” I don't care one iota.

I want to know how my readers will benefit from buying and using your product.

This is how you can get me to consider promoting your product:

That about sums it up for me.

However, having been an Affiliate Manager for years and coaching infoproduct sellers as my main focus, I'd better share a bit more than that, right? I don't want you all throwing tomatoes at me, thinking I'm holding out on you. 😉

So, in addition to having a super-awesome product that I know will give my readers RESULTS, the following are requested, as well. In no particular order…

1. Show interest in my business before asking me for favors. (*Helpful, but not Required.)

While this should be common sense, unfortunately, it isn't. Relationships are all the same. You can't leap ahead in them too far or you just look creepy.

For instance, it doesn't really work to go up to a beautiful lady in a bar and say “Hi, my  name is Bob. Will you marry me and bear my children?” You've got to take it a bit slower.

So, start by getting to know me and let me get to recognize your name, a bit, too.

A few ways you can do that are:

  • By signing up for my newsletters. (read my stuff)
  • Leaving comments on my blog. (comment on my stuff)
  • Being a customer. (buying my stuff)
  • Sharing my content on social media. (share my stuff)
  • Being one of my affiliate. (promote my stuff)

All of these get my attention more than a random email.

The Law of Reciprocity is stronger, young Padawan. So, when I get “Will you mail for my product” emails from strangers … BIG TURNOFF. But, if I get them from loyal customers, or from my affiliates, I actually read them. I may or may not promote (see reasons below) – but I may have a tip or a connection that I can share with you.

2. Respect my time. (*Very helpful.)

Please respect my time. It's my most valuable resource (as it should be yours, as well).  Don't email, phone or Facebook me constantly if I don't know you. While your product may, in fact, be the bees knees, I also have a life and other priorities. It doesn't mean that I will never promote you. Just maybe not right now. (Refer back to #1)

3. Make it EASY to promote you. (*Very helpful.)

Do not send me a big long email where I have to jump through hoops to sign up for your affiliate program.

Affiliates are three things.

  • Busy
  • Lazy
  • Greedy (said tongue in cheek)

And, we have every right to be all three. So,  if you make it EASY for me to promote a great product that will help my people… you'll stand a better chance than if you come to me and ask me to host a webinar with you – which takes effort on my part.

Example: If you're selling on Clickbank, then take the time to find my Clickbank ID and include my link to your product inside the email you send to me. That way I don't have to run in circles to figure it out.

4. Tell me What Makes your Product Unique. (*Very helpful.)

I may get 5 JV requests for a similar topic each week like Pinterest, Kindle Publishing, or Getting more Traffic.

So… If your course is unique, specifically if it is about you personally or includes a unique angle, then you have a much better chance at getting my attention.


Which sounds more interesting?

To me, the second is much more interesting. Well, I mean other than because it's my course. 🙂

Plus, if your course is tied to a true case study, then I know it's an original product and that the author is uniquely qualified to teach my folks.

5. Be the “Obvious Expert”. (*Very helpful.)

I had a gal at NAMS in August ask me why I promoted another Social Media Course and not hers. (She said that in a much sweeter way than it just came out.) 🙂

My response was that the two ladies who I promoted were totally and uniquely Rock Stars in the field – with huge clients. Whenever Facebook made changes, they went into their labs and played with the changes until they had data that they could share with their customers. They, to me, were two of the “Obvious Experts” when I think of Social Media. They get results. And, they have the proof to back it.

* Elsom Eldridge coined the term “Obvious Experts“. <- That's the link to his book on Amazon.

6. Price vs. Value. (*Required.)

Like Alice, I have to really be convinced to promote a high price product. Personally, I don't buy high priced products, so I can't expect my people to.

The exception is this. If the product is high priced, I won't promote – UNLESS the product has additional pieces and parts, like a Live Event, Software, One-on-One coaching, or an Element of “Done for You”  involved. Then, it's worth it.

Why don't I buy high-price products?

If I see a $797-1997 product that tempts me, the first thing I will do is to see if that person has either a Coaching Program or a “Done-for-You” option. I know there's no way on earth that I will ever consume a 16 Hour Audio or Video course, so it's wasted money for me. I might as well take the wad of cash and flush it right down the toilet.

However… I will easily pay someone $797 or more to be able to have them personally walk through a process with me or answer my questions. And, if I can pay them to handle the whole process for me? Even better.

So, would I promote a $797 video or audio series to my people? Nah. I can't. If I won't put my own money on the line, I won't ask them to.

7. The Buying Experience. (*Required.)

I'm a little different than a few of my friends above. I don't like to get review copies of courses.

Well, let me step back for a sec. I won't typically promote someone even if they send a review copy anyway if I don't know them. It's too risky. The stars would have to align in order for me to share their product. It would have to be THAT good.

However, if it's an interesting product from someone who I know – I don't want a review copy either. I want to buy it with my own money for two reasons.

1. I do not feel right in asking my people to pay for it if I'm getting it free.

2. I want to see the ordering process to make sure it runs smoothly, the product gets delivered, and that customer support info is easy to access.

In fact, if I'm promoting for someone new, I have on a few occasions made up a problem and submitted a support ticket into their help desk – just to make sure that it gets answered in a timely fashion. If not, no promo from me. My people need to be able to get their questions answered, well and fast.

Now in all honesty, on occasion, when I purchase these review copies, the product seller may see my order come through and refund me without my asking. But, that's not something I request.

8. Your Reputation. (*Very helpful.)

Alice touched on this a bit. Do you take care of your customers? Do people speak highly of you? Are you, in fact, making the web and the world a better place?

If not, I'm not sending my people your way.

9. Got Freebies? (*Very helpful.)

Kelly mentioned content. If you have a great product that meets the criteria above, and also are willing to write a guest blog post for me or you have a free training video that is high quality that I can share with my people, it makes it a lot easier to promote you. I love giving away great stuff to my people.

Make it easy for me to share great content, and make me money at the same time, and you've just figured out how this all works. 😉

Example: The minute I released this free Blog Brainstorming Printout (top of the page after you click) – I had a bunch of affiliates mailings for me.

10. The Sales Page. (*Very helpful.)

Even if the product is awesome, if the sales page doesn't pass inspection, I may not promote. Several people have asked me to promote lately and they've all had big warning signs on their sales pages.

A few had big links saying “Sign up for my affiliate program” right under the buy button. Others, the code was messed up and looked terrible.

Rookie mistakes like that can undermine my initial confidence in your product and systems.

11. Your Bonuses. (*Very helpful.)

I have promoted items where the course was ok, but where the bonuses were AMAZING for the price. If your bonuses are totally relevant and high value, that may sway a potential affiliate towards you. So, think of how you can add more value to your existing product.

Example: If you look at the sales page for Blog CPR – you'll see there are several bonuses that I think are worth way more than the price of the course.

12. Your Cart. (*Very helpful.)

I hate to even mention this one, but I'm going to, because it's important.

There are a few shopping carts that people use that are, in my opinion, really poor choices. I do not like to promote products on those two platforms, because I find them … (looking for a nice word)… distasteful.

But, all is not lost. 🙂 If you've got a killer product that I know will help my people, we can make side arrangements to run a promo through my cart or to just set up an alternate payment method.

Here's a blog post about which carts I do like: Which Payment Methods are Best for an Infoproduct Business?

All right, my friends. I'd better cut this thing off as we are now nearly at 4500 words.

Please ask your questions below. I would love to know what you think about this topic.


I appreciate shares and I adore comments! Please share your thoughts.

  • Adina

    This was great! Now I have a really clear picture on what potential JV’s need from me.
    Thanks for all the info!

  • Dr.Spencer Jones

    Great post Nicole, I guess it’s my first comment on your blog. Can’t believe that it was a 4500 word post and I read it in one sitting.

    Loke the “Tell me what you can do for my people” quote.

    The best thing I believe product owners needs to do is make the product super awesome so that the affiliates will run to them instead of them running for affiliates.

    Dr.Spencer Jones

  • Tawra

    Great info.!

    The thing that frustrates me the most is when people want you to sell their product and give you a 10% commission.

    Hello!! If you want me to sell something make it worth my while! 🙂

    • Nicole

      It’s funny, Tawra. I was just in the shower and thought “OMG. We didn’t even mention things like a nice percentage, recurring commissions or lifetime commissions. lol.”

      So, yeah. Add that. 🙂


  • Tawra

    Yeah, I still am floored when someone emails me and then they want to give me less than 50%. (our products are always lower priced)

    If you want less than 50% you had better be a close relative…very close! 🙂

  • Heather

    Great advice Nicole. I don’t have anything to promote (yet), but when I do, I ‘ll definitely be referring back to this post.

    Do you have any thoughts about how exclusive you should be with JV partners? Personally, I find it off-putting to receive virtually the same email from 10 different people all recommending the same product, usually within hours of each other.


    • Alice Seba

      I definitely hear what you’re saying, Heather. If it’s a concern to you, you can also do a sort of graduated launch of a product. Do it privately with each JV partner, run a webinar with them giving their users extra content. Then move onto the next partner. This spreads your promotions out and gives a little extra to the list subscriber.

      Just one idea.

    • Nicole

      Well, let’s see.

      Yes, what Alice said.

      But also, you shouldn’t be receiving the same email from a bunch of people if they know what they’re doing. 😉

      If you’re launching with 5 JV partners, then think of what each brings to the table and plan the promos slightly differently. I will even go so far as to write a different email for each person mailing in their voice, so they don’t have to. It’s a bit of extra work, but is again an example of how bread and water can so easily be toast and tea.

  • samson

    It is great reading the opinions of different experts on this topic. I sincerely thank each expert that shared their views. I learnt something from each one of you guys. And Nicole, i love your quote- ”don’t tell me what you can do for me, tell me what you can do for my people”. I really appreciate this post. Thanks!

  • Rachel Young

    I must have a microchip in my head because lady, you read my mind.

    I was just brainstorming this morning about how I should entice more people to sign up for my aff’s list and how I would approach them about it.

    Thanks for the great post:)

    • Nicole

      Content is always an easy way to get to people…

      Got valuable content? (Guest blog posts, free videos, audios, etc.) Is it freely shared?

      That makes it much easier to get people to promote.

  • Mikel Erdman

    Great article Nicole. I really appreciated all of the high quality answers that you shared here. I’ll be putting these strategies to use!

  • Carlos

    I think what Internet marketers say in public, is different from their private reality. They come off as being very picky about who/what they promote in public, yet they fire off promotions on a daily bases.

    Make money from mobile, then the next day, make money with Facebook Ads, then the next day make money from affiliate marketing, Kindle, Amazon, offline, online, PLR, info products, and on and on. Not very picky and not very targeted. Just throwing mud on the wall and hoping some of it sticks and coverts into sales.

    I don’t mean this applies to everyone who contributed to this post, since I haven’t been on their list.

    • Nicole

      Hey Carlos.

      There are definitely some weeks where I feel like that.

      There may be 5 awesome new products launched in one week and I’m stuck, debating with myself whether to share them all (for those who might benefit from one but not the other) or pick one and promote only that all week.

      I also go by feedback. If I promote 3 different products in one week, and sales come in for each – then that tells me that my people are interested in hearing about the stuff I find. It’s been a balance that I’ve struggled with over the years. I’ve finally come up with a system where I try to include a piece of something valuable in every email, even if it’s just a link to one of my blog posts or a cool quote. Hopefully that helps my readers to understand how very important they are to me.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    • Nicole

      One more thought for you, Carlos.

      In the last 7 days, I have purchased two products that I was *really* excited about. Several big name people promoted them and I thought “WOW! This will be great” – and after buying, started to think of ways that I could promote the two items, too. One was a plugin and the other was a social media sharing site.

      I spent hours learning each tool and playing around with it.

      Here’s how it went down…

      * Once I got into the Plugin that I purchased – I realized that it was buggy. It still works ok and is good in theory, but it’s buggy. So, no promo from me.

      * I watched all 10 videos for the social media sharing site that I thought would be awesome. But, after getting in there… I’m just not sure that it’s worth your time. So, that is on hold to see how it develops.

      No promos from me.

      I spent probably 8 hours between the two, and I may end up promoting them down the line if things change, but in the meantime, they won’t be going out to my lists.

      The point of this story is just to show that yes, I may promote several things this week, but for each thing that I do send, a bunch never makes it past my “Mama Bear” filter. I’m guessing that many of my colleagues experience the same.

  • Christine Brady

    Hi Nicole,

    Unlike Dr. Spencer Jones, I had to come back to this post 🙂

    It’s awesome by the way – a lot of incredible information here that really can be referenced again and again.

    It sounds like everyone speaks from experience, so I find it so interesting that common courtesy manners go out the window when people have products they want you to sell.

    Give first right?

    Great to hear from everyone!


    • Nicole

      Common manners. You’d think…

      You should have seen my face when I went to a casual networking event at the beach and a guy came up to me and said “(Insert name of friend) said I should come talk to you. How big is your list?”

      I about spit out my drink. Then, I bit my lip so I wouldn’t ask how big something of his was, just to show how rude of a question it was. (And, I don’t mean his IQ.)

  • Mena Jo

    Personally I wouldn’t dream of approaching someone I didn’t know to become an affiliate of mine. I think I’ve only ever asked 2 people (both known to me) – but even then, I found it extremely difficult to ask.

    The way I approach the whole affiliate thing is by focusing on producing quality work and marketing my wares. Rightly or wrongly, I’m not going to chase after affiliates, nor am I going to rely on them to build my business for me. That’s my job.

    I do, however, make it known to my list know that I have an affiliate program and if they sign up (a couple have), then that’s great. It shows that people see value in what I do and want to support me of their own volition.

    – Mena

    • Mena Jo

      LOL, just looking at my link made me chuckle, bearing in mind the nature of this post and my previous comment.

      It’s actually an article on the holiday season and niche affiliate marketing… hmm, I may go and fix that title a little 🙂

    • Nicole

      Hey Mena,

      You said a few things in your comment that make me curious.

      “Chase after affiliates”.

      – If you’re offering value to potential affiliates in the form of content they can share with their people, then you shouldn’t have to chase after them. A win-win is a good thing. 🙂 For instance, when I did my Summer Blog Tour, I had people on a waiting list to promote for me, because 1. I was doing all of the work, and 2. because they knew that their readers would get HUGE value. There was no chasing involved.

      “It shows that people see value in what I do and want to support me of their own volition.”

      – I only promote things of my own volition, whether someone invites me to promote or I find the product on my own. There’s no arm-twisting, I promise. 🙂

      Also, take a peek at my comment to Debi below. You are amazing and wonderful and I would just hate for your message not to reach as many people as you would like based upon a misunderstanding of how affiliate relationships work. If that makes any sense.

      • Mena Jo

        Hi Nicole

        Thanks for so much for your response.

        I guess as kid on the block, actively seeking out affiliates doesn’t come easy to me. I want to get my products out there, just as much as the next person and I truly value and understand the incredible importance of affiliates when it comes to promoting your business. Heck, I’m even grateful if someone just signs up to my program and doesn’t promote me lol. To me, it shows that someone was interested enough to take that first step, and I respect that.

        The point I was trying to get across is that I don’t hold expectations about people promoting me. A lot of new list builders come into this game thinking they are going to get a truckload of affiliates overnight and sales will flow aplenty. It doesn’t work like that when you are just starting out. It takes time to build a rep and prove you’ve got a little something, something in the trunk.

        So while you are building up your presence and connecting with the right people, focus on creating great products and promoting them rather than fixating on the fact that you don’t have any active affiliates. It’s about working with what you’ve got and turning that into a positive, with a long term view to getting the stuff that you don’t yet have. For me anyway 🙂

        Keep being awesome Nicole!

        – Mena

  • Debi J

    I’m with Mena about whether I would really want to approach someone about marketing my product as an affiliate. My goal would be to have customers first and foremost who like my products so well that THEY want to become an affiliate and then would tell people they trust to check it out as well. I know that might take longer to build relationships and word-of-mouth and yet I feel that it’s a much more solid business platform for the long-term.

    The major downside is then you may have people who could really use and love your products, but just don’t know about them for a long time because I didn’t go to people who I knew it would be a good fit for (sort of like Geoff Shaw’s Kindling program that Tiff didn’t know about)…hmmmmm…

    • Nicole


      Yes, you definitely want to have customers who are spreading the word about you all day and night. Agreed 100%.

      However, in my experience, getting one JV partner with a list and credibility will bring in a lot more sales in one day than you will likely get from people telling their friends in a month’s (or even a year’s) time.

      You could have a different experience. But, I certainly would advise to aim for both. Customers who become affiliates AND other influential people in your market to spread the word.

      Because if your product is as good as you think it is (and I believe that it is) – then can’t you help MORE people if you get the word out BIG? 🙂

      Just something to think about. Because the goal, at least for me, is to 1. help people and 2. make money while doing so. So, the more people who promote your product, the more people you can impact and help.

      That’s what gets me over my fears of connecting with people about my products. If I really believe in my products, I can’t keep it to myself.

      Of course, I don’t know you, and I could be totally off. It’s just a conversation that I’ve had many times over the years with my coaching clients.

      Hugs and come back soon!

  • Juliet Johnson

    This was a great post, chocked full of useful, actionable items. From everyone. Coincidentally, this week, I stumbled upon this article on Forbes around ‘The Tim Ferriss Effect’ when it comes to book promotion. It’s remarkable how similar the conclusions are. If it’s alright with you, I’m including the link here: –

    • Nicole

      Excellent article, Juliet. Thanks for sharing.

      Here’s the intro of the article, if you guys want to click over to check it out:

      “If you had a book coming out, and you were considering how to get people excited to buy it, read it, and talk about it, which would be most valuable to you:

      1) a 3-minute segment about your book (which is long by TV news standards), including a close-up shot of the cover, on primetime CNN. . .

      2) a 1,000 word piece you wrote on a topic related to your book, published in the Sunday opinion section of America’s newspaper of record, the New York Times, which reaches the #6 most emailed piece on within a day. . .

      3) a guest post you wrote, published on the blog of one lone dude in SF obsessed with fat loss, female orgasms, and lifting Russian kettle bells?”

      (You may have to click through a splash page, but it’s harmless.) 🙂

  • Mari

    If affiliate manager gets a % from all affiliate sales as compensation and also becomes affiliate for the same program, will he get co-called double commission: affiliate commission from his sales as an affiliate and % from his own affiliate sales as a sales manager?

    • Nicole

      That’s a really good question, Mari.

      Unfortunately, the answer is that it depends on what is negotiated in the agreement.

      With one of my long-term clients, I never used my affiliate link. I always used a straight URL. I felt it was much more credible when reaching out to potential affiliates – and it seemed fair, since I actually received 30% of all sales made across the board – because I did more marketing than just affiliate management. When I left that position, I switched over to an aff link. We also used Clickbank to run that program, so there was no automatic second tier or long-term tracking anyway. So, that was a way for me to show my faith in my client and in our joint relationship. Nothing went through me. It was all about “US” and our project.

      However, when I’m a JV broker, then I use my affiliate link which just puts people on my 2nd tier – but I also promote using that same aff link.

      Does that help? Feel free to ask more…

  • Mari

    Thank you for your reply. If an affiliate manager is also an affiliate for the same program how it usually works with commission? Does the affiliate manager gets affiliate commission as an affiliate plus the % from all affiliate sales including his/her affiliate sales? For example, affiliate mamager gets $ amount as an affiliate commission from his/her own 10 affiliate sales and also the % on top of it as an affiliate manager for the same affiliate program.

  • Tom Treanor


    Great post. Building that relationship, going the extra mile, selling great stuff (that you’ll back up) and having your i’s dotted and t’s crossed are all table stakes. Making sure the “perceived expert”, having the right shopping cart (thanks for that link!) and showing interest before asking for anything are great tips for making a winning pitch. Thanks for sharing. This will be pinned as well for future reference!

  • Julie Naumer

    Loved this post. I do not yet have a product to promote, but I am definitely bookmarking this post as a guide to what to do when the time comes.

    It seems to me the over-riding factor is building relationships and interacting with integrity and honor, both with my people on my own list and with any potential JV partners that I may develop. Guideposts to live by for sure.

    I really liked your quote – Nicole “don’t tell me what you can do for me, tell me what you can do for my people.” When we do business from a place of concern and genuine helpfulness for our people, then our decisions about what to promote to them become easier.

  • Kim Phoenix

    This was a very helpful post. I bookmarked it when I first got the email, as it’s important stuff to remember. It’s interesting to read everyone’s viewpoints. It basically comes down to common courtesy, and ensuring that we show that we value the potential JV partner’s time.

  • Sharyn Sheldon

    Ok, Nicole. Now I’m feeling a little guilty since I know we talked about this at NAMS. I’m definitely bookmarking this one and going back and forth to it as I plan out my offers to potential partners. In my mind, it’s so much easier to think about the value you’re offering someone’s people vs. all the intricacies of sorting out a nice, professional sales funnel to go with it! You just don’t want to come across as a rookie when approaching someone you respect. Guess I’d better get my tushie in gear ;).

  • Rich Avery

    Nicole, what I’ve loved about this post is that you, and many of the people you’ve interviewed, said that your number one concern isn’t to make a buck, but to serve your audience. A great reminder for us all. Yes, we want to make money, but we do it by serving our audience with the info they want and need.

    • Nicole

      Definitely, Rich. Money is GOOD. But to choose money over the good of your audience makes for a very short-lived business.

      I appreciate you taking the time to comment. 🙂


  • Clyde

    I have bought several of your products and even listed you as a resource in one of my books but, I never thought of you as selling anything except PLR products. How did I miss out on that?

    Thanks for the great advice and I should be ordering your BlogCPR product as soon as I leave this comments.

    Dr. Clyde

    • Nicole

      I am very happy that you learned about 🙂 Please let me know what you think after you have a chance to dig in.


  • Josh Turner

    Nicole – AWESOME stuff here. My company has been doing a lot of outreach to try and build our affiliate program, and feeling like we were missing something. I’m going to be combing through this post several times in putting together a new game plan that I’m sure will be light years ahead of what we’ve been doing. Thanks!

    • Nicole

      That’s awesome, Josh. I’m so glad we got a chance to talk in Atlanta. I look forward to hearing about your business growth the next time I see you.


  • Tulisa

    Ok, Nicole. Now I’m feeling a little guilty since I know we talked about this at NAMS. I’m definitely bookmarking this one and going back and forth to it as I plan out my offers to potential partners. In my mind, it’s so much easier to think about the value you’re offering someone’s people vs. all the intricacies of sorting out a nice, professional sales funnel to go with it!

  • Steve DiGioia

    Getting JV partners is the way to go but I’m still building my “brand” and have a way to go before i can reach out to others.

  • Julie

    Nicole, thanks for putting this article together. I’m starting to think one of the best ways to attract affiliates to you is by just making sure you’re constantly out creating and marketing the best material you can and do as much as you can on your own. I like what Mena Jo said about not relying on others, but to get out and build your own business. Eventually others will find you.

    I also like what Kristen said about how she paid for her list through her own sweat and blood (and money). It was helpful to be reminded that others with a good list have worked hard to get it and it should be valued as such.

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