When I watch a movie, it’s hard not to draw parallels between it and Internet marketing. Watching Our Idiot Brother, I caught a number of great lessons for all types of marketers. So, what does Paul Rudd, also known as Phoebe Buffay’s boyfriend, have to teach you about being an awesome affiliate?
1. You’re going to fail.
“I try to do good, but it doesn’t always work out.”
It’s important to realize that you’re going to fail at Internet marketing… a lot. You’re going to get it wrong, your first few campaigns won’t make as much as you had hoped, you’re going to build a bad landing page, etc. Failing is a big part of being successful, especially for affiliates. In fact, most affiliates have extremely low success rates with campaigns. So, if you’re going to fail (and you are), just remember to fail fast so that you can get to the success.
2. Have fun with it.
“I have to get back to work on the tomion.”
At the end of the day, if you’re not doing something you love, you’re wasting your time. Affiliate marketers are entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs need passion. Do you want to invest 50 or 60 hours a week working on something you think is “meh”? Of course not. Be sure this is something you love so that you never have to “work” again.
3. People are going to think you’re an idiot.
“I just figured that since you sold it to a uniformed police officer, you must be stupid.”
Everyone is going to think you’re an idiot. Your best friends, your family, the guy you carpool with on Tuesdays – everyone. Who works a 40 hour week and then voluntarily spends time doing work when they get home? Idiots. Conversely, who quits the security of a big company to venture out on their own? Who decides they want to work harder and longer just to be their own boss? Idiots, idiots.
Some of the brightest minds were considered idiots in their time too.
4. Find an unconditional support system.
“I can’t just kick him out… he’s family.”
Being an affiliate is awesome! You can work from your PJs, you can set your own hours, you can do things your own way – it rocks. Sometimes, however, it’s going to be tough. It’s going to be hard when your first big campaign slows to a halt and there are a few weeks where you don’t earn a penny. For this reason, you want to be sure you have an unconditional support system that always has your back. Think family, friends and industry experts.
5. Live in your own world.
“I love my brother, but still, he doesn’t live in the adult world.”
Remember when you were in high school and there was the guy that spent all his time playing World of Warcraft in his parents’ basement? Or when you met that girl who genuinely thought unicorns and leprechauns were real? They were living in their own little worlds and most affiliates do too. Once you get started, it’s hard to transition back from spending hours reading blogs, going to conferences, staying up until 3 a.m. researching keywords, etc.
Have you seen Our Idiot Brother? Do you think it had real value for Internet marketers?