Financial Freedom

The Digital lifestyle and your freedom of choice.

I mentioned both lifestyle and the freedom to be you because they’re linked through the internets ability to free those seeking such freedom from traditional roles and positions.

We needed financial freedom. For some it might be a little, for some considerably more, a digital lifestyle represents opportunities to “dial” into what you want your life to be – thats freedom!

So we’ve all talked about the internet and the many, many opportunities that exist working there. The fact that it’s global and growing with an enormous amount of traffic already.

The aspect being addressed however (in this arena) is how do you use it to achieve financial freedom in such an uncertain world.

The answer is, that you do what’s been done before. Affiliate marketing is a good example. You walk before you run and then when you can walk, you can look around and decide where you want to stretch your legs!

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is like having a shop from which you sell products or services. In the traditional  sense this means a shop, staff, inventory, insurance, phones, etc.

It also means time in going out to visit shows so that you know what to sell, even if it’s an area you’re interested in. OK, so welcome to the 21st century.

Online business is different. People look for what they want online. They find it, compare and then order it. It gets sent and it arrives. Payment is online too. Is this big? You are joking, we’re talking trillions, not billions. Is it going to get bigger? What do you think?

For every niche there are people coming forwards to fill the space. It might be design or manufacture, it might be storage, promotion, shipping, payment processing, etc.

Overall however, the internet is growing faster than people (and their companies) are joining to serve the marketplace. Therefore, you’ve not “missed the boat”.

So, you have choice but one of the most lucrative and easiest niches to explore is the affiliate marketer.

What’s an affiliate marketer – someone who uses leverage by promoting other people’s products (the company buys and holds the inventory, not you) and is paid a commission upon sale (you don’t sell it, you don’t arrange payment, you don’t ship).

As you can see, providing you legitimately promote quality products that you believe in, you can be a great asset to both the customer (your customer) and the company you’re affiliated with, hence the name affiliate marketing.

This has been around for a while. It’s not a pyramid, nor has to stoop to questionable practices, and remember even though most of us (who are older) eye the internet with a degree of cynicism, offline businesses are not always as pure as the driven snow, but we accept it because we know it.

The online marketplace is under scrutiny and that’s a good thing, because it’s going to be the future whether we like it or not.

So, as you can see there is a large, powerful market force and a niche which, as more businesses join, grows because they are joining. Get the picture?

A pretty exciting concept, and are people building successful and profitable businesses? They are.

You may not end up as the next “Amazon” but if you earned more than enough to live the life you want, you’d likely be satisfied.

What makes it better is that you don’t have to deal with people who suck the life force out of you, there are plenty of great people on the internet and so you can work with them. All businesses are ultimately people based, that’s what business is, but its nice to have the choice!

Can you do this without spamming and scamming? YES, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it!

So an affiliate business is a viable and respectable (but newer) business. It links the internet to traditional businesses so that they too can take advantage of the growing opportunities.

Just look at Trivago. You want to stay in a hotel, so you look up something like Trivago. You book and the Hotel pays Trivago a commission, that’s affiliate marketing.

Someone buys a product on Amazon because it’s been recommended, the person who made the recommendation gets a commission, that’s affiliate marketing.

One benefit of affiliate marketing is that you don’t need to create your own product, nor do you have to deal with customer support.

That’s not to say that you don’t need to treat you customers well, because like anything else, what you put in, you get out. Treat people well and you’ll succeed and do well.

Another benefit is that you don’t need any upfront investment to take traffic (potential customers) to the product you’re promoting, there are great costs in producing your own product.

As an affiliate marketer, you leverage the investment that the company has already made investing in it, you haven’t got an investment (time and money) in the product, just selling it – in other words, if you bring customers who buy, you reap the benefits too, without the upfront cost the manufacturer, supplier or store has already made.

All you have to do is promote the affiliate link.

If you treat your customers well and they stay with you, you can also enjoy recurring commissions. For instance if you have an ongoing link, or “sticky cookie” as they’re called, which links the customer to you in a long-term relationship , if the customer buys other products or services from the same company, even if you haven’t “done” anything, you still get paid the commission on that sale too, the one that you didn’t really play a part in, apart from introducing the customer in the first place.

There are literally millions of products and services to promote, some have relatively low commissions, some will be cheaper and more easily sold. Some may have greater commissions, and not necessarily much harder to sell.

Affiliate marketing carries a very small risk compared to making or supplying your own products and services because of your investment in terms of time and money.

Truthfully. It’s a bit of a no brainer for someone who wants to ethically build a separate income stream, one which may well overtake their offline income.

It’s also a no brainer for someone who wants to work ethically, when, how, where and with whom they want. Its certainly worth investigating although it should be said that there are many, many other niches available in the expanding marketplace to serve everyone’s needs.

There’s design, web-building, consulting, copywriting, the list goes on and on. There is also a great deal of “accomplishment” in bring you own product to market, and the profits can be significant to say the least. It’s worth getting a feel of the internet and its many colours and textures!

Back to affiliate marketing. Two profitable areas are things called, “High ticket items” which means they carry a higher commission (needing fewer sales to compete with lower commissions) and products that carry recurring commissions as mentioned earlier.

As you can see, for many people there is great opportunity. Downside, you have to do something, before you laugh, I have always been somewhat bemused at people who are so paralyzed as to not doing anything, or so convinced that doing what they’re doing now, will give them everything they want -even if it hasn’t so far.

So, it’s not funny really – you know what they say, “if you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you always got.”

Maybe a review and a reflection on some of these options and possibilities is appropriate?