AskPat Episode 127 Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 127 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me. As always, I am here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week. Now, let's get to today's question from Ethan.
Ethan: My name is Ethan Steiniger, and I have a web-based product in the health industry called ComparedCare. And I was wondering how would you go about marketing for a digital product that already exists? I was thinking in the form of content, but if you had other ideas, then that's fine.
Pat Flynn: Hey, Ethan, thank you so much for the question, and let me tell everybody out there a little bit of a brief history on my experience with trying to sell other people's products. And essentially this is what we all know as affiliate marketing because when you sell another person's product, you can earn a commission every time you make a sale. Now remember, when I first got into online business, and I first heard about this idea of selling other people's stuff, I was like, “Wow, that's so cool. Because I don't have to create the product, the product's already there. I just have to drive traffic through a particular link that that company, or some third-party company that has a bunch of different products that you can choose from, that link that they give me. And if anybody goes through that link, and makes a purchase, I get an X number of dollars.” Whatever it may be.
When I first started, I joined a number of different networks that had a bunch of products, all different kinds of products. And the big thing back then, this was back in 2008, was to grab those links and run Google AdWords ads through those links. So, you'd have to get really good at paying money to Google to have those links, and those ads that you have made up connected to those links, show up. You know when people search on Google, and then people click on them and they make a purchase, they buy it, and you make a commission. And it sounded so easy. And a lot of people were doing really well with this, and I tried it out and I spent like 200 bucks on a campaign trying to sell some product that supposedly had a high conversion rate. And it just didn't work for me. I lost 200 bucks. And so that . . . they sort of call it arbitrage. Or, you know, paying ads such as . . . drive traffic through affiliate links with no real contact, even no real connection, made between you and the potential customer.
Then the trend was to . . . Because what happened was Google found that this was going on, and they put a stop to it. You couldn't directly put an affiliate link for somebody else's stuff in an advertisement. So what the internet marketers do, they set up blogs specifically to sale those products. And instead of driving ads through affiliate links, they drove ads and paid for ads that drove traffic to those blogs. And, of course, it was those blogs that had the affiliate links on them. And you might have seen these in the past where, “Some amazing trick to lose 20 pounds,” or, “One unknown mother's tale to get your teeth whitened,” or something. “Click here to read all about it.” And you go to this site and, or you go to these sites that are created, and it's all about that one thing. So there's stories in there, there's pictures, and it just seems like it's a real blog. But you know, it's just made just to promote that particular product because there's really nothing else on the site. And that seemed to work for a while. Again, something I tried in the past as well. And it just didn't work out for me, at all. I just lost another couple hundred bucks, and maybe I could have spent more and done a little more testing. But it just didn't feel right to me. What felt right to me was building an audience, and building a real relationship which I was concurrently doing with SmartPassiveIncome.com and a number of other sites that I had.
So here are my tips for you based on what is working for me now and what I see working for a lot of people out there, and this is the best way to do it. So you have your site, and you can do a review, an honest review or walkthrough. It's not a site you create just to promote this digital product that's out there, but it's a site that you already have or that you've built to serve a particular audience. And it just so happens that this digital product out there is one of the many ways to provide a solution for that audience. So, a review or walkthrough of that product. You know, knowing the product as if it were your own. And I think that's the big key in successful affiliate marketing is to absolutely know that product so well that you could actually provide customer service to a point for that particular product to anybody who is going to be a customer. You'd be able to answer questions confidently without having to really try to make up anything because you know, because you've used that product before.
And I think that's really important because if you promote a product you've never used before, and you have this blog and you're trying to build an audience, it's all about the trust. It's about the trust you have with your audience. Now if you've earned that trust, the moment you promote something that you haven't used before is the moment you are taking a huge risk. Because if that product doesn't do well for that person who has earned your trust, or you've earned their trust, excuse me, that trust is going to go away. Because, okay, let's say you promote a product that you've never used, they use it, and it's just not working for them or they have a terrible experience. Sure, they'll be angry at the owner of that product and upset at the bad experience they had, but they're also going to be upset with you. Because you were the one that recommended it to them. So you gotta make sure that when you have that website that you've been spending time to build an audience for that you really take care of your audience.
And understand these products, as much as you can, that you are promoting. You want to make sure that they're going to be there in treating your audience in a way that is going to actually help them. And the only way to really do that is to use those products yourself. Why wouldn't you use those products that you're recommending? Right? Like would you recommend a product that you've never used to one of your friends? Maybe you would talk about it and say that it's there. But if you are truly promoting it in a way that you would want people to spend money, I think you would want to know that this thing, that whatever it is that you're promoting, is going to be useful for them. That you want them to thank you. You want your audience on the other end to thank you for sharing these products, for introducing these products, these digital products that other people have created for them.
Of course, along the same lines as a review and a walkthrough, just showing people as much as you can how you've used it and the results that you gotten from it. Now I've done this several times in the past through promotions of things like Leadpages, keyword research tools, and even hosting companies and things like that. I've shown videos, I've done step-by-step walkthroughs, I've shown the results of the work that I've done. And it's when I show those results, and I make it completely easy for people to just see what they are going to get before they get it. Taking that mystery away, it just seems to make the conversions go really high. Another thing you could do is, or another thing you should do if possible, is to add bonuses. This is what will help people go through your links, your affiliate links, your recommendation versus the other person. Adding bonuses. So if there is an opportunity for you to create, for example, a quick start guide, or a part of that product, if it's a digital product, that seems to be lacking in one area, you can fill in that hole. And create, even if it's like a two or three page .PDF that explains something better, that is something more than what they would get if they didn't go through your link. So bonuses like that, that help your audience and your potential customer understand that you A) know this product but B) know it well enough and have even more information to add. That's going to throw your conversions off the roof, and . . . through the roof, not off the roof because that means it would go down. But through the roof, like up and away . . . Sorry, I'm just jumbling my words here.
It's going to be, it's going to bode really well for you, if you add bonuses. If you are promoting something right now, any of you listening, I know there's six to eight thousand people who will listen to this on the day it comes out. For those of you who are listening, if you are promoting anything as an affiliate, are there any opportunities for you to add bonuses? The easiest thing you could do is a “Quick Start” guide. Now, I've done bonuses in the past that have been somewhat technical, actually. There's a product that I recommend called OptinSkin which is a WordPress plugin that allows you to create really easy opt-in forms on your website and different places with just a few clicks of a button. And there are different sort of skins to wrap around your name and email fields and whatever other data you want to capture. Well, I worked with the owner Glen Allsopp from Viperchill.com to create my own bonus plugin. It's sort of like an add-on plugin which added an additional number of skins or wraps for the particular opt-in forms that you're creating. And that worked really, really well. And a lot of people went through my link specifically because they wanted those bonuses.
Now, the final thought I have for you, and this is something that is going to help you more than anything in terms of promoting or marketing any product . . . digital product, a physical product, a product of your own, or a product that is somebody else's . . . and that is really and truly focusing on the relationship that you have with those people who are coming to your website. Really trying to help them understand that you know exactly what it is they are going through and you can speak their language, and even define the problems and the issues and the pains that they're having better then they can. The moment you can do that, is the moment they believe you have the solution. That's not a Pat Flynn original, that's sort of a summary of a quote by Jay Abraham. And it's true! If you can truly dig deep into people's problems and show that you know what they're talking about, or know what they're going through and speak their language, they are going to think that you have the solutions. And when you provide those solutions, they're going to jump at them. The products that you recommend as affiliates or the product that you recommend that you've created yourself.
So focus on that relationship and the best way to do that is just to continually serve and provide and keep your audience at top of mind in whatever you do online. And also take opportunities to talk to them. Even on a one-to-one basis, those go a very long way. But, of course, using social media so it's one-to-many, or even highlighting people in your blog is great way as well to get the community involved. Because even though you're highlighting one person, everybody else in your audience, they see themselves in that one person you are highlighting. So if there are any success stories or case studies that you can share, that involved some of your audience members, pull those out. Those definitely help increase the relationship that you have with everybody in your audience. So, just a few tips for you there. There's obviously a lot of things you could do to increase and heighten the relationship you have with your audience.
But Ethan, I hope this answers your question. There's a lot of ways to market a digital product, as you can see. I've gone through a little bit of a history of how they've been done in the past. And hopefully, I've ended with a number of tips that will help you based on what I know works right now. So Ethan, thank you, again, so much. An AskPat t-shirt is headed your way very soon. You'll get an email from my virtual assistant.
And, of course, I'm going to finish with our “Quote of the Day.” And that quote is from yours truly: “If you're not feeling it, why deal with it?”
“If you're not feeling it, why deal with it?” Life's too short. That was a long quote. I mean, I kind of expanded on it. But it's essentially, “If you're not feeling it, why deal with it?” Right? Cheers, thanks so much and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Love you guys.