Every Affiliate Summit when I go by pretty much every booth the same thing happens.
“Hey ShoeMoney, do you do anything with (product vertical) ? We have the highest converting offers and the best payouts. We are looking for super affiliates can you help?
Side note: Can you find something original to say? “Best converting offers, highest payout”. C’mon.
My honest response in general is “probably not” and it usually ends there.
Mostly because I don’t have time to explain what I am going to write out in this post.
I don’t really like the term super cause I feel like I need to wear a fucking cape or something. I would say that I am a good affiliate but I think there are a TON of good affiliates. The difference between a good affiliate and super affiliate is simply cashflow. There are tons of good affiliates out there that just don’t have the cash to scale. But I digress.
There are very few networks out there that at some point in time I was there biggest affiliate in various verticals. Everything from affiliate networks to commission junction to VC backed companies plus I run in the circle of the same people. So I am a bit qualified to post on this.
Let’s talk about the “Super Affiliate” mindset and what you need to understand.
If you want them to promote your offer(s) for company you need to understand them and the successful ones that I know, including myself, have a lot of the same things in common. Some of their business decisions are going to come off as very odd and don’t make sense. But guess what?
I have never met a good affiliate that has an MBA. Hell I dunno of many off the top of my head that even graduated college.
Fact is – The most successful affiliate networks were founded by affiliates and if you were an affiliate who owns your own network then you already get what I am saying below.
If something is working an affiliate they are not likely to switch. For instance when I promoted ringtones for AzoogleAds back in the day I had MANY companies come to me offering higher payouts even guaranteeing I didn’t even entertain the idea of it because what I was doing was working and why go through the headache of switching. Yes even though they are guaranteed more money.
This kind of mixes with the above but to me, and many other affiliates I know relationship is everything. Even more than money. I JUST spoke with a company TODAY (that inspired this post) that I was really excited about because what they proposed in an email would mean tens of thousands of dollars more in revenue per month that the company we were currently using. However, when I got them on the phone, they tried to play like they were hot shit and almost like I should feel fortunate to even work with them. You know what? Fuck you.
I often also see this at Affiliate conferences when people are recruiting affiliates walk around like they are hot shit. 90% of them are bullshitting people just trying to front like they are the best in the industry. Again – fuck you.
Yes I could probably make a lot more money with you but if we are starting like this whats it going to be like when their is a tracking issue or your site goes down or other issues affiliates run into. What happens on my end if I hit a wall with traffic or whatever. I can already see you acting like a asshole and I want nothing to do with you.
Affiliates LOVE free stuff. I have had networks or offer owners send me everything from laptops, computers, and one even bought me a brand new BMW but tons more stuff. And most of us love to show off. Probably me more than others. And yes, again, to most of us this means more than money.
One of my favorite things I ever got was one network would send me an amazon gift card for 1% of my earnings. At one point I had over 100k in free money in my Amazon account. It was AWESOME. I bought tons of stuff, whatever I wanted, and it was all free. Also lets say my wife was very happy.
And to the network wtf is 1% ??
Low Profile/ Introverts / Don’t want the spotlight
90% of the “Super Affiliates” you will never see at a conference. They will most likely be there, and pay for a full VIP pass, but they will never goto a session or hit the expo hall. But bet your ASS they are being wined and dined like a 5k a night call girl.
These guys lay low. They don’t want the spotlight or people to know how successful they are.
Believe it or not, while most super affiliates, especially starting out, don’t feel like what they are doing will last very long. Especially the ones that stumbled across a way to make an offer work. A funny thing with me… Even when I was profiting 7 figures a year promoting offers I did not feel secure.
I actually would ask networks if they would hire me if this didn’t work out. Most agreed but laughed at the idea of it.
Also it seems like its surreal what your doing. It feels sketchy for some reason because its so easy (put in 10 hours to get it setup and forget it vs working 40 hours a week hard labor).
I’ve had several affiliates tell me “Man I feel like any minute someones gonna bust down the door and tell me they are coming for the money even though I am totally playing by the book”.
You have to keep in mind most of the super affiliates were very young and poor when they first started – never made a business plan or strategy. Most just kinda fell into it.
So how do you get these Super Affiliates?
One super affiliate can completely MAKE your company. For me when I took the ShoeMoney System info product into the mainstream I didn’t do crap for sales until ONE guy started promoting it and he ALONE took me from 25 avg sales a day to OVER ONE THOUSAND. Course I went balls out and didn’t cap him and lost my merchanting account and all that but I digress.
Now If you are an affiliate network owner you already know that. But if you are a company looking for affiliates this is 1000% true. If you get one super affiliate, and it works for them, they will provide you with more sales than you can dream.
Understand the basics.
If you are in any vertical that can scale then its competitive. You are competing with other companies that in most cases have years of experience dealing with affiliates who they already have a great relationship with.
So you have an uphill battle to start with.
Your product quality does not matter
Your diet pills are better quality than others? Your offer is more FTC compliant than others? Guess what. Affiliates DO NOT CARE about your product…. at all.
I have made millions in profit promoting offers that I would never sell to my mom. The more sketchy the offer the more money can be made.
Show me a super affiliate that investigates offers to see that they are moral and ethical and I will show you a chocolate pie I won’t eat.
Ok, no more debbie downer let’ talk about how to get the big affiliates.
Trust me affiliate managers are as complacent and lazy as affiliates. Just because you signed an exclusive agreement and prepaid $25,000 doesn’t mean affiliate managers will push the offer to their affiliates.
So you gotta start somewhere. If you are in an affiliate network find out what price you need to be at to be competitive. Then give a bonus to the affiliate manager that makes the most sales and make it BIG.
As I said affiliate managers and affiliates are very complacent. However if you throw up a 5 figure bonus contest you can bet your ass they are going to do the same to get affiliates to give your offer a go. And while that might seem nuts, but I will explain below.
If you’re not going through an affiliate network and doing it yourself, then you, like with networks, are going to do what it takes to get some affiliates. The best way people always got me was to offer me a CPC. Say I have 3 months of history in a vertical of making $2 per click. Tell me you will give me $2.50 per click to your site and you will prepay 70% of the first month. How could I say no?
Here is the thing – Whether its affiliate managers or affiliates directly… All the risk is on them to try your offer. So you can understand why
The bottom line is that affiliates are the golden cow to companies. ALL the risk is on the affiliate so what really motivates them to even try it?
I get AT LEAST 10 offers a day from companies who want to do on my blog and “chat”.
I just respond and say, “Look I make a lot promoting my own products/offers but you solicited me and say I will make more money with your product let’s do $80 CPM with a prepay of 25k. Course if you don’t think believe in your product that’s fine. As far as “chatting” goes I am pretty busy but sure lets chat. Here is a link to schedule (my clarity link at 1k/hr).”
While I may come off like a complete ass, there are people that take me up on that offer. Mostly to chat about how to get more business.
Affiliates follow Affiliates
Trust me affiliates pay close attention to what other affiliates are promoting.
Show that you are Legit
Get a nice booth at a show. Are you going to get affiliates from it? Probably not… But you get brand recognition. If you want to get affiliates and you don’t have a booth at Affiliate Summit, no matter how small, shows you are legit. Hell my Lincoln, Nebraska, Lawyer has a booth there.
Find the influencers and become besties with them.
While my main focus right now is not being an affiliate, this post, my radio show, twitter, Facebook, my newsletter list, etc, I can reach 250,000 people at a minimum. But I am not alone. There is also John Chow, Ian Fernando, Zac Johnson, Charles Ngo and several others.
Don’t just buy an ad on their blog, have them do an in depth review of your product, network, or whatever you want to promote.
Or better yet, with christmas coming, send them something nice… say a 5k 27″ iMac or a pimped Macbook Pro, or whatever. I am a sucker for Apple products but you do you. Make SURE you send a shirt with your logo and any swag you have no matter how cheesy it is.
This is a big one because not only will it be a fraction of the cost of what they would charge to do a review post but it also allows you to show off that you take care of affiliates. Why not?
Wine and dine
You know how many times I have been invited to dinner for this affiliate summit in January alone? You know why? Cause as I said above it’s about the relationship. If I meet you in person I am 10x more likely to promote your shit. Probably even for free. And it’s almost a for sure lock if you have a cute affiliate manager that makes me think “I still got it”.
Anyway the biggest value is that the influencers in the space will know who to intro you to that can move the needle for you. And if you follow the above game plan doing what it takes to get them going that in itself is priceless.
So basically it’s that simple
Solidify your branding with a good website and booth at trade shows, make a splash with influencers, get connected to affiliates that matter through influencers, make them an offer they can’t refuse, watch affiliates follow their lead and test your offer.