It’s getting harder and harder to have competitive advantages in affiliate marketing.
Your landing pages show up on spy tools. Your “hot offer” isn’t so exclusive if your manager’s telling everyone about it.
But one of the biggest sustainable competitive advantages you can have is how fast you learn. And it doesn’t matter how smart you are, you can’t figure everything out yourself.
Newbies make the mistake of not realizing how much affiliate marketing is a people industry. I know it’s hard to see that if you’re sitting at home alone everyday working, but trust me when I say networking is everything.
One thing that has helped me out over the years is forming masterminds. I got this concept from Think and Grow Rich. A group of like minded people meet daily or weekly to discuss business.
I know it sounds strange. Why would you share information with people who are your competitors? Well…you can’t figure everything out yourself. Remember that there is so much traffic and volume out there.
Develop an Abundance mentality.
By sharing advice with other people and receiving it back, it helps me make more money.
If you’re a newbie you have limited resources. You can’t figure everything out with a $500 a month budget. But what if you and other newbies shared what you’ve learned with each other?
Some of you guys may have tried forming masterminds and haven’t been too successful.
Expectation. You and a group of like-minded guys conquer the industry together.
The Reality. 20+ people in a Skype room.You haven’t seen 70% of the people ever speak. And 95% of the topic is about gossiping about the industry rather than any relevant topics.
Masterminding is an art form. Here are some tips I’ve learned from years of being in affiliate marketing masterminds.
Just remember that this is a skill. Keep working at it. The right mastermind can change your life.
Forming an Affiliate Mastermind that Doesn’t Suck
1. Always give value first. Don’t be a leech.
The more you give, the more you get.
As soon as you join a mastermind then start dropping bombs. If no one reciprocates, then it’s time to move on.
2. Keep the information you learn private. If someone gives you an awesome tip, keep it to yourself. Why would someone keep sharing information if they find out you’re sharing it with a bunch of others he doesn’t know?
3. Less is more. I’ve never had luck with larger masterminds because the industry is very secretive. I’ve always found the sweet spot to be around 3 people.
I actually prefer 1 on 1 masterminds over groups. You can go much deeper.
4. Get some face to face time in. If you’re ever at a conference together then setup some face to face time in. Arrange a dinner, or even book a room for a few hours with your laptops.
5. Keep the mastermind laser focused. An “affiliate marketing mastermind” is far too generic. You’re better off creating a mastermind group that only focuses on a specific topic such as a traffic source or vertical.
6. Be a part of multiple masterminds. Because each of your masterminds are laser focused, then you can be a part of others that have different topics.
7. Kick out anyone that’s not contributing. If you’re in a group of 5, and one person doesn’t contribute one bit, then get rid of them. Don’t make it “dramatic.” You can do it silently by creating another group and excluding them.
This is important. No one wants to share tips if they feel there are “leechers” in the group. By trimming the fat you create a more comfortable environment for everyone.
8. Set expectations up front so there aren’t any surprises.
9. Schedule time each week to have in depth discussions. I like to schedule a group video call once a week with everyone.
10. Qualify people to join. If you’re doing an “advanced Facebook mastermind” then it doesn’t make sense to have people in there with no experience. Find a way to qualify people. Questions, screenshots, other members vouching, etc.
11. It’s ok to go off-topic. Don’t make it all business. A key to networking is building the relationship. The more you guys have fun with each other, then the more you trust each other.
12. Break off from larger masterminds. You’re in a mastermind with 20+ people? Not all is lost. See who knows their shit, and break off into a smaller mastermind from there.
13. Stick to similar experience level. If you’re a newbie then find other newbies to mastermind with. Pool your resources together to tackle campaigns together.
Where to FIND people to mastermind with
There are a few resources I like to find masterminds.
1. Forums. Make sure you join the STM forums because they have a section specifically for forming masterminds.
2. Conferences. This is the whole point of going to conferences. If someone is willing to invest their time and money into going to a conference, then you know they’re serious.
I also love meeting people in person because it gives me a great “feel” for them that I can’t get from online Skype chats.
3. Local Meetups. Go to the local affiliate meetups. Some cities like San Diego, LA, NYC, and Bangkok regularly have meetings.
4. Affiliate Managers. Ask your affiliate manager if they know anyone who’d like to mastermind with you. Ask them for an introduction.
Masterminding has been a key part of growing my businesses over the years.
Remember that affiliate marketing is a PEOPLE business, and you can’t figure everything out yourself.
Form some masterminds. Some won’t be great, but you’ll get better overtime with practice.
Featured Image by Peshkova