This is a guest post by Eric Schechter, Social Media Manager at Clickbooth, an Exclusive CPA Network.
One thing is for sure, the affiliate marketing industry is currently one of the most successful industries in the world right now. It's so successful that thousands of people a day are leaving their day jobs to pursue a full time career promoting affiliate offers. The problem is, there is so much to learn when you first start out and it can be very frustrating trying to take it all in. As a result, many newbies quit within the first 3-6 months.
So what's the solution for this? How can you as an affiliate marketer, new to the industry, speed up the learning process and start earning some income? Well, one of the best ways you can do this is by finding a mentor that is willing to show you the ropes and help you along the way.
So what makes someone a good mentor?
It really depends on your needs. Some affiliates are looking for a mentor who can be a lot more hands on, constantly share their knowledge and expertise with them, and consistently give them advice as to what their next steps should be. Other affiliates, who are past the learning stage, are looking for a mentor they can bounce ideas off of, collaborate on projects with, and someone that can help them expand their network.
Whatever the case may be, a mentor should:
- Care About the Relationship: A great mentor cares about their mentee and truly wants to see them succeed. If they aren't excited about the mentoring relationship and/or lack a personal interest in helping you, it's not just a waste of their time, it's a waste of yours as well. Not only should they be adamant about getting to know who you are (your personality, hobbies, how your work etc.) they should also be interested in your strength and weaknesses, goals, business plan, and any other relevant information that will help them help you.
- Always Be Real: They don't just “talk the talk”, they “walk the walk”. Whenever a good mentor gives you advice or a certain approach to use, it's because they've used it themselves and have succeeded with it. They don't just send you blindly into the dark to let you make your own mistakes. A good mentor is there to help you learn from their past mistakes so you can become successful with as few bumps in the road as possible.
- Be a Great Listener: One of the most important qualities of a good mentor is being an exceptional listener. If every time you bring them a problem, or you ask them a question, all they do is try and rush you off the phone, I would end that relationship sooner than later. A great mentor will listen to what you have to say (without interrupting) and then give you constructive feedback, advice etc...
- Know that they don't know everything: The affiliate marketing industry is constantly evolving, new technology is always emerging, and circumstances always change. Knowing this and having the drive to constantly keep themselves up to date, consistently educate themselves, and always being open to new ideas, are some of the biggest qualities a great mentor should posses.
- Be Your #1 Fan: As I mentioned before, the affiliate marketing industry can be very frustrating at times, especially if you are new to it. There will be times where you might feel hopeless and ready to give up. That's when having a great mentor who believes in you, can motivate you, and is always there to help you get through it, comes in very handy. They should believe in you even when you don't believe in yourself!
Now that you know what to look for in a mentor, how do you find one?
Finding a mentor that you click with and one that also meets your needs might take some time. You may find one right away, or you might go through 3 or 4 until you find the right match. However, you won't know until you start looking, so here are some great places you can do just that.
- Conferences: Affiliate Marketing conferences are one of the best places to advance your affiliate education, network, and make great contacts. Everyone that attends is usually looking to meet new people, create business relationships, and help each other grow. With so many affiliates (at every level) attending, conferences are a great place to find a mentor! Here are a few that are coming up: Affiliate Summit East, Blog World, and Ad:Tech New York.
- Local Events: For those of you that are too busy to attend conferences, or can't afford the hefty price tag some of them carry, I would definitely look into some of the local networking events that are happening in your city. There are some great groups like MeetUp 202 that host networking events for affiliates, in cities and countries all over the world. Meetups are great for getting to know other affiliates in your area, and are also the perfect place to find a mentor that lives close by.
- Twitter and Facebook: That's right! These platforms aren't just useful for telling your friends what you are doing and for uploading pictures of you partying all night, they are also a great way to start meeting new affiliates and building out your network. Twitter search and Facebook groups are a great way to find people that are talking about and/or are interested in affiliate marketing. Reach out and start participating in those conversations and you never know, you might meet your next business partner or a great mentor in the process!
So now that you know what to look for in a mentor and where to find one, the next step is actually going out and getting one. Remember, veteran affiliates used to be in your shoes and they know exactly what it's like first starting out in this industry. That being said, many of them are willing to lend a helping hand and give you some tips, tricks and good advice along the way. However, if you aren't proactive about getting out into the affiliate marketing community, and have the drive to start meeting and talking to fellow affiliates, you will have to face everything on your own and chances are your success in this industry will take A LOT longer.