We just finished a massive multi-million dollar affiliate launch…and there are a ton of takeaways and lessons to share with you. Today, we take you behind the scenes on what went right, what we’d improve, and how you can apply these lessons to your affiliate program.
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Launch Lessons: The Affiliate Army Strikes Again
We just finished a massive multimillion-dollar affiliate launch, and there are a ton of takeaways and lessons that I want to share with you.
So today we’re going to take you on a behind-the-scenes look at what went right, what we’d improve, and how you can apply these lessons to your affiliate program.
So, episode 501. The last episode was so awesome, getting to celebrate the 500th episode.
My gosh, I’m still just blown away by that. It’s like a year and a half worth of episodes.
And here we are for the start of the next 500, and I’m super excited to be sharing what we’re talking about today.
The title of this episode is Launch Lessons. The affiliate army Strikes Again.
And we’re talking about a recent launch that we ran, which ended up producing the biggest revenue event in the history of the company.
Our client and I brought my friend and one of our affiliate managers, Jim Askins.
Jim has been with the company for about six months, a little bit over six months now.
He’s one of our affiliate managers in our agency. And you got to hear from Jason Alberti back, I don’t know, maybe ten episodes ago or so.
We did a review of a big launch then, and we’re doing another one of these. And in this one, we’re going to use the Kiss method.
This is something that we use for our after-action reviews. Keep, improve, stop, and start.
What are we going to keep what are the things that we’re going to keep doing that we did, we liked, and we’re going to keep doing them?
What are we going to improve? What are we going to stop doing? What are we going to start doing? What do we not do that we need to start doing here?
And so I brought Jim on. He’s got some awesome insights.
We just finished recording the episode, and I’m going to tell you some of the stuff that he shares. I was impressed.
I’ve loved working with Jim, and I loved working with Jason as well.
I love working with our whole agency team, and I’m excited that we’ll keep doing these throughout the year.
Excited to keep sharing the lessons with you.
If you’re interested in working with us, if you want to join companies that are working with us, like Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi and Jeff Walker, Ryan Levasque, Stu McLaren, people that we’ve worked with over the years, like Michael Hyatt, Louis Howes, Brian Tracy, Jeff Goins, Ray Edwards, Shutterfly, Adidas, you want to join them?
And tons of other work. Jamie Brenkus, the inventor of eight-minute apps. Oh, my gosh, we have loved working with him.
Chris Jarvis. How have you not heard of Chris Jarvis? Is our tagline there? Because Chris is amazing.
I can’t wait to tell you more about his affiliate program. Robin and Susan from the Dog Gurus.
The list goes on, Manu Muraro from your social team, like some of the new clients that we’re super excited to be working with.
To get started with affiliate marketing the right way, download my free quickstart guide to affiliate marketing. Grab your copy here!
To get started with affiliate marketing the right way, download my free quickstart guide to affiliate marketing. Grab your copy here!
If you’re interested in joining them and having us help 3,4,10 X, your affiliate program, I’ve got information on that in the show notes.
You can just text me anytime at 260-217-4619 if you’re interested. 260-217-4619 if you’re interested in learning more about our agency.
So with that, let’s jump right into my discussions behind the scenes and look at a multi-million dollar affiliate launch with Jim Atkins.
Matt: Jim, welcome to the podcast, my friend.
Jim: Thanks, I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. So, yeah, it’s going to be a lot of fun.
Matt: Yeah, man. First off, man, let’s tell people about you because this is kind of cool.
It’s the second time we’ve done this where we’ve had one of our affiliate managers come on and we’re doing a recap of the launch.
But you’ve been with the team for a little over six months now. It’s a little bit over six months.
And just tell everybody real quick, first of all, what part of England are you from?
And just a quick version, kind of what your experience has been with the team so far?
Jim: Well, the first thing I did was actually with a book launch. That was the first thing we did.
And then we did a QFM here in the quiz Funnel Master class. And just finished that up. And that started back in March and just ended up at the end of June.
So that’s taken up most of the time that I’ve done since I’ve been with the team.
But I know that we have some things coming down the road that I’m going to be starting here shortly and looking forward to that.
But, yeah, Quick Funnel Masterclass is one that’s taking the most time with me that I’ve worked on.
Matt: Yeah, I love it. So one of the things that just to give some people a little bit of background like this ended up being a great launch overall.
In fact, one day they had the highest revenue-producing event in the history of the company, which is pretty dad dumb exciting.
We got to be a part of that. But what we’re going to talk about today is Lessons and takeaways the working title of this.
And I guess it’s one of those things like, we never know what the title is going to be till after we record.
Sometimes we might come up with something better, but the title probably is something like, the Affiliate Army Strikes Again.
And we have been preaching this and talking about it like, no, you have to build an army.
You cannot just have your ten affiliates and so we’ll talk about that as we go, how much of a role that played.
But as we do this today, we’re going to be using our KISS method, which does not keep it Simple Stupid, it actually keeps improving, stop, start.
So we’re going to talk about things that we’re going to keep.
We’re talking about maybe it’s things that we tried and they worked or things that we’ve done many times and they worked.
We’ll talk about things that we’re going to improve again, things that we tried and we see the potential for them, so we’re going to improve those.
Or maybe there are things we’ve done for years, but we let slide and we’re going to improve upon those things that we’re going to stop.
We ain’t doing those again. Those are just bad ideas.
And then things that we’re going to start as a result of going through this experience.
You guys get the benefit of this for all of your podcast listeners, you’re going to know all of the intricacies behind a multi-million dollar affiliate launch and along the way, we’ll share some lessons.
So there might be some things, especially there are a few things. I know I’ve got a couple, Jim, you got somewhere it’s like this doesn’t fit into the key. Improve, stop, start.
It’s just you know what, these are just lessons. So, Jim, I’ll kick us off. You’ve never done one of these before.
And just so you guys know, I have no idea what Jim is going to say and he has no idea what I’m going to say.
I’ll take that back. We kind of know because some of these things are things we’ve talked about as we’ve gone, but we did not sit down and write a script for this.
So I don’t know his bullet points. He said he has like 20 things. I have like, eleven things. Some of them are probably overlapping.
You guys are getting the raw unfiltered. Like, this is just Jim and me almost like we’re sitting together going, okay, what do we do?
This is our company rehash or recap of the launch. We will not really do a private one of these, other than there are a couple of things that we do know that we’re not going to talk about on this.
And we’ll do a private what we call an after-action review and AAR, where we talk about a couple of those things that are a little bit more sensitive topics.
So I don’t know what Jim is going to share. He doesn’t know what I’m going to share if he shares something.
And I’m like, you know what, that actually is a little bit too confidential, or something like that.
And we decided we’re going to pull out, then we’ll just pull it out. I was listening to a book recently about a CIA operative, and there’s this one chapter where I swear every fourth word was redacted.
And I’m like I can’t follow it. I don’t know what are you talking about.
And I’m like, trying to figure out, like, who’s Redacted was redacted the chief, or was Redacted this other guy? I don’t remember.
And then there were two people named Redacted and I’m like, well, which one did it? I don’t know.
So we’ll try to limit that, though, but just know that might happen. So with that said, I’m going to jump in with a key.
One of the keys is that we continue to evolve and do more one-on-one communication.
I have been in this industry gym for 17 years now, and early on it was a lot of one on one communication.
I built my first affiliate program, believe it or not, starting with one affiliate, right?
And then I had two, and then three, and then four, and so on into thousands.
Built that into over a million dollars a month affiliate program.
Years later, I was running programs for like, Adidas and Shutterfly, big companies like that.
We would have hundreds of thousands of affiliates, and I wasn’t able to do a lot of one on one with them.
So it became more mass communications and over the past few years, we’ve continued to do more one-on-one. We figured out a pretty good system for that.
We figured out how to do that one-on-one communication in a way that my friend Hunter Ingram refers to it as developing intimate relationships at scale.
You cannot spend a half hour a day if you do the math, if you work 40 hours and you spend a half hour talking to somebody, that means you can have 80 conversations at max and do no other work.
So assuming you got other work to do, which you do as an affiliate manager, as a business owner, you got at least 20 hours.
So it means you can do 40 conversations a week. That’s it. That’s your max.
And if you talk to everybody once a quarter I’m not doing the exact math on that, but there’s some sort of limit there that’s under 500.
Like, that’s the absolute max that you can tap out at. But we figured out a pretty good system for managing those one-on-one.
So my lesson in that, and the key is continuing to develop those one-on-one relationships and that one-on-one communication before leading up to a big launch and during the launch.
Not just the mass communication, those quick little like you send a mass communication, then you send to follow up one on one with your top 30 to 50 with a little bit of something specific to them, is very powerful.
So, Jim, as I said, alternate. We’ll just alternate, and I’ll let you what do you got for a keep.
Jim: Yeah. I know that you and Jason did this on TME. But the hot leads. I mean. It’s still with how it’s paying off.
How it works with us on our launch and just giving the affiliates what they need there at the end and being able to touch about the one-on-one with the affiliates.
But then the affiliates doing one on one and reach out to the people that had clicked. That had opted in. And things like that.
So the hot leads and you have the stats, I don’t, but just how that pays off in the one-on-one, developing relationships and then closing the sale at the end of the launch and using that the hot leads list, you know, it’s been good.
We’re going to keep making it better.
Matt: That was on my list. That is in our playbook. For every launch especially. Let’s describe what the hot leads are. A hot lead is exactly what it sounds like.
I’m going to use round numbers here. If somebody sends a thousand leads, a thousand opt-ins, roughly two or 3%.
So 20 or 30 of those leads are like scalding hot, ready to buy. They’re at an eight or above out of ten on the potential buyer scale.
And basically what we’ve done is developed a system for identifying those.
Now, it varies a little bit based on the launch sequence, or it could be evergreen as well, but it develops a little bit.
So in the membership experience in TME, you had three days of the workshop and then a webinar, and then you had an open cart.
So basically five actions. And what we identified was, okay, who had attended all four live events and clicked to the sales page, or attended, I think it was three live events in an abandoned cart.
They had actually gone all the way to the checkout page and then left. It was two. I think it was two.
If they had attended two live events and abandoned a cart, or they had sent all four live events and they clicked on the sales page, I think it may have been multiple times.
And for most people, I remember one lady, who had 15 hot leads. She closed eleven of them. Eleven out of 15 in less than an hour.
That’s almost $9,000 in affiliate commissions for less than an hour of work.
I don’t know about you guys. That’s a really good ROI.
So with this one, we had, like, ten live events followed by all kinds of stuff.
And so what we did was we scored the leads and then we said, I think it was like everybody who scored a ten or above, we would consider those to be a hot lead.
And so you just have to figure out, like, what you’re looking for is what is that top roughly two to on the high end? 7%.
Like if you get 2000 leads, you got somebody with two, three, 4000 leads, they’re not going to be able to deal with the hot leads of more than 100 people at most.
So you’ve got to figure out a scoring system or something like that.
And so you might assign like a point for every live event they signed up to.
Maybe it’s like two points for a sales page visit and four points for an abandoned cart.
And okay, you total that up and you figure, what’s the max number of points for? The maximum of points is 24.
What’s the average number that all the leads have? The average number is six. So if the max is 24, the average is six.
The hot leads, probably somebody at 15 or above or 18 or above. And then you just kind of look and go, okay, if I just pick 1000 leads, what percentage or above all, it’s 5%. Boom.
That’s probably a good threshold. And so there are two options.
You can score their whole list and just say, here’s your whole list and the scores, do what you want with it. Or you can just say, I’m telling you your hot leads.
And it’s really super easy once you develop the technology in the background to be able to do that.
It’s super easy for you as an affiliate manager. And that’s something we’re definitely keeping.
Jim your spot on there, so good on that. Number three, keep great affiliate gifts.
I’ve done affiliate gifts for years, just to be clear. Not gifts like animated gifts, but gifts with gifts.
We sent out a couple of really good affiliate gifts in advance that they just built that reciprocity and got people excited and they were talking about it.
And for us it was a way, again, not only of building that reciprocity with people who are already 100% committed to the promotion, but just getting them even more excited, but also it was a really good way of getting some people who maybe were on the fence to reach out to us and say, thank you so much for this really amazing gift, $200 gift.
I’m using them. By the way, isn’t your launch coming up? And so that works really well. And again, that’s the key.
I mentioned they were using them. Don’t send them a gift. I’m using a gift right now, an affiliate gift. It’s a mug.
So this person knows I drink green tea every afternoon. This person knows specifically exactly what I’m drinking right now, which is green tea.
So my coffee in the morning, I put in a thermal mug. I have a big thermal mug also from a client, a zig Ziglar mug.
He knows I drank green tea. He knows I don’t. Somehow we came up in conversation.
I don’t use a thermal mug when I drink in the afternoon because I want to let it cool off so it’s not so hot.
So what did he do? Send me a couple of mugs with his branding on them, but they’re super classy.
I’ll show you, Jim. You can see it’s got big it’s a nice mug. It’s a really nice mug. So he sent this to me. Right now I’m thinking about him.
The odds of me possibly when we in this podcast, sending him a text and just saying, hey, man, how’s it going? Are pretty high.
And so if you can find something that they use, people say, I got coasters. I got a coaster set right here that I use.
Not custom-made, but they’re like from Etsy. They were custom-made, but not just for me. Just to be clear.
Things that people will use, you know, think about that. Like, they’re going to look at a lot.
If you can find something like that, that’s a good affiliate gift.
Hi, Jim. What’s your next keep?
Jim: Google Calendar invites, using those for the strategy calls, we’ve actually pitched back and forth a few other things, maybe of adding those to them.
But it’s a good reminder. I mean, we had strategy calls twice a week, so they were receiving reminders for those.
And then with those, you can always attach flight. You can attach other things to it as well.
So that was a little tool that we started using recently. We used it in this launch, and we’re going to keep using it and refining it and making it better because it is a great tool.
Matt: It is something we use. It’s such a simple thing. Like, I say that, and it’s like, oh, duh.
But we got 500 affiliates for going back to TME. We had 1000 affiliates, and we’d have 30 people show up for a strategy call.
And we started using those Google Calendar invites. We started it with QFM, but then we applied it to TME because there are actually two of them.
We started using that before, like, months in advance and launch. And we’re like, Wait a minute, duh.
We’ll use that for TME, too, and it doubled the show-up rate on everything.
And you can use those calendar invites for all sorts of things, because if they accept it, then it pops up, and if they decline it, then, you know, they’re not attending.
You get a notification. You can reach out to them and be like, hey, since you can attend, I’ll make sure to whatever hey, you want to jump on a private call, whatever the case may be.
And so the very first one we ever did, we had like, 300 people. And I remember we had one of our VAs. Copy and paste every single email address.
Go, click, save, send, click, paste, save, send, copy, paste, save, send. And it only took him, like, a half hour, but it’s still a half hour of just utter boredom.
And then he finally figured out that if you are actually in a spreadsheet, you have all the affiliates listed, you have their email address, and if you then in the column next to it, list their email address, followed by a comma, you can drag and drop down the whole way, copy and paste those over and invite everybody. And that worked really well.
So that is definitely just like the hot lead, something that we are keeping in the future.
So that was a good one, Jim. Let’s go with another one.
Jim: Okay. The video on the social media calendar we made out for Ryan.
I mean, it was detailed from the very beginning until the very end.
And Ryan is brilliant, and he knows how to do a lot of things, but it was just one thing, one last thing he really had to think about.
And we went through there, and even just after, whether it was a webinar or a workshop or anything, it didn’t matter what it was.
He hadn’t had that schedule there because he has so many other things going on.
He’s like, okay, I can look at this and then go on here. Here’s what I need to do.
All here, I can put this on social media, do whatever, but I just really liked having that laid out, and he even remarked about how helpful it was to him as well.
Matt: Let me interrupt you and have you describe what you’re talking about to everybody, because this applies whether if you’re an affiliate manager, full-time working for a company, you’re an outsourced program manager, or even just for yourself, tell us exactly what you mean by that calendar for him.
Jim: Okay, so just when we actually started promoting and so we would start we started June 1.
We’re like we put down okay, Ryan, here’s what’s going on on this day. You can go into our Slack channel post here with this message.
When you’re going on the second, when you’re driving around or get your phone out, you’re doing your walk or whatever, get your phone out, make a short video, and then we can put that on our Slack channel, or you can send it however you want to do it.
That would be most effective. And then even some things, like with emails, it lays out everything.
And then even, like, after a workshop or webinar or something, he’d get on there and say about how awesome it was, and just all the things that went on and all the people and everything just reminded him, again, to make sure and follow up with the entire schedule that was going on throughout the launch.
Again, it took something off of his plate he really had to think about and was able to go through and just execute and do the things that he needed to do.
Matt: Yeah, I’m definitely writing that one down as a key, so we need to document that one. Jim, keep that one because that’s a good one.
What we did, just so you guys know, is we told our client, Ryan Levesque, in advance, here’s all the stuff we will need you to post to affiliates that need to come from you.
Sometimes going in and be like, hey, guys, it’s the first day of the workshop. I’m so excited. I can’t wait.
Coming from him is better than it coming from me.
But we told them months in advance, I think probably like, two months before the launch even started.
We had everything like, hey, guys, it’s a month before the launch.
Hey, guys, it’s two weeks before launch. Hi, guys, the launch starts tomorrow. Hey, the webinar is tonight. Blah, blah, blah. Oh, my gosh.
Like, most of those things like, hey, guys, the webinars today. I’m so excited. I can’t wait.
He could record that week in advance, months in advance.
And then schedule the post some of the stuff, like post the thing after the webinar saying how it went.
You can’t do that in advance. But at least he knew.
He knew on April 1 that on June 21, he was going to have ten minutes to go post a message to the affiliates saying, here’s how things went when he was planning his schedule.
He couldn’t schedule something at 630 that night because at 630, from 630 to 640, he had to take that time to write that message and post it.
So if you’re doing it yourself, making that list yourself, what videos can you record in advance?
Hey, guys, the launch starts tomorrow. I can’t wait. I’m so excited. Blah, blah, blah.
Make sure you grab your swipe copy if you haven’t yet, et cetera, et cetera.
You can record that week in advance, and it saves you from having to do all the stuff, like the day of or the night before.
When you get into a launch, things can be really crazy and hectic.
So as much as you can do in advance, the better. Here’s one that we did.
So we did a ticketed workshop. So the workshop was not free. It’s what we call paid free.
So there’s free, which is it’s normally free, and it’s still free. You get paid.
It’s normally paid, and it’s still paid, and you got paid free. Normally it costs money. Now it’s free.
That’s what we did with the workshop. People have attended this workshop, and they paid $100, exactly $100.
But with the affiliates and for some other people with affiliates and through some other means, there were ways to get in for free. You had an exclusive code that got you in for free.
As the result, I posted some stats about a month before saying because that we were deciding on whether to do this, and I shared these numbers with the team, like, okay, here’s what will happen.
Here are the studies that we’ve done and other clients that we’ve worked with that have done this, and here are the results.
And we had projected that basically, you’d have about a 350% increase in engagement and about a 40% increase in buyers as a percentage of opt-in.
I was wrong on that. To the tune of engagement was up over 600%. Not as a percentage of opt-ins. We actually had lower opt-ins and a six-fold increase in engagement.
So as a percentage of opt-ins, engagement was up almost 900% as a result. Why is that?
Well, we know when people pay, people who pay attention, right? When people pay, they are more likely to engage.
That, of course, makes sense when it’s free. It’s like I’ve said this many times.
Why, if you look at my bookshelf, I’ve got it organized by books I’ve read, books that I’ve read and will read again, books that I’ve read that probably won’t read again, books that I haven’t read and want to read, and they’re definitely in my queue.
And then books that, honestly, I still can’t remember why I haven’t given to Goodwill.
None of those books on that shelf are books that I bought. They are books that were given to me. I don’t value them. That’s just the reality. I just don’t value them.
Now I consume some free books. I got some free books up here given to me by some friends, published by Chandler Bolt, free from the Hidden Psychology of Social Networks.
I’ve read that one. Expert secrets from Russell Brunson were free. Fixing this text by Mike Mccallowitz was free.
I’ve read those books, but I look over here, most of these free books, and read them.
So we know why people engage more if they paid. But what about if it’s free, but it’s positioned as paid, and there’s a coupon code?
It’s in that middle ground. You end up in the middle.
If people had actually paid, engagement would have probably been 15 times higher. But nine times higher is pretty good as a percentage of optins.
And you get that by if you normally sell something and then you position it as free.
That’s a way of doing it. So put it on sale on your site. Put it on Amazon.
It’s the reason why free book funnels work much better if you actually sell them on Amazon, that works great.
It’s a little trick. If you ever go to Amazon and you see a book that’s like $100, they don’t sell any on Amazon.
They sell it on their website for free plus shipping. The Amazon book is totally you could argue it’s a ruse, but it’s positioning.
So anyway, that Ticketed workshop, that’s one of the reasons why the early bird webinar ended up being the largest revenue event in the history of the company, was because of that engagement, because of the Ticketed webinar.
All right, Jim, your turn, bud.
Jim: The strategy calls just how helpful they are. The engagement.
You’re getting affiliates engagement even sometimes some of them that would show up, that really you wouldn’t expect them to show up, but yet they’re there.
They’re successful because they do show up to the strategy cause in the training and things like that.
So just laying out everything. And it’s an opportunity to also answer questions because there are always questions that come up.
But it’s just such a tremendous learning opportunity. And no matter where you’re at as an affiliate, beginner, intermediate, or you’re also successful, it’s not something that is helpful and something that everybody gets at least something out of.
Matt: Yes, those are huge. Affiliate training is huge. So guys, if you want to see how we do affiliate training, we’re going to put a link in the show notes.
You can go watch that training to training. It’s literally a video that we did for a client.
Not only watch that training, but we’ve got the slides for you in PDF, PowerPoint, and in Keynote.
So three different formats. You can take those slides.
If you download the PowerPoint or Keynote version, you can upload those to Google slides and it will create them for you. It might change like the fonts or something. You just go in and tweak that.
But we’ve got those slides for you in three different formats as well, you can download those slides, go tweak them, watch how we do it and see.
What should you be like? Don’t steal my stories. You can’t tell the story about the b*** sniffing monkey. You can’t tell the story about your first affiliate promotion being $588.00
You can’t tell don’t steal my stories and pass them off as yours. That’s just not cool. But steal the ideas, steal the principles, steal the bullet points, steal the slides.
I don’t care if you literally copy my slides. I’m giving you permission. You can go download those and get access to them completely for free.
We’ll put the link in the show note for that. Speaking of affiliate training, I got another one here.
That launch kick-off event, which kind of doubled as a training, something we’ve done before, but not every single time. This is so important, and we’re going to do it every single time.
Doing a big launch kick off where you cover the offer, you cover the funnel. If there’s a funnel, you cover the important dates and all of that. Here’s the great thing about it.
If you do that, we did it about 90 days in advance, you will reuse that material so much, we ended up reusing slides.
I took screenshots of those slides every single day to send them to people like, what’s the offer stack here? Boom. We use that as a guide, became a great guide.
So it kind of forces you to just think through all that stuff well in advance and have a big event, a big kickoff.
We really stressed how important it is. This was our only ask prior to June 1.
The only ask was, come to this kickoff so you can begin to plan and then we had the replay for it and I know that video.
We had, I don’t know, 300 some odd affiliates or something like that and that video was watched by more people than we had affiliates.
So that tells me a couple of things. Number one, they were sharing the video with their assistant, their team.
Number two, some people watched it multiple times, and they might have gone back and only watched a segment of it, but I don’t know.
That video was watched by more people than there are affiliates, and that doesn’t even include the people who showed up live.
So it’s a big event, big excitement. You want to make sure to invite them, like we talked about using Google Calendar, really make a big deal out of it.
So do some sort of a launch kick off. If you’re doing a launch, do it at least 60 days out and make it huge.
Your turn, Jim.
Jim: All right. This will probably be my last key. But you preach this all the time Matt. And we mentioned it here early. But the affiliate army.
The idea of smaller affiliates that you’re recruiting while everything’s going on and you’re working with a smaller affiliate.
You’re working with first time affiliates. But just building that affiliate army and the difference that it made in this launch.
The difference that it makes for the affiliates that are involved in it and who knows how this is going to pay off down the road?
And that’s part of the philosophy of this. But just the small affiliates and building that affiliate army was really awesome.
Matt: Yeah, that’s awesome. It’s like the backbone of our company.
And it’s the reason why you look at why we helped Michael Hyatt go from a $300,000 launch to $1.25 million launch in a year, when we went from about 40 affiliates to well over 1000, we had over 500 affiliates with the sale.
When you look at the numbers that we did with Ray Edwards, he went from a handful of affiliates promoting him to hundreds of affiliates promoting them, where their top ten is only making up 10% to 20% of their launches.
Their top three are only making up five to 7% of the launches. That’s what you want.
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This was one where we took it from, like a very top-heavy program to your top three affiliates only accounting for 25% to 30% of the sales, which sounds like a lot.
That’s a lot for us. But in the past, the top three affiliates might account for 60, 70% of sales.
And that’s super risky because there are times when we’ve seen this happen.
I won’t mention which one, where your number one expected affiliate drops out at the last moment and that really sucks.
You know what, we can replace those sales with ten small affiliates, and it becomes less of a big deal when you have that army.
I’ve said this so many times, this is the direction the industry is trending affiliates are promoting, like, the bigger affiliates, the ones with seven-figure plus businesses, they are promoting less affiliate offers.
They promoted twelve a year ten years ago and then it was five years ago they were promoting, say, ten and then it was like eight or nine and now it’s down to what we’re only doing four a year, five a year, six year. That’s half a third what they were doing seven to ten years ago.
So if they’re only promoting, let’s even just go high and say five. They’re only promoting five.
They’re not going to promote you every year. It’s impossible. We’ll be back next year. Cool.
But that means every other year we lose that big affiliate. So you got to build the army. It’s just like, we don’t want to do that.
Well, then you want to get left behind. Well, it’s not how we’ve done it for the last seven, eight years. Then you’re going to get left behind.
Like, get with the times. It’s like saying, I don’t want to build a website.
I don’t know if this Internet thing is going to last. Well, it is. I don’t want to run Facebook ads.
Okay, well, then you’re just leaving money on the table. You don’t have to you don’t have to do this if you want to run.
I know many people who are perfectly content. They’re just going to have 20 affiliates and they’re going to run a million dollar launch. Cool.
I’m not arguing with you, but it could be two and a half million. It could be three, it could be four.
And a lot of these people that I know that have done this and that were arguing with me five years ago when I was kind of like a voice in the wilderness talking about this.
Many of them are coaching clients now, and they’re like, yeah, we see it now. Teach us your ways.
So let’s talk about improve. What’s your first improve Jim?
Jim: Well, it has to do with the hot leads and on improving, on qualifying the hot leads.
The reason I say that, Matt, is because you explained a little bit when I mentioned hot leads a while ago, but making sure that you have what you need beforehand to qualify the information that you need.
One of the things was leave cart. I mean, you get to the cart and then you leave it before you actually purchase.
Well, we could have had that capability for this launch, but it would have been a little late because of some of the tweaking they had to do on the back end of it.
So just making sure and improving the qualifying the hot leads, that’s my first improvement that I had down.
Matt: Yeah, that’s very important. Get clear with your tech team. Do it 90 days in advance. You can’t do it.
Do it six months in advance if you want to. We thought we were doing it far enough in advance by doing it roughly a month before, basically it would have been relevant.
We thought that was plenty of lead time. So the lesson there, the improve is no time is too soon to talk about this, whether it’s with a client or whether it’s with your tech team.
Like, tell them five months, six months, eight months in advance. This is what you want to do and it’s better.
We thought a month was plenty of lead time. It turned out not to be. That’s not anybody’s fault. That’s not our fault.
Like, oh, the tech team can’t do this now. They had a bunch of other stuff going on and in retrospect, I wish we told them in April.
So as soon as you can come up with what’s going to be defined as a hot lead and let the tech team know, the better.
A definite improve on our end and this is not an insult to anyone. Please, nobody take it this way.
Never assume a client or never assume that anyone has it all together, that they have everything figured out.
The reality is in a launch or in an evergreen, there are 182 moving parts and guess what?
They’re going to screw up one or two. They’re going to make mistakes, they’re going to make bad decisions, they’re going to whatever.
And if you have an expertise or you have some knowledge, just speak up and say it and ask a lot of questions.
We’ll talk about this later. Like assume ignorance both ways. Oh, there’s a live stream. What’s the live stream?
Tell us about the live stream. How many people are on it? How long is it? Who’s in charge of getting the guests? What technology are you using?
So when you’re off for an hour, what are we doing in that hour? I’m going to give you an example.
We realize this is one of those little things rather than just we had an eight hour live stream.
It was like live for 7 hours, live for three, offer one, live for three. I think it was instead of an hour of dead air, basically, where they actually restarted it.
They were like, hey, see you guys later and then they were gone for an hour and then, hey, I got to come back to a different link.
Or basically the same link, but it’s slightly different or whatever, and we’ll be live again.
What if in that 1 hour we came up with all these ideas? So if we ever do this with clients in the future, this is exactly what we’re doing.
I’ll tell you guys, this is a seven figure strategy right here. Okay? This is so cool.
That hour you go, alright, listen guys, we live for 3 hours. I’m going to be live for another 3 hours at 01:00.
I need a little bit of a break. I’m going to go spend some time with my family and eat some lunch. But listen, we could not have a very special guest on Live Today.
So this is where you prerecord an interview with like, somebody big. So maybe this is Tony Robbins of your industry.
You don’t tell a Tony Robbins you got to be there 03:25 P.m. Eastern Time, or you’re not going to be on this thing.
So you get somebody big and you prerecord it and you can go a little bit longer, whatever and then what you do is you say, guys, we’re going to take about a five minute break.
There’s going to be a video that plays. It’s basically an ad that runs for whatever you’re selling and maybe or some testimonials.
Then, guys, I’ve got some amazing stuff to share with you. What do you share in that 55 minutes?
Otherwise you share some stories, maybe some testimonial videos, but then you have that interview that you pre recorded, or two interviews that you prerecorded, whatever it is, and you play those.
And then about five minutes before the top of the hour, you have some music playing in a countdown timer, or it has a countdown timer.
The pre recorded will be live in five minutes and 17 seconds and it’s a testimonial thing playing.
And then you come back on live and it’s an hour of engaging content.
In fact, it might be the best interview you have, and it’s still quote unquote, live because the only way to watch the interview is to be on live.
But instead of an hour of dead air, you have amazing content for an hour that keeps people engaged, keeps them excited, and then you come back an hour later, you still get your break.
Your tech team gets their break. Everybody gets 1 hour just to chill. You can even tell them, like, we’re not going to be responding to comments or maybe you have one person responding to comments. I don’t know.
It’s just something to give you a break because I’ve done that. I did a six hour live stream once, and I’m telling you about 4 hours. We plan them like 2 hours and 4 hours.
I had to go take a 15 minutes break. I had to go to the bathroom and I had to go lie down for five minutes and just rush my voice in my head.
So you can still do it. But that’s the lesson. I mean, I’m telling you guys, that is not a seven figure a six figure lesson that I just shared with you guys.
Here’s why we didn’t do that. We just assumed that they had everything figured out and if we had just asked the question, we would have been like, hey, what if we do this instead? And it would have been better, much better experience.
All right, so what other improves do you have, Jim?
Jim: I’m going to take it back off of what you just said, and it goes with the communication and the three CS of affiliate marketing.
The first one communication and again, it’s not pointing the finger at anyone.
It’s a matter of relationships, personal, business, doesn’t matter. Early communication, consistent communication, thorough communication, all the things that you mentioned in the previous point, just making sure that everyone is on the same page, asking questions.
Communication is two way, but just improve the communication, do it earlier, be more thorough. You know, all those things that go along with communication.
Matt: Yeah, that’s so true and it’s something I think we’re the best in the world of what we do.
And the cool thing is you’re the best in the world at what you do and still get better.
The fastest man in the world can still get a little bit faster. They didn’t just stop training.
They don’t stop working out. Like they’re still trying to get better.
As an agency, as me as an affiliate manager, me as a leader, I’m always trying to get a little bit better.
I feel like we have a great thing going here. We get massive results for our clients.
Well, if I had known what I know now, I mentioned earlier 300,000 to 1.25 million for Michael Hyatt.
If I’d known then what I know now, I’m going to tell you right now that launched with 1.7 to 1.8 million.
So how is that like does that mean I sucked back then? No, this wasn’t as good as I am now.
I’ve learned a few things that we could have used and I would have stopped it’s.
Like in retrospect, they go, man, we would have done that. That’s why we do these meetings.
Communication is huge. Other improves. You got any more improved Jim?
Jim: It had to do with the hot leads, too and that had to do with the qualifying and the issue we had with that.
But the timing of the hotel’s affiliates, again, and that goes with communication.
Office ties in together and just making sure that you have all that together and getting it to them.
To me, I would like to have gotten those hot leads just a little bit sooner than what they received them. So just improve on that.
Matt: I like that. The first time we ever did it, the hot leads, we sent them late morning of Cart close day.
That’s when we did it. Why did we do it? Because I literally had the idea early morning of Cart close day.
Nobody ever done this. I’ve never seen it done.
I won’t say who that there was an affiliate in this particular launch we’re talking about that’s also a client.
And I joked and said they were asking me about how do you guys do these hot leads.
I said, I’ll tell you what, in our first coaching call, I said, if you guys hit this many sales in our first coaching call, I’ll tell you how we do it.
I was joking. I mean, they’re a coaching client. They pay us a lot of money. I’m going to do it anyway.
But I was just joking with them because nobody is doing hot leads.
We are the only affiliate programs on the face of the earth that I’ve ever seen.
And I’m technically a member of hundreds. I’ve never seen anybody do this.
I hope more people do it because it’s brilliant and I hope affiliate programs that we promote will steal this idea from.
But I’m not sharing this stuff publicly because I don’t want people to steal it.
There’s a lot of stuff I’m not able to share on this podcast that’s reserved for our clients, but this is something I’m sharing publicly.
So stealing, I forgot where I was going with that. But the point is the point is we’re still improving that.
I came up with that the last day of Cart closed five months ago and so this one was like, well, the car closes on Sunday, so we probably need to get these to people on Friday so that it’s not like sending it to them on Sunday.
They might get stuff planned. So they was like, well, maybe we even need to do like Friday morning, not Friday afternoon.
And in retrospect, yeah, I think we teased them this time. That was one thing that we kept mentioning them like, you’re going to get them.
But the more I see this, I’m thinking if car closes on a weekday, I think you get them to them.
So the car closed on a Friday, I’d probably go with Wednesday late afternoon.
If car closed on a Sunday, I’d probably go Thursday, mid afternoon, something like that.
So if car calls on a Thursday, then I probably get them to them on a Tuesday afternoon, something like that, about 48 hours or more in advance.
And one of the things is you can get them to them and then they might not even use them until cart close day because that’s when it really takes effect.
But at least it gives them that option. So good one there. Any other improves the timing of the partner assets?
Jim: Again, just because of sometimes communication gaps, everything going on and stuff.
I would like to improve some of the partner assets that were sent to them, the timing of that.
And it wasn’t anything major, it’s just what you were just talking about earlier, about just getting a little bit better every time in every way.
And it’s just I thought that we could improve on a couple of times there about getting the partner assets to them a little bit more timely.
Matt: I love that. I love that we’re able to talk about this and be open and honest.
Like did we do pretty darn good? Yeah. Because it had been 5% better. Absolutely.
And the cool thing is we’re not satisfied with that. We realized we were about a day late.
This is a six month launch window and we were one day late. And we’re going, d*** it. Don’t like being a day late.
I want to get it out on time. That’s how I view it as like a day later dollar short. Right?
Let’s move on to stop things that we if any more improves, we can talk about in the lessons.
But I want to move on to stop. We talked about things. We’re going to keep things we’re going to improve.
What’s the first thing that you’ve would stop doing based on some stuff we did in this launch?
Jim: What I have. The first one is we had that awesome early bird, and then you have June 10 and Father’s Day.
And I’m not even sure if we can do it here but not take a break. I mean, th did we have to take a break with Father’s Day and June 10 after the early bird?
I wonder if we hadn’t taken a break with that possibly could have done. So does that go to your launch calendar or whatever? I don’t know.
But taking that break, I’ll always have that. I wonder if because of the break that we had.
Matt: Yeah. Holidays and weekends can be killers and while that particular webinar was the best in the history of the company, it’s been going effectively an entire day off.
I’m with you. You don’t know. There’s no way to tell.
When you have a lengthy launch and you want to own a month, name a month without a holiday of significance.
I mean, March has Easter half the time so can’t do March. January is the beginning of the year.
So that kind of you got MLK Day, which is typically that’s a three day weekend.
You can’t do it then, at least with June 10 and Father’s Day, that was on a Sunday, and it was the same day.
It wasn’t a three day weekend. September. You got Labor Day, you got Halloween, maybe October.
If you did it early, when can you do it right? August, you got kids going back to school. Remember Thanksgiving?
When can you do it and not have something? Especially with a longer launch cycle of over three weeks.
I don’t know what that to me. I look at that and go, they’re trying to fit it in, move it back a week and now you got Memorial Day at the beginning, and that’s tough.
So it’s probably just moving, the whole thing and that’s one of those things like, what do you do?
Because then if you move the webinar to Monday, well, then do you lose the momentum from the workshop on Friday to Monday?
And I don’t know. I think that could work. I know why they moved the webinar from Sunday. That made sense.
It was Father’s Day and it was June 10. You just can’t do a webinar on that day.
So was it better on Saturday for the overall launch? Not for the webinar itself?
For the webinar itself, I think it worked great. But for the overall, was it better on Saturday or was it better on Monday?
And the answer is, I don’t know. And it’s really hard to test something like that. It’s interesting.
I’d love to say I have the answer on that. I don’t in this particular case, like, given what we had. I don’t know.
That’s one of those things. Maybe you can test that in a more of a smaller setting with some different launches or different mini launches and test that so I’ll be interested.
We’ll probably test that over the years and start sharing that with people.
A stop that I’ve got is never ever will. I at least I shouldn’t say never ever.
But in the near future, we will not be using Slack as a communication tool for affiliates.
Facebook Group is still the place to be other than email. We tried Slack. I was an experiment.
It was not my idea, but I was on board with it because I don’t like Facebook.
I don’t like the fact that I have to log into Facebook to go see what’s going on with the launch.
And then I get distracted with the ADHD and I’m like, oh, shiny object Cat video.
I don’t watch cat videos. But you get the idea, right? And then I’m reading my friends like, no, I went there for this reason.
At least with Slack, I wasn’t going to have that. But the reality is we lost people just checking in.
They’re checking into Facebook once a day, and they just happened to see an update about the launch and they went, oh yeah, so we lost that.
They either have the app and if they don’t use Slack, most of them use Facebook already 98% of them probably have a Facebook account.
But we forget sometimes as entrepreneurs, like, we use Slack as a team.
I’m in five different Slack teams for clients and our stuff and various things.
I forget that it’s still not as ubiquitous as I believe it is and I know you check in Jim, you check in the Slack 2345 times a day for just our stuff.
I check in three times a day, every single day. I don’t check into Facebook three times a week. But yet not everybody is like me, and I have to just remember that.
So it’s something we tried. I’m glad we tried it. We now know officially that it’s not a good idea, at least for the next few years.
Maybe that will change in 2025 and we’ll revisit it. But Facebook Groups, you still want to have a partner facebook Group, don’t use Slack. That was my stop.
There any other stops from you?
Jim: Not really, but I’ll say something with that. I did actually have Slackfacebook on my proofs about what to do with that.
So you kind of touched on it with improving partner communication and a better way to do that.
So I had it on there just in a different area. But I 100% agree with you on that. But now that’s really about the only thing I have on stop.
Matt: Cool. And then once should we start?
I’ve only got one, and we’ve already touched on a little bit, but I’m curious to hear from you. What should they start doing?
Jim: I mean, Ryan was so thorough and just spending these months around him, learning from him in so many different areas. But the one thing was the tracking spreadsheet.
I mean, we’re already starting to use that with us, but to start using that we have already started using it, but just trying to have and what it did was having a lot of stuff in one place.
Maybe we can work on cutting down some of the tabs or whatever, but still just using that tracking spreadsheet for the affiliates and some other things.
To be able to go to it, find what you need, be able to track it.
You know, communication, I mean, it was very thorough, and I thought it was a really good tool that we’re starting to use, and I really liked it.
Matt: Yeah, this was just basically cleaning up some of the stuff that we’ve done, and we found that the way that they did some of their projections and things was super beneficial.
One of the big ones we touched on earlier, but start this is for affiliate managers, all right?
Over communicate with your client or your employer. Over communicate and ask a lot of questions. Get crystal clear on everything.
Have discussions months and months in advance in crazy detail. So some examples of things that you could discuss right.
This is not talking about this particular promotion, just in general. Okay, so you’re going through the calendar, and it’s a ten day sequence. Right?
And we talked about it says live stream. Okay, how long is the live stream? You should know that five months in advance.
How many guests are there? Who’s responsible for oh, the affiliate manager is responsible for getting a guest. Great.
What are our criteria for that? Are we looking for a mix of genders and races?
Are we looking for they need to be in the top 20 or the projected top 20 How many do we want to go ahead and book right now?
When do we want to book them? Because this is one of those things like there are things like that where the booking stuff can happen months in advance on a percentage of them, and it leaves a lot less work for you to do leading up to it.
So having those conversations, oh, go through. Tell me what every day of the workshop is.
Yeah, there’s a PDF, but let’s have a five minute discussion about really? A five minute discussion about every day of the workshop?
Yes, because if I have that five minute discussion now, I will never have a question later.
And so we used to do a 30 minutes on boarding call with new clients, and then I bumped it up to an hour.
Then it became 90 minutes. Now they’re 2 hours long, and I honestly think that we will probably make them longer.
Imagine, like, the vibe I’m getting when I do our onboarding calls with clients is, I’m coming to your office, and if I come all the way to your office, if I take the time to fly across the country, across the world, are we going to have a two hour meeting?
No, we might meet for 2 hours. And then what are we going to do?
We’re going to go out to lunch and we’re going to continue to talk about it for another 90 minutes.
And then we’re going to go back to the office and we’re going to meet the team, or we’re going to meet the team first, then we’re going to meet for an hour and a half, then we’re going to go to lunch, then we’re going to come back and we’re going to have a whole day.
And I’m not suggesting we do an entire virtual day with our clients, but really a two and a half, three hour meeting where we go through everything and we are so crystal clear.
And I’ll just tell them this is going to reduce the number of questions we have by a factor of 8,7 whatever.
So getting crystal clear and everything. If you’re an affiliate manager, you need to know everything about the products.
Like, you need to know if it’s you need to know the launch schedule. You need to know everything.
Take that time to do that significantly more in advance and I felt like our onboarding call for this was probably the most detailed we’ve ever had, and it still fell way short, and that’s on us.
It’s why our onboarding calls now we have to take a break. Halfway through. We’re exhausted at the end of it.
I don’t do any other calls. Those days, for me, spending 3 hours on zoom is just exhausting. But it is so important.
We just did one recently. It was the first one we did.
It was like that more, and I’m telling you right now, it’s like, oh, my gosh, everything was so much better. So that was huge.
So any other starts from you, bud?
Jim: No. I mean, you covered that I mentioned it about it just boils down to communication. But no, nothing right now.
Matt: That’s it awesome. Any other lessons you got from this that we want to share, Jim?
Jim: Nothing really specific. It’s just I touched on my last point but just Ryan and his team about how good they are. What they do. How thorough they are.
And just how blessed I am in the learning experience that I have with the job that I have.
Whether it’s spending time with you or the clients or whatever. When you get a little older.
You start looking at the blessings of life and it’s a blessing because we work with people, I guess, from every continent except Antarctica.
Matt: Yes. Affiliates, for sure. But clients. We’ve had clients. North America. South Claire was in Argentina, europe. Australia, definitely.
I know we haven’t had one in Africa. I don’t know if we’ve ever had a client in Asia.
Technically, we have team members in Asia, but I’m trying to think of the infillates, but I don’t know if you’ve ever actually had a client who lives in Asia.
So we got four clients in four continents. That’s kind of cool.
Jim: So you’re talking about that lesson is just look at the opportunity of affiliate marketing is and how blessed we are to be able to be involved in it with all the people we get to work with and help and serve and all those things like that.
So is that a lesson or not? I don’t know. It’s just something that I look on that I’m very thankful for.
Matt: I love that. I have a couple of lessons real quick that I’ll share from this.
Number one, the lesson fear moves faster than hope and we’ve talked about this in our team meetings a bunch lately.
In the middle of this particular launch, the stock market crashed. I believe it killed sales immediately, even though it’s recovered and will continue to recover.
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The one thing you have to keep in mind when you’re planning your offers and thinking about your business, people react much slower to recovery and much slower to hope, and they react much lower to good news than they do to fear, to bad news, into downturns.
They react overnight to those things, to good news. They typically react much slower.
And we even see this like, this isn’t a political thing that you see this with, COVID it’s like overnight we went into lockdown mode and we reacted very quickly to the bad stuff.
And I believe that when things started to get much better, that people tended to react very slowly to that.
Others would argue we probably reacted too fast. That’s neither here nor there, but it’s definitely true.
Economically, when you look at when do people hire, oh, there’s an economic downturn, lay off 20% right now, and then the economy is recovered for six months, and they still haven’t hired any of that 20% back.
It’s like, well, we’re just being cautious about it, really. You don’t have to hire all 20% back. You think you can hire 5% back, like, start the hiring process.
So fear moves faster than hope, and people react much slower to good news than bad news.
Just know that. Know that we talked about this earlier as a team, that even when things have recovered, your messaging still might have to be around that economic downturn.
And we’re reacting to the economic downturn months after it’s actually recovered.
Psychology and economics are different fields for a reason. They’re different fields for a reason.
So economically, I can look at this objectively and go, the economy has recovered or it’s in recovery.
People aren’t going to react to that for months, I can assure you and the second thing is, for those of you out there, if you hire an affiliate manager, assume they know nothing.
This goes back to what I said earlier. I’m going to assume the client knows nothing, and I’m going to ask such stupid questions.
They’re going to think that I’d rather them think, oh my gosh, did we hire the right affiliate manager and go out and crush it for them.
Then try to be like the smartest guy in the room and end up looking like a doofus six months later.
In other words, assume ignorance both ways and discuss things in advance.
So assume that your affiliate manager knows nothing. If you hire an affiliate manager, assume that they aren’t an expert.
Don’t treat them like an idiot. That’s not what I’m talking about.
But don’t just say, okay, here’s the schedule and we got to go. Okay, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
And by the way, we have 50 slots for webinars, and your job is to fill those 50 slots, and here’s the order in which we want to fill them.
I know you may think that you should fill them in this order, but no, it’s actually this order.
Oh, well, here’s the launch starts on this date, but I’ve had to make sure, I assume that our affiliate managers know nothing.
I don’t think, Jim, that you feel like I’m treating you like you’re an imbecile.
Yeah, he’s shaking his head. You don’t feel that way.
You just know that I’m covering my basis to make sure that I would rather waste a minute of your life explaining to you in depth something than have you.
It’s not about avoiding mistakes. I want you to make mistakes.
I just don’t want you to make mistakes that I easily could have prevented in a minute of time.
I want you to fail a lot and screw up and learn lessons the hard way because you tried something and it didn’t work, awesome.
But if I can say and assume that you know nothing and teach you something and make sure that everything’s understood, it’s a much better position.
So if you hire an affiliate manager, just assume they know nothing. So, Jim, man, thank you for doing this.
This has been awesome. I know I got a few things out of it that we’ve talked about, but honestly, I had forgotten.
So I’m excited to continue to improve our agency and keep getting better and serving our clients better and better every single day.
So thank you for doing this, buddy. I’ve enjoyed it.
Jim: Thanks a lot, Matt. Thanks for having me on.
So there you have it, a behind-the-scenes look at one of the biggest affiliate launches of the year.
As I mentioned earlier, if you got questions about this, questions about anything else, you’re interested in working with us, either in a coaching relationship or having us run your affiliate program for you.
Text me at 260-217-4619. That’s 260-217-4619. Make sure if you haven’t already, that you hit subscribe.
Make sure you hit subscribe because you do not want to miss the next episode.
We’re going to talk about the importance of getting personal in your affiliate promotions.
This is going to apply whether you’re an affiliate or you’re running an affiliate program.
Because if you’re running an affiliate program, this is a lesson you’re going to want to share with your affiliates.
So make sure you hit subscribe and come back from that. If you haven’t yet, make sure you leave a rating and review.
We would really appreciate that. It helps us to reach more people and it will make you feel good about yourself.
So hope you got a ton out of this episode. I’d love to hear from you again. You can text me at 260-217-4619.
I’d love to hear what you got out of this episode and we’ll see you in the next one.