What Is Affiliate Marketing?
One way to earn additional income as an interior designer is through affiliate marketing. Money earned this way is also popularly known as “passive income,” referring to the idea of “earning money while you sleep.” This article will bust the myth about the idea of passivity associated with this kind of marketing and look at all the active steps you need to take to make affiliate marketing increase your business revenue.
As an interior designer, you recommend products to many people, including clients, friends, and relatives. What affiliate marketing does is it allows you to make a commission each time they purchase something you’ve recommended. When you join a company’s affiliate program, you are given a special link that you can embed into your website or social channels or emails. When people click on this link, it takes them to the company’s site from which they can choose to purchase an item. The trackable affiliate link allows the company to recognize that the customer was sent to the website by you. When the customer makes a purchase, the company credits a commission to your account. This can be a very lucrative way to conduct your online business if pursued actively and if you have a large and/or faithful following.
How to Join an Affiliate Program?
Joining affiliate programs is not very difficult. If you have a product or company that you know, like, and trust, then you can approach the company to register for affiliate marketing. Most companies are happy to allow affiliate marketing, as it helps in promoting their brands and making sales without having to depend upon their own marketing endeavors. You can explore options like rewardStyle that connects vendors and brands to influencers and designers to set up affiliate links. Organizations such as SideDoor allow access to affiliate marketing for trade-only products. FurnitureLand South’s Trade Direct program allows you to get commissions on an enormous array of furniture, decor, and accessories.
The important part to keep in mind is that affiliate programs work when you have a great relationship with the vendors you recommend. Each program will have separate commission rates, usually starting from 5% up to about 15%. When a client clicks on the affiliate link on your page, it allows a cookie to be placed on the user’s browser, which has a validity period ranging from 24 hours to about 6-8 months. This means that you are eligible for the affiliate commission if the client (or random stranger on the internet) makes a purchase within that period using the link you provided.
Who Can Be an Affiliate?
Usually, everybody is eligible for affiliate programs. Interior designers have an edge here as they are professionals who directly engage with companies and their products frequently. If your online presence is consistent and strong, companies will not hesitate to have you in their affiliate program.
As an interior designer, you have a bigger responsibility of safeguarding the trust of your followers. Therefore, rather than focus on a company’s commission rates, focus your energies on the companies that you have the most confidence in. Your reputation as a designer is at stake if you recommend products that you know nothing about. And this can seriously hurt your interior design business, which, by the way, is still your primary business. Make it a point to only recommend brands and products which you stand behind.
As mentioned earlier, the relationship with your vendors is crucial to your plans for affiliate marketing. As an affiliate partner, you do not have to handle the procurement, shipping, or installation, as your vendor takes care of it for the client. Once your client clicks on your link, your job is done. The rest is a transaction between the client and the company. You are not responsible for any damages or delays in delivery or poor performance of the product.
What Strategies Can Be Used to Boost Affiliate Marketing? Where to Add Affiliate Links?
Once you have chosen your desired products and brands and have joined their affiliate program, your next step is to choose your marketing strategy. There are several ways to ensure that your affiliate link reaches potential buyers.
1. Blogging: This is one of the most recommended ways to add affiliate links to reach potential buyers. Consistent blogging surely keeps website traffic robust, but when you start affiliate marketing, try and choose content that will make your blog work for you. For example, as an interior designer, you can write a blog about kitchens. But suppose you have an affiliate program with a kitchen appliances company or a tile company. In that case, you should narrow down your content to writing about specific appliances that enhance the kitchen’s look or about easily cleanable or fashionable backsplash tiles.
2. Website: On your website, you can curate mood boards filled with items from affiliate programs. Encourage visitors to “shop the look” by providing the affiliate link to purchase.
3. Social Media: You can add affiliate links to your social media pages to encourage visitors to click on the link. If you have a large following and engage frequently on Instagram, you are much more likely to get more clicks on your affiliate links. For example, if someone asks you about a product you posted on Instagram, you could respond with the affiliate link.
4. Video Marketing: Another way to do affiliate marketing is through video marketing. For example, you could upload a video on YouTube of a client’s house, your house, or your studio, and post affiliate links in the description box. Make sure you encourage viewers to click the links in the video description. And, make sure your client is okay with this strategy.
5. Direct Messages:
You do not really need a website or a blog (although highly recommended) to do affiliate marketing. You can even send affiliate links directly to your clients via emails, text, or newsletters.
Things to Keep in Mind
Before getting enamored by the idea of a “passive income” through affiliate marketing, there are a few things you must consider. Take a moment to read them and decide whether you are ready to take on the active responsibilities that come with affiliate marketing.
1. Affiliate Marketing Is as Time Consuming as Regular Marketing
If you are looking to gain profits out of affiliate marketing, you need to invest time and effort to create content that will encourage sales. Your content should be convincing and consistent, and that will take a lot of time. It would be wise to set aside considerable time for affiliate marketing.
2. Being Consistent Is Key
For affiliate marketing to be lucrative, you need to create content that is consistent and creative. Some designers recommend that you post at least three blog posts a week to appear consistent. A high volume of content will help direct more traffic to your website and increase the chances of people clicking on affiliate links.
This can take a lot of time and effort and keep you away from your primary business of interior design.
3. You Need a Sizable Audience
Building a digital audience for yourself can be a long-drawn affair. Your audience needs to believe in you and your recommendations, so focus on building your brand image. It is ideal to have as many eyeballs as possible on your online content to make affiliate marketing a successful venture for your business.
4. Be an Influencer
Your audience will not just view all of your content unless they believe in you. Therefore, once you have your content ready, market it widely on social media by posting stories and posts or even going live to say a few words about the product you recommend. Encourage viewers to “swipe up” or “click link” to buy the product.
5. Keep an Eye on Analytics
It will be a waste of time to produce content without keeping an eye on your analytics. You need to get techy to see which kind of posts are performing better than others, which platforms have more clicks, and then repeat the ones that work best. Identify your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and see what drives people to your site over others.
6. Honesty Is the Best Policy
One of the main things that many designers recommend to those considering affiliate marketing is to be honest with your audience. Rather than veil your intentions of making a commission, be truthful about it. Mention very clearly that the article or blog posts contain affiliate links and that you earn a small commission if they buy using the link provided. Your audience will appreciate your honesty, and your credibility remains intact.
Affiliate marketing is in no way passive and does not happen accidentally. It is a very intentional and active venture demanding time, effort, and creativity from you. Write valuable content which helps educate your audience while also generating some income for you. Always address questions and concerns that your audience might have after reading your post. A loyal following is a priceless thing that is absolutely essential to the growth of your affiliate business. As an influencer, you have a significant responsibility to make sure that you only have your followers’ best interests in mind. Therefore, while affiliate marketing may sound lucrative, make sure that the company and its products are worth staking your reputation on.
Have you used affiliate marketing in your interior design business? Do you have any interesting suggestions for interior designers to make the most out of affiliate marketing? Let us know in the comments below.