How do I know if I am an affiliate marketer?
Did you know that if you are an affiliate marketer LEGALLY you are required by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) to disclose whether you have affiliate links on your website? And the FTC enforces this requirement against social media influencers, not just websites.
You are considered an affiliate marketer by the FTC if you qualify for any, or all, of the following:
- Have a financial, employment, personal or family relationship with a brand WHETHER you make actual money from that brand or not;
- Receive anything of value to mention a product or service, i.e. not just money;
- Mention a brand after you receive free or discounted products or other perks regardless of whether it was in exchange for mentioning the brand. See https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/disclosures-101-social-media-influencers.
The FTC further provides this advice: “Don’t assume your followers already know about your brand relationships. Make disclosures even if you think your evaluations are unbiased.” Social media comes into play because any tag, like, pin or similar way of showing you like a brand or product from which you receive something of value constitutes affiliate marketing.
Why do I need an affiliate disclosure?
If any of the above applies to you and/or your business, YOU NEED an affiliate disclosure. Simply put, because the law requires it.
But arguably, of more importance, you need an affiliate disclosure to earn the trust of your followers. Being upfront about your relationship with the brands you endorse builds trust and credibility for you. Ultimately, that trust and credibility will serve you well for years to come. Affiliate marketing works for a reason, but it is based on followers placing trust in their influencers.
So, it is worth the investment to include a proper legal affiliate disclosure. Not all disclosures are created equal. This Affiliate Link Disclosure was prepared by me, an attorney. Using this disclosure complies with the FTC requirements for affiliate links. My Affiliate Link Disclosure is found in my Legal Boutique — HustleWithHeart.
Where do I put my disclosure?
The disclosure is only good if your followers actually read it. So, here are some tips on where to disclose…
Place it in a noticeable location on the same page or post as the endorsement itself. A disclosure that sits only on your Home Page or Profile Page is likely to be missed. Make sure the disclosure stands out and doesn’t get mixed in with hashtags or links.
Some influencers create an image of their disclosure and display it prominently on the image of the endorsed product. For You Tubers or other video media, the disclosure should be in the video and not just in the description uploaded with the video. For live stream videos, it is a good idea to repeat the disclosure periodically.