One of the most important jobs of an affiliate manager is to build strong relationships with their affiliates. But how do you do it? That’s the question we’ll be exploring in today’s episode. I’ll be sharing my top tips and strategies for building long-lasting relationships with your affiliates that will help you scale your affiliate program for the long-term. So whether you’re a seasoned affiliate manager or just starting out, listen up because this episode is powerful!

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Previous Episodes of The Affiliate Guy

Email Marketing vs. Social Media Advertising: Which is More Effective? Insights from Igor KheifetsHow to double your affiliate commissions in 30 days or less

How to Use a Challenge for Affiliate Marketing: How Entrepreneurs on Fire Made More than $250,000 in One Affiliate Launch

10 Lessons I Learned Launching a Bestselling Book

Affiliate Profile: How Holly Homer Went from $0 to $3500 in Affiliate Commissions in Her 2nd Promotion

Listener Q&A: Finding Affiliates, What’s Working in Affiliate Recruiting, Email Templates, and More

How to Create Recurring Affiliate Revenue Promoting Membership Sites

How to Build Strong Relationships with Your Affiliates

One of the most important jobs of an affiliate manager is to build strong relationships with their affiliates. How do you do it? That’s the question we’ll be exploring in today’s episode.

I’ll be sharing my top tips and strategies for building long-lasting relationships with your affiliates that will help you scale your affiliate program for the long term. So whether you’re a seasoned affiliate manager, you’re just starting out. Listen up, because this episode is powerful.

So we’re talking today about the importance of relationships, the importance of relationships as it pertains to running an affiliate program and connecting with your affiliates. I share a lot here about strategies. If you look at the last few episodes, ten lessons I learned launching a best-selling book, How to Use a Challenge for Affiliate Marketing, we did A Day in the Life of an Affiliate Manager.

We talked about strategies to turn your inactive affiliates into your best partners and how to solve some of the biggest challenges in your affiliate program, how to double your affiliate commissions in 30 days or less. All of those things, right? These are all things we’ve talked about over the last couple of months.

Those are strategies that really have to do with direct income-type things. And what we’re talking about today, it isn’t quantifiable. It doesn’t have a direct like, if you activate 20% of your inactive affiliates, I can guarantee you your revenue is going to go up 5 to 10% overnight, might go up 20%.

If you apply what I taught and how to double your affiliate commissions, I can guarantee you you are going to double your affiliate commissions or more. Today doesn’t have that. Now, there’s an instinctive element to what I’m talking about today, though, when I say have a better relationship with your affiliates, I think there’s an underlying assumption, though, that that’s going to improve your revenue.

One of my favorite quotes from all time is from Jeffrey Gitomer, the sales trainer, and I might butcher this a little bit, but says, “All things being equal, people want to do business with their friends”. And that makes sense. Guess what the second part of the quote is, all things not being equal, people still want to do business with their friends. We’re all like that. We want to do business with our friends.

There are many products that I buy that I could buy for slightly cheaper, but I buy for my friend. Now, part of that is selfish. I want to get the product that, yeah, it costs 10% more, so maybe I’ll pay $200 instead of $180, but I know that I’m going to get better service for that extra $20.

That’s obvious. There’s a selfish element, but the other thing is it’s easier, just easier to do business with your friends. And I want to make my friends happy.

So sometimes I’m not going to buy something I don’t need from a friend. Just to be clear, I don’t roll that way. Like, I’ve bought books to help them out, and maybe I don’t need the book, but I’ll give it to somebody who does.

Okay, that’s an example where I would but generally speaking, I’m not going to spend more than about $100 on something I don’t need. But if it’s something I need, I’ll spend a little bit more to buy for my friend because of that relationship. That’s the power of relationships, the power of being able to connect with people and really forge that relationship.

That’s what we’re talking about today. The good news is you aren’t born with a disability. That’s the good news. Nobody is born with a disability. The bad news is nobody is born with a disability. The good news is you can learn it. The bad news is no one really teaches this in terms of affiliates.

There are classics, classic books that I’ve read over the years off the top of my head, how to Win Friends and Influence People, one of the greatest books of all time, all the books from Jeffrey Gitomer, who I quoted earlier, influenced by Robert Childini. I could pull up my phone and just go through.

And there are dozens of books that I’ve gone through that I’ve read through over the years, many of which I read back in the early 2000’s to late 2000’s that formed the crux that formed the foundation of what I’m talking about today. Obviously, we’re going to talk about social media, and Dale Carnegie didn’t talk about social media. He didn’t talk about that.

But he talked about the principles that I’m going to base today’s lessons on. I’m going to include a link to those books. By the way, my Recommended Reading page, you can go grab all of them there.

But today, how in today’s world do we build those long-lasting relationships that transcend just a financial transaction? Ultimately, everything I’m sharing with you today will result in more sales. Will you be able to quantify it? No.

Will you be able to say, of the 16 things I’m saying, that number four made you $1 million, but number five only made you 70,000 and number eight didn’t move? Then I don’t know.

I don’t know how that’s going to work, but I’ve got 16 ways that I want to share with you today. So let’s jump in here:

Number one, number one thing you got to do to develop these relationships with your affiliates is you got to take it past the affiliate manager or merchant or CEO/affiliate.

You got to become friends. Think about how do you become friends with somebody. A lot of times we become friends with people. I think of my best friend in the world. We became friends kind of by accident. You could call it divine, divine timing.

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But he was on a practice team at a golf course, and I was on a practice team, and he was annoying me, and I walked away from him. It’s the truth. He wanted to talk, and I was like, dude, I’m warming up for my round. Like, we’re at a tournament. I don’t talk. I’m focused for the next hour.

I’m focused until the round begins, and then I’m focused for the next four and a half hours. I saw him, like, six weeks later, and I was in a place where I could talk, and we talked. The next thing you know, we’re traveling to golf tournaments together.

Next thing you know, he’s best man in my wedding. Those are the type of things that just if he hadn’t shown up today, we wouldn’t have been friends. But when I break it down and look at it further, how did we become friends?

Because he showed a genuine interest in me, and I showed a genuine interest in him. So show a genuine interest in your affiliates as people get to know them, know their kids names. Don’t you dare talk to somebody for the fifth time and say, how’s your wife?

How are the kids? Yeah, if they’ve got six kids, you might not remember all their names but don’t say those things. Know their kids names, know their spouse’s name, know what’s important to them.

Where do they go to college? Are they a fan? Like, I have a friend of mine went to the same college as my dad, wake forest, and we always talk, wake forest sports on every call.

I had an affiliate back in late 2005 through about 2008 for a company that I ran back then called hometown quotes. And this affiliate’s name was Alberto. Alberto Canas got to know each other.

He went to wake forest and graduated a few years before my dad went to wake forest. I grew up a wake forest fan, and it just so happened that in 2006, wake forest had a historic season. I think they went ten and two that year in football. They won the ACC championship. They went to the orange bowl, and it was, like, the story of the year. They actually made a movie out of it called the fifth quarter.

It’s a really cool movie, and we were going through that together. So he and I would talk every week on Mondays, so we would relive the game. Well, if you didn’t go, if you didn’t follow their sports team, that’s okay. We should still know it. You should know who they root for. You should reach out when their team wins a big game.

You should be looking for those things. I got so many messages from people that are important in my life. After Tennessee, which is my alma mater, so my dad went to wake forest. I’m still a wake forest fan. But I’m obviously a Tennessee fan. After they beat Alabama, those people get my business.

You should know their birthdays. And don’t you dare post on their Facebook wall wishing them a happy birthday. Know you at the very least, send them a text. You call and leave a voicemail and sing to them. Take it past just affiliate manager and affiliate. Take it past transactional into a genuine relationship by showing genuine interest.

You got to know those things. You got to get to know them. Use the research that you can, Google them. It does not take much to learn that I like Tennessee, that I went to Tennessee, that I like Wake Forest. It does not take much to know that I’m a huge Nashville SC fan.

It does not take much to know that. As I’m recording this episode, it’s really hard for me to focus because I’m trying to fit this into a very small window. I’m probably going to record this in two parts because I want to get back to watching the Manchester City Arsenal game because I’m a Man City fan.

So by the way, they’re up one nil right now as I’m recording this, that’ll tell you when I’m recording this, Wednesday, April 26. That’ll tell you when I’m recording this. And if they win, I’m going to go crazy. I’m going to be excited. You should know that about me if I’m going to be your affiliate, so that you can say, whoa, what a game. So that’s number one.

Number two, communicate regularly. Regular communication is absolutely essential to building strong relationships with your affiliates. The basics, you got to keep them updated on new products. You got to keep them updated on new promotions, any changes to the promotions, right? Those are the basics. You got to be available to answer their questions.

Provide support when needed, but be in touch with them regularly. Almost everything I’m going to say today keeps going back to number one, which is Transcend, the affiliate manager, affiliate relationship. So regular communication, when you’ve got new stuff, let them know.

And for your top affiliates, Transcend, that just basic blanket email. Send them a DM. Send them a text and say, hey, do you see my announcement about the contest? Let them know about that.

Number three, make your affiliate program fun. I will never forget. I was talking with Kyle Young, one of my dearest friends in the online marketing space, and he was the operations manager for Jeff Goins.

We were running Jeff Goins’s affiliate program at the time, and he said, I want to make this launch be so fun for our affiliates. They will tell everyone about it, and begged to promote again. And prior to that, I’d been running affiliate programs for ten years, and I never thought about that.

Yeah, I’d made them fun, but it never occurred to me that it might have an impact on results. And so I started looking at the past. I was like, when our program was fun, we got better results.

Now, I wrote a post years ago. I’m going to share a little bit of it here, but I shared this acronym for FUN. Like, how do we make an affiliate program fun and not get too caught up in just making it fun?

And the F is focus on results, right? You have to focus on results. The key here is to tie everything into a call to action for your affiliates.

So don’t just make it fun for the sake of making it fun. Tie it into the action you want them to take. The U is for Uniqueness.

We’ll talk about this later, but be yourself. Unless being yourself is boring and not fun, then be somebody else, but be yourself. Use your sense of humor.

If it’s dry, be dry. If it’s sarcastic, be sarcastic. If it’s kind of goofy and off the wall, be goofy and off the wall.

I mean, if you are none of the above, you are not dry. You’re not sarcastic. You’re not goofy at all.

No one has laughed at you for four years. Then hire someone to be funny. Hire someone.

We did that years ago. We hired a George W. Bush impersonator to announce the affiliate sales prizes.

And I think I played the video in a previous episode, but he gets on there like, “hey, there, Tribe riders, affiliate aficionados. It’s w here. ”

And he goes on, and he announces the prize. Guy named John Morgan. John Morgan.

I mean, just a great guy. Like, look him up. John Morgan. George W. Bush. Impersonator.

He’s amazing. And that was a huge hit. Made our program fun.

Got people really thinking about the prizes. If I just sent out a simple email, wouldn’t have been as effective. Wouldn’t have been as effective.

And then the end is for Nuttiness. Get a little crazy, get a little goofy. Nuttiness stands out.

It gets attention. Embrace you. The clutter your affiliates.

Just think, you have to remember, I’ve talked about this so many times. Your affiliates are just like you. They’re busy.

They have full inboxes. They have slack channels. Got 14 notifications in slack.

If you want to break through, get a little crazy. But you got to get a little crazy. So make your affiliate program fun.

They will remember it and they will refer people. They’ll tell all their friends. Number four, be authentic.

This ties into the last few, but off the wall humor is fine. If your humor is different, if your way of communicating is a little bit zany or a little bit different than the average, that’s fine. Be authentic.

Be you. Be yourself in this regard. I’m just going to be honest here.

Like, this is an area where ChatGPT and AI right now can’t touch the human element. It just can’t. It can communicate facts and it can actually write fairly persuasive copy, but it can’t be authentically you just yet and we’ll probably get there in three years.

Number five, you got to connect with your affiliates on social media. You got to comment on their post. You got to engage with them.

Goes back to number one. You got to get to know them so they post on social media. They’re telling you what’s important to them.

They’re telling you what they’re working on. They’re telling you who their favorite teams are. They are telling you all these things about themselves.

So this is an opportunity for you to cheer them on, to engage with them, to show your personality, share how you actually care about them as a person. And again, don’t just like their post. That’s a waste.

Nobody I couldn’t name one person who liked to post in the past five years of mine. I don’t know who liked my post. I have no idea.

Don’t like a post. What a waste of a thumb or a click of your mouse. No comment.

Sometimes, yeah, if it’s just awesome, dude, that’s fine. But sometimes it’s a more thoughtful comment and I like to personally look for the posts that don’t have a lot of engagement and comment on those because would you rather be one of four comments or one of 100? I’m not going to remember you if you’re one of 100 because you’re one of 100.

I’ll remember you if you’re one of four. So connect with them and engage with them on social media. When you connect people with other people, they will credit you.

Some of my best relationships, I remember who connected us. I credit them. That good juju rubs off on them and they get the magic fairy dust is sprinkled on them.

And so start a Facebook group or other group you could use. There’s a ton of ways you could do a group. You could use our client Social Glow and create a group in there.

You could do whatever but form a group and foster this sense of community where they’re helping each other and connecting with each other and getting business through each other. It comes back to you. The credit for that comes back to you.

My closest relationships with I have with affiliates are people I’ve met in person. When I think about our top affiliates, with the exception of two two affiliates, they are people I’ve met in person years ago. I remember we flew some of our top well, there were three of them.

They were business partners. We flew them in to Franklin, Tennessee, to Nashville, and we did the typical thing. Like, we went to a Nashville Predators game and took them out to Eat, a nice restaurant.

We spent a couple of days with them, got to know them, hung out, laughed together, Goofed off with them. And we went to this restaurant called the Tin Roof in Franklin, Tennessee. If you’ve ever been there, you know what it’s like.

Live music every night. Typical Nashville scene. And sitting at the bar is this guy that I don’t recognize, but the affiliate is like, oh, my gosh.

That’s to this day, I don’t remember. Now, I had to Google his name, but he’s, like, the lead guitarist in Rascal Flats, the country band, and he’s like, that’s so I’m a huge fan of Rascal Flats, blah, blah, blah. And I’m like, all right, come here.

And I walk over, and I’m literally like the iPhone had just come out. If I remember correctly, this was January 2008, might have been December 2007. And I think I’d had an iPhone for I’d only had one for, like, six weeks.

So I’m Googling the name of this guy while we’re walking over, and I don’t even remember his name is John Smith. Whatever. Doesn’t matter.

And I walk over and I say, John, I’d love to introduce you to Lev. And without missing a beat, this dude from Rascal Flats, he’s like, Lev, nice to meet you, man. Like, you want to take a picture?

Whatever. Again, iPhone just come out. I take a picture with this guy and Lev, and I send it to him, which I could do because we had email on our phone.

Now we take that for granted. But this is 15 years ago. This was so brand new, and it was the coolest thing ever.

To this day, I don’t even know the guy’s name, and I’m so thankful that he wasn’t like, who the heck are you? What, dude? Like leave me alone.

I’m with my friends. It was one of those cool things, right? But the point is, he remembered that.

But even more than just getting a picture with one of his favorite guys from his favorite band, he remembers us hanging out. So fly them in if you can meet them somewhere. Host a mastermind.

Get your top. Goes back to what I just said, a community. Get your top ten affiliates together and host a mastermind.

Meet at a conference. Like, here’s a quick tip. When you attend a conference, we’re back to doing that.

By the way, we’re actually attending conferences this year. Reach out to your affiliates and ask if they’ll be there, schedule some time together. I know for a fact there are conferences I will go to this year.

I know I’m meeting at that conference. And at the very least, we’re going to have lunch together. We’ll probably have two meals together.

We’ll probably spend an hour or so doing some business, brainstorming-type stuff. We’ll goof off. We’ll laugh together.

I’ll ride piggyback. Well, that’s a whole different story. Yeah, that’s a whole different I have video proof that that actually happened, though.

We’ll do these things. We’ll actually schedule some time together, buy them a meal, take them a gift, and just joke, laugh, get to know them better. These are the type of things that are keys.

Those in-person meetings have been worth millions. Apps have been worth millions to me. And probably I’m going to go 80 million plus for our clients over the years.

Meeting in person is huge. So you got to do it. You got to be willing to invest not only the money but the time and the effort to meet in person.

All right, speaking of gifts, number eight, send gifts. This goes back again. I said before it goes back to number one.

You got to know what they like. You got to know their teams if you’re going to send a hoodie to them. Well, it would kind of help.

It’s kind of weird to be like, here’s this really cool-looking hoodie that made me think of you versus here’s a shirt of your team. Here’s a shirt I found. This is a great one.

I got a shirt. This was 2011, 2012. Can’t remember exactly, but there’s a long story on that.

But basically, there is a coach of an opposing team for Tennessee that had kind of talked some trash about Tennessee and then Tennessee went out and won. And I made a shirt out it that had like a silhouette of that coach and the quote or whatever, and somebody sent me a shirt of that. That’s so cool. That is so freaking cool. But they wouldn’t have done that if they didn’t know that I was a Tennessee fan.

You’ve got to know their interests, and you got to send the appropriate gifts. You’ve got to be able to hook them up with things like years and years and years ago. For those of you who know my backstory, I grew up in a town called Pinehurst, North Carolina.

Well, in Pinehurst, North Carolina, is a golf course, Pinehurst number two, which about every six, seven years now hosts the US. Open. It’s a world-famous golf course, and it’s really hard to get on.

And even if you can, it’s like $400. Well, my dad just happened to be friends. It’s not true anymore.

But at the time, my dad was friends with the head pro, and so we were able to get people on. And I had somebody that I did business with, and I knew they were going to be in Raleigh because they mentioned it on a call. Raleigh is about an hour and 45 minutes north.

I said, hey, do you have time to go down to Pinehurst? He’s like, yeah, I’m not going to, but I have time. I’d love to.

I said, well, if you can be there at 10:15 the next morning, I’ve got you booked, and he was floored. That guy went on to do well over a million dollars in business with this. So there’s a book I highly recommend on this.

It’s called Giftology by my friend John Ruhlin. I’ve got a link to my books in the show notes. It’ll be there.

It’s a great book on how to gift. If I can sum it up, one of the biggest takeaways is don’t send branded stuff. In other words, if I send a gift that has my name on it, that’s not a gift.

So if I send you like I know prior to one of our big affiliate launches years ago, we sent some branded stuff. I didn’t intend that as a gift. I intended it as a little bit like, here’s a mug with our brand on it.

That’s great. And I sent them some sunglasses with our logo on it. And I said, hey, post in the Facebook group, you looking all cool with your glasses on.

We had hundreds of pictures in the Facebook group with them on, but that’s not a gift. A gift is when Pete Vargas sent me some Cutco cutlery, two of the best knives I’ve ever touched in my life. And they say McWilliams family on them.

That’s a gift. I don’t need his brand on there. To think of Pete every time I cut a loaf of bread or every time I cut a really thick steak or some really good, like, ribs, like when you need a big knife, I think of Pete Vargas.

So send gifts. But again, you got to get to know them. You got to know about them to know what kind of gifts they’re actually going to like.

The number nine thing for building a great relationship is just be responsive and be responsive as fast as possible. Now, this is Affiliate Management 101 here. Don’t take four days to respond to an email.

You don’t have to respond same day. You don’t have to respond in an hour. A lot of people are like, you got to have super fast response.

No, I think anything inside, we have a company rule. Same day, if the email comes in before noon is really kind of one of our rules. Now, if you’re going to be at a town, we don’t need to make like I tell our affiliate managers, if you’re going to be at a town on a Tuesday, you do not need to make accommodations to have your email handled on Tuesday, because it’s probably not in the middle of a big promotion.

You wouldn’t schedule a day off in the middle of a big promotion. If you do, then we need to do that. But you’re not going to have anybody else come in and help you.

Now, if you’re going to be out of town Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, you need to get help. You need to have somebody help you and be in there answering emails real quick each of those days. So be responsive.

When they ask questions, answer them. When they need something, get it to them. And one of the things that we talk about with speed and responsiveness is it’s something where you got to dig into it, and it’s going to take you a couple of hours, or you need to ask the client or you need to do whatever.

It’s going to take you a couple of days possibly to get a response, respond back and say, I’m working on it. Send an email the next day and say, “Hey, I’m pretty close to having an answer. ”

I’m waiting on a report, or something like that. But be responsive. You can’t develop a good relationship without being responsive.

I don’t know about you, but if my mom texts me, I’m going to get back to her within a few hours at the earliest possible chance. I’m going to respond to my mom. I’m going to respond to my wife at the earliest possible chance, my daughter, which is weird because she has a cell phone now. Yeah. Anyway, I’m sorry. It’s hard for me to get over that.

But when she texts me, I’m going to respond to her as soon as I possibly can. I’m not going to disrupt the recording right now if they text me, because my phone and my computer do not disturb. So if they do, I’m not going to see it.

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But as soon as I’m done with this recording, I’m going to turn that off. And if they’ve texted me, I’m going to respond back. Think of your affiliates in a similar vein, maybe not quite as fast, but you’re not going to just not respond to them.

Number ten key to developing these strong relationships with your affiliates is you got to listen to feedback. Listen to them. Listen.

Show them that you take their input into consideration. One of the things that I made a rule years ago is if I do something in response to something an affiliate or anyone said to me, I let them know privately. I can say publicly too.

I might say, hey, a lot of you have said such and such, which is true if like five or six people said the same thing. But I will privately message those five or six people and say, thank you so much for the feedback. Your feedback led to this decision.

It led to this result. So years ago, I got some feedback from a couple of affiliates about the way that we were structuring our Upsells and basically the way we’re paying out commissions on those upsells. And while I understood our position as a company and what we were doing, just to give you some perspective, we were paying effectively a 35%, whatever, $50 into 147.

So 35% roughly commission on the initial product because our Upsells were typically lower priced. They paid a lower commission. They paid a I think it was 20 or $25 flat fee on our $97 upsells.

And so our affiliates just had some issues with that. And I listened to them. I listened to them.

And actually what we did was we ended up just doing a 30% flat commission. We ran the numbers and on 147 plus 97. So basically $250 30% of that was almost identical to the price that it would have been in it.

That might be off on the numbers. I can’t remember the exact numbers, but basically, they were going to make it something like doing a 30% across-the-board commission. When they said they had concerns, they weren’t suggesting that they didn’t understand it, and that they had a problem with it.

They were saying, hey, we actually think it would be better to just do a 30% flat commission across the board or to restructure it so you didn’t have, like 60, because we end up with like six different commissions based on the product they bought. And it was just better to do 30%. Like, we went back and we looked at the numbers, and we said, okay, going forward, if we do the exact same number of sales, what is this going to do?

And I feel like we paid 42 or 88 or some it was less than a dollar more per sale. And we ended up growing the affiliate program because of the ease of understanding. And then I reached out to each of those individual affiliates, and I said, thank you for this feedback.

Your feedback led to us making this decision. So listen to their feedback. Don’t take offense to it. This is something I was just teaching our team about when we get feedback from clients. That is number one. We acknowledge their feedback.

We acknowledge that they have an issue. We acknowledge that there is a disconnect or there’s somewhere there’s a miscommunication. We acknowledge that they experienced a problem with something that we did or a mistake that we made, that there’s a problem with that.

And then we acknowledge that it was real. Like it was a real challenge for them. And then we diminish it because a lot of times we’ll say, we sent that to 5000 people in one complaint.

That would be our response. We say no, we understand. I understand exactly where you’re coming from.

We’re sorry that happened and totally get it that when somebody reaches out to you and says such and such like, that can hurt, right? Here’s the good news. It only happened with one person.

And then we commit to fixing it going forward. So if you’re getting negative feedback from your affiliates, take it into account. Acknowledge what they’re saying.

Don’t just say, well, whatever. That’s not going to build good relationships. So show them you take their input into consideration.

Number eleven, provide feedback. Help them. Give them constructive feedback.

Be on the lookout for ways to help them find opportunities to provide tips and assistance to them. It doesn’t just have to be stuff that benefits you. Not just about helping them promote your program.

Go to their social media pages and look up what they’re doing and offer them tips. It could be about your program, but it could be about somebody else’s stuff. “Hey, I saw that you were posting about such and such.

‘ ‘Hey, you might want to do this, this and this. It’ll help you.’ ‘It’ll improve your conversions. ‘

You got to find opportunities for that. I like to sometimes just go to their website and maybe pull it up on mobile or on the computer and just see if I can find something wrong with it unrelated to our products, our client’s products, and just say, hey, there’s a typo on your about page. They’ll remember that. They will remember that. And that’s a very small way of helping them, giving them that kind of feedback.

Number twelve, share success stories. Now, the best way to do this is to make them a success story and then share it, because they will love you for that, but share other people’s success stories with them. This is more of a mass communication thing that helps to build those strong relationships.

I give you a good example. We had a client that we worked with, and we had tons of success stories, tons of affiliates, 20 25 affiliates that promoted that did an amazing job. Tiny list, but did an amazing job.

So we profiled them. We did, like, a little 20 minutes interview, and we put it together in a little course. Now, those 20 loved it, of course, because they got featured.

They thought it was the most amazing thing in the world. But also, everybody who got those success stories was super grateful because they saw what was possible. They saw that they were able to do the same thing that Heidi did or Terry did or Sarah did or Jimmy did or whoever.

They were able to see the success stories, and by sharing those, it really strengthened the relationship between not only us, but it goes back to what we said earlier, number six, fostering community. Because now those 20 kind of became like the people that everybody looked up to and wanted to be. And then they would help, and they would ask them questions.

And then again, it went back to number six, fostering that sense of community. It allowed them to connect with each other, and the credit goes back to us for being the ones who connected them. Now, what are the milestones?

What are the milestones that you can have? The cool thing is you get to make them up. You make up the milestones.

The first sale is an obvious one. First sale is an obvious milestone, right? But so is hitting any prize level.

All of these are milestones. You’re the number one affiliate. You’re the number ten affiliate.

You had your bus month ever. You had your highest converting month ever. You sent your most leads ever, your most sales ever.

You had the most webinar registrations. Like, all of these are milestones. When they hit them, celebrate them.

Even if you don’t have a public leaderboard, celebrate with the affiliate privately to tell them ‘You are a number one affiliate this month. Congratulations. Great job. ‘ ‘Hey, this was your best month ever. You had your most sales ever, your most leads ever, your most whatever ever.’

Celebrate those milestones. Be on the lookout for them. Make them up. Best week ever, the highest converting. It doesn’t even have to be end of the month.

You could be halfway through the month. Just message them and say, you’re on track for your best month ever. Like, if their best month ever.

I’m just going to use even numbers here. $10,000, and it’s the 15th, and they’re at 5600. They are on track for their best month ever.

Let them know it’ll drive them to push even harder in the second half of the month. So find those opportunities to celebrate with them. Number 14, train them.

You got to train them. Kind of goes back to what I said. Provide feedback, right?

Provide feedback, but train your affiliates. Give them tips and strategies to work with. Now, you can do this on a public level, on a broad level, which I highly recommend.

You go check out our sample affiliate training. If you go to mattmcwilliams. com/affiliatetraining, I will put that in the show notes for you.

We’ve got an example of a nearly two-hour training that we did for affiliates of one of our clients. We also give you we got the slides and the worksheets that we include. So, I mean, like, we basically give you how to do this training so you can go train your affiliates, but that’s a public one.

And that certainly helps because think about it, if you do a big public training, what are we doing? We’re number one. We’re making it fun because we have fun on those.

We’re fostering a sense of community because they’re going to connect with each other. We’re providing feedback. We’re sharing success stories, all these things we’re doing, all the things we’ve talked about before.

But if we do it privately as well, one on one with them, coaching them, and helping them, it goes a long way to developing a great relationship. Our last two here shared 14 so far. Our last two, number 15, keep good notes so you can recall those previous conversations.

Now, again, this goes back to so many of the things that we’ve talked about, right? If we get to know them, take it past that affiliate manager, affiliate relationship, all these things, but keep good notes on them. Now, I’m old school.

We have a CRM. I don’t use it enough. Now, with us running an agency now, it becomes important because I’m not the only one having the conversations.

And so we might have Jason on our team talking to Jim one day, and then a week later, Jennifer’s talking to him. And then you got Kate and then Kevin’s emailing with them and Robby’s in the background working on something. And they’re all interacting.

They’re interacting with different team members on Jim’s team as well. And then I come in and I don’t remember anything they’ve ever said because I don’t know that’s where CRM is handy. But old school, I keep a notebook, and I can flip to a page and be like boom.

My notes with so and so. And I can go through those before a call, and I can go through those before I email them, before I reach out. And a great example of that is I sent an introduction email.

I was introducing a potential affiliate to a client. This is one of those. It’s a big affiliate, a huge affiliate.

And rather than just say to this affiliate, we’ll call them Ted. Rather than say, Ted, I really think you should promote my client. I don’t usually say it like that, but you get the idea.

I said, ‘Hey, can I introduce you to my client? Here’s what he’s doing. And I think you guys will really hit it off.

‘ And I want them to connect entrepreneur to entrepreneur that will transcend that relationship. Even though I’ve got a great relationship with this affiliate, I want them to connect, because if they connect and hit it off, my part’s easy.

Well, because I remembered something about that affiliate, I was able to include it in, and I have this in my notes, but I was able to include it in the introduction email and make both of them laugh. So I start their relationship off with good vibes. They’re both laughing, so keep those good notes.

If I didn’t have those notes, I wouldn’t have remembered that. I wouldn’t have remembered to include that. So however you keep notes, CRM spreadsheet, Google Doc written down, post a notes, I don’t really care, but some way that’s easier for you to keep track of.

And then last but not least, there’s no number one key here, but the number 16 key to building those strong relationships with your affiliates is to be proactive. You have to be proactive in the relationship. Everything we talked about, right?

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Connecting with them on social media, you should be the one to connect. Being authentic. You should be the one like, to be authentic. You proactively. Foster that sense of community. You invite them to your headquarters or wherever you reach out.

When you’re attending a conference, you provide them feedback. You share the success stories. You celebrate the milestones. You reach out to train them. You keep good notes. If you notice that they are slipping, their performance is down.

Reach out. If you notice a drop in conversions, as I said, reach out. A drop in sales, reach out. Increase in sales, reach out. Be proactive. Don’t just be responsive to your affiliates. Anybody can be responsive. Take someone with skill and tenacity and drive to be proactive. So be proactive.

Look for those opportunities. So to recap, well, first of all, I would love if you would share your biggest takeaway. Which one of these things can you do? All 16? Yeah. Which one are you going to do first?

Which one are you going to do first? I would love if you text me your biggest takeaway or what you’re going to do first. Shoot me a text anytime. Area code 260-217-4619. Which is it? Taking it past that affiliate manager, affiliate relationship.

Being friends and showing genuine interest. Communicating regularly, making it fun, making your affiliate program fun, being authentic, connecting with them on social media and commenting and cheering them on and engaging with them, fostering a sense of community, meeting them in person, and sending them a gift. Be responsive, be fast with your response, listen to them, and provide feedback.

Ten and eleven there sharing a success story or stories, celebrating milestones, training them, and keeping good notes. And then the 16th, being proactive. Which of those are you going to do right now?

You’re going to make a commitment in the next 72 hours? I am going to do one of those. It doesn’t matter which one it is, whatever one it is, focus on that for a few weeks, then you can add a new one.

So again, I’d love to hear your biggest takeaway. Just text me area code 260-217-4619 and let me know what your biggest takeaway was or which one of those you’re going to do right away. I’ve got links to everything I mentioned in the Show Notes, our recommended books, the affiliate sample, and affiliate training, where again, you can get training that we did for one of our clients and see how we do them.

We’ll also give you the slides. You don’t even have to create the slides, we’ll give them to you. You might want to edit them a little bit, maybe fit your brand colors and stuff like that.

But to take you a few minutes and you can have the slides done. We’ll give you the worksheets we give to the affiliates and everything in that. So go grab those.

Those links are in the Show Notes and make sure you hit subscribe because in the next episode, I’m going to talk about how to promote an evergreen offer in just one week. So an evergreen affiliate offer? Just one week?

Yeah, one week to promote it. And we’re going to talk about how to do that next week. So make sure you hit subscribe so you don’t miss it.

I’ll see you then.


Text me anytime at (260) 217-4619.

Or…check out some of my free reports to help you get on the right track:

Find Your First 100 Affiliates

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Affiliate Program Terms & Conditions Template

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Affiliate Marketing Sales Secrets

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