Marketing makes you money. Without marketing you’re limited to word of mouth and unless you’re an extremely successful photographer it’s unlikely you can slide without some form of marketing strategy. Most photographers choose direct marketing because it’s low cost and simple, but it’s far from being effective. Just like outsourcing image editing services having a professional do your marketing for you is often a small price to pay for a much bigger return.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is about developing a relationship between the consumer, publisher, and advertiser. It’s a three pronged approach to advertising that creates marketing materials which directly appeal to certain consumers. It’s different from direct marketing because it uses a professional service to market your product rather than your own efforts (like outsourcing image editing services). There’s loads of reasons this is a good idea.
- By using affiliate marketing you’re getting a much more cost effective and lean marketing plan. Lean marketing means putting the least effort in and getting the maximum client return. Think of it like photo editing services – you hire someone else to do it which saves you time and you get a better product because it’s professionally done by a dedicated editor you didn’t have to search for and hire independently. For example they will continuously deploy projects, split-test landing pages and track the metrics which create the most action and data to see which is successful for you. They know when to use an offer, message, and when to act to create extra traffic.
- Affiliate marketers also offer a wider range of skills and expertise because they’re using more than one component. Most companies can do everything from hiring VAs to creating a landing page, all of which are designed to funnel clients into your business and to find additional ways to create clients. What makes this so effective is the “three heads are better than one” rule. If you had to do all this on your own and work your photography business and image editing services you couldn’t. It would be physically impossible to achieve such a complex and effective marketing strategy, produce great images, AND interact with clients. Even large companies like Google have spent billions trying so how would you be able to on your own?
- They are specialists. Most affiliate marketing companies have a niche. They use one or two specific areas that they are very successful in and can outperform other companies there. They usually have contacts in that specific niche that you don’t and all the benefits that entails. For example, getting into Alexa’s top 1000 sites or having perfect SEO rankings every time. Again, this is similar to contracting out your editing. You hire specialists in image editing services to get professional edits so why wouldn’t you hire marketing professionals to get more clients?
Like any business venture, marketing costs money. This is one of those instances where you have to look at the return on investment. If you were to hire someone to do all the things an affiliate marketer does how much would it cost? If you were to do all those things yourself how much would it cost?
Not only do you not have to hire anyone else, you don’t have to give up even more time away from the camera or your family to do it. It’s a win-win situation that is designed to make you money with the least amount of effort. Direct marketing is great for beginner photographers trying to get their foot in, but once you go pro you need a marketing strategy that is as serious as your business and the best way to do that is with affiliate marketing.