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Why Successful Businesses Embrace Affiliate Marketing

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Why Successful Businesses Embrace Affiliate Marketing

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Even though the marketing world has seen some significant new trends and technologies, one strategy has impressively risen in popularity in recent years: affiliate marketing.

While affiliate marketing has been around for years, it has recently taken a front seat in the media as a “side hustle.” Millennials and Generation Z have taken a recent liking to the idea of earning money passively, and affiliate marketing has proven to be a tried and true method for doing so.

And why is it so popular? I’ll give you two big reasons:

  1. It’s easy for brands and businesses to manage.
  2. Financially speaking, it’s a win-win.

Let’s break down how affiliate marketing reached this point and the benefits your brand could miss.

Related: 5 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Boost Their Visibility with Affiliate Marketing

The origin of affiliate marketing

First, a little history lesson. If you didn’t know, the concept of affiliates came from the PC Flower and Gifts founder, William J. Tobin, originating in the late 1980s and early 1990s. But it wasn’t until Amazon that the program became more fleshed out and open to the public.

Amazon’s idea was to allow individuals to promote their products and earn commissions on sales generated through their referrals. This concept, of course, was revolutionary as it introduced a performance-based marketing approach, where brands only paid for actual results, such as sales or leads.

Over time, this model gained traction, and when paired with our current technological advancements, it became a mainstream marketing strategy that brands couldn’t afford to participate in.

Related: 3 Tips to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing

The reasons behind the craze

Enter the current day, and affiliate marketing has exploded in popularity. Its current rise can be linked to several key factors.

First, the exponential growth of e-commerce over the past decade has been a significant motivation for affiliate marketing, with more people shopping online than ever. More online shopping has created more opportunities for creators or affiliates to promote the products and services they love while also gaining a little commission.

For marketers and brands — especially small businesses – affiliate marketing is attractive thanks to its low cost and low barriers to entry. On a tight budget, affiliate marketing is a great way to maximize ROI without breaking the bank.

Top that off with the rise of dependency on social media for creators and brands – specifically influencer marketing. It’s easier than ever for people to build an audience online and generate more revenue both for themselves and for brands through the simple process of promoting products and services.

With all that in mind, it’s no surprise the affiliate marketing industry is growing so rapidly, being worth over $17 billion today. Now, let’s look at why the rise of affiliate marketing is a win for brands.

Related: When the World Goes Dark, Will Your Business Keep the Lights On?

Benefits for brands

Brands have much to gain from participating in affiliate marketing and a lot to lose by ignoring it. Here are just a few of the reasons why…

Firstly, it is a great extension of their marketing team — using their affiliates to connect with new and eager audiences at a lower cost.

Secondly, it enhances a brand’s credibility. Positive reviews and recommendations from trusted affiliates can significantly boost a brand’s reputation.

Consumers tend to trust product endorsements from individuals they follow and admire. Think about it – when was the last time you purchased something solely because you saw it in a video or a photo?

Furthermore, affiliate marketing can improve a brand’s SEO efforts. Backlinks can act as roads to your website. With backlinks ranging from a variety of affiliate websites, you end up creating a large roadmap of products that ultimately lead to your website and improve your visibility efforts.

What’s next for affiliate marketing

With all of that said the future of affiliate marketing looks highly promising.

We will likely see a surge in personalization efforts. With tracking systems and the evolution of content marketing, brands can tailor their affiliate marketing strategies to individual consumer preferences to deliver a more personalized and engaged shopping experience.

Additionally, we have seen new social media platforms pop up quickly in recent years — the more, the merrier. More platforms = more opportunities for success.

Lastly, the future of affiliate marketing will be shaped by evolving consumer preferences and online shopping behaviors. With an increasing number of consumers relying on online platforms for their shopping needs, affiliates and brands will continue to have new opportunities to drive interest and improve ROI.

As brands continue to realize the benefits of this marketing strategy, it is likely to remain a prominent fixture in the marketing landscape. By leaning on their affiliates, brands can expand their reach, improve credibility, and drive revenue while providing affiliates with a profitable and flexible income source.

So, should your brand embrace affiliate marketing? The answer is clear: YES!

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4 Takeaways For Franchising From the RNC

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4 Takeaways For Franchising From the RNC

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Kicking off hours after an assassination attempt on a presidential candidate, the Republican National Convention took on heightened significance this year. In my role as President and CEO of the International Franchise Association (IFA), I traveled to Milwaukee for a policy roundtable entitled “Franchising, the American Dream,” with U.S. Representative Kevin Hern (R-OK), who is the co-chair of the congressional franchise caucus, McDonald’s franchisee Jimmy Williams, and hotelier Jyoti Sarolia.

Matt Haller and Jyoti Sarolia Credit: Matt Haller

To be clear, IFA is non-partisan and does not take sides in presidential campaigns. We will be in Chicago for the Democratic National Convention in August, and we work with anyone from any party who champions our priorities and fights for our franchise small business owners. That’s also why we partnered with POLITICO and CNN with Milwaukee-based Batteries+. We created a brand activation at the POLITICO/CNN Grill, where over four days we gave away wireless battery chargers to over a thousand attendees, communicating the economic benefits of franchising to convention-goers, with a QR-code that linked to IFA’s Open for Opportunity campaign.

Related: Check out the 2024 Franchise 500 Ranking

Political conventions are always exciting, and this year was no different, especially after COVID-19 curtailed the in-person festivities in 2020. The buzz and energy were palpable. In my conversations with various stakeholders from all walks of life, certain commonalities emerged. Here are four of them.

1. Unions and franchising are not incompatible

The fiery speech from Sean O’Brien, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, got people’s attention. It marked the first time a teamster addressed the RNC in its 121-year history. The Wall Street Journal headline read, “Trump Courts the Union Vote.” The GOP is not used to speakers at their convention railing about “economic terrorism.” But as O’Brien pointed out, the Teamsters have supported Republican candidates before, including Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

For the franchise community, O’Brien’s presence served as a reminder that we have a compelling story to tell and we need to tell it.

First of all, our model provides nearly 9 million direct jobs, and not a single one is being outsourced overseas. Second, jobs in franchising pay up to 3.4 percent higher wages and provide higher rates of paid leave and other benefits than those at non-franchises, according to data from Oxford Economics. Third, franchises ARE small businesses, and that is the benefit of our business model.

Related: 7 Ways The Expanded Joint Employer Rule Would Hurt Franchises — And Your Wallet

While we are not going to agree with the Teamsters or other unions on much, one thing we do agree on is that policymakers should be focused on creating good jobs right here in America, and that’s what the franchising community is doing. Even when our brands open new franchises overseas, we are bringing money back ashore to the U.S. via the royalty stream paid to operate a U.S. brand abroad, creating a net-trade benefit to the U.S. economy.

We must push back on the idea that the franchise model and unions are incompatible. It’s false. We can and do have both. It is true that the union’s top policy agenda, the PRO Act and an expanded definition of joint employer, and franchising cannot co-exist, but unions are not inherently an opponent. It’s their history of policy priorities that would bring down franchising that we oppose.

2. Franchising is re-aligning party lines

Second, the traditional political and party lines are re-aligning, creating another golden opportunity to expand the franchise tent. For example, public polls have shown former President Donald Trump receiving as high as 30 percent of the Black vote — nearly three times higher than the 12 percent he earned in 2020.

Here again, franchising has an important role to play. Franchising has higher rates of business ownership among women, veterans and minorities. In fact, more than one-quarter (26 percent) of franchises are owned by people of color, compared to 17 percent of non-franchised businesses.

1721501763 1 4 Takeaways For Franchising From the RNC

Paul Calkins (IFA), House Speaker Mike Johnson and Matt Haller (IFA) Credit: Matt Haller

As Clement Troutman, an IFA member, U.S. Navy veteran, author, and Maryland-based Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchisee, wrote in a column for the Washington Times observing Juneteenth, “the last few years have been challenging for Black entrepreneurs. From challenges accessing capital to a disproportionate impact stemming from the pandemic, Black small business owners face major obstacles.”

Clement noted, “Franchising can help, but only if elected leaders do their part in creating the right business environment.” These are wise words and lessons that all candidates should take to heart if they want to expand their political base of supporters.

3. J.D. Vance has sided with franchising in the past

There was a lot of scrutiny on Senator J.D. Vance after his selection as the vice-presidential nominee, and nearly every conversation I had with members of Congress and others in Milwaukee centered around what to make of Senator Vance’s selection. In the event of a Trump victory, many view him as the natural GOP standard-bearer in 2028. Throughout his two years in the Senate, Vance has raised eyebrows by deviating from traditional Republican orthodoxy. For example, he has marched on union picket lines and famously praised Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan as “one of the few people in the Biden administration who I think is doing a pretty good job.” Yet when it came to franchise issues, particularly joint employer, Senator Vance sided with franchising. When the stakes were the highest during this spring’s repeal of the joint employer rule, Vance stood with us, and that is telling.

4. The next president will have a huge impact on franchising

Members of the franchise community — like all voters — are assessing their presidential choices through the prism of past policies. We have a sense of what a second Trump and Biden administration could look like by evaluating their previous time in office. Certainly, IFA is focused much more on economic and regulatory visions than we do on political ideology. What is the plan for job creators?

Related: Decoding the Massive Impact of the NLRB’s Joint Employer Rule

For example, the individual tax provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) are set to expire next year. The law significantly restructured numerous aspects of the federal tax system for small businesses, including reductions in individual and corporate tax rates, a new 20% deduction for income from pass-through businesses, 100% bonus depreciation for capital investments, and a new limitation on the deductibility of business interest. The GOP platform expressly calls for tax cuts and many Ways and Means Committee members who will write the next tax law, including Chairman Jason Smith of Missouri, Vern Buchanan of Florida, and Lloyd Smucker of Pennsylvania, have all highlighted the importance of ensuring pass-through businesses like most franchises are treated fairly in the next round of tax reform.

Beyond tax issues, the next president will choose their own FTC chair, who can in turn update the Franchise Rule, something that hasn’t happened since 2007 — the same year the first iPhone was introduced — and will make appointments to the NLRB, including the general counsel, who is arguably the most powerful position at that agency.

The stakes are high for franchisors and franchisees alike. We do not vote as a monolith or along strict party lines. But one thing is clear, the list of issues facing franchising is long, and the importance of having a seat at the table is more important than ever. Thanks to the support of so many IFA members, and what our brands, franchisees and suppliers do every day, I’m confident that whatever November brings, franchising will continue to thrive and IFA will be at the forefront fighting for the best interest of franchising.

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Earn $680K a Year with This Wedding Industry Franchise

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Earn $680K a Year with This Wedding Industry Franchise

3 Benefits of Owning a Wed Society Franchise:

  1. Recession-resistant with a stable market due to consistent demand for wedding services.
  2. Potential for high revenue with low overhead costs and strong unit economics.
  3. Offers flexibility and control with a work-from-home model and virtual customer interactions.

Wed Society is a comprehensive franchise specializing in digital, social, print media, and event planning within the wedding industry. The franchise offers a unique niche market, providing a robust platform for wedding vendors to showcase their services and for couples to plan their weddings. Click Here to connect me with Wed Society.

Key Facts:

  • Minimum Initial Investment: $97,750 – $121,000
  • Initial Franchise Fee: $45,000
  • Liquid Capital Required: $100,000
  • Net Worth Required: $200,000
  • Veteran Incentives: $10,000 off franchise fee

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Why Taylor Swift Believes in Her Lucky Number

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Why Taylor Swift Believes in Her Lucky Number

People reports that Chiefs star Travis Kelce just attended his 13th performance of Taylor Swift‘s The Eras Tour, and the significance of that number is lost on no one.

Swift is a big fan of the number 13 — so much so that before every show she paints a 13 on her hand for good luck. Why are those digits so near and dear to her heart?

Swift was born on December 13, 1989, and explained in an interview with MTV News: “I turned 13 on Friday the 13th. My first album went gold in 13 weeks. My first No. 1 song had a 13-second intro. Every time I’ve won an award I’ve been seated in either the 13th seat, the 13th row, the 13th section or row M, which is the 13th letter. Basically, whenever a 13 comes up in my life, it’s a good thing.”

Swift isn’t the only one who leans into superstitions to give herself an extra boost of confidence. In the book Recipes for Good Luck, author Ellen Weinstein researched the superstitions and rituals of some of the most famous and successful people in modern history. And while some might seem odd or silly to others, Weinstein writes that beliefs, rituals and routines can “help you face the world with ambition and confidence and inspire you to go on making good luck of your own.”

Here are some other superstars who used pre-performance rituals to get ready to go.

  • During his playing days, NBA superstar Michael Jordan wore UNC shorts underneath his Chicago Bulls uniform. They were the same shorts he wore in 1982 when he scored the winning jump shot that brought his college team, the University of North Carolina Tar Heels, their first NCAA championship since 1957.
  • Tennis great Serena Williams has several distinctive pre-performance and on-court rituals: before a match, she’d tie her shoelaces in the exact same way and always bounced the ball five times before her first serve and twice before her second.
  • Before beginning the opening monologue of her former talk show, Ellen DeGeneres would be sure to throw a mint in the air and catch it in her mouth.
  • Rihanna has said that she doesn’t allow anything yellow in her dressing room before a show, believing it is bad luck.
  • Soccer legend David Beckham has a thing against odd numbers. His wife Victoria told The Chicago Sun-Times that their house had several refrigerators, each devoted to different types of food. “In the drinks one, everything is symmetrical,” she explained. “If there’s three cans, he’ll throw one away because it has to be an even number.”

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