What do you need to know?
The very first thing I want to let you know is you should only become an affiliate or ambassador for brands and companies you already purchase from and enjoy – it’s difficult to promote items you don’t own and don’t have personal experience with. Additionally, if you become an ambassador or an affiliate for a company you don’t already support monetarily, you are going to have to spend money on their product so you can show it off in your own, unique way. If you are not good at budgeting, you may end up spending more than you gain through the experience (whether through actual free goods/items or discounts). I say this because when I first learned about being an affiliate, I wanted to join every program!! No one has time to push all that product, and I don’t have the money to do it either. I don’t want you to fall for the excitement of making money because this is not passive income. You will not get free product from everyone to use in your posts, especially right away.
This brings me to another important topic that has been talked about a lot recently, and that is compensation. I am certainly not going to tell you what to do and not to do in this area. This is a personal choice and no one can tell you what to do here. Small shops likely don’t have the budget to pay with cash, larger companies do if they choose to allocate the budget to do so. I will say, as long as people are willing to put in the time for the hope of free product and/or a commission, companies will continue to budget as such. This does not mean I am against product as payment, or getting paid commission, it just has to be the right opportunity for me and I will make my own decisions as these things come up. It is not without a lot of time and dedication to create compelling content. Just keep this in mind when making your own decisions.
A shop PR for is Orange Umbrella Co.! Definitely one of my favorite shops and I feel so privileged to be a small part of the company!! Using my code “Megan” will get you 20% off!!
What’s it like??
Now that the reality check is over, let’s have some fun! What is it like?
It can be a lot of work if you actually want to make money at it. The larger companies I have been affiliated with did not have any posting requirements; however, as I said above, if you don’t show off their products and get your followers excited about them you won’t make any money. While you don’t have to have thousands and thousands of followers to join most programs, you are still competing with people who do for the spotlight.
Small companies, such as sticker shops, will have a requirement for how often you post and will also ask you to repost their sales, updates, etc.. The nice thing about this arraignment, though, is you will get a discount code to share with your followers (people like discounts) that you can also use! In most cases, your discount will be higher than the one you share. With these relationships, you will often get free items – either PR packages with pre-picked items or a monthly dollar amount for you to spend at their shop in addition to your special code. These things both help you because you get a discount on a product you love and it also helps you support a shop you love on a whole new level! I will remind you, though, budgeting is so important or else you will just end up spending a ridiculous amount of money. One of the best parts of being a part of the PR team for a small shop is the opportunity to get to know the owner/creator and even build relationships with the others on the team!
Larger companies don’t often offer specific discount codes to help drive traffic through your affiliate links and getting sent free product is not guaranteed. This can make it harder to make money through them, but certainly not impossible if you put the work in. However, some will send you free stuff through collaboration opportunities as larger companies will have the means to do this and often have larger launches for new product that affiliates help build up the hype for. FOMO is real, so having a bunch of people within a community share these new and exciting products makes it irresistible. These things definitely make the experience more fun; when you get free items, you get to offer your unique opinions on new products before your followers spend their own money on them! The downside to these larger companies is they have a large number of affiliates you are competing with for traffic and you may be more of a number to them.
Medium-sized companies are somewhere in between and have qualities from both categories. These are the companies where the owner is personally thrilled to be working with you, but they are also big enough to be more of a known name which helps you market your links. I am an affiliate for two such companies and have both a discount I can use for my own purchases and a discount code to share with my followers. I am truly in love with these companies as well; therefore, being an affiliate makes me feel just a bit more connected and this makes me happy. HINT HINT: One is Archer and Olive. And as an Archer and Olive affiliate, I receive a commisson on any purchase made through my link or using my code (meganb10).
Lastly, one of the things I particularly love about being an affiliate is getting to know about new products and initiatives before they launch – through emails, exclusive groups, or actual virtual calls. It just makes me feel special and like I am a part of the process. My favorite part, though, is definitely being able to support companies that make me happy (as well as the people around me)! If I can help a smaller company make more sales, even better!
Also remember you must follow regulations on disclosing you are an affiliate! Letting your audience know you received items for free or that you may receive a commission for purchases made with your link or code. Not only is this the law, but it helps foster trust.
How do you find these opportunities?
Small shops will advertise for PR reps or Ambassadors on their Instagram page and post applications in their bios. These shops typically post on a quarterly basis. This means, a few times a year you have the opportunity to apply to be an ambassador and, if chosen, you will typically do it for about three months (unless they ask you to stay on longer). Of course, I say this based on observation as I’ve only worked in this capacity with two shops. I have been given a discount code to share from another shop, but it wasn’t specifically an ambassador arraignment.
Larger companies often partner with large marketing websites to run their affiliate-ships through – ShareASale, for example. This means you can sign up for one of these sites and search for companies based on interest. However, most of the companies on these sites are ones I’ve never heard of. The better way is to go to the website of whatever company you hope has an affiliate program and search around to see if they have a link to sign up! Usually, this can be found at the very bottom of their website with their FAQ, Contact form, and newsletter sign-up.
A lot of companies these days also have referral links you can use to make some money toward products as well. They give you a special link once you sign up for an account (usually after a purchase) and if someone uses it they get a discount and you get a credit. These are things you don’t have to sign up for, you just get the link or code after you sign up.
Curious what some of my affiliations/codes are? Check them out here:
Linktree – This is the link I usually have in my IG profile because it’s easy to navigate as it’s one page. Usually, I post things here that are either most important to me or something I am specifically referring to on my Instagram page. *As indicated above, some of these links are affiliate links and as an Affiliate, I receive a commisson on any purchase made through my affiliate link.*
Milkshake – This is more of a website. I have a lot more links and codes listed in here – some I don’t really highlight in my social media, but are available in case someone wants to try something new.
If you have any questions about my experiences, please reach out! You can email me or find me on Instagram! And definitely sign up for my emailing list! Also, please leave a comment about your own experiences!
Peace & Cookies!!
Here’s an example of a video I did after receiving a bundle for free from Erin Condren as part of an affiliate collaboration opportunity:
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