3 Lessons for Affiliate Managers

As an affiliate program manager, you should be constantly looking to learn and develop your skill set. The more you know, the better placed you’ll be to support your partners and see success across your program.
Last week, Affiverse Founder Lee-Ann Johnstone and Agency Director Leanna Klyne sat down to discuss their three key lessons for affiliate managers gathered from over two decades of experience working in this industry.
We’ve recapped the audio discussion which was widely attended on LinkedIN in the article below:
Building a Personal Brand
At its core, affiliate marketing is all about relationships. There are relationships between customers and publishers and between publishers and managers. As a program manager, understanding how important these relationships are – is vtial.
As Leanna pointed out in the discussion “Partnerships often start as a one-on-one conversation between a manager and an affiliate. The strength and reputation of your personal brand can help you secure more of these high-value networking opportunities, and you’ll be able to onboard more partners as a result.”
This is one of the most important lessons for affiliate managers, but unfortunately is one that many can overlook. “Affiliate marketing is a people-focused business, and it will continue to be so despite emerging technologies like AI driving increased automation and time efficiencies in the day to day tasks of running a program”, said Lee-Ann.
Social media is key to building a personal brand. However, you must ensure you are focusing on channels that are relevant to your industry. Think about the kind of content you post; it should offer value and demonstrate that you are a knowledgeable, authoritative voice in your niche.
Attending industry events is another effective way of building your personal brand. These events will give you the chance to meet potential partners face-to-face and forge meaningful relationships that will benefit you in the long run.
It can be easy to work remotely and focus all your work on social media and digital platforms. However, to build a successful personal brand it’s important that you get out there and meet people, even if that means pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.
Know Your Numbers
Up next in the discussion of lessons for affiliate managers is to know your numbers. This encompasses a range of different things but essentially boils down to having a complete and comprehensive understanding of your objectives and what you need to do to achieve them through your affiliate program.
Lee-Ann summed it up perfectly: “If you as an affiliate manager don’t understand what your target KPIs and outcomes are for working with all of these publishers… how do you expect the affiliates to be able to perform for you?”
Establishing measurable goals and targets is key. Only then can you develop and implement plans to meet your objectives. As an affiliate manager, it is imperative that you understand the lifetime value of your customers. This will leave you in a stronger position when it comes to negotiations with affiliates; you will be better equipped to secure agreements that benefit you and your program.
Data is incredibly important for modern businesses, with affiliate programs being no exception. Having a thorough grasp of data across all levels of your program means you can begin to build a picture and identify aspects of your business that need to be optimised.
Never Discount Small Affiliates 
The final point in our discussion of lessons for affiliate managers is never to discount a smaller affiliate.
Lee-Ann mentioned that this lesson is particularly close to her heart, having met many big publishers at the start of their careers and now seeing some of them launch their business onto the Nasdaq and other public trading exchanges. Never forget that successful companies always start out small, but they eventually do grow big, and riding that success together can be some of the memorable times in your career as an Affiliate Manager. Affiliates in your program don’t necessarily only promote your brand, so be cognisant of what the opportunities can be when talking to smaller partners. Everyone has to start somewhere, and you never know where a relationship could be a few years down the line.
In Conclusion… 
We hope you’ve learned something from the lessons for affiliate managers we’ve listed above. Being an affiliate manager is a process of constant learning, you must be ready and prepared to evolve and develop if you want your program to be a success.
Tune in for our next live streamed webinar on the 12th December : 7 Deadly Sins every Affiliate Manager should be aware of to learn more about how to improve your program performance and get a chance to ask Lee-Ann and Leanna the questions you need answered!
Sign up to the webinar HERE


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