Do’s And Don’ts For Affiliate Relationships On LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a great place to find strategic partners for your Affiliate program, product or service. But there are some definite DO’s and DON’Ts that you want to follow.
Let’s start with the “DON’T’s.”
Don’t join a group just so you can spam your Affiliate program, product or service to everyone in the group. Not only is it in bad taste, but blatantly pitching your Affiliate program, product or service is likely to get you SWAMmed! SWAM stand for “site wide auto moderation” on LinkedIn – and it means that once you have been flagged, your posts automatically get posted to the moderation queue. And that means they are not likely to ever see the light of day again. You will not only NOT be able to post freely in your current group, but any other group you belong too as well.
Instead, consider asking the group their opinion about something that your product solves. I might do a post that says: “Are you getting leads on LinkedIn?” And then in the body of my post as people what they are doing to get leads on LinkedIn, ask them for quotes, maybe write a blog post with the results AND THEN after getting the results or writing the blog post I can go back in and let people know about my program. But don’t ever lead with “Buy my stuff because your efforts suck!” (You’d be surprised how often people do that!!!)
DON’T add everyone you connect to on LinkedIn to your email list. People agreed to connect with you on LinkedIn – they did not opt into your mailing list. Not only is this in bad taste, but if you happen to connect with and export a Canadian’s info to your mailing list– you could get into some serious trouble due to CASTL (Canadian anti-spam law).
Instead, after connecting, and after a few messages, endorsements or some form of engagement, consider sending a link to an Opt-In page. Just don’t automatically port them in!
DON’T use every update that you share just to pitch your affiliate link. Consider the 80/20 rule. Or maybe even the 90/10 rule! 90% helpful, valuable, content and 10% sales pitch. And no – a link to the webinar that you’re giving to promote your affiliate is not the helpful type of content I am talking about!
Instead, consider sharing some cool infographics, quotes or tools from your product as a lead generator and then share your product’s info through a regular email funnel. But they have to opt in first!
DON’T send a message to everyone that you are connected with letting them know about this great business opportunity! Especially if you haven’t bothered to read their profile – or know what they are interested in. I cannot tell you how many times I have people send me a link to a competitor’s program. Come on people! Have some common sense.
Instead, try and build a real relationship with your network, and then share your program only with the people who could really benefit from it. Which brings me to….
DO know your audience! Even if your affiliate product or service can serve everyone with the face, or anyone with the computer, or any business with employees – you’re not going to sell anything with an audience that broad. Know your niche markets and speak to them.
DO know the benefits of your product. If you have an affiliate program, be very clear on the benefits to the audience. No one cares that you have something to sell. They only care how that product or service satisfies a want, a need, a point of pain, or a desire for pleasure. If you are very clear on the benefits of your program, you can start writing your LinkedIn profile and content in such a way that speaks to the desired outcomes for your prospects.
DO consider LinkedIn Ads. Once you know who your audience is, and the benefits of your affiliate product or service, then consider using LinkedIn Ads – either text ads or sponsored updates – to target your ideal prospect beyond your immediate network on LinkedIn. Even though Ads are by their nature a sales tool, remember to focus on the benefits – and test, test and test again to figure out how to get the best results from Ads.
I have a LinkedIn Advertising course at www.Lynda.com you can check out.
DO let people know about your affiliate program in updates and messages – just not all the time. After you have shared helpful, useful, interesting information about 80% of the time, do feel free to let people know that you have a program out there. Again focus on the benefits of the program to your specific audience. Also – if you can get some testimonials from happy clients, you can include those in messages and in published posts. And make sure to put them on the landing page that you send people to.
DO use UTMs! Make sure to use UTMs (unique URLs) to trace where your traffic is coming from. You can use one UTM for all your Linkedin engagement, or create unique UTMs for posts, or ads, or updates so you can track specifically from where within LinkedIn your leads are coming from.
DO do more of what’s working! If ads are working, do more ads. If messages are working, do more messages. If updates are working, do more updates. But always remember the 80/20 rule. Being a Selly Selly Salesperson on LinkedIn doesn’t work very well. But positioning yourself as a expert in solving your key client’s issues can actually drive traffic – and sales – your way! Use LinkedIn responsibly when sharing your Affiliate product and I think you will be happy with the increase in traffic and sales.
- You can share your Affiliate Program, Product or Service on LinkedIn thru Ads, Updates, Posts and Messages – but that should only be 20% of your content.
- Know your audience and post responsibly
- Know the benefits of your program, and speak to that – always focus on the WIIFT (What’s In It For Them)