How Much Money Can You Make Freelancing?

The trend that is called freelancing has generated a lot of traction over the recent years.  In fact, we know that in most countries on the globe, freelancers earn more than regular full-time workers. We covered this once with one of our previous infographics that compare freelance projects to full-time jobs, and the results are still unchanged. More people tend to freelance than search for 9-5 jobs that forces them to cover lengthy distances day after day.

Getting started with your freelancing career covers a lot of grounds at once. What we’ll mention instead is something we previously wrote about, and that is how to list freelance work on your resume the right way, so go ahead and check that one out!

Payoneer, a global payment platform, surveyed more than 23,000 freelancers from 180 countries to uncover trends when it comes to their work. According to their data, the average freelancer works 36 hours a week at a rate of $21 per hour, giving them an annual pre-tax salary of more than $39,000. Once you add up the fact that handling more than a single client as a freelancer means you can lose one client without losing your entire source of income, you get to the point where you realize freelancing seems like a pretty good career move. And we agree!

Depending on the type of work, an average freelance graphic designer earns up to $6,000 per month. Online tutors, on the other hand, who sell affordable and high-value classes can easily earn up to $60 per hour.

With a full-time job, you do have the advantage of income security — you won’t make less than your salary — but you don’t have the ability to earn significantly more.

Diane Elizabeth, freelance consultant & blogger

This infographic from Zeqr reveals some interesting stats about the current statistics, earnings by niche, as well as the most popular freelancing platforms that can take your career to the next level.

If you would like to share it on your social media or website, feel free to use the links provided below!

How Much Money Freelancers Make Infographic
Infographic: How Much Money Freelancers Make

How to List Freelance Work on Your Resume – Tips, Tricks, Truths

Freelancer With Good Resume CV

First, pat yourself on the back!

Are you a freelancer and wondering how to list freelance work on your resume? First and foremost – congratulations! Working as a freelancer is not an easy task and you have proven to be qualified for the challenge. You’re probably juggling your freelance assignments with another job or career, which means that you are great at multitasking (an extremely valuable skill!). And even if you are not juggling a couple of jobs at once, freelance work alone is time-consuming and requires major brain activity. So, again, congratulations on going above and beyond and displaying your talent to assist others.

Know Why Listing Freelance Work on Your Resume is Important

Now back to the part about listing your freelance work on your resume. You are putting in time and effort for these assignments, so make sure that they are included on your resume where they count most! Having a freelance job on your resume could not only gain you more freelance work, but also open doors to new opportunities for jobs that you didn’t know interest you.

Freelancer Working On Laptop

 

Adding freelance work to your resume also gives you more credibility when searching for another job, and could possibly help you get hired more easily. The more experience you have, the more trust employers and clients will have in you, due to the fact that you have gained more and more knowledge with each task you’ve completed. Showcasing your previous work is essential in order to acquire more jobs and be successful in your career.

The Inside Scoop on Adding Freelance Work on Your Resume

If you’re reading this, it’s because you already know that adding freelance work on your resume is not an easy task. We’re here to help! Here’s the inside scoop. Follow these three steps to assure that your resume will include everything necessary in an orderly and informative manner.

Freelancer Resume Statistics Analysis

  • Adjust your resume according to the job in which you are applying.

After reading that sentence, I bet you’re thinking that altering your entire resume for each job you apply for is a major pain. Well, guess what…it is! But it’s a sure way to know that you did your best to grab the attention of an employer. Rearrange the order of the jobs you have completed according to the job in which you are applying. Employers are only going to skim your resume unless they find something that interests them immediately. Putting relevant work at the top is helpful, as it will be the first thing that they read and will catch their eye.

  • Write a separate section on your resume that declares your skills.

Are you a freelance writer who specializes in comical writing? Have you written many cover letters for people, or do you write mostly SEO web content? Are you a freelance designer who has years and years of Adobe Photoshop experience under your belt? DECLARE YOUR SKILLS. A separate section that lists what you specialize in will be simpler for someone to read quickly and comprehend easily. Show off those skills and highlight them by separating them from the sentence structure displayed throughout the rest of your resume.

  • Finally, here is an example of how to list your freelance work on your resume.

There are many options to choose from when listing your freelance work, but below is one of the most basic and easiest to understand.

Job (For Example, Copywriting):

Company Name (Year Started – Year Ended)

[URL to work if this applies or photocopy of work if that applies]
All details regarding the job. How you came about it if it’s an interesting story, your accomplishments throughout it, overall a general synopsis that emphasizes the fact that you did well with this job.

Writing Your Freelance Work Successfully and Uniquely AND Classes that will Help!

When listing freelance work on your resume, using correct grammar is of UTMOST importance. Those reading your resume, whether it be an employer or new freelance client, will not take you seriously if your resume is full of grammatical errors. If you want to come off as professional, intelligent and conscientious, make sure that your resume is perfectly put together and free of mistakes.

To do so, sign up for English Writing and Composition with Adriona Atty on Zeqr to learn all about proper grammar and editing. She’ll teach you writing techniques that could be interesting to different audiences, and you can also send your writing for her to give helpful notes.

If you’re really looking to stand out, list your freelance work on your resume ARTISTICALLY. Utilizing Adobe Photoshop or Adobe InDesign is a method that can transform your resume and make it unordinary. Try a different look than what will be expected! Although Microsoft Word is excellent to use when creating a resume, step outside of the box and type something that is appealing to the eye. Although every resume will list different jobs, they will tend to look the same, as most people follow a certain, well-known format. Display your skills in a creative manner and make a statement to employers or anyone at all who will view your resume!

Person Learning Online Classes For Freelance Work

 

Sign up for Adobe InDesign Fundamentals with Chad Chelius on Zeqr to learn how to create an Adobe InDesign file from scratch. He’ll show you how to incorporate text (which will obviously be necessary in the case of creating a resume). You’ll be taught how to flow content into an InDesign document from a Microsoft Word file (which could be VERY helpful if you’ve already typed your resume on Microsoft Word), and will also expose you to some graphic formats that will catch the eye.

Lastly, you’ll know how to export your InDesign file into a PDF file, which is exactly what needs to be done when creating a resume. A word of advice – ALWAYS send your resume as a PDF file. A Microsoft Word file can be easily edited, and a PDF also appears more professional.

Not completely satisfied with your current job, even if it isn’t a freelance position? Writing a resume with ANY skills at all is an important responsibility. Sign up for Land Your Dream Job with Kristen Wiggins on Zeqr to hone in on your skills and craft a resume and cover letter that will stand out from the rest.

Your writing will land you the job that you have always imagined. Kristen will teach you how to construct the perfect resume that will lead to victory.

Now you know the tips, tricks, and truths of how to list freelance work on your resume. Go get ‘em, we believe you can!

Classes mentioned:

5 Totally Simple Ways to Earn Money Online

Earning Money Online Wallet Keyboard

Do you need some extra cash but aren’t sure how to earn it? Do you have a busy schedule and can’t fit in a part-time job? Do you own a computer, laptop, iPad, or any other device with a keyboard and allows access to the Internet? You do? Perfect! You are very much in luck.

Earning money online has never been easier thanks to helpful websites, mobile applications, and other present-day creative outlets. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to earn money fast, have no fear! Learning how to make money online is simple and foolproof. Your wallet and bank account will thank you for making these small efforts that can lead to extra cash.

 Person Thinking Innovation Pinboard

As there are many ways you can work simply for some extra dollars, one (or more) of these five outlets could possibly be the best method for you. The awesome part about these five ways is that one of them is bound to truly be enjoyable for you to pursue.

You can express yourself in different manners, or just have some fun in the process of gaining some cash. Here are our suggestions that we consider easy, simple, painless – and definitely beneficial.

Tutor Online or Provide Classes

Are you a good teacher and not only want to share your knowledge but also need to make more income? Tutor others online and teach them all that you know while your bank account expands.

Aside from tutoring, providing online classes is an extremely efficient way to earn money. Zeqr allows instructors to share what they know in exchange for payment from students.

Classes can start from as low as $5 and go up to $100 or more, depending on the content that’s being displayed and taught. For example, Stefan Katanic teaches Competitor Analysis, a class that tells how to beat your competitors at digital marketing, for $18 on Zeqr.

Classes include live video calls and screen sharing and are scheduled according to the convenience of the student. This is a straightforward way to make money online and also share your knowledge on a topic that a student will appreciate.

Freelance

Online Learning Notebook Laptop

 

Have a talent that could be put to effective use to assist others? Consider freelancing! Freelancing is a wonderful way to earn money via the Internet. It’s a job that can be done from home, but more importantly, can usually be done on your own time and according to your own schedule (but remember to factor in deadlines!).

And people need freelancers for a bunch of various tasks – not just writing. Are you skilled in web work, graphic design or social media? There are freelance positions available for you! Those few jobs do not nearly cover the array of freelance work that’s available, though.

Freelancing through outlets such as Zeqr, allows you to connect with students/clients in real-time and make a difference immediately. The live and interactive online classes are a great way to make money right away!

Another great website that allows people to freelance is Upwork. Upwork is a perfect outlet for any person who would like to freelance. Create an account and start searching for tasks that are appropriate for you! It’s easy to find work, and you’ll actually find pleasure in using your talent to help others.

Sell Things You No Longer Want

Have some possessions that you no longer need or want and are willing to give away? Don’t just give them away – SELL them! The world wide web and mobile applications make selling absolutely anything completely easy and FAST.

There are two pros to this…you are not only getting rid of objects that no longer have use to you, but you are also (and more importantly) making some money! That phone charger that still works but you don’t need? Sell it. That shirt that’s in perfect condition but doesn’t fit anymore? Sell it. That set of wine glasses that you received an extra of and is just taking up space? Sell it. Sell ALL of it!

One of our favorite websites and mobile applications that makes selling your stuff and earning money super-duper easy is Letgo. Use this app and literally let go of your unwanted items. Another website and mobile application is OfferUp. Double up and use both of these apps to assure that your possessions will be gone, leaving you with cash you didn’t have before.

Take a Survey or Join a Survey Panel

 

Do you give your opinion on a daily basis (sometimes when not even asked)? Believe it or not, you can earn money online JUST by giving your opinion! Take online surveys in your spare time and get paid for your thoughts (for once).

Surveys that only take about 10-15 minutes can pay a few dollars, but more extensive and time-consuming surveys can pay up to $90! One of our favorite survey websites is Ipsos Panel. Go ahead and try it out, all it will take is a little bit of your time for cash you didn’t have in your pocket before.

A little different from taking short surveys is joining a survey panel. Become part of a survey panel, like Springboard Panel, and give your feedback for money. You’ll be asked to provide your thoughts on latest ideas and products. Easy enough? Yeah, that’s what we thought.

Rent Out Your Place

If you have a space that people would like to rent out, use Airbnb to earn some money through a website. Sign up, display your home and wait for the requests to come in! Depending on how desirable your space is or how prime the location is, you could make hundreds to thousands of dollars using this outlet.

Some words of advice? To make sure you’re getting the most buck you can, rent out at the perfect time. Consider when concerts, sporting events, etc. nearby are taking place. Another tip is to be friendly and considerate. This means interacting well with the people who are interested in staying at your place and keeping your place nice and neat.

Stock up on toiletries and necessities to assure that their stay will be a positive one. It’s an interesting concept to share your home with others and earn money from it, and you can do this online! Not only are you gaining from it, but you’re also providing visitors with a lovely experience while they travel.

Online tutoring

Whether it is tutoring, freelancing, or something else, we hope these five ways to make money online fast have been informative. Now go try one (or more) of them and get the financial results you’ve been looking for!

Common Misconceptions of Freelancing

Do you work for a company who hires freelancers or consultants? Or are you one yourself? Welcome to the ever-growing gig-economy. According to a 2015 Intuit research study, the gig economy is expected to grow to 43% of the workforce by 2020. This staggering number of freelancers is shocking yet understandable.

The trend of professionals choosing to branch off on their own and lend their expertise through different channels is growing exponentially. For many decades, the safe and desired route for many was to gain employment through an accomplished company and stay with them until retirement. Today, the shift seems to go in the opposite direction.

Why is this?

Some choose to freelance part-time for extra income, while others decide to leave their full-time jobs to focus solely on freelancing. And although many professionals are taking the jump, there are still many who question the validity and the safety of becoming a full-fledged freelancer. Going for a full-time position means there are no more benefits traditionally offered by a company. Instead, there are many other benefits to be realized aside from these – quality of life is the first thing that comes to mind.

Hundreds of thousands of people are choosing this route for their professional careers each year, but how about you? Not sold on the gig-economy yet? We compiled a list of the most common misconceptions we hear about freelancing and explain why they are simply not true. Check them out:

Freelancing is boring

Actually, freelancing can be quite fun. Why? Well, most of the time, freelancers will choose the clients that they want to work with. Clients can range from size, location, project, personnel, etc. Ask 20 freelancers what their day is like, and you’ll receive 20 different responses. As mentioned in our previous article and infographic on freelancing, new freelance resources and freelance projects have increased in huge numbers over no more than 3 years.

The attraction to freelancing is the ability to create a schedule that is flexible and freeing and avoiding a monotonous workweek. The ability to work on multiple and differing projects at any given time keeps workers excited and on their toes.

Freelancers don’t need to learn new skills

Actually, this one is very untrue. Freelancers must continuously develop their skills to stay competitive, often taking online courses and seminars to enhance their abilities further.

Online learning platforms like Zeqr, the knowledge-sharing hub, and Udemy.com, are the perfect stages for freelancers to develop their own skill set and stay on top of their game, so to speak. It is important for freelancers to not only perfect their craft but also to understand the industry in which their clients operate. This simple technique of gaining knowledge will ensure that freelancers remain informed and educated.

Freelancers can also take advantage of these online learning platforms to connect with mentors who can guide and direct a freelancer who is just starting out. There are many things that freelancers have to take care of on their own such as marketing, billing, and other accounting services.

Freelancers are lazy

Actually, quite the contrary.  Freelancers are essentially building a small company and operating as one. The amount of work that must happen for the shop to run is sometimes a massive amount, depending on the industry.

Along with self-motivation, freelancers must possess an entrepreneur-like attitude and work ethic to be successful. Freelancers are their own boss and have to answer to themselves and their client when it comes to accountability. Unlike regular employees, freelancers must take care of every part of their business to ensure success.

Freelancers live from paycheck to paycheck

Maybe. But this can be said about any profession. In reality, freelancers usually have many contracts/clients in place will give them a more reliable form of payment versus depending on one client for payment.

The right candidate for freelancer work is one who knows their monthly income and is able to ensure that they have budgeted all expenses. For first-time freelancers, consulting with an accounting expert is necessary to learn how to deal with things like taxes, budgets, etc. A perfect online class for this is Lisa Newton’s Budgeting Masterclass, in which she discusses ways in which self-employed and business owners can create a budget and stick to it.

Freelancers make less/more money than full-time employees

The truth is that freelancers can choose to make as much or as little money as they would like to make. The option to pick up or drop clients is accompanied by the liberty to work as hard, or as little as one needs to for financial freedom they desire.

Contrary to full-time employees, there isn’t one form of payment for freelancers to wait for but rather different streams of income. The amount of money paid to the freelancer depends on experience, market and industry, therefore, it is unfair to make assumptions on the earnings of freelancers.

Freelancers don’t get satisfaction from their jobs

Research shows that most freelancers actually love their work. Satisfaction is heightened by the fact that freelancers can create the job and schedule that they desire. Quality of work and quality of life are two factors that drive most influencers to enjoy their setup and get satisfaction from their work life as compared to full-time employees from traditional companies.

Understandably, freelancing is not for everyone. There are many great-paying, satisfying positions in well-known and start-up firms that are worthwhile. But for those that are curious about freelancing, we invite you to consider joining the Zeqr platform to begin sharing your knowledge. Go ahead, sign up as an Xpert for free and start sharing your expertise and knowledge today!

Your friends at Zeqr

4 Important Growth Tips for Women In Business

Building Your Career as a Female in a Male-dominated Business World

Are you a woman in business?

I hear you. It’s not easy working in a male-dominated business world. From the very start of our careers, the road to success can seem like a steep, uphill battle.

According to the Women in the Workplace 2016 study, businesswomen are less likely to receive the first critical promotion, meaning it takes them longer to reach leadership positions.

Women in business get less access to people and opportunities that can push their careers forward, and although they negotiate just as much as men, their ideas are challenged more often.

And with the way things are going now? Well, the gender gap won’t close for another 170 years.

Ultimately, this issue should be resolved by governments and employers—they need to make policies that will support women rising to the top. Still, this doesn’t mean that women in business should just sit back and accept their place on the sidelines. We need to work extra hard to stick our heads above the crowd and show our true value.

Here are some ways that we can do so.

Continue to Build Your Professional Skills

Although there are more women graduates than there are men in the business world, it doesn’t mean that their on-going journey of learning should end. Today, it is easier than ever to reach information from all over the world. Knowledge-sharing platforms, such as Zeqr, are a great way to develop new skills and also to keep old skills sharpened.

Live, interactive classes are a fantastic way to not only learn something new but to also network with experts from around the world. Online classes are the perfect way to stay ahead of the game and still having time for other life commitments.

Demonstrate Your Professional Background via LinkedIn

Haven’t updated your LinkedIn profile in ages? It’s time to get back on the bandwagon.

The professional network LinkedIn is where future employers and business partners go to review your experience—and you need to show them you know your stuff.

Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date, meaning that it has a professional photo, current position, skills, and a description of your responsibilities at each job. According to LinkedIn, you’ll have far more success on the platform if you do. Users with profile pictures get nine times more requests to connect, and those with more than five skills listed are 27 times more likely to be found.

It’s also important to ensure your profile features recommendations from previous employers or co-workers. To someone looking at your page, this is a proof that you’re a great person to work with. Recommendations from personal contacts are the most credible form of advertising, so it’s not a bad idea to ask colleagues you have a good relationship with to drop a testimonial on your profile. You can write recommendations for them in hopes they’ll return the favor. You probably shouldn’t ask your mom though, that might look a bit strange!

But most importantly, you need to engage with other users on the platform. This shows people you’re passionate about your field, which is something that’s taken highly into consideration for hiring, promotions, etc. So, by liking and commenting on content that others publish—or posting articles or content which you feel is valuable, too—offers a means of breaking the ice, and building relationships with those who may help your career down the road.

Show Your Face

With communication technologies such as texting and emailing, and project management tools such as Slack, it’s become pretty easy to get all your work done from behind a screen.

However, you can never really build particularly strong business relationships with those you’ve never seen in person, do you?

Well, that’s because to build trust, face-to-face communication is essential. Studies show that a lack of in-person communication makes people less empathetic and, therefore, less trusting of those they engage with. However, when you’re a woman in the business world, it’s imperative your managers and co-workers trust your expertise, your ideas, and your overall capabilities.

 

Even if it’s not possible to meet your business partners in person, there’s no reason why your online communication can’t be done using real-time video platforms, such as Facetime, WhatsApp video calls, or our own platform, Zeqr. Over time, meeting ‘face-to-face’ can build stronger relationships with those your work with, more than communicating via email ever could.

If you can, it’s a great idea to conduct live webinars, create video presentations online, and speak at live events, too. Seeing you in person will not only help build trust with current and future business partners but will also show them you’re confident and know exactly what you’re talking about.

Build Social Proof

 Here’s a fact: women in business are less comfortable flaunting their professional achievements than men. In a study conducted by LinkedIn, 42 percent of the UK’s businesswomen say they find it difficult, compared to 28 percent of men. And while 64 percent of women know it is important to talk about their professional development to advance their careers, they feel like they’re bragging when they do.

It’s time to flip that rhetoric on its head. To build a career in a male-dominated environment, it’s important to exhibit your social proof without reservation. After all, they are your achievements and you have worked damn hard to earn them.

Aside from career milestones, promotions, and awards, social proof can be developed by online coaching, publishing written content, creating industry-related podcasts or videos, and speaking at events. Your social proof becomes more relevant if your content is attached to a leading publication or popular network. Basically, to be relevant these days, your name needs to come up on Google searches as much as possible.

Business woman

So, apart from creating your own content, try reaching out to an event you believe your presentation would add value to, or a publication with a contributor network you’d like to write for. If you don’t know where to start, create an account on knowledge sharing platform Zeqr and create classes where you can share your expertise and establish yourself as an expert. E-learning platforms will allow you to connect with students/clients from around the world.

Once your content is online, go ahead and show it off. Post it on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and even your company’s Slack, in order to not only show everyone what you’re up to but to ask for their support in spreading the word.

Women in business and women entrepreneurs face many barriers to business success. And while we’re a long way away from breaking down those barriers completely, there are small things we can do every day to demonstrate how much we have to offer.

Why a Mentor is Essential to Your Success

Tips on why you need a mentor and how to get one – at any stage

Learning from your mistakes is the goal. Learning from others mistakes is even better. One way to make this happen is by finding a willing, seasoned and talented adviser and mentor.  The concept of mentoring originated in ancient Greece in Homer’s Odyssey but now has developed into a world of its own. Today, mentoring has progressed into an entirely different realm with all types of beneficial relationships forming; primarily for students, employees, entrepreneurs, etc.

The role of a mentor can be crucial to the success of one’s personal and professional growth and the success of one’s business – a great mentor can be life changing. Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, stated “If you ask any successful business person, they will always (say they) have had a great mentor at some point along the road.” Whether you are looking for someone to guide you during high school or college, while you start a business venture or as you move through your career, the right mentor can have a tremendous impact in the decisions and outcomes of your life decisions.

Finding a mentor that is knowledgeable in your field

Of most importance is to define the reason why you are looking to find a mentor to begin with. Once you have identified you “why”, ensure that you engage mentors who are knowledgeable and experienced in your desired field. Are you looking for industry knowledge? Personal growth experience? Defining the purpose early and correctly will be the factor between having a successful relationship and one that is unfulfilling and a waste of time for both parties.

Once the appropriate mentor has been identified, there is no limit. Building on this relationship will take time. But with this new found partner, there are many perks. A mentor can save you time and effort in many aspects of your life. By merely listening to their own experiences and outcomes, mentees can assess how they react in their real-life dealings. Digesting the information provided and tailoring it to your individual situations is key. A mentor can also suggest improvements in your current life/business. Mentors can have an unbiased perspective on a specific condition.

Creating your sounding board of mentors

For an entrepreneur, having a strong sounding board is an invaluable asset. A mentor can take the role of an unofficial advisor and seek to better the situation of a company by merely suggesting improvements. Although having a mentor will not prevent mistakes from taking place, having a seasoned mentor who has gone through similar experiences in the past can deter the budding entrepreneur from making “rookie mistakes”.

Also, don’t think that you can only have one mentor. In this scenario, the more the merrier. Having mentors from different walks of life will bring in fresh perspectives and different understandings of your situation. Seek different genders, age ranges, and even ethnic backgrounds to get a well-rounded level of feedback.

Network and connect

An often overseen and underrated perk of having a mentor is having potential access to the network of professionals that the mentor knows either personally or professionally. Having the opportunity to meet someone who might be able to help you in the present or in the future is great. Building on those relationships will be beneficial in the short and long run.

Making connections and networking are one of the most important aspects of having a mentor. Take advantage of what comes with the territory!

Finding a mentor

Finding the right mentor can be hard, however, in today’s digital age it has become a little easier to connect with enthusiastic mentors who are happy to share their wealth of knowledge. Live online platforms like ZEQR.com offers a wide range of experts at the tip of your finger. Connect with a motivational mentor, a business planning mentor or a student mentor to help answer any questions you might have. Online sessions with a mentor from anywhere in the world can prove to be enlightening and time-saving.

Looking for an in-person experience? Professional networking events are a great option to meet local entrepreneurs and mentors who are willing to connect and advise. Alternatively, industry events and meetups are a great place to meet experts in your desired industry. For students it is imperative that they connect with their school to inquire regarding programs which help students – many already have initiatives in place.

So what are you waiting for? Get started today in finding the right people to join your corner.

Are you looking to share your knowledge and become a mentor? As Mark Zuckerberg once said, “A small amount of time invested on your part to share your expertise can open up a new world for someone else.” Join us by signing up as an Xpert and create your first class a mentor.

“The wise man learns from someone else’s mistakes, the smart man learns from his own, and the stupid one never learns.”

Why Your Affiliate Program isn’t Working for Your Business (Part 2)

This article is written by marketing Xpert, Melissa Cocks.

This is the second post in a two-part series on Why Your Affiliate Program isn’t Working for your Business. To read the first post and fully improve your affiliate program, click here.

11. Affiliates Don’t Understand Your Product

If an affiliate doesn’t understand the value of your product or service, it’s likely they haven’t had first-hand experience with it. Either that, or it’s simply not relevant to them.

Find ways to facilitate affiliates trying your product before they promote it. Their endorsement will be much more passionate and genuine. Not only that, it makes it easier for them to create unique visual content with your product in-hand.

Selling a digital product? That’s even more reason to give your affiliates a taste of what you’re selling.

With digital products, in most cases there is no reason not to give it to your affiliates for free.

After all, the affiliates you’re inviting to your program are highly relevant influencers, right?

If you deem an affiliate worthy enough to join your program, you should also believe they’re worthy enough to have a sample of your product or at least be given a major discount on their first purchase.

Remember, this could also mean your affiliate becomes a new loyal customer.

12. You’re Not Recruiting New (and Quality) Affiliates

This really should have been closer to the top of this list of reasons why your affiliate program isn’t working, as this applies to many affiliate programs.

If you’re not actively recruiting new affiliates into your program on a regular basis, your program won’t grow.

Recruitment is one of the most difficult parts of running an affiliate program. It’s time-intensive, and it’s difficult (even for someone who is full-time).

The research that goes into finding new affiliates can be extremely tedious, and it’s even more of a letdown if they don’t take action–whether this means they don’t respond to your emails, apply to your program or even become activated.

To alleviate some of the headache down the road, choose quality over quantity. The key here is to get picky with whom reach out to. Don’t email everyone and their mother to join your program, and avoid generalized pitches. Customize them to each affiliate.

Scout out affiliates who have loyal audiences, great engagement on their platform(s) of choice, and who utilize blog posts and newsletters. They don’t necessary need gigantic followings.

Many of these “big-time” influencers likely won’t respond to your emails, because they have bigger deals that involve guaranteed paychecks (corporate sponsorships or TV shows) on their plates.

So don’t turn your nose up at someone who has a newsletter list of 5,000 highly-engaged subscribers. This could be a great opportunity to experience sales growth alongside their own growth.

13. Your Affiliates Have Little to No Traffic

If your affiliates don’t have regular traffic, you’re not going to see sales. No further explanation needed.

14. Your Affiliates are Primarily Social Media Influencers

If many of your affiliates are primarily social media influencers, this is another potential reason why your affiliate program isn’t working.

What’s a social media influencer? It’s someone who uses social media platforms as their only (or primary) channel for broadcasting content. Have you ever seen a clickable link in an Instagram caption?

And don’t forget about Facebook’s quest to push affiliate updates out of their followers’ newsfeeds. You see where I’m going with this.

15. Coupon Sites are Snagging the Last Click

Do you have RetailMeNot or other coupon affiliates (or cash-back/loyalty sites) in your program? Do they seem to be driving most of your sales?

If you’re not actively monitoring these affiliates, this is another reason why your affiliate program isn’t working.

Coupon sites are notorious for snagging the last-click attribution. This means that a hard-working blogger will send a paying customer to your site and right before they check out, the customer searches Google for your brand name + “coupon code” or “promo code.”

Then, when the customer visit the coupon affiliate’s website for the code, they require your customer to click to reveal a code. Get what’s behind that click? An affiliate link.

This qualifies them for the commission, pushing your hard-working affiliate out of the equation (unless you implement commission-splitting). If you’re reading this article in the first place, you should just remove coupon affiliates from your program. They require active monitoring and you need to establish a clear understanding with them and what they cannot do within your program.

Coupon affiliates can deplete your margins and also snag attribution from other marketing channels. In one way or another, this will become a problem for your business. And then it will fall into your lap and become your problem.

16. Sub-Affiliate Networks are in Your Program

A sub-affiliate network will join your affiliate program under a single name (for example, “Skimlinks”). Sub-affiliate networks essentially provide technology to bloggers and other publishers that automatically skims the blogger’s text and apply affiliate links to it.

This becomes problematic when a blogger or publisher is already an affiliate using your program’s affiliate links, and then a sub-affiliate applies their own affiliate links to the blogger’s site. There is the potential that you’re paying two separate affiliates for the same transaction in a way that will deplete your margins.

The other possibility here is that

If you’re unsure of how to manage these sub-affiliates, don’t allow them in your program.

Fraudulent affiliates (see #19) might also join a sub-affiliate network as a way of getting into your program if previously declined or removed.

17. Your Program Manager is a Bottleneck to Success

If you have a program manager (either in-house or outsourced) who is making it difficult for affiliates to access the tools they need to promote your brand, this is a problem.

Laziness and/or grouchiness will turn your affiliates away. Since many of your affiliates might be customers themselves, you not only might lose affiliates, but also customers. Make sure whomever is communicating with your affiliates remains approachable, responsive, friendly and helpful.

18. Your Links Are Always Breaking or Tracking is Faulty

Are your links always breaking, or is your tracking down often? This will flaw your reporting and payouts, and it will also cause your affiliates to lose trust in your program–and therefore become less active or leave.

You should be checking your affiliate platform each day to make sure there is normal activity. You should be doing this anyway, because, for instance, if there is a large spike you want to find out what awesome affiliate activity caused this, or, if the tracking is flawed (or your links are broken).

If this is an internal problem, address it with the appropriate people and put a plan in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Internal communication across departments is vital to keeping your tracking working, because that tracking pixel is living on your web pages.

So, for instance, if your engineering team makes a change to a web page and the pixel query string gets mistakenly deleted or changed, this is a problem. Similarly, if a page is deleted and not redirected, a links can break.

You should always test a few affiliate links each day just to be sure nothing has gone awry.

19. Fraudulent Affiliates Exist in Your Program

If you have your program on autopilot, or if your affiliate manager isn’t paying careful attention to your program, you run the risk of allowing fraudulent affiliates into your program.

Fraudulent affiliates will find ways to generate false transactions through their own affiliate links. Some of the ways affiliates can commit fraud through their own links are the following:

  • Using stolen credit card information to place orders
  • Filling out a lead form over and over again with different email addresses (a concern for affiliate programs that pay per lead or new customer)
  • Ordering through their links with made-up email addresses and then returning the orders for a refund

Smart fraudsters will often test the waters with your program first by slowly making a few fraudulent transactions, and then they will ramp these up over time.

You should be reversing commissions for returned orders each month, as well as looking for abnormal levels of affiliate transactions that aren’t congruent with affiliate activity.

To combat fraudulent lead activity, you want to check the IP addresses on transactions from specific affiliates driving a ton of leads. If these IP addresses are very similar or if they’re all the same, there’s something fishy going on.

To further pinpoint fraud, look up the location of the IP addresses. If they’re coming from places that your customers definitely wouldn’t be located (and locations that are known for nefarious activity), you want to look into this.

In order to combat affiliate fraud, be picky about who you allow into your program in the first place.

A website that has little to no activity happening on their site, or one that doesn’t match what they put on their affiliate application, is suspicious. There are sometimes legitimate reasons for this, but I caution you to reach out to the affiliate before you accept them into your program.

Make sure the legalese in your affiliate program Terms & Conditions contains language about what activity is considered fraudulent or impermissible, and the rights you reserve to when an affiliate has been suspected of fraudulent activity. Ask a lawyer about this.

20. Your Product is the Problem

If you’ve genuinely tried everything on this list, you either haven’t been trying for long enough, or there’s a chance your product isn’t that great.

Either that, or there just isn’t enough demand for it (or the price isn’t right).

If your product falls within a niche that just doesn’t have that many affiliates associated with it, this also might be part of your problem. In this case, perhaps a traditional affiliate program isn’t right for you.

You can always try an ambassador program where your customers are rewarded for referring friends.

Okay, I Know Why My Affiliate Program isn’t Working. Now What?

Now that you’ve pinpointed why your affiliate program isn’t working for your business, you can go in two different directions.

  1. You fix your program.
  2. You decide to can it altogether.

This is a big decision, and you want to make sure you make the right one.

If you need help making the decision or need more information on how to approach a solution specifically for your affiliate program and business, I’m here.

Contact me via Zeqr for affiliate marketing advice specific to your business.

You will get advice about the best approach for you to take, from someone who has managed and overhauled an entire affiliate program.

This article is written by marketing Xpert, Melissa Cocks.

Why Your Affiliate Program isn’t Working for Your Business (Part 1)

This article is written by marketing Xpert, Melissa Cocks.

If you’re wondering why your affiliate program isn’t working for your business, your arrival here is a great first step toward turning it around.

Managing an affiliate marketing channel on behalf of your company involves many different moving parts and requires a considerable amount of time. That being said, there are many potential reasons why your affiliate program isn’t working.

It might just be one of the following reasons, but it’s likely more than just one.

As you read through the potential reasons why your affiliate program isn’t working (not generating enough sales or net profit), take note of which ones resonate with you.

Why Your Affiliate Program isn’t Working & How to Fix it

1. Your Affiliate Program is Running on Autopilot

Do you let your affiliate program run itself, aside from the occasional check-in to approve affiliate applications and whatnot?

If you’re not taking steps to proactively manage your program, most of the following issues likely apply to you as the reasons why your affiliate program isn’t working. Having your affiliate program run on autopilot is at the root of these problems.

2. You Don’t Have a Dedicated Affiliate Program Manager

If someone doesn’t have a role dedicated to managing your affiliate program, this is a red flag.

If you want to scale your affiliate program, you’re going to need someone whose sole job is to manage it. There is simply too much involved in running a successful affiliate program to merely have one person’s attention split between the affiliate program and another role.

The absence of a full-time affiliate program manager is one of the top potential reasons why your affiliate program isn’t working for you.

3. Most of Your Affiliates are Inactive

If you look at your affiliate list and see that many of them aren’t generating sales, or even clicks, this means most of your affiliates aren’t actively promoting your products.

This could be a symptom of many of the following issues. You need more of your affiliates actively promoting your brand on a regular basis in order to increase your sales.

4. Your Landing Pages Don’t Convert (or they’re “Leaky”)

Another possible–yet commonly overlooked–reason why your affiliate program isn’t working is that your landing pages don’t convert.  

If your affiliates are sending leads to your website and the landing pages aren’t converting leads into customers, you need to take a second look at your landing pages.

As an affiliate manager, landing pages might seem outside of your responsibility zone. However, it’s important to communicate with your colleagues responsible for conversion optimization/landing pages, since you’re responsible for generating sales via affiliates.

What’s more, if your landing pages include a phone number for a lead to call and purchase through, your affiliate program might be generating sales that perhaps aren’t being reported.

The phone number on your affiliate landing page should have call tracking on it in order to tie those phone sales to an affiliate within your program.

5. You Don’t Educate Your Affiliates

If your affiliate program isn’t working for you, a possible reason why is a lack of educational resources made available to your affiliates.

Upon acceptance into your program, affiliates should be presented with educational materials. These should cover how to use the affiliate platform, as well as how to set themselves up for success in your program.

Whether this is in the form of a YouTube video or a Google Doc, you can link to this from the “Welcome” email that you send to them upon acceptance.

Affiliates should be educated on an ongoing basis with examples of successful affiliate promotions. This will reinforce that you have a vested interest in their success, and it will help them get started on the right foot.

6. Your Affiliates Don’t Know How Much or How Little They Earn

If affiliates aren’t regularly signing into their affiliate portal, they likely don’t know how much they’re making. And this is a potential reason why your affiliate program isn’t working.

If an affiliate is involved with multiple affiliate programs that automatically deposit earnings into one banking account, they might not be checking for exactly how much or how little they are making from your program.

This could mean that they aren’t seeing the value in spending time on your program, or they’re not seeing that they need to make improvements in the way they promote your brand.

7. Your Affiliates Dislike Your Creative (or it Just Doesn’t Work)

If you’re wondering why your affiliate program isn’t working and your creative is subpar, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to you.

When affiliates dislike the creative you supply to them for promoting your products, they’re not going to use it. This goes for both visuals and copy.

It’s common for affiliates to request custom banners to fit specific dimensions on their site, or that message a specific product. While you can’t always provide custom creative to all your affiliates, the key here is to provide your most promising affiliates with custom banners or other types of visuals.

Make sure you also provide attractive banners with a call-to-action button to all affiliates. You should have some general options, as well as ones that feature your most popular products.

Oh–and make sure it’s obvious what your brand is from looking at the banners. You would be shocked at how many brands serve ads that are nearly impossible to decipher!

8. Your Commission Structure is Flawed

If your profit margins are depleted, or affiliates just aren’t motivated to join your program (or promote your products), your commission structure is possibly flawed. This could be a major reason why your affiliate program isn’t working for your business.

Your affiliates only have so much room on their web properties to promote so many brands, so you want to make sure that your affiliate program incentives are enticing.

If your commission structure isn’t competitive, your brand will fall at the bottom of the priority list for your affiliates. This will make it harder to recruit new affiliates and activate your existing ones.

Another reason your commission structure might be flawed is if your company hadn’t accounted for profit margin when it first launched the affiliate program. When evaluating your commission structure, you want to take this into account.

When you discount your products or have a sale event, will you still have your desired profit margin after you cover costs, pay your affiliates their commission, etc.?

It might be worth it to reconsider your commission structure. This should allow you to pay your affiliates fairly, but you also don’t want to deplete your profit margins.

A well-thought-out commission structure will help you avoid needing to change it down the line. Keep in mind that you will receive backlash from affiliates if you change your commission structure frequently.

9. Many of Your Affiliates Only Use Banner Ads

If affiliates are only using banner ads to promote your brand, this could be another major reason why your affiliate program isn’t working.

Some affiliates will approach affiliate marketing like it’s CPM advertising, in which advertisers pay publishers for impressions. If your affiliates are bloggers, you will run into this quite often.

Affiliates can make decent money with CPM ads that are served by big advertisers, and it’s essentially easier for them to make money in this respect if they have ample traffic. It’s understandable that this would be the modus operandi.

Education is important here since affiliate marketing can be a pretty new concept to some influencers. Getting your affiliates onboard with active promotion within blog posts and newsletters is paramount to growing the success of an affiliate marketing program.

10. Affiliates Don’t Feel Supported

There are going to be certain things that affiliates ask for that you might simply not have the resources to deliver; things that are completely out of your hands or that you cannot seem to get approval on from higher up.

However, if affiliates don’t feel they’re being supported or heard, they might give up on promoting your brand–even if they have been some of your most loyal customers.

If you absolutely cannot deliver on a specific request, come to a compromise. Is there anything else that you can give an affiliate to help them be successful? Try to deliver that.

To continue reading, please visit Why Your Affiliate Program isn’t Working for Your Business (Part 2).

This article is written by marketing Xpert, Melissa Cocks.

Placing Your Team in the Spotlight

Three Reasons We Place Our Team in the Spotlight (Rather Than Ourselves)

By Daniel Hedlund

 

Branding expert Simon Mainwaring said “CEOs must embrace the role of serving as the public face of the company to their customer community and the marketplace at large.However, rather than stepping into the limelight ourselves, myself and my co-founder decided that while it’s important to have a face for our company, more often than not, it shouldn’t be ours.

Why? Well, we like the peace and quiet for one. But mostly, because we founded our company to connect people with experts on a human level. To allow people to build relationships, and learn from one another. As such, our company talent and networks have always been our most valuable asset, which we try to showcase as much as possible.

We have found that offering the chance to other team members to be brand ambassadors improves team morale, keeps members engaged and interested, and allows us to show different sides to our company.

Here are three reasons why we decided to place our team and our Xperts in the spotlight rather than ourselves

As CEO you have plenty on your plate already

In the current age of mass media and social media, many CEOs from leading companies become celebrities in their own rights. Well spoken, intelligent and well-liked founders and CEOs like Elon Musk, Richard Branson and Mark Zuckerberg become the face of their brands, and are very present in the public eye.

But the fact is that for companies who have not reached the dizzying heights of Facebook, Virgin Group or SpaceX, and still have smaller teams, the CEO plays an essential business role which doesn’t leave much time for being a public figure.

CEO is a strategic, managerial position which includes many essential day to day roles to keep the company on track and moving in the right direction to meet its big mission, and look after the interests of all of its shareholders.

Generally, as CEO and COO of the company, we have our hands filled with business and strategy decisions about our platform, our network, which markets we should be moving into next, what’s working and what’s not. We also have an ever-expanding team and network of mentors to keep happy, successful, and on board, which takes priority for us.

One role of a CEO which cannot be ignored is to make sure that our community of users, mentors, and stakeholders, are kept up to date with the direction the company is moving in and our vision for the future.

While this vision falls mostly on our shoulders as leaders, we try to include our team in decision-making processes as much as possible and have regular meetings, and brainstorming sessions to make sure everyone is one the same page.

To give others the recognition they deserve

Most of our newer team members are millennials, a generation of notoriously ambitious people who are stereotyped as job-hoppers and at the same time happy to uproot at a moment’s notice in search of more fulfilling employment opportunities.

However, a recent survey by Capital Group featured by Forbes shows that while millennials will leave jobs they don’t feel fulfilled in, they are loyal, and want to work for employers where they are valued, and can develop their careers on the long term.

Millennials don’t want to viewed as numbers, they want to feel part of a team. As such, whenever our team is doing well, and there is a chance to speak to a journalist, close a big deal with a new partner organization or client, or contribute at a conference or event, we feel that this is an opportunity for us to show team members how valued they are, by making them the representative of our company, our brand ambassadors, rather than stealing all the glory ourselves.

Millennials are the least engaged generation in the U.S, and according to a recent Gallup study are the most sensitive to receiving (or not receiving) due recognition and praise at work. When newer team members see other colleagues getting their moment in the spotlight, in a manner which is good for their careers and CV, this inspires them to work harder, and go the extra mile, in the knowledge that their hard work will in some way be repaid and recognized.

To give team members a chance to excel

In the modern world of business, social proof means everything. LinkedIn and Crunchbase have become the new curriculum, and employers now look at much more than previous jobs, also focusing on recommendations, published content, mentions in the media, to which events and conferences a potential hire has contributed in.

My co-founder and I have successfully launched multiple companies, and although social media channels play an important role for us too, we won’t be looking for jobs any time soon –we hope — so this visibility, this social proof which will could help us down the line, is less important to us.

On the contrary, it is very important to our employees. In the same way as putting someone in a leadership role can help them excel, we often find that allowing our members to grow their own social proof, and get their moments of fame internally and externally is great for their careers, and keeps them motivated and engaged.

Our platform, Zeqr, is designed to bridge the gap between experts and seekers of knowledge. So, from day one, when we bring new team members on board, we introduce them as experts in something. The point is that everyone knows that this person has a particular skill or talent, which makes them special.

We also encourage them to put themselves out there as an expert as much as possible. Being a speaker at a conference or event, publishing an article on a leading publication or doing an interview with a journalist offers the chance to grow personally as well as professionally. As well as visibility, its gives people confidence, and shows them that they are going places in their careers. Also, it generally makes people more dedicated to their own personal projects too.

As the C-suite of a company, it is important that everyone knows who calls the shots, and who makes the big decisions. However, there are times where, in my opinion, there is no reason for the upper management to be the face of the company. If you are confident that your team will represent your brand in the best way possible, then place the trust in them to do so.

I am proud and excited by the group of Xperts that we have to offer on Zeqr. When we set out to create the best live, online learning platform, we envisioned the world’s top experts available to anyone. This platform has become a great tool for employees, entrepreneurs, students and polymaths and I look forward to highlighting everyone who becomes a part of this journey.

 

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