What do Affiliates and The Washington DC Food Show Have in Common?

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Well besides the fact that I have to disclose that I did get some free swag from some of the booths and Bloggers have to disclose that they receive gifts as well, they both have an entrepreneurial spirit and both Affiliates and Foodies or some of the smaller exhibitors at the Washington DC food show not only realized that the corporate world wasn’t for them but they could also make it on their own without relying on a giant company breathing down their throats.  Here is what I saw as three of the most common similarities between Affiliates and the Foodies and smaller shops that were at the Washington DC Food Show and what you can learn from them.

1.  Be creative and find a way to make something better or to serve a group in your niche that doesn’t have a resource yet.

Gia Michaels and Gourmet Garbage
Gia Michaels and Gourmet Garbage

The first booth I want to share with everyone is by a woman named Gia Michaels.  Much like Affiliates Gia Michaels found a niche for herself and has begun to take it over.  She took something that already existed and found a way to fill in a missing hole in the world of desserts.  She combined mini chocolate chips with chocolate covered pretzels, peanut butter, crunchy bits, heath bar pieces and a ton of other fun things and not only packaged them in a fun jar container, but also gave her dessert topping mix a great name, Gourmet Garbage.  She then found a way to cook and improve on a ton of already popular dessert recipes while combining Gourmet Garbage with them and gives them away free in her mini recipe book.  The mixture combines the perfect amount of chocolate, sweet and salty to hit just about everyone’s pallet and then when you get the free recipe book afterwards you’ll not only snack on Gourmet Garbage while you are reading through it, but you’ll also be on your way to the store to pick up everything you need for chocolate pie, rice cereal treats and even skewers and marshmallows.  Gia took an ordinary combination of products, combined it with everyday favorite desserts and built a new way to use both that are not only visually appealing but fun for people to work with, easy and quick to prepare and filled a need for many parents that are trying to find a way to keep their kids happy and enable them to help cook in the kitchen.  Affiliates do this all the time by thinking and being creative when they enter into a niche and many of the successful ones think about what audiences for that niche currently don’t have a site that caters to them.  Gia Michaels and Gourmet Garbage filled the niche of making treats and desserts even better and making it so your kids could help prepare them and as an Affiliate you should think about how you can take something that already exists and either make it better or make it so that it can reach an audience that has a need for it or that isn’t being serviced or catered to yet.   I am actually eating Gourmet Garbage right now and highly recommend it.  Here is the site.  It makes an awesome gift, especially for Moms sumo wrestling suits for sale.

2.  Don’t get down when you’re down on your luck.  Stick to what you know and what you are good at.

This video is broken at first, just need to warn you ahead of time.  It does fix.

What does this lady and an Affiliate have in common?  Some of the top Affiliates that many of us know started because they had nothing else going for them.  Some of them started with a free site or on Article sites until they could afford their own urls and server space and others started a site because they got laid off and had nothing else that they could do in the immediate future.  Others ended up without a job and no desire to go back to working for a large corporation so instead they decide to go out on their own and start their first sites with nothing more than an idea and the desire to make it on their own.  This lady made one of the most amazing vanilla bean cakes with buttercream icing that I have ever tasted.  She didn’t have a large booth and they didn’t have uniforms but what they did have is passion and love and you can not only see it in their smiles but you can taste it in their cakes and their food.  Affiliates don’t have to have a lot when they start out and don’t need fancy designers and whistles and bells.  They are creative people that can do without the backing of a large corporation, even though it would be nice at times.  The point is to stay focused and stay dedicated to what you love and in the end you may find yourself successful like this lady did.

3.  Don’t forget to sell and expand.

Jim Barbour and FunniBonz BBQ Sauce
Jim Barbour and FunniBonz BBQ Sauce

This next Foodie was a Sales Rep. at a company that new there was something better out there for him.  Jim Barbour realized that working for someone else wasn’t him.  After helping everyone else make a fortune he went out on his own and did something that he loved, making BBQ sauce.  This BBQ sauce turned him into a saucy king of Pig, Chicken and Beef because Jim Barbour is the creator of the famous FunniBonz BBQ Sauce which is carried in over 2,000 stores across the USA including Wholefoods and local food markets.  What can we learn from Jim Barbous and FunniBonz BBQ sauce?  He knew that he wasn’t passionate about what he was doing and didn’t want to work for someone else so he left and started to do what he loved.  He then realized that one sauce and flavor of FunniBonz BBQ sauce wasn’t enough so he expanded the line from the original to create a spicy, a chipotle and other flavors of FunniBonz BBQ sauce.  When we think about Affiliate Marketing the same exact things apply.

You need to build a site about something you love and are passionate about.  If you don’t really love it then you’ll get tired of your sites and start hating them.  When you do that you lose your passion and your site may suffer.  Choose something you love and can dedicate your life to like Jim Barbour chose FunniBonz BBQ sauce.  You also need to make sure that you don’t go so specific when you choose your niche within the market so that you are not able expand your product line and grow your business.

One flavor of FunniBonz BBQ sauce can only go so far.  Sure there are a ton of people who may not have tried it but there are a ton of others that only like spicy or like sweet or tangy and don’t know how to modify a recipe so they probably wouldn’t try it or buy it when there is one that meets their needs already available.  When you start your site or pick a niche to enter you need to think of at least 3 or 4 ways that you can expand your brand or your site so that you always have a new direction to move in so that you don’t get tired of writing about the same thing and you can reach other people within your Market.  Jim Barbour and FunniBonz BBQ sauce used different flavors.  Although you probably aren’t making a BBQ sauce, you can always think about what you can do to reach new people within your niche and make sure that you can serve their needs and likes as well.

Foodie Entrepreneurs and Affiliates have a ton of things in common.  They are creative, tired of working for a larger company and ready to be out on their own.  They know how to sell,  be creative and find a market that either has a gap in it or can be improved on.  Both also know that they have to find a way to expand their product lines in order to grow as well.  It was great to see a group of people that are so similar to the Affiliate industry and I think that if they would ever want to cross over there would be an entirely new wave of driven and business savvy Affiliates hitting the industry strong.

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