How to Approach Creators About Becoming Their Affiliate
When you have one or more products that you really like and want to recommend to your online audiences, becoming an affiliate for those products can be a great way to earn some extra income. The first hurdle that you have to clear to become a product affiliate is reaching out to the product's Creator. This guide will provide some easy tips to help you approach Creators in an organized and direct way.
Before you get started, consider two questions:
- What value do you bring to a Creator as a potential affiliate? Maybe a lot of people read your words or watch your videos, maybe you're considered an established influencer, or maybe you're in the process of learning Blender and connecting with a lot of other new Blender users. Wherever you are, identify the "pros" of your place in the online community.
- How might your value as an affiliate translate into a higher or lower affiliate percentage? If you don't have a lot of reach right now, try starting with a lower percentage. As your reach and influence grow, you can always renegotiate. If you have a bunch of followers/friends/subscribers and people regularly look to you for advice, consider asking for a higher percentage. Typical affiliate percentages are 5–30%. How much a Creator will be willing to give you will likely boil down to two things: how much traffic (and how many buying customers) you can or are sending their way, and your Creator-Affiliate relationship. Whether or not you have ever interacted with the Creator before, be professional and communicate well. Becoming their affiliate is a business relationship, after all.
This information should be brief and informative. For example, "I'm Sam and I am a 3D artist who uses Blender for everything but texturing. I share my process on Discord and YouTube and post the final results on ArtStation and Blender Artists."
Specify which of their products you would like to promote (and why)
Be specific about which of their products you want to promote. Ideally, these will be products that you have used and can vouch for. Explain why you want to promote the product(s) that you want to promote clearly and succinctly. For example, "I want to promote RoboCat because I have used it in a number of projects and have been really happy with how it fits into my workflow. I will be able to recommend it often and authentically."
Avoid excessive flattery, as it may come off as disingenuous.
Identify the platform(s) on which you intend to promote their product(s)
This is where you tell them where you want to promote their product. The broader the platform's potential audience, the stronger your case may be. But don't discount smaller, more specific sites. You may have a lot of luck promoting products on niche sites specifically related to, for example, sculpting in Blender or hand-painted textures. Targeting your audience may sometimes produce better results than posting something on Instagram or YouTube.
Think about why promotion on the sites you use might be beneficial to the Creator whose product you want to promote. If you are mentioning a site that they might not be familiar with, briefly summarize the site's focus. For example, "As you saw above, I am on Discord, YouTube, ArtStation, and Blender Artists. I will promote RoboCat on those sites, and also on BlenderCats.com, a niche site with an active community of Blender artists who primarily create cat models and sculpts."
Feel free to provide links to your different accounts. Do not tell them to Google you. It will likely come off as arrogant and the extra effort required to open a tab and search for you means they probably won't.
Mention how frequently you publish new content
Are you posting hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly? Maybe you post at different frequencies on different sites. If your schedule is simple, this section can just be a sentence—for example, "I post on Instagram every day and Blender Artists about once a week." If you're more active in different spaces, make that information easily digestible by adding a bullet list. For example:
- Discord: live stream art daily for several hours at a time
- Blender Artists: 3x/week WIP posts and 1x/week finished project posts. I'm also very active commenting on other artists' work.
- YouTube: post videos roughly once a week to document finished projects
Share information about your reach—follower counts, groups of people (artists, Blenderheads, software developers, etc.), statistics
Your reach—how many people see your posts and what sorts of communities they belong to—is a key piece of information that Creators will scan for. Give accurate numbers, particularly where followers are concerned, as those numbers are typically public and you don't want to be caught exaggerating.
You can cite the average number of video views or post likes that you typically get, identify subsets of the 3D, art, or Blender communities who follow your work, and discuss the rate at which your reach is growing (e.g., slow and steady, 500 new viewers each month). If you have other relevant info about your reach, this is the time to include it.
As with the information that you share about post frequency, make sure that any information you share here is presented in a clear and readable way.
Propose a percentage of the profit that you would like to receive whenever your product recommendation leads to a sale for them
This is where your thinking from the beginning of this article comes into play. Is what you can offer to the Creator worth 20%? Perhaps it's worth more or less. Remember, whatever number you suggest is not set in stone—even if it's low, you both may agree to increase it later on
One possible approach, particularly if your value as an affiliate may not be readily apparent, is to suggest a 1-(or 2- or 3-) month trial period at a lower rate than you might want. At the end of the trial period, you can reassess and, if you are sending a lot of sales their way, request an increased percentage.
Also, consider whether your proposed percentage is a starting point or the only figure you will accept. Make clear whether you are open to negotiation.
Thank them for their time
Your time is valuable, and so is the product Creator's. When you thank them for taking the time to read your proposal, you are being considerate and setting your budding relationship off to a good start.
To sum it up:
- Introduce yourself
- Specify which of their products you would like to promote (and why)
- Identify the platform(s) on which you intend to promote their product(s)
- Mention how frequently you publish new content
- Share information about your reach
- Propose a percentage
- Thank them for their time