Affiliate Nerd Out

Using AI for Affiliate Manager Workflow with Chuck Hamrick

August 28, 2023 Dustin Howes Season 1 Episode 17
Using AI for Affiliate Manager Workflow with Chuck Hamrick
Affiliate Nerd Out
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Affiliate Nerd Out
Using AI for Affiliate Manager Workflow with Chuck Hamrick
Aug 28, 2023 Season 1 Episode 17
Dustin Howes

Ever wondered how an affiliate marketer thinks? Listen to our fascinating discussion with industry expert, Chuck Hamrick. With over 20 years of experience in the field, Chuck generously shares his journey, from his beginnings in printing engineering services to his major triumphs as an affiliate marketer. Expect candid revelations of his early mistakes and noteworthy experiences like learning and networking on the affiliate forum, ABest Web.

Prepare to pick up a wealth of strategies in the second part of the chat. Chuck emphasizes the need to view situations from an affiliate's perspective, understand their challenges, and maintain empathy. He throws light on a range of topics such as the value of affiliates, confronting chargebacks, and collaborating with influencers. If you've been struggling with handling product criticism, Chuck’s unique approach to managing negative feedback will come as a revelation. 

As we wind up our chat, Chuck offers a peek into his stint of running an agency. He reflects on the invaluable lessons this venture taught him, including a deep understanding of his strengths and weaknesses. We also explore the potential role of AI in affiliate marketing, from task automation to conducting extensive research projects. Chuck highlights the importance of networking and shares his own experiences of using AI tools and platforms like LinkedIn for outreach. Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or just setting foot in the field, this conversation offers insights and real-life experiences that will keep you hooked!

Dustinhowes.com/affistash

The Markable platform is fully synced with Amazon, Target, & Walmart creator storefronts. Creators don't need to copy and paste affiliate links since every item & collection from their storefronts are on auto-sync and ready for content creation. Go to dustinhowes.com/markable to learn more

For more tips on how to scale your affiliate program, check out https://performancemarketingmanager.com

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever wondered how an affiliate marketer thinks? Listen to our fascinating discussion with industry expert, Chuck Hamrick. With over 20 years of experience in the field, Chuck generously shares his journey, from his beginnings in printing engineering services to his major triumphs as an affiliate marketer. Expect candid revelations of his early mistakes and noteworthy experiences like learning and networking on the affiliate forum, ABest Web.

Prepare to pick up a wealth of strategies in the second part of the chat. Chuck emphasizes the need to view situations from an affiliate's perspective, understand their challenges, and maintain empathy. He throws light on a range of topics such as the value of affiliates, confronting chargebacks, and collaborating with influencers. If you've been struggling with handling product criticism, Chuck’s unique approach to managing negative feedback will come as a revelation. 

As we wind up our chat, Chuck offers a peek into his stint of running an agency. He reflects on the invaluable lessons this venture taught him, including a deep understanding of his strengths and weaknesses. We also explore the potential role of AI in affiliate marketing, from task automation to conducting extensive research projects. Chuck highlights the importance of networking and shares his own experiences of using AI tools and platforms like LinkedIn for outreach. Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or just setting foot in the field, this conversation offers insights and real-life experiences that will keep you hooked!

Dustinhowes.com/affistash

The Markable platform is fully synced with Amazon, Target, & Walmart creator storefronts. Creators don't need to copy and paste affiliate links since every item & collection from their storefronts are on auto-sync and ready for content creation. Go to dustinhowes.com/markable to learn more

For more tips on how to scale your affiliate program, check out https://performancemarketingmanager.com

Dustin Howes:

Hey folks, welcome to Affilia Nerd out. I am your narrator, dustin Howe. Spread that good word about affiliate marketing. You're going to find me every Tuesday and Thursday right here on LinkedIn Live and anywhere you can get your podcasts, so please consider subscribing. My nerd guests of the day is OG Chuck Hamrick over at AvantLink. Thanks for joining me, chuck. Welcome to the Nerditorium.

Chuck Hamrick:

Thanks, this is like nerd therapy.

Dustin Howes:

Glad to hear it. What happened to the beard? I haven't seen you without a beard for years.

Chuck Hamrick:

Well, that's a seasonal thing. Okay, usually we start growing it about the beginning of elk season and then cut it off about the tax day, which is the end of the ski season, and you know it's good to cut down the windburn on the mountain. Yeah, I've been in the mountains since 98 and worked on the weekends up there just to get myself out, and I'm a mountain hosting tour guide. So yeah, I usually have it, but it's not so comfortable in the summers.

Dustin Howes:

I guess that mountain life fits in well with your role these days, and we'll get back into that about AvantLink and what you're doing there. Okay, for the audience members out there, let's let them know to jump in the live Q&A and talk anything affiliate. If you want to make fun of Chuck's face, feel free to. He can handle it. I can't. I'm super soft, so be gentle. But anything affiliate is also welcome. But without further ado here, chuck, who are you?

Chuck Hamrick:

Well, I've been in the space for almost 20 years. Second career for me I was in Chicago, where I'm rigid from the Midwest, and did engineering services for a manufacturing company printing it so traveled the country, traveled the world for that and then got burned out a lot of politics and took my 401k in 98, relocated to Fort Collins, colorado, and was a ski bum for a year and then married into four step kids in 2003 we just celebrated our 20th anniversary and ended up getting into Philly marketing as a AM in 2005 for a company and but I was going to kind of mention so I one of my first things I did when I worked for that. I've been in online marketing since 99 and doing a lot of SEO stuff and email marketing, paid search and all that. But I published my first newsletter and I put my top 10 affiliates by name, how much they sold and how much they made. And next thing I'm getting hate mail from the affiliates saying you don't do that. You better hustle your butt over to Aves Web, which was the big affiliate form at the time, and learn your trade.

Chuck Hamrick:

And I did not only that, but I also became a moderator and then the admin and the founder became a close friend of mine, was pretty much a mentor for a long time and slapped me down, and so here I am Back in the day. You know, nothing really replaced it. The social stuff just isn't conversational. But we would have hundreds of thousands of people night and my wife would come down back. Then I was working in the evenings on the family joint computer and she came down at midnight saying what are you doing? Thinking I was watching some of the farious stuff.

Chuck Hamrick:

No, I'm just in this argument over tool bars or coupon codes or who knows what it's like, this is better than watching live wrestling.

Dustin Howes:

That's amazing. You're an affiliate nerd, for I was even in this industry. That's great. I loved to hear that.

Dustin Howes:

My guest today, chuck been in this industry 20 plus years, looks like, and his link is in the profile chat. If you would like to get a hold of him and if you would like to be my guest here, go to Dustin housecom Next week. I am having a special event on Thursday and that is going to be. Everybody is invited. If you would like to join me and take Chuck's seat, I will have a queue of people just coming in and talking about affiliate marketing, or it could just be me standing there and dancing for an hour. We'll see what happens, but please come in and join me if you would like to be a guest on this podcast. You already got a chat here, looks like, kevin, two great folks on the screen today. Thanks, kevin, appreciate you. We're doing our best. Chuck cleans up real nice. Let's talk some more Storytime here. Chuck, tell me more about a best web and like what it was like in those days Getting your education on through a forum.

Chuck Hamrick:

Well, it was cool because we had private forums and so affiliates could talk together.

Chuck Hamrick:

Ah, am to talk. We had network reps. We had people like Todd Crawford was on there, he was involved. Brian Lilton from share sale was very involved, and then we'd go to a conference and we'd all get together. We knew each other, us, you know. We had just a ton of people and I met so many people that I still Connected with today.

Chuck Hamrick:

So when I go to conference, you know, I feel like I'm a celebrity. It's like a you know all these people. But it was cool because I you know linear conversations and when they're trying to figure out things with cookie stuffing and Cat sites and such, and also the founder, hico de pool, who's quite a firebrand. He was an affiliate himself and, and you know, didn't answer anybody so he could outstuff and he Was not shy about being vocal. So, yeah, real education. But Just really Met tons of people and, like I would go to conference, somebody come over say I know you from a, this web. It's like I don't even know who you are. I mean literally had thousands of people at night on there and in school, because a lot of French is performed that way.

Dustin Howes:

So Awesome and I love that story about you you making your first mistake in the industry early on and like getting shunned for it. I think we've all made those kinds of mistakes, especially early on, and if we learn from them we get better at this job and we lean, we learn to fail a little bit softer so we don't have that kind of feeling again of being shunned. Or I remember One time I asked very early in my career. I asked somebody who their top affiliates were on in their program and they're like I can't believe even ask that question. That's, that's like he was. He was offended by it. But that'll happen.

Chuck Hamrick:

People handle things a little bit differently, you know the biggest things I learned is just Trying to think in the mind of an affiliate, and you know. So what kind of a job are you? Pretty much in a vacuum. You know we didn't really do zoom calls back then. Yeah, we didn't have phone calls with affiliates a lot of times, but they're working by themselves and they feel like you know, the network is dialing on them, the merchants telling on them. You know merchants could charge back stuff and it's like you try to find out what happened.

Chuck Hamrick:

Yeah, I've got a great audience and so I was empathetic towards them. So I've been honored by saying that I speak affiliate. Yeah, you know, and you got to protect them because, at the end of the day, it doesn't promote itself. So, yeah, I just love affiliate marketing. Just, it makes so much sense and, and I always say, affiliates are kind of like your R&D, because they test up before anybody else does, they come out with new ideas. I mean, we're always looking for the content affiliates. We're trying to get our handle on influencers and they're just like out there talking about product and you know, occasionally we have one where they trash a product. It's like, but you know that's part of the game. Yeah, for most parties very positive. It's some really dynamic people out there that just come up with great ideas and just keeps on evolving. It's. Affiliate marketing is dead for 20 years, but I keep hearing it.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah, I've seen some really interesting sides of like the negative About a one brand and then promoting a different brand and how strong that message is like. You can be a really good affiliate Supporting a different brand. If you're just bad-mouthing one brand, that that has a lot of traction. I've seen it work in the past. We've got some chat looks like Trisha Myers over at the PMA is jumping in so weird. You mentioned me best way because I was just trying to look something up there on the way back machine an hour ago. Way back machine is always clutch when you need something from the past that just doesn't exist anymore. Is the site down all together these days? Which one?

Chuck Hamrick:

a best web. Oh no, it got sold and I think it eventually got down. There's some politics there are not Totally privy to, but yeah, I was unfortunate. A company bought it and tried to commercialize it a little more and and then eventually they just shelf it. So it's too bad, because I mean just some of the threads are for the stuff People dealt with. You know, and I remember back in the day that you know Google would re-index and it feels just be screaming. It's like I just lost all this traffic.

Chuck Hamrick:

Yeah, but then they turn around to figure out a do a better job. Oh yeah, reddit. I'm not really a reddit user, it's the only thing that's kind of linear. But you know there's Facebook groups and such, but they still really. Yeah, you don't see the conversation there. So it's a different, different day.

Dustin Howes:

Well, reddit will shun you if you dare try to put on affiliate link and like Up there and try to make a buck off of those groups. There's workarounds around that but I won't share them. Trisha says I'm double shunned when I said I was a lawyer and had a cashback site. Two strikes.

Chuck Hamrick:

Oh, I'm gonna get a lot of crap, because I was a AM and you know the kind of saw that as a conflict and I was the admin for a while. Where's the founder was a true affiliate. So it's like, oh, you can see all this stuff. It's like, no, I'm trying to stay out of it. Yeah, you know, I did have some Trash talk days back then, but I kind of watch it now. Grandpa, you know, I'll go make sure the kids Don't find me on social media, yeah.

Dustin Howes:

Gotcha, one thing I really admire about you Back in the day you were working for IP vanish and I as well work for IP vanish I picked up many of the affiliates that that you recruited into that program.

Chuck Hamrick:

Well.

Dustin Howes:

I just thank you. You made me look really good, but you came up with this really interesting revolutionary method that I had never been a part of when I joined up and that was like attacking youtubers and somehow you were convincing these youtubers with hundreds of thousands of Subscribers maybe not so much back then, but they blew up into that but you were getting them to work off a CPA and promoting IP vanish as a VPN and using it for their fire stick TV and stuff like that. How did you run across something like that?

Chuck Hamrick:

Well, I almost lost my job because I've been there for about a year and I just really wasn't getting it. I got a lot of small potatoes and, and we were in the white label too, so it wasn't a network. So you had to do you know, direct outreach, so right, and you know six, eight hours a day on Google trying to find them. But I had one particular guy that had been in the Space over the fire stick with being able to download and streaming, freestreaming, and he couldn't make anyone out of the fire stick. It was Cody KODI. Like a streaming, what do you want to call it? Not even a platform.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah app.

Chuck Hamrick:

So he figured out how to put it on the fire stick and I've been hitting him with emails Regularly for six months and he said I never deleted I might put him in a side folder. Well, when the fire stick went to the next gen, you could top load this stuff meaning you could make an app for it and reached out to me and it's like he was making two dollars a subscription, or what I call rack rate was ten dollars and we need to work it out in agreement with him and gave him, you know, 20 times that and yeah, he just kept on building and but he was a Marketer during the day and then after about four months he put his day job because he was yeah.

Chuck Hamrick:

You know as much. He went out to make a lot and he's kind of he's still in the space. But and then I found other ones like that and it was the same thing that you develop a relationship, try to figure out how to make things work. And just even with some of the big tech Media sites They'd have like a top-10 list. One valuable lesson I learned is in a top 10, the top three are all that matter. Number one gets about 80% of all traffic and sales. Number two and three split. The rest can each. The rest doesn't matter.

Chuck Hamrick:

And half the time I just updated our information, got them, updated logos, got them, you know, test accounts and boom, we moved up to number three and the number four. And you know I did have a very aggressive VP of this dev that Would do you know some side deals where do some sponsorships and and buy banner placements and such. That helped. But yeah, it's just, it's all relationship stuff and and it took a while to crack those too. But once you get to the right decision-makers, so in that case on a big media site To use them as affiliates, you got to walk it up and you got to find a director of VP, and Once I did that, all of a sudden I started cracking accounts and then I was this you know rock star, but few months earlier. It's like you got about 30 days before you're out.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah yeah. So desperation can do weird things to people, right, but I do love the outside the box thinking like if your traditional methods are not working in your publisher recruitment styles, I start going elsewhere. There might be a hidden gem somewhere else that that could be a gold mine for you in the future. And, like the partners that you created and help they read that next generation of guys doing the same thing and maybe evolving it a little bit better. And that helped me go find more players like that when I got to IP Venice. So I want to thank you. You did great work for me in the past and I appreciate you. So you took that IP Venice experience and you kind of catapulted that into getting into the consulting route right, like how did you get there and and what kind of clients did you go after? Do you kind of diversify your portfolio? You stay in that same niche.

Chuck Hamrick:

No, that was first time I got into anything subscription based. Everything else was retail sales and I'd been something before. It's just that I got Contacted by an affiliate who became the VP for that company and he gave me an offer I couldn't refuse. And so the tough thing is running an agency. I had some virtual admins, but I had one time I had a business partner. We split an account and Pretty much was able to live off of that 80-20 will 80% of my livelihood. And then they get bought out. So they come back and say, well, we're gonna cut you 25%, but we'll leave you in place in the next year. It's like we're gonna cut you to 50%, but in they said they didn't. They actually weren't comfortable doing that. So they basically took our info and farmed it out and another agency picked it up and that one was tough because it took a long time to regain that.

Chuck Hamrick:

But you know you're chasing your tail. I talked to a network consultant years ago when I was doing Some work there and he said, yeah, you got it. You got a plan as a small business owner to spend a certain amount of time keeping that pipeline full. Oh right, and on top of it and all the bookkeeping and everything else. So I enjoyed the agency, gave me a lot of flexibility. But it's tough and you know, and you never get the sweet deals. It's usually you're flat rate. It'd be nice to work off a rev, sure, because that'll drive it up. But you know, you're kind of in the mix there and, yeah, a lot of life lessons learned there, oh for sure.

Dustin Howes:

I remember starting my agency life and trying to go on my own and it was a learning Phase for me to understand how bad I was at selling myself and what I did. I know I can do good work in the affiliates base and be a great affiliate manager, but like trying to sell people that I can do that and grow their their program. I'm just not good at it. I have to outsource that and do other things besides the hard selling On phone calls. But everybody's got their strengths right and you play to them.

Chuck Hamrick:

Well, and one thing you learn to be an agency is if you do a good enough job, they invariably look at the numbers, hire somebody internally and say okay, thank you. You got 30 days. Yeah, thanks for proving the concept.

Dustin Howes:

True, I mean the agency life. It's kind of rare you can hold clients beyond a year. You're getting to a certain point of growth and and they figure it out like this is working, let's hire in-house and save some money here. But doesn't really save money, who knows, it's up in the year. So that journey ended with consulting and then Along came a vaunt link and and that's where you're at these days and yeah, that was kind of the pandemic, you know, lost my accounts, they had to shut down.

Chuck Hamrick:

Yeah, it was kind of it's hard to replicate. And so then I saw this opportunity for affiliate team lead and and it's like, wow, this is, this is my dream job. And I knew a problem like actually I moved the family out to Park City where their Headquartered, in 2005 about to work for backcountry calm and their programs and their team. And then so at that time our founder was a programmer and he was writing the tools for a back-end that we call base camp, and then they pulled him off that project and he was a contractor so he said I don't care about this other stuff. So they went on with his wife, like nine months pregnant, went on Cobra and launched a company six months later and and it's, it's cool company. It started in the outdoor space. We've expanded out but we're really tight team and you know a slack all day and great.

Chuck Hamrick:

You know I feel like the fat old man because Mountain biking and the road biking and skiing you know, we have a four hours of flex a week and we have one guy that every Friday afternoon he's off hitting the resort because he lives across the road from it and you know it works out to work. You tie it together and then go out for some conference and Amazing.

Dustin Howes:

Well, awesome, so you join their team. You're having a good time. Can you explain the name? Do you know, like the origins of what this is?

Chuck Hamrick:

You know I'm embarrassed because I don't think I've asked that question and it's not as weird, you know. You think about brand names like Yahoo, Like first time you heard it's like what kind of dorks are these? And then of course, it's a multi-billion dollar company. But I think it's better than some I've heard out there and I need to ask a question of us.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah, If anybody knows the answer, throw it in the chat real quick and explain it to the audience. But all on link, is who you guys servicing for the most party? You meant I've known it to be an outdoorsy brand. Is that right up there, ellie?

Chuck Hamrick:

We kind of built that out and so, like our top brands are already. I'm Patagonia in backcountry but we do everything us. You know a lot of sports, a lot of Cycling. E-bikes has gone off the hook. Really have 15 merchants in there. We give new ones every month and you know hunting and fishing and camping, but we got us mattering a lot of apparel, a lot of sports. You know, like God, you know stuff you'd wear camping.

Chuck Hamrick:

I was talking to one guy that has a work where site and he said, yeah, we've got kind of a Change to this after work, you know, or you know something totally unrelated, so we got a smattering a different stuff like that. We don't do any lead gen, it's all retail sales, but we have, like baby food, you know, merchant. So we have a very aggressive sales team and they're going to different conferences and and, yeah, just it's fun because we're pretty close knit, work directly with support. You know, obviously pixels get wiped out and tracking goes down and affiliates are screaming at me and your data feeds are six months out of date and it's peak season. So I work on a lot of that, whether it's for the team, work with the sales team and and help them and then I we have a whole account management team and my director is in charge of merchant relationships. So sometimes they ask me to come in kind of work with somebody in a niche market and try to look for, you know sleeper affiliates and find it.

Chuck Hamrick:

But yeah, it's great, it's very dynamic, get involved with some of the updates of the sites and you know recommendations and what affiliates want to see here and Give that opinion. So it's fun to work with them. You just have a Great attitude. You know we're on a slack all day so we're Popping memes and all kinds.

Dustin Howes:

It sounds like a really good fit for your experience, your, your career and what you've built into it, and Honing in on the strengths that you have of like strategy and where this affiliate would be a good fit for another brand. I love that feeling of having that role, that that Really feels like it's meant for you, so I'm glad to hear that you're doing that. What is that? What's a network life? You know, I've always heard that Agency life can be a little aggressive for work life balance. Agencies want to get the most out of their employees. And what about network life? How do you feel like the work life balance feels over there?

Chuck Hamrick:

Well, it's cool to lift the hood and look at stuff and to be able to, you know, pair people up and and try to find you know Something that may not be obvious and try to help you know merchants figure out how to connect with the right affiliates. But no, I'm talking with them problem-solving. My education is engineering physics. What am I doing here but Nuclear bombs?

Dustin Howes:

No so.

Chuck Hamrick:

I love to try to solve problems and work things out and then, like I said, we have just really Great.

Chuck Hamrick:

You know, I can talk all the way up to see how it's not. Like we have layers and layers, yeah, so we're pretty lean like that and so our, our mission this year was to focus on customer service, both for the affiliates and for the merchants, and Make sure that we're giving you the best out there and being accessible and and, and you know, in listening. So I mean we highly scrutinize the affiliates, even the merchants coming in, make sure that they have a great value proposition and so that you're not opening your account and you got applications from all kinds of garbage sites. And you know, obviously everybody wants content. We have some amazing outdoor content. You know you're doing podcasts and YouTube videos, product reviews. But you know I'm working with all kinds of other things, like we just did a whole thing on tech, affiliates and looking at some of the AI tools for Helping shoppers make decisions and trying to connect that with the right merchants so we could test it out.

Dustin Howes:

So yeah, it's fun, great, I mean. I I've always had great conversations Scott and Vanessa always a great folks over there. Every time I go to a booth Like everybody's very warm and welcome and always looking to help each other out in this industry. I love what you guys are doing over there and you mentioned the AI tools that you might be using, like Like our entire episode here is. The title is AI is failing and how it's dissolving Partnership marketing, and you know that's a catchy title. Of course, I don't necessarily believe in it. What's your, what's your take here?

Chuck Hamrick:

Understanding. So I'm frustrated with AI. So for me it's like I had, you know, affiliates saying, hey, do you ship these other countries? And so to go through A thousand URLs would take me a thousand hours or a thousand minutes or whatever. So I've used it. I mean, what's weird is I went to pubcon and pubcon is more SEO agents, you know, paid search, email marketing, and so there's a lot of really interesting people from around the world and all kinds of amazing people.

Chuck Hamrick:

But it was two days in Austin in March and it was all AI, and so I came away and so I fired up Jasper, which is, you know, one of the AI tools that they talked about, and it I Could see it working for content. You know, I could see it being the help writing newsletters, writing, you know, affiliate, the program page descriptions, but for doing web research it failed. And then, of course, I missed that. They dinged me for a hundred and fifty nine dollars for an annual agreement. So you know that. But it was funny because I went to them and the chat was all AI, written, written to run, and so they came back and they apologized and they refund me and you know Sorry for any misunderstanding and it's like wow, that was actually pretty good customer service.

Chuck Hamrick:

But so I've tried a couple different ones. You know, chat, gbt box and such, and I would go through and do a project and, like one of our AMs, wanted to know if, if these 550 affiliates were used in particular Competitors links. You know, begins with an a, I won't mention it but and so it was taking about a minute per website to check that and I, like I got it to go through the whole list. It took me about a half an hour to write it so that AI understood and it's kind of like you're talking to your you know nerd nephew that doesn't really speak English. Then I hit on it and then it took about an hour for it to scrub through and I got the answer and it was like it was brilliant, you know, but that would have taken 500 minutes for him to do that manually.

Chuck Hamrick:

So I'm looking for that. The big one that I am dying to get on is a copilot, my Microsoft, which they teased out in March, and it can go through you. So we use outlook, you know, and so I get an affiliate email and instead of having to dig up the information or go pull up a template or whatever, it should be able to read that and answer that. I'll tweak it, make sure it's, you know, correct and everything, and then send it out in 30 seconds instead of three minutes. So how much is that going to save you a day?

Chuck Hamrick:

But so here's my story with that. Here's the fail. You can get on their beta, but you have to join GitHub and I had a GitHub account. They've been sitting out there for years, so I joined it and they actually came back and they approved me, and then it was like setting up a, an email server. I had to go through all these iterations and they're almost like in code to tweak this and tweak that, and then I finally got it and then I realized that was my personal account and I needed it from my Company account.

Dustin Howes:

So now I got to go back and do it again, so that probably took me two hours to figure it out.

Chuck Hamrick:

It's just bring the stupid thing out because supposedly it can do that. I can give it a spreadsheet and say Go in column B and read all these websites and tell me if they do this. You know and and it's funny because I played with some to where it literally is looking at the website and it'll be on the browser. It'll give you a DD because it's sitting there digging down through, looking through and then post a response. But you have to work with it and you have to break in little chunks and and so time-time for content. That's different and the take away I got from pumpkin is a.

Chuck Hamrick:

I won't replace you, somebody who uses a. I will replace you in your job Head around it, but it's it's so overused and I just don't think. I mean I know there's hundreds. One of my colleagues in the industry, mike Allen, who is an affiliate, know he's a OPM and and WordPress expert. He and I talked every month and he's always given me three or four things to look at and he uses it. He gave me one that I can you record my calls and it'll give me a summary, and it's about 95% there. I just kind of tweak it so I don't sit there and take endless notes. You know when you're trying to try to talk and I can focus on the conversation and that one is amazing.

Chuck Hamrick:

I think I paid 12 bucks a month for it, but it's called Chris, chris with a K. Okay, yeah, I've got a course.

Dustin Howes:

I'm going through my, but I think my Jhonathan Green, who's up with this course that he sells online about tips and tricks of like automating your life with AI and what to use, because every every AI has a little bit of a different functionality, and which I had the URL on hand but I can share with the audience later in this description. But I Am so intrigued by all of it. I want to, I want to automate so much more of my life and I can't wait to get through this course, but I love how you're using and embracing it. I I agree, like I love that statement of the people that are using and are going to replace you, and I think that's true. It's already coming, but the value of the partnership, I don't think, is ever going to lose. This me and you conversation is never going to go away, but you know it might take a lot of functionalities of what am's are doing away in the next five to ten years, do you agree? Well, yeah, and to me, being an AM is is all about developing, developing relationships.

Chuck Hamrick:

You know, a network for Fresh ideas and just, you know, to make sure that you're up to date on stuff, and that's why the conferences are great. I went to affiliate summit in Vegas in January and it was just great to see people. But, yeah, it's like you still have to have a human factor in there, so you're not going to just have a bot. You know, talk to affiliates and that's a whole other thing we can go into about recruiting.

Chuck Hamrick:

It's I talked to somebody and I lost track of who it was a couple years ago. He was an elite gen guy, but he said he felt it took 11 to 12 points of contact to get somebody to respond and so literally I've used that technique. It's like, okay, you reach out to the prime email. They don't answer you. You clock it for you know, a week or so and then you come back and and then maybe hit some other ones. You know I use like hunter out of chrome as an extension.

Chuck Hamrick:

Should I know my well, I use LinkedIn. I've been on LinkedIn and I used to Recruit through it. I probably have 11,000 connections there and so most bigger companies will have somebody there, or you can find somebody to give you a referral. So I use that heavily. But you know you find them on social. You finally bad room and say, hey, just tell me to go away, you know, and so I can see using AI to maybe even write a recruiting series and kind of work down that path and they'll also go out and you find you the contact. There are some great services out there.

Dustin Howes:

There were always yeah, to help you find them as well.

Chuck Hamrick:

It's don't want to be found, you know so true, so true.

Dustin Howes:

One thing I will say Contact out this like the newest tool that I've been utilizing. Go to dustin, else comm slash contact out and use the code Dustin 10 to save 10% To save 10%. I love this tool and it is a very quick way to get the right decision makers on LinkedIn from the URL that you're looking up or the company, whatever it may be. It's been a time saver for me for finding the right contacts at companies. So go check it out. Doesn't house comm slash contact out. And, and speaking of, like, recruiting affiliates, I want to go through some of your methodologies. So you, you're an OG and a pro at this and you've seen lots of things work. What's, what's this? What's working for you right now? You mentioned 11 points of contact, which can be very time-heavy. Like how are you even documenting like 11 points of contact there?

Chuck Hamrick:

Well, in that case, it's usually you know. The next time it comes up, I use boomerang, which I learned from Sean Collins through affiliate.

Chuck Hamrick:

I'm gonna learn a lot about a great Utilities like that through him. You know you just look for another point of contact and with big companies to people change and so, like hunter, which has been around forever, will go and scrub the websites for contacts and invariably I throw it into customer service or even sales and I usually get a response. So it's kind of weird. It's like you don't want to Bother them on that level but if you don't get the answer and it could be that somebody's gone too. Yeah, that's where I use LinkedIn. Like I get the Affiliates say I'm trying to reach this merchant and they're not answering after several attempts, I go look up that contact on LinkedIn. It's like, oh, they left six months ago, so I go get that updated and update our back in so that they've got accurate information.

Dustin Howes:

But no, it's just you know it's weird on on LinkedIn.

Chuck Hamrick:

Everyone's got their Gmail address on there. Nobody's got their work address or email address, but you can usually find them. You know I Don't like reach out to somebody for business on their Facebook, but it has happened before. Okay, everybody, it's busy even if you ever did this, Deb, it's like like the one affiliate that took me six months. Then he needed something and then he was open to conversation. So I was looking, I was still there.

Dustin Howes:

The whales are always the hardest ones to get a hold of, so don't stop until you get a hard no from somebody. Is my methodology on that All right? Well, while we wrap this up, what are you looking for at About Link? Who are you guys servicing and what are you looking for?

Chuck Hamrick:

We're looking. We service kind of a smaller midsize. They're retailers. Some of them have retail stores but e-tailers I guess you'd call it and kind of hitting that active lifestyle demographic. I mean we do have a couple of CBDs. We have some electronics and stuff like that. We don't really have fashion. We have a ton of apparel, but just people are looking and then we do everything we can to try to help them, to jumpstart them, to advise them along the ways. I mean we do manage accounts internally that were paid to do so. We have a team of affiliate managers. But yeah, I mean it's like my sales rep will slack me and say, hey, this one is really struggling and you help, and I'll just get on the phone and get some ideas, do a gap analysis and try to push them. There's some opportunities there. And yeah, just you know, but the harder it is, more I seem to dive into it. And you know my wife says it's eight o'clock or you're gonna come down for dinner, yeah, oh funny, Everybody's got their own work schedule in this industry.

Chuck Hamrick:

I was up until 2.30 last night doing my thing.

Dustin Howes:

It's what I do on Wednesdays, so I just want silence, sometimes from and not being interrupted by like tons of slacks and Skypes and everybody's got their own schedule. You've got to work years. So lastly, Chuck, I know you're a big part of the PMA been on the board. If you're not all still. What do you think your favorite perk is of the PMA? My favorite perk or my favorite person? Well, obviously that's me, so we'll just go with that.

Chuck Hamrick:

My favorite person is Trisha Meyer Al. Amazing. She is the queen of everything affiliate marketing and affiliate a lawyer, the czar of the PMA.

Chuck Hamrick:

No, it's just, it's amazing that conversations and then you know the things like when we're in Vegas they had a brunch and that's where I first met you and you know I met other people. That it's great. The mixers, they have been amazing. Conversation is amazing. The studies they do I've been involved with a little bit of that. Just, you know we need that. It's our what do they call it? Not our pack, but our industry organization and yeah, I just I hate to see us without it because you know it's tough, because we got different demands and you know things driving us between the management, am, management, size, opms, the networks and the affiliates. And then you bring this all together and we can solve problems. It aren't going to get solved by themselves.

Dustin Howes:

So Trisha is a blessing to this organization.

Chuck Hamrick:

Well, the other thing is you pay a membership and you get a free networking pass to affiliate summit and you get a free job. That's one of the biggest values out there. You know I'm always beating up on merchants to do something with a deal coupon.

Dustin Howes:

It's like there you go, yeah, Join the PMA and even if you need to upgrade to a VIP pass like you, still get that discount from having the network pass that they're giving you a really clutch. It's a no brainer to have a membership over at the PMA. Come and join our community. Trisha, you're the best. You're being here and being a watcher. So next week we've got our guest Blugita Bogallero. Blugita, I don't know how to pronounce your name. That was my best attempt. You're going to have to give me a better schooling of it. She'll be joining me on Tuesday and on Thursday, possibly you one o'clock over on Tuesday.

Dustin Howes:

Anybody is welcome to come in and take Chuck's seat. I will have a rotation of people coming in and asking questions and nerding out for five to 10 minutes at a time, and we're going to be taking an episode out of it. I had a cancellation and this is who I'm going to fill it in. I'm going to fill it in with everybody. So come on in and join me, hang out and have a good time and then, for all of those that need help with affiliate marketing, I am happy to give you 15 minutes of my time. Go to dustinhousecom slash pod and sign up for a free briefing in it and that's it for us. Chuck, really appreciate you jumping in and dropping your knowledge bombs. Thanks for coming, man.

Chuck Hamrick:

Well, I'm sorry that I didn't get involved with that one on the acronyms and stuff. I came up with some stuff afterwards, but I just I mean, I hate to say it, but it's kind of like putting a SOPA up around. When I'm screening applications, I'll put your webinars on and just kind of listen. Of course it's cracking me up the whole time, so I don't really stress.

Dustin Howes:

I appreciate that. That's high praise. Appreciate it, Chuck. Thanks for listening, Thanks for being involved and for all those out there, good luck to you and we'll see you out there. Take care. Thank you, Joseph. Thanks everyone.

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