Oh boy…this is gonna be a fun one. What kind of affiliate manager would Donald Trump be? What can we learn from him about being a great affiliate manager?

Click Here for The Written Transcript of This Episode

Need help activating your affiliates? Use my proven email templates for getting inactive affiliates in the game and making sales! Get them here!

affiliate activation email templates

Links Mentioned in this Episode

How I Built a $1 Million a Month Affiliate Program In Only Two Years Without Any Connections or Credentials

Find Your First 100 Affiliates

Text Me: (260) 217-4619

Don’t Miss An Episode – Subscribe Below

Listen to The Affiliate Guy marketing podcast on Apple Listen to The Affiliate Guy marketing podcast on Spotify
The Affiliate Guy Podcast on Google The Affiliate Guy marketing podcast - Stitcher
Email updates for The Affiliate Guy Program
Ask Matt McWilliams a question for the Affiliate Guy podcast

Previous Episodes of The Affiliate Guy

How to Create Promotion Plans for Affiliates

How Sarah Williams 20X’d her Affiliate Sales and Won a $100,000 First Prize

How to Get Your Affiliates Fired Up Before a Promotion

What Kind of Affiliate Manager is Best: In-House or Outsourced?

What to Look for in an Affiliate Manager

Don’t Make These Killer Mistakes with Your Affiliate Program (Part 2)

If Donald Trump Ran an Affiliate Program

Well, this should be interesting. What kind of affiliate manager would Donald Trump be, and what can we learn from him about being a great affiliate manager? I’m going to go out on a limb on this episode and know that this is going to be a little controversial, but I think there are some powerful lessons in this episode, so listen up.

So what would happen if I took perhaps the most polarizing figure in the world and threw his name in a podcast title? Is that what I’m doing here? Is that what all I’m doing is this just clickbait? You know, let’s take the name of the most controversial person in the world and let’s put them in a podcast title and see what happens.

Well, yeah, that’s kind of what I’m doing, but actually, no, it’s really not. You know, this actually came about from a conversation I had with another affiliate manager friend of mine. And we were talking about the traits of great affiliate managers, and we were talking about historical figures, and we agreed that great leaders would probably make great affiliate managers.

And these transcend political parties and industries and niches and all that. You know, we talked about, like, we think that Barack Obama would be a great affiliate manager. Steve Jobs, both George Bush’s, Ronald Reagan, FDR, Eisenhower, Martin Luther King, junior, Churchill, probably even Napoleon.

We kept going through history with leaders such as Gandhi and Sitting Bull, Washington, Joan of Arc, Lincoln, Simone Boulevard, Julius Caesar. All in all, the ability to lead, to inspire, to develop relationships, to maintain those relationships, to connect on a personal level, to study a market and deliver results, that’s what it’s all about. And so we started talking about this hypothetical scenario where Donald Trump runs an affiliate program, and we looked at his strength and his weaknesses and the lessons from like, the guy’s been in business for 45, 50 years, whatever.

And, you know, he’s been in real estate, entertainment, politics. And so there’s a lot to draw on. And so we wanted to look at this and we kind of just did it for fun for a few minutes.

And that was like, oh, my gosh, I was like, this could be a great podcast episode because there are lessons to learn. Now here’s the warning to you. Regardless of how you feel about him, if you hate him, can you still learn from him? Absolutely. And if you refuse to learn from him because you don’t like the guy, then you’re missing out. You have to put yourself before your feelings, right?

Regardless of how you feel about him. And the same could be true if I did an episode about Barack Obama or Steve Jobs. You know, some people just don’t like Steve Jobs. Okay, but can you learn from him? Absolutely. That’s why there’s been half a dozen books written about him.

The same is true if you love them. You can’t just put your blinders on. Go. Trump never does anything wrong. That’s not true. He’s a human being. All right, so regardless of how you feel about him, learn from his strengths, his weaknesses, his good traits, his bad traits, his good things, his mistakes, you got to learn from all of them. So let’s start with the strengths.

Now, I had to start somewhere, right? I could start with weaknesses. I could start with whatever. I’m starting with strengths and weaknesses. And I’m talking about general strengths and weaknesses here. Just overall, you know, first of all, brand building, I don’t know that there’s been a better individual brand builder in modern times. I mean, literally, he’s built his name into a global brand, and that brand signifies a certain thing.

Don’t make the same mistakes I’ve made with my affiliate programs. Learn my top 20 affiliate program mistakes…and how to avoid them!

Affiliate Program mistakes to avoid

It’s, you know, to me, it signifies luxury. You know, Trump Tower. If you live in Trump Tower, that is a desired place to live in New York City. The Trump hotels are nice hotels. You know, you’re not going to a Trump property and it’s a dump. You know, it signifies success, signifies power.

And so if he were an affiliate manager and running an affiliate program, it would benefit from this brand. What is the lesson here from this strength? Building a brand, building new a brand and becoming known for something that will attract affiliates.

Becoming famous will attract affiliates. If you have a brand that is well known as an affiliate manager or as a company, you will attract more affiliates. Simply said, the second big strength is there are very few people who are able to master the media like Trump has.

I’ve read something that was like in the 2016 campaign, he got something like 650 million, if I remember correctly, I could be off by $100 million, but he got something like $650 million in free advertising. Basically, Hillary Clinton got less than 200 million. So even though she outspent him by, I have no idea how much money, but a lot of money, he got so much free media attention.

He generates so much buzz. It was just, the attention he attracted was unbelievable. So he would be great at attracting Buzz around the affiliate program, keeping it in the public eye, attracting interest.

The third thing he’s a persuasive communicator, no doubt about it. Again, a lot of people feel negatively towards that, and I get that. They feel like he uses this skill, you know, it’s like using the force for the dark side. Right? And I totally understand that. But he’s great at it.

His ability to connect with an audience on an emotional level is one of the best I’ve seen. Obama was great at that. George W. Bush was great at. Reagan was amazing at that. If you look at the people who lost, look at presidential campaigns. Dukakis didn’t connect with anybody on an emotional level. Al Gore, I mean, boring. John Kerry, boring. John McCain, Mitt Romney, Hillary Clinton, even. They’re just boring. They weren’t connecting with people at an emotional level.

And one of the lessons here, you know, is passion, Trump’s knowledge, pardon the pun. I was intentional about that. Passion, Trump’s knowledge. His campaigns are proof that people are drawn more to passion than policy. If you look at the top campaigns, it’s the people that ran against the people I just named. They built movements.

Trump, Bernie Sanders. I mean, Bernie Sanders, his positions are out there. You might like him, whatever. Cool. I think his positions are cuckoo land. But yet he built a movement. Why? Because passion Trumps policy. Barack Obama, they have passion, right?

The kind of fires you up and sometimes it ticks some people off and gets people to take action. And as affiliate managers, as marketers, isn’t this what we want? We want people to take action, right? We want them to send one more email. We want them to go live at 11:00 p. m.

On cart close day. We want them to be an evangelist. We want them to subscribe to our, whatever we want them to buy, want them to buy some more, want them to tell three friends.

And the lesson here is, like, if you try to promote something that you aren’t bouncing off the walls about, it will fail. If you’re not passionate about being an affiliate manager or an affiliate for it will fail. You cannot be a good affiliate if you’re not passionate about it. You cannot be a good affiliate manager if you’re not passionate about it. And Trump, I mean, it’s proof that people are drawn more to passion than policy. And that’s so true in the affiliate world as well.

All right. Another big strength for him, number four is just the entrepreneurial experience. He has a lot of experience and you could argue, always failed it a lot. Yeah. In Silicon Valley, if you want venture capital money, you better have failed at a business before. You better have at least one failed business under your belt to get a good deal. They’re looking for that because you’re going to fail at some point. But he’s also been very successful. And so having that entrepreneurial experience working with affiliates who are entrepreneurs, very beneficial.

Number five, he’s got a loyal following. He has a loyalty base of supporters who trust and believe in his brand, and they are highly motivated to promote him. So as an affiliate manager, he has that.

He’s a risk taker. He’s an innovator. No doubt about it. He’s willing to innovate. He ran 2016. It was like, I remember my first reaction was like, are you kidding me? This guy’s a clown. Nobody runs in a presidential campaign like this. Well, what happened? He won. And regardless how you feel about that, it worked. Like, you could argue, oh, he lost popular vote by whatever, a million votes or whatever.

Okay. But he didn’t lose by 10 million, which is what most people thought would happen. Like, I definitely thought, I never thought in a million years he would win Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and some of those states, and he did. And it was like, oh, my gosh, what he did actually worked. Why? Because he took risks.

He was innovative. And I talked about this before, but the number one trait of great affiliate managers, this is number seven, is this tenacity being tenacious. You know, I looked it up in the dictionary and I shared this before, but it says, tenacity means persistent in maintaining, adhering to, or seeking something valued or desired.

Persistent, stubborn, obstinate. If you look it up in the thesaurus, you get termination, perseverance, doggedness, persistence, endurance, resolve, grit. The list goes on on follow up. Persistence. Not replying is not an answer. When an affiliate doesn’t reply, that’s not an answer.

Don’t take no for an answer. When one contact method doesn’t work, you try others, you dm, you text, whatever. That’s tenacity. You have to have tenacity if you’re an affiliate manager. How is your tenacity? If you’re looking for an affiliate manager? We talked a few episodes ago about what to look for in an affiliate manager. Look for tenacity. Look for a bulldog with a bone. Trump has that again, regardless of whether you like him. He’s tenacious. Nobody would ever deny that.

All right, so the flip side, what are the weaknesses? Well, the first weakness that I see is he’s just inconsistent and his focus tends to bounce all over the place. You know, he’s a smart guy, no doubt about it, and so he has that. My friend of mine calls it attention deficit. Oh, shiny ados. He has so many interests, so many ventures that, like, he could be going down one trail and they were going to try this something.

And the inability to stick with one thing for six months and just keep doing what’s working, I think would be a big weakness for him as an affiliate manager. You know, let’s be honest, he’s got some regulatory challenges, he got some legal challenges. I think if he ran an affiliate program, they would be under a lot of scrutiny.

No doubt about it, would be under a lot of scrutiny that could affect things. Probably the biggest reason why I wouldn’t hire him as an affiliate manager. I’d be too afraid some bad things would happen like that.

Number three, the consistency and the reliability. Just changing direction instead of maintaining consistent policies and support for affiliates, it’s like, boom, we’re going to go in this direction and affiliates are just like, what are we even doing? And then number four, I think for lack of a better term, I’ll call it reputation management.

There are some negatives, there’s some baggage. He’s got a controversial past. What will be the press? Yeah, he’s going to attract the people that are like hardcore on his side, but what about the people in the middle? They’re going to be like, eh, like, I want to be associated with that because it’s a public association. That’s the thing.

It’s not like voting. You vote in private, who’d you vote for? I don’t have to tell you. It’s not public. So clearly, you know, if you look at the numbers, I mean, I’ve seen him, about 30% are reliably in his court and about 40% are reliably against him. But there’s that middle 30% that are silent about it.

And in 2016, two thirds of those people went for them. Now, who were they? Who were the two thirds of those people? Nobody knows because you don’t have to be public about it. So in a public setting, I could see that being a negative. That’s why it’s important as an affiliate manager to maintain your brand and maintain a positive brand.

Don’t put stuff out there. You can’t do it. You can’t do it. It’s too risky. Now, there’s a couple of things that are both strengths and weaknesses. And then I’ve touched on these. You know, the first one, these work both ways. They are a weakness, but a strength. They are strength but a weakness.

You know, just that controversy and polarization, he’s the most divisive person in America, and that’s going to limit the appeal. Just like we talked about just now, to a broader audience, brands and affiliates are going to be very hesitant to associate with controversial figures. And so we’re going to have a narrow reach in the affiliate program.

But it’s also a positive. You know, Trump is ridiculed for being such a polarizing figure. I can’t argue with that. But his strategy is effective. Like, one things that I think he’s done well is he’s identified his core audience, he’s spoken directly to them in their language and ignored everyone else. Now, whether that’s best for the country is up for debate, right?

But as a marketing strategy, it’s worth copying. He’s taken a stand. He solidified his base, and that base will follow him through h*** or high water. We saw that. We’ve seen it time and again. Even when it’s not in their own best interest.

You think about that from a presidential campaign and it’s like, gosh, you know, that’s maybe that’s crossing some lines we don’t want. But isn’t that what marketers want from their followers? You know, the lesson is, take a stand for something and people will stand with you.

If you identify your core audience and ignore everyone else. Stand for something and people will stand with you. That’s the lesson. And we see that in so many niches in the health and fitness world, it’s like you have to stand and say, we are keto, and everything else is terrible, right? Okay, don’t do cardio, do weights or don’t do weights, do cardio or don’t work out hard, work out light because of x, Y and Z. You should fast 18 hours a day.

And every other diet is garbage. That we see it in investing world, you know, it’s like, no, invest in this, but not that, because everything else is crap and they have to take a stand. And you go, well, can we attract everyone in that case? Of course not. So take a stand for something. Now, again, there’s a line there, and that’s why I said, it’s a strength and a weakness.

Clearly, we’ve seen both sides. I mean, no matter what side you’re on in this debate, so to speak, right. No one will dispute that Trump has roughly three to five times more hardcore, dare I say, would storm the Capitol followers than Joe Biden has.

Like, people will vote for Joe Biden and they did. No doubt about that. But are there that many people who are like, you know, yeah, I’d run through a brick wall for that guy. Not really. And that can be a positive in the affiliate world. Again, with the right type of product.

Are you going to do that if you’re in a commoditized industry with tons of competitors? No. Are you going to do it where in your industry where polarization and controversy works?

Absolutely. So what are some of the things that he would do well? I think there’s three things that he would do particularly well, and I think there’s three things that he would do poorly.

The first thing he would do really well is just leveraging social media. I mean, he’s the best presidential candidate ever at leveraging social media. It’s the reason why he won the first time around.

And he’s amazing at engaging with people. He would drive all of his followers to support his program. The second thing he would do well is negotiate deals.

I mean, he’s a great negotiator. He is going to negotiate, win wins. He’s done it in real estate, he’s done it in entertainment, and he’d do it again as an affiliate manager.

Number three, I think he’d be a phenomenal motivator for affiliates. The guy, he knows how to sell. He would teach selling, teach metaclose more sales.

He’s got experience in leadership and building, you know, teams. I mean, I don’t know how many employees he has, but it’s at least tens of thousands. And I think he would be great at motivating affiliates.

You know, his affiliates, if nothing else, would be on a mission. They would be on a mission. Like I said earlier, they would run through a brick wall for him.

As far as things that he would do poorly, I think he would struggle, obviously, at developing like some sort of level of diversity. And again, for some affiliate programs, that doesn’t matter. You don’t need it.

For others, it could certainly limit market appeal and it could eliminate certain types of affiliates from promoting. Now, on the flip side of this, one of the things that Trump has done really well, that actually been amazingly effective at, is attracting new voters.

Not sure how much to pay your affiliates? Watch my free video tutorial on YouTube that walks you through step-by-step.

how to determine the right affiliate commission youtube video

People who never voted before, people who don’t follow politics, people who are turning out for this larger than life personality that’s what happened in 2016. It also happened in 2008. That’s what happened in 2008. People who never voted for don’t follow politics.

They turned out for a larger than life personality. Running against John McCain, you know, it was kind of boring. It happened in 1980, the term Reagan Democrats.

Why do we have a term Reagan Democrats? Because it was people that had always voted Democrat, they’d voted Democrats since FDR, and they suddenly voted for Republican. Why?

Because of Ronald Reagan. We’ve seen this so many times where they attract new voters and voters from the other side. And at first glance, this seems to kind of be in contrast to what I said earlier about polarization, but in a sense, they’re one in the same.

Trump’s message all along has been one of anti establishment. His voters aren’t the typical people who show up on primary day. So he’s focused more on bringing in new people.

And polarization, in a sense, is, it’s all about preaching to the choir, so to speak. Attracting new people is about forming your own choir, which is exactly what Trump did. So in order to grow, the lesson here, in order to grow is you must attract new, non traditional followers into your tribe, and you got to do the same thing for your affiliate program.

So again, that’s a strength. But the weakness would be kind of that diversity side. Another big weakness, adapting to criticism. I mean, his history is like, he doubles down in the face of opposition. I don’t think he’ll handle criticism well. If an affiliate’s like, hey, what if you do it?

That’s it. I think he would push back and, you know, I just don’t think he’d do well. And an affiliate manager has to be able to take criticism. They have to be able to adapt to changes. And I don’t know that he would do that well. Third thing I would see him doing poorly is just building trust.

And I think he would build trust with a certain group of people, but it would be limited. So what are some of the lessons we can learn from Donald Trump if he was an affiliate manager, as a marketer, as a leader, as an affiliate manager, I mentioned earlier the power of branding. Building a strong, recognizable brand is the cornerstone of all marketing.

It’s the cornerstone of affiliate programs. Secondly is just engagement, social media engagement, other types of engagement, like keeping in front of your affiliates. That’s one of the things he does like people talk about.

Well, gosh, he spent so much time tweeting. No, he spends so much time connecting with his audience. Spend more time connecting with your affiliates. Don’t go dark on them for two weeks. Don’t send a monthly newsletter. And that’s it. No, no, no, no. That’s so 1999.

That is like 2005 at the latest. Resilience. I mean, give him credit. He keeps bouncing back. Whether you like him or not, he keeps bouncing back. It’s a lesson in persistence.

Another one, you know, big lesson is just be willing to get crazy. I mean, he is either is crazy or he acts like it. There, I said it.

He’s either crazy or he acts like it. And the amazing thing about him is what drives his opponents absolutely nuts is what makes his supporters love him. He is out there.

Like, he says things that nobody else says. He’s doing things that nobody else is doing. He gets crazy, and crazy gets attention. Crazy stands out. Crazy polarizes what he talked about earlier. Crazy is memorable.

And like him or not, Donald Trump is not a fool. Like, I don’t believe that he’s actually crazy, and I don’t believe he’s stupid. In fact, I think he’s quite brilliant.

And I believe that a lot of his craziness is an act that serves as an end to a means. And you could argue all day long that’s not presidential. I actually would agree with you, but it works.

Yeah, I talked about this in my book, turn your passions into profits. An interviewer asked the comedian Chris Rock if, like, why are you always so amped up? And like, are you always like this?

And he’s like, no, people don’t pay to see normal Chris Rock. They pay to see Chris Rock. They pay to see the version of me that’s three times me.

In other words, they pay to see the crazy version of him. So the lesson here is that extreme positions make you memorable. To get attention, you might have to get a little crazy.

So last year, I shared the number one trait of great affiliate managers. I also shared eight other traits in that episode that I see in great affiliate managers. And so how does Trump stack up on those?

As we wrap up, I’m going to cover these nine traits. And, Jessica, where’s Trump on these? Number one is tenacity. That’s the number one trait, I said, and he has absolutely shown tenacity. He has overcome obstacles just to bounce back from a few years ago. I mean, like, there’s no doubt he’s tenacious. He is like a bulldog with a bone. Like I said earlier, the second one, friendliness. All right, this one, I don’t know.

I’ve never met him in private. I only know his public Persona. His public Persona comes off as very confrontational to critics, but very friendly and engaging to his supporters. Very charismatic. No doubt about it. I don’t know.

That’s a tough one. You know, what’s it like to have a 30 minutes phone call with Donald Trump? I have no idea. I never had one relationship focused. This is something he’s done amazing at. You know, he’s done great.

But there’s a flip side. Right? He has shown an ability to cultivate and leverage relationships, to advance his business goals and to advance his political goals.

But I also see a transactional nature in his relationships, and I think that’s, you know, he favors those who are loyal to him, who can directly benefit him. And I see that as a negative. You know, I think there’s a flip side to that.

He’s done great at building them and leveraging them. But are they true relationships?

Fourth, empathy. I don’t know. Again, I don’t know him privately. In public, he has shown a very low degree of empathy, but again, I don’t know him in private.

So for all I know, he’s super empathetic. I don’t believe that’s the case, but, you know, it’s hard to say. Now, the fifth is creativity. Absolutely. One of the most creative people in terms of branding and marketing, media manipulation, finding those unconventional paths to reach his audience. That’s huge. A sense of humor.

All right, here’s one. Very polarizing. He has a very unique sense of humor. It’s laced with sarcasm. I personally love sarcasm. Sarcasm is my love language. But he can be seen as mocking. Very contentious. You know, we’ve seen that. It’s a turn off to a lot of people. You know, even to me, sometimes it’s a turn off. I’m like, oh, that wasn’t really as funny as you thought it was, dude. So he has a sense of humor. You definitely want that over somebody who’s bland.

But is it the right sense of humor? I don’t know. The 7th trait, you know, just the ability to make things fun for your affiliates and absolutely. He’s a showman. His showmanship, his energy, he makes things fun. I think he would be a very fun affiliate manager.

I think he would come up with lots of cool contests and all those things. One of the traits is the ability to bounce from left brain to right brain, the ability to go from analytical tasks to more creative or relationship focused tasks, and looking at the data, studying that. And then again, this is something I don’t know his career publicly suggests that he has this capacity.

He’s got to go from the analytical side, like all the complexities of real estate politics, and then be more creative and more relational. I don’t know him in private, but I think he probably has this. I think he’d probably be pretty good at it. And then, you know, the last one is the analytical side. You have to identify opportunities. I think he definitely has that.

And the ability, like you got to be able to go in and look at the analytics and say, okay, where are the opportunities for growth as an affiliate? Would he be good at it? Don’t know. Hard to tell, because again, I don’t know his private brain, but based on what I’ve seen publicly, I think he’d probably be pretty good at it. So in conclusion, how would Donald Trump be as an affiliate manager? I don’t know.

Make sure that your affiliate program has a solid agreement (AKA Terms & Conditions). To make things simple, grab my template here!

I think, you know, again, having the tenacity and the creativity, the analytical side, all of those things, the sales, the ability to unite a certain group of people, which is all you want in an affiliate program, the ability to develop those relationships and those connections, all of those things. Willingness to get a little crazy and leverage media and all those things, I think would be a benefit. And then on the flip side, you know, the friendliness, the empathy, the divisiveness, you know, could be a problem.

So I think it depends on the program. I think he’d be a great affiliate manager for certain types of brands and programs and a terrible one for others. I think that’s ultimately what it comes down to So he’s got some of the traits, but then the flip side, there’s some definite downsides. So I would love to hear from you. Like, what do you think?

I know it’s a bit of a crazy episode, but I hope you got some takeaways from this with your own affiliate program. What do you think? Text me at 260-217-4619 we’ll put that in the show notes there. Donald Trump affiliate manager good or bad? What are his strengths? What are his weaknesses? What do you think? So make sure to shoot me a message. I would love to hear from you on that.

And make sure also to hit subscribe because in the next episode I’m going to show you how to find affiliates using leaderboards for other affiliate programs. So make sure to hit subscribe so you don’t miss that episode. 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

template for affiliate program terms and conditions

Affiliate Program Terms & Conditions Template

email for recruiting affiliates

Get My #1 Affiliate Recruiting Email

top mistakes to avoid with your affiliate program

Avoid The Top 20 Affiliate Program Mistakes

email templates for activating affiliates

Turn Inactive Affiliates into Your Best Affiliates

Affiliate email template for affiliate managers

Get My Template for Writing Affiliate Emails

Sales secrets of successful affiliate marketers

Affiliate Marketing Sales Secrets

Ultimate Guide to Affiliate Marketing with a resources page

Learn How to Create a Resources Page

guide on how to write a product review with affiliate marketing

Learn How to Write a Product Review

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *