New affiliates often ask us for promotional tips and strategies, and while we don’t offer any formal promotion or marketing classes, we have developed what we call the “Design Valet Promoter’s Micro-course” to help affiliates get off to a great start promoting for our company. In the course (this page), we discuss the mindset, strategies, and physical action necessary to not only achieve success promoting for us, but in any endeavor, you choose to pursue going forward in your life.
Let’s Jump Right Into It …
Handle the Truth!
Some (not all) who enter the promotions and commission-pay arenas, enter with uninspired/privileged attitudes, compounded by preconceived expectations. They have worked for companies that paid first and HOPED for great results, and have even gotten used to getting paid for subpar efforts. Therefore, the idea of results-driven pay is almost insulting to them.
“How dare they require me to produce results before paying me.”
THE TRUTH IS there is absolutely no upside in our paying affiliates first and hoping they produce results later. None.
Under our compensation model, affiliates get paid when and ONLY when they produce results (leads that pay). This is WIN-WIN because the TRUTH is that if one can produce results, then it should not matter if compensation is commission-based or hourly. Results equal profit.
A WINNING Mindset
Mindset and attitude are everything. We have received applications wherein the applicants state their reason for wanting to signup for our affiliate program as “something to do.” Immediately we know this candidate is not a good fit for our company. The answer oozes low motivation.
The goal should be not only to WIN but to set your goals high and then SHATTER them. People with winning mindsets don’t go into jobs, endeavors, or anything else with low objectives. That said, you can thrive as a Design Valet Affiliate (DVA) by seeing this arrangement for the potential it has and how you can maximize it to your benefit.
WE have the professionals, experience, body of work, resources, etc., to do the web and graphic design work. YOU can earn a substantial commission on payments your referrals and leads make to us without doing any of that work, for as long as they purchase services from us.
ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT STRATEGIES IS…
MASSIVE ACTION is exactly how it sounds. Take “normal” effort and 10x it. Instead of telling 10 people about a project, tell 100 and ask each of them to tell 20 of their friends and associates. Newton’s Law of Motion dictates that action forces reaction. Massive Action leads to Massive Reaction/Activity which leads to MASSIVE RESULTS. The universe rewards ACTION!
Set huge goals for yourself and exceed them!
Don’t wing it. Don’t take the easy way out or do the bare minimum. Imagine your maximum output, then double, triple, or quadruple it. Instead of reaching out to 5 companies a day, reach out to 25 or 50. Not once a week. EVERY DAY. Whether you have lots of time or less time, do as much as you can, and work with purpose. You have ONE life. Make it happen!
IGNORE … Fear, Doubt, Apprehension, and Procrastination. Beat it by pushing through it.
If you want to enjoy the profits of massive results, you have to do the work and put in maximum effort. This is MASSIVE ACTION. Apply this strategy to everything you do and you will WIN.
STRATEGIES YOU CAN USE NOW!
(In No Particular Order of Effectiveness)
FRIENDS, FAMILY & ASSOCIATES
With this strategy, the objective is to create a sphere of activity by tapping the most familiar social groups in your life — friends, family, and associates. These are people you already have relationships with, who (in most cases) want to see you succeed. Approach every friend, family member, and associate you feel may need graphic or web design services and tell them about your partnership with our company. Set an initial number and grind until you meet it.
IMPORTANT: Maintain a spreadsheet and log the name and contact info of every friend, family member, and associate you tell about the company. List the people they tell also. Keep your bubble growing and manage it consistently. Make sure they ALL identify YOU as their graphics go-to person.
BUILD A TEAM
Instead of going solo, scale your outreach capabilities by forming a team to help you build a larger activity bubble than you ever could alone. This could be friends, family, and/or associates. Serious people only. Have each of them execute the same strategies you decide to execute. If different members have different skills that allow different strategy deployments simultaneously — GO FOR IT!!! Keep the team lean and manageable (3-5 people). Like a finely tuned special forces unit.
IMPORTANT: With a quality team in place, 100 leads can become 500. Commission acquisition potential can increase exponentially. Be sure commission allocations among the team members are discussed and fully agreed upon upfront to avoid misunderstandings and conflict later on.
Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc., can be great sources of exposure. It’s about GIVING VALUE, not selling products and services. We are not social media experts, but we do understand the psychology of entrepreneurs and businesses. They have problems and are looking for solutions. In a social media environment, you want to build familiarity and offer solutions those in the market can’t easily ignore. Post, engage, form relationships, and propose solutions, not simply products and services.
SUGGESTIONS: If you have a substantial social media presence you could promote your discounted access to our services as a means to help your followers in their endeavors by saving them money while offering superior customer service. But the message should be solution-driven.
BUSINESS – ORGANIZATION OUTREACH
This strategy is a much more hands-on approach, as it involves cold-calling and/or emailing businesses (of all types) and organizations (nonprofits, places of worship, etc.) and asking them if they are in the market for the services we offer and would like more information. This approach is a numbers exercise because the more businesses and organizations are reached, the better the odds some will engage, take the next steps, and move toward a financially viable business relationship.
SUGGESTIONS: Do your homework and gather the data on businesses in your area, you are most comfortable approaching. Get their contact information and reach out to them without fear. Be confident and HELPFUL. Keep records. Your objective is to get them to request information.
JOB BOARDS & DIRECTORIES
Websites like Craigslist have a jobs and gigs category where people in need of various services are listing them. Look for individuals who are in search of web and graphic design services and contact them. See if the correspondence leads to a window of opportunity for you to get their permission for us to contact them about their web or graphic design needs. Don’t stop with Craigslist, find other similar marketplaces and repeat this process.
IMPORTANT: Do your homework and gather the data on businesses in your town, city, and state you are most comfortable approaching. Get their contact information and reach out to them without fear. Be bold, confident, and HELPFUL. Keep records. Your objective is to get them to request information.
TARGET START-UPS & SMALL BUSINESSES
Target start-ups, solopreneurs, mom-n-pops, and small businesses. These aren’t high-six or seven-figure businesses — YET. Some don’t ever intend to be. In any case they have less financial resources than their larger counterparts and need a partner like you and Design Valet. Small corner stores, carry-outs, new home improvement businesses, barbershops, salons, etc. These aren’t big ticket sales on the front-end, but could be invaluable in the long-term.
IMPORTANT: Reach out to every small business you can, from the beauty salon to the friend who wants to launch a t-shirt line. Let them know we’re willing to partner with them and help them grow by offering quality design work (and solutions) at below market prices.
This strategy requires investment on part of the DVA in the short term or could happen once the sales threshold is met and we invest. During a blitz, the promoter FLOODS their area with print advertising (i.e., business cards, flyers and/or coupons, etc.). The objective is to assure everyone in that area knows your business is there and ready to serve them. AWARENESS IS KEY.
IMPORTANT: Acquire 1,000 or more business cards or flyers, go out into your community or area, and deliver each and every piece. It’s okay to leave small stacks of 5 to 10 in high-traffic locations. You want to unload the materials as quickly as possible and DON’T CHEAT by leaving 200 in one location. You will see results. It’s hard work, but it works.
This strategy is for extroverts who are comfortable interacting with others. Attending networking events, business expos, and other social gatherings that put you in direct contact with entrepreneurs and business executives, is a great way to expand your circle of influence. The pandemic makes this challenging, but if the opportunity presents itself and is safe, it’s certainly a strategy that works. Any opportunity to promote the services should be a potential networking moment.
IMPORTANT: Search social media and resources like Eventbrite to monitor activities in your area. If something looks promising and is free/inexpensive, consider attending. Expos, networking events, and festivals can be excellent contact magnets. ZOOM events should be a consideration as well.
IMPORTANT: The strategies above HAVE ALL worked in the past. The key to success with any strategy is the individual executing it. The best strategies in the world are nothing if the people using them lack the confidence, discipline, and work ethic to see them through. The opportunities are there. Businesses that need these services are EVERYWHERE.
THE 7 TRAITS OF HIGHLY INEFFECTIVE AFFILIATES
Some affiliates meet the challenges and thrive, while others struggle and fade. Some never even start. Here are the seven most common traits we’ve noticed in affiliates who don’t succeed.
LACK OF COMMITMENT
Unenthusiastic, ‘meh’ attitudes. While they clearly have no intention of putting in work, for some reason they answer the ads, submit the application, and then do nothing. Literally nothing. Zero = zero. One cannot expect to earn money without working to create the conditions to generate it.
NO SERIOUSNESS OF PURPOSE
They don’t take the program or themselves seriously, so they don’t perform seriously. That “make it happen” winning attitude is completely absent. When no money comes in, they become discouraged and blame everything but their own lack of action and work ethic.
FEAR & DOUBT
This group may be well-intentioned, but they are also afraid. Afraid to speak to people, pick up the phone, or write an email. They doubt their own ability to be effective so completely, that they don’t take any action.
No matter the idea, suggestion, or strategy, they figure out a way to exert minimum effort, while expecting maximum returns. Any suggestion that requires time and effort, they move away from it. They want the rewards without the work.
LACK OF SITUATIONAL AWARENESS
This is a HUGE one. These would-be affiliates don’t grasp this opportunity or its potential. We’re a company that has the team, equipment, extended network, systems, body of work, etc., in place. The affiliate doesn’t have to worry about establishing any of these things. It’s already done. We offer an arrangement wherein the affiliate generates leads, and the company does everything else — project management, design work, long-term maintenance — everything. In exchange for promoting, the affiliate gets a piece of every service purchase their leads make for the life of the business relationship. Not to mention the skills the affiliate will develop through this process. Yet somehow, they aren’t motivated.
NO DESIRE TO LEVEL UP
We are expanding our service offering to include video production and editing, YouTube channel production, Podcasting, creative writing, and perhaps maybe film production. To this end, we are absorbing as much knowledge in all these disciplines as possible. Many affiliates who’ve faded did no such thing. There was no attempt to learn about promoting. No attempt to turn themselves into personal, indispensable utilities. They were content not to grow.
These individuals came aboard with entitled, know-it-all attitudes, and therefore didn’t respond to ideas or suggestions. They knew our business better than we did and wanted to operate outside our established parameters. Their difficult nature and misplaced bravado created unpleasant energy and we parted ways with them quickly. We are BIG on positive energy, even more so than talent.
BOOKS TO READ FOR PROMOTERS
To raise your business, marketing and promotions IQ, here are a few books we suggest reading. Not only will they help you as a DVA, they will help you in any business or career endeavor you pursue. But reading alone is not enough, you must absorb and EXECUTE.
Crushing It by Gary Vee
Think & Grow Rich
Way of the Wolf
Getting Things Done
No time to read long-form books or listen to audiobooks with runtimes of hours and hours? Get the BLINKIST app. It takes well-known books and condenses them to key points in 10 to 30-minute morsels. You can read or listen. With BLINKIST you can read 3 to 5 books PER DAY. Some of the books above are on the app. Get it HERE!
The key to Design Valet’s edge is the ‘Valet’ aspect of its business model. There are a lot of designers in the marketplace, but precious few approach customer service the way we do. When we take on a new client, it’s not just a design job, it’s a mission to help them solve problems, and we take that very seriously. Every aspect of the assignment is aimed at helping the client reach an end goal that is going to serve the growth and profitability of their endeavor, be it a business venture, event, etc.
We serve our clients, and to that end, we do what needs to be done, from design and research to strategy and networking, to help ensure their success. We are not just designers, we are Design Valet. It’s important that you embrace that concept.
The Design Valet/Affiliate Dynamic
How we work with our Affiliates
Partner Not Employee
With regard to our working relationship with our affiliates, we want to stress that we do not function as bosses or employers in a traditional sense. It’s much more a partnership and collaboration. Affiliates are essentially their own businesses with us a client they promote for. Sure, we have to set parameters around how the company and its services are presented, but we don’t tell our affiliates how, when, or where to promote. We don’t have a quota system, nor do we require our affiliates to submit work logs to PROVE they are on the job. As stated prior, the interaction and results convey that information, and we’re interested in working with people who don’t want to work. Leaders and self-starters don’t need to be poked and prodded to perform, and our goal is to assemble a team of self-starters and leaders. The affiliates line them up and we knock them out of the park.
We Want You To Succeed
In a relationship such as this, we have every reason to want you to succeed, not just because it means more revenue for the Company, but because it means revenue for YOU. We believe in the concept of helping to build power. Here’s the best case scenario. You operate as an affiliate and your referrals and leads purchase services, and you get initial and residual commissions. Through the process you also develop and hone skills that will be vital to your other endeavors. Sooner or later, you move on to bigger and better pastures, but we maintain our business relationship, perhaps partnering on projects that have nothing to do with promoting. The objective is mutual growth.
THE # 1 MOST IMPORTANT STRATEGY
THE ABSOLUTE MOST IMPORTANT STRATEGY IS EXECUTION! A number of affiliate sign-ups don’t execute, meaning they never even start. They visit the DVA site, submit the application (saying they are dedicated and reliable with monster work ethics), sign and return the DVA agreement, and then — nothing. No correspondence, no follow-through, and certainly no execution. Why someone would go through the process only to fade before starting is beyond us, but it is not productive or conducive to success. Without the ability to lock in, focus and execute massive action for sustained periods, any hope of success (in any endeavor) is just wishful thinking.
WITHOUT EXECUTION NOTHING HAPPENS