5 Affiliate Marketing Lessons I Learned From a Thai Village Headman

affiliate marketing lessonsGetting your head around the key affiliate marketing lessons is an enigma.

It’s a business model where success (or lack thereof) often defies explanation.

I mean what can be that difficult about promoting and selling another person’s product and being paid a commission for it?


It should be one of the easiest and less complex ways to get started online. Agree?

But the mind boggles with the failure statistics quoted about this seemingly simple and easy to perform business model.

Somewhere between 87 – 97% failure rates are quoted everywhere online so where is the problem?

I live in a remote Thai village and have been online now for some years – that’s when the local internet connection gods are being kind to me. It’s a bit of a lottery trying to connect each day!

Although my focus is now on blogging, I have experienced success with affiliate marketing and plan to continue to use this strategy in the months and years ahead. .

Just recently I watched in amazement as our village headman, our leader, our Obordor brilliantly handled a particular situation.

If he was online his actions would have surpassed even the feats of the best super affiliate.

Our Thai Village Leader – A Potential Super Affiliate!affiliate marketing lessons

Let me briefly share with you the story of our village roads project.

And yes I can already see you thinking what is the heck has this got to do with helping me become a successful affiliate marketer.

Be just a little bit patient with me and all will be revealed and a lot of your affiliate marketing problems will be resolved.

Picture if you can a small village carved out of the jungle years ago by my wife’s great, great grandfather.

Our village is called Ban Dong Yang and it contains a rich blend of cultures as it’s located in far NE Thailand and only a few miles from both the Laos and Cambodian borders.

In the monsoon season our dirt roads make it practically impossible to get anywhere unless you have a four-wheel drive vehicle or a congenial buffalo handy.

At a recent village meeting organized by the leader, he proposed a major project to upgrade the main village dirt roads.

However, for most people in the village this did not seem to be a major problem as they were used to never going anywhere at that time of the year.

They rejected the offer almost unanimously.

 “The Situation”

With limited available local government funds some of us had complained for years about this road problem and got little or no response.

We did not think the leader’s proposed project was at all possible and it did not seem to grab the interest of the majority of our village folks.

We had all but given up on the chance to have better village roads.

“The Deal”

Undaunted by the initial village disinterested response, our village leader whose name is khun Surat, went about achieving impressive results by applying simple yet remarkably effective marketing skills.

He approached and negotiated a deal with a nationwide raw material supplier.

The company agreed to provide the road material supplies and an experienced supervisor plus required machinery at a very low cost.

In return, we would provide all the required labor to the company free of charge for the six weeks construction period. Plus we would provide an additional fifty people free of charge for one week that the company could use at its discretion in the local area.

The village leader also proposed that we would supply all the local company employees and their families with rice for the six weeks road construction period.

Our village had just completed one of its most successful rice harvests and, with no local employment opportunities we had normally hard-working labor idle for a few months.

This idleness often created problems and our village leader wanted to avoid this difficult problem.

The village leader also knew that the raw material supplier was looking to expand its operation and needed more labor to successfully open two new outlets in the district.

affiliate marketing lessonsGetting Down to Business

The village leader held another village meeting and using great leadership and marketing skills, he communicated his plan in a very clear step-by-step way. This included the specific requirements of our village workers and their families.

He then also explained the potential employment opportunities for our village people that existed in the monsoon season in the nearest city to us.

These non-skilled labor roles were in the building industry and the companies were also happy to provide free transport to and from the village each day.

Because of our unpassable roads, these jobs had never been considered possible previously and although menial, they would provide very valuable extra incomes to our village families.

He also introduced the Chairman of the nationwide raw material supplies who spoke to the audience in both Thai and Khmer (we use both languages here).

He announced he would be staying the night in our village so people could ask him any questions they wanted.

He also outlined in great detail the planned benefits his company would provide to some of the village youths on completion of the project.

This was a winner as the biggest worry for the parents of our remote and very poor village, was the future of their kids.

The whole road project outlined was a wonderful surprise to all of us and we resoundingly agreed to the proposal.

The Results

We got our cement roads completed in very quick time

Twenty three of our local village boys, who were just finishing high school, were offered apprenticeship positions with the nationwide company. This was very important as there are no regular employment opportunities in our village.

The raw material supply company successfully launched their two new outlets. Fourteen of our village people have remained with the company in paid employment positions, including three as supervisors.

The project was also completed well under budget and we used the savings to completely renovate and re-stock our village shop much to the delight of all the kids who now had ice cream available.

Have You Identified the 5 Key Affiliate Marketing Lessons Yet?

Let me help you out here…

1. As an affiliate marketer you should realize that people do not buy products but rather they buy solutions.


2. As an affiliate marketer you need to build TRUST and CREDIBILITY BEFORE you sell anything.


3. As an affiliate marketer you need to differentiate yourself from the hordes of other affiliate marketing lessonsaffiliate marketers out there or be swamped in the internet morass. Be honest, original and identify a common bond with your audience.



4. Key affiliate marketing lessons include your target audience, your niche market, has to know they have a problem that you can solve with your affiliate offer or they will not be interested.


5. Another of the most important affiliate marketing lessons is that you should only promote relevant products from reputable vendors and if possible provide a valuable bonus.


[Tweet “An amazing lesson in affiliate marketing from a guy who has never even turned on a computer! “]

See The Picture Now?

The village leader knew the village was not interested in a new road until he pointed out the benefits of being able to earn more money in the nearest city that would be available once the roads were passable.


He very cleverly explained to them step-by-step the process and got them to accept that they did have a problem that needed resolving and that his “affiliate deal” with the raw materials supplier was the solution they needed.


The village leader knew the local residents did not trust anyone from “outside” so he persuaded the company Chairman to stay overnight in the village and be available to everyone. 


affiliate marketing lessonsThis also gave the company chairman credibility with the village and immediately differentiated himself from every other “outsider” who had ever visited our village before.

Especially politicians who magically appeared for an hour or so promising the world at every election time and then disappeared forever.



Finally the leader had negotiated a bonus deal for 14 people in our village with “the product vendor”, the company chairman on behalf of his “subscribers” – our village.   

A Takeaway For You: One of the simple affiliate marketing lessons we need to learn is that as an affiliate marketer you really don't have to sell anything.  If you can create the vision and the influence required to win over your audience you will be a success just like the village leader did so successfully!

Can you see now why these 5 affiliate marketing lessons from our Thai village leader must be understood and implemented by any affiliate marketer if they want success?

Update: The reality about successful affiliate marketing lessons were expressed in the comment on this page by one of my mentors, Adrienne Smith, when she said “Once again this all boils down to know, like and trust. People can get their foot in the door when someone they know refers them. No one and I mean no one likes to be taken advantage of and that’s what’s been going on for a very long time when people purchase things from people they don’t know and companies they aren’t familiar with. It’s just the way things are I’m afraid that’s why we have to be different.”


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