The Disobedient BusinessĀ® Podcast

How to do affiliate marketing in your business without being a šŸ’© [Part 1]

February 20, 2024 Pippa Parfait & Alex Olell Season 3 Episode 4
How to do affiliate marketing in your business without being a šŸ’© [Part 1]
The Disobedient BusinessĀ® Podcast
More Info
The Disobedient BusinessĀ® Podcast
How to do affiliate marketing in your business without being a šŸ’© [Part 1]
Feb 20, 2024 Season 3 Episode 4
Pippa Parfait & Alex Olell

Wow wow wow, we are so excited to be bringing this episode with Alex Okell into the world!

Alex and Pippa talk about affiliate marketing, a lil' bit about why you might want to have an affiliate scheme in your biz but mostly all about doing some affiliate marketing to incorporate another revenue stream to you biz and doing so without being a knob and compromising your integrity.

Don't forget to tune in for part 2 next week where Pippa and Lucy will get deeper into in about their relationship with affiliate marketing.

About Alex Okell
Alex Okell is a non-diet nutrition blogger and fad-free business strategist helping booked-out business owners make 1:1 optional with affiliate marketing & expansive product suites.

Check out Alex's offers for getting started with affiliate marketing šŸ‘‡
Aligned Affiliates Masterclass *affiliate link
The Anatomy of a High Converting Affiliate Blog Post *affiliate link

Where to find Alex
Website
Instagram

Other links mentioned
The Contract Shop for policy templates *affiliate link

šŸšØ BIG NEWS YOU GLORIOUS HUMANS šŸšØ
Disobedient BusinessĀ® LIVE; the newbie palooza is coming June 2024!
A 4-day virtual summit aimed at helping newbie business owners with wtf this online biz thing is and how tf it all works!
Tickets available real soon, get on the VIP list and be the first to hear at disobedientbusinesslive.com


Our group programme The Disobedient BusinessĀ® Mastermind is now enrolling - check it out.

Visit our website at disobedientbusiness.com

Come say hi at hello@disobedientbusiness.com

Come and chat on Instagram at @disobedientbusinessco


Show Notes Transcript

Wow wow wow, we are so excited to be bringing this episode with Alex Okell into the world!

Alex and Pippa talk about affiliate marketing, a lil' bit about why you might want to have an affiliate scheme in your biz but mostly all about doing some affiliate marketing to incorporate another revenue stream to you biz and doing so without being a knob and compromising your integrity.

Don't forget to tune in for part 2 next week where Pippa and Lucy will get deeper into in about their relationship with affiliate marketing.

About Alex Okell
Alex Okell is a non-diet nutrition blogger and fad-free business strategist helping booked-out business owners make 1:1 optional with affiliate marketing & expansive product suites.

Check out Alex's offers for getting started with affiliate marketing šŸ‘‡
Aligned Affiliates Masterclass *affiliate link
The Anatomy of a High Converting Affiliate Blog Post *affiliate link

Where to find Alex
Website
Instagram

Other links mentioned
The Contract Shop for policy templates *affiliate link

šŸšØ BIG NEWS YOU GLORIOUS HUMANS šŸšØ
Disobedient BusinessĀ® LIVE; the newbie palooza is coming June 2024!
A 4-day virtual summit aimed at helping newbie business owners with wtf this online biz thing is and how tf it all works!
Tickets available real soon, get on the VIP list and be the first to hear at disobedientbusinesslive.com


Our group programme The Disobedient BusinessĀ® Mastermind is now enrolling - check it out.

Visit our website at disobedientbusiness.com

Come say hi at hello@disobedientbusiness.com

Come and chat on Instagram at @disobedientbusinessco


Pippa:

Welcome back to the disobedient business podcast. I am so happy to have the wonderful Alex Okel with us this week. Welcome, Alex.

Alex:

Hi. Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to be here.

Pippa:

isn't that always weird on podcast? I've kinda gotta do that as a sidebar. There's that whole welcome, and, yes, we're all so happy, and it's wonderful. We're all just such happy people in businesses.

Alex:

We are so happy. We're so friendly, and we're just so excited to be here

Pippa:

So always so excited. I feel like I we need to progress to influencer status where we kinda go. I'm so excited to be here. Welcome back to my channel.

Alex:

I love that. I've some people do it on TikTok, and it's really made me laugh. Well, welcome back to my channel.

Pippa:

They just don't get the irony. Right? Okay. So we are talking this week about affiliate marketing. And I feel like instantly, some people will be listening to this episode, and there will be a rift down the middle of some people that go, oh, yes. Affiliate marketing. I'm I'm all over that. And other people that go, affiliate marketing. Don't like that. you find that a lot when you talk to people about it?

Alex:

It instantly makes people kind of cringe. You know? They seize up and go, oh, this is not for me. And I think it does a few kind of cranes of thought where it's either I could never because my business is so teeny tiny. That's kind of 1. And then it of progresses down to, I could never because my business has integrity, and I could never ever ever associate myself with that. And it's kind of a spectrum between that. And then a kind of right at the other end, it's people going, I'm really curious about that because I've seen some people I actually like and respect doing it. Tell me more. I need to know more about this because surely this is just another interesting revenue stream, which is where I definitely lie, but I've been along that whole spectrum. And, you know, I go back and forth every day. Like, I think with everything in business, and I always say that affiliate marketing, it can be really bad. It can be awful a hundred percent, but I'm here to try and dispel these myths and rumors and kind of change the narrative almost, and also encourage people to do affiliate marketing if they so choose. And, again, with anything in business, you don't have to. You can if you want. If it feels good to you, go for it. And, help people do it in a way that really is in line with, their business values with integrity and also legally binding. And I'm not I'm not a lawyer. I'm not giving legal advice here, but I just noticed that a lot of people are doing it in a little bit of a dodgy way. Maybe without even trying, it's not necessarily they're doing on purpose. So so much to talk about today, and I'm really looking forward to it.

Pippa:

Oh, hoorah. Okay. So I was gonna ask you to tell us a little bit about your business, but you've segued into there a little bit. But tell us specifically a bit more about what you do, where you've come from, you know, all that kind of jazz.

Alex:

Okay. So how long do we have? Because there's been a long and rambly story, and I

Pippa:

an hour, 35 minutes.

Alex:

and I haven't even been in business for that long. But I am a registered new, associate nutritionist. So I did my master's in nutrition, during, like, 20 19, 20 20 COVID times. And I kind of just felt like I needed to go into private practice straight away because I really didn't align with what I was being taught, basically, in terms of the anti fat stance they take in the nutrition world, the lack of just kind of consideration for anything in terms of people's, you know, socioeconomic status. There's something like that's all other apps that we could talk about. But, so I knew that I had have to have my own business to be able to do nutrition in any way that I want to do to. And so I was completely turned off from the idea of after doing the masters. but I'd spent a lot of money, so I was like, gotta make my money's worth and do something with this. so I decided to start a nutrition private practice where I basically just help people, try and do intuitive eating and support them along that kind of lifelong journey. and I've really found my kind of niche within that in PCOS. And quickly, PCOS is just a, a hormonal reproductive condition that affects about 1 in 10 people with ovaries in the UK. And I just kind of fell into it because there just wasn't that much advice out there, you know, combining the 2, the PCOS education and in kind of a non diet, non shaming, non awful way. So I said, well, I'll meet you in the middle, and I'll be there. So I was seeing 1 to 1 clients, and I soon really, really burned out from that. I was going through my own chronic health conditions, and just my personality isn't aligned to be sitting on Zoom calls all day every day. And I really found that tough, that, that realization because it felt like this is what I paid to learn to be a nutritionist, and I really felt a lot of, shame about the fact that I couldn't I wasn't that good at it almost as well. You know, I didn't find that I was that good of a coach in that capacity either. so that was a whole a whole thing. And then I decided that actually well, my strengths lie in the education side of things. I'm, good at conveying the information that I'm finding online, translating it into more easy way to understand. So why don't I just start a website or, you know, change my website they already had So it's just education based, and it's not me necessarily seeing clients 1 to 1. And that's just kind of where I've ended up now. So I have my, website, the PCOS Collective, and it's me and a small team of writers, and we write nondiet, you know, gender neutral information for people with PCOS, and we make money through digital products. We have, like, an ebook, a master class, a course for other professionals who want to learn, how to support people with PCOS, And then we also make money through affiliate marketing. And that kind of brings us to where we are today because I just love chatting about all of this stuff and kind of breaking down that stigma of I think it applies to nutritionists and dietitians, but also to anyone who has gone through that route of feeling like they have to do a lot of 1 to 1 work. And for some people, they are amazing at it. It lights them up. It brings them so much joy. But for some people, they might be like me and find it actually really, really draining. or they find that they want, you know, the the combination, the hybrid approach where they can take time off, go on holiday, or take time off unexpectedly, unfortunately, and still be able to make money through their business. So that's what it's what people do now, help them expand and diversify their revenue through affiliate marketing and digital products. So I hope that answers your question.

Pippa:

It it well, firstly, yes. It does, and very nicely done. I'm doing a little a little clap. That's brilliant. I think that's great. And what I love is that, this idea that you seemingly have 2 separate businesses or separate arms to your business at least that arguably, on the surface, you'd kind of wonder what the actual fuck do either of those have to do with each other. But, actually, the way you've just explained that makes total sense.

Alex:

Yeah. It was just, yeah, shifting out of 1 business model into another 1 and then kind of just shouting about it to other people who care to listen.

Pippa:

Yeah. Absolutely. And just for the I mean, I would imagine that there probably isn't anyone listening that hasn't heard of it before. But PCOS, you're talking about polycystic ovarian syndrome. Right?

Alex:

Yes. Mhmm. Mhmm.

Pippa:

anyone was thinking it was some kind of clever business acronym that we've come up with between us

Alex:

Absolutely not

Pippa:

Well, I'm dead excited again to, get into a conversation with you about affiliate marketing. so for a little bit of background from my point of view, I was dead set anti affiliate marketing for quite a long time.

Alex:

Mhmm.

Pippa:

For similar reasons to those that you started to explore a few minutes ago, it felt icky. It felt bro y, you know, very bro marketing y. It felt a bit sort of clandestine. I think there was a lack of

Alex:

Mhmm.

Pippa:

few years now. And I've forged it, and I've forged it for a long time to the point at which I'd been in business for quite a few years, and I would sit back and go, why am I missing out on all of this stuff? Why is it I'm not you know, I'd I'd almost have 1 of those, look at me standing up here on my, like, high horse of morals and integrity, know, being very anti affiliate marketing and openly, you know, if anyone brought me into a conversation about it. And yet I'd be looking at people successfully affiliate marketing. And as you said, as you alluded to, that we're doing it successfully and in a way that when I was on the receiving end of it, did not feel like shit. getting a little bit, you know, antsy about the fact that I wasn't getting in on that action. So I've kinda come full circle, and I feel either quite positive or fairly neutral towards, affiliate marketing now. And in full disclosure, we affiliate for a number of things. and we'll be working, you know, much more enthusiastically over the, next year or so to make that a bigger part, of our revenue streams. So which I'm sure is your love language because that's very much what you're trying to to help people to do. But I'd love to dial us all the way back, if I may, and say, what exactly for anyone that's not really on board with affiliate marketing and I feel like if you're in business, you've probably heard the phrase, but I think there's a lot of people that'll be like, oh, that's about referral schemes. Right? Or that's about there's a lot of difference, right, between just, you know, getting a kickback from somebody for recommending someone join, I don't know, a coaching program or something like that, to a structured formal commission based automated, etcetera, affiliate scheme. So could you just take a minute or so to walk us through what it is and actually if you are a business owner, why you'd even care?

Alex:

Yeah. So, basically, affiliate marketing is a marketing scheme or strategy in which a company compensates partners for business created from the marketing that that person does. And to put it really simply, I think this is probably the simplest way. It's usually between you receive about 1 to 50 percent of the product or service price if someone purchases that product or service through your link. So that's kind of the roundup of what affiliate marketing. It's just a marketing tactic that some companies use because we know that people really like to hear from the horse's mouth. They like referrals. They like, you know, someone on a saying, oh, I tried this. I really liked it. Here's a recommendation. You know, word-of-mouth is always gonna be up there in terms of marketing. So affiliate marketing is almost like formalizing that, I suppose, to a point. And we have a really wide variety, and I feel quite well equipped to talk on this because of the way that my businesses work. So with PCS Collective, the main affiliate, schemes that we've joined are ones of things like supplement companies, for example. So we, quite often do kind of roundup posts like, what is I wrote 1 last night about vitamin d and PCOS. What's the link? Do you need to supplement with that? Blah blah blah blah blah. And then we have, various connections with companies who we already have in place, and that's something that I think is really key. Like, they were companies we already would have recommend without even having the affiliate marketing scheme in place. But luckily, they had, affiliate schemes, which is great. So then we recommend some, supplements, and we have our affiliate link in there. And then it can range all the way up to where you maybe have a 2000 pound course or coaching program that then you could have affiliates who, you know, do a bit of the marketing for you, and they recommend it to their, audience, clients, community, whatever it is. so it really does range, and it's really broad from you can, do it in,, the tiniest amount where you're getting a kickback from, like, another 1 where you do a lot of is, teas. Like, Suburban tea, for example, is big in the PCOS world. So we get, a few pays back when someone buys that versus, in my business, I've just come off the back of an affiliate launch for an SEO course, which I absolutely loved. And, that's getting, 500 dollars per person if they go through your link. So there's really, like, again, there's, like, extremes on either end, and, it's up to you just where you kind of wanna be. And you can do a mix of the kind of high end or the lower end. And it's all about, for me, just finding schemes for things that you'd already be recommending. I think that's the easiest way to get started. What are you already recommending to your clients, your community, your audience, even your friends, your family? Like, you can really just start from anywhere and just think, what am I already recommending? Let me just give it a view, or do they have an affiliate scheme?

Pippa:

I love that. 1 of the questions that came to my mind when you were talking, there, Alex, was and it's always been a really important 1 to me. And, actually, a client we were talking about a referral scheme a few days ago, with a client, so slightly different, and I'll come on to that in a sec. But and she said to me, well, I would have referred we were talking about the mini mind and, our mini mind. And she said, well, I would have referred the client regardless of the referral scheme. And that for me is the kind of the question in my mind when it comes to whether I would want to get involved with a company or a service provider's or products provider's, affiliate scheme, and that is, would I be recommending this anyway regardless of whether they paid me?

Alex:

Mhmm. Absolutely. It's a really good, barometer to take because I think that with affiliate marketing, like, you see some people who are making genuinely millions of pounds a year just doing affiliate marketing, and it's, you know, it's quite incredible. And there's some people who I really like doing that. That's not like me saying that those people are bad or wrong. They just have huge audiences. They're doing it really well. They were kind of almost like pioneers in that space, and they're doing a really good job at it.

Pippa:

what okay. So picking up on something we were talking about a minute ago. Affiliate schemes and referral schemes. And I think, you touched upon something there about percentages of kick backs ranging from, like, 1 percent to 50 percent. And I feel like what the train of thought is of the company that's operating the affiliate scheme when it comes to, offering somewhere between 1 percent and 50 percent. And the reason I say that is is because if you were sitting there thinking, I feel a bit dubious about affiliate marketing, I think 1 of the questions that might be coming to your mind is, how the fuck or why the fuck are they in a position to be able to offer, say, 50 percent for argument's sake? So if I think of something that we affiliate for, which I have no doubt you probably do too, which is ThriveCart,

Alex:

Mhmm.

Pippa:

their affiliate program is a 50 percent kickback on their sale, which seemingly is a stacked ton of money. Right? And it would be reasonable, I think, as a human being to be asking, well, hang on a minute. If they can afford, let's put some bunny ears on the afford, to kick back 50 percent for their product, is their product not just worth 50 percent less?

Alex:

Mhmm.

Pippa:

How is it they're doing that? And, mean, I'd love to know your thoughts around this. But if I look at the schemes that have got much higher rates, the sort of percentage, affiliate commission that's available seems to be in direct proportion to the kind of 1 to 1 or live interaction that you're likely to get in the thing that you're purchasing. So for example, ThriveCart. They've created ThriveCart. Right? It already exists. All of the tech is already there. They may well go on to, improve it. It may well not be a fixed price anymore. But you buy it, that's it. They're done. So in that kind of situation or if I think of I'm gonna do this without mentioning a program name because there's a probably a bit of a liable related issue here. If you think of some of the large international high profile coaches, shall we say, who operate very large programs with absolutely 0 1 to 1 support and not so much as a whiff of their face, they often offer 40 to 50 percent affiliate commission. that's because it's a numbers game. Right? They're looking to get as many people through the door as possible. Right? What are your thoughts around that whole value piece and sort of commission rates and things like that?

Alex:

first of all, I think it's a really interesting conversation that I don't think that many people are talking about, at least I'm not hearing it. but I think that there's a couple of things here, really. The first 1 is that it really is that economies of scale thing. Like, you know, do they need they can just have more people in and it really they don't have to hire another coach or hire another Facebook group moderator and all of that stuff. So, personally, I think I'll there are a I just I don't know whether this is really controversial. I know so many ridiculously overpriced courses out there, and I'm think we're coming to the end of it. I honestly think there's gonna be, like, some sort of 20 23 uprising where people go, I'm not spending 2000 dollars on a course just because you told me to. You know? I think that's, something that's gonna change. And so that's 1 thing of it. I'd be honest, I think a lot of things online are just generally overpriced. but then considering, like, the lack of, intimate 1 to not even 1 to 1 even just kind of, like, group calls or group coaching, I don't think you necessarily need 1 to 1 for it to be a, quote, unquote, good experience, but I think the price does need to reflect that, and it should be, I just yeah. I just don't think that, necessarily, those prices always do reflect that. And then also with the kind of, like, the ThriveCart point of view of things, in terms of, like, the the product is created. I completely agree. So I have, some courses which are, like, self paced that may be, like, between 47 and a hundred 97 pounds, and that I give a 40 percent commission. Because if someone comes in, the thing's already created. I have no real admin time. Maybe if they reach out because it's a tech issue perhaps, but everything's pretty seamless in the back end. So they shouldn't really have too many questions. If they do, they'll ping me an email. It takes me 5 minutes. You know? So I feel like for that, I can, I'm happy to give that 40 percent commission. And in my head, the way I'm seeing that, and I think that this is the connect that people maybe need to consider, is the fact that the money that I'm giving that is money I would have been spending on ads. but the second thing is, you know, so if you think of a company like Spryv got, they're definitely doing ads. They're doing all of the stuff, throwing all the money at this to try and, you know, get more people in. So they've they're happy to give the money to you to to refer people. And and it really is that more authentic, way of doing marketing. You know, people trust someone they've had as a mentor maybe or someone they look up to online over an ad. that's I just think that's a fact.

Pippa:

Yep.

Alex:

yeah, that's just kind of how I think about things, and I really do think that affiliate marketing can really bring out the worst in people, and it can bring out the best in terms of individual affiliates themselves and also the affiliate program. And there's there's lots of questions to be asked. But it's basically to put it simply, it's it's a way of doing marketing, a way of pay doing paid marketing, but kind of it's it's really low risk for the company because unless you make a sale, they don't have to pay anything. So it just it's a nice mutual agreement, I think, is how I see it.

Pippa:

I completely agree. And I I mean, I know I mean, I've taken this down a little bit of a rabbit hole because we weren't here to talk about operating affiliate schemes today. We were talking about sort of being a part of them and and benefiting through from them financially. But you can totally see why any business, you, me, or anybody else for that matter, would see that as a, whether you've created a course and whether you revisit it every 3 months and make sure that you've, you know, tweaked it and improved it and taken on more feedback and all those kind of things, which all good course creators would be doing, obviously, or you would hope, she says, side conversation for another day maybe. But it it is. It's that or you put that 40 percent into, you know, advertising or email marketing or many other different types of marketing. But when you've got a course that's gonna be created once and then just revisited from time to time, the idea is it is a numbers game. Right? You know, it is simply a case of from a revenue point of view, you would very much like as many people to go through that program as possible.

Alex:

Mhmm. Yeah. Absolutely. And I think that, yeah, having an affiliate scheme or being an affiliate can work together really nicely. And, you know, I like you said, this isn't necessarily what we were coming here to talk about, but I do think it's something that a lot of people, are maybe missing out on is having their own affiliate scheme and a lot of, like, course providers. I guess they're cool, like, school software, like, you know, Kajabi, for example, is

Pippa:

Oh, you you think if it's in that kind

Alex:

yes. All that stuff. You know, they have it built in, depending on what plan you're on. So it's not too difficult to set up, you know, if you are thinking about this. But, yeah, that's a conversation for another time, I'm sure.

Pippa:

Hundred percent. So I will drag us back having had a having led us to Australia in the first place. So what do you think are some of the the pros and cons of why people either want to or don't want to get involved with affiliating for other products and services in their business?

Alex:

So I think the reason people don't is because they think that it's some sort of dodgy get rich quick scheme, and that might either appeal to people or it doesn't, you know, people go, well, I won't don't wanna touch it or they're going, this will make me money tomorrow. That's not how it works. You still have to build a genuine connection with your audience, clients, community, whatever you wanna call them, because and you have to lead with value. Your content has to be put first because, you know, if you're creating rubbish content, no one's gonna say, oh, well, great. You know, I will buy this 2000 pound course. You know, they know what they're talking about. That's never gonna happen. So that's 1 thing. Second thing is that people think it has to be an all or nothing approach. I feel like go all in on affiliate marketing. I really don't take that approach. My way of working with clients, I do, like, strategy calls with people if they want to figure out how they can add affiliate marketing into their business or diversify with digital products and stuff like that. And 1 thing that we always do is a bit of an audit at the start, and this is something you can definitely do, is just going through your business and seeing where you're already mentioning things. And I think it's really easy. If you're someone who's like a business coach, this is probably pretty easy. If you're saying, you know, I prefer if you've got a course that's maybe, helping people create their own course, maybe you might be saying, 1 of the, lessons might be oh, should I use Teachable or Kajabi? And then you've given your opinion, your decision. You've maybe, you know, create this video on it, then you can use an affiliate link there. So that's always the first thing I do is just do an audit to people that it's not it's not actually this big scary thing that adds to their to do list. And then I know that people think it's sleazy, but like I said, I've said it again and again because I really believe in it. Like anything in business, it can be done badly, and it can be done well. and I think it just comes back to your own values. And I know that everyone has seen this podcast are the sort of people who give a shit, basically.

Pippa:

I hope so.

Alex:

fingers crossed. They're messaging some point. but when I think of affiliate marketing, I think it's a great way to diversify your revenue, and I think we're all seeing that in at least the last, what, 18 months or so where online business feels a little bit more, like, precarious than it has done maybe the few years before, obviously, depending on what kind of area you're in. but diversifying your revenue is never a bad idea. So I think that's, great. Also, 1 big thing which I need to flash out kind of in my mind more, but I've been thinking about it a lot on a whole I feel like a lot of the online world is, like, almost, like, cannibalizing each other's work in terms of, like, we feel like our clients, we have a big responsibility to help them get from a to z, which we obviously do if you're selling something, a solution, we need to help them get there. But we think we have to fill in the gaps for everything else surrounding that. So an example is if you are someone who helps someone create courses, I've just got this in my mind as my example, create courses using okay. Well, I'm gonna have to make an, you know, an email marketing course now because they kind of need that to support this. Whereas, actually, are you really the expert on that, or could you be linking out to someone else who's actually got experience in this area and who's bloody good at what they do? Can you not instead link out to them, make sure your client's getting the best experience because maybe you aren't the best person for that. And that takes a big kinda thing to say, oh, I'm not maybe the best at this. But I know someone who is amazing at this. Here you are. I'll hook you up. It's an affiliate link, so I do get, you know, a small commission if you go through my link. No pressure. You can always just Google it instead if you'd prefer. And that's just kind of where my train of thought is right now with affiliate marketing is the fact that we could actually be doing our clients we're doing our clients a disservice sometimes if we're scared. We have this, like, fear of giving them away to other people who would actually be able to help them more.

Pippa:

Yeah. Absolutely. And I can't imagine there isn't anyone listening that hasn't felt that way in some way, shape, or form. That whole, should I refer them on to someone else? Because am I gonna am I gonna lose them as a client or not retain them as a client because they didn't you know, they're they're at the point where they haven't signed up for something yet.

Alex:

Yeah. was just gonna say, I feel like it also what I really like about affiliate marketing, if you I just think the word affiliate marketing, like, we almost need to rebrand because it has such such bad connotations. But in my head, I think about it. If you're not doing the way that I do with my nutrition website, which is pretty kind of, like, faceless, you know, it's kind of like, here are 3 supplements that you recommend. Here's the pros and cons. You pick which 1 you fancy. If you're more someone who has more of a personal brand and you're kind of more building those 1 to 1 connections with someone, then being able to kind of refer to other people, you're building this network of like minded business owners who will hopefully refer back to you because they know you're really good at something else that maybe they're not as good at. And, like, I think that this is just building that community online can be supplemented by affiliate marketing is basically what I'm trying to say. and it can just be, like, a nice little added extra to something you should be doing anyway, really, which is trying to give your clients the best experience and trying to build connections online with with other business owners.

Pippa:

Yeah. Absolutely. I've been sitting here percolating on kind of barriers and, you know, pros and cons and things like that. How do you well, I mean, how have you, from from a personal point of view, but or how would you recommend, people that you work with, decide what they affiliate for and what, probably more importantly, I guess, to not affiliate for. And, obviously, we've touched upon the whole, is this something that you would recommend, generally? But do you focus it from a sector point of view in terms of kind of what's in their business? I've come across business owners that don't know. Maybe they do what I do. They're like a business coach or something like that. And then on their website, they've got recommendations for a reading subscription that they're involved in or something like that. It's got nothing whatsoever to do with business at all. So how do how do you kind of counsel people through that idea of, you know, where to get started, who to choose, who to pick?

Alex:

Yeah. So, yeah, the first point is definitely, and I'm not gonna go on a break because we've already spoken about it, is recommend products that you would already recommend, either ones you've used yourself or you would use yourself if you need them. So, for example, if I think that's, bit of a funny 1, but there's there are gonna be occasions where you don't need that product necessarily. Maybe you're a nutritionist writing about a condition you don't have, so you're not gonna need that supplement, but you've done that research. and in terms of the product and the service and also kind of taking a further step back the the business. Does that business as a whole align with your values? Are there dodgy CEOs knocking around? Are there, know, are they just like do they not have their, you know, antislavery policy on their website? You know, whatever it is that you do for your business, just is that business that you want to affiliate for, are they mirroring it back to you? that's another thing that you can do if you're kind of if you're still feeling a bit sticky about the whole affiliate thing is really just checking that those businesses reflect you and your values so that's kind of, like, more of a moral side of things. And then in terms of actually, like, picking the affiliates, I really just find that going through your business and just thinking, what is it that my clients are always asking me about? What would support the work that we're doing together? What would you know, if you're an email marketer and you have a new client and they're using this software, but you prefer this software, then that's an easy affiliate scheme to be involved with because you know that you get better results when you use Glodesk versus Mailchimp, for example. So that's, of 1 way to really think about it. And I think that you can, you know, weave in less direct affiliate marketing if you want to. It really depends on your brand. Like, if you're a big personal brand and you so you say you're a business coach that's also a bit of a personal brand. You show up on Instagram stories a lot, chatting about your life, a lot of your kind of your pieces, the way that you you love reading. For example, let's go back to the book example. You could do a roundup of your favorite books from that month. If that aligns with your business and your audience is interested, I think it just always comes back to that. Does it align with your business? Is it authentic? Would you be sharing it anyway? It's just kind of the main things to really focus on. And, yeah, finding those businesses that actually make sense in terms of you agree with their practices and stuff like that.

Pippa:

Yeah. And you know what it that's that's a really interesting 1 because sometimes, if you've decided for yourself a list of, maybe 3 or 4 criteria that you're gonna make sure that you check out before you decide to affiliate for a program, even if you've enjoyed using it, even if you found that it was a good solution, before you're prepared to recommend it, you're going to check out. But, you know, some of the examples you just said there around savory policy, etcetera. and it's the I've I've had this happen several times. I've loved something. I've absolutely loved it. And then I've started to do the research, and I've been like, oh, for fuck's sake. You you just it's exactly. You find out this about them. You just think of it's just it's nobody. It's nobody got any morals or values out there in the business world for god's

Alex:

I know. It's even like a bigger example. I love my Kindle so much, but I hate Amazon so much. So it's like it's just so and, like, I don't think I I really and I'm interested in your thoughts on this. I go back and forth because I think we can do what we can. But at the end of the day, with small fish in a big pond in terms of there's only so many options out there, especially for stuff like software. I think that's a big thing. There are just some softwares that are really bloody good compared to others, or there are just not other options out there. 1 I'm thinking of is, like, for example, like Zoom. I don't know much about Zoom, but it really is the market leader. You know? And and I'm like, we're not there's not gonna be that many other options that are actually gonna be able to compete who maybe have more ethical practices, for example. so I don't wanna put the personal blame on people, I suppose, if that makes sense, and I'm conscious that this is a whole other conversation.

Pippa:

Yeah. And there's there's taking radical responsibility for your your decisions and your way you know, we get into this in in in my business a lot around using what we call the department model. So this idea of looking at your business from a what however you want to define ethical, sustainable integrity. You know, throw all those words around, and, sadly, sadly, a lot of people throw them around far too much, don't they? But and we look at the individual departments. So where are you investing your money and, what practices are you using when it comes to HR, for example? Even if it's not employees, what about subcontractors, etcetera? And the same would go for purchasing. You know, when you're looking at purchasing, you know, what what due diligence are you doing and that kind of stuff. And then there's the line where it's like, okay. Hang on a minute. There's standing as I said earlier, they're standing up here on my, like, you know, moral ivory tower type situation, And there's absolutely holding yourself to account, and then they're shooting yourself in the foot as a result of not being able to find another solution and therefore not using that 1 that you're not happy with. And it's really difficult. if anything, I I I think I've got a future episode, and I've never recorded it, I haven't I've never quite managed to get my my head around it. But there's definitely an episode of the podcast in the future somewhere how to be in integrity in your business when it's fucking inconvenient.

Alex:

Yeah. I love that conversation so much. Like, I wanna hear that. Please do that episode. Just rambling thoughts. I think we're all we've all got this going on in our head somewhere where we're just spiraling a little bit about how what we can do, but also realizing we have to play the capitalist game, to put it simply.

Pippa:

Yeah. Well, that's the thing. You know? It's how to how to survive and thrive and also fuck with the status quo, which is you, you know, as I you're I'm sure you're as much of a fan of as I am whilst existing in a late capitalism society. It's like, hello? talk to me. We're we're kind running out of time a little bit, but talk to me a teensy bit about legalities of, affiliate schemes

Alex:

Yeah. So when you're thinking about affiliate schemes, first of all, look what the affiliate scheme asks from you. For example, I'm just gonna do it because it's a big example, is Amazon Associates, which is the biggest affiliate program in the world. They have a very strict they, like, literally have a piece of text that you need to put in. Otherwise, you will be struck out of that program. So some of them will have very specific wording. But more generally, because of the way that online businesses work, it's not just about being compliant in your country. You have to generally be compliant, and that means looking at the US if we're being completely honest. So looking at what their rules and regulations are. I was actually looking at it this morning and having a think about it because the main thing to keep yourself, quote, unquote, safe, and I, again, I do really, really recommend, especially for your, kind of, like, your privacy policy in terms and conditions for your website, all that sort of stuff. Go if you can afford it, obviously, you get personalized, terms and conditions and stuff, but don't do that. That's, way up my price range. so there's really great templates that you can, use for free online or you can buy templates. Lucy Legal is someone I've used before. I'm trying to think of other examples, but I'm kind of blanking.

Pippa:

contract shop we use Which we also affiliate for.

Alex:

Put it in the show notes.

Pippa:

Yeah. Absolutely.

Alex:

So making sure that those documents are all up to date spick and span there would be the first thing. Then secondly, if it's a blog post, for example, making sure that at the top of the blog post, if you can, if it makes sense with the flow, but also just really trying to make it clear as clear as possible is putting your disclosure. And, also, I like to put it in the footer of all my web pages just because of how often I affiliate. I just think then at least I feel like that's been said, and if anyone needs to find the information, it's on every page. So that's something I do. There's lots of if you use WordPress, there's so many plugins that you can use where you can make it so it just it automatically happens, and it puts in a little box at the top of your blog post. And then the way that I like to do it in an ideal world is as you go as you're writing a blog post, for example, every time you mention the product and the link is an affiliate link, is do a star, and then the star will correspond to the, the disclaimer you put at the top or the bottom or both. It's a really lengthy blog post, and you think that someone might just be, like, like, skipping, I would do an affiliate, disclaimer at the top, the bottom, and in the footer. That's just me because I wanna be safe. And then you just need to make sure you carry this over into email marketing and Instagram. Just because it feels a little bit more, like, less official than a website, you still have to do it. And I really, really don't like the wording that people use, and this is what contributes to the narrative that affiliate marketing is sleazy of using words that aren't affiliate. Because I think people know, you know, if you say affiliate link, people kind of people now know what that means. And you can always if you're extra kind of wanna be really, like, diligent about it, you can then say, this means you know, and you should say this. This means that I get a, small commission if you're purchasing my link or whatever it is that you want to use. and I'm trying to think if there's anything else where I think you should need to know. And like I said, I'm this is not legal advice. This is just what I've been doing and looking at, and I just really recommend looking this stuff up. And I'm actually thinking about bringing something out on this, just kind of like a compilation of all the information that's out there. You can read it and make your own decision. but I need to think on that because but, also, I should say, you know, it's a bit like influencer culture with the whole, like, gifted stuff. It's still because it's so new. The lawn has hasn't really caught up or and it's kind of catching up now a little bit with, like, the, advertising regulation there in the UK and things like that. So it's it's moving quickly. So just if you are using affiliate links, make sure you maybe, like, pop in your calendar every 3 to 6 months just to check up what's the latest, what's new, and just audit that, I think, would probably be my recommendation.

Pippa:

Yeah. That's very sound advice. the the 1 that I see people, falling down on so frequently is social media. They just drop what I know to be affiliate links in because I know the person in question or or whatever into stories. And I completely understand why it's all very casual, even more so than, you know, just popping an email out. Right? and they don't even put a little star a f f link next to it. Because if you're business to business, obviously, that's a commonly understood. And the 1 that you referenced there, which really does boil my piss, and that is when people use everything other than the word affiliate. They they have a belief that people are gonna receive the word affiliate negatively, and they they they flounce it up to be anything other than affiliate in a way to sort of kind of meet the legal requirement to reference the fact that they are sharing an affiliate link without actually doing so.

Alex:

And people are getting in trouble for it. Like, the the I really so I could not remember the name of it. It's based on advertising kind of body here in the

Pippa:

Oh, the advertising standards

Alex:

yes. They, they do, like, case studies, and it's kind of terrifying. So you just say, this influencer, x y z, did this, and you can read about it. So if you're really kind of into that stuff, you can take a look. but, yeah, the gifted stuff isn't good. The referral partner, don't think people know what that means. But like I said, it really does contribute to this sleep, like, the the being ashamed of being an affiliate. Whereas in my head, it's more of I'm being open and honest. I this is an affiliate. It works for both sides of the business. I only recommend stuff that I, have genuinely used and loved, etcetera, etcetera. And, yeah, I think that's the kind of just the the way forward with it is just to be open and honest and remove the remove the sleeves from the equation if you can. And also a lot of people who, are more kind of on the more influencer side. So it's not necessarily people who would work with you Really like to support people through affiliate links. Like, I think it is becoming more of, like, the, vernacular of the day almost where people are kind of realizing, oh, this is a way for me to support my favorite creators. So if you're more on the influencer or creator side of things, then just be honest and lean into it, and a lot of people will want to go through your link. and even, I know, Pepe, that you're in Lizzie Goddard's Facebook group. We're both we've, you know, done Lizzie's courses and all that sort of stuff. And, she mentions that a lot about saying that people will come and seek out her link because they're like, oh, thank you so much. You've been so helpful. I'm gonna buy that through your link. So it doesn't have to be this, thing that you're trying to hide away and and hide links under, like, funny little Instagram GIFs.

Pippa:

I tell you what, I relate to that a hundred percent because I will seek out my favorite, not even not even sort of influencer creator types, but my favorite business mentor guru, etcetera, etcetera, who I know to use a particular thing. And I will seek out their their affiliate link because it's no skin on my nose. Right? I'm gonna purchase the product anyway. I know that they recommend it because they've spoken about it in some context or another. So why would I not go and say, hey. Thanks for all the stuff you've done for me by going and purchasing through that link. Right?

Alex:

Yeah. And that's really leans on that point of lead with value, and it will be rewarded in every sense of business, not just affiliate marketing. Lead with value, and it will come back, in calmer form.

Pippa:

Absolutely. Listen. I was about to ask you, you know, what's the 1 thing that you would share to be sharing affiliate links, you know, tip for not looking sleazy and might be, but you answered the question before I even asked it. So thank you so much for that. Is there anything else that you'd, love to share before we wrap up today?

Alex:

I think that it's easy to go down a rabbit hole and try and sign up to every single affiliate program out there. It's also easy to get not trapped, but, like, just sucked into all the different tools that you can use. And there's so many, and there's amazing tools. Like, Lasso, for example, is 1 I'm playing with at the moment I'm really enjoying and pretty links, and you can, you know, you can go deep. And I would I think that, you know, it can work amazing if you really wanna kind of build up your strategy. But just by getting started by, like I said, doing that audit, what who you're already recommending? Do they have an affiliate scheme? And just start there and see how it goes. And it's at the end of the day, it's at a low, you know, a low risk kind of easy way for you to potentially bring in a whole new revenue stream. So just enjoy it and make sure that you are, you know, properly, doing disclaimers and stuff like that and keep yourself all legal.

Pippa:

Fantastic. This has been such a great episode. Thank you so much.

Alex:

No problem. Thank you so much. I really, really enjoyed it. I like how, how deep we got in some of this. Maybe a bit off topic, but, hopefully, it was helpful.

Pippa:

I feel like that's, I feel that that's characteristic of this particular podcast, so that's totally fine. Alex, where can everybody find you on all the various online places that they can find you so that they can connect with you after the podcast?

Alex:

Yeah. So I'm not much of a social media person generally. So just find me at alex o k e, double l, dot com. And I have a free, masterclass called aligned affiliates, which you can sign up to. And it really is just kind of a lot of the stuff we've spoken about today, kind of the basics of affiliate marketing, and, also, it gives you loads of ideas of places that you can put affiliate links you might not have, thought about. And, yeah, I would absolutely love to see you there. So that's alex ogle dot com slash aligned dash affiliates. And I, you know, I talk about that kind of point of making sure that you're actually working with businesses that feel good for you and your business.

Pippa:

This is probably a bit meta, but I might have to ask you off, off air whether you have an affiliate scheme for your affiliate training.

Alex:

I absolutely do, and I'll send over.

Pippa:

So hit me up. Oh, listen. This has been absolutely brilliant. Thank you so much for joining us that's all for this week, folks. We'll see you again next week for more disobedient business fuckery and messing with the status quo. We will see you next Tuesday.