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Wow! Can you believe it? 500 episodes! Today, we’re turning the tables and I’m getting interviewed for my own podcast. In celebration of my 500th episode, I’m answering all kinds of questions about the past, the present, and the future of affiliate marketing and this podcast.

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Previous Episodes of The Affiliate Guy

My Dream Client: Interview with Dean Graziosi

How to Become an Affiliate Manager

The Power of the Dream 100 with Dana Derricks

How to Use Pinterest for Affiliate Marketing

10 Ways to Get Your Affiliates Fired Up Before a Launch or Promo

How to Provide Great Swipe Copy for Your Affiliate Program

The Evolution of Affiliate Marketing – The Past, Present, And Future

Wow. Can you believe it? 500 episodes…..!

Today we’re turning the tables, and I’m getting interviewed for my own podcast.

In celebration of my 500th episode, I’m answering all kinds of questions about the past, the present, in the future of affiliate marketing, and this podcast.

So as I mentioned at the top, we’re celebrating today 500 episodes. Like, oh, my goodness.

We’ve been at this for a long time, over five years, and we’ve done over well now 500 episodes, which is just crazy. It’s crazy.

So first of all, thank you. We’ve had more than 2.6 million downloads.

I talked about this in the episode, and how that actually happened.

It didn’t happen as most people think. This podcast was not an immediate success.

A lot of this was recorded in the wilderness, so to speak. But over time, it grew, and it’s become a thing.

2.6 million. Listens, 500 episodes just blown away.

So thank you to everyone who has played a role in this. I’ll mention some specific names in the end.

So in celebration of this 500th episode, we want to do something a little bit different.

I don’t know a couple of months ago, I asked Robby Miles on our team to interview me.

He is our operations manager. And I just said, you know what?

I don’t want to know the questions in advance.

I want you to come up with some great questions to ask me, in part, to celebrate this 500th episode, but also to provide some great content.

I didn’t see the questions in advance. So there were a couple where I was just like as he’s asking them, I’m going, oh, my goodness.

I don’t know how many answers, but we managed.

And so it’s a raw interview, very behind the scenes, so to speak. Pretty interesting.

It was kind of interesting where he led some of the conversations, and it was a lot of fun.

And I think it gives us some insight into where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going in affiliate marketing.

So I hope you enjoy it. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed actually doing the interview.

So with no further due, we’ll keep the celebration going. Let’s cut to how do we say this?

My interview with Robby Miles. I guess Robby Miles is an interview with me, however, you want to look at that.

So let’s cut right to it.

Robby: Hey, everybody. Welcome to episode 500 of the Affiliate Guy podcast.

I’m so excited about this. I know I’m probably one of the few people who’s listened to over 473 of these podcast episodes.

Matt: I’m offended not all 499.

Robby: No, not yet. There are still a few stacked up in the queue.

So today we’ve got an awesome episode with The Affiliate Guy himself, Matt McWilliams, celebrating episode 500.

I know he is so thankful for all of you listening.

Matt, it’s so great to have a chance to interview you again.

Matt: Yeah, this is kind of cool. I think we’ve done this once before where I’ve been interviewed on my own podcast.

It’s always been for special occasions. I think we did it like episode 300 or something.

So probably do this a little bit more. We’ll see. I guess maybe I might hate this. I don’t know. We’ll see.

Robby: So for everybody listening, I’m Robby Miles. I’ve worked with Matt for a while now.

I’ve got a list of questions that Matt has not seen yet, so it’s my chance to kind of surprise him with a few things and give you the behind-the-scenes look at the Affiliate Guide podcast.

So let’s get started.

To get started with affiliate marketing the right way, download my free quickstart guide to affiliate marketing. Grab your copy here!

I was doing some math this morning, and you’ve recorded over 200 hours of some of the best online marketing content and training that is available, and you’ve given it all away for free.

So I was thinking it was like somebody could listen to you talk for eight days straight without stopping.

I don’t know why they would do that, but they could.

Matt: I think in some countries, that’s considered punishment actually cruel and unusual, but I think it’s unconstitutional to do that.

Well, I would appreciate the increased downloads.

I mean, I know we’re into the millions now. I would love to download numbers.

If you want to do that, that’s great but I do think that that would be cruel and unusual punishment.

Robby: So my question for you is, what made you decide to start this podcast and then stick with it for 500 episodes?

Matt: Wow. So the start, it was just kind of a natural byproduct of a couple of things.

Number one is my personal learning style.

I’m an auditory learner, and I know we talked about that as a team a lot, and I’ve talked about that on the show.

That being an auditory learner. I’m also an auditory communicator, meaning, you know this, Robby.

I don’t like typing messages and even like, text and slack messages are usually voice-to-text, which creates some very entertaining typos from time to time.

So that was number one. It’s just the way that I communicate best is in an auditory format.

The second reason is it’s a very personal form of communication.

Literally, if you think about it most of the time, I would say 95% of the time I listen to an audiobook or to a podcast. I’ve got earbuds in.

I spend very little time listening to those types of things. Without your budget, there’s too much other noise going on, or I want to be able to focus on what I’m listening to.

And because of that, it’s literally you’re in people’s heads.

And I know that it’s so weird to think about that, but you’re in their head.

The earbuds are scientifically. They’re like, three inches from the brain.

So it’s an intimate form of communication and then it’s a way of spreading the message.

It’s a way of getting the information out there that people need.

I know we’ve talked about this internally like, our clients, coaching clients, our agency clients, our buyers, overwhelmingly, “Matt, I started listening to your podcast. “I heard you on the podcast.”

I was talking to a guy today. He’s a prospective coaching client, and he said he’s like, “Man, I love that episode.”

I was like, “Which one?”

He was like, “the one that you released, like, two weeks ago.”

I was like, I don’t know which one that is and he’s telling me that.

He’s like, “oh, my gosh.”

The impact that it’s had is people going full time, taking the leap, doing things that have been kind of scary for them, and getting the information they need.

It’s crazy to think of the different types of people that listen to it from the beginner learning how to make $1,000, make their first grand, to the call I had just a few months ago with Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi’s team, Tanner is like, man,

“I listen to your podcast, Love your podcast. I’d love to work with you.”

And that’s crazy when you think about it. You’re like, that’s a pretty broad spectrum of people.

So that’s why I started it.

Why have I stuck with it?

Why would we do another 500-plus episode?

I mean, I don’t know. We’ll probably get to episode 3000 at some point.

Number one, it’s my personality.

I don’t start stuff with the intention of quitting it.

My personality is if I start something, I’m going to finish it. Sometimes it’s irrational.

I will keep beating my head against the wall until something works.

And the reality is, in the first 100 or so episodes, I didn’t realize this until the spring of 2019.

I was like, I wonder how many downloads I actually have. I didn’t know. I had no idea.

And we were at episode 275, and I literally was like, 187 past a million.

I’m like, oh, cool. That’s amazing.

I was at a conference, and we were talking about downloads.

Like, guys, I just passed a million downloads, like, yesterday.

I had no idea. This is amazing.

It had taken me the last time I had checked, I was at, like, 280,000, and that was only, like, 75 episodes before that.

So it had taken me, like, 260 episodes to get to 280,000, and then only another, like, 54 episodes or 72 episodes or something to get to a million.

And then it was like, another 160 to get to too many.

It was great. The acceleration is crazy. Most people give up in the first 100.

That’s why Seth Godin actually has a filter for being on a podcast.

Little known factor, I interviewed him for episode 400.

I reached out to him, and my entire message was, I’m doing my 400th episode.

Would you like to be the guest?

And he said, Absolutely.

His filter is, do you have 100 episodes?

If you have 100 episodes, he will be on your podcast, assuming that it’s remotely a good fit for him to be on there.

He will be on your podcast if you get 100 episodes.

Why?

Because he knows that 99.9% of all podcasts that are started will never hit 100 episodes.

Most actually don’t hit seven, I heard.

So if you hit 100 episodes, he knows even if you have small numbers, you’re a dedicated podcaster and you’re going to do a good interview and he’s going to get value out of it.

So for me, it really is that personality thing, like, I’m going to keep going no matter what then.

Secondly, I knew that if I fought through the first couple of hundreds we’d start to see the fruits of our labor because I don’t think we got a single client from the first 200.

But you can’t have a 201st episode if you don’t have 200 and I don’t think we got a single client from the first 200.

We’re getting clients left and right now from our content. So that’s why that’s great.

Robby: I know. It was great that you brought up those early episodes, because when you first started, it was the affiliate guy daily, and we would get six or seven-minute episodes, and it was just like that quick action tip.

It was always something you could act on right away.

So what prompted you to change that rhythm, and how has it been more effective?

Matt: All right, this is kind of like the behind-the-scenes things, like the real honest answers.

I didn’t want to do a daily podcast anymore. It was hard.

Like, I would batch record 15 episodes, and that’s only two weeks’ worth of content. It was really difficult.

I also felt like it didn’t allow for some of the longer form content.

When you do a daily episode, it’s really hard to do a 30 to 45 minutes interview with somebody like Seth Godin or Dean Graziosi or whoever, because it just doesn’t fit.

You look at the times like seven minutes, eleven minutes, ten minutes, twelve minutes, and 57 minutes. What? and it threw everything off.

While I even teach this, I teach it to my book, by the way, coming out January 10, 2023. Make sure you pre-order before that.

We’ll have details coming out. Turn your passions into profits.

I talked about it in the last step. It’s a ten-step book. The Last Step is all about content creation.

One thing they talk about is that if you want to create more content, take seven steps and turn it into seven episodes or seven videos or seven blog posts, and you have seven pieces of content.

Like, if you’re really struggling, take ten and turn it into ten different things. I felt like, wow, that was great.

Sometimes the bigger picture connections were missed when you had to go from episode to episode.

How number three tied into number five, and how that also worked with number six, if you did it right, got missed.

And so I just decided, you know what, let’s just do an episode.

I think we moved initially, I think I moved twice a week, and that allowed me to have a little bit longer form.

And then, quite frankly, it’s one of the things, if you go back to the archives, you said over 200 hours, probably, even more, I would think. I don’t know.

That 1st, 50 hours, that’s a lot and there’s a lot in there.

And so it allowed us to kind of sink my teeth into some deeper content, some bigger concepts, and expand upon things, Robby.

And that was in addition to that, I didn’t feel rushed, and I felt like if I needed to take 20 minutes to really explain a concept in three different directions, I could.

Versus that daily format, I was just like it was like, boom, boom, boom, done. And there wasn’t as much depth to it.

Robby: So take us back to 2017 when the podcast got started.

Like, what’s the state of affiliate marketing and how have things changed in online business?

And what seems to be those unchanging truths that just keep going.

Matt: It’s still very much a game of principles.

It’s an industry that’s based on proven strategies that evolve over time.

And so it’s like a lot of industries. It’s like a lot of businesses.

There’s a combination of, here are the things that work, and you follow the principles, you follow the playbook, but you also innovate, and you also react to things like changing legislation.

In my experience, I started in 2005.

My first big exposure to, like, oh, my gosh, there are changes happening in the affiliate landscape that is dramatically affecting the industry was the advent of social media.

When social media became a thing, when Facebook became a thing, like a real big thing between 2009-2010.

The next big one was when the FTC came through.

They finally figured out, after the Internet being around, like, I think the government finally caught up to the entire rest of the world and said, I think this Internet thing is going to stick around.

I think maybe people are going to use it to run businesses.

This is 2010, and we now have what we call an FTC disclosure, where you disclose that you have a material connection to a company, that you get a commission, et cetera, et cetera.

And we think, well, that’s a different law. That’s a new law.

That’s actually not a new law. The law has been around since Teddy Roosevelt was president.

All they did was finally figure out after 16 years of companies building billions of billion dollar businesses online, that we should probably explain what that means in terms of the Internet.

Well, that was a huge thing because all of a sudden you couldn’t disclose that you were an affiliate anymore.

You had to disclose, and that was a big thing.

We had to educate our affiliates.

Then the next big thing was the Nexus laws.

If you haven’t been around affiliate marketing for more than about seven years, you probably don’t even know what that means.

But there was a period of time when the government realized, like, hey, we’re not collecting any money on Internet sales.

And these local companies were going, hey, wait a minute.

We sell widgets, and Amazon sells widgets, and they don’t have to pay sales tax.

And so the government loses out in the states are like, yeah, that kind of sucks.

But some states were like, we’re not going to charge sales tax, and others were like, we are.

And so it became this thing where now you’ve got to figure out, companies are reacting well, how do we charge sales tax in some states but not others?

And so they were kicking out affiliates in New York, Rhode Island, and a couple of other states because they just didn’t want to deal with it.

Because the government was saying, if you have an affiliate in New York, you have a nexus there.

Well, then fast forward a few more years and Amazon became so big that they have warehouses in every state, so they have a nexus in every state, so who cares?

But there are still other companies that they only have one nexus.

Their headquarters are in Salt Lake City, Utah.

But they’ve got affiliates here and they got affiliates there.

Then there was a whole push for just having a federal sales tax on Internet sales that would be distributed to the states, and that never actually happened.

I still support that just because I think it’s the weirdest thing.

I know for me, saying I support any kind of federal tax, who knows? I know that’s just weird.

Not to get political, but I actually believe it’s what’s best for affiliate marketing, and I believe it’s what would just codify the whole thing, and we wouldn’t have some states doing it, and the technology would be so much easier and let them figure it out.

But that’s a whole different thing.

So that was the next evolution because all of a sudden I couldn’t work with affiliates in certain states.

Before, I didn’t care where you lived. Now I did.

Robby just to go through that’s, just three examples of, like, boom. 2009, 2010, 2011, boom, boom.

Three massive changes in succession.

When I went like four years with going, it’s all the same, but the principles were still the same in terms of how you promote a product.

And all the things that we’ve taught over 500 episodes.

Like, you can go back, I’m just going to pick an episode, episode 17 I guarantee you what I taught them I don’t even know what it is.

What I taught them still applies today, and it will apply in five years, regardless of any law changes or trends or anything like that.

The principles that apply to email marketing, most of them carry over to social media marketing.

There are some caveats, and we’ve done episodes on that.

So when there’s a new social media network that’s maybe I don’t know, it’s not video-based, it’s not picture-based, it’s not whatever based.

Like the same principles are going to apply, though.

And I think if you learn the principles and you really solidify them, then it allows you to be able to react when there are nuanced changes.

And when TikTok came out and it was like, how do you do I just did a whole podcast on how do you do affiliate marketing on TikTok, right?

Go back and listen to that if you want to know.

Here’s the reality:

The nuance, if you listen closely, is tiny.

Like, how do you do affiliate marketing on TikTok versus Instagram versus Facebook?

It’s very similar. There are slight nuances.

And so if you know the principles, though, then there’s going to be six other social media networks to come out in the net next ten years.

Who would have thought TikTok would become a thing? Two years ago. Three years ago.

Like, really?

We’re already done.

We got all the social media. Oh, wait, there’s a new one.

It’s just a fly-by-night. I think now it’s kind of big.

It’s probably going to be around for another minute or seven, and they’ll figure that out.

There’s going to be something else. I guarantee you.

I can go out on a limb and say 100% sure there will be a new social media that hits critical mass in the next three years.

It’s going to happen.

Critical mass means 50,000 or more daily users. It will happen.

If you get the principles down, then you can react to that very quickly.

Robby: So what advice would you give to somebody who is either just starting their business or starting their affiliate program?

I mean, you’re talking about timeless principles.

Is the b*** snipping monkey still relevant?

Matt: Yes, he is.

I’ve been using that one for 25 years.

I’ve been describing affiliate marketing that way for about ten.

For those of you who don’t know, go search the podcast.

I guarantee you if you search the word but the sniffing monkey, b*** sniffing, by the way, it’s a Hyphenated word. Just type monkey.

Probably the only time I’ve done that episode, you’ll get the principle of that.

Because that is a principle. Like, that is a principle of it.

So what advice would I give to somebody who’s, like, looking did you say looking to get into it?

Robby: Somebody who’s either just starting their business or just starting up their affiliate program.

What’s your advice?

Matt: I’m going to answer that from three different ways that I sort of interpreted what you asked as starting their business.

Number one, you got to monetize from day one, and we’ve talked about that so much.

Like, you got to at least attempt to monetize.

I only got 22 people that come to my site. Great.

Monetize one of them, right? Market to those 22.

Because if you can market to 22, you can market to 220. You can market to 2200. You can mark it as 22,000. You market at 220,000.

But if you keep waiting and waiting and waiting, oh, I got to wait twice.

A thousand people, 500 people wait until I have been in blogging for a year, producing content for a year before I try to monetize. That’s just dumb.

Not only are you, like, psychologically, not only are you just ruining the mindset that you need to have as running a business, and you’re basically just running an expensive hobby.

Secondly, I would much rather market, I wish I could go back sometimes where it’s like, I got like, 57 people.

Let me go try this stupid thing and see if it works. Well, it didn’t work.

The whole darn 57 people realized I’m a moron. Who cares?

Now it’s like I’m gun shy about a lot of things.

I’m less willing to try things, and I’m one of the most I feel like I’m in the top 10% of innovation, and I’m also in the top, like, 5% of least risk-averse people you’ll ever meet.

We go into our financial advisor, and he’s like, could just plot on here where you are in the risk of I’m like, I’m over here of the page.

I’m willing to lose. When the stock market goes down 20% of, like, whatever, I know it’s going to go back up.

Like, I’m willing to do that. I’m not one of those people who goes into full panic mode about those things.

And even then, as the list has gotten bigger and the audience has grown and the reputation has increased, I get a little bit like, well,

should we do that? I don’t know what I would do six years ago versus what I would do today. It’s a little bit different.

There are things that I might not be willing to talk about or marketing methods I might not be willing to try because I’m scared they’re not going to work.

So when you’re starting out, monetize, just make something, promote something.

The easiest way to do that, of course, is affiliate marketing.

You don’t have to create anything. You can sign up, and you can be promoted by tomorrow afternoon.

You don’t have to have a warehouse.

You don’t have to have any intellectual property whatsoever.

You don’t have to come up with a bad idea.

Most products, when they first start, are bad, so you can promote other people’s stuff.

If you’re just starting an affiliate program, you’re starting out.

That’s the other thing, is starting an affiliate program when you’re first starting out.

I used to think you should wait to start an affiliate program.

I disagree with the younger version of myself because here’s the deal.

I didn’t wait very long to start an affiliate program.

Now, I started an affiliate program out of desperation because we spent all of our money on other forms of marketing that didn’t work.

So what do I recommend?

I recommend that you start an affiliate program within your first few months.

Are you going to get big affiliates?

No.

Are you going to build a million dollars a month affiliate program in less than 18 months, as I did?

Probably not.

It was a different time back then.

Could you build a $100,000 a month affiliate program within that time?

Absolutely.

Could you be doing $10,000 a month and be full-time with your business within six months?

Absolutely.

Are you going to be a multimillionaire within the first couple of years?

Probably not.

But if you start soon again, you get to make small mistakes.

You go get an affiliate, and then you have him do some stuff, and you screw stuff up.

That’s what I do with my first ten affiliates.

I screwed stuff up.

Most of them stuck around, and a couple of them left.

But then when I got the next ten, I didn’t screw nearly as much stuff up.

The next ten, I screwed up almost nothing.

And now the reality is, while we do make some process mistakes and things like that, I very rarely make mistakes with our affiliates because I made them all.

That’s the reason why.

It’s not because I’m smart or because I’m something special or anything like that, because I’ve literally made all the mistakes already, and I share them on the podcast.

So when I tell you here are the seven ways to do something, the ten ways to grow your affiliate program, the three keys to finding affiliates or stuff like that, I’m telling you the three keys because

I tried 32 others, and they didn’t work. They were bad ideas.

And over 17 years of doing this, I came up with the three that actually worked the best.

Looking for some good affiliate programs to promote? Check out our recommended affiliate programs here!

Recommended affiliate programs

Robby: All right, so let’s shift gears a little bit from looking at the episodes, and I want you to share a few of your favorite client success stories over the past five years, and how have those successes changed your business?

Matt: I had one just the other day.

So all of our clients, signed an NDA sign-on disclosure, so we don’t share sensitive information.

There’s some stuff I won’t share, clearly, but Allan Rubin, one of our clients, coaching brand new coaching, I had her first call every day. It tickled me.

Alan is an older gentleman who’s been around for a while, and we got about 45 minutes in the call, and I said something, and he just said, wow.

He’s like this. Oh, my goodness.

And he was just, like, blown away.

And we were wrapping up the call two, three minutes ago, and I’m just kind of reminding him what the action items are.

We do a recap, like, okay, so here’s what we talked about.

Here’s the problem we solved on this call.

And here are your action items, and here are my action items.

Because as a coach, sometimes there are things I need to follow up.

Like, I’m going to get you this and this.

And he just said, I got to tell you, I got more out of this past hour than I have gotten in the years of courses and everything else that we’ve been through.

This is a guy I know for a fact that spent but based on the courses, he said, this guy spent thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars on courses.

Like, I got more in the last hour than I’ve gotten from everything else combined.

And I’m like, that’s a cool success story. He has to implement it.

This was literally, like, last Thursday, earlier this week, I think.

I can’t remember because of what some stuff Robby, you know what’s going on?

Personally, I’ll just share with everybody as we’re recording this, like, our house just flooded, and we don’t have AC, and it’s been kind of a crazy week with the weather and all that.

So it’s been a little chaotic.

So my weeks and days are running together a little bit, but it might have been earlier this week even.

It’s just crazy to hear those kinds of things.

But other success stories, like client success stories.

Michael Hyatt years ago, we took over a very small affiliate program.

And it was the first one where we took over.

And we felt confident enough for me to kind of come in and say, here’s what we’re going to do.

Don’t ask questions. Just let me do the thing that we do.

And we took over a program that had about 35, 40 affiliates and had done, like, a little bit under 3000.

And we did what we do. We built an army of small affiliates.

I’ve done five to ten episodes where I talk about the value of this and why it works.

And I’ve shared the numbers all across this podcast.

I won’t rehash that here, but we built an army of small affiliates.

We had over 500 affiliates make a sale in that launch. Not over 500 affiliates.

We had over 1000 affiliates. We had over 500 affiliates make a sale and I shared the numbers.

I think it was like only 14% of sales came from our top three affiliates.

Something like 18% from the top ten. There are crazy numbers.

These are numbers that did not exist back then. They’re starting to exist more.

And we did a launch. It was just unreal.

And of course, everybody was over the moon, and it worked.

That was one of my biggest success stories because it was like, I knew this model worked.

I just need an opportunity to prove it. And it did.

Another one that comes to mind.

Very first book launch I ever did. Jeff Goins.

So Jeff calls me up and he’s like, hey, I got this book launch coming, like, three months from now.

Can you run it?

I’m like, Okay. When is it again?

It’s like, less than three months.

I’m like, that does not provide much time, but I start kind of running the numbers, and who can we get? Blah, blah, blah, doing this, kind of do the math.

And so he says, hey, about 60 days out, we agreed to work together.

About 30 days out, I need to let the publisher know how many books I’m going to sell. I said 15,000.

He’s like, My last book sold, like, 3000 copies.

Yeah, but I got us a bunch of affiliates.

You got us some big affiliates. I know how this is going to go, Jeff.

We’re going to sell 15,000. Like, I can’t tell them 15,000. Like, yes, you can tell them 15.

I can’t tell them 15,000, Jeff, tell them 15,000, or I’m not working with you.

I need you thinking we’re going to do 15,000.

We did 22,000 pre-orders.

That was awesome. That was a fun thing.

I remember I got the numbers the next day.

The next day after lunch, we flew to San Diego for an eight-day vacation, and I landed in San Diego, and I got a text, and it just said $22,000.

And I was like, boom.

I was like, Are we going to beat 20? Because we knew we were hitting 15.

We already had, like, 16 going into the last day of the pre-order campaign.

Busted through our goal and like, Are we going to hit 20?

Can we hit 20? And I got 20. Yes.

And then the last one that comes to mind was coaching, actually.

So two where we ran it to coaching last November, working with Jeff Walker’s team, and we helped them get ready for the launch, and then again, bought into that new model.

They’ve seen us do it with Michael.

They’ve seen us do it with Stu.

Let’s turn your customers into affiliates, those PLF owners into affiliates.

Let’s really work with the small affiliates, not be so reliant on our big guys.

And they ended up having a bunch of new affiliates come in, add more affiliates than they’ve ever had, make sales, and that was a huge win.

I ended up having, I think, the second-best launch ever.

And this is the guy that invented the product launch, so that was a huge win.

It’s really cool to see and, like, again, proving that model, that it can work for anybody is really exciting for me.

Robby: I love that.

I’m almost curious if you’ve got an advanced copy of my questions here because my next question is all about how you’ve talked for years and years?

And, like, the thing to hang your hat on is that affiliate army.

So you shared a little bit of it on it already, but can you share?

Matt: I really did it Can we be honest that you did not tell me?

I had no idea what any of the questions the title of the episode was that’s all I knew.

Robby: Yeah, my questions are in my local Notes folder on my computer. None of this cloud business.

So can you share a little bit about what you think this army of affiliates idea looks like going into the future and what are other predictions you have for the future of affiliate marketing?

Matt: I mean, I think the importance of the army is only trending in that direction, not only because the big names are buying in, but because the reality is it used to be that you could build an affiliate program on 20 of your best buds and you’d have 15 or 17 of them promoting every year.

And you could build it on that.

Like you knew every affiliate by name. You knew every detail about them.

That is not the model that works going forward.

The people who run their affiliate programs that way. I have inside information on this.

I’ve seen it, this is not me saying my way is better because it’s my way.

The reason why this way was better, just to be clear, is because I accidentally did it.

I didn’t have a choice I didn’t set out to do.

If I could have built an affiliate program with 20 people, Robby in 2005, 2007 that area when I was and done a million dollars a month, I would have done it.

I just want to be clear, I would have done it and I would have been like, yes.

I only got to work with 20 people and do a million dollars.

We had to work with 1000 people to make a million bucks a month.

We worked with a bunch of small employees.

I didn’t do it because I wanted to.

We had no other choice.

I couldn’t get the big ones.

We didn’t have the money, we didn’t have the reputation.

We were not in a position to do that.

So I did it by necessity, not because I’m some sort of genius who came up with this.

But then I started noticing that it was working for other people that we taught it to and we helped more and more people do it and it was like oh, and then people started asking me to coach and I would help them do it.

And then we started running these programs and then by 2013 14 I had codified this and said this is the way to do it.

I’m going to build programs this way better work or I’m going to really look like an idiot.

And it worked like, well then this has to be right.

So I just want to be clear on that.

I don’t blame anybody for the way they don’t.

But anyway, going back to what I’m saying as I see it on the inside.

We come in and we look at programs, we take over programs and it’s like they’ve been down four straight years.

Why have they been down four straight years?

Because they’ve added no new affiliates, but they lost one affiliate every year or two affiliates.

And when you only have 25 or 30 big affiliates and you lose two, that’s huge.

You lose your biggest affiliate. That’s huge.

I look at Michael Hyatt and go back to that.

We lost three of the top five affiliates from the previous year.

Still, 4X’d launch over 4X’d because we built an army.

So when you have 500 affiliates and you lose ten, even if it’s your entire top ten, we lost our entire top ten.

Sales would have gone up and still would have gone up the next year because we would have picked up more than enough from the others.

Let’s just say that would have cost if you lose your entire top ten most the way people been doing it prior to the last few years, that was 95%, 98% of your sales.

That’s a big deal.

So I just don’t like putting myself in that situation.

It’s very similar to, like, talking about investing.

I don’t want to put all of my funds into five stocks or even 20 stocks.

Like, we are invested in literally, technically, we have a certain amount of money in every single stock on the entire NYSE, Nasdaq, and I think probably even, like, the European Exchange.

Then we’ve got like a ton of money internationally, developing markets, real estate, like you name it, it’s all over the place.

Because then if anything, one of those or even two or three of those crash.

It sucks, but we’re still going to be all right.

What I’m seeing is the biggest trend with that is it’s just moving more and more in that direction.

The market is becoming more and more saturated in a good way.

The big players are becoming like five years ago, a big player might have been able to suck up, say, 10% of the market. Now it’s only 7%.

That means they have 3% less affiliate sales than they can make.

For somebody to grow a massive list and then you go get them as an affiliate is less and less likely.

Number one, lists are getting there are more people with smaller lists than there used to be.

There are more people who have two, three, and 4000 people than there ever have been before.

And people are being more selective about what they subscribe to.

So that means it used to be you have, like, five people in a niche with 100,000 people on their list.

Now you’ve got 100 people with 5000 people.

That’s not exact, but you get the idea, right?
And so now you got to have even more of them to equal that.

And then the other thing is, the big people are doing less affiliate promotions.

They used to do eight or ten a year, and it was a very saturated market.

Now they’re being more selective. So they’re doing six.

Well, that’s two to four less times a lot of people. So you have to build that army.

And the best way to build that army, turn your customers into affiliates.

Number two, go out and find people that have promoted your competitors.

Go through our course, Find Affiliates now.

Literally, it’s the course we use internally. We talk about it.

We’re going to FAN this. We got to go FAN. Find Affiliates Now.

We will have our team do the exact process that we teach and find affiliates now to go find affiliates now for our clients and for our own stuff.

And the process works. And that’s how you build that army.

And so the process is not changing. I will say this.

It’s becoming more and more relevant and more and more important every single year that passes.

I would be willing to bet that the top ten affiliates for our clients, were only upwards of 30% of the total amount of sales.

For a lot of people, they were 90% but I bet every year that goes down to 3%.

Robby: Well, Matt, this has been awesome.

I’ve got one last question that I’ll let you end.

So what does the future hold for the Affiliate Guy podcast in your business?

Where are you taking us over the next 500 episodes?

Matt: I don’t know.

I know where I’m taking us over about the next 50.

That’s about as far as I’ve gotten. And that’s amazing for us.

But we’ve actually got I haven’t even told you this, Robby.

I’ve got every podcast episode at the end of this year planned out.

Most of them are titled we’ll do our annual holiday series in late October to November and that will be different this year.

We’ve done it for five years and we did the first three were very similar.

We talked about specifically affiliate marketing and the first two were affiliate marketing.

Then we did a year where we did it from an affiliate program standpoint.

This past year, we kind of did it like a hybrid where it’s like, here’s a lesson in how it applies as an affiliate and as affiliate manager.

This year we’re going to do something even a little bit more different and we’ll see how that goes.

That’s always very popular. We’ll do our annual predictions episode.

We got content planned out. Actually through the end of this year.

I’ve already got over two-thirds of next year’s podcast episodes planned out.

So, guys, it’s some amazing content, like some stuff that I am so excited to share because I was just thinking, like, what do people need to know?

What are the lessons?

So a lot of the same format, typical episodes in that 25 to 50 minutes range.

We’ve got some more profiles that we’re doing, bringing back the affiliate profiles that we haven’t done in a couple of years.

On the podcast, we’ll be getting some really cool interviews we’re doing with people like what’s working for them. What are they doing?

Maybe they did a big promotion. How did that go?

Some more behind-the-scenes on what’s working for us both in the affiliate management space, but also as we do affiliate promotions.

Some more behind-the-scenes stuff on that.

A lot more of us doing like studies and revealing the data on those studies and kind of doing some deep dives into what’s working for affiliates.

As we work with more and more clients, both on the coaching and agency side, we still are very selective.

But we used to be selective to the point where we’d only work with two people a year and we have 30 people ask us.

Now as we start our agency and we ramped that up, we’re able to take on more clients.

So we’re seeing some cool stuff.

We’re seeing what’s working in not only the Internet marketing space and we work with like Ryan Levasqu or Stu McLaren, but what’s working over here in the health and fitness space, the parenting space, this and that space.

And it’s like all of these different things.

So it’s opening our eyes to some different obstacles and challenges, but also to some different best practices and some nuance and some innovation that we’re able to take advantage of.

That’s been pretty cool.

So we’ll be sharing a lot more of that.

All of that is going to be wrapped around those principles.

Like we talked about earlier, Robby, the principles, but with the innovations.

But it’s coming from so many different perspectives.

So, again, it’s like you guys are here for the journey.

As we grow our agency and work with more clients.

As we grow our coaching practice and work with more people.

These are the things that we’ve been able not that I’ve learned working with Tony and Dean.

Although over the last ten years.

I’ve learned a ton from Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi.

But not so much what I’ve learned from them.

But as I share these things with their team and then they put them into practice and I see this little knob that I could have twisted a little bit more this way.

It’s like. Okay. I get to share that with you guys.

So I think that’s what it looks like.

It’s more of the same, but different is how I would describe it.

It’s a different version of the same, but guys, keep listening because you’re going to get a back seat or a front seat or whatever kind of seat to a lot of really cool stuff happening over the next year and a half.

So I’m excited.

Probably the next 75 episodes are probably going to be when we look back on it, we’ll probably be 75 of our 100 best episodes.

And I think that’s saying something.

Robby: I love it. Well, this has been so awesome to hear.

Five years of podcast wisdom, and even more than that, when it comes to business, affiliate marketing, affiliate management, everybody.

If you aren’t subscribed yet, now is the time.

Go to your favorite podcast player, subscribe to the Affiliate Guy podcast, and listen in, because there are some amazing things in store.

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So I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did doing it.

Like I said at the beginning, it was so much fun.

Great questions from Robby. Kind of an interesting format.

I think we did it once, like around episode 200 or something years and years ago, as I mentioned in the interview.

Like, the thing about 500 episodes is not the culmination of 499 episodes.

It’s the culmination of doing the first ten and sticking with it for the next ten and then the next ten and the next ten and so on and so forth.

And eventually, it did become like, as I said, I don’t have a choice.

Do we not do it? Maybe.

There have been many things that we’ve started and stopped since the podcast started.

We’ve had products that we launched and ended up never launching again.

We’ve had memberships that we started and canceled.

We’ve had a coaching program that we started and it continues to thrive today.

We’ve had products that we created before the podcast and we still sell today.

We’ve had products we created after that still sell today.

My point to that is, that it’s not just because we created it, so we have to do it.

It’s become a passion.

It’s become something that I love.

It’s become a source of business, which has been great, but it’s also been a source of a lot of joy and fun for me personally.

So I hope you’ve gotten half as much out of it as I’ve gotten out of doing it.

That’s been a big win.

I got a text message the other day, or a Facebook message, sorry that this lady said that she was binge-listening to the podcast, and she had listened to something like 100 episodes in a matter of a week, and she was binge-listening.

And she was getting ready for her holiday promotions coming up.

As we’re recording this in the middle of summer 2022, and she’s getting ready for her holiday promotions, I think that’s awesome.

That’s the cool thing about the podcast.

You can go back and refer to anything, anytime.

Or you want to go back and learn how to do holiday promos.

Well, then get ready.

They’re there.

We’ve got all those episodes from the past.

Also got some new ones coming up this year.

They’re going to be amazing, by the way, this October and November.

Just a little teaser on that one.

So excited about that.

I said earlier, that I want to thank some specific people.

Thank you to my family for supporting me through this.

Thank you, my wife, for cheerleaded this whole thing from the beginning, she was a huge cheerleader for this podcast, even when I was like, I don’t know if I should even be doing it.

So thank you to our team, everybody in our team.

I have time to mention everybody, but especially Robby Miles and Mark Sieverkropp over the years.

Without them, this business would not be where it is today. This podcast wouldn’t even exist.

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Probably they didn’t launch it, but without their support, there’s no way I would have been able to do it.

And it truly does kind of take a village on that to so many of our clients and friends.

I’m going to forget tons of names, but I think of Michael Hyatt, Jeff Walker, Stu McLaren, Tony Robbins, Dean Graziosi, Jeff Goins, Ray Edwards, Brian Tracy, Lewis Howes so many others clients over the years.

You know who you are. You guys are awesome.

And we thank you so much, Pat Flynn, and John Lee Dumas, for helping me to understand podcasting.

Without them, I don’t know that I would have been able to launch my first podcast years ago and be able to be successful with that.

So that when I launched this one, I knew how to do all the tech stuff into Podsworth.

Chris over at Podsworth, they do all the editing, so all I have to do is turn on a microphone and then send them a file.

And then the rest of this just magically happens.

If you record a podcast and you want to just offload all the editing and stuff.

Podsworth is the company, so hopefully, I’m bringing a smile to your face right now Chris.

Pete Vargas is our very first customer.

So many years ago, he bought the first course we ever sold, but he’s also been a friend and a mentor over the years.

Kind of crazy how that’s worked.

So many people come to mind most of all.

Like I said earlier, thank you.

For those of you who downloaded every episode, thank you.

For those of you who’ve left a rating and review, thank you.

If you haven’t yet, please do. Now would be a great time.

Celebrate the 500th episode by leaving a five-star rating and review.

It helps other people find the episodes and find the podcast so we can continue to grow this message, which is super important.

So I’m pumped about this.

We’ll get back to normal things next week.

By the way, the next episode is going to be amazing.

It’s called the Affiliate Army strikes again.

And it’s all about what we talked about this in this episode, right?

This is something that I have advocated for and we have another case study along with some other powerful lessons.

Oh my gosh.

This next one, we have some huge ones, some huge lessons that you don’t want to miss from a massive launch that we ran.

If you have questions about this, any of the stuff that we talked about today, or anything else, you can text me anytime at 260-217-4619.

So make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss that next episode or any of the upcoming ones.

And I’ll see you in the next episode.

Thanks again for making these 1st 500 so amazing. I can’t wait for the next 500.

 

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