To all my friends, those who with time have learned to know me, like me, and trust me.
The other day, I answered a tricky question on Quora about developing a relationship of trust between the affiliate marketer and his audience. This important topic resurfaced this week while I was brainstorming on building an email list of real FANs.
I thought that maybe it could be interesting to reproduce my answer here with some added details.
It goes like this.
How can I build trust as an affiliate marketer?
Trust is built along with time and commitment. It’s a slow and long term process.
Have you ever read the tale written by Antoine De St-Exupéry in his book “The Little Prince”, more specifically the chapter with the fox?
The sequence describes, within all its allegorical beauty, the relation between the boy and the animal and how solid roots of friendship may be established with care and patience, when planted in a soil rich of confidence and trust.
Here are two short excerpts from the book, the passage of which reflects this point well. To be read with your heart:
“I am looking for friends. What does that mean -- tame?" "It is an act too often neglected," said the fox. "It means to establish ties." "To establish ties?" "Just that," said the fox. "To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world….”
And when the Little Prince asked how he would do it, the Fox replied:
“You must be very patient,” replied the fox. “First you will sit down at a little distance from me—like that—in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me, every day…”
Here above, the fox explain the importance of slowly building a relationship that will make a person unique to you and you unique to this person. Establishing a connection of mutual respect and trust brings together two beings despite having, initially, nothing special for each other.
Still with the fox, here is a bonus one:
“Please—tame me!” he said. “I want to very much,” the little prince replied. “But I have not much time. I have friends to discover, and a great many things to understand.” “One only understands the things that one tames,” said the fox. “Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me…”
The Little Prince was so excited and in a hurry to make friends that he forgot the one he had just in front of him. A new relationship is built slowly, as we learn to know each others. You can’t buy friendship, this is not something you quickly find on the shelf of the nearest store.
Friendship is something that needs to be worked at.
St-Exupéry wrote this tale for real people and with it, he imparted a formidable lesson of relationship and trust. Those principles are immutable because they will never change as far as a human stays a human.
Affiliate marketing is no different.
Your audience are real people and as such, you need to build bridges with them. To do this, you really don’t need to be an engineer. 😉
By the nature of the job, the affiliate marketers have to make offers otherwise, they would not make any money.
But there is a way to do it right.
I wonder, when he talked about “buying friendship”, if Saint-Exupéry wasn’t specifically talking about the gurus that tries to sold their “getting rich quick” formula. 🤔
Many beginners in affiliate marketing, as soon as they are getting more money, because they see their audience or mailing list growing, starts to promote anything solely for the purpose of making the quick bucks. Doing so, either they didn’t read the tale or they forgot the lesson.
Listen to what the fox wants you to understand. Be patient and tame your audience.
Don’t get distracted by “things already made at shops”; the promises of getting a big and quick audience in a short time, but an audience made of strangers that don’t care too much about you.
Let people come to you by publishing value content. Always answer questions at your best knowledge, be true with yourself and with others.
It is in those little things that you will establish confidence and good relationship.
Don’t chase money, money will chase you!
Select your offers having at heart the best interests of your audience.
Here is what my mentor wrote about this:
“…if what you’re recommending is not in your subscriber’s best interests, you may make short-term income, but you will jeopardize long-term gains by destroying the relationship you have with those people. It’s simply just not worth it. Treat people right and they will listen to you for many years.”-Dean Holland, The Iceberg Effect
There I gave you food for thoughts. What do you think?
Have a good day!
“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”-Antoine De Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince