Steady Business Referrals Are A Win-Win for Everbody
When many people look at the world of business, they see it as a zero sum game. If a customer buys a burger for lunch from one restaurant, he’s not going to buy sushi from somewhere else. At least, not for that particular meal. But, this is a rather myopic perspective. The truth is that the right strategic partnerships are beneficial for all parties involved.
And what this means is you might need to take your understanding of affiliate marketing, and turn it on its head. It’s not just about landing pages, search engine marketing, and daily deal websites. It’s about forming and nurturing connections where everyone comes out a winner.
Beyond Competition to Cooperation
To better understand the amazing benefits and advantages of strategic partnerships, consider this hypothetical example.
Meet Anthony. He is a very successful wedding photographer. Anthony’s Perfect Portraits has been in business for many years. Unsurprisingly, many of his clients have other needs related to their upcoming nuptials too. The bride and groom-to-be can feel like it’s all so overwhelming. Thankfully, Anthony has a great professional relationship with Alyssa, a wedding planner. Both Anthony and Alyssa have also formed partnerships with a catering company. They also work with a tuxedo rental business and a florist who specializes in wedding arrangements. And everyone in this professional circle points customers toward the same limousine service.
None of these businesses compete with one another directly. Instead, they offer complementary products and services. If someone is already hiring a wedding planner, there’s a good chance they’re also looking for catering. They might need photography and floral arrangements for their big day too. The same kinds of strategic partnerships make sense across a broad range of industries. Someone who is working with a web design firm, for instance, may also need a copywriter or a social media manager.
Yes, it’s true that someone might search for “Seattle wedding planner” on Google. However, personal recommendations carry a lot more weight than random online reviews. Just because someone ranks in Google doesn’t mean they’re necessarily the best service provider.
If Anthony recommends Alyssa to the couple, on the other hand, there’s a good chance that they’ll hire Alyssa for the job. If Alyssa says the couple should talk to the catering company she really likes, they’ll probably take her on her word. Referrals go a long way.
Leveraging Affiliate Synergy
In the above example, the relationships between the businesses could be informal. They could “keep each other in mind” when clients ask for recommendations. Alternatively, the relationships could be more formalized. They could define specific “finder’s fee” referral amounts. When you look at them that way, they start to sound like they have more in common with affiliate marketing too.
Here is another place where a myopic viewpoint can benefit from a wider understanding. There are several established categories in affiliate marketing. They’re where advertisers can expect to get referrals and pay commissions. Landing pages, deal sites, and email marketing are popular channels. In these cases, the affiliates focus on driving qualified leads, referrals and sales.
But, there is so much more potential at play here. A terrific example of how this could work is with Steady. The online community and mobile app boasts over 2 million users, helping one another find steady work. The core purpose of Steady is to “help you find jobs that are right for you.” Layered on top of this is what they refer to as Income Boosters. These are strategic partnerships that Steady has forged with other businesses.
When a user fulfills an offer from one of these partners, they earn a cash incentive. Example partners include online banks and investing platforms. A person who downloads and uses the Steady app likely already has money on their mind, in one way or another. They’re looking for work. It only makes sense, then, that they may also want to know how to better manage their money. Or how to invest it.
At the same time, Steady receives a commission for the qualified referral. This is very similar to Anthony and Alyssa above. The difference is that the relationship is more formalized, more automated, and much more scalable.
Big Benefits for Users Too
This paradigm of strategic partnerships between businesses is building momentum. Mobile apps are rapidly adopting the model of referring customers to one another. This is especially true in the financial technology (fintech) space. Steady provides a terrific illustration of how to execute on this arrangement. And for everyone’s benefit.
Users download and use the Steady app for free. They connect with the community and look for work that works for them. Then, they discover the Income Boosters partner section. They’re introduced to other businesses that are relevant and timely. Since they trust Steady, they also trust Steady’s recommendations. Users learn of excellent businesses they may not have otherwise encountered.
In this example, users not only benefit from learning about new products and services they may enjoy. They also earn rewards for fulfilling partner offers. Money and rewards are big motivators. In effect, the Income Boosters drive value to the business receiving the referral (the advertiser), the business sending the referral (Steady), and the end user. Everybody wins.
Strategic Partnerships Lift All Boats
It’s remarkably easy to close yourself off from other businesses who aren’t your direct suppliers or customers. It’s also easy to dismiss affiliate marketing. You might think it’s only for professionals who specialize in driving targeted traffic to advertisers. But, it is to everyone’s benefit when you take the blinkers off. Recognize the tremendous value and potential of strategic partnerships.
Users learn about products and services that can improve their lives in meaningful ways. Referring businesses gain an added source of revenue through earned commissions. And businesses on the receiving end of referrals acquire customers and bolster their growth potential. Business referrals demonstrate that one plus one can equal more than two.