Affiliate Marketing!

Use the phrase affiliate marketing around professional service providers, consultants and trusted advisors and more often than not you’ll get a reaction that ranges anywhere from a shrug to a snarl.

That’s because some people tend to put it the same discount-y bucket as half off coupons and BOGO deals.

I’m here to challenge that misconception.

Trusted advisors today are all about community. Being part of a peer community. Building communities of peers and clients for their own services ecosystem.

No person is an island! Communities rule. Take the number of fractional communities that have sprung up in the last few years.

They’re great!  We need them as many of navigate this new ever-evolving landscape for professional services.

And affiliate marketing, which offers peers and partners and clients a reward for building that community can be a good thing if it is done well.

Here’s my take on the pros and cons of affiliate marketing for trusted advisors.

Extend your Reach and Network

  • Cost-effective marketing: Referral programs leverage the trust and credibility you already have with existing clients to attract new ones. Compared to traditional marketing methods, this can be more cost-effective.
  • High-quality leads: Clients are more likely to refer people they trust and know will benefit from your services, leading to higher quality leads compared to cold outreach.
  • Increased sales and growth: By bringing in new clients, referral programs can directly contribute to increased sales and business growth.
  • Improved client relationships: Offering incentives for referrals shows appreciation to existing clients, strengthening relationships and encouraging future engagement.
  • Positive word-of-mouth: Satisfied clients sharing their positive experiences with others builds trust and brand awareness.
  • Scalability: Affiliate marketing is a scalable business model, so you can grow your income as you grow your audience.


It Takes Time and Effort

Don’t underestimate the time and effort it takes to administer your referral marketing program. Keep in mind:

  • Tracking and administration: Setting up a system to track referrals, eligibility, and payouts can require administrative effort.
  • Cost management: While cost-effective overall, the referral fee can add up, so ensure your profit margins can support it.
  • Attracting the right referrals: Not all referrals will be a good fit. Consider guidelines to ensure referrals align with your target audience and expertise.
  • Potential misuse: Some might exploit the program for personal gain, referring unsuitable clients or abusing the system.


Getting Started

Implementing a referral program can be beneficial for growing your consulting business. However, carefully weigh the potential benefits against the challenges involved. It’s crucial to ensure it aligns with your budget, target audience, and administrative capacity.

Here are some additional steps to consider:

  • Define your ideal referral: Set clear criteria for the types of clients you want to attract.
  • Design a user-friendly program: Make it easy for clients to submit referrals and understand the reward process.
  • Promote the program effectively: Communicate the program benefits to existing clients through various channels.
  • Track and measure results: Monitor program performance and adapt it based on data and feedback.


Octain is pleased to announce our new CMO referral program. Refer a friend to the Octain Growth System and earn $450-$900 per closed referral. Click here for the details.