So, you’re ready to hire an Affiliate Manager and scale your business, but there are so many things to consider! In this video, I’m going to give you ALL the inside information on hiring an affiliate manager, from where to find them, how to vet them, and how much to pay them. I also share the pros and cons of outsourcing versus hiring in-house.
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Hiring an Affiliate Manager: Who, When, Where, and How
Hey, so today we are talking about hiring an affiliate manager. That’s a big, big step for a company, but it could be the catalyst. That could be the part of something big, could be the catalyst to massive growth. If you do it the right way, there are a lot of mistakes to avoid and I’ve seen them all made. I’ve made some myself.
There are things to look out for. There are some best practices from beginning to end, just throughout the whole process. What I’m going to do today is walk you through the entire process. When I walk you through the win. When is the right time to hire an affiliate manager here? Who should you be looking for? So when, who, where can you find the right person? And of course, the how, how you make sure that they’re a good fit.
How do you make sure they’re a good affiliate manager? That’s what we’re talking about today. Hiring an affiliate manager. The who, when, where and how. I guess we’re not talking about the what. Hopefully, you know what an affiliate manager is. So we’re not talking about that today.
As we get started. Welcome, Alan. Good to see you again, bud.
Alan: Hey, good to be here. Good to be here. Rainy day in Florida.
Matt: Decent day here, cloudy and you’ll see the sun peek through and hit like one leaf. It’s like a sunny leaf and then a not-so-sunny leaf.
This is going to be the lesson for them to learn how to hire an affiliate manager. You can shoot them a text right now, shoot them a DM, post it on your page, your timeline, whatever, share it wherever you can to help others.
Because we’re talking today about hiring an affiliate manager again. When is the right time to hire somebody? You want to hire somebody before you’re ready or wait too long? That’s important. You need to know who to look for. Who should you be looking for? Where can you find this person or people as the case maybe? We’ll talk about that today. And how do you make sure you’ve got the right candidate? We’re going to talk about that hiring process.
So we’re going to start with the when should you hire an affiliate manager? Actually, when you should hire an affiliate manager is tied into when should you not? My belief is if you’re under 50K, you probably don’t even need to hire anybody definitely yet. And if you’re under 200K, maybe even 300K, I think you don’t hire anybody just yet.
You start by doing it yourself. And I want to explain why that is okay. Now you can have a VA, a virtual assistant. You can have someone else on the team help, but start yourself. That’s what I did when I first started my first affiliate program.
To be clear, I’m not talking about being a full-time affiliate manager for yourself. I’m talking about doing it in a couple of hours a day, an hour a day, five days a week, five to 10 hours a week to start with. When I first started my first affiliate program, the one that I’ve talked about before we built it into a million dollars a month program. And I’ve told that story many times.
The part that I haven’t really told is that I did that in less than 10 hours a week over the course of that 1st 18 months to get to a million dollars a month. I was also the chief operations officer, and head of quality control and I ran our IT Department.
So I was a little bit busy. We are a small company. We were doing at that time less than a couple of hundred thousand dollars a year, grew it into about an $18.6 million a year company, most of which was from affiliates. And the reality is that I was busy because I was doing a bunch of other stuff until we expanded, I was able to offload some of those things.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there will be a day when it’s going to make sense to hire somebody. If you’ve already got an affiliate manager, that’s okay. But you still need to know this stuff. Our clients pay us hundreds of thousands of dollars to recruit affiliates, to motivate them, to get them to promote, more, to pay them to get them to promote again, again and again.
There’s a lot of value to what we offer in our agency. But the reality is that starting off you need to do it yourself. There is no better investment when you’re starting off. There’s nothing you can do in your company in an hour or two a day to double or triple or even ten X your sales than an affiliate program. So you got to start yourself. And knowing this stuff is beneficial.
If you do hire somebody, it helps. I mentioned earlier I ran that IT Department for about three years. I worked with all these coders. And the thing is, I didn’t know the first thing about coding back then. I didn’t know about databases. But I learned a little bit of the coding. And I learned just enough to call BS on people.
So by the time, we had five programmers on our team back then, or actually, we had six. And I would go to them and say, here’s what we want to accomplish. We want to do this project. Boom, boom, boom. And they came to me and said, Great, Matt, that is a six-month timeline.
I would know just enough to go, no, it’s not. That can be done in four and a half months. I know it can because I know the pieces and I know how long they take. And so I knew just enough coding. I was probably like a mid-level developer now.
I didn’t really do it at that point. I had not done the coding in two years, but I knew just enough from the early years when I taught myself, I literally had a book, actually, it was a bound book, probably about this thick of all the coding stuff that I needed to know. And I memorized that book practically mid-level coding.
I knew back and forth. And I knew this project was a four-and-a-half-month project. And they knew that. They knew that I knew just enough to say, no, this is a four and a half month project. We’ve worked with some top-tier entrepreneurs, right.
People like Stu Mclaren and Michael Hyatt, Ryan Levesque, pay us a lot of money to either run their program in many cases, like Jeff Walker, they pay us to consult them. They have affiliate managers, but often they’re on the calls, too. They were learning along with their team pays to know this stuff.
I think of Lynn and Lauren from Ultimate Bundles. They run a great company. They’re a great example of this, though. They have an awesome team of affiliate managers and people who are running their affiliate stuff, and we’re coaching them. But they’re on the calls, too.
They’re learning, they’re asking questions. And so when we coach them, we have a program called your Affiliate Launch Coach. It’s primarily his affiliate managers who are implementing what we’re talking about. But he and Lauren and Lynn were just as engaged in learning and asking questions, and that helped them. And I’m going to share more about why this is important in just a moment. But before we go any further, I want to give you a warning.
This is a very important warning. Very important warning. If I can spare you any mistake, any mistake in your business, it would be this one.
To get started with affiliate marketing the right way, download my free quickstart guide to affiliate marketing. Grab your copy here!
To get started with affiliate marketing the right way, download my free quickstart guide to affiliate marketing. Grab your copy here!
The number one mistake I see in entrepreneurs who start an affiliate program. They know they need help running it or they don’t even have one. And then they start an affiliate program, they hire an affiliate manager, and they promptly abdicate 100% of the responsibility to him or her, and then they wonder why it’s not getting bigger.
Do not make this mistake. Please be like Lynn and Lauren. You need to be involved and especially early on you need to be the one doing almost all of the work on the affiliate program again, early on. This is not a long-term thing. You’re not going to be your affiliate manager ten years from now. I’m not even our affiliate manager.
I am not the affiliate manager for our company anymore and we’ll talk more about that later. I actually did a podcast episode about that recently where I talked about that. Now before we get into who you should look for, who you look for as an affiliate manager, where to find them, and how to hire them, I want to address the problem with affiliate managers because it’s important to understand I’ve kind of danced around this issue a little bit.
The problem with affiliate managers, right? I remember I’ve been one for 17 years. I’m an affiliate manager today. I still want to run one of the programs. Programs for one of our clients. But I have to be honest and I have to share the problems and the solution.
I’ve seen three major problems with affiliate managers over the years. Again, this is why I don’t recommend one early on. I’ve contributed to these problems. I’m responsible for some of these problems. They’re exactly why we love coaching entrepreneurs on running their affiliate programs.
When you’re starting off when you’re under that $500,000 threshold or so, why do we focus on coaching them, not running them? Problem number one, they aren’t you. I will never be as good of an ambassador for a company.
I’m arguably one of the best affiliate managers in the world. I’ve won the awards. I’m bragging. Yes, I’ve four-time affiliate manager of the year. I know what I’m doing. And even if I’m not the best, I’m one of the few best. I am never going to be as good at being an ambassador for your brand and your company as you are.
That’s just the reality. Our agency, and our affiliate managers are hired and trained by me. I’ll talk about it later. It’s a multi-month process to get hired by us as an affiliate manager. They aren’t as good. They are never going to be as good as you are.
The other thing is I’m an entrepreneur and I have great relationships with a lot of other entrepreneurs. And when we’re talking entrepreneur to entrepreneur, that’s how we’re speaking. We’re peers. But when I step in as affiliate manager, it changes the dynamics.
I’m now talking as the affiliate manager to the entrepreneur, and it changes the dynamic of the conversation. But when you talk entrepreneur to entrepreneur, you get that dynamic back. So those relationships are different. You know, the passion that you put into your company, the stories that you have in your company. I don’t have those.
Let me be very clear. There’s no one better to run your affiliate program starting off than you. No one. The second problem with affiliate managers is their incentives. Are they backward? By definition, they are incentivized to grow the program if you’re paying them the right way. And we’ll talk about this later.
If you’re paying an affiliate manager the right way, they should receive a small base salary and then most of their income after a few months. We’ll talk about this later. But initially, early on with us, we guarantee a bonus, for example, the first few months, because they’re not going to earn a bonus. They’re just starting out. But over time, most of their income should come from bonuses, from a percentage of the revenue that they’re generating.
So their incentive is to grow the program. But at what cost? Especially if you abdicate all responsibility and you’re not really monitoring it. You have growth at all costs. So they might allow things that you don’t want to allow, like trade marketing. They might allow rogue affiliates to get away with things or affiliates who use nefarious marketing to attract customers.
They might do some brand damage. Maybe they’re running ads that you don’t agree with. I mean, I’ve seen this happen so many times. One example, and I talked about this. I talked about this in an upcoming episode where I talk about working with affiliate networks.
One of the things that we did and I didn’t do this on purpose, but we were working with multiple affiliate networks in an in-house program, and it was tracking things twice. And so it was showing that I was responsible for more growth than I really was. And as the affiliate manager, I wasn’t the one to catch that problem. It was actually the CEO who was like, why are we making less money than I thought we were? I never would have caught that.
My incentives weren’t to find double tracking. They were to keep growing, growing, growing, growing, growing. So it’s something to consider there. And then the third problem is that their priority is always themselves. Their first priority is always their job. I don’t blame them.
This kind of ties into the last point, but their focus is on protecting their job, looking good, and keeping you as a client or as an employer making the most money for the longest amount of time. Sometimes one of the things that affiliate managers will do is slow down growth intentionally, because rather than grow 60% this year and then possibly only by 10% next year and make you go, “huh? They have a really good first year, but kind of a crappy second year, maybe we don’t need them anymore.”
They’ll stall growth. 30% a year, 25% a year. Look at us. We’re going by 25, 30% a year. You got to keep me. But you want to grow as fast as possible. So to be clear, you do not need to hire someone to run your affiliate program at first. It’s actually not a good idea. It’s not a good idea to hire somebody to run an affiliate program.
When you’re first starting out, you need to do it yourself. So that leads us back to the original question. When should you hire an affiliate manager? Once you hit about 200 to 300,000 in revenue, that’s a good time to consider bringing on at least a part-time affiliate manager, someone who’s either part-time with the company.
So maybe they just work 15 hours a week for your company, that’s it. Or someone who maybe does your social media, and maybe they do customer service. Maybe they’re in sales and those aren’t full-time positions, but you have them start as an affiliate manager as well. So those are two ways to kind of look at it part-time.
That might mean you hire someone like us as an agency, you can outsource someone. We’ll talk more about that a little bit. Or maybe you have someone internally and someone like us can train them. We’ll talk about that option later as well. Now, once you get about 500,000 in revenue. So if you’re already there, skip that step.
You’re going to want a full-time affiliate manager. So 500,000 or so, maybe you bump it up to 600 That’s up to you. These are general guidelines. They depend on things like the price point. If you’re selling $10 products, what’s the math on 300,000 divided by ten, if I’m not mistaken, is 30,000.00 So 30,000 units is a lot of units.
You might bring on an affiliate manager a little bit sooner because if you got a $10,000 product, you only need 30 units. You could do that yourself to get to $300,000 easily. You might wait until you’ve got a million dollars if you’re doing $10,000 a unit versus if you’re doing $10 units, you might hire someone at the 150 or 200 Mark.
Profit margins. If you have really low margins. If on 300,000, you only net 30,000. It’s a lot harder to hire an affiliate manager than if you’re at 200,000. But you’re netting 140,000, so that’s something to consider. It’s a lot easier to hire an affiliate manager in that second scenario than it is in the first one.
Other costs, other things like your team expenses and things like that, again. So just take those into consideration. But generally speaking, just to recap under 200,000 or so, run it yourself. Somewhere in that $200 to $500,000 range is probably a good time to hire someone internally or part-time or outsource on a small scale over $500,000, that’s the time to hire full time or outsource.
So that’s the win. Now, who should you be looking for? Like, who are we looking for as an affiliate manager? As I’ve already said, at first it’s you. But now we’re going to fast forward. We’re at the point where we need to hire someone. Who do you look for? The first big question is are we going internal or are we going outsourced? That’s the first question we got to ask.
Number one, if you’re hiring part-time and it’s early on in your journey, you need to decide if you are going to hire someone internally or if you’re going to outsource to an agency that we run right now. You might think I’m biased on the outsourcing model. Like I run an affiliate management agency. I’m really not, though there are actually a lot of positives both ways, which I want to talk about here.
I try not to be biased on this. And the truth is that two out of three people that I talk to, I talk them out of hiring us. I tell them you need to go in-house based on their unique circumstances. So advantage number one to an in-house affiliate manager is that they work for you only.
They only work for you. So number two, that means they’re more focused on a given day. Now, I’m not managing these full time, but on a given day, I mean just today alone, I corresponded with a client on two different launches. Three different launches. Talked to a client about one affiliate program. Talked to a prospective affiliate a big one that I was on for another for one of those and then had a call with a team member about a different one. It’s 02:00 Eastern.
I’ve only been working for five and a half hours. No, four and a half hours actually less than that because I worked out halfway through. So I’ve only been working for like 3 hours and I’ve already basically talked about five different clients. There’s an advantage that we’ll talk about in a moment, but that it can be a disadvantage.
Having somebody who’s just 100% laser-focused on your stuff 8 hours a day is an advantage. One that I can’t do as an outsourced affiliate manager. The third advantage is you can get them to do other things if needed. Maybe you hire somebody and they really only take 25 hours to do the affiliate program and you also need somebody to run your social media so they can do that.
They’re on the team. And so if you’re in an office, for example, maybe they can. And I did this when I was an in-house affiliate manager. Back in the day, I would go back to shipping. When we were busting it around the holidays and we would sell 1000 units in a day. I’d go back there and box up like 50 of them.
We were a small team. We had like ten people. Basically, the shipping Department would box up like 600 of them and everybody else in the team would box up 25 to 50. I’d go back there, take half my lunch break, and box up 20 or 25 just as kind of a break. And then at the end of the day, before I left, I go back and box up another 20 or 25. And so that’s something you can’t do if you’re outsourced. Like, no offense, certainly we’re remote.
I am not flying to your office and helping box stuff up. That’s just not going to happen. Fourth, they’re more integrated with your team as much as I want to be in your team and we integrate with your team. And I tell our clients this all the time, we become a part of your team. We’re still not.
That’s just the reality. And then the fifth advantage to in-house affiliate managers. They learn every little part of your business because they’re in your slack. They’re not just in the one channel for partners. They speak your language, they know all your acronyms, all that fun stuff.
So those are five advantages to an in-house. And this is the decision you’ve got to make. The advantage to an outsourcing program manager is; generally speaking, we cost less. We might actually cost more because we’re really good at what we do and we think that’s worth it. But generally speaking, you’re going to pay us less than you are a full-time person to run your affiliate program.
The other advantage, quite frankly, is you’re going to get better results. Typically with someone like us, it depends on who you work with. The second big advantage is they’re more willing to make most of their money from commissions and upside, like how we work. For example, 80% of our revenue comes from performance. We take a small monthly retainer.
Most of the money we make should come from what we earn. So if we help you grow your affiliate program by $2 million, we’re going to make a lot of money versus a full-time employee. You’re typically going to pay them a higher salary and then a lower percentage. That’s generally speaking, how that works.
The third advantage to an outsourcing program manager is we have pre-existing contacts, not pre-existing conditions. That would be weird. Some of those do. I’ve got plantar fasciitis in my right foot in case anybody wonders.
Alan: It doesn’t affect your pillion performance, though. That’s the cool thing.
Matt: Yeah. And I’ve been diagnosed with ADHD, so I do have a pre-existing condition here. But no, we have pre-existing contacts. We’ve got a database of about 45-4600 people, all of whom have promoted one of our other clients. At least one of our other clients, about 1500 of those people have done $2,000 or more in sales for our clients. I think that number is pretty accurate. It’s at least 1000.
They’ve done sales. You only have to get a fraction of those to immediately have a half-million-dollar lunch with us. That’s one of the pros of preexisting contacts. The fourth advantage is we have varied experience across dozens of niches.
Most outsourced program managers work with different clients. Right? We have clients in the Internet marketing space. That’s kind of our wheelhouse. But we’ve got a client in the relationship space. We’ve got a client in a couple of clients in like, the nutrition space.
I got a client in the pet space. We’ve had clients in the parenting space. And the productivity niche gosh in men’s health. All kinds of different niches that we’ve worked with in retail goods and sporting goods. I mean, all these niches. Right?
So we get all these different experiences and we get to bring the best of those worlds to other programs. We work with launches. We work with evergreen. We work with webinars. We work with funnels. We work with book launches. We work with physical goods, digital products, and memberships. So we get to pull from each of those and apply the things that we’re learning in those different niches and different types of businesses to other stuff versus like, all we’re doing is launches or all we’re doing is evergreen.
All we’re doing is working on this one thing where we’re laser-focused on the next pros. We know the industry, so we know what works. We have a playbook. It’s like a 100-page playbook on this stuff. We go out and we execute that playbook. And so one of the things like, we do innovate, though, because when we work with our clients, then we go work with other clients. We learn a ton.
The downside to that, as I mentioned earlier, is we’re super busy, but we’re super busy because we work with so many clients now. We work with so many clients because we’re so good at what we do and we learn from those clients. And yes, we’re busy. Again, there are pro sides, and there are downsides to both of them.
I want to talk now about what to do or what to look for if you hire internally. So if you hire internally, what are you looking for in that affiliate manager? Number one, this is any hire, I don’t care what position it is in your company. Cultural fit. That is always number one. Do they fit the culture? I don’t mean, like, maybe they showed up for the interview wearing a tie and you typically wear a T-shirt. That’s not what I’m talking about. And I’m not talking about age.
I’m not talking about politics or belief systems or any of that stuff. Do they laugh when you make a joke? Are they just really negative versus really positive? If you’re in a really positive company, that’s a culture thing. Have them communicate with you. Have them communicate.
So if you use humor a lot and you communicate with your affiliates using humor, are they able to use humor in their emails or not? That’s a big deal. If I don’t feel like you know how to respond to an affiliate who sends a sarcastic text to you and you don’t know how to respond to that with some sarcasm back.
I just had a call with an affiliate, Zoom call when I mentioned earlier, I’m not normally on these now, but I was on with this one because we go back and she runs a couple of big partnerships with one of our clients and potentially other clients. And so she texted and said, “Hey, I’m running late. I’m so sorry. And I can’t remember how I was running back.”
The first I told her to bring Tacos. I was like, just bring Tacos. You can always make up for being late by bringing Tacos. About seven minutes later, she’s like, “I’m so sorry I’m running late.” I’m like, no worries, I’m taking a nap. I texted her and I said, “Hey, I’m going to go take a nap now. Just let me know when you’re ready.” I was being totally smart, Alexander. And then as soon as I see her get on, it was a Zoom call. When she shows up, I’m like, she starts laughing. I’m like, what? Can you do that with an affiliate? That’s a culture fit. That’s number one.
Number two, you got to hire for skills and attitude, not knowledge. You can hire us to train them. If you go to youraffiliatelaunchcoach.com, you can sign up there, learn more, and apply for a free coaching call, and we’ll show you. We’ll teach your team. If you hire somebody internally. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about skills and attitudes.
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Skills are being a people person’s basic understanding of marketing they don’t need to be a marketing expert, but have they ever read like, at least one marketing book? Have they at least read this book here influenced by Robert Cialdini? Do they speak the language of marketing? A little bit? Sales people, sales experience, customer service experience, marketing experience.
Have they done affiliate marketing? If they haven’t, it’s not the end all be all. But it’s a big plus, right? Do they have their own platform? That would be a big plus. Previous experience is a plus. If they’ve been an affiliate manager, it’s not required, but it’s a plus. Do they have existing connections? That’s a plus not required.
We’ll show them in your affiliate launch coach how to find affiliates if they don’t know it. Even if they don’t know anybody. You don’t know anybody. But it’s a plus. But this is probably the number one thing is culture fit and it ties into this thing. This is probably my number two. Are they true believers? Do they buy into your company? Do they buy into what you’re doing? Do they believe in your products and services? That’s the big thing.
They are just a true believer. If you’ve got any combination of those things, maybe they got a little bit of previous experience. Maybe they don’t have any experience as affiliate managers. But they’ve been in sales for three years and they’ve read various marketing books.
They’ve read Influence and they’ve read some of Russell Brunson’s book or Jeff Walker’s book, or they’ve read a couple of other books. They’re a great culture fit. They got the right attitude. That’s a good hire. If you’re outsourcing.
If you’re outsourcing, what should you be looking for? Well, number one is still culture fit. Do you get along with them? Do you show up for the Zoom meeting when you’re considering outsourcing your affiliate management? And the affiliate manager begins by saying, “Hello, I would like to present a 17-page PowerPoint presentation about why XYZ Outsource company is such an effective affiliate management service.” What?
Alan: Don’t hire that guy.
Matt: Yeah, don’t hire him unless that’s your culture. Then hire him right away. So if you are an individual, then hire that person. Now, are they a culture fit? I tell every client, like, first thing, if you’re going to work with us, one of the things you have to get used to is I’m going to make fun of you. I’m going to make fun of you, and I’m going to poke fun.
I’m not persistent about it, but we don’t have to be buddy-buddy. But I’m going to poke fun at you a little bit. If I see the opportunity, I’m going to share animated gifts on our Slack channel. I’m not the one for you then.
I’m going to celebrate wins with you and our team. And we’re going to have fun doing this. We’re going to make your affiliate program fun. And the whole video on why you need to make your affiliate program fun years ago. And there are so many reasons I don’t have time to right now. But one of the reasons is people remember having fun in like, “wow, it was just so fun to be a part of that affiliate program. How’d you do?” “I only made 21 sales. Maybe their goal was 30, but I had a lot of fun. Next year I’ll do better.” But if they’d only made 21 sales and the affiliate program was run poorly and they didn’t have fun, they only made 21 sales and never promoted that again. You want it to be fun.
So culture fit is super important. Secondly, is, do they have a track record? Yeah. I don’t know how else to say it’s. Four-time affiliate manager of the year. Our clients include Stu McLaren and Ryan Levesque. Michael Hyatt that we’ve worked with. Lewis Howes’s, book launch, Brian Tracy’s, book launch, Jeff Goins, Adidas, Shutter, Fly. I mean, the list goes on and on.
We have a proven track record. There are other companies that have a proven track record as well. Look for that track record. Who have they worked with? What have they done for them? And then thirdly, do they understand your niche? Now, when you’re thinking about hiring them, if they do things right, the first thing we do, is we do an onboarding call. It’s a 90 minutes onboarding call with a new client. And I want to understand their niche.
I want to understand their mission. I want to understand their products. I want to understand their funnels. I want to understand their messaging. Why do they do what they do, but do they at least have a basic understanding of your niche? Did they do a little bit of research? Because clearly you’re not just showing up on a Zoom call going, “Hey, here we are. We don’t know why we’re on the Zoom call.I guess we should talk about maybe hiring you as an outsourced affiliate manager.” What do you think? I don’t know.” “Yes, sure.” No, you emailed back and forth. Somebody scheduled the thing, and at some point, probably you didn’t schedule the call for the day after.
It was probably scheduled five days in advance or twelve days in advance or whatever. Did they do some research on you? There’s something to look for when you hire an outsource affiliate manager. They should come to that call going, “I know you’ve got these three products, but what I don’t know is what’s the entry point for this one?” That’s a good question.
The products that I have. So “I was on your website. I followed and started following you on Instagram and Facebook. I understand the audience. Pretty sure. What I can’t quite figure out is this more for single moms or married moms or both?” Okay, great question.
You know, if they come there going, hey, so tell me about your business. “Tell me all about your business.” Really? You didn’t do any research. You didn’t spend ten minutes on Google, you didn’t check out like three of our social media posts. That’s all it takes.
I mean, I’ll admit when I research a client in advance, but honestly, I’m looking for a reason to say no. We’re so flipping busy. I’m looking for a reason to go, no, that person is not a good fit. And if they are a good fit, then I want to be clear on that, and let’s work together.
So I reviewing five or six social media posts takes me five minutes. I run through their website in about seven minutes, and I Google them and just make sure there are not like eight dozen BBVA complaints about them as some sort of a scam. I’m taking a look at these things and I’m making sure they’re legit.
So do they have an understanding of your niche? I’ll talk a little bit about the right hiring process to make sure you get the right person or team. But for now, we’re going to move on to? Where can you find the right affiliate manager? All right, where can you find the right affiliate manager?
Number one, referrals. Reach out to your network. Ask if they know anyone. It’s that simple. That’s actually where all of our clients come from. “Hey, Matt, I reached out to Stew and he recommended you.” “Hey, Matt, I reached out to Jeff and he recommended you.” “Hey, Matt, I reached out to so and so and he recommended you.” It’s literally where all of our clients come from. So it works.
That’s how they’re finding us. Use it. Reach out to people, ask who do you know?
Secondly, look who’s running other programs. This is more if you outsource because if they’re running it internally, they’re probably not going to come work for you. But maybe you could steal them. You see, that person is running so and so’s a program. I really like them.
Maybe I can hire that person. Okay, you can try. But if they’re outsourced, if you see us running Stews or Ryan’s and you go, Man, I really like what they do. I just got one yesterday. “Hey, Matt, do you do this for other people?” Sure. Do we have an agency? Let’s talk. I’m talking to them next week. Head hunters, agencies that recruit people.
That’s an option, especially if you’re going to the house job sites. Of course, you can post on job sites. I will tell you, the good affiliate managers probably aren’t surfing on the job sites just like any job. Now, does that mean you can’t find somebody? Absolutely not. But if you’re looking to hire somebody who’s got some more experience, you’re bringing somebody in at a multi-million dollar level. It’s probably not the best option.
Google. If you outsource, Google around, and see who the experts are. I don’t know. See who has a podcast about running affiliate programs or affiliate marketing. Maybe like an affiliate guy or something. Look and see what kind of a track record do they have? Whoever. But look at their client list.
Does their client list line up with you? Have they worked with somebody similar but maybe not a direct competitor? The 6th place to find affiliate managers. Look at your team. You probably already have somebody on your team. If you got a decent-sized team, somebody running social media, somebody in sales, somebody in customer service, could you bring them on, make them a part-time affiliate manager.
Make that like half their job. See if they like it. Somebody like us, we can train them. That’s a great place. They’re already a true believer. They’ve already bought in. They already know the product. There’s no gap there. And then Seventhly, your audience. This is my favorite way. This is what we do. This is how we hire our affiliate managers. These are our true believers, right?
We know that they’re a culture fit. If you read my emails long enough and you’re still on my list you’re a culture fit for me. You get my weird sense of humor. They’re likely to be able to really connect with your customers who would be your best affiliates? Because they might be your customers yourself. So your own list of your own audience is a great place to find an affiliate manager.
So we’ve talked about the win, we’ve talked about the who, and we’ve talked about the where. Now time to wrap up with the how do you hire an affiliate manager? What does that process look like? I’m going to talk about how we hire an affiliate manager in the process that they go through. It is a grueling process and I’m not recommending it.
Just to be clear, we’re actually going to be tweaking it. But the process for us, we had two new affiliate managers basically started roughly March 1 of this year. One started a couple of weeks before that. One started a couple of days after. We’ll just say about a month ago.
The process started for them in August. They applied in August. We had 52 applications. And what we did in that application, actually, I’m going to pull that up real quick. I’ll tell you what that application looks like. If I can find, the agency application, I may not be able to find it, but we’ll see. There we go. Found it. So obviously we asked for their first name, their last name, their email address, phone number, and all that.
Please describe why you would like to join the Matt MC Williams Consulting Incorporated team right there. We’re looking at that and going, okay, this is the ability to communicate. Can they write a coherent paragraph or two? I mean, we probably ruled out five people out of 52 just based on their answer to that question. Did I read that going, if I were a friend of theirs and if I were their uncle and it’s Thanksgiving dinner?
When I say, man, it sounds like you really want to work at that company, you should go there. We asked a few other questions, like, how many affiliate promotions have you ever done? And stuff like that. Please describe your current job or business. Again, accountant. That’s not describing. That’s just your title.
I want to know, can you write something here? What do you like most about your current job or business? What do you like least about your current job or business? Do you know what I’m looking for there? Are they a whiner here’s a little tip. If anybody ever asks you that, put one thing. Don’t whine about it. Just say pick something. And I’m looking for people who are positive, you know, don’t put anything.
I love everything about my job. Why are you filling out this application then? You’re lying. Please describe why you would make a good affiliate manager. Again, I’m just looking for that. Then we ask the following open-ended questions with no right or wrong answer.
We are simply looking to learn how you process certain situations. If you are running an affiliate program and you find that one of your top affiliates is breaking the rules, what would you do first? How would you proceed from there? I’m just looking for how they’re processing this. An affiliate asks you for a special landing page.
This is not something you’ve previously discussed with the client. How would you handle this situation? And I keep going through and I ask them some certain questions, and then I ask them specific things to me. So according to Matt, what is the ideal cookie link for affiliate programs? Here’s the deal.
One of two things. To find that answer, you either need to have already listened to the podcast or watched lessons like this. I’ve said it 52 times or you got to go search on my website and I had people go, I don’t know, boom, you’re out. If you haven’t listed enough or you can’t spend ten minutes going to search on my website, you’re out.
Am I going to hire you as an affiliate manager? According to Matt, what is one of the three C’s of successful affiliate programs? Again, one of those two? According to Matt, what is one of the reasons why affiliate programs should work with small affiliates? And then basically there’s a few other things.
Like if you’re selected, do you agree not to disclose any confidential information that actually goes into we had 52 applicants, 37 of whom we approved, to go to the next step, which was to be to answer a few more questions. And then I think from there we had like 23 that we invited to a five-week training.
It actually turned into six weeks. It was a six-week training two times a week for an hour and a half. Each time in between each lesson there was a quiz. And that quiz had various questions some of them were the right or wrong answers.
Some were like doing an assignment. Sometimes there weren’t right or wrong answers. I just wanted to see how you processed it. So that went on for six weeks and I scored those quizzes. And then at the end of those quizzes, there was one final quiz and the final question was to record a video saying why you would be good and why you want to come work for us.
I think it was again, we had 37 out of the 52 make it to the next step. I think it was like 23 out of the 37 who make it to the next step. About 18 people actually started the training. About five dropped out after the first week.
About three dropped out before like before the last week we kicked like two people out because they were doing terribly and we had like eight people and then we invited five. This is the next step to doing a test project and we’ll talk about that in a minute.
I’m not recommending that it be a six-month process. We are not going to do it that long. In the future, we’ll probably do three months. But still, it was basically an extended job interview. I got to spend time with them, I got to interact with them, and they got to ask questions. And I get to look at the level of their questions.
Like, was somebody asking a lot of questions where I’m like, I covered that. That means you didn’t listen very well or are you asking questions where maybe there’s a misunderstanding, but it was clear that you paid attention. Okay, that’s something I want to know. And out of those eight, there were three.
There were two that I ruled out before I even looked at their, no, this is out of the ten, out of the ten, and there were two that I ruled out before I even really did anything. I just knew they weren’t going to work. We were not going to get along.
They were not going to be a culture fit. That’s the big thing. Again, going back to skills and attitude, not knowledge. I can train you on the knowledge part, but you have the skills and the belief. Are you a true believer? And the important thing is, while I don’t recommend taking six to seven months as we did, take your time, depending upon the process you use, yours is going to be different.
I run an affiliate management agency, so that’s how I did it because it made sense. But get on a phone call, and have an application that really weeds people out. Have them write things like how do they communicate in written form? That’s going to be a big thing that they’re doing.
So giving them writing assignments is important in that application. Then get on a phone call, maybe a ten-minute phone call. Number one, do they show up on time? That’s a big one. They show up on time for the phone call.
That’s why I recommend doing like a conference line, not where you call them because a lot of people I know my phone is set up this way if I don’t know the number that’s calling. So if you don’t tell me the number, it’ll just block your call. Well, here’s an idea.
If your phone does that, do you remember to maybe change that setting ten minutes before the call and then just answer the freaking phone? If this is important to you, you’ll do that. And again, it sounds harsh, but I’m looking for people who want to be a part of my team.
So do a quick phone call. Do a video interview. So weed out some people from the phone call. Do a video interview. Do an interview with you, then do one with your team. If you have a team, then I’ll do another video or in-person interview, usually with me and with my wife.
Do something together. Like, if you’re really narrowing this down, I know there’s one person that we’re looking at, and I think the final step is actually going to be we’re going to fly them into Fort Wayne and we’ll go to breakfast. We’ll probably go to lunch, maybe even go to dinner. I don’t know.
We’ll probably eat three meals together, at least two that day. Probably only two. But what’s something that he enjoys, something that I enjoy. Let’s go do something that he enjoys that maybe I don’t together and see how we process that what’s something that I enjoy that maybe he doesn’t and see how we process that can we literally go for a walk for an hour and talk like in an environment where we’re distracted spending an entire day together might be the final step there. And then from there a test project or two.
Now, in our case, we did a test project as the second and last step, followed by the final formal interview. So it’s up to you how you do this, but doing a test project and actual work. So if you’re outsourcing their track record suffices for this.
I don’t feel the need to do test projects for potential clients because of Stu’s Launch and Brian Levasque’s launch and the work we’ve done with all of our other clients, those are our test projects. So I don’t need to do that for a potential client. But have them do some work. Pay them for it. We paid, I don’t know, a couple of $3,000 maybe to our potential affiliate managers, depending upon who it was and with the scope of the work, it was between 1000 and $4,000 total.
We paid them for their work. But I got to see them do real-life work. I got to see what they weren’t getting. What questions were they asking me? What was frustrating for them? Did they get things done on time? And there were times where I would intentionally because there’s going to be times where I don’t intentionally do this. There were times when I would intentionally message them at 03:00 and say, “I need this done by 4:30.” knowing full well that it was a two-hour project.
How did they handle that? Just in case you’re wondering if it’s “Hi, I need you to email I need you to write this email and need you to do this and do this.” The answer is they got two of the three things done in the 90 minutes. But at 4:15, they messaged me and said it doesn’t look like I’m going to finish. I’ll be done as soon as possible. It’s looking like it’s going to take me 45 minutes.
That’s just like, do they communicate well? Do they communicate well? That’s what I’m looking for. Again, the point here is that we’re testing them out. And so if you decide to hire internally, that’s something we can help with. I mentioned it earlier. Your affiliate launch Coach URL is pretty simple. Youraffiliatelaunchcoach.com. You can learn more about that program and apply for a coaching call there. Our clients get results.
I mentioned Ultimate Bundles earlier. Jeff Walker, Julie Solomon, tons of people that aren’t on that level. So we’re helping a lot of companies that are low six figures, low seven figures as well. Small business owners. If you want to hire an agency, take a look at ours.
Right now, we’re pretty close to completely booked up. So we’re not really looking for new clients, at least for a few months. But we are hiring new affiliate managers. I just talked about that process. We’re looking for new affiliate managers.
So if that’s something you’re interested in, either you’re interested in being an affiliate manager for us. If you’re interested in that, please reach out. Or if you’re interested in hiring us to run your launch as we do for Ryan Levesque and Stu McLaren and so many others over the years, email me at Matt@mattmcwilliams.com or text me at 260-217-4619.
Again, you can text me about working with us where we run your affiliate program, or you can message, message me about possibly working for us because we are going to be doing a new round of hiring for affiliate managers here pretty soon.
As we wrap up, I want to, as always, finish up with some action items. These are clear next steps that you can take. Number one, decide if you’re ready to hire an affiliate manager. Based on what I shared earlier, are you actually ready? If the answer is no, then you need to learn how to do it yourself. Either way, you need to learn how to do it yourself.
If the answer is yes, then the next action step would be to figure out, okay, who do you want to hire? Like, where are you at? Do you want to outsource this? Do you want to hire somebody like us or another agency? Do you want to hire internally? Don’t want to hire somebody part-time who also handles maybe social media or copywriting or something like that?
Do I want to take one of our sales reps and move them over to the affiliate manager? Just decide on the who and then make a plan for where you’re going to find it. Like, I would start with your audience and just say, “Hey, we’re hiring.”
Here’s the position. We’re hiring. Do you know anybody? Reach out to people, and do all the things that we talked about earlier. Look at who’s running other people’s launches. Reach out to us, decide where you want to do it, and then come up with a training plan or a hiring plan. And then ultimately a training plan. And that’s something that we can help with again at youraffiliatelaunchcoach.com.
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Want to learn how to make passive affiliate income from product review posts? Get my free guide on how to write a review post that ranks and converts and learn how we bring in more than $10,000 every single month in passive affiliate income! Get it here!
So if you have any questions about today’s lesson or anything really affiliate-related, again, text me anytime. 260-217-4619. If you know somebody I mentioned this earlier, but if you know somebody who’s right in any of those phases that we talked about earlier, they’re $200,000 and you know, they’re already thinking about this.
They’re at a million dollars and they need somebody like they’re still running it themselves. So they’re at that next level and they need somebody to come in, share this with them, and let them know about this lesson today because this lesson can completely change their business and their lives. Because whatever it might be, learning it yourself, growing it too well into six figures, growing it to seven figures by yourself, that’s a great life-changer, for sure.
Hiring somebody or outsourcing it, that’s a big game-changer as well. And then as we wrap up here, guys, first of all, thank you so much.
Text me anytime at (260) 217-4619.
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