Envisioning an Era When Everyone Is "In Sales"
As unemployment wracks the nation, affiliate marketing has entered millions of minds as a way to make money online with some degree of regularity and ease. Meanwhile, "personal selling" business models like Avon and CaBi have been drawing attention from job-seekers.
The stock market rose steadily, almost tremendously, from March of 2009 to September of 2009. At the same time, unemployment rose steadily, almost tremendously, right in line.
The concept of modern affiliate marketing--i.e., a sales commission paid to an informal sales agent--is changing the nature of employment for whole cultures, including America's.
Affiliate Marketing Is a No Lose Proposition for Employers
When you have a solidly profitable affiliate marketing business, there really is not much of a need to ever hire a full-time employee. There is never really much need, then, to pay worker's compensation insurance, health insurance, payroll taxes, 401K plans, etc., etc.
Take that one step further and cut your costs in half again. Hire a contractor based out of Bangalore. At $5 per hour, virtual assistants will do a lot of things for a little money.
Especially if you are an effective communicator (pretty much a prerequisite for running a successful digital company), the world of contract workers is your oyster. You tell people what you want, what you'll pay, when you want it, how you want it, etc., etc.
And, if you're working with the right people, the job gets done right.
Rinse and repeat.
If Employment Does Not Pick Up Soon, Or Even If It Does
If employment does not pick up soon, both in terms of traditional jobs and more hours for workers who are underemployed, bet on a continued, quicker rise in affiliate marketing-based employment. Already, demand for once-obscure services like "SEO" is booming.
Again, though, more than any one area of job growth, the establishment of affiliate marketing as a profitable "career choice" has challenged the entire notion of what a "career choice" is.
In the past, a kid graduating from college stating that he wanted to work, on-and-off and on a contract basis, from home, for a person he's never met--that kid would have been ridiculed.
Today, throw the words "affiliate marketing" or "Internet marketing" into that statement, and that kid is looking smart, and let me know if she pulls it off.
The numbers make sense and are getting out. Look at QuinStreet, Inc., one of the fastest-growing affiliate marketing operations in the world, recently passing $300 million in annual revenues.
And now think of all the Internet millionaires that don't seek publicity.
Know How to Sell and You Will Never Starve
If you've ever had the privilege of knowing or being a top notch salesperson, then you know that sales can be an art form. Mostly, though, you know that the sales game is about persistence.
There are millions of Americans who are nothing if not persistent. Affiliate marketing may become a fairly mainstream occupation after all.