As I still reside in my London flat waiting for the world to become a new kind of normal, here at What Can You Do, we’ve been coming up with ideas for generating income for our company.
With our “WCYDo App” recently being given the go-ahead from Apple & Google (whoop whoop!), we are now looking for new ways to keep us ticking over financially. Especially in a way that meshes well with what we’re about and isn’t too invasive to “you” our followers. So we’ve found an idea that could work, and it’s something I’d like to share with you as I feel it has numerous possibilities for the future – it’s called Affiliate Marketing.
We wanted to avoid all the obvious ways of making money such as adverts popping up over your screen right when you’re in the middle of an article, or the clothing products you looked at the other day now conveniently decorating your web page, or frustrating subscription costs, again popping up unexpectedly. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but YouTube seem to be showing me more adverts than ever, sometimes I’ve spent so many seconds watching adverts for products I don’t need, that by the time the YouTube video comes up, I’ve forgotten why I’m watching it!
Basically we don’t want to do that, but we are looking for a way to make money organically. Here at What Can You Do, we’re looking for innovative, digital-friendly and ultimately sustainable sources of income. So, what is “Affiliate Marketing”? To put it simply, affiliate marketing is earning commission through the sales of another companies products. For example, if a company wanted to sell their products, we would sell them on our page and earn a small fee for doing so. This in no way affects the price of the product, in fact in some cases we may be given a more generous offer and provide discounts!
Our intention is to thrive as a company, which is still in its embryonic state and trying to provide a good service, that doesn’t inflict unnecessary faff on “you” our followers. So far, this seems like the best approach and here’s why. First of all, it’s not invasive, we will not be using your personal data to cater specific adverts, which ultimately means, the choice of markets and products is in our hands. It’s our job to select products we think will excite you and puts us in a great position to help out fellow businesses. These other businesses will of course be hand-selected by our Team. We will be on the lookout for businesses that align with our ethos of planet-caring, high-quality, ethical companies, giving them a wider platform to reach more like-minded customers that may be interested in their products – perhaps like yourself.
As we grow this idea, we reflect on our brand values and gather information about the products & services that might be attractive to our members (to you). These will be ‘niche’ markets. So how to begin? To put it simply, this will be companies that have a beating heart for the Planet and are purpose-driven at their core. The initial words that come to mind are sustainability, health, mindfulness, re-usable and eco-friendly, and these are just a few. But as we get closer to manifesting our Affiliate Marketing plan, we will want to hear from you, to find out what products & services you would want to see. After all, it’s our members with the best knowledge of what they are looking for. When we go about choosing products & services, we’ll be looking at where do these companies source their materials? Are they Fair Trade? Do they have a global goal that they’re trying to reach? These products & services could range from plastic-free lunchboxes, reusable bottles, bamboo toothbrushes, recycled fashion, all the way to eco-friendly garden tools, services such as a “local school that collects difficult to recycle items” (eg toothpaste tubes!) and so many more!
The concept is still very much knocking around the ‘ideas board’ but personally, I think it’s a very exciting concept and a great way forward. When flourishing a new idea, it’s important to reference back to our guiding spirit, the Sustainable Development Goals themselves; how could our choices – in this case Affiliate Marketing – bring us a step towards our trusted goals? Well, it’s necessary for us to start creating more investment back into our business which quite simply checks the box for SDG 8, “Decent Work and Economic Growth”. Affiliate Marketing is quite simply revenue-sharing across different businesses, and as we will be choosing more conscientious businesses, we combine SDGs 11 and 12 “Sustainable Cities and Communities” and “Responsible Consumption and Production”. This benefits them, us, the customer and ultimately everyone. However, by teaming up with other like-minded companies we are supporting last, not but not least, SDG 17, “Partnerships for the Goals”, ‘built upon principles and values, upon a shared vision and shared goals placing People and the Planet at the centre’…tick!
This plan is all well and good, but we are always looking for expansion and new ideas. In order to bring about more interest and knowledge of our products & services, we will be using this blog page to bring the use and benefits to your attention. When the App is available, we hope to create our own line of products designed around the sustainable goals. For example, a reusable bag or a mug with our logo patched on, and maybe even the sustainable goal that you’re most passionate about!
Looking at the wider context and the World as a whole, there is certainly potential to make self-sufficient businesses in the “new normal”. And forming online partnerships could just be the new future for monetisation!
We’ve already discussed how this fits with our sustainable goals and benefits us all. Here at What Can You Do, we’re always trying to tailor our ideas and content for you. So keep up to date with our progress through these blogs and let us know in the Facebook comments what you think and any products & services you’d like to see!
Take care, keep well!
Blog: Eliza Pitkin
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“tellus” is a Latin word meaning “Earth” e.g. Tellus Mater the ancient Roman Earth Mother Goddess