Affiliate marketers have an interesting challenge when it comes to promoting products and services that aren’t their own. They need to establish themselves as experts but it’s not their products, so how do they do that?

First of all, most products being sold today aren’t sold directly by the creator anyway. Therefore, anyone can become an expert for any product if they put their mind to it, get training when necessary, and keep on learning. Remember, even encyclopedia experts didn’t know everything, even though they sold books that had everything in them. In fact, you’d think it was silly that you had to know everything inside them to be able to sell them, right?

It’s not that different with affiliate marketing. Honestly, with affiliate marketing you’re simply recommending products that you like, and that in your expert opinion will work for your audience.

Choose a Niche

Being able to become an expert in your niche is why you need to choose a niche in the first place. Choosing a niche simply means that you can focus 100 percent on learning all you can about that niche and the audience surrounding that niche. If you immerse yourself in that niche, you’ll become an expert before you realize it.

Get to Know Your Audience

An expert is continuously studying their audience. Why? Audiences might keep the same demographics, but they might change their ideals. For example, look at how they sold women’s clothing in the 50s compared to today. The audience is still in the same demographic, but they would be offended by ads of old. If you realize that, you’re an expert – even without your own product.

Follow the Trends

Every niche has trends that come and go. If you can follow them and identify the ones that will go and/or stick around, you’re an expert. It can take years of experience to be able to do this. All the reading you’ve done has paid off, though; you can spot a trend that will burn to the ground in months or one that is going to stick around, because you’ve been around awhile.

Keep Up to Date on Industry News

If you’re always reading industry news, and then find a way to break it down and share the highlights with your audience, guess what – you’re an expert. You do not have to even sell a single product to be an expert. As an expert, though, you are uniquely qualified to find good products that other people can use to do what you do. For example, a makeup artist may not have their own makeup line, but they’re still an expert and probably know which makeup they prefer to use and why.

You Know How to Do “It”

It doesn’t matter what “it” is, if you know how to do something that other people don’t know how to do, you’re an expert in that thing. It doesn’t matter if you’ve created your own product or not. If you use running shoes regularly because you’re a runner, it’s likely you know quite a bit about running shoes and how they should fit you. You’re an expert. If you know about making smoothies that are healthy and delicious, and you use a certain type of blender to make them (like a Vitamix), then you’re probably an expert on Vitamixers. See how that works?

Show What You Know

Whether it’s blog posts, articles, white papers, vlogs, videos, a book, or something else entirely, show people what you know. When you write a book or make videos about what you know, the world starts looking at you differently based on your body of published work – not based on whether or not you have your own product.

Being an expert has nothing to do with selling a product other than that it helps you elicit trust from your audience. When you have knowledge that is more than someone else has about any topic, you are an expert to that person. You can show yourself as an expert by sharing what you know, providing value to every group or organization you’re part of, and by picking awesome products and services for your audience.

How to Brand Yourself as an Expert When the Products Are Not Yours
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