I got an interesting question this morning — from my first “guru,” Martin Avis. I am profoundly flattered!
I know that you have been through Sarah’s affiliate training program and thought highly of it. As I haven’t had the pleasure of taking the course myself – and as Sarah is out of contact in New York right now – I’m hoping you can answer a Kickstart subscriber’s question…
Thanks for the email. Affiliate marketing is an area I am keen to get into.
Would you say Sarah’s course is more than just “build a list and promote to it?”
Does she talk about the different traffic strategies like media buys or fb ads when driving traffic to affiliate products?
Thank you for your time.
I gave this some thought, and decided to provide my thoughts on my blog, since I’ve been writing about Sarah’s training lately.
First off, “Build a list” is the fundamental strategy that I alluded to in my last post, just in case you had not already guessed. Sarah Staar is not the first, nor will she be the last, to give that advice. Without a list, you don’t have a real, viable, enduring business.
If you have been paying attention to the marketing strategies of various Internet marketers (including Sarah), you have probably noticed that nearly all of them have free giveaways in which they actually tell you what you need to do in order to be successful in whatever niche you choose. Those are usually intended to get you to sign up for a mailing list, as well as introduce you to the marketer’s style and content.
As I mentioned in a prior post, I believe it’s relatively unimportant which “guru” you follow. What’s important is that you pick one and focus on that one, ignoring the other “shiny objects.” The one that I have chosen to follow at this time is Sarah Staar (and her Affiliate Formula X course). I still read every issue of Martin Avis’ Kickstart (that’s not even an affiliate link!), and I have bought and implemented some of his products, including his EZine Academy, although I have not yet set up a newsletter in this (IM) niche, just because of my own bandwidth limitations.
The key thing about that is that while they tell you what to do (e.g., “Build a List”), they omit how to do it. The how is reserved for the paid products. This is an “open secret” used by experienced marketers of any information product. It is widely-used because it works really well. If you decide to market information products, you would do well to use this strategy in your own copy.
Sarah is slightly different in this regard, because she occasionally tells you exactly how to do something even in her free products. In fact, you can get a lot of the how from the free products listed in the sidebar on the right.
Naturally, if you click on any of Sarah’s links, the first thing that happens is that you get sent to a “squeeze” page and asked for your email address. That, of course, is par for the course, and has gotten so ubiquitous that people have started using throwaway emails for that sort of thing. If you do that with Sarah’s list, you’ll still get the freebie(s) offered, provided you check your throwaway account, but you will miss a lot of the value that comes from being on Sarah’s list.
In her paid products, Sarah goes into more concentrated detail on the how of each stategy she teaches. In addition, she provides an interesting form of support. Since she is dyslexic, she will usually respond to questions from her customers with a video (unless the answer is only a few lines long). When she sees similar questions on any aspect of a course from more than one customer, she usually makes a video about it and posts that video on the customer support forum. Sometimes (but not always), she will have a transcription made of the longer videos. In her paid courses, she will provide transcripts, since she knows that a large portion of her target audience (including me) prefers to read. Even though I am in the group that likes to read, I still find her videos worth watching, including the freebies.
Once you are a paying customer, Sarah will send you links to additional information videos from time to time. One that I just got from her this week covered the details on how to do screen capture videos with various different screen-capture programs, both free and paid. That was serendipitous, since I am planning to do some videos (in another niche), and this information is very useful. She even showed a workaround that you can use in a free program to sort-of duplicate a feature in an expensive paid program. That video was provided completely free of charge.
To address John’s question above, yes, Sarah does go into the strategies that she uses herself for affiliate marketing (she still does affiliate marketing), including media buys (and the specific pitfalls to avoid). She also goes into detail in the targeted courses on how to do effective Facebook advertising and how to get your promotions on YouTube (and where they work best).
One very interesting technique which she mentions even on some of her free stuff, is a dead-simple method of spying on (and possibly co-opting) your competition. While it’s dead simple (as in, “Why didn’t *I* think of that?”), it’s something few beginning marketers do just because they never think of it.
What is it? Watch some of her free videos — or buy Affiliate Formula X — and find out. 😉