Within the first year of my business, I reached a monthly sales revenue of $10,000 and by the third year, my revenue was $350,000. As a solopreneur, mostly selling my own online courses.
Back then, it was all thanks to affiliate marketing. (Some people call it JV or joint venture, strategic alliances, or referral partnerships. These days, it’s often called influencer marketing.)
Yet, after a few years, I was speaking out against affiliate marketing.
In this blog post, I’ll explain why I got disillusioned by the method that made me so much money, and why, in the past few years, I’ve come to a more moderate position.
In business, I’ve been learning the importance of not worrying about making “a good first impression."
For example, this may be the first blog post you’ve read from me. Maybe it’s making a poor first impression on you… should I be afraid of losing you as a potential reader?
If I allowed that fear, I would probably not write or publish… there are too many people I could disappoint, readers I could "lose", reviews that could “devastate” my business… if I don't make a good first impression.
There’s a fallacy of thinking here:
As one of my readers, you are probably a giver. You are used to giving support to others, but not accustomed to reaching out when you have a product or service.
If you feel shy about this, know that it is normal. It’s not your natural style to ask people for help, so neither is it comfortable for you to contact your network about your offerings.
See if this reframe is helpful to you:
You aren’t asking them for a favor.
You are giving them the chance to receive help for their needs -- if they are an ideal client.
Or, if they know others who need your offering, then you are giving them the opportunity to be a blessing to those they will introduce to you.
Certainly one of the best ways to gain new clients and opportunities for your business is to reconnect with your network.
(Remember: even your friends and family don’t really know what you do, or at least, don’t think often enough about what you do, to be able to refer business to you.)
So it is a great idea to keep in touch with your network, maybe 1-3x a year. It can result in new clients.
The problem is that when you reconnect with that specific agenda in mind, it can feel “off” to the recipient, and probably feels awkward and artificial to you as well.
I recently received an email from an old colleague that is exactly the kind of email that demonstrates reconnection as a robotic tactic, rather than a genuine sense of caring... Here is the email:
I haven’t gone to a networking meeting or conference in more than 5 years.
Yet, I have a people-centric business (training/coaching/mentoring)… and it is thriving more than ever.
Here's why I have never enjoyed in-person networking:
George Kao is a Marketing Coach for small business owners, especially solopreneurs such as Coaches and Mentors. He focuses on ethical & effective ways to grow one's platform and build true livelihood.
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