As an entrepreneurial writer, I belong to a professional online membership group called Marketing Trailblazers. The members and group leaders are incredibly generous in sharing their tips, knowledge, and best practices, so it has been a wonderful way to keep up with the world of online business. One of my colleagues there, Luc Dermul, is a Belgian expert in affiliate marketing. He took me up on my invitation to submit a guest post to Heartspoken. He has reminded me that the principles of the Heartspoken life go far beyond our personal life and should also infuse our professional lives too. Here’s Luc’s perspective:
by Luc Dermul
What is affiliate marketing?
I teach others how to earn money using a business model called affiliate marketing, in which you promote someone else’s products or services and then receive a commission for driving a conversion (purchase/lead). You just need to connect people with the products they’re already looking for or about to buy. You are rewarded with a percentage of the sale when you bring buyer and product together.
A good affiliate marketer is in the business of helping people find a solution to their needs. Yes, you can make money through affiliate marketing. Good money. The only question you need to ask yourself is if you want to be a money chaser or do you really want to help people find a solution to their problems and needs.
When I met Elizabeth Cottrell and read her Heartspoken blog, I realized that the essential connections she writes about hold many of the life lessons I have learned from affiliate marketing. I want to share them with you.
The power of connection
Connections help shape our destiny.
Think about this for a moment. Did you ever meet anyone who told you a story or perhaps inspired you to change your life? Maybe even put you on a whole new career path?
Knowing the right people can open doors for you.
We’ve heard that everyone is six degrees from someone they want to meet. Now—because of the internet and the rapid way people are connecting—it is down to one or two degrees.
Look, we’re human beings, and not only does connecting with the right people help us personally, financially, and spiritually, but I believe when we feel “unconnected” to others, our world just gets harder and less fulfilling.
Connection matters in all senses of the word (connection with self, connection with what you do, and connection with others). Working together with a spirit of cooperation, we are at our best. In this business model (affiliate marketing), everyone wins.
With that said; when you’re choosing business partners: be picky, have standards, have some guidelines on what you’re looking for in a suitable business partner. You will make more money with a few quality business partners who really get behind you than just seeking mass quantities and chasing the money.
The importance of honesty and integrity.
When ethics come into play, honesty and integrity are important qualities to have if you want to sleep at night, and this is true in personal life as well as professional life. I found two contrasting news reports to highlight this.
- A year ago, the travel comparison site Trivago was found guilty in an Australian federal court for misleading and deceptive conduct. The destinations labeled by Trivago as the “Best” were, in actuality, simply the ones who paid Trivago the most commissions. (You can find the full article here)
- In stark contrast, when a seven-year-old boy lost one of his LEGO Ninjago Ultra Sonic Raider mini-figures, he wrote to the people at LEGO to seek a replacement. He received a wonderful personal letter from their customer service representative. Here is a paraphrased excerpt:
Luka, I have spoken to Sensei Wu, a master from the Ninjago line. I told him that losing your Jay mini figure was purely an accident and that you would never ever, ever let it happen ever again. He told me you must always protect your Ninjago mini-figures like the dragons protect the Weapons of Spinjitzu! Sensei Wu also told me it was okay if I sent you a new Jay and told me it would be okay if I included something extra for you because anyone that saves their Christmas money to buy the Ultrasonic Raider must be a really big Ninjago fan. (Read full story) by Mike Krumtoltz)
Now, with which company would you prefer to do business? Which do you think is likely to have the most ardent and loyal customers?
As key components in excellent customer service, integrity and honesty are therefore cornerstones in building a sustainable business. Caring and connection are also at the heart of the second example, and they will win over the long term, even when it may not be profitable for the short term.
Living an abundant life
The definition of an abundant life is different for each of us.
Besides having financial freedom and all the time I want to spend with those who are dear to me, it is important for me to give back to those who need a helping hand, and this has to do with my past.
Ten years ago, I was one of those in need of help, not able to provide for myself. I had to live on the streets for almost two years, but I got back on my feet with the help of people who wanted nothing in return.
God also plays a part in my life. He is the reason I kept on fighting, not giving up. He was the light in the darkness I had to face each day. But I knew he would show me the end of that dark tunnel I was running through, and he did.
I learned other important life lessons from the late Jim Rohn. He taught me to manage my money with the 70/30 rule, and now am I able to give back to others.
Without God and the other people who have helped me, I would not stand where I am now. I hope this post will offer insights to help you in your own life and business.
All the best,
I’m Luc Dermul, a Belgian online entrepreneur living in “the big apple of Flanders” Antwerp with my two amazingly energetic sons Isaak and Zanoah.
I am the founder and CEO of Affiliate Successes (www.affiliatesuccesses.com) and I make it easy for you to learn about affiliate marketing.
I’m excited to share my online business experience here with you in hopes it helps and/or motivates you on your own journey to success.