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Making Money with Social Media

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A common question I hear from affiliates and vendors alike, online and offline is “how can I monetize my social media efforts?”

As the Community Manager at ClickBank, I’m responsible for providing targeted resources for the entire ClickBank community. Through my daily interactions with affiliates and vendors, I also get to learn from thousands of ClickBank success stories each day, so my answer to that question is simple.

Monetizing your social media is about one thing—building relationships.

The affiliate marketers and vendors with the most effective social media strategies focus on creating a trusting relationship with their online community by giving away great content and valuable advice.

With that trust established, friends and followers become far more likely to turn into customers. There comes a point where people think, “You know what, this person has done so much for me and I’m so aware of their level of knowledge that I don’t mind spending some money.” And that’s a good place to be with your followers.

Fostering a trusting relationship with your online community does take time, but it’s a strategy that can increase sales and create a community that is loyal to your brand.

When evaluating your social media strategy, there are four main platforms you should consider:

  • Twitter:  This has become one of the most popular and effective places for information sharing. It’s a great place to post links to valuable free content, which, as I mentioned before, is critical to building a trusting (and profitable) relationship with your community. The other bonus with Twitter is that it’s extremely easy for people to spread your content virally and gain you a bigger following.
  • Facebook:  Fan pages, rather than regular personal pages, can act as the central hub for your content – the place where you can tie together your free content, as well as information about other products, events, etc.
  • Blogs and Forums:  Blogs, of course, are a great place to share more in-depth content. For example, you can post links on Twitter and Facebook that drive people to new videos or other content on your blog. Forums, which may seem outdated to some, actually still do serve an important function, but mostly in communities where people are eager to discuss a common interest, whether that’s quilting techniques or ways to deal with panic attacks.
  • YouTube:  There has been a huge move to online video in recent years, and the most successful affiliates and vendors are making interesting, creative, sometimes funny, videos that essentially sell products, but without being openly sales-focused. YouTube ties in well with your other social media platforms, and is an important tool to have in your arsenal. Video can seem daunting at first, but these days it’s actually quite cheap and easy to create.

An additional, equally important aspect of monetizing social media is list building. Driving people to an opt-in page can be very effective if you’re giving away something people want and are willing to give you their email address for. Most commonly, I see marketers giving away training, a free report, or content-rich videos as an incentive to build their lists.

Whatever the elements of your social media strategy, it’s important to remember that you have ample resources at your disposal. In fact, as Community Manager, it’s my job to make sure ClickBank vendors and affiliates are getting the information they need to succeed online.

Whether that means showing someone who’s never had a website how to make money online as an affiliate, helping people create appealing, salable products or supporting super affiliates who are ready to get to the next level, we have extensive resources to help you reach your goals.

As you work toward those goals, consider the following three business tips—approaches I’ve consistently seen among successful vendors and affiliates over the years:

  • Promote (and create) products you really believe in. There’s often a learning curve as you figure out what kind of marketing and content your audience responds to. You’re far more likely to keep trying if you’re selling products you believe will help people.
  • Video-based membership sites. I’ve seen a big shift among information product vendors from ebooks to memberships. With membership sites, once you purchase a product you receive a login to a site where you will be able to access to dozens of training videos, for example. Video, as I mentioned, is a powerful force online right now, one you should maximize as much as possible.
  • Business is business. To be successful online you have to treat your website like a “brick and mortar” business. Have a plan, dedicate significant amount of time to it, and spend time learning how it really works before you jump in. The most successful affiliates and vendors live by this, and their balance sheets reflect that.

Resources like this newsletter are important assets, because they give you access to success stories you can learn from, and strategies that may boost your own bottom line.

I look forward to working with you, and helping you reach your goals with ClickBank.

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