What you’ll learn from this episode
Highlights from the interview
[06:01] – Why certain products are not worth selling even if you are making thousands of dollars a month
[09:50] – Why her third affiliate business ending up working for Tracy
[12:12] – How do you address the feeling that your friends or family feel pressured to buy from you?
[16:15] – Why choosing companies that offer recurring commissions is vital & Ways to sell a lot of product on social media
[21:26] – Understanding how much time to put in in the beginning to make it successful (while having balance)
[23:16] – How sharing an insecurity can help you sell to your audience
About our Guest
This is the first part of my interview with Tracy Davenport. She is a fitness and wellness lover and mom, at one point she was a full time nurse.
However, with young kids she wanted to add another stream of income and have more flexibility. After trying a few affiliate companies to sell for, she ended up finding an athleisure brand that’s taking off for her.
This is her experience and tips if you are thinking about affiliate sales to pump up your fitness business.
Edited transcription of Fitness Business Secrets Podcast, Episode 53
Kristy: Hi, everyone! We have Tracy Davenport on the show today. Sometimes we may be wondering how we can add more revenue without necessarily veering away from our core business, which is to provide fitness services to train people and affiliate sales. There’s a lot of confusion about it.
Is it even worth it? Is there a lot of technical things you have to do? Can you actually make a decent amount of money?
Those are the kinds of questions that I had. I really was excited when I connected to Tracy because she’s done a lot of affiliate sales with different companies and she can talk about what to think through and what to evaluate.
Thanks for being on the show, Tracy. How are you doing?
Tracy: I’m great. Thank you for having me.
Kristy: First, I know you currently focused on a specific company that you’re doing affiliate sales on. Tell me how much do you make per week and how much time does it take you?
Tracy: Well, it varies because I’m a mother of three and I still provide Anesthesia. I’ll say part-time, but since COVID and everything, I’m basically almost full-time right now. I haven’t had a lot of time to spend, but this week, I think I put in an hour and a half and made around $450.
I know people are making a lot more than that. They’re putting more time and effort into it. I just haven’t had a lot of time or effort this week.
Why certain products are not worth selling even if you are making thousands of dollars a month
[06:01] Kristy: It sounds like you’re selling some things for a company. How do you choose which company you should really start selling for to know if it’s right for you?
Tracy: There are so many things. I have some experience in this department. Like I said, I do Anesthesia and once my kids were little, I knew I wanted a second stream of income somewhere.
I was approached by a lot of different people. The first one I got into was skincare because I’m 52 and I didn’t want to look my age.
Kristy: You look great.
Tracy: Thank you so much. I was all into it. The problem was I wanted something that I enjoyed that would bring in a side income that wasn’t taking.
I was going to put work into it. I didn’t want it to feel like work. I wanted it to be enjoyable and it began feeling like work. I was having to explain to people why they needed the products, the ingredients and side effects and all of the things. It just got to where it felt like work.
I was having to manage customers and I was like, “I don’t want to manage customers. They’re grownups. Surely, they can manage themselves.”
Kristy: What type of product were you selling then?
Tracy: They were skincare products. They were all types from all types of skincare. It was for dark spots or acne or aging or sensitive skin, and all the things such as sunscreens, wash scrubs, facial scrubs, and masks.
Kristy: All right. How long did you do that for?
Tracy: I did that for a few years actively, maybe three. It just got to where I literally almost couldn’t wait to go to Anesthesia because the Anesthesia didn’t feel as much like work as that did, and that’s kind of sad. So, I decided to get out of that.
Kristy: So, you did a skincare affiliate, and I’m guessing you were making some money, but you just felt like it wasn’t enjoyable and you wanted it to be.
Tracy: Yeah. I made a few thousand dollars a month. It wasn’t chump change. It was decent money, but I wasn’t enjoying it. It wasn’t worth it to me if I wasn’t enjoying it.
Kristy: What’s the next or another type of company you encountered and did that work out or did you find that better fit for you?
Tracy: I found another company. Before I fell in love with their products, I fell in love with their philosophy. I knew the CEO and I absolutely fell in love with the philosophy, which was mindfulness, a lot of meditation and breathing practices, and all of that in order to heal your skin from the inside out.
It was another skincare company, which I still use their products. The minute I decided to share them with people, I started feeling that anxiety again. I was like, “Oh my gosh. I can’t do this again.”
Kristy: Was your anxiety about that?
Tracy: Yeah. I guess I’m not a good salesperson because I just felt like I was having to try too hard to sell it. I was having to not be salesy, but to convince people why they needed these products, meditation and mindfulness, and tumeric tea and what was turmeric and ashwagandha. It felt like work against me.
I love their products. Don’t get me wrong. I still use products from both companies, but as far as trying to actually sell it for them, it felt like work for me. For other people, that’s their wheelhouse. That’s their jam, but it wasn’t for me.
It’s important that you find something that is in your wheelhouse. Kristy: Okay. So, you tried another skincare company. Were there any other types of companies you were thinking about doing affiliate sales for?
Why her third affiliate business ending up working for Tracy
[09:50] Tracy: I did look around. I obviously looked at Amazon like anyone else because I purchased basically everything there. I found out about this company. I was approached by this company. With the company I’m representing, all of a sudden, it didn’t feel like work to me.
When I heard more about it, I kept saying, “Is that all there is to it? I just share pictures of the clothing line, and then I share my link. That’s it?”
They were like, “That’s it.”
I think I just kept trying to make it more difficult because of my history of it being difficult, and it’s not. That’s all there was to it, and I was like,”Well, that’s just kind of a no-brainer.”
I enjoy the clothes. I now get them as a tax write-off since it’s a business, I get a percentage off. I get a discount and I’m sharing clothes. I love making commissions back from that just like an affiliate.
How affiliate marketing can be a relatively low risk way to add additional income
Kristy: So, you make a commission. How do you sell the product? Actually, I wanted to take a pause since some people might wonder what affiliate marketing is. How are you selling things? Do you have to have inventory? Can you do affiliate links for Amazon? How does that work?
Tracy: An affiliate link that basically links to that item or group of items that are for sale. They give you an affiliate link. Everyone has their own link that wants to become an affiliate. Anytime, I share the products. I have a picture of myself in them. I’ll put it in my Instagram. I’ll have that link in my bio on Instagram or Facebook or wherever, and I just share it with people.
If I’m out and about and someone asks me where I got something, I’m like, “Actually, I’m an affiliate for this company. I can text you the link real quick.” They go to the link, which connects them to me, and then they download the app and they go shop.
Then, if someone else shared the link with them, then they get the commission. So, just the link.
Kristy: That sounds pretty straight forward. You were saying that it’s just the links. You don’t have to actually hold products. Tracy: No. Oh my goodness. Like I said, I’m a busy mom. You don’t carry any inventory. I don’t make deliveries or babysit customers. I don’t do anything. I share pictures of the products and my link. That’s it.
How do you address the feeling that your friends or family feel pressured to buy from you?
[12:12] Kristy: I think the biggest thing is that a lot of people, and even me, would have skepticism in the beginning because I’ve seen people promote a product and I just think, “Do they really make money off of that?”
It just seems like a lot of work. In a way maybe some of your family members are like, “She’s selling to us.”
How much money can you make if you find the right product? For example, the current company that you’re with. I think it’s Savvi. What do they sell and how much money do you think that you could make within your first or second month?
Tracy: You could make it. It depends. Several people that have done this decided to just go full force into this company have made a few thousand dollars their first month.
Part of it would depend if you have a huge audience. If you’re an influencer or you’ve got a hundred thousand people on your Instagram page or more, then yes, you could make a few thousand in your first month.
There’s some, like me, that’s doing this very part-time. I absolutely don’t reach out to my family or friends. They see the pictures like everyone else because I don’t want anyone to feel like they ever have to purchase something from me. Now, if I owned a Starbucks, would I ask them to come to it? Yes, I would. I should be asking them, but I have not because I don’t want anyone to ever feel like they have to.
My mother-in-law saw pictures of it and got in and ordered some stuff. I was like, “I can give you $25 off. What are you doing? Call me.”
How do you make money as an affiliate
But, yes. You can make whatever amount of money. I always tell people that it’s kind of like a gym membership. You can join a gym, but if you don’t work, you don’t get into shape. We all know that. So, it just depends on how much work you want to put into it.
You can make literally as much as you want. Our company has all kinds of ways to make money, besides just commission, profit sharing, and bonuses.
Kristy: What is the commission that you do make for the sales that you sell through your link?
Tracy: Our retail commissions are 25%.
Kristy: How much do your current products sell for?
Tracy: Anywhere from $38 to $250, but the average is probably around $60 or so. We’ve got to our fit line, which is the athletic clothing and it’s amazing. Then, we have our everyday line, which is kind of like a Free People type clothing, just to say names of companies. Then, we have our luxury line, which doesn’t have a lot in it right now because COVID won’t allow us to guarantee any inventory there, but our fit line is extremely high quality. I say that because I wouldn’t be wearing it or sharing it if it wasn’t.
It’s way up there with the nicest companies. I’m not supposed to name names, but the nicest companies out there that you can think of. That’s where it’s at.
How do you sell the clothing products as an affiliate?
Kristy: So, you’re saying that you’re enjoying this product and it fits for your lifestyle. What do you mainly do to sell a clothing line affiliate product?
Tracy: I would obviously not pick out clothes from it that I don’t feel I get in or feel good in. So, I purchase items. I’ve got a whole bunch of them over here that I enjoy because if I’m not in scrubs, I’m generally in workout clothes.
I actually told my daughter one day because she was not going to be allowed to wear leggings to school last year for middle school. We were watching every mom that walked in the school. She’s like, “Mom, every mom that walks in here is in leggings.”
I’m like, “I know.”
This was just a no brainer. It’s easy. Everyone’s already wearing these clothes. I just wear them and share them. When I was at hot yoga a couple of weeks ago, I had three women, the one that worked there and two other women that were in the rooms next door, we all came out about the same time and they loved my inner bra and asked me where I got it.
I made three sales right there. All I was doing was going to hot yoga. I really just do wear it and share it.
Why choosing companies that offer recurring commissions is vital
[16:15] Kristy: Okay. So, you make 25% off all of the sales, and then you said you put in an hour and a half and you made $400. You sold about $1,600 in sales, if it was 25%. That seems like a lot. So, that’d be if each product was a hundred dollars. Let’s just say to make math. Did you really meet 16 people who bought your product that week? Is there a lot of recurring sales?
Tracy: There’s a lot of recurring sales. When people get in, they don’t just buy one piece. They’ll generally get on and buy leggings, a bra, and a top or a cardigan to go over it like a loose cardigan, workout cardigan. jacket cardigan or workout zip-up with pockets and all that. Usually, people will go in and buy an entire outfit, so it’s not hard to rack that up in a hurry.
Kristy: So, people buy a whole outfit and maybe they’ll spend $150.
Tracy: I would say easily $150 to $250 is probably a common order.
Ways to sell a lot of product on social media
Kristy: All right. Besides wearing it and sharing it, let’s just say for me, I’m pretty much sitting at my computer, so I’m not meeting a lot of people. So, how do you sell it on social media? I’ve seen people wear stuff and say, “You should buy my stuff.”
I’m thinking, “Do you really make a lot of sales on social media?
Tracy: Yes. I know that there’s probably a lot of influencers that are there watching your program that are in the fitness space. One of my girlfriends, that I’m in this company with, sends an influencer that she follows and enjoys, but loves her content and workouts, one of our bras and this really comfortable pair of leggings.
She called messenger and asked her what size she was in, and she had also purchased her protein or some kind of workout products. So, she asked her if she could send her some. So, she sent her an outfit and the influencer loved it.
She absolutely loved the color, the fit, the material, and the quality. She posted in her stories that showed herself in it and said all of the things, and then tagged my girlfriend in it and said, “Hit Amy up if you’re wanting any of these clothes. You have to go check them out.”
So, she just had access to a hundred thousand followers that were not her followers. She just got in with her audience where she had no influence. That’s not out of the question just to do something nice and send somebody something and say, “Hey. Can you give me a review online and share with your audience?”
Kristy: So, you can maybe even do influencer relationships and send them some stuff and they might kind of promote it. I think a lot of us might feel a little intimidated about that or worried that we’ll share something, and then the person will just be like, “Thanks. If you have to pay me to promote, then now you’re out with $60.”
Tracy: I think it, I think they worked that out in advance because, like I said, she purchased stuff from her and she said, “I’m going to shout yours out on my social media as well.” Which she did.
Kristy: Oh, I see.
Tracy: They were on the same day actually, because I’m like, “Why does Amy sell them that for?”
Then, I realized she had tagged this girl in it and the very next post was that girl tagging her with the workout clothes on. So, they had worked that out in advance.
Everyone wants to network and work together. If you find somebody that your audience is going to like their products and their audience is going to like your products, why wouldn’t you network and share? Because that’s easy enough.
Why you can still make money even if you don’t have a huge following
Kristy: I like that a lot. What about if you don’t know any influencers and you don’t have a following who are other influencers? Because that would probably be my case. Can you still make money selling affiliate products on social media with not that many followers?
Kristy: How does that work for you?
Tracy: My friends are amazing. Several of them have bought pieces, and then they just tag me in their post and say how much they love it and, “Message Tracy if you want this.” They also are customers. When somebody becomes a customer, they basically just click my link and create a name of ID and password. Then, they go to download our link and shop on the link.
Let’s say Helen orders something. She’s connected to me and I make commission on what she purchases. She can post pictures of herself in these clothes and say, “Oh my gosh. My friend Tracy is selling this. You’ve got to try it. We all love it.” Then, she has her own personal link in her app, which is her customer link, that she can share with friends. If her friends go and purchase, they get another $5 off and she gets $5 off.
Our customers can get an extra $5 off all the time when they share with their friends. Then, their friends are connected to me since they came from my customer and I make commission on that as well. So, it can grow really rapidly if you’ve got nice friends.
Kristy: Do you make the same 25% commission?
Understanding how much time to put in in the beginning to make it successful (while having balance)
[21:26] Kristy: All right. So, it’s just word of mouth. I think I’m getting the idea of what you can make. It seems like a lot of work. I know you mentioned you only worked the hour and a half that we used as an earning example. Give me another example. Maybe when you first started. How much time did you put in and how much money did you make?
Tracy: I did not put in much time at all because we were just coming out of basically quarantine here and worrying about another one, so we were trying to catch up on our surgery schedule. So, I don’t know that I’m a really good example for that. A lot of people will get excited and put in a lot of time, and then if they don’t see a big return, immediately, they get frustrated.
Well, you couldn’t open a brand new ice cream shop and expect it to to make money straight away. You’d have to grow. So, I just tell them, “I know you’re excited and you’re putting in a lot of time, but make sure you have balance in your life. Don’t spend all your time on this. Have some balance and it will come.”
It’s like anything else you have to grow it. It’s like going to the gym to get into shape. You can’t go work out three days and expect to have biceps. You’re not. You have to grow it.
I didn’t put in a lot of time in the beginning, and I still haven’t put in just a lot of time. This company that I’m with is still in pre launch, but I know that in March and April, when the country was shut down, they had massive profits for those two months because people are living in these clothes, they’re shopping from home, and they’re looking for ways to earn money from home. So, a lot of people got involved and were shopping and buying products.
I may be the only person out there that wants another shutdown because I would love to have a few days or a couple of weeks off from Anesthesia and really dive deep into this business for a while because I love it.
How sharing an insecurity can help you sell to your audience
[23:16] Kristy: When you say you put the work in, what does that mean exactly? Are you just taking more photos and posting more stuff on Instagram?
Tracy: Yes. I’m putting myself out there because only this past week or two, like I said, I went out from our front yard and did a video. I had this really cute workout bra on and these leggings on, and they both have the yoga band right under the bra and above the leggings. It’s really cute. It’s best to show a little bit of skin, but I’m so short-waisted and I’ve been afraid to show myself in the clothes because I’m self-conscious of that and I’m a little tiny bit overweight right now.
So, I’ve just been sharing photos and photos are great, but you’re friends and your audience wants to see you. They’re buying the product, but they can buy that from anyone. They’re buying from you because they like you. They feel like they know you.
I told my husband, “I’ve got to get out there and let people know me.”
I’ve got a lot of followers that I’ve never met. I’ve had a friend ask me, “How many friends do you have on your social media?”
I told him and he goes, “How many do you have lunch with?”
I was like, “Oh snap. Not many.”
He was like, “You have to let people get to know you.”
So, I went out and I did a video showing them that it was supposed to have that much skin showing that because I’m short waisted, it looked like a bodysuit. It just looked like a one piece. It’s still cute, but it looked like a one piece. I got so many people messaging me about these products. I got the sweetest comments from people saying, “Hey. I’m high-wasted too. How do I get the products? How do I find these products? I’m not high-waisted, but I would love that outfit.”
My daughter and I are wanting to go climb at Pinnacle Mountain today. I’ll take some pictures of me in these clothes because obviously I’ll have them on. We were going to take a picture there anyway. I might as well take them in these clothes. Then, I’ll side note, “This bra is this one, these pair leggings are this one, and this top is this one. If you want to purchase, here’s my link.”
That’s it. So, I think if I spent more time being more personal with my audience, not just throwing up these pictures the company sends, then I would grow a lot faster. So, that’s my plan.