How to Evaluate an Affiliate Proposal
As a Creator, you control who can promote your products as an affiliate and how much of a percentage they can make from sales that they send your way. Whether you only have a couple of affiliates knocking on your door or are getting several requests every day, this guide will help you sort through them efficiently.
The relationship between you and your affiliate(s) is a business relationship. It is reasonable to expect that prospective affiliates will approach you in a polite and professional way.
Also, recognize that the way a prospective affiliate communicates with you may mirror how they will communicate with potential customers. Be on the lookout for good spelling and grammar (exercise flexibility when there are language differences), clear and effective sentences, and—importantly—the ability to sell themselves. If they can convince you that they would be a good affiliate, they will probably also be able to speak persuasively about your product(s).
An affiliate's reach refers to who they reach, how many people they reach, and how effectively they reach them.
Who reads or watches what your prospective affiliate puts online? Think about who your product is built for and then consider some of the following things:
- Does the prospective affiliate focus their energy on art sites, 3D sites, Blender sites, general sites (e.g., YouTube or Instagram) or a combination of those sites? Are they involved with niche communities like hand-painting, hard surface modeling, or VR?
- Does the prospective affiliate speak a language that you don't speak, or engage with local Blender/3D/art communities that you would otherwise not have access to?
Once you've figured out where the prospective affiliate would promote your products, ask yourself whether the communities that would be reached are communities that would be in the market for your product.
How many followers, subscribers, views, likes, etc. does the prospective affiliate have? The more people who see their posts or videos, the more opportunities there will be for people to learn about and (hopefully!) purchase your product. But more isn't always better if the people seeing your product promoted aren't people who would ever be interested in purchasing it. Weight quantity vs. quality when assessing impact.
And don't discount someone just because they don't currently have a large following. Everyone starts somewhere and the person who is just starting out and asking to be your affiliate could be the next Andrew Price or Gleb Alexandrov. The best way to get a sense of their potential is to check out their profile(s) to see how active commenters are and how engaging and effective the prospective affiliate is.
Finally, the percentage. What you give to them in exchange for leveraging their time and influence. This is where your assessment of their potential to promote your product culminates. They may suggest a percentage or they may not. It may be too high, too low, or just right. Whatever the case, think about their reach—whatever it might be—and how much business and how many potentially loyal customers they could send your way over the coming months or years. What is that word-of-mouth reference worth to you?
If you want to work with them but feel that you can't afford the percentage that they suggest, tell them. They may be willing to negotiate a different rate.