Are you looking to get a job as an affiliate manager? If so, you’re in the right place. In this post, I’m going to share the steps you need to take, the skills you should develop, and there might even be a job opportunity waiting for you at the end.

Guide on how to get a job as an affiliate manager

So, how exactly does one step into the role of an affiliate manager? It’s a question I often hear. People are intrigued by the idea, attracted by the cool factor, the potential for good earnings, and yes, all of these aspects are genuinely appealing.

I sometimes laugh thinking,

“If only my high school guidance counselor knew about this career path, he would have definitely pointed me in this direction.”

But my high school guidance counselor didn’t even know something like this existed!

But, as of this writing, I’ve been an affiliate manager for nearly twenty years!

Yes, that makes me a dinosaur in this industry. I’ve worked with amazing clients (such as Adidas, Shutterfly, Shark Tank’s Kevin Harrington, Michael Hyatt, Ryan Levesque, Stu McLaren, Kim Walsh Phillips, and dozens of others). I’ve been named Affiliate Manager of the Year four times and I’ve built numerous affiliate programs from scratch to seven figures and beyond. I’ve seen and done it all in the affiliate management world.

Being an affiliate manager is like striking the perfect balance for me. It meshes my inner tech-loving, marketing-enthusiast self with my people skills. It’s an exciting blend of dealing with numbers, stats, and spreadsheets (and let’s be honest, spreadsheets might not be fun, but the magic they create with data is fascinating) and nurturing relationships.

The financial rewards? They’re a nice cherry on top. I’m not gonna lie…if you’re great at affiliate management, you can make a LOT of money!

But even when I was just starting out and relatively unknown in the affiliate world, the job was rewarding because it’s largely a commission-based job. It’s not just a job; it’s a fun, thrilling adventure.

But the burning question remains: How do you get a job as an affiliate manager? It starts with asking yourself three questions.

3 Questions Every Prospective Affiliate Manager Should Ask Themselves

Interested in a job as an affiliate manager?

Before you decide to become an affiliate manager, it’s crucial to do some self-reflection. Not just a quick glance, but a deep, introspective look to see if this career is the right fit for you. Just like I wouldn’t suddenly aim to become an NFL quarterback at 44 years old, you need to assess if the role of an affiliate manager aligns with your skills and passions. Here are three critical questions to ask yourself:

1. Are You Cut Out for Affiliate Management?

First off, is being an affiliate manager the right job for you?

This role is a unique blend of technical savvy and people skills. You’ll be diving deep into data, embracing spreadsheets (even if they’re not your favorite), and extracting meaningful insights from them. In other words, there’s a lot of data analysis and left-brain activities.

But it’s not all left-brain numbers and analytics stuff. You also have to engage your right-brain creative side and your relationship-building brain.

A big part of this job is about building and maintaining relationships. Are you comfortable switching between being data-driven and creatively engaging with people? There are days when you have to do that more than ten times, sometimes multiple times in an hour.

If you find it hard to switch gears from analytical to creative thinking, this might not be your path.

2. Do You Have the Necessary Skills and Willingness to Learn?

Being a successful affiliate manager requires a mix of various skills – marketing, tech-savviness, sales, customer service, and leadership to name a few. You don’t have to be an expert in all these areas from day one, but a willingness to learn and grow is crucial. For example, you don’t need to be a TikTok pro, but you should be familiar with what’s trending in marketing.

If you’re not up to speed, dedicate time to learn. Listen to sales and marketing podcasts (like mine), read marketing books, and immerse yourself in learning new technologies. The field is always evolving, and so should you. More on this below.

3. Can You Lead and Delegate Effectively?

No one can manage an affiliate program single-handedly. You’ll need a team, or at least a virtual assistant (VA), to handle various tasks.

RELATED POST: How to Build Your Team: Working with Virtual Assistants, Contractors, and Full-Time Employees to Scale Your Business

Whether it’s running reports, handling administrative tasks, or reaching out to potential affiliates, delegating is key. This means you also need to have solid leadership skills. Being an effective leader involves guiding your team, making strategic decisions, and ensuring everyone’s aligned with the goals.

If you’re not there yet, start developing these skills. Leadership isn’t just about managing people; it’s about inspiring and guiding them toward a common goal.

Remember, if any of these areas feel lacking, it’s an opportunity for growth. Dive into resources that can enhance your skills, whether it’s sales techniques, marketing strategies, or leadership principles. Your journey to becoming an affiliate manager isn’t just about acquiring a new job; it’s about embracing a role that requires continuous learning and adaptability.

Here are some recommended resources for leaders:

My recommended leadership books

The LIE of Leadership

Find Your Leadership Mojo

Basic Skills and Knowledge Required for Affiliate Managers

Affiliate manager job skills to get hired

Affiliate managers must have basic skills and knowledge in the following areas:

  • Tech
  • Sales
  • People Skills (Networking)
  • Marketing
  • Networking

At its core, that is what affiliate management is made up of.

It’s like being a jack-of-all-trades in the digital marketing world. Here’s a breakdown of what you need to master:

1. Tech Skills

Being tech-savvy is non-negotiable. You should be comfortable with various software and tools used in affiliate marketing.

Just to name a few that you’ll likely interact with:

  • CRM Systems – These include basic CRM systems to more advanced ones like InfusionSoft. These are where you’ll manage your potential affiliate contacts.
  • Affiliate Tracking Software – There are dozens of good ones, about a hundred mediocre ones, and even more bad ones. Which one is best? That strongly depends on your needs. That said, whatever you decide to use, or whatever system the program you’ll be managing is already on, you’ll need to learn how to use it to the fullest. NOTE: My recommendations for affiliate tracking are here.
  • Graphic Design – You don’t need to be a professional designer but having some basic skills saves a lot of time and money. I highly recommend spending at least ten hours learning the ins and outs of Canva.
  • Web Design/Funnel Creation – You need to have a solid understanding of whatever system your company is using for their pages, funnels, and checkout.

You don’t need to be a tech wizard, but a solid understanding is crucial.

2. Sales Skills

As an affiliate manager, a big part of your job involves persuading potential affiliates to join your program and motivating them to perform better. Good sales skills are key here. If you’re not confident in this area, it’s time to hit the books.

Read sales classics like Jeffrey Gitomer’s The Little Red Book of Selling or Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale. These resources can sharpen your sales skills and teach you effective persuasion techniques.

You can find all of my recommended books on selling here.

3. People Skills

Affiliate management isn’t just about managing programs; it’s about managing relationships. Whether it’s communicating with affiliates, negotiating deals, or working with your team, strong interpersonal skills are essential.

You need to be approachable, empathetic, and able to build trust. Books like Robert Cialdini’s Influence and Yes! (both of which can be found here) can offer valuable insights into human behavior and effective communication.

Work hard on developing your ability to create relationships with your affiliates! Here are some good places to start:

PODCAST: How to Build Strong Relationships with Your Affiliates

PODCAST: How to Leverage Affiliate Manager Relationships with Jessica Turner

4. Marketing Knowledge

You should have a good grasp of the latest marketing trends and strategies. This includes understanding different promotional techniques, from launches to evergreen promotions, and the nuances of webinars.

Continuous learning is vital here. Read books like Jeff Walker’s Launch or all of Russell Brunson’s books (you can find all of my recommended marketing books here) to stay ahead of the curve.

My rule: Always Be Learning!

In addition to those books, here are some other resources to help you stay on top of the marketing world:

5. Creativity and Innovation

We (my agency) have a proven system for running affiliate programs.

It’s worked in just about every niche and with every type of affiliate program (evergreen, launches, book promos, you name it). It can be easy, though, to fall into the trap of just following the system.

While it’s important to follow proven systems, adding your creative flair can make a big difference. Innovate and tweak strategies to suit different situations. This ability to adapt and think outside the box can set you apart and lead to better results.

Being an affiliate manager requires a blend of technical knowledge, sales and marketing savvy, strong interpersonal skills, and creativity.

It’s about constantly learning and adapting, understanding the basics, and being willing to innovate within the framework of proven systems. If you find any gaps in these areas, now is the time to start filling them.

The Right Personal Habits/Values for Affiliate Managers

The skills to get a job as an affiliate manager

To get hired as an affiliate manager, having the right personal habits and values is just as crucial as having the necessary skills.

1. Overdelivering

One of the core values you should embrace is overdelivering. This is one of our core values in our company.

Ultimately, the real question is this:

How do you want affiliates to feel about your work?

Do you want them to be “just okay” with it, or do you aspire to truly wow them? In our company, our ambition is always to leave our affiliates and clients thoroughly impressed.

This ambition is deeply rooted in one of our core values: always overdeliver. We’re committed to ensuring that our clients and customers receive at least tenfold the value of their investment with us. It’s not just about meeting expectations; it’s about far exceeding them.

We’re dedicated to taking that extra step, going above and beyond to ensure that everyone we interact with has an extraordinary experience. Our goal is to create a feeling of amazement and profound satisfaction in all our dealings. This commitment to excellence is what sets us apart and drives our success.

Always aim to provide your affiliates with more value than they expect.

2. Self-motivation and Productivity

As an affiliate manager, much of your work will be self-directed. You won’t always have someone instructing you on what to do every hour of the day. This requires strong self-motivation and excellent time-management skills. If you find yourself struggling with productivity, it’s time to invest in learning and improving this skill.

Some of my favorite books on productivity, focus, and working more efficiently are here. They offer practical advice on how to organize your tasks, prioritize effectively, and get more work done efficiently.

Here are some other resources for productivity and focus:

Top 10 Productivity Hacks for Online Business Owners

How to Boost Your Productivity to Uncharted Levels – These 10 Ways

3. Understanding the Basics

I’ve already touched on this above, but just in case you skipped down to this point, it is absolutely critical that you ensure you have a good grasp of the basics of affiliate marketing, including product launches, evergreen promotions, webinars, and general marketing strategies. These are the foundation of your work, and being proficient in these areas will make your daily tasks much smoother.

Scroll up a bit for some recommended resources on this 🙂

4. Continuous Learning and Adaptability

The world of affiliate marketing is always evolving, so being adaptable and willing to learn is essential. Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques in the industry. This not only keeps you relevant but also opens up opportunities for creative strategies in your affiliate management role.

In conclusion, to be successful in an affiliate manager role, you need to blend creativity with a systematic approach, always aim to overdeliver, be self-motivated, and continuously learn and adapt. These personal habits, combined with your technical skills and knowledge, will set you on the path to success in this dynamic field.

Affiliate Marketing & Affiliate Management Knowledge

Affiliate marketing job - program manager

Becoming an affiliate manager is more than just a title; it’s about immersing yourself in the world of affiliate marketing. Here’s my take on why knowing the ins and outs of affiliate marketing is crucial:

1. First-Hand Experience is Key

Honestly, it’s tough to get a job as an affiliate manager (or actually be a good affiliate manager) without having dipped your toes in affiliate marketing. I mean, think about it. You can learn more in a year BEING an affiliate than you will by reading half a dozen books on affiliate management.

Before I started promoting affiliate products, I was okay at managing affiliates. But after I got into the game myself, everything changed. I went from just scraping by to winning Affiliate Manager of the Year. Four times.

That’s what being in the trenches does to you. You see the good, the bad, and the downright awesome, and it all shapes how you manage.

You copy the good. You tweak others’ ideas and make them your own (see the next point). And you learn from the bad things other affiliate programs do.

2. Learning by Observing

It’s crucial to keep an eye on what others are doing in the affiliate world. Sometimes, you come across something that makes you think, “Wow, that’s genius!” Other times, you spot mistakes and vow never to repeat them.

For instance, I once got an email from an affiliate program I was a part of about getting financial support for Facebook ads, and that sparked an idea.

Why not send out something tangible, like a fake check, to grab attention? We called them “Fakebook checks.” We physically mailed them to top affiliates and on the outside they looked like a check (think like a payroll check with the window that has your address on it).

When they opened the envelope and there was the “check.”  It also had a letter explaining that we were advancing them $1,000 to run Facebook ads supporting the affiliate promotion. If they did $X in sales, they could keep the money. If not, it would just be pulled from their affiliates commissions.

It was a twist on someone else’s idea but with our own flavor. In case you’re wondering (or want to steal the message for your own use…go ahead, by the way) here’s the letter that was included with the “check.”


You might be wondering why in the heck I sent you a fake check…a Fakebook check if you will. Well it’s because I can get away with writing things like Fakebook on paper and not have Zuckerberg hunting me down 🙂 (Right? I can do that can’t I?)

Actually it’s because I want to offer you an advance on your affiliate commissions if you run Facebook Ads to the workshop and/or webinar!

If you send an email to xxx with the subject line of “Show Me the Money” I will PayPal you $1,000 right away so you can run your ads without having to spend your own money.

Easy peasy, right?

And remember…the big promo push starts April 15 and if you need anything, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Matt McWilliams

3. The Importance of Being Up-to-Date

If you’re trying to get a job as an affiliate manager, but you’re not up-to-date on the latest in affiliate marketing, you’re in for trouble.

For example, if you’re clueless about what TikTok is and how affiliates can use it to promote your company, we’ve got a problem. You don’t need to be a TikTok wizard, but staying in the loop with current trends is non-negotiable.

Just like I said in one of my podcast episodes, I’m not an expert at most new social media networks, but I’m learning. That’s the attitude you need.

4. The Power of Adaptation

It’s not just about learning what’s out there; it’s about adapting those strategies to make them your own. Take an idea, add your unique twist, and suddenly, it’s your innovation. Like those Fakebook checks I mentioned above – that was taking an idea and elevating it. Now, that’s what I call breaking through the clutter!

5. The Blend of Skills Needed

To be an ace affiliate manager, you’ve got to juggle a bunch of skills. You need to be tech-savvy, have a knack for sales, be a people person, and be up to speed on marketing. Plus, leadership is key. You can’t go solo; you need a team, maybe a VA, to help manage the workload. It’s about leading effectively and ensuring everything runs smoothly.

If you’re considering a career in affiliate management, make sure you’re ready to become a student of affiliate marketing, keep learning, and adapt ideas to develop your unique approach. It’s a blend of hands-on experience, continuous learning, creative thinking, and a solid grasp of essential marketing and management skills.

So, are you 100% sure you want a job as an affiliate manager? If so, this next section is exactly what you came here for.

We’re Hiring Affiliate Managers!

Apply to get a job as an affiliate manager

If you’re looking to work with the best affiliate management company in the world (if I say so myself), you’re in luck!

We’re not just any affiliate management company; we’re considered one of the top affiliate management agencies on the planet.

With a history spanning almost two decades, our journey has been incredible, working with over 350,000 affiliates and collaborating with huge companies like Adidas and Shutterfly, as well as industry giants like Shark Tank’s Kevin Harrington, Ryan Levesque, Stu McLaren, Kim Walsh Phillips, Jeff Goins, Ray Edwards, Rich Schefren, Michael Hyatt, Tony Robbins, Dean Graziosi, and more.

Our Unique Hiring Process

Our hiring process is something we take pride in – it’s meticulously crafted and has been proven to be effective in finding the best talent. This isn’t just a job offer; it’s a career-building opportunity with one of the industry leaders.

1. Five-Week Training Program

We kick things off with a comprehensive five-week training program. This isn’t your average course. It’s an in-depth exploration into the world of affiliate management, client relations, and beyond. The best part? This training is absolutely free, and it’s packed with valuable insights.

2. The Application Process

Our application process is thorough to ensure we find the right fit for our team. You’ll embark on a journey that requires you to answer situational questions, reflecting your problem-solving skills and approach to real-world challenges in affiliate management.

3. A Test of Skills and Cultural Fit

Post-training, we’ll be conducting tests to see how well you’ve absorbed the training and how well you fit into our agency’s culture and ethos. This phase is crucial in determining whether you’re the right candidate to proceed further.

If your skills, attitude, and values are a good fit for our agency, then we’re probably going to invite you to be a part of our team.

Our Mission and Values

affiliate manager agency matt mcwilliams

Before you consider working for us, it’s important to understand our mission and values.

Our mission is simple: To provide world-class affiliate management and a 10X return on investment for our clients and to serve our affiliates with excellence and professionalism.

On top of that, we want to keep our affiliate programs fun, train our affiliates well, and have a lot of fun ourselves.

Here are our core values as a company:

We Always Overdeliver

In our company, overdelivering is not just an option; it’s a commitment. This core value is about giving our clients and customers at least 10X the value they invest. It’s our dedication to take that extra step, ensuring that every interaction leaves them feeling amazed and deeply satisfied. This ethos extends beyond mere customer retention; it’s our driving force.

We are Constantly Learning

For 17 years, we’ve embraced learning as a fundamental part of our journey. We believe in learning from every source – from others, from our own experiences, and even from our failures. Our culture of learning and experimentation fosters growth and innovation, enabling us to continuously evolve and excel.

We Allow Others to Surprise Us

We understand the power of delegation and the surprises it brings. By focusing on our unique abilities and allowing others to do the same, we not only foster a culture of trust but also make room for unexpected and remarkable achievements. This approach has proven vital in our leadership and organizational growth

We Don’t Work with Jerks

Our policy is clear: We don’t work with jerks. We approach every relationship with grace, but we firmly draw the line at negativity, jerk behavior, or any form of abuse towards customers. This policy isn’t just about maintaining a positive work environment; it’s about choosing respect and kindness in all our interactions.

We Ruthlessly Protect our Downtime

We fiercely guard our downtime. This isn’t about slacking off; it’s about ensuring that our team gets the rest and rejuvenation they need. By promoting a balanced workload, we ensure our team is always at their best – both for their personal well-being and to deliver optimal performance for our clients.

We are the Guide, Not the Hero

At the heart of our mission is a simple truth: our customers are the heroes, and we are their guides. Our goal is to empower them, to help them realize their dreams and fulfill their missions. Every customer, affiliate, and follower is valued and served with the highest level of commitment.

We do the Things that Scare Us

We’re not deterred by challenges; instead, we embrace them. Whether it’s a project that stretches our skills or resources, we tackle it head-on. Our 80/20 rule – focusing on completion over perfection – guides us, and we believe firmly that making a decision, even if it’s wrong, is better than indecision.

These core values aren’t just words on a page; they are the principles that guide every decision and action in our company. They reflect our commitment to excellence, growth, and a positive, supportive work environment. As we continue to grow and evolve, these values remain our guiding stars, ensuring that we stay true to our mission and our team.

How to Apply and What to Expect

Affiliate Manager job application

If this opportunity excites you, and you’re ready to take on a new challenge, here’s what you need to do:

1. Apply

Click here to start your application process.

Be prepared for an extensive application that will test your understanding and approach to affiliate management.

2. Expectations and Reality

Understand that this process is competitive and challenging. In our last hiring cycle, we had 52 applicants, out of which only two were hired. But don’t let this discourage you – if you’re passionate and committed, this could be the perfect opportunity for you.

3. Our Commitment to You

We assure you that joining our team will be a transformative experience. You’ll learn, grow, and be a part of a team that values innovation, fun, hard work, and getting results.

So, now that you know all that is involved in getting a job as an affiliate manager, what do you think? Still want to be one?

My hope is that this post has given you clarity. You should now be either 100% certain that you DO want to be an affiliate manager or 100% certain that the job is NOT right for you.

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