Affiliate Marketing Mindset: Four Undeniable Truths to Succeed in this Industry

Truth #1. You Need a Business Plan

For the most part, people still perceive the making money online concept is something to get some extra dollars on the side, but few approach it as a real business. A great majority of online startups still refuse to come up with a business plan.  There’s just something so academic about it, isn’t it?

And it makes sense, most people adventure into the Internet and find that one of the most popular ways to make money online is for example: Affiliate Marketing. As an affiliate, having no business plan doesn’t affect getting your first commission and feeling great about it.

As the stakes get higher though, it becomes more apparent that a lack of a business plan contributes to the lack of direction, you may start spending capital carelessly.  A business plan, basically, is your action plan and road map to success. Action being the keyword here.

Taking the proper actions following a plan will ensure that you will go where you want to go, without any unnecessary deviations.  Additionally, a business plan is a motivational tool, as it will contain your goals for the foreseeable future.  It is an excellent guide to track your progress, whether you are achieving those goals or not.

When you feel the need to spend your capital on something, you can refer to your business plan and ask yourself…
  • “Will this help me achieve my immediate and/or long-term goals?”
  • “Will this increase my bottom line profit?”
  • “Will this be consistent with what I have set out to accomplish as written on my business plan?”
Answering these simple questions will help you invest in what you really need.

So, still wondering if you really need a business plan even if you're just starting out? 

Before answering, I'd like to give you a Fair Warning: Don't click the link below if you are easily offended. However, don't let the foul language confuse you, the information is top-notched.

Truth #2. Internet Marketing is for DOers!

If you’ve been trying to make money online most likely you are already signed up with dozens of marketing lists, alerts, Facebook groups, etc. and you are trying to learn from the top known marketers out there.

This is OK to start getting some initial pointers on what to do. But, to really KNOW what’s going on and how things really work you need to take a deep dive into the details and experience for yourself what works and what doesn’t work.

Having Direct Experience is crucial with Internet Marketing as most information available has become more like a pre-sell for eBooks, courses, webinars, etc. and just to clarify: this is not good nor bad, it’s simply the truth and the nature of the industry.

Hence, if you want to learn Internet Marketing, there are no short-cuts, you must experiment by yourself. It is one of those things, like riding a bike, you may read books about how to ride but until you hope into one and try to stay balanced you won’t know for sure.

So, get truly involved in the game. Become a DOer, experiment things for yourself. Don't assume everything you get  your inbox or even in paid products is true. Put it to practice, always verify it. Nassim Taleb, one of my favorite authors, in his book Skin in the Game, wrote: "Too many academics are essentially lecturing birds on how to fly".

This is so true for Internet Marketing, there are too many false "experts" out there. If you landed in this blog and you are reading this, chances are you already know more than most of these people. Go apply your knowledge.

Truth #3. Learn to Influence People  

Influence: “the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others”

In his book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” Robert B. Cialdini PhD presented his six principles or laws of persuasion and established a hard-cold truth. Since birth, we respond to psychological messages from mass media, either from TV, radio or the Internet. And these responses tend to function below consciousness, much like physical reflexes.

We act, or more accurately, we react – and only afterwards do we realize the implications of what we have mindlessly done. Cialdini concludes that these surprisingly strong tendencies exist to benefit society and to provide individuals with convenient and efficient social transaction shortcuts.

The persuasion principles according to Cialdini are:
  1. Reciprocation. - If you want something, give it first.
  2. Commitment and Consistency. - Ask for a small commitment before asking for a bigger one.
  3. Social Proof. - If others are doing it, then it must be right.
  4. Liking. - Early charm, friendliness and compliments pay off later.
  5. Authority. - Exert influence by describing success long before a sales pitch
  6. Scarcity. - If it’s rare, exclusive, or scarce, it must be valuable
Much like Cialdini’s principles, Internet Marketing is an industry filled with masters of persuasion, and the principles hold true especially in today’s fast-paced, and instant results driven online world.

The geometrically increasing speed of marketing technology reduces our window of response making us more susceptible to these persuasion principles.

Study these principles, learn them and apply them to your business. Reading the book is highly recommended (no sales pitch here, simply an honest advice as this subject is key for Internet Marking)

Truth #4. Never Stop Dreaming

Allow me to share with you this story: Once, I had a customer who sought my advice.  He was down on his luck and was about to give up on starting his business altogether.  He had stopped dreaming.

I asked him why.

I can’t seem to do anything right,” he said, “and I am afraid that what I have isn’t enough to make a mark in the industry.

I told him the following: "There are no limits as to what you can do…  what restricts you are the limits you put on yourself."

12 months later, he sent me a postcard with a picture of his family having a vacation in Bali, Indonesia.  

The card read: “You made this vacation possible. Thank you.

I replied via email: “No. You made it possible. I just reminded you of things.”

Indeed, I merely reminded him of his dreams. This, I believe, is the biggest mistake that novice internet businessmen make: they stop dreaming.

Once they establish their first campaign or product, they stop dreaming.  They stop wanting more.  They become too preoccupied with the rigors of the business they have set up that they forget the reasons why they decided to pursue it in the first place.  Worse, they forget the reasons why they want to be the best they can ever be.

And as a result, at the slightest sign of failure, they give up oh so easily.

Do not commit the same mistake!

Never stop dreaming.

But, I’m not going to lie to you.

You will need an Action Plan. You will need to DO the activities in the plan. You will have to develop Influence while executing this plan to get customers and most important, You will need to keep the Dream alive at all times. 

The good news is, it can be done, and it doesn’t take an Einstein to do it.

It just requires pure commitment and hard work.