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EPISODE 82: Affiliate Partnerships with Laura Sprinkle

by Apr 19, 2022Copywriter Collaborative, Podcast

In this episode featuring Laura Sprinkle we will cover:

  • Meet Laura, affiliate expert and incredible human
  • What is affiliate marketing in a nutshell?
  • How can writers use affiliate marketing for their own business?
  • What should writers consider when creating affiliate content for their clients?

Laura Sprinkle is an affiliate partnerships strategist who specializes in working with digital course and membership creators. Over the past 4 years, her relationship-based approach to partner programs has helped everyone from budding entrepreneurs to seven-figure industry leaders garner more than $25 million in partner revenues. She runs the wonderful Rock Your Affiliate Program and has supported the affiliate launches of folks like Selena Soo, Todd Herman, Amy Porterfield, and SuperConnector Media.

Laura believes partnership can change the world—not only business partnerships, but also referral relationships. As Laura explains, you can spend your time and money advertising your products and services on Facebook, Instagram, Google, etc., OR you can pay people who you know, value, and support through affiliate marketing. 

Partner programs are a win for you, your partner, your clients, and the world. It’s not just “giving away” part of your revenue. The biggest motivator for most partners is to support you {yes, you are worthy of that support!} and to offer something of value to their own clients. Finding partners who offer complementary services {copywriting and SEO, for example} allows you to offer your clients both services, without having to worry about fulfilling both yourself.

Partnerships also give you access to new audiences you may not have reached otherwise, or that would have cost you additional time, money, and content to reach. Partnerships allow you to leverage your resources in more efficient, fulfilling, and fun ways to engage with the new audiences, support fellow business owners, and provide your own clients a more robust, valuable set of offerings.

Laura’s expertise has been featured in Forbes and top-rated business podcasts like Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield, Side Hustle Friday with James Altucher, and more. She lives in Portland, Maine, where you’ll usually find her sipping on a maple latte at her favorite coffee shop or at the park chasing her daughter, Cadlee.

 

Homework: 

 

Services/Products/Offers/Freebies Referenced (for affiliate links or list growth):

TRANSCRIPT

Jessi:
Welcome to the copywriter collaborative podcast, where we're digging into how you can build a sustainable writing business. We're your hosts, Jessi...

Marie:
...and Marie. We're the co-founders of North Star Messaging + Strategy. When we started our business in 2010, we had no idea what we were doing. We just knew we wanted to write. Since then, we've learned a lot and we've grown into a successful multi-six-figure copywriting agency with a talented staff of writers and project coordinators. We've served hundreds of clients and we've seen it all. We wish we could have had a resource like this way back then. So we created it for you.

Jessi:
We're here to share our and top tips to help you achieve personal and professional success in the copywriting industry. Every week, you'll get valuable insights from us, members of our team, and special guests. Whether you wanna write better copy, create a stronger copywriting business that can support you financially or both, grab your earbuds.

Marie:
Okay, well, welcome to another episode and we have a really special one today because we have an interview with a special guest, Laura sprinkle, and I'm so excited you're here, Laura.

Laura:
Yay. I'm so excited to be here.

Jessi:
Thank you so much for joining us. This is a conversation I've been looking forward to having ever since we first approached the topic with you a few months ago. I think it's going to be so helpful for our listeners who really straddle both sides of what affiliate marketing does. They are writers who are writing their own content for their own business so their business can succeed, and also supporting their clients in creating content for their businesses.

Marie:
Yeah. So Laura, we're so excited to have you here. So if you don't know, Laura, she's a complete expert in affiliate marketing and also just an incredible, wonderful human. And I know you're gonna fall in love with her today, but she really focuses on the power of genuine relationships and building those affiliate programs. And that's one of the things we really love about her and the way that she makes those programs successful.
She runs a program called rock affiliate program that's phenomenal, and also has supported affiliate launches of names. You've probably heard of people like Selena Soo, Todd Herman, Amy Porterfield, SuperConnector Media. She's worked amazing people and really knows her stuff. So we are just honored and thrilled to have you here, Laura.

Laura:
Oh my gosh. I'm so excited. Y'all are the best, always.

Jessi:
So I'd love to just start by laying some groundwork for everyone. We have writers of all stripes who listen to us, some who are brand new to the world of online entrepreneurship and some who have been around the block a few times. So just to make sure we're all speaking the same language. Do you mind starting out by just telling us a little bit about what affiliate marketing means to you?

Laura:
Yeah. Ooh, that's a good one. So for me, and I really, I use all these words interchangeably, but I typically will use the word partnership. And to me, I believe that partnership and doing business and partnership can change the world. And I don't mean like Marie and Jessi, y'all are obviously business partners. You agency together writing a book together. I don't even know if we're supposed to talk about that here, but anyway, you're doing all sorts of things together. And, but I don't mean necessarily that kind of business partnership. I mean, the fact that I'm obsessed with y'all and I think you do incredible work and therefore, if I have somebody that needs writing or need something that you provide and I send them to you as a referral, be, you know, I highly recommend they work with you. And then I know that you have a program and then I would get, you know, a percentage or a dollar amount or a gift card, or, you know, there's all sorts of ways that people set these up.
But to me when I say it can change the world, you know, when you're trying to find new clients, you could spend your time on Instagram and on podcasting and all those things. I would never tell people not to do that. I think it's a great idea to get organic traffic, organic clients. You could then pay Mark Zuckerberg and Google and all those places to, you know, in the attention economy to get the word out there about what you do and how awesome you are and... not to like bash that but I don't think we need to be paying those people or those corporations necessarily. I would rather pay people that I care about that I know that I share, um, have a shared set of values. I might know their family and I'm really excited to support them as they support me and as we can grow together. So hopefully that was clear. I went a little all over the place there.

Marie:
Yeah, no, totally, totally clear. Thank you so much for the explanation. And, like I say, I love your approach to it because it really is about relationships and yes, there's all sorts of strategies and there's all sorts of things that you teach in terms of how to maximize this, how to leverage it within your own business, how to really make those partners feel loved and appreciated and excited and engaged, and like, remember you and stay top of mind. And there's a whole science to it, but at the end of the day, it's all about human connection and that being very genuine. And that's what I really love about your approach.

Laura:
Well, thank you. Yeah. I was on a connection call today with somebody who might be a partner for me, cuz so she wants to promote my program and you know, I'm meeting with my new executive assistant after and it was like, oh, okay. We need to like get down all her detail and you know, okay, we wanna collect this and we wanna collect this and we wanna collect this and it felt weird to get sciencey about it. But I do believe that that is going to help me then develop a more lasting relationship because I'm gonna remember key details about what she does and how I can connect her to other people. So.

Marie:
Yeah. Well, I mean, it's the same reason that I like put my friend's birthdays on my calendar because like I have a system to remember to be like, Hey, happy birthday. Right? Like if there's nothing wrong with that, like I just know that my brain is sometimes Swiss cheese and I can't remember all those details. And so there's nothing wrong with having systems and processes and strategies set up to make sure that you show appreciation for people in your business as well.

Laura:
Totally.

Jessi:
I love that you said that there's the like sciencey part to it. And like, I feel like so many things in there's the science and there's the art and the science is the it's the strategy. And then the art is the softer part of it and the relationships that you build and the intuition that you bring to it. And I think that this is something that shows up so well in the work that you do, because it is about those human relationships and making sure that they're genuine, making sure that they're growing in a way that is beneficial to everyone. And so for someone who's brand new to this, for someone who's like, oh, that affiliate partnership thing sounds interesting. What would you tell them as far as a, a place to start or way to start thinking of about it if they're just getting their toes wet with this idea?

Laura:
Yeah. So if, I mean, I think the thing that you need before, excuse me, that you even start thinking about affiliate partnerships is who you are serving and what they need. I was gonna say you need a product, but actually that's not even true because you can dive into the world of affiliate partnerships without something to sell, you just would need the people to sell it too. Cause that's the other thing that is great about affiliate partnerships. I don't necessarily work on this side of things, but let's say that I don't have a product, but I have people I could think, what do they need? And then find those products and men them to them.
So, you know, that's a little bit more of what an influencer does. They have this audience on Instagram or they have an email list and they find incredible products that then they can promote and get a commission from that. But more on what I actually do, so you would need some kind of a product and I would just focus on an excellent fulfillment on excellent delivery. And almost naturally, you're going to have people then recommend your product, your service, your offer to other people, if they have an amazing experience, right? Like if I watch a movie I love, I'm gonna tell the whole entire world about it, and that's the same if you have an incredible, you know, purchase something and you, and you love it.

Marie:
Yeah. So there may some folks who are listening who are like, well yeah, I love it when people recommend my services or whatever it is my products. But like, why should I give them a piece of the pie? So can you help kind of bust through that objection?

Laura:
Yes. For sure. I don't, there's a lot of different things that I would say there. So one, uh, I like to do this exercise with all of my clients and we do it in my program called the quadruple win. And so we write out why creating a partner program is such a win for you, for the partner, for your clients and for the world. And so for you, this is sort of what you're asking, right. Like, why is it beneficial to me to quote, give away part of my, of a new in order to get new clients on board. And I think it is so beneficial to you because you're getting in front of people that you would not have necessarily had access to before you opened up this partnership, before you opened up this referral or affiliate or partner ambassador advocate program. So, you know, you may have had to spend money on ads. Again, you're already spending money without knowing if there's gonna be a result on the back end from that. You may have had to spend a lot of your time and energy to create content, to get out there in the world to go to networking events. And I think you could either spend 10 hours talking to potential clients, or you could spend 10 hours talking to potential partners who could get you in front of a hundred clients, right. It's a really leveraged way of doing things for your time, for your money, for your energy. And it's just so much more fun to do business with people that you care about and to have a party around it. So, yeah, I think if you were thinking I'm losing money by doing this or giving money away, then you are, so you should not do a partner program. You should change your mindset around it first.

Marie:
I love that. Yeah, for sure. I would also love to hear to the other parts of the quadruple win. Like how, cause somebody may be like, well, I mean, that doesn't really, that's not as exciting to me as maybe helping out the people in my network or my clients or things like that. So what are the other parts of the quadruple win look like?

Laura:
Yeah, I would say that's a huge blocker for a lot of my clients is they only see the wins for them, right. They're like, okay, well, why are, you know, I'm making out like gold here. All these new clients are coming my way. Like what's in it for this person to even share. And part of it is the fact that you are gonna be sending them money, whether that's a percentage or whether that's a flat rate, whatever it is. So you are gonna be paying them, but that's not even often the biggest motivator for partners that I see. They really want to support you first of all. Yes, you are worthy of support, you listening, your worth this support.
They're also supporting their clients because you offer something amazing. So right. They wanna be helpful to their audience. They want to find something of value, and they don't need to become an expert in what you do. So this is where partnering with people that offer complimentary things, right? Like I work on affiliate programs. You two don't wanna do affiliate programs, so you can send me your people. I don't wanna be a copywriter so I can send people to you, but we often have overlapping clients or overlapping, you know, they have overlapping needs. And we don't need to be, we can say in our lanes. So that's also why I to benefit to them. I think there's, they don't, yeah, they don't need to create the product. They don't need to fulfill on the product. You're gonna take care of that. There's so many wins to actually being an affiliate partner. And that's really important to get in that mindset before you go out and invite people to be a partner, otherwise, I feel like you're gonna be energetically blocking them from saying yes to the experience, or you might not even go ask.
Obviously it's a win for that client to find out about you. They would not have known about you. They would not have been able to experience whatever it is that you sell and your incredible writing. Right? Cause I think most of your listeners are writers and they wouldn't be able to experience your incredible writing. And then the ripple effect from that to me is the most important part and truly doing business based on values and being able to change the world. And you know, when you get more clients, then you're able to feed your families and you're able to invest in better quality products that take care of the environment. Right. It's like that ripple effect is never ending. So go create a partner program, essentially.

Jessi:
Yeah. Well, you know, it's something that we've touched on in past episodes quite a bit, actually. And I don't think we've framed it in the way that you are framing it today. So I'm really grateful that you're here to kind of lay out the different wins for people. Because I think for writers, there's this period of flux in the early to mid stages of your business, where you often end up in a situation where you have potential clients who want writing and other things, and you have to kind of figure out how to stay in your lane. And one of the best ways to do that is to find people who do the other stuff so that you can refer them. I can't count the number of sales calls that I've had, where in the, you know, follow up I'm like, well, here's how we can help you and here are the five other people that I can put you in contact with because you also need these other things. And I'm definitely not the best person to provide those things, like that would not be good for anyone involved. And so I I'm rejoice moments when I can really connect people to other business owners who are going to help this person who's looking for support, get the support that they need.

Marie:
Yeah. I mean, it's like so satisfying, right. To be able to offer that. And also listeners like, think about it, right? Like if you don't like doing SEO research or something, and you were able to partner with really amazing SEO researcher, like, doesn't it feel good that like your client gets that service and also you still get a little bit of support financially, and your client has what they need so you can do your work more effectively and you didn't have to do the thing you hate doing.

Laura:
Oh my gosh, yes. I would say that when I get to make a successful referral and they come back to me and they're like, oh my gosh, you just introduced me the best person. Like it's a better feeling even than making a sale. Sometimes it's way more fulfilling.

Marie:
A hundred percent, a hundred percent. Yeah. So, and I guess my only other question for writers or like anyone listening, really, who's thinking about how do I start this? Is like, is there a way to start small? Like, do you have a tool or a resource that could help with that process?

Laura:
Hmm, Potentially.

Marie:
Maybe we talked about this ahead of time.

Laura:
So I mean the one place I think that you should go is go get my starter kit because it'll walk you through a bunch of different things to think about. And I know there'll be a link for that specifically for the North Star Community at Laurasprinkle.com/northstar. But in there, one of, I believe this exercise is in there and if it's not apologies, but I'm going to walk you through it right now in the episode. It's called the rings of recruitment. And it, that is really just gonna help you get out a list of names and categories of people that would make great partners. And I think that's a great place to start because you might be thinking, and honestly, everybody thinks this at some point, like I don't know the people like who is gonna be promoting this? And, you know, you had mentioned that one of my clients is SuperConnector Media. Their title is SuperConnector. And I was on a call with the CEO who is called the SuperConnector. Right. He knows everybody in our industry. And he flat out said to me on a zoom call, but I don't know anybody, Laura. So.

Marie:
No!

Laura:
I laugh really hard. So not at him. Well, a little bit at him, but anyway. So everybody thinks that they don't know enough people to do this. And this exercise will help you realize that you actually know way more people. So first I would write down who are your clients, who are your past clients, who are your business colleagues and write those, the people closest to you who want to support you, who are those people, write them down.
Next, go check out your own social media accounts. Where have you been featured on podcasts? What podcasts do you listen to, you know, who are you friends with on Facebook or on social media? Even if you haven't spoken with them in a while, that is fine. And then moving out, thinking about who your dream partners would be, like, write that down. If you could have anybody refer people to your business, write their names on that list. So we've got hot, warm, dream.
And then I want you to think about who serves your ideal audience in a complimentary way? Just like you were talking about, do they do SEO? Like what else are your clients buying and write down those categories. And then it becomes really easy, right? If I wrote down... trying to think of like a funny example, I guess, but I don't need to be funny. But you know, if I were like, okay, I really think that, you know, boudoir photo shoot, photographers, excuse me, boudoir photographers would make excellent partners for me. I could say, Hey Jessi, Hey Marie, do you know any, you know, boudoir, I can't even say that word. Why did I pick this example, boudoir photographers that you could intro me and it's specific, right? So as you're about your life and you come across them and you're like, oh my gosh, Laura was looking to connect with this person. So that's why it's great to come up with those categories and then be on the lookout and ask to connect with those people.

Jessi:
That asking part, I feel like is a muscle that definitely takes a little bit of exercise to get comfortable with. I know we've heard from some listeners in the past that one of the things that they struggle with sometimes is the confidence to ask for things. But that's also why I love the quadruple win philosophy because it makes it so much easier to ask for things when everybody is winning.
But I'm curious, do you ever, when you're going through your programs, kind of talk about this confidence issue of, you know, reaching out, asking people, Hey, will you talk about my services? Will you talk about my programs? Cause that can feel a little scary.

Laura:
It can so feel a little scary. And I'm the first to admit that I still struggle with this all the time, like I've run partner programs for clients and taught a lot of clients how to do it. And then I had to do my very first partner program for myself, my very first affiliate launch. And it was really hard for me to ask. I was like, oh, this is what they were dealing with. This is what they were talking about. And now like, even today, I, you know, I said someone wanted to be a partner for me. I did not ask this person. I wasn't going into the call with that. And I still felt a little like, Ooh, okay. Receive Laura, receive. Yes, you can be a partner for me. Yes. You can send me clients.
So I think knowing that everybody struggles with it and breathing through it and, telling yourself in your brain, like I'm open to receive referrals. I am open to receive referrals, is really going to help. And then practice, just keep, keep getting out there, keep getting out there and, and doing it.

Marie:
Yeah, for sure.

Jessi:
Writers especially, this isn't true for all writers, of course. But I think there's a vast majority of us who run businesses that are primarily run through word of mouth. And so having those conversations about partnerships is just, right from the get go, is so important. Even if you yourself don't have a huge audience yet or anything like that, you know, that's one of the best ways to get your name out there to make those connections, to build those relationships. And if there's anyone out there who's like, but I don't have a product. Your service is your product. You know, you, you are sitting down, you are writing for clients. That is something that people can share with the world. And so, you know, whatever you are currently doing is something that I imagine makes for a great affiliate partnership.

Laura:
Yeah. And go be a partner. If you are, you know, I would never say like, go force yourself to ask someone to be a partner, but just go start being a great referral partner to people too. And I think that people like that generosity will come back to you. But yeah, it doesn't have to be like a physical product. Doesn't have to be a digital course, like whatever you're doing, whatever you're selling can be referable. Yeah. Referable. That can happen.
And the key part here too, is to remember that, even though people say, yes, it does. And like, let's say that someone says yes, and then doesn't actually share, it's probably not, you know, they don't hate you. And even if someone says, no, they don't hate you, people are busy. And I want you to think about how to make it so easy for them to follow through on that referral because just asking somebody for referrals, like that's putting a lot of work on them.
And I'll actually give you an example that kind of has, well, you could say nothing to do with this, but- I went on this ski touring program. It was a nonprofit, it was my first time ski touring. I absolutely loved it. And at the end, excuse me, he, you know, the founder of the ski touring who had just led this experience said, okay, you know, like we're just getting started and I feel really uncomfortable taking money from people, but like, there's a donation. Like you can donate, it would be really helpful and we can support more people. Bye. And then we like all left the experience. I was like, and I had to register by the way on the website I had to register for this experience. And nowhere was, I asked for a donation.
So then I followed up with him after I was like, yo, like, where can I donate? First of all, like how much should I donate? Like why, like, you need to get better about asking for this because people want to support you. You just need to make it really easy and say, great, you wanna refer someone do this, this and this, right? Like send an email intro or fill out this form or do exactly this thing or use this template. Because if not just asking for the referral, like, you're gonna have to ask a lot of people for them to really take action on it.

Marie:
Uh, yes. This poor guy.

Laura:
I know right. Need to send him some tips.

Marie:
Yeah. I, I hope he's taking it to heart. So I think this actually segues really beautifully. And the other thing we wanted to chat with you about, which was, as writers and as service providers, ourselves working on behalf of clients who may have, or want to start an affiliate marketing program or a partnership program, what are the ways that we can support them in that strategically? Right. So like, one of them, like you said, is just like super clear instructions, like do A, B, C, or whatever it is like. So what advice, I guess, do you have for copywriters who are going to be actually generating the materials that really help these partnerships grow and like what even are those materials?

Laura:
Yeah. Yeah. So, I mean, you're essentially helping somebody launch a product, right? It's the same as if you were helping somebody launch their own product, but you just need to have the additional layer of building trust and rapport and transferring that trust and rapport to the person who is actually selling the product. So I would actually, I'm gonna turn this right back around because you are the experts in copy.

Marie:
We deserve that.

Laura:
And I really am curious about what your answer would be versus what I think it is in my brain. And I'm like, man, you need to change some advice I give. Like for you, what, what is the difference between writing copy for somebody who's selling their own thing versus somebody who's selling somebody else's thing?

Marie:
Well, I can start, but Jessi, you may have other thoughts too, so I'll keep it brief. But, like you said, keeping it super simple and direct, being extremely gratitude filled because they don't have to be there. Right? Like, so when you're writing on behalf of somebody, two other partners, you know, just saying like, thank you so much, these are the ways that this makes a difference for all of us keeping that top and center, letting them know the benefits to their audience so that A, they feel like really good about sharing it out. But B they can also share that information themselves directly.
And then I'm all about the templates personally. Like any way I can do, in fact, you were mentioning our book, right. So I said, I was gonna keep this short or I'm failing. Like, one of the things we're doing is basically kind of, we're getting ready to do kind of affiliate partnership kind of stuff, kind of, except I don't know if we're actually allowed to give royalties, but like, how can we get information to people who want to promote it? Like how can we get that information to them? Well, one of the easiest ways you could do it is just like creating some templates of announcements and things like that. Right. Or like, here's how you can leave a review. Like these are like the four things to think about when you leave a review. So like just making it simple, super simple. Those would be my thoughts. I don't know if you have other thoughts, Jessi, or if I'm even answering the question.

Jessi:
I agree with you completely. And it's interesting cuz the way that you answered was as in terms of the content that gets created to go out to the partnerships to tell them how to be a good partner, right. And the way that I immediately thought about the question was what do the partners send out to their audiences? So like the swipe copy itself and whatnot. And I think the answer is very similar. But I would say that the most important piece of everything that you just said is really leaning into those benefits of the thing that you are recommending and of the person that you're recommending. Like why is this the person for these benefits? Because odds are, if I'm an affiliate partner for a program and someone provides me a swipe copy and whatnot, I wanna make sure that my audience knows why I care about this person and this product or service enough to take the time out of my audience's day to ask them to read this email or this social media post. Cause it's also a divergence from what we're usually talking about. And so making that divergence still on message and showing that connection between the businesses I think is really important within the content.

Laura:
Oh my gosh. Yes. And I love that you both answered it in such the right ways. And I would say I've worked in, I dunno if you have as well with copywriters, like this is such a, like all of you listening, like please go write copy for affiliate programs. It's so helpful for people.

Jessi:
Yeah.

Laura:
Because I know copywriters that do copy specifically. Like, so let's say that I was an affiliate for you. I could hire a copywriter to take the swipe templates that you have and customize them to my voice. Like that's a niche right there that you could support people, specific partners who have a really big goal with their, you know, with being an affiliate for somebody. You know, like Amy Porterfield, a lot of her top partners would have their copywriters customize that swipe.
And then the other side of this is, you know, as an affiliate manager or, you know, other affiliate managers, we're often looking for people to write swipe copy and make it different from, different enough from the launch copy that it doesn't necessarily look like swipe copy. So, you know, it can definitely mirror what's hap or it should mirror what's happening in the launch. Right. If there's a webinar, we don't wanna be talking about a video series, but yeah. But keep that messaging on point and then I love what you said about why I'm recommending this person. Cuz I'm not selling my own thing if I'm an affiliate. I'm selling the person and their product.

Jessi:
Yeah. Absolutely. It has to be a values alignment there. You started this all off by talking about relationships and that's something we talk about a lot as well in terms of, you know, if you're writing for a client, odds are, you know, if you develop a good relationship with them, you're going to be working together for a long time. And so you wanna build up that trust and over the years of running a business, you have to build a lot of trust with your audience. You know, as a writer, you're taking some of the most intimate parts of a person's life and business and putting them on a page. And so the recommendations you make carry weight. And so you need to make sure that those are a values fit for you and for your audience.

Laura:
Oh my gosh. Yes. In asking like, if you are writing copy for somebody who is an affiliate, like even just asking like why are you promoting this person? Like why do you care about this product and getting those personal stories? You know, the personal stories are what feels the deal every time that's the best conversion rates we see or the partners that are willing to customize the swipe. I mean, number one, they're willing to just send it out, like that's important. Number two is they go above and beyond and, and customize it with their stories. And even I've been part of programs where there's like multiple versions of swipe copy. Right. Cause I think that's, You know, templates are great and having that baseline is great that everybody talks in such different ways. So I'm sending out like always like yeah, and fun. And then all of a sudden it's like dry or like really, really salesy. Like that's gonna be weird.

Jessi:
Yeah. Or you end up in a situation where it happens to be a really big launch and a lot of people are affiliates and it's like, oh, everyone has the exact same Instagram post today. That's weird.

Marie:
Yeah. That happens. I remember like back when we were getting started, I was on everybody's mailing list and I think it was like B school or something. Like everyone would be promoting it at the same time. And I would get like, I, you know, four identical emails today, but from different people. So it becomes a little transparent, but like you said, Laura, like at least you're sending it out and that is good. Like it's, there's nothing to complain about. It's just... yeah. How can we even elevate it more?
One of my favorite things I've seen too is, as a writer, if the partner is able to like get on a call, do some kind of like live or something like that with the ultimate, like, you know, service provider or product provider, that's great. Because that can be integrated and embedded and, you know, emails or whatever. But also it's like such a gold mine for the way they bounce off of each other and like what they like about each other and why they wanna work together. So, the times that we've worked with clients on affiliate marketing for either direction, we're always encouraging, like if you can just take 15 minutes to do a live with this person or something, like that's gonna be super helpful.

Laura:
Mm. I love that. Cause really you're, you're kind of merging these two brands. And so figuring out like what that merge looks like. That's probably my favorite part about affiliates is just seeing those connections, even when it's doesn't make any sense. Like at first glance. You're like, why is this like plumber promoting this keyboard? Obviously I pick random examples, but there's always a way there's always a way that they connect.

Marie:
Yeah, for sure. I mean, yeah, this is probably not gonna go anywhere, but like of the things that I, I reached out to for the book launch was this company that makes like custom miniature figurines for like tabletop role playing games and stuff. But I was like, but I make them for my characters and it just like, it's like a little totem. It sits on my desk and it keeps me like focused on it. And so I reached out, I was like, Hey, you know, do you wanna do some like cross promo stuff? We'd be like more than happy to talk about this like sort of niche application of the product that you sell. And you know, you could also talk about how this is a cool niche application and like here's a book that came from that. Right. And so like, it's like a win-win.

Laura:
I love that. So did they say yes?

Marie:
I don't know yet. I just submitted it yesterday.

Laura:
I'm excited for you.

Marie:
I hope they do!
Yeah. It's totally random. But like, you know, there's always a connection, like you said.

Jessi:
Yeah. It's outside of the box thinking and application, and I'm curious, Laura, and you know, you've done this for so many years for so many different businesses and helped support so many people in getting their own affiliate partnerships up and running, if there are any particular like creative applications that you've seen, that you just like love or, you know, just any of those out of the box ideas that you've come across.

Laura:
Yeah, of course. I was like, oh my gosh, I'm totally gonna be put on this spot to think of things. And they've all flooded out of my brain. The one person I was thinking about who has done really, really well didn't actually have, you know, she writes children's books. And she did not have an audience at all for the thing that was being sold, right. Cuz it was like people who were gonna buy children's books, they were not gonna buy this program about publicity. But then it was like realizing, oh, but I'm in all these programs with people who are writing books or who wanna get books out there into the world, they would actually make great people for this program. So sometimes it's not even necessarily about that awesome like figuring application what it is about just thinking, even though it's not right for my public audience, maybe it's right for my colleagues or for my community, or just figuring like where those people, where those people are at.
I did have one client and it was, our tracking systems were not amazing for this. So this might not be an amazing story, but they actually had flyers with QR codes, with affiliate links that people could put up in their local communities because it was about like creating community and changing the world and in that way. So I thought that was a cool application. And so they had posters in hundreds of cities all over the world about their product.

Jessi:
That's such a cool idea. I love it. Especially because I feel like in the last two years, like QR codes have made a major comeback.

Laura:
Right. Cause we have to like we're menus and everything. I don't think I knew what a QR code was.

Marie:
Amazing. Well, is there anything else that you'd want to leave our listeners with in terms of, if they're thinking about, you know, their own affiliate program, like starting some kind of partnership program or, anything else that they should consider if they've been tasked with supporting a client on either side of it, really either as like the partner originator or as like, you know, the partner who's been reached out to, or just any other pieces of wisdom that you'd wanna leave them with.

Laura:
Yeah, I will leave with a story from a client, I'm not gonna say names because I'm not going to, but, and actually it's related to books as well. So I'm working with this client and they promote a lot of books. They talk about a lot of different, like very popular personal development, but I'll say who the client is actually, they're Heroic To Us. They're awesome. Anyway, so they talk a lot about books and they have book summaries on all sorts of books and they use the book covers and they're like promoting them a lot. And this one publisher sent them a cease and desist and this publisher sent it to them. They sent it to like blanket and they sent it to all sorts of things and said, you cannot use the book covers. Right? Cause it's like a likeness that we own and you can't use this.
And so we're like redoing a bunch of graphics and not having those particular book covers on the front of the website or anything like that. So we're not using it. And I'm on a call yesterday, as they were talking about this, I promise this is relevant. And yesterday they were talking about this and someone was like, oh my gosh, like they are really shooting themselves in the foot because this is free promo for them everywhere that this book cover is featured. And yes, even though these are book summaries and you might think, oh, well, someone's gonna read the book summary. They're not gonna buy the book. We actually have data that says, people are more likely to buy the book and find out about this book and then go purchase it, because of this book summary. So it is small mind thinking to like not get it out there in a bigger way.
And so I know that it seems random, but I really want you to leave you with this idea. The more that we can be in business with partnership, the more that we can think generously with partnership rather than like, this is mine and only mine that's when we really can make a huge difference. And that's when we can make a huge difference for ourselves too. Like when I said I like making referrals more than I like making sales, I wanna be clear. I love making sales, you can make a lot of money with partnerships and really, really change the world. So like think generously and it'll be better.

Marie:
This is some leadership right here. I love it.
Well, where is the best place for our listeners to find you, Laura, if they wanna connect further?

Laura:
Yeah. So definitely Laurasprinkle.com and add that /northstar. So you can get your starter kit. I talk about some tech I talk about who's a great partner. You know, how to think about getting set up and all sorts of other goodies and things.

Marie:
Amazing!

Jessi:
Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to chat about affiliate partnerships.

Laura:
Thank you for having me. And everybody go work with Jessi and Marie on everything they do because they're the best. That's why you're listening, right?

Marie:
Right back at you, Laura, right back at you. And that's why we always leave everyone with homework. And that homework is do not forget to go get your starter kit and create your affiliate program starter kit, Laurasprinkle.com/northstar. It is in the shownotes. Thanks everybody!
Thanks for joining us for this episode of the Copywriter Collaborative Podcast. Make sure to visit our website, northstarmessaging.com/podcast, where you can subscribe to the show on iTunes, Spotify, and more.

Jessi:
If you found value in this episode, we'd love for you to leave us a review on your favorite podcast app and share it with your friends. Thank you, and happy copywriting.

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