Business coaching seems to be a new buzz word of late. It’s something that’s come to the fore in recent years as we see more and more entrepreneurs launching their ideas into small working enterprises.
The truth is, running a business is hard.
Running an affiliate business is probably one of the hardest to set up and master.
In short – It’s a complex and ever changing business model that relies on you constantly finding new ways to send new customers to the brands you engage with whilst keeping up with a throng of regulatory and advertising changes and market trends.
Over the past two decades, I’ve realised that affiliates are incredibly clever people.
They know how to engage audiences, drive traffic and build sustainable communities around an online brand. They are also adept and agile in the fact that they exist at the forefront of the digital landscape and are constantly adapting to online transformation and online change. The iGaming industry has provided a lucrative source of income for the affiliate business owner, but it isn’t offered without significant risk. It is NOT easy being an affiliate. Anyone that says it – is lying.
At the drop of a hat you can be shut down or cut off as terms don’t necessarily protect you from losing out on residual income when a market or brand shuts down. Navigating this can be soul destroying when it happens, so how can you protect yourself against these changes, and focus on building a business model that allows for continued growth?
Benefits of working with a Business Coach?
The top 3 reasons why any entrepreneurs use the services of a Business coach were listed as follows in a recent article published by The Guardian in the UK:
- To allow you to take a step back and focus on the bigger picture
- Help build your confidence
- Change your outlook
The truth is that these three things are vital if you want your business to grow.
It takes an incredible amount of personal sacrifice, grit and determination to launch your own affiliate business. Taking that first step is often the hardest, and no matter how prepared you think you are to do it, the truth is – being an entrepreneur can be a lonely road to travel on.
Everything usually will take twice as long to launch and often things just won’t go as you originally expected. Having a business coach working alongside you can help you to keep focussed and get over the disappointments (believe me, it happens to us all) when things don’t go exactly to plan. When you are fighting to succeed, you can get consumed with the competition around you and forget to look inward or focus on your own mental upkeep.
Most successful entrepreneurs will tell you the importance of keeping yourself mindful of the competition, but also of yourself. If you are a solopreneur it can easily lead to getting trapped in your own head loop which manifest in you becoming your own worst enemy or second guessing your actions.
A business coach keeps you accountable.
They call this loop the “business overwhelm” and it is a big cause for lack of focus in start ups and can hinder your progress significantly. To keep your business on track, you must remain focussed on your goals, and planning for success in small increments. It is right here that an experienced coach can make all the difference.
Coaching is a highly personalised endeavour.
I employed my first business coach before I even started my business. I needed someone who would be agnostic to my personal preferences, and who would listen to my thought process – without prejudice. The problem was finding one that understood the iGaming industry – which was nigh on impossible at the time, so I had to make do.
I’m still not sure that there are a lot of iGaming specific coaches available as the industry is so competitive, however if you look hard enough you’ll find the right people with the right contacts and expertise and would be willing to help in some way if you asked. Having a coach that understands the pitfalls and the competitive environment of your specific industry is important.
Making decisions without insight is also dangerous, so whilst a business coach may be able to guide you through strategic or operational decisions they might miss out on the finer nuances of how this relates back to your earnings as an affiliate in the iGaming sector.
Make sure your coach resonates with 100% with you and your business
Your coach should be able to help identify what you are best at and understand the importance of where you benchmark yourself to your peers , and to your competitors too. A good coach will delve deep and help you to find your own unique culture, they will be able to help fortify your relationships in the industry with your partners and understand your target customer base and all the regulation restrictions you face, to help you increase your capacity for growth.
It is this impartial assessment that helps you gain focus, and look at the things that are important and making a difference and leaving the rest , which you might be attached to – but doesn’t move the revenue needle. There must be a degree of empathetic connection required for this relationship to really work.
To get results, your coach may need to push you to boundaries you may feel uncomfortable with exploring. You’ll want to have a good chemistry to start with, so that you can talk openly and honestly about these situations. Coaching demands that you step outside your comfort zone in order to grow, expand your mindset, look inwards to know yourself better and work better with your team, to support your revenue growth.
Enjoy the support — but focus on the implementing.
A Business coach is not a crutch. They aren’t going to do the work for you, they are going to make you do commit to doing it then check up on how the results have panned out in your business. It is an investment you make for yourself – to maintain a mantra of always looking ahead. It’s important that you are keeping on top of all the latest, most innovative techniques in the realm of affiliate marketing. This isn’t to say, however, that you must prioritise research and discussion at the expense of action.
Your coach is there to ensure you and your team are always working your socks off so that you can roll out new approaches to marketing as quickly as possible, thus keeping you ahead of your competition and the disrupting environment that affiliate marketers typically choose to work in.
Make no mistake, this isn’t about talking through your feelings, it’s about challenging the status quo – and making you accountable to make the hard changes you need to propel your business forward.
Keeping abreast of change
Change is the only constant when you are running a business. Change is always accelerating you forward, too. In the past few years, the pace for new entrants coming into the affiliate market has picked up like never before. Mergers and acquisitions are rife. Digital is transforming rapidly and ensuring you are educated on the latest methodologies is part of keeping your business healthy.
A coach can help you keep change in check. They can help you come to a consensus regarding which changes need to be implemented and which can be discarded. With this process of training and implementation – it can help your business become more streamlined over time. It is imperative that you organise your priorities and development so that you are best equipped to deal with any rapid changes in the future.
As an affiliate business owner you have to continually evolve with a coach walking you through the process empathetically you can learn to love working in the midst of it rather than getting frazzled by constant change.
Remember what’s important
Why do we start a business in the first place?
It’s so we can live our lives in the way that we want. Running your own business is tough. It’s difficult. It’ll give you sleepless nights. It’s also full of moments of unparalleled joy when you see people appreciate the work you do, when a customer feeds back or passes your site or service on to another.
If you love what you do, you’ll make it work. A coach can help get you the clarity you need to make big bold steps to move your business forward. You just have to believe in yourself and be prepared to work hard to determine what your next big move should be – together.
About Lee-Ann Johnstone
Lee-Ann Johnstone is the co-founder of Affiliate Insider and you can follow her through her affiliateinsider.com website.