When we first started building our network of affiliate sites we did it all wrong.
We barely researched our products, we included crappy stock images and we used the most boring, cold, corporate sounding language. Essentially, we didn't care.
Actually, scratch that, we did care....about money.
But the funny thing was we were hardly making any. You know why? Because we didn't care about our readers!
We weren't acting like real people; we were acting like douchebags.
We were trying to sound like some legitimate, official skincare reviewing company but we were complete frauds.
It wasn't until we decided to humanize the site, use pictures of ourselves, test out the products we were reviewing, inject some personality and actually give a damn about our readers that everything started to change for us.
It was this decision to revamp our sites from a mindset of B2C to P2P that truly had a formative effect on the future of our business, the way we brand our sites and the money we made.
Itching to make this change in your business and start raking in the cash money? Let's talk.
P2P? That Sounds like Sexytime!
Unfortunately I'm going to try and stay on track and not talk (or think) about sexytime....for now.
Basically, P2P is the handy little acronym for Person to Person. It's a (not so) new way of conducting business and one we believe in to our core.
It's the process of ditching the boring old corporate talk and marketing to your readers, viewers or customers in a way that humanizes your company and shows you give a damn.
It is not a tactic, it's being real. It's being you, having a personality, caring about your audience, providing value and not placing money above all else.
It is about levelling the playing field, connecting, forming a relationship and not making your customers have to jump through lame hoops just to deal with a customer service issue or ask a fucking question.
So how can you convert your existing business from B2C (business to customer) to P2P?
3 Ways to Humanize Your Business
As mentioned above, when we first started building our sites we did it all wrong.
We would use bullshit phrases like "our team discovered" or "our research demonstrated" - I cringe just thinking back to the "our team discovered" days. Bleh! I feel dirty having written that because it was so cold, so manufactured and ridiculously dishonest.
These days we embrace our actual personalities and inject our voice into our reviews by saying things like "I have been test-driving this cream for the last 6 weeks" or "results? What results? I personally didn't notice any changes in my stretch marks after using...".
Not only is it more true to us (myself and our writer Sabrina) but it resonates with our readers who then feel safe clicking our affiliate links and purchasing the product.
It helps our readers to realize that we're not some scammy site just there to take their money. They can see that we are real people with a real personality and a real review.
Best of all, this tactic is easy to implement. All you have to do is: be yourself, damnit!
Are you funny? Good. Make us laugh. Are you sassy? Awesome. Sass it up! Are you blatantly honest? Wicked. Tell it like it is.
You don't need to think about it too much, just be you in everything you write, shoot or record and your words will flow naturally.
Oh and if you can add in images that reflects this voice, you're gold.
The picture at the top of this post is one I used for one of my posts (and videos) on our skincare site. It's been viewed nearly 15,000 times on Youtube and shared many times over because women resonate with the happy, positive lifestyle vibe that we try to create within that site.
So ditch the stock images and start flaunting your personality with every word you write and every image you post. Trust me, it will make a huge difference in the way people respond to your posts and overall website.
Your Customer Service
Solid customer service is one of the easiest ways to act like a real human being in your business.
Whether you own a physical product, a digital product, provide a service or have an affiliate site, your customer service process is one of the best ways to set yourself apart from the competition who may not want to bother with this 'unnecessary' task.
After all, if your customer has already made a purchase then you have achieved your goal, right?
If one of your readers, viewers, subscribers or followers has taken the desired action and forked out the cash to support your business and then has an issue with the product they bought it is on you to help them solve this problem.
Yes, that even applies to you affiliates.
Think of it this way: If you have made a sale off someone, wouldn't you love to increase your chances of making yet another sale off them or have them refer your site (or product or service) to their friends? Obviously! You're in business; making sales is your jam.
And what's the easiest way to ensure your customer isn't a disgruntled one-off? Provide them with a stellar experience.
We have had a few instances where a reader has bought a product through one of our links, had a terrible experience and sent us a scathing email blasting us for ripping them off.
Sure, we could respond defensively telling it's not our product and we're not the fools who ripped them off, but what would that do? Incense them even more.
Instead, we reply with empathy. We apologize for their negative experience, for feeling as though we ripped them off and offer to help them out in any way we can.
Usually they just want the contact number of who to talk to so we give them that. Occasionally we get in touch with the affiliate manager for that specific product and find out if they can talk to the company and get the issue resolved.
It doesn't always work out but it shows that customer that we are actively trying to make things right for them.
Not only does it calm them down but it shows them that we run a website that values them and will work with them to fix the problem, ultimately solidifying our spot in the back of their mind next time they are looking for another skincare, beauty or weight loss product.
Your Off-Site Efforts
Can I get an Amen for social media and it's ability to spread your voice and showcase your business's unique personality?! *shouting amen at her computer screen and raising her hands in the air like she just don't care*
Now, I've yammered on in the past about social media's ability to invite interaction and supply some link love to your site but its real value comes in the form of bite-sized glimpses of personality where your reader/viewer/listener gets to know you, your business and form a relationship with you.
Not only can you flaunt your personality but you can connect with a potential customer on neutral grounds where they know you're not just there to sell them something but to socialize and build a rapport with them.
These quick interactions solidify a connection; typically prompting them to check out your site, share your content or pass along your link to anyone they know who may have a similar need.
It's an invaluable resource and marketing tool to anyone who wants to sell just about anything online.
If you pass that up, well, you're bonkers. Either that or you don't care about making more money, more often.
But you're better than that; otherwise you would have stopped reading a long time ago.
Oh and look at that, you're still here. Hot-cha-cha!
Got any tips of your own on how to build a person to person business? Dish 'em below, yo!