Why I don't do affiliate launches
Episode 11716th March 2022 • Courageous Content with Janet Murray • Janet Murray
00:00:00 00:17:34

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You’ll never see a social media post from me that says my ‘friend’ and/or mentor [INSERT NAME OF INFLUENCER] is running a webinar/challenge.

Nor will I email you to recommend someone else’s course.

Not because I’m a bitter old meanie who doesn't want to support fellow entrepreneurs. But because it’s not how I want to do business.

In this episode of the Courageous Content Podcast, I share why I don’t get involved in affiliate launches and why I believe you shouldn’t either.

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Transcripts

IMPORTANT: THIS TRANSCRIPT IS AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED. WE GIVE IT A QUICK CHECK THROUGH BUT WE DON’T CORRECT EVERYTHING AS IT’S INTENDED TO HELP YOU FIND PARTS YOU WANT TO LISTEN TO AGAIN - NOT AS AN EXACT TRANSCRIPT. SO THERE MIGHT BE A FEW QUIRKY WORDS/PHRASES HERE!

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One social media post that you'll never see from me is one that says my friend or mentor insert name of influencer is running a webinar or challenge. And I would love you to take part no, will I email you to recommend someone else's online course not because I'm a bitter old meanie who doesn't want to support fellow entrepreneurs, but because I don't take part in affiliate launches,

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I'm Janet Murray. I'm a content and online business strategist. And in this episode of the courageous content podcast, I share why I don't get involved in affiliate launches and invite you to consider whether you should do team. So why don't I get involved in affiliate launches? Why don't I take advantage of the online community that I've built? And when another online entrepreneur in the space is selling a multi thousand pounds mass program,

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why don't I just cash in on it and promote it to my audience too. I mean, it would probably be easy money, right? Well, the reason I don't do it is not because I am a bitter old meanie who doesn't want to support other entrepreneurs or has been suggested in the past that I'm jealous of other online entrepreneurs who are more successful than me.

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Now, the reason that I don't do it, there's three actually are because it doesn't fit with my values and it never has done, which is why I've never done it apart from one occasion, which I'll tell you about later. So why don't I get involved in affiliate launches? Number one, I don't feel comfortable promoting products or services. I don't genuinely know all love to my community.

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It's taken me many years to build up the online community and email list that I have. And that's valuable. I think my community deserves more than me emailing them to flog them programs that I haven't taken or haven't taken recently. And can't really vouch for just to make a bit of quick cash, because typically these types of schemes will pay quite a decent amount per sale.

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Anything from 500 to a thousand dollars reason. Number two is I'd rather be promoting my own products and services. Thank you very much and not least because I can personally vouch for the quality. Aside from that, I have my own products and services to sell. Why would I be taking time out of my own business to promote someone else's products or services to grow someone else's business?

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It just doesn't make sense. And finally, I don't want to be part of a system. I believe makes which online entrepreneurs even richer while preventing others from generating wealth or even making a living. Now, I went into this in much more detail in the episode entitled is it time to shake up the online coaching industry? And I will put a link in the show if you want to go back and listen to that one.

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But what I shared in that episode is how affiliate launches for me are quite a dangerous type of ecosystem whereby you have already, which online entrepreneurs selling high ticket mass programs with very little personalized advice, often for thousands of dollars to aspiring online business owners. So you've got your group of rich people who are going to get even richer as a result of this,

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regardless of whether they genuinely like the program have even taken it. Then typically what happens in these ecosystems is the people who invest in these programs or some of them will find that it actually makes more sense for them to become an affiliate for that program themselves in the future, say you get this bizarre situation where someone can make more money selling someone else's program,

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building someone else's business than growing their own. In that episode, is it time to shake up the online coaching industry? I shared an example of a business owner who invested in a program, which was ironically meant to grow their own business. Weren't able to get things off the ground, which meant that that particular program didn't actually work for them, but found they could make more money selling the program,

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even though they didn't think it was very good. It hadn't given them the results that they needed. Not only did they spend a couple of years building someone else's business, they were also promoting something that they knew didn't work, or certainly hasn't worked for them, which left them feeling very shameful at the end of it. And as a business owner myself,

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I think there's something very wrong about creating a system where instead of giving women, and it typically is women who are affected by this, instead of giving them the chance to grow a flexible business that works around their family commitments, you'll actually keeping them firmly in their place. And the irony is of course, that you'll often hear online entrepreneurs who run these kinds of programs,

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sniggering about MLMs, multilevel marketing businesses. When actually this model is MLMs on a bigger scale. And I think I've shared this on the podcast before, but the one thing that really strikes me as being different with MLMs is that the sellers that I've certainly come across, they really care about their products and services. They know them inside out in this industry.

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You've got a bunch of people selling programs that they don't care about. They've never taken, they've never used, or if they have, it's been some years ago and they're faking, they're basically lying and saying, this course is great. It's been really great for me just to get the money. So when I compare MLMs and this kind of model in the online business space,

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I know which one looks more problematic to me. So I should say here that I know I am not perfect. I've definitely made mistakes. And always, I feel like I've been sucked in as well. It actually took me quite a few years to figure out this whole ecosystem in the online space and to figure out that I'd bought into it and been a victim of it too.

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In fact, I was so busy building my business that I think the whole big affiliate launch thing, even though I didn't want to get involved. And I always had no. When anyone asked me to sell their program, I don't think I had stopped to take the time until recently just to see how damaging the whole system is and how exploitative it is.

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I knew I didn't like it. I knew I didn't want to do it, which is why I said no. Apart from one time, they'll tell you about. And he said, but as I think, and I'm not proud to admit this, I don't think I'd really clocked how harmful it was. But what I do know is that I do my best to stay true to my values.

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So for example, I just emailed my courageous content live event delegates. If you haven't heard of courageous content live, it's a content planning event that I run every November. It's been online for the last couple of years, but fingers crossed. We are taking it in-person and online it's a hybrid event in November, 2022. So I just emailed my event to get delegates,

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to say, I don't pay affiliate income for ticket sales. And here's why I want the right people in the room. I don't want a bunch of people who are going to come to the event because they were recommended to it by someone who was being paid to promote it. I want people who genuinely wants to be there. They want to be part of the community.

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People who share my values. I went to an event a few years ago, and I think if I allowed affiliate sales, this is how my events would end up. But basically, pretty much all of the speakers had paid to be on stage, not in that they physically handed over the cash, but that they had paid to be part of masterminding coaching programs,

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which meant that they were handpicked by the organizers to get up on stage and share their success stories, which of course meant that the people in the audience would think, oh, I must join that program too. And it's the only event I've been to where I've seen people running up to the stage with their credit cards. And quite frankly, it made me feel sick.

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Someone asked me at lunchtime, whether I bought anything, I was like, no, no, I haven't bought anything from any of these people. Because if someone stands on a stage and says to me, you can only buy this and get this bonus. If you come up here with your credit card, now I'm like, no, you know, what can I get my money?

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But people were, they were just banging things on the credit card from what seemed quite clearly to me to be charlatans. But the promise of the online entrepreneur lifestyle, passive income, this ideal life seemed to be blinding people into behaving in ways that you just couldn't imagine them doing. In other circumstances, I've never been to see the stage hypnotist Derren brown,

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but that's what it made me think of. It made me think Emily, at an event for aspiring entrepreneurs, or am I at some kind of stage hypnotist event where the person on stage is telling people to do ridiculous stuff and people are doing it, should we not be nothing like we will be? If we were at a Derren Brown show, if you ever see someone posting about my courageous content planner,

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you can feel reassured that they really do like it because I don't let anyone who doesn't actually use my planet, promote it on my behalf. I do have an informal affiliate scheme for my planner. So if someone has a copy and they want to recommend it to people and then wants to earn a little bit back for each copy, they sell, they can apply to be an affiliate,

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but the commission is like, it will barely buy you a few takeaway coffees, not because I'm a meanie, but for a product where the headline price is 47 pounds. Well, that price point doesn't allow me to do any more than about 10%. And I guess I could do something where I gave people like a massive big cut where maybe I turned my planet into a loss leader where I gave people like,

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I don't know, 20 pounds a copy of something which might make it worthwhile. But then I would run the risk of taking my clients away from building their own business and building mine instead. And that to me just feels wrong because I want my clients to focus on growing their businesses, not mine. And I would never want to have clients who can make more money selling my products than their own.

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If that was ever the situation, I'd have to let them go. Now, this isn't anything I haven't said before. When I was researching this episode, I found a bunch of pace on the notes section of my Mac book, dating back from 2019 on this very topic, you can see that my thinking has come on and my thoughts about it have crystallized,

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but I've been speaking up about this for ages. I got involved in one affiliate launch. It was a bundle offer. I was approached by an entrepreneur who was selling bundles of online courses. It was quite a low-priced offer as I checked in with another online entrepreneur that I know, and I realized I was cheap tear actually, because she named someone that is very successful in the industry.

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And I happened to know because I've spoken at events with this person and found to be a very, very person. And so I checked in with them personally, what do you think if there's, is it above board? Should I do it? And they said to me, yeah, absolutely. I sent how many emails it was and made this much money.

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So I thought, okay, well, I don't want to bombard my list with this, but if I can send two or three emails really out front about the fact that this is an affiliate offer, then why not? I've spent all of these years building my online audience community. It looks like a good offer. There's some good names in there. Some good courses.

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It was about hundreds and hundreds of short courses in that. Well, I made about $1,500, but I'm not joking. I may as well have paid the entrepreneur running this scheme to have me involved because we are still getting customer service inquiries about it. I've probably paid about three times over in sorting people out who have bought this particular bundle. Hadn't looked at it until the last hour,

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like the 24 hours before their access is going to run out because it was 12 months access and he's locked out and panicking because they now want to watch this class. And as part of this affiliate launch, I was put into a Facebook group. And what I noticed is in that group disturbed me because, and I should have thought about this and I shouldn't have got involved in the first place,

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but in what world would it be helpful to buy? I don't know how many, it was like 200 online courses in what world would any business coach. And actually, I don't call myself a business coach. I'd say I'm a teacher, but in what world would I recommend to my clients that they buy a bundle of courses 200 or courses on a variety of topics,

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most of which are not relevant to them, not relevant to building their business. And actually it wasn't just a business bundle. It had some lifestyle stuff in there as well, because that's just a distraction, like buying a load of courses that you're not going to look at. And then 24 hours before the deadline, you're going to panic and try and watch a load of them and then get really shirty with the people in the bundle offer because you can't log into whatever course it is.

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And this has just happened over and over since to the point where I actually emailed the woman and said, look, when can this stop? Like, I've looked at my contracts with, has to stop now. Like I have to stop these people emailing me, but also the conversations going on in the group in this Facebook group, people just talking about how they'd go all these courses.

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And they hadn't had time to watch them. And their subscription was running out the following week. And I was tagged in a few posts actually, where people had not been able to access my course. And then we're getting quite critical in this group. Have you emailed us if you do, we can help you. But I saw a lot of frustration,

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a lot of upset, a lot of shame because if you buy how many hundred courses and don't watch them, that is going to make you feel shame, isn't it. And I absolutely 100% regret getting involved in that. You know, it's probably cost me more to be involved in it than I made been right pain. And it's just pointless, unproductive.

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And I feel mad at myself that I helped the entrepreneur who organized this get even richer. So like I say, none of this is anything I haven't said before. Why am I speaking up about it? So vociferously now I'm recording this in mid March, 2022. If you're listening in the future, by the way. And I've been posting and creating podcast episodes about this quite prolifically recently,

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because quite frankly, I am tired. I'm tired of seeing women with real expertise, sell themselves short by flogging other people's products, instead of focusing on selling their own and building their own business. I'm tired of seeing intelligent women fall for get-rich-quick promises instead of rolling up their sleeves and doing the work to grow a sustainable business. And I'm tired of hearing women say they felt rubbish about themselves because they're not making a squillion pounds in five minutes and wasting thousands on overpriced coaching programs for the privilege of feeling rubbish about themselves.

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And I wondering what else we can do to bring about change in the industry and guarantee real experts, real education and real without If what I've shared with you in this episode has resonated with you. If there have been any light bulb moments or we'd love to hear from you. So do get in touch. The best way to connect with me is over on Instagram,

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I'm at Jan Murray UK. And if you're finding this message powerful, if you want more people to hear what I'm sharing, please head over to Apple podcasts and leave me a review because that really does help get this content out in front of more people. If there's anything that you would like to share with me, any experiences you'd like to share with me anonymously,

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please do email me on Janet, Janet murray.co.uk. And please feel reassured that anything you send me will not be shared without your permission. And I would never use names or anything identifiable. Anyway, even if I had your permission, unless you gave me your permission shame name, which I imagine you probably wouldn't, I am a journalist by trade. So I understand all of the legals and ethics around all of this,

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but I think only in sharing our experiences and also being honest, like I have in this episode about mistakes that we've made, can we begin to make change in the industry? Because I think it's very much needed.