Typically, as a small business owner in charge of a private practice, our income comes from fee-based services. In short, we earn money based upon a services that we provide (i.e., counseling, groups, retreats, webinars, workshops, etc.).
Wouldn't it be nice to just earn money while you are away at the beach?
How about having your website make money for you?
One way I have found to do this is by engaging in affiliate marketing as an affiliate partner.
So what is an affiliate partner?
An affiliate partner is an arrangement wherein one person/business owner or entity/business partners with another company and earns commission or some other form of benefit from referrals that are provided. Many times, those links that you select allows the person to collect a commission or benefit for doing so. Now I know what you are thinking? Are people making referrals only to make money or commission? The answer, hopefully, in an emphatic NO. It is not unusual for bloggers or podcasters to make referrals to you for services or products they also currently use or have used in the past.
So now comes the next question...
What do I need to know about becoming an affiliate partner?
Well...there are many companies and vendors out there who offer affiliate partner programs, however, there are a few things you need to know prior to selecting them.
Many companies want to know how affiliating or partnering with you will help their customers and/or their business. As such, it is helpful that you are either blogging, conducting a podcast, consulting, or have a website that matches their brand (refer to my FB Post on Thursday for tips on branding), mission, objectives and goals.
If at all possible, select partnerships where both you and the referral person can benefit. For an example, as an partner affiliate with Scrypt, I use SFax, and for every person that uses my referral link, both of us receive the same benefit.
Give disclaimers so people know that you are an affiliate, but also let them know that you already use these products or why you are recommending this product/service, etc. as it helps to ensure integrity and builds trust with your readers, customers, and/or clients. Also, if you choose to place it on your website, let your clients know in person and/or also have a disclaimer there as well. Perhaps add page that indicates your partnership with the resources/referrals you provide will also prove useful.
So now that you know the "what", it's time to get to the "how" and "who".
Discover the products, services, vendors and even apps that you use? For example, who do you use for your EHR, practice management, telehealth, webinar, website service, email, fax, etc.? Do a quick inventory of all the BAA's you've signed and that can help you narrow down that list. If you either signed a BAA or created a BAA for someone else to sign, then they are a vendor.
Now that you know what services and vendors you use, write them a brief email and inquire if they have a partner affiliate program. They will typically let you know within 1-2 business days if they do.
If they do, they will then inform you of what their process is to become one.
Who are some common companies that offer affiliate partnerships? There are many of them out there, but I will at least let you know about some common ones that are useful for our industry.
Amazon Associates- We often refer many books and resources to our clients to help aid them in their treatment. Often times, we provide verbal recommendations to books. Many times, we refer them to find books on Amazon. So why not become an Amazon Associate? The benefit is that you can earn a small commission and your clients can readily find resources on your website that can provide assistance. Go to Amazon for details.
Scrypt.com- Provides very reasonable, HIPAA compliant, cloud-based faxing (via SFAX) for healthcare industries. They provide you with a referral link and both of you earn benefits after they sign up for the service. Just go to their website and of course sign up if you haven't already. If you haven't, select this link for a 20% discount on the first 3 months that you sign up for a monthly plan. And Yes, I am an affiliate partner with them. I've used them for years and I love the ease with which I can send and receive faxes, get notifications of when faxes have been sent or received, as well as the security of it all.
GoodTherapy.Org- They will even give you one free month for every person whom you refer and sign up. You don't even have to do an affiliate partnership with them, just ask those that you refer to provide your name when they sign up and bam....you get one month free. I absolutely love GoodTherapy.Org. They provide therapists with Free CEU's, offer other partner affiliates for the psychotherapist (ex. discounts on various practice management, websites, etc.), etc. Of course, to get more details, select this link to their website.
And that's it! You are on your way to passive income!