Share a Slice, Get More Pie 🥧
Imagine you're hungry, and right in front of you is a freshly baked, beautiful pumpkin pie.
Now imagine you're surrounded by a crowd of hungry people, who also want a bite of that pie. How many slices would you be willing to give away? 😳
Now, what if you had a line of people who were willing to give you an extra freshly baked pie, as long as you gave each of them a single slice?
It sounds both crazy and wonderful, but that's pretty much how Affiliate Growth works.
Out of the five different growth models, Affiliate Growth is the best way to get superfans to sell your business for you, without paying anything up front.
Use Affiliate Growth to grow your business by creating win-win relationships with your superfans and industry influencers, setting them up to promote your products in return for a percentage of revenue earned as a commission. You only pay commissions after you new customers pay.
Growing your business with an affiliate network is a hybrid of both Viral Growth and Paid Growth because it involves other people talking about your product or business on your behalf, but money also changes hands.
The biggest difference between Affiliate Growth and Paid Growth is that with affiliates, you only pay a commission after your new customers have paid.
If you already have superfans talking about your product, this can be a great way to incentivize them to spread the word further. Develop relationships with a core network of affiliates who can promote you in exchange for a percentage of each sale they refer to you.
How Nathan Barry Made $85 Million from Scratch
Affiliate Growth is how ConvertKit established themselves in a highly competitive market before they were known for their core software product, feature set, or memorable brand.
At the time ConvertKit launched in 2013, there were already a dozen massively successful email marketing software platforms on the market with well-established brands and million-dollar budgets.
It seemed ludicrous to create a new email marketing software from scratch, but Nathan Barry did it.
Even before ConvertKit had the best feature set on the market, they had the best relationships.
First Nathan, and then his team, listened closely their target customer, content creators, and created features directly in response to their demand. This won them initial loyalty and trust long enough for those creators to spread the word about ConvertKit with a high-paying affiliate program.
For every new referred customer, ConvertKit paid affiliates 30% commission of whatever the customer paid, every month, for as long as that customer kept paying (I still make at least one thousand dollars each month from promotions I ran as an affiliate in 2016).
That affiliate program was instrumental in ConvertKit's early success and still drives a third of their company revenue.
That's what made it possible for ConvertKit to grow from Nathan Barry’s side project to a massive software company that has hit the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing privately held companies in America for three years in a row.
ConvertKit is part of an open startups initiative that shares their live numbers publicly, so as I write this, I can share that ConvertKit’s annual recurring revenue is nearly $29 million, and they've made more than $85 million over the last eight years. In other words, they’re doing something right!
Of course, you have to have a good product to achieve consistent success with Affiliate Growth because your affiliates are putting their reputation on the line to recommend whatever you have to offer.
Most of your success in using Affiliate Growth will depend on the relationships you develop with potential affiliates, active affiliates, and top affiliates as you provide them with resources to promote your product to their audience, creating a win-win relationship that scales.
Can you think of products you would love to get paid to share? Create that opportunity for your customers, and your using Affiliate Growth.