Barman Note:Normally I don’t do guest posts (since I never ask anyone to do it. But if you want to hit me up. It should be either good, funny, or full of drama if you want it posted)
Finch put out a “tweet” yesterday asking to guest post on peoples blogs. Out of all the people begging for his writing-love, he chose me!
He chose me! :: swoons::
Anyway, Finch is a blogger / affiliate marketer / drunkard from across the pond. Read his blog if you’re not already it’s kind of good. On to the post…
Saving “FML America”
This is a post about building trust in an industry where most of us sold the only ounce of it we had when we took our shoes off at the door.
I know what you’re thinking. Trust is so 2003. Who needs the fickle fancy of a returning customer when you can just scam his entire family and exploit the anorexic goddaughter in to an overdose of berries while you’re at it?
Trust is important, that’s why
And yet the only thing you can trust in this industry is that most people think you’re a lying, scheming, money-grabbing son of a bitch. Also referred to as an “affiliate marketer” by those who like their shit to smell of roses.
Affiliate marketing capitalizes on what I like to refer to as “FML America”. We’ve erected small empires of fortunes out of convincing people that they need to lose weight fast, that they need a girlfriend tonight, that they need to reverse the unnatural effects of age.
If you want to make a change in your life for the better, there’s a good chance we can sell you something that’ll change your life for the worse. But something has happened in the last year. What do we know about niches like dieting, teeth whitening, bizopp and muscle building?
1. There’s a demand to cure FML America. People want to lose weight, have whiter teeth, work shorter hours. You probably bought your last motor on the back of this demand.
2. There’s a lot of negative press associated with the solutions on the market.
Like an oil spill that’s slowly dirtied the waters, affiliate marketing has slowly but surely pissed off the consumer massive. No longer does Mary-Jo want to fit in to her new dress in time for summer. She simply wants her money back and 3 rounds with the bastard in Delhi who keeps cutting her off over customer service.
These people had dreams and through a combination of misleading advertising and their own retarded expectations, they’re still no closer to them. But FML America will learn to buy again.
You can get these people on your side. You can get them buying from you. All it takes is a little trust and some strategic reputation building.
There’s a huge gap in the market. How many people do you think *actually* achieved their goals with the acai berries for example? Not many, right? That means they’re still out there. They’re waiting for the next offer to arrive on their doorstep that’s too good to be true. The market hasn’t shrunk, it’s just been burnt.
This is where I’d recommend that it’s time to engage in a little reverse engineering. As affiliate marketers, we have access to almost every trick in the book. In the same way that we can piss off the general consumer public, we can become the darling voice of truth that helps them to avoid another canceled credit card. If we wanted to be.
I had a conversation not too long ago with a girl who was keen to try one of the notorious “home income bizopp” courses. She’d been sold the pipe dream, which is quite awkward to witness first hand I can assure you. Obviously I reintroduced her to her senses and talked her out of such an investment. And just like that, I instantly had her trust.
I could have probably recommended any other online bizopp course to her and she’d have snapped at the bait. Because I’d saved her from something she knew nothing about. I didn’t, I’m not that much of a dickhead. But it’s a perfect illustration of how your affiliate experience can be used to work the classic bait and switch in your favor.
STEP 1 – Find a product in Niche X that actually works. Something worth it’s value.
STEP 2 – Find lots of products in Niche X that leave a bitter taste in the mouth.
To earn respect and trust, you simply have to build a site that targets the pissed off, the cynical, the angry and the downright “Never Gonna Be Scammed Again I Dun Goofed” Mary-Jos of the world. These people were naive once, and they know it.
You can become the messiah of the FML America masses, simply by exposing the bullshit that goes on in affiliate marketing and offering a solution that actually works. I’m not talking about becoming Dennis Yu. The “offering a solution that actually works” is key.
Let’s think practical examples. PPV is pretty hot, right? Why not dump a pop-up on every single acai LP and ask people to opt-in to read about why the acai berries will lose them money rather than lose them love handles. This trick has been used already. But most people simply bait and switch to….another acai offer. You might as well just kill kittens for a living.
Instead, why not educate your audience on why the acai berry diet is the biggest scam under the sun. Rub it in their faces that YOU saved them from that canceled credit card. Build up their trust, before hitting them with weight loss offers that actually stand a chance in hell of working.
Most affiliates will continue to promote bullshit offers because bullshit offers are more rewarding in their pocket. But they only last as long the voice of discontentment stays quiet. If you take a look at the various consumer complaint forums on the web, you’ll get a first hand view of the false promises and the shattered dreams of these misguided mopes who’ve been lead astray.
Can you imagine the trust you’d have gained instantly with Google Money Tree users if they’d been able to read your blistering expose before they plugged their credit card details in to the system? I’m willing to bet they’d opt in to any list you threw at them simply on the back of you being an expert in your field.
There’s no easier way to build a list of potential customers than by shepherding them away from potential scams. You can become the guru of gurus. The first choice authority in your niche. And it’s all thanks to being aware of the bullshit that goes down in our industry.
Oh hey it’s Barman again.
I have a few gripes with this post. First off Finch, aren’t you from England and shit? What do you know about FML America? Don’t you know Americans love being abused and coerced into false hope? It’s hope you can believe in!
I also have a gripe with this being “easier said than done.”
Step 1: Find a product in Niche X that actually works. Something worth it’s value
You can certainly play the “this is a scam angle” and make people believe you’re the messiah. And you can certainly get a lot of people to come to your site or join your list. But what the fuck are you gonna sell them? If it’s not an affiliate offer, then what is it? Truth About Abs e-book in diet? Have fun with 9 cent EPCs!
If there was an affiliate offer out there that worked awesome for the buyer AND it payed affiliates a shit-ton, then wouldn’t we just be promoting that in the first place?
All kidding aside, good post and this ploy can work well IF you actually do have something better to offer these customers.
That’s my opinion and I’m stickin’ to it.