Influencers are starting to pop up in every corner of the internet. From YouTube, to Twitter, to Instagram, it’s easy to find a niche where you can gain fans and learn how to make the most of your newfound fame.
Things have started to shift. Back in the day, being an influencer meant that you would be able to reach out to companies to do a collab. It also meant you’d literally need millions of fans in order to make it happen. These days, you can be a micro-influencer and still earn a decent amount of money—even if you don’t have a monetized YouTube channel.
Why Affiliate Marketing Became An Influencer Thing
Let’s just face it: people are willing to pay for eyeballs. Affiliate marketing is all about letting people see products that fit a need, and giving them a gentle push to buy them. The more people see you touting products, the more money you make. It’s a numbers game, really.
Traditional marketing would mean that you would have to be approached by a major company in order to be a spokesperson. That’s a pretty tough gig to land, even if you’re well-established in the social media sphere.
The reason why affiliate marketing is becoming more popular among influencers is pretty easy to see. Anyone can enter the game, and there are tons of products that you can tout. As long as you have a good program, there’s money to be earned as an influencer.
Of course, there are still things you need to know.
Affiliate Marketing: Who You Work With Can Make Or Break Your Brand
If you’ve been paying attention to influencer marketing lately, you probably noticed that influencers are fiercely protective of their brands—as well as who they’re associated with. This is by design, and it’s one of the smartest things you can do as an influencer.
This is because influencers are not typical affiliate marketing professionals. With regular affiliate sites, people tend to go to them as a source of valuable information. With influencers, people tend to bond with both the brand and the person.
In other words, it’s like the difference between seeing an ad in a magazine and having an acquaintance tell you to buy something. One will be way more personal than the other, and thus, one will also be scrutinized than the other.
Picking Your Affiliates (And How To Market Them!)
As an influencer, your reviews and your voice are your cash cow. This means that you need to pick products that your brand meshes with and that you need to pick products that just make sense for your style of marketing.
In other words, follow these tips:
- Stick to your lane for best results. A makeup influencer will do best with an affiliate program that is geared towards products that deal with beauty. He or she will not, however, have much luck with promoting a VPN or a new cryptocurrency app. Why? Because it’s not related to the content they’re making.
- Don’t sell a product you wouldn’t use. If you would never get caught dead with it, you have no reason to market it. This is a cornerstone of affiliate marketing, regardless of influencer status.
- Do not squander your efforts on an MLM. MLM does not equal affiliate marketing. MLM is a scam, affiliate marketing is not.
- Buy the product, and make sure it looks good on camera. As an influencer, you will need to do product reviews. This will include you taking photos of the items that you’re touting.
- Use items that you know you can use on camera, and that you know your fans would be interested in. Though this is also a standard affiliate move, it’s important to remember that your main objective is to make sure you look good using it.
- Be honest and tell people that you’re getting a cut from sales. A lot of influencers are pretty candid about their affiliate sales, and that actually seems to reflect well with them. Besides, it’s also a legal thing, too. If you don’t tell people you’re making money through affiliates, you can be sued.
The Number One Rule Of Influencer Affiliate Marketing
Remember when I mentioned that who you are affiliated with will make or break your reputation? Well, it’s super true. This means that you need to make sure that you’re working with brands and companies that won’t tarnish your reputation.
This means that you should take a look at the site’s reputation, especially on online forums. If you are doing affiliate marketing for a product by a fellow influencer, research them to see if they have any scandals you don’t want to be affiliated with.
If they pass the sniff test, then you should be good to link up with them.
Oh, And Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
As someone who deals with influencers and affiliate marketers, I understand how crazy it can get. There are always going to be more questions to address, and there will always be times when you’re wondering if the effort you’re putting in is really worth it. Trust me, I get it.
That’s why it’s best for influencers to reach out to others who have been there and done what they’re attempting to do. Otherwise, it’s going to be a long, bumpy road ahead of you.