Ok this is a conceptual question I have.

Ok this is a conceptual question I have.

I am in the service industry, and market my skill set to local businesses mostly.

I have heard of some people in the same industry operating off of what basically amounts to an affiliate system though.

You send me a client, I give you a cut. Pretty basic stuff.

Of course there is more to it than that though from a business standpoint. But technologically speaking there are some things I would love to be able to do for this kind of goal.

I'm not sure if BuddyPress / Membership / Affiliate (WPMUDEV plugins) would be appropriate ways to solve these issues or if there might be a better approach. This is what I am wanting to find input about with this post.

So here are some of the goals I would like to achieve, and if anyone has any advice or the like about how I might achieve these goals, that would be awesome.

1. I want to be able to hand out business cards with unique identifying numbers on each. New clients could then be asked if they are contacting me using one such card. If so, I could get the unique number of the card from them - and credit whom ever handed the new client the business card. Like an affiliate URL.

2. I would like to be able to provide people with an affiliate link they could use to send people to me. This would serve the same purpose. Allowing me to credit the right person if the new client turns into a contract.

3. These affiliates or 'partners' would be able to log in to my site, and see if they have any fees owed to them.

4. Partners would ideally be able to click a button and ask to have some more business cards (or brochures) sent to them with unique identifiers on them tied to them as the affiliate.

Now I would also like to be able to allow my clients to sign up to the site to track projects and things later on. This is why I was thinking Membership (wpmudev plugin) would be useful. I could create different membership levels for clients, or for partners. And potentially allow them to have both.

Some caveats I see are that automation would be difficult or expensive. So I am willing to do a lot of manual work to manage requests, payments, and other things like that. Just so long as I have some system in place to make sure I can manage things accurately.

Another caveat is that my services are not fixed prices. So I can't use the affiliate plugin to just straight up manage affiliate fees. All my clients are different and pay different fees. But I would still like to be able to leverage the concept of affiliate fees.

I know I know.. Sounds so vague, but that's part of my confusion. I really am not sure the best ways for me to go about this.

Any ideas?

(I'm open to both free and paid options depending too!)

  • be

    My 2 cents..
    Couple of hurdles
    * "trust" so if you have to manually ask and enter info do your affiliates trust that you will.
    * Online management would need for success to use the same Affiliate # or likely cause much confusion to administer as well as offline (physical cards)
    * Is the service something only you offer (would your affiliates be party to this or simply connecting b2b)
    * ie: if they are all having their own sites linked to yours (multisite, you could likely do this with prosites)
    * however Affiliate as it stands at the moment is more a 1 to many relationship.
    ie: they will all be getting paid the specified amount by you only..
    * differing prices can be addressed with affiliate plugin if you chose to deliver a % payment perhaps.. ie: 10% of all deals/sales/contracts etc..

  • aristath

    1. I want to be able to hand out business cards with unique identifying numbers on each. New clients could then be asked if they are contacting me using one such card. If so, I could get the unique number of the card from them - and credit whom ever handed the new client the business card. Like an affiliate URL.

    I'm not sure this is possible...

    2. I would like to be able to provide people with an affiliate link they could use to send people to me. This would serve the same purpose. Allowing me to credit the right person if the new client turns into a contract.

    3. These affiliates or 'partners' would be able to log in to my site, and see if they have any fees owed to them.

    You can already do that using the affiliates plugin.
    Each user on your site can go to the affiliates area and enable affiliate links for themselves. Once they do, they'll be able to use their unique URL.
    Their affiliate area also contains statistics and everything they need to know.

    4. Partners would ideally be able to click a button and ask to have some more business cards (or brochures) sent to them with unique identifiers on them tied to them as the affiliate.

    This can't be done out of the box either.
    Parts 1 & 4 of your question will probably require some custom coding. My advise would be to post a new job on our jobs board on https://premium.wpmudev.org/wordpress-development/ so that a skilled developer can do that for you.

    The Membership plugin should do what you mention in your post... However this is the part where it all gets complicated:

    Another caveat is that my services are not fixed prices. So I can't use the affiliate plugin to just straight up manage affiliate fees. All my clients are different and pay different fees. But I would still like to be able to leverage the concept of affiliate fees.

    Affiliates get a cut from products or services you provide on your store.
    If you don't have any set prices, then the affiliates plugin won't know what to give them a cut from.
    If your clients pay on your site then the affiliates plugin can track it.
    But what will your clients pay for? If there are no on-site payments then no affiliate system will be able to help...
    That's what you have to figure out first.

    Cheers,
    Ari.

  • Devi

    Yeah ok. All this input pretty much confirms what I thought.

    I was just hoping that I might have been wrong.

    So yeah. This was intended to be mostly B2B. I do know of one fellow who specializes in just On-Site SEO optimization and content marketing for existing WordPress users.

    This is just a side hustle for the fellow too. But he manages to get most of his clients from other businesses related to web design.

    So he doesn't do web design himself. But what he does is goes to Web Designers, Adwords Marketers, and other RELATED service providers. Then when they get a client for whatever, they will refer that client to this fellow who does the SEO.

    Then he gives whom ever referred the person a commission. Frequently the commission is a recurring commission too.

    I did get the impression that he is sort of operating off of an honor system approach. But he is quite successful at it.

    And I am just not sure how to go about replicating this methodology.

    My wife and I are moving soon, and I don't know anyone in the city we are moving to. But I wish to do something very similar. I'm just not certain about the best way to go about it.

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