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The Iceberg Effect by Dean Holland: Best Book on Affiliate Marketing? 

 Last Update - July 4, 2022

By  Chris Riviera

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you. These are products I’ve personally used and stand behind. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you. These are products I’ve personally used and stand behind. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy.

You can’t make money online as an affiliate without a good marketing strategy. You need to focus on 4 core areas and be aware of the Iceberg principle applied to affiliate marketing. That is what The Iceberg Effect book talks about!

TL;DR

  • The Iceberg Effect is the fact that affiliate marketers only make commissions on the front-end of the funnel, aka the tip of the iceberg. However, big commissions happen beneath the surface, where only the affiliate program operates.
  • This is a free book for which you’ll have to pay only $7.96 to cover the cost of shipping and handling. In addition to the soft cover book, you’ll get 3 bonuses, including an online masterclass, the audio version of the book, plus 7 days of surprises in your emails.
  • Dean Holland is the CEO of Internet Profits, a digital marketing company specialized in helping affiliate marketers to succeed online.
  • For brand new or struggling affiliate marketers, who want to know how to build a sustainable and highly profitable internet business.

Read below my full review of The Iceberg Effect from Dean Holland and learn what The Iceberg Effect applied to marketing is.

1. Presentation of The Iceberg Effect book

The Iceberg Effect is a book written by Dean Holland, CEO of Internet Profits. It is divided into 4 main parts, all related to affiliate marketing and how to do affiliate marketing as a business, not just a side hustle. 

Part 1 : Dean Holland’s journey in internet marketing

The introduction and chapter 1 are devoted to Dean’s journey as an entrepreneur and affiliate marketer. You will learn how a successful, yet bad ending entrepreneurial experience brought him to start internet marketing and make a living from it.

However, it was not so easy. Like most of us (I suppose), he had a hard time making its first commission online, caught between the impostor and shinny object syndromes.

What saved him and made him who he is now, is the mentorship he received from another affiliate marketing guru back in 2009.

Part 2 : Psychology and Personal Development applied to Digital Marketing

"Get out there and win, second place is the first looser." - Dean's mum

In chapters 2 to 4, Dean talks about psychology and how it can make or break any online business’ adventure.

You will learn about “the fix and the growth mindsets” from Carol Dweck, and get 2 exercises for “finding your why”, and “designing your life” so you know where to go and why you are doing this.

As an engineer, who studied “hard sciences”, leaving no room for psychology or any other woo-woo science, I must say that I radically changed my mind after starting my first online business in 2014.

What Dean explains in these chapters is something that every entrepreneur should know and apply daily to start making money and be successful.

Part 3 : How to start Affiliate Marketing

Chapter 5 to 7 explain the affiliate marketing business model in detail.

You will learn what are the 4 core areas of focus of any successful affiliate marketers, which in short are: Traffic, Capture, Follow-up and Sales System, and how to properly focus on them without creating complicated affiliate marketing strategies that don’t work.

the 4 core areas of focus

Moreover, you’ll find Dean Hollands 7 day follow-up sequence that you can swipe and adapt to your needs. This is a nice shortcut, especially if you are an affiliate marketing beginner.

This is also the transition to the explanation of why it is becoming harder and harder to do affiliate marketing today, and how the affiliate marketing industry is changing.

Part 4 : High Ticket Affiliate Marketing

Finally, you will learn in chapters 8 to 11, what does the iceberg principle mean, and why the iceberg principle in marketing is becoming the new hard reality.

In short, if you want to succeed online, you need to focus on high ticket products, with high paying commissions.

This is simple math: costs for driving traffic increase every year, and because you are an affiliate paid only on the front-end of the funnel (main offer + OTOs if any), you need higher commissions to compensate. Even if you play the card of free traffic, then the cost is simply your most valuable asset : your time. And as time passes, it is becoming more and more valuable, which in the end, is the same as increased cost for traffic.

But maybe like me, you might think that selling high ticket products is difficult. That is why I took the liberty to quote an anecdote from the book, which was an “ah-ah moment” for me.

The conversation below happened while he was teaching at a small event in the USA, his “high ticket affiliate marketing for beginners” course. Here is what he said to someone who was thinking that it was all BS : 

DEAN: Do you disagree with what I just shared?
     JIM: Kind of. I just don't believe anyone would pay that kind of money.

DEAN: Great, I'm glad you told me so I can help you. Am I correct you accent is from the UK?
     JIM: Yes, I live just outside of London.

DEAN: Ok, out of interest how did you get to the USA?
     JIM: I flew, why?

DEAN: What class did you fly in?
     JIM: Economy.

DEAN: As you boarded the plane, did you notice you passed through business class seating?
     JIM: Yeah.

DEAN: Was the business class seating and setup better than that in economy?
     JIM: Ha-ha. Yes of course.

DEAN: Do you think those seated in business had a better experience than you?
     JIM: I guess so, yes.

DEAN: Well, just so you know I flew here in the business section. I got to lie down in a fully reclining bed and had a great sleep for several hours. Whilst awake, I enjoyed two glasses of champagne, and for my meal I ate a delicious steak with vegetables and dauphinoise potatoes. What was your journey like?
     JIM: HA-HA! Nothing like that. I sat next to this guy who kept elbowing me in his sleep, and we got served cold sandwiches for lunch.

DEAN: Ok, so you can see that even though we got to the same destination in the end, my journey to get here was by all accounts a better one. Would you agree?
     JIM: 100% I agree, but you paid more than I did.

DEAN: You're absolutely right. But out of interest, why didn't you pay for a better experience?
     JIM: I would never pay those prices.

DEAN: Well, my friend, that is why you think others also would not pay. But I can tell you this... On my flight over here, I didn't see a single empty seat in business. I'd say at least 50 others around me all enjoyed the premium experience of that flight. And let's not forget there was also a first class cabin where people paid 5 to 8 times more than I did for an even better experience than mine."

In other words, there will always be people seeking free or inexpensive things on the internet, like free affiliate marketing course, free step by step affiliate marketing training, free tools etc… And others who are willing to pay a premium to get the very best experience and the very best results in the fastest time.

As an affiliate, you can’t afford to focus on the first category. Actually no business should. But this is even more true for an internet marketer. This is the reason why we call affiliate marketers who use paid traffic “performance marketers”. They have to be performant to succeed.

This is in short what the book is about. Now let’s talk a bit more about the author.

2. Who is Dean Holland?

If you want to know in detail who Dean Holland is and his life so far, I suggest you read his book. However, below is a small summary.

Internet Profits

Dean Holland

Dean Holland is the CEO of Internet Profits. A UK based company specialized in digital marketing, giving affiliate marketing online course and coaching.

Throughout Dean Hollands’ courses, you can learn affiliate marketing basics, how it works and most of all, how to do affiliate marketing the ethical way (see below for a quick description of his courses).

The difference between him and many other digital marketing gurus you can find on YouTube and Facebook, is that he is really devoted to his customers’ success. He personally gives a ton of coaching, whether it is in his private Facebook group or during his weekly coaching calls.

At the time I’m writing this review, there is almost daily coaching from Monday to Friday. And he also answers personally when you contact him via his support desk.

Yes he has a team, who handle technical questions and do some coaching calls (especially when it’s technical), but if you have marketing related questions, he almost always answers himself. 

Dean’s Authority and Awards

As I said above, he is not the kind of marketing guru you will see on YouTube with money guns and Lamborghinis. But still, thanks to his real successes, Dean has been invited on stage to talk about affiliate marketing, his so-called “Ultimate Funnel” (he talks about it in his book), and has organized his own seminars (I had the chance to attend 2 of them in London just before COVID).

He also talked at a small TEDx event in Bolton UK.

Because he is using ClickFunnels a lot (I believe in almost all his marketing funnels), he is part of the small “2 comma club award” group, which means that he has generated at least over $1 million in sales with ClickFunnels.

He also gave a presentation at the funnel hacking live event in 2018.

Dean Holland at Funnel Hacking Live 2018

Russell Brunson Endorsement

With what I just said, there is no surprise that Dean got Russell Brunson‘s endorsement for writing his book The Iceberg Effect. Russell Brunson wrote the foreword. Here is the video of it:

Russell Brunson The Iceberg Effect Foreword

If you don’t know Russell Brunson (it means you are really new to this industry), he is the co-founder of ClickFunnels, an all-in-one marketing platform (valued well over $100Million) that helps online business owners to build marketing funnels very easily and in a very short amount of time.

3. The Iceberg Effect Summary

The Iceberg Effect principle is simply the fact that, as a standard affiliate, what you see is only the tip of the iceberg, meaning, the front-end of the funnel, where you’ll get the small commissions. However, beneath the surface, there is a wall world of business opportunities, where big money is done. This is called the back-end of the funnel.

Front-End of the Funnel

As I said, this is where digital marketers operate. As an affiliate, you are asked to send traffic to a sales page (or opt in page depending on the offer), and you’ll get a commission if there is a conversion (it can be a lead, a sale, a credit-card submission…).

Some programs will give you the opportunity to get commissions on OTOs, and / or recurring commissions if it is subscription-based, like SaaS software, for example.

But that’s it. To earn new commissions, you’ll have to bring new leads / customers to the affiliate program you are promoting.

Back-End of the Funnel

Behind the scenes, after the affiliate did the hard work of promoting the offer and referring new customers, the original business can then continue to promote new offers, from mid-ticket to premium offers, without the cost of acquiring new customers (remember, you, as an affiliate, did that for them).

This is what you need to be aware of when choosing your affiliate program, because it can literally make or break your campaigns and ROI, and ultimately, your online success.

The Internet Profits Accelerator Program, from Dean Holland, provides the solution to this problem, because you’ll get commissions on both the Front-End and the Back-End of the funnel. Once you refer someone to Internet Profits, they are attached to you for life. And you’ll get paid when your referral purchases something, whether it is now, in 3 or even 10 years from now.

If you want to know more about that, you can visit this page.

4. My Personal Opinion About It

I was lucky to be one of the few to receive the book before its release. This is because I’m a Certified Internet Profits Partner. I even got my award, which I find pretty cool.

Dean Holland's dedicace
4 Figure Club

So you might think my opinion is biased, but please, read the conclusion first and then, make your own opinion.

Now, just before that, I would emphasize one specific point: passive income is a myth, especially in affiliate marketing. There is a big learning curve, and if you are a serious internet marketer, willing to make serious money, even while you sleep, you need to be very clear about this fact.

By the way, making money online while sleeping is a reality. The beauty of the Internet is that it never stops. There are people mousing around 24/7, worldwide. However, this is totally different to making passive income, because you have to do the work first, and then analyze, try new things, enhance your funnels etc… It never stops, and it is not a passive activity.

Anyway, back to The Iceberg Effect review.

Is it the best Affiliate Marketing book?

It’s a quick read, 163 pages written in a medium font. I’m French, not a fantastic reader, especially when it is in English, and it took me around 3 hours to read it (honestly I can’t exactly remember, but it is not far from the truth).

So to this question, I would answer : “it depends”.

If you are a total beginner, meaning you are totally brand new to this industry, then yes, it is for me one of the best affiliate marketing books for beginners.
Because you’ll learn about the dangerous shiny object syndrome that can ruin you, how affiliate marketing works, and how to do it right, with simplicity and efficiency. In this case, I urge you to order this book, because otherwise you could land in the next category for a very long time.

If you are not new to this industry, but still struggling to make money, desperately throwing your affiliate links on social media, and web2.0 websites, falling into the trap of the shiny object syndrome (I was there, and I’m sure most of the people reading this review fall into this category), then you should read this book. Because again, you’ll get a good reminder of what really works.
You can swipe his follow-up sequence, you can understand why affiliate marketing doesn’t work, and how you can change this to be part of the next category. In my opinion, it is kind of a “back to basics” book that every affiliate marketer that falls into this category should read.

Now if you are a more advanced marketer, meaning you generate consistent commissions, have a simple yet efficient affiliate marketing strategy already in place, knowing the delicious feeling of hearing mobile phone notifications during the night or when you are on vacations…
Then I would say it is not the best book about affiliate marketing for you. There are other books about affiliate marketing, maybe more about digital marketing, with more advanced tactics to increase your ROI, be better at copywriting and many other things. However, what could be interesting for you is the Internet Profits Accelerator program (see below).

Is it legit or a scam?

Free TIE Book

I put this question because I see it in almost every review online. But hey, it’s a book. How can a book be a scam? You can like it or not, but in the end, it is just a book…

Now, if you are talking about Dean Holland, then the short answer is NO. Dean Holland is not a scam.

Despite all the hype he puts in his landing pages, videos, marketing content, he is totally legit.

About the hype, unfortunately, it is absolutely necessary. The human brain reacts to specific trigger words, specific creatives that your competitors use. If you don’t use them, then it’s harder to win the click and beat the competition.

Just think about all YouTube clickbait titles and thumbnails. Do you click on random thumbnails? Or do you tend to click on thumbnails with a human face expression suggesting that something horrible happened or is happening? This is the same for headlines. If you have any experience with native ads, then you know what I’m talking about….

Dean is very present for his customers. Doing a lot of coaching, sometimes too much because you end up with a coaching call almost every day (sometimes two during the same day). He is present in his private Facebook group. If you have any questions, he is here to help. That’s a fact.

Dean Holland's coaching on Facebook

If like me, you are part of the co-branded funnel, one of his high-ticket offers, then you can attend a monthly live coaching that starts at 1 pm in my timezone, and can last 5 to 6 hours (actually there is no limit), until nobody has no question anymore. You can unmute your mic and share your screen, ask your question and have a conversation with him about what you are doing, what are your problems, or any other thing you want.

Seriously, nowadays, who does that???

5. Price and What comes with the book?

This is a free book, but you have to cover the shipping and handling, which is around $7.96 (at the time I’m writing this review), no matter where you are in the world.
For this price you’ll get a nice softcover book, with many other digital bonuses (see below).

The Iceberg Effect Bonuses

The Iceberg Effect Bonuses

Bonus #1 : The Iceberg Effect Audio book, so you can learn about the book while waiting for the softcover book to arrive in your mailbox.

Bonus #2: The Iceberg Effect Masterclass, where Dean goes deep into the details of his business.

Bonus #3: 7 Days of Mystery Surprises. Frankly, I don’t know what they are because I didn’t purchase the book, it was offered by Dean before the launch. So I was not added to his email follow-up sequence and didn’t receive this bonus.

6. A word about the entire funnel

You must know that a free book is a trip-wire offer, meaning that the price is intended to be low, so you can’t refuse. What you get for less than $10 is honestly a bargain, and at no risk for you because you can even ask for a refund if you don’t like the free book.

But there are other offers, aka OTOs (One Time Offers) that you can get right after buying the book, and here is a quick recap of them (I’ll try to update this part as much as I can, but be aware that it can be a little different depending on if Dean is optimizing the funnel with new products).

First OTO

Dean Holland's Quick Start Challenge

The First OTO is the “Quick Start Challenge” for $197, not sold anywhere else. I can’t give you my honest opinion because I did not purchase it. But I can see in the private Facebook group that there is very good feedback about it. It includes daily steps with the theory you need to know, done for you material (funnel, email follow-up, templates…) and your homework to do for the next day, so that at the end of the 7-day period, you have an online affiliate business ready to go. It also includes 12 weeks of live weekly coaching to help you if you are stuck with something.

If you say no to the “Quick Start Challenge (QSC)”, there is a down sell, so you can buy the QSC for $97, but with no coaching.

Second OTO

The second one-time-offer is the “Ultimate Free Traffic System” for $47, not sold anywhere else. This one is a must-have if you have no money to invest in paid traffic. I had the chance to get a lot of coaching about this method at the very beginning before it became a digital course. James Bartram, who was an IPRO partner like me, took this method from Dean, and had his own little twist. Thanks to that, he has made quite a lot of money and is now one of the IPRO coaches. And he really over delivers on every single coaching call.

Final OTO

Lastly, you’ll get a presentation about how to become an “Internet Profits Partner“. This is a big step at this stage, but if you know what you want, then you should apply.

Know that it is a high ticket offer. Last time I checked, it was $2997, and I don’t know the actual price because Dean always adds things, like 1 on 1 coaching, or small group coaching. But don’t wait too long because price increases over time (this is not fake scarcity, it’s a real fact).

If you want to know more about this program, you can contact me and ask your questions. If you fill in the application form, there will be someone from Dean’s team who will call you to be sure you know what it is, and you really want it. And they are not pushing you, not at all.

And again, if you have any questions, I can try to answer some of them.

7. Other Products from Internet Profits

As you may know by now, Dean Holland has a variety of affiliate marketing programs, so I decided to give you a quick overview. However, be aware there are more, but they are not sold as a front-end offer. This is kept for the back-end (remember the iceberg principle?).

Free Training from Dean Holland

This is a video training that lasts about 60 minutes. In this training you will learn more about what Dean advises you to do to be successful as an affiliate marketer.

Do not hesitate, it’s 100% free.

Dean Holland's FREE Training

Affiliate Marketing Playbook

The Affiliate Marketing Playbook was the previous trip-wire offer from Dean, before he wrote The Iceberg Effect. I can’t give you my opinion about it simply because I didn’t buy it, but you can visit this page to get more information.

Dean Holland's Affiliate Marketers Playbook

The Perfect Offer

This is another physical product from Dean. This time it is a USB stick that contains “The Perfect Offer” training.

It is the strategy that Dean applies in all his marketing efforts to acquiring new customers, which means that Dean does what he preaches.

The Perfect Offer from Dean Holland

Internet Profits Accelerator

If you are seriously willing to make money as an affiliate, in the affiliate marketing niche, then it is a must.

I can’t do a full review of this program here, because it would take another 5000 words to write. But what you get inside this program is big. Even too much, I would say. There are dozens of hours of step by step, updated training and actionable instructions, so you can start quickly to earn your first commissions. A lot of coaching calls, a private Facebook group very active, top-notch support for any kind of question you might have. And many, many more

If you are seriously considering purchasing it, but still have questions, I can definitely try to answer them, or even share my screen with you during a video call, so you can see what’s inside the program. However, I’ll do that only, and only if you are my referral, due to the obvious time it will take for me and the commission I will get if you purchase the program.

This link is a backdoor access (use it until Dean asks me to remove it from this post) to his presentation of the Accelerator program.

8. Quick FAQs

What does the iceberg principle refer to?

The Iceberg effect refers to the two sides of any affiliate program. On one end there is the front-end of the funnel, where the affiliate gets commissions if there is a conversion. This is the tip of the iceberg. On the other end, there is what the affiliate doesn’t see, aka the back-end of the funnel, where the affiliate program does all the biggest commissions, without having to spend money to acquire new customers.

Who is Dean Holland?

He is the CEO of Internet Profits, a speaker, coach, specialized in digital marketing.

Where to start affiliate marketing ?

If you are brand new or fall into the category of affiliates who are not getting any commission online, then I really think this book is a must to start affiliate marketing the right way. Otherwise, you can find free videos on YouTube teaching you how to make money online with just a click on a button. But in this case, I’m pretty sure you’ll stay in this category for a while…

How to make money online?

There are many ways to make money online, but affiliate marketing is, I believe, one of the most accessible ways because you don’t have to create any product. You can focus on just two things : finding the right offer and driving traffic to it. Now I’m not saying it is easy, but if you see this as a business, and take action, you’ll get results, I have no doubt about it.

Can I download the iceberg effect PDF instead of the book?

As far as I am aware of, there is no PDF version of the book.

What if I live in India or far from the UK / USA?

No problem. The book will be sent wherever you are in the world. The only difference is that it will take a bit more time to arrive in your mailbox. However, right after purchasing the book, you’ll get the audio version of it, so you can start to learn about The Iceberg Effect right away.

Can I pay with PayPal?

I don’t know the exact reason why but no. The only possibility is to use your credit card.

Disclosure: I may receive affiliate compensation for some of the links below at no cost to you. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy. This site is not intending to provide financial advice. This is for entertainment only.

Chris Riviera


I've been an online entrepreneur since 2010, starting with IT freelance jobs on oDesk, then doing consulting for bigger companies and now having my own online businesses since 2014.
I've sold my first online business (in the software niche) in 2019, and now I'm working on several other projects in the digital marketing space.

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