Affiliate Nerd Out

20 Years of Lessons & Tips for Success as a Female agency Owner with Jennifer Myers Ward

October 27, 2023 Dustin Howes Season 1 Episode 35
20 Years of Lessons & Tips for Success as a Female agency Owner with Jennifer Myers Ward
Affiliate Nerd Out
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Affiliate Nerd Out
20 Years of Lessons & Tips for Success as a Female agency Owner with Jennifer Myers Ward
Oct 27, 2023 Season 1 Episode 35
Dustin Howes

Jennifer Myers Ward, the dynamic founder, and CEO of E-Bub and Beyond, steps into the spotlight in our latest episode. Imagine a journey through the labyrinth of the affiliate industry spanning more than 17 years, punctuated with challenges, triumphs, and valuable lessons. From her humble beginnings to her evolution into a respected industry consultant, Jennifer opens up about her story, providing a unique perspective on the affiliate industry's changes and challenges.

As we traverse Jennifer's world of affiliate marketing, she focuses on the hurdles of transitioning from employee to entrepreneur. You'll feel the struggle of starting a consulting business and the added weight of being a woman in a male-dominated industry. But don't worry, it's not all uphill. Jennifer shares her secret weapons for success - an unyielding spirit, networking, and a strong brand presence. These are the foundations that have held her up through her journey.

The climax of our journey with Jennifer dwells on the importance of a reliable team and keeping an open mind towards industry trends. She shares her thoughts on choosing the right partners and assembling an effective team. To top it off, we have Victor and Mike from Oh Appy Stache and Martek Record, sharing their perspectives on the industry. As we wrap up our journey, we sneak a peek at our upcoming guests and an affiliate program checklist you'd want to get your hands on. So, gear up and join us on this exciting exploration of the world of affiliate marketing!

Publisher out there, go check out their easy javascript functions on WordPress sites. It works like magic to add up to date CTAs within your blog posts. Go see it for yourself at dustinhowes.com/acom

This is a tool all publishers out there need to be utilizing, go to dustinhowes.com/nuc for a 1-month free trial and a demo of the product. Please use my link to enable my content making addition. Dustinhowes.com/nuc

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

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Jennifer Myers Ward, the dynamic founder, and CEO of E-Bub and Beyond, steps into the spotlight in our latest episode. Imagine a journey through the labyrinth of the affiliate industry spanning more than 17 years, punctuated with challenges, triumphs, and valuable lessons. From her humble beginnings to her evolution into a respected industry consultant, Jennifer opens up about her story, providing a unique perspective on the affiliate industry's changes and challenges.

As we traverse Jennifer's world of affiliate marketing, she focuses on the hurdles of transitioning from employee to entrepreneur. You'll feel the struggle of starting a consulting business and the added weight of being a woman in a male-dominated industry. But don't worry, it's not all uphill. Jennifer shares her secret weapons for success - an unyielding spirit, networking, and a strong brand presence. These are the foundations that have held her up through her journey.

The climax of our journey with Jennifer dwells on the importance of a reliable team and keeping an open mind towards industry trends. She shares her thoughts on choosing the right partners and assembling an effective team. To top it off, we have Victor and Mike from Oh Appy Stache and Martek Record, sharing their perspectives on the industry. As we wrap up our journey, we sneak a peek at our upcoming guests and an affiliate program checklist you'd want to get your hands on. So, gear up and join us on this exciting exploration of the world of affiliate marketing!

Publisher out there, go check out their easy javascript functions on WordPress sites. It works like magic to add up to date CTAs within your blog posts. Go see it for yourself at dustinhowes.com/acom

This is a tool all publishers out there need to be utilizing, go to dustinhowes.com/nuc for a 1-month free trial and a demo of the product. Please use my link to enable my content making addition. Dustinhowes.com/nuc

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

Dustin Howes:

Hey folks, welcome to Affiliate Nerd Out. I am your Nurturator, dustin Howe. Spread that good word about affiliate marketing. You're going to find me here on LinkedIn Live every Tuesday and Thursday at 12.15 Pacific Time, so please put it on your calendar, stop by and chat it up with me and the legendary guests that I have on. Today, my guest is Jennifer Myer-Whorst, founder and CEO of E-Bub and Beyond. Jennifer, welcome to the Nerditorium.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

Thank you, Dustin. This is my first Nerditorium visit ever, so I appreciate the invite.

Dustin Howes:

Well, luckily, you've been a nerd for as long as I've known you and you fit right in here and that's why you get the invite. Jennifer and I are going to be nerding out about affiliate, so jump in to the live Q&A portion of the chat. Drop a question for Jennifer she's going to be dropping some great lessons and tips for successful female entrepreneurs out there and our question of the day. I would love some feedback from the crowd that is listening today. Who is a female role model in your life today and we'll start off this episode with Jennifer you go ahead and answer this question.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

Okay, so I'm going to kind of throw a co-rule model at you so famous person, Sally Ride. I mean, she did go above and beyond, correct?

Dustin Howes:

All right.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

But no, seriously, she was blazing trails for females in a time where there was no thumb print for women and an aviation industry, and I just think that's incredible. The other would be my mom and seriously she's completely. She wasn't blazing trails up in an airplane or anything, but she was at home and teaching me life lessons that I carry with me to this day and hand on to my kids. So she's definitely a great part of who I am today.

Dustin Howes:

Beautiful answer. All right For those out there that are watching, drop your answer in the chat and let's talk about it. I'd love to hear from you guys, but without further ado here. Jennifer, who are you?

Jennifer Myers Ward:

Well, I am the owner and founder, as you said, above and beyond, we are a 20-plus year old award-winning agency. I am also the wife of Gary. I have a great husband. I have amazing children, two of them, Jackson and Charlie, and I am an avid sports fan. Anything really out of the state of North Carolina, or I should say the University of North Carolina or the Charlotte area. I love to travel been to more countries than states actually, and yeah, I mean I lived abroad, but I would be remiss not to mention that I also cruise every now and then, perhaps frequently.

Dustin Howes:

Cruise, that's international waters, got it.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

Yeah, they are.

Dustin Howes:

Awesome. I think my favorite North Carolina athlete of all time has to be Madison Bubbingartner, the giant.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

So Okay, I'm going to go to the Michael Jordan route just for fun.

Dustin Howes:

Eh, come on, that's too easy, I'm going to go that route. Awesome, and I love your answer here of jumping in with yes, I have a business owner, I have my career, but I also have my family. Not a lot of people like drop that in that kind of question and the question is designed for you to answer however you want. I love your answer there. So part of that I think you and I met.

Dustin Howes:

I don't know if we met at a conference, but we were in a chat together and a chat that somebody invited me into, and then I got to a whole slew of affiliate managers that taught me how to be a better affiliate manager than you, a part of that crew. And then I finally saw you at a conference, at a dinner Like I had no business being a part of. I was invited there from a mentor and then I met you for the first time and you were overwhelmingly nice to me and I didn't know why, and you've always been so nice to me and I really appreciate how open you've been to like just me being in your life and that kind of capacity and mentoring me through these years.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

Well, you're welcome, dustin Jeez.

Dustin Howes:

Anyway, I appreciate you and I really appreciate you being here today dropping some knowledge. If you want to get a hold of Jennifer, I'm going to drop her link in the chat here shortly. If you'd like to be a Jennifer seat, come by and be my guest. Go to Dustinhowes. com, slash, nerd and sign up and drop a topic that you want to nerd out about. In affiliate marketing, I've had a debt link there for the last couple of days or something, so if anybody's done it in the past and it failed, it is working now. Sorry about the mishap. Oh, we've got chats already, all right. Oh, kristen, big time. Evan's coming in. Kei Chen is the goat. Stephanie Robbins as well. Jen is always wonderfully, overwhelmingly nice, correct.

Dustin Howes:

I'm going to tell my girls man geez, they're two of my favorites as well. So let's get to Eve Boven-Beyond First off. Let's get into this name, or, as in story, always a fun topic how did this name come about?

Jennifer Myers Ward:

Yeah, thank you for asking actually. So my thought process was and this is back in 2003, right? So anything that had to do with the web started with e. It's like consulting e, this e that.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

So, I wanted to put out there that in the kind of agency that I wanted to create was something that was very hands-on, very personable, but went above and beyond expectations. So I got really clever and stuck the e in front of above and beyond and it became e above and beyond. But one little tiny piece that goes with that is if you see the logo. It's like a little swishy thing. I've been told it looks like a shrimp, but it's actually my thumb in paint and the color of the paint is actually the same pan tone as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Tar Hill Blue.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

So there's a lot that went into that.

Dustin Howes:

Beautiful. Yeah, my Dustinhowes. com logo is Giant's Orange, so I can appreciate that color. I'm not gonna drop right there. So you named it in 2003, and you made the logo as a logo survived the whole time as well.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

It has, because I think it's timeless, because it's actually, if you look at it's going above and beyond, because it's like a little swishy thing upwards, and then the thumbprint is my hands, it's hands-on, it's not stamped out, et cetera. So love it, dan's the test of time, dustin.

Dustin Howes:

Fantastic. Stick it with your guns, love it In an era of maybe it's not right now, but like five years ago like rebranding was super hot and you survived that COVID era and the rebranding era altogether. Oh, you've got another legend coming in. Hey, karen, give him love. Absolutely one of the nicest people in the industry. Thank you, karen. I don't know if you agree. All right, so we know how you got the name. Tell us what you do and who you're servicing out there.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

Yeah.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

So we obviously deal in affiliate marketing, helping our clients define the right mix of affiliates to bring in the right demographic and the right traffic to help grow their businesses and help, you know, expand their brand awareness, all those fun things.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

As far as who is who we are servicing, it's retail, for sure we cross the gamut. I mean, at any given time you could say, oh, we have a couple clients and you know, like food and beverage or you know in a peril or something like that. But you know, our you know kind of take on this is, instead of getting into one vertical, is to take the way we do business and it actually survives across really any vertical. The way we get to know the client, the way we get to understand their business, it can be applied across several verticals. I always had the feeling if you got stuck in one vertical right and you were just said, you know like candy and you had five candy clients, well how do you decide who to give that really awesome remnant space? When you get the phone call you're like, oh, who's paying me more or who's you know? So I think diversifying the portfolio of clients is very strong and helps us to grow by working with different demographics, different buying cycles, you know that kind of thing.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah, and, and the other part of that is you're growing your Rolodex of affiliates that you're working with. Yes, well, right, and you can go back to when you find another client and those kinds of verticals, so absolutely important. So you're pretty diversified, but it's it's mostly focused on e-commerce products, correct?

Jennifer Myers Ward:

Yes and retail.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah, retail, yeah, yeah direct to consumer Yep. Awesome and I heard you had some exciting news. You won yourself a new award this year and I'll be award. Tell us about that.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

Did Well. It was a surprise nomination. I was out in LA last week. I was nominated. I not I, my team and I were nominated, I'm just the only one that flew out there were nominated for the agency of the year award. It was a great time out in LA. It was actually hosted by Jeff Ross, the comedian of Comedy Channel, the roaster of all roasters.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

Roastmaster yes, yes, and mixed master Mike was our from BC boys. I mean it was. It was a good time. It was well done by AFI, a lot of representation by Link Unite, which is a group for women in the workforce, women entrepreneurs and such. Sarah Malo was out there and the funny part was so I was surprised to win after sitting there watching Jeff Ross literally roasting everyone that went up on stage. So I was like, okay, I've never not wanted to win award so bad in my life. And I got up there and I was like, oh my God, I was so nervous that the handy the mic introduced me Darren does, and he proceeds to tell me that I'm and this is the craziest thing completely unroastable in every way. I was like, okay, now he's really going to hit me with the zinger. He did make a remark about my dress looking like curtains, but I was like, oh okay, that's tame, I can handle that.

Dustin Howes:

That's unbelievable.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

So I was so nervous and then he said that and I was like okay, so it was crazy. Nothing that I expected I have to tell you, but it was amazing time. I'm very proud on behalf of my team, so they deserve it.

Dustin Howes:

Well, congratulations to you. Sad to hear that Jeff couldn't pick on you like he did for everybody else, but I don't think you need to step in, Dustin.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

let me just cut you off there because I know you.

Dustin Howes:

I wouldn't dare. It's like you know me or something Impressive. That's on the award. That is awesome to hear. If they're going to invite Jeff Ross to go, I'm going to go to the next year. That's one of my favorites of all time to go see. Awesome. Let's talk about your career in affiliate. You said to start in 2003. That's 20 plus years now. Let's talk about and did your career start before that or that's when you open the agency, correct?

Jennifer Myers Ward:

That's when I opened the agency. Yeah, my career started in 97.

Dustin Howes:

I mean, in this industry, I should say so, okay, good to go, and you've witnessed this industry and it's up and downs. Like, can you tell us what you've seen in the history, like, what have you witnessed that is maybe noteworthy throughout time?

Jennifer Myers Ward:

Well, I mean, the industry obviously has changed throughout time and when I say this I think it'll put in perspective. But when I started EBOB in 2003, there was no Google, so you actually had to know facts yourself, right, you couldn't just Google them. So I mean, basically there's a lot that's happened and the time I've been in the industry, you know anything from various different regulations where you have to state that you know you're receiving new payment for different links to the different types of affiliates that have emerged. You know there's affiliate links now and editorial and publications and things like that that used to be very Private in terms of the editors deciding what products and who they would list and so on and so forth. And you know, now they've become a bit more open to editorial links, you know, and when I say publications, obviously it's like a Cosmo or you know that kind of thing. So it's kind of bridging PR and affiliate together.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

I Would say downs are Well, part of them. I think just really was e-commerce altogether right. If all I have to say is 2008, 2009, and we all go, yeah, that the whole e-com, nobody was buying anything, right, right, but what I think an up is and and that we're still navigating is all the various different technology that has come in. Right, I mean, add five, ten years ago. I mean, if I said something about tweeting Sorry, I still call it Twitter, but anyway, okay, leading you'd be like what you know, or I'm on Insta or I'm snapchatting or I'm tick-tocking, you'd be like you.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

What is the matter with you? You know, to me, every a couple years we get something brand new and AI now right, I mean, it's, what is it? How do we harness it? You know, for the good right, how do we Leverage the value of it as we communicate with our consumers on behalf of our clients? So to me, I find that to be an up. You know, there's within that up right, there's pitfalls. You're like, oh, that could be a problem, but I really think that the Continual technology is is. It isn't up, you know, but it does force us to kind of constantly stand our toes on how we're gonna navigate that.

Dustin Howes:

Mm-hmm, absolutely, and with that technology it's always hard to pick the real winners. I have found like if you really invested in my space, you failed, right? Don't tell Justin Timber like that if I keep on it. But my point is like there are a lot of different social media so you can really invest in. Buying might be another one where like, yeah, it was the six seconds of Bliss and then that that that either got bought or like jumped out of the equation. But like, if you were an early adapter to a tick-tock and started getting in with the, the prices were super cheap. You could have made a lot of money, right?

Jennifer Myers Ward:

But yeah, I'm finding my mirrors right.

Dustin Howes:

Finding those winners are always a difficult part. So, being that you were, have been in this industry and, like, started as an entrepreneur back in 2003, you were in the early side. You were a female entrepreneur before it was cool like these days it's, it's. It's much more commonplace, especially in the affiliate realm. I don't know what the statistic is for Female entrepreneurs in this industry, but I I know it's continuing to go up. But tell us about that journey and, like, your first start in this industry as an entrepreneur.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

Wow, yeah. So I always kind of make this joke because it's the truth. When I first went to conferences again, my very first conference ever was February of 03 and it was E-Tale out in California. I remember looking around and there was like not a woman to be found. I mean, there really were no females there at all, and E-Tale obviously isn't just affiliate only, it's kind of everything. And the big benefit to that was there was no bathroom line. That is, literally there were no women, so there was no one in the bathroom line.

Dustin Howes:

Okay.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

That was the benefit. The other side of it was realizing that you know what you needed to dig your heels in and I mean you got to know your stuff and you still have to know your stuff. But you know, at the time I was 28 years old and do the math and you know, walking around, you know I knew what I was talking about. I had a history with Amazon was where I was previously and so I knew, I knew what I was talking about. And so it's like being comfortable in your shoes and knowing that you know what you're talking about and pervading that you know.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

And it was a little harder because, you know, I did feel like at times I was being talked to not I thought I was, I was being talked to differently or what I had to say was being regarded differently or given a different level of credibility. So it was definitely a challenge. It took some being scrappy and which is fine with me. I love a challenge. I'm very competitive. If anyone knows me, tell me I can't, or tell me I don't know and I'm going to prove you wrong. So kind of married those two things together and just went for it.

Dustin Howes:

Awesome. So you jumped in as an entrepreneur, but you had a little history leading up to that. Can you tell us about, like, what it was like being an employee and then go into a consultant and and where did this lead come from? Essentially, Sure.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

Well, I was first an employee of Amazon over in the UK. I was there when they first started in 97. So I always say, yeah, I got my MBA and everything you commerce. I mean when you work for Amazon, you're getting some serious insight.

Dustin Howes:

And this is back in 97.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

So I mean there, you know this is, I think we were still, we were books and music was like the new cool thing we were doing. So it was a long time ago. I know right. So I loved it there, but my visa expired and the truth of the matter, I wasn't willing to move from cold and rainy London to cold and rainy Seattle, so I found a job in Florida on monstercom you talk about things that have come and gone and I took a job actually a little south of here and book I'm in Florida now worked there and helped them set up their ecom side.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

It was a catalog company, you know. After two years I kind of got to this point where I built a great team. I had a lot of people that I'd known from like college and other areas reaching out to me and asking me you know what I knew about ecommerce or how could I help or can you help me with my website? And I kind of was ready for a change, something a little more diverse instead of kind of one company. I was like I liked this idea of thinking about what I knew and how I could apply it to multiple things. I made the leap in January of three to start above. So, and to your point, I did start as a consultant. It was me myself and I and my dog at the time, but that was it.

Dustin Howes:

I can't imagine your dog was a great employee. What did?

Jennifer Myers Ward:

you do? You did it to play cell cell reports. No, okay, you got fed and shelter and lots of love, but very love.

Dustin Howes:

The leap came. The leap came. And what made that decision? Like when did you say I'm done working for somebody, I want to work for myself, and was it a flexibility thing? Was it a job? I saw that the money was going to be better, and what was that decision?

Jennifer Myers Ward:

I think it was a little bit of opportunity was going to be better, more personal growth. To some extent the company was family owned, which is fine, totally, you know. But I felt like I kind of wanted something more and I, you know, for myself, or personal growth and the money. I wouldn't say I jumped for the money, because when you jump from something where the check is coming in to somewhere where you, you are your job, with no one lined up, it definitely wasn't the money out the door, it was more the desire for personal growth, the feeling that I could achieve more help people, more help some. You know what I mean. Instead of just in a smaller circumstance, I wanted to see what I was capable of and how much impact I could have on a variety of different people.

Dustin Howes:

Okay, gotcha. And then did you have clients lined up before you took that leap is, did you have one or two?

Jennifer Myers Ward:

Not exactly. I'd had people reach out to me Kind of asking and so kind of planted the seed in my head. You know, I could probably do this if I, you know, I actually talked to my dad and you know, because I was like, yeah, I was scared was 28 years old, I was like it wasn't, like I was like, yes, here's my business plan, I'm totally doing this. You know, it was just kind of this gut feel and it was like, okay, if this doesn't work out, I can get a job. I mean, that's not something you can't do. I just came from Amazon and Europe. I mean I have international, I had a lot of different things, and so that gave me, you know, the confidence to know that I could give this a try and give it all. You got right and so, you know, I made the jump and it worked out.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

Yeah yes, I can't say that. When I started I thought I'd be sitting here 20 years later saying that I can't say. I thought I was going to fail. I just wasn't sure what the potential was. I just knew there was something there and I felt like I could do more, learn more. You know that kind of thing.

Dustin Howes:

Okay, gotcha and tell us more about, like, the hurdles you face during that time. So you make this leap and you start getting a few clients. Things are going well, but what are some of the biggest hurdles you were facing, not only as an entrepreneur, but as a female as well in this industry?

Jennifer Myers Ward:

As an entrepreneur, kind of what you said. I didn't have any necessarily have clients lined up. I did sign on my first client very shortly after I made the decision because I kind of had conversation going. But I think the hurdles I faced in the beginning we're figuring out like this okay, so now I have this business right. And again, I didn't sit down and write out this calculated business plan. So there was a lot of flying by the seat of my pants and some of that was well, how am I going to get out there? How am I going to meet people? How am I going to network? How are people going to know about me? Right, you know? So I basically took the money that I had from so I living in London.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

When I moved back, the exchange rate was in my benefits, so it's like I came back with more money than I've had over there, but I spent time going to every single conference I could put my hands on. That had ecom, you know. So I had a lot of mile, mile flight miles from going back and forth between the states and UK. So, long story short, I pulled all my resources, went everywhere I could because I had to be in the places where people who would need my services were. So I spent a lot of time doing that. So I mean, I think one of my biggest hurdles was figuring out how was I going to get the word out? How is I going to grow this business? And then, as it evolved, it was how am I going to do all kinds of stuff? Right, like, how am I going to do billing? How am I going to do? You know, this wasn't like I sat down and thought it out. I was kind of like going through it, you know, as it was happening, and I think we touched on the hurdles.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

As a female, I'm trying to be as a straight way, but I'm being taken seriously, being respected for the knowledge that I did have, being trusted, that what I was saying was true and that I could help and that I was smart enough and had, you know again, enough experience to make a difference, to be trusted with somebody's brand, right, sure. So I found that to be, you know, quite that, being younger, you know, I remember when I turned 30 I was like, yes, now I sound like I'm old enough to know what I'm talking about.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah, it's only amazing On that note, like Folks at ASW that have booths had traditionally had. You know people call them disparate names but booth babes like being a very common one.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

You threw that right out there, right for me.

Dustin Howes:

But like it's, it's. It's a bit cringy, but it is. It's like a career starter, right. Like though, they put those with babes in there and maybe they they turn that into a career. Maybe they don't, but like, how does that bother you?

Jennifer Myers Ward:

like I mean, you've been going, yes, um, it, absolutely, absolutely I wanted to hug Missy Moore's neck the year that she wouldn't let in these ones that had these fuzzy boots, bikini tops and Little ski hats on or something. Yeah, I find it completely Offensive and it was like you pitched that to me for the perfect home run, because I found that to be absolutely, utterly insulting. I mean, we're not standing there with Chippendales behind a woman and the guys would be like who you know. It was just like it was okay, because that's how you looked at women. They were like eye candy. You're using them to bring them to your booth.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

Right, it wasn't a game of like you know where they have a little roulette wheels and you get to do that. No, we're just gonna bring some booth babes, um, and stand them there and see if people want to come by and visit us, and so it, I think, furthered the mentality within the industry and at conferences at that time. I mean, how do you go from looking at you know models or Dancers or what have you from Vegas that are standing in booths? I'm pretty sure that they didn't evolve into CEOs of. Maybe they did. I could be wrong.

Dustin Howes:

I'm sure there's some success stories out there, right.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

I mean the Vegas ones are just were always over the top. But I think it furthered that culture and further set back what women were trying to do Out there. Right, because these guys have been walking around and going like yeah, yeah, and then you have a meeting with them, they're like hey, you're like no, no. No Take it down a notch, but not, hey, it's not what this movie is.

Dustin Howes:

Stephanie's agreed that she's so glad that's faced out lots of us have talked about that.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

I mean, if you think about, I mean it's just insulting, is all get out, it's kind of like no yeah, and it's always been cringe worthy, in my opinion, like Working or like talking through the booths.

Dustin Howes:

I almost avoid those booths, rather than because I know what they're trying to do and that makes my Me not want to have a distraction.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

You shine a thing. Oh, you're a good guy, dustin. Oh.

Dustin Howes:

Listen to me. Virtue signal like this is terrible. Yeah, look how good a guy I am. Like, that's not what I'm saying. Uh, what about other Hurdles that you think they've faced? Anything else come to mind that we didn't go over in that capacity?

Jennifer Myers Ward:

um, I Don't think, specific hurdles. Um, I mean, I think you know I feel like we've kind of touched on that You're getting the respect you know, really just going out there and making things happen for yourself you know I mean that's not easy.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

There's days where it was like I would grab my keyboard and be like, dear Jennifer, I formally resigned from this position. No, I mean you know I want to quit. Like when, don't you want to? If you know it gets hard. There's a lot of hard things. There's the monetary piece. There's clients that For no apparent reason, decide, oh, we got a new marketing manager, we're gonna leave and go over with this person. You're like, oh my god, making you 30% of your business. But okay, I mean you know it's rolling with the punches, right. I mean it's not all rainbows and unicorns by stretch.

Dustin Howes:

You know, I want to quit. Every Monday morning, like Every Monday morning, I want to quit what I'm doing and, like I mean, I'll just go.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

Maybe I'll just go work for UPS.

Dustin Howes:

Like maybe I'll just be a truck driver. All of a sudden, I just see what.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

Brown can do for you.

Dustin Howes:

Dustin, you know the logo, that's, that's good marketing on there for a marketer, alright. So let's do some tips. What can you give us to those female entrepreneurs that might be on that cost of like, considering leaving their full-time job and giving into this entrepreneurial world? I mean, I have a couple of things that you know.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

When I was thinking about this, you know I think that male or female, but you know, I think you really need to build a strong brand yourself. I mean, you asked me about my company right out the gates and you can tell I didn't just go. Oh, give me a you know clip art of something, and let's just call it marketing girl or something Is building that brand. But not just the outside part that you see. I think the most important part is building what's underneath the foundation. So to me, that is you know the values and what makes your agency unique and what I believe this is something my dad taught me a long time ago. It's like higher people that scare you, right? I mean, I'm not talking about like you think they're gonna, you know, take you out, but that's very you so much as you think, man, they could do my job.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

I mean, I want an army of people that you know are smarter than me, if you know that have better ideas than I do. Sometimes like just arming yourself with a team of people, that, again, that scare you. You're like man, they could take my job right away from me and yeah, I've carried that for a long time. I think that's super important, not just to be filling chairs and say, okay, we've got 15 employees. You know I've got Anne and Bren and Rob. Each one of them has been with me, the minimum of between the three of them. They're like 12, 13 and 14 years. They've been with me and that's a long time.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

And then Donna and Allison just recently came on post COVID. But you know, I think it's finding those people and not filling seats. I mean I can't tell you how much I've been doing. I think it's finding those people and not filling seats. I mean I can't tell you how many times where you know we were all working More than we, you know, could probably handle on some days, just not to bring in someone but to bring in the right person that really believes in. You know, the brand that you built, like it's a very important thing to me. E-bov's brand is really important to me.

Dustin Howes:

So that foundation it's. I sorry to cut you off there. No no no, I mean, I like that foundation was super important to your brand, but sometimes, like you don't want that to be the hold up of you getting started right like right.

Dustin Howes:

If you want to put a really solid foundation and what your goals are and what's your, what are the staples of your core values. Yeah right, you want those all in place and what you're going to be about, but those are going to evolve over time, once you learn some hard lessons in entrepreneurship. But I want to stress the importance of don't be afraid to get started, like, don't let perfection hold you back.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

No, absolutely not. No, I did it on my own at first. Like I said, it was me for a couple of years until I got pregnant, and then that couldn't just be me anymore.

Dustin Howes:

I only have two hands.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

So yeah, gotcha so yeah, but yeah, I think that that's important. People always tell me how did you take the leap year and weren't you scared? It's like, well, aren't you scared when you go to work every day? You're not in control of your destiny. You don't know if your boss is going to fire you. You don't know who's going to come in as your next boss. Like, at least I felt like I am in control of my own destiny To some extent. I can go out there, put my two feet on the ground and, you know, make things happen for myself. Like I had more control than I feel, like I did when I worked for someone else.

Dustin Howes:

to be honest, yes, love that sentiment. I also love that sentiment of hiring people that scare you. That is by far away like the biggest takeaway for me for the day. We'll hit that at the end, but like that is a great sentiment. I like to hire people that feel the gaps that I have professionally, like the ones, the things I really hate doing or the things I'm not necessarily good at. That's why Oshun Margaava and I made such a great team at WPNs because I get to do the relationships, he does all the statistics and reporting and we made a hell of a team in that kind of capacity.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

For sure?

Dustin Howes:

Yeah. Well, kristen Evans put down something she was typing too fast and put something embarrassing in. Stephanie Robbins nodding gave me a bigger ick. I don't know what that means. I could be interpreted so many different ways. I don't know. Just clean it up. This is a family show. Kristen Evans, appreciate you, thank you. Getting back to more tips, I cut you off, you're okay, because that was rude, but like just trying to compliment what you were saying there. That's more. What's that next tip for those entrepreneurs out there?

Jennifer Myers Ward:

Yeah, networking. So I kind of hate that word because A I feel like it's a buzzword and B I feel like it's gotten. I mentioned how I went out to every conference I could right. So I did network in essence. I went and got every business card I could right, that's what people do. And then they go back and they send their dear Dustin, it was great to meet you and so they come back, I feel like a lot of times, and then try to sell the product. Okay, I have these 25 cards. I need to sell the product.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

I took a different approach and I learned it from my mom who, as a kid I didn't really appreciate this fact. When she made us write thank you notes every Christmas birthday, literally handwritten thank you notes, no joke. I was like this is August, man, no one does this. Well, now, I'm sure nobody does it because you just sent an email or a text or something. But anyway, she taught me the value of that long ago, and so I would get on the plane after I'd been to a conference, but after I'd meet someone I would quickly take notes on the back. I did a lot more listening than talking. She's smart, yeah, and I wrote notes on the back and then my plane ride back. I have note cards. I still, to this day, have eBub note cards and I sat there and wrote them. Thank you for spending time talking to me, as well as touching on a couple of things. You know like your giants suck this year Dustin boo, you know, or something like that.

Dustin Howes:

whatever you get my point.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

But it was personable to say, hey, I remembered you with all those people, not just, hey, this is eBub, you totally need me to come in and do your marketing. You know I wouldn't even talk about my business, I would just say thank you for your time. You know you cracked me up with your story about this, or, oh my God, I can't believe. You know you're from the same town I am, or you know any little tidbit that made them remember me and let them know I'd listened and I wasn't just going uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh and trying to sell them. And that has come back to me more than once. I've had a client that came back and said you know, I kept that handwritten note on a bulletin board in my office because I'd never had anyone do that.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

And he's like I would use this for an example sometimes in meetings to say this is what it means to build relationships with people. It's not to do all the talking and try to sell. It's about taking it in and making a personal connection to them right, so that relationship building. Taking networking which to me is a cold word and turn it into relationships like truly beyond the business card, it's to the person right and keeping up with those people in years to come. I mean, I can give you examples of people I met in those early days that would say, yep, I met Jen then and I've worked with them. Not then. I have people that it was 10 years later before we ever worked together. So it's you know. That to me is a huge thing is to take networking away from the cold checklist that you think of and turn it into a personable relationship building tool, because then it will come back to you, Maybe not right away, but it will 100%, 100%.

Dustin Howes:

Never bring your bridges. You never know when that person has gonna come back into your life down the line Right. And so I was talking to the guy over at Respona the other day and going through some features of their product absolutely love what they're doing and the guy told me he was an affiliate manager years ago for something else. And then I looked through my emails real quick and I found that we had a conversation seven years ago that I completely forgot about.

Dustin Howes:

No, I do that too it happens a lot, but it always funds a reminisce and I looked back at what I said or what I wrote and it was appropriate Like I'm glad I'm acting how I should for the future and I think that's such an important value and lesson that you're dropping there and love the card thing. Card technology has dropped off dramatically or like popped up, just like every other technology where you can scan badges instead. But I don't love that aspect. At conferences, like now I'm typing on my phone that looks like I'm busy doing something else. I like having the conversation writing on the card and then when I get back from that conference, follow up in that first three days.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

Yeah.

Dustin Howes:

You're still doing the same thing, I would assume.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

I still write letters and notes a lot of the time. You'd be surprised you beat the clutter of that three. So you just said it, that three day window. Everybody sits down like okay, god, all right, hi. And everyone comes back to an inbox and they're just like, oh, but they're gonna open that mail and be like holy cow. So I mean it is a stand apart. I think that is amazing, stephanie says.

Dustin Howes:

my kids still do it. That's amazing. Great parenting, stephanie. Like that's legit. I don't know if I'm gonna go that extra mile with my kids.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

Oh, karen no.

Dustin Howes:

Karen saying she had her up here, but it was some serious salt in the moon, she's not wrong. That was super rude and by far the meanest thing you've ever said to anyone.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

Pretty sure, Bad example. Bad example Sorry.

Dustin Howes:

All right, and then what thing? Before we start wrapping this up, we talked about that employee to the consultant. But like what was that turning point for you when you go from consultant over into the agency? What was that tipping point for you and for many of the agency owners up there today?

Jennifer Myers Ward:

Well, initially I got pregnant and I so I couldn't be the one man show consultant anymore and the reason it took me, you know, such a drastic measure. I think that really pushed me and needed to push me, because I was very much. I had built the brand to be the way I wanted it to be very hands-on, very personable, and I was scared to hand it over to someone else to on the behalf of my precious agency, my first baby. How were they going to do it? What if they messed up? And what if people thought you both was terrible? Now, what if they weren't representing it? Well, what if they didn't do the things the way I want?

Jennifer Myers Ward:

Like, I was very nervous to release that, but I think it goes back to that whole team thing. It's like, okay, you're not just handing it over and walking away, you're still there, but pick somebody that you're not afraid to hand it to, like, or someone you think could do just what you've done, or do what you've done but do it better. You know it goes back to that. So I mean I love agency now. I mean I have, you know, there's six of us or whatever and I love the fact that I have other people's input. I have other ideas.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

I mean you can only think so much on your own right. I mean so I just get so much inspiration from my team. They inspire each other, bouncing ideas off each other. I mean we're all remote. We've never worked in the same office, ever. It's not like a byproduct of COVID, this is the way it's been. So you know there's a lot of. You know real team building when you're not sitting in the same room. I mean people think you don't because you don't see people. But we really do. You know work off of each other and grow as an agency, as a group, based on what each person brings to the table at any given time.

Dustin Howes:

Fantastic. Yeah, collaboration within your team is super important. Yes, you're making the right people. I'm sure you've had to fire people in the past that didn't quite work out. You know, doing your best to like judge character when you're hiring is an important aspect, but you just got to learn from trial and error, honestly, luckily, I haven't had too many of those because I tend to err on the side of caution Like I'm like kind of snotty about who I'm really picky.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

I'm really picky, sure.

Dustin Howes:

I'm not snotty about that. No wonder we haven't worked together All right. So what's the affiliate future hold? What do you see in the industry as a top trend that you think is going to really pop off here?

Jennifer Myers Ward:

I don't. I feel like we're going to transition time to some degree. Okay, you know, I think we've gone. You know, to me there were days where it seemed like affiliate was like this bad word where you were paying for people to like you and all this other stuff. We've gotten past that now and we realized that, you know, we're monetizing relationships, we're bettering brands by delivering them to good audiences, but as far as what the future holds, I think you know part of that falls into the hands of technology. Where does that go next? Because, it being that we're online, it does guide to some extent. You know what we're faced with, right? I mean, as far as the future goes, I think I mentioned like AI a minute ago. But what's the next AI in two years? Right? What's the next? I mean it's it's hard for me to say what the future holds. To be honest, if I knew, I'd be playing the lottery and not talking to you. Yeah.

Dustin Howes:

I mean, we can only take educated guests, I know.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

I know, and I just sometimes I step back from doing that because I'd like to see how things unfold and not go in with jaded eyes or, oh well, this is definitely going to happen. You know, this is here's what's going to happen. We're going to. There's going to be no more performance marketing or Howard, no third party cookies going to do oh, we're ruined.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

You know, I'd like to Watch things unfold to some degree, as they do, because I think that, coming in with preconceived notions or what you think it's going to be, then that's what you see happening, and I think keeping an open mind helps keep you creative as the industry continues to evolve.

Dustin Howes:

Gotcha. I mean, I think it's important to gamble on a few things that are futuristic. I saw AI and I started playing around with it immediately. That was a couple of years ago and I've worked that into my workflows a lot and I'm glad that I haven't fallen behind the industry times because of that. But yeah, what's the next AI? Nobody knows.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

I don't know. Like I said, if I knew, who.

Dustin Howes:

we've got a LinkedIn user here. I'm not sure who it is, but it looks like it's somebody on your team. Team, yeah, lots of teams. So treat this like gold and we're in for another 20 years. Awesome, looks like you've got fans within the organization and Big Time Evans says Jen's leadership has been a huge inspiration for me. Fabulous, thank you. All right, as we wrap up, I want you. You know what. We don't even have time to defend your post today. I've got to wrap this thing up. You got off the hook this time. How do people connect with you here, jen?

Jennifer Myers Ward:

We've got. You know we've got. We're on Twitter, we're on Facebook, we're on Instagram, we're on LinkedIn, on our website, you've got. You can drop me an email, jennifer, at ebubandbeyondcom. We are everywhere we need to be, I think, at this point in time.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah, I think that's inappropriate. I put the LinkedIn profile as well in the chat. I'm going to grab that my lesson of today having this conversation with you. Oh, let's say, what was that man I miss? You phrased it just so perfectly Hire the people that scare you.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

You can thank my dad for that.

Dustin Howes:

Fantastic. Thanks, dad. Hire the people that scare you. You want those kind of people in your organization that are going to be smart and take you right. Next level.

Dustin Howes:

So, such a great takeaway. Thank you for that. My guest next week going to be Victor over at oh Appy Stache partner recruitment tool. That is up and coming. Victor, this young kid just itching to get on this show and I'm happy to have him on. He's just very enthusiastic on Patreon and I'm excited to have him and his tool on. And also Mike Nerny it's been a long time coming over at Martek Record. I'm very excited to have him on as well. If you want to get my affiliate program checklist, go hit this QR code right up here or go to Dustinhowes. com slash checklist and check it out. And that's it for me. Jennifer, thank you so much for being here and dropping this knowledge.

Jennifer Myers Ward:

My pleasure.

Dustin Howes:

Awesome For all those out there. Affiliate managers, keep on recruiting. We'll see you out there. Take care.

Nerditing Out About Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Industry Changes and Challenges
Challenges of Starting a Consulting Business
Tips for Female Entrepreneurs
Hiring the Right Team, Embracing the Future
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