Affiliate Nerd Out

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a f* - affiliate manager edition with Erica Deforge-Zarza

February 02, 2024 Dustin Howes Season 1 Episode 66
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a f* - affiliate manager edition with Erica Deforge-Zarza
Affiliate Nerd Out
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Affiliate Nerd Out
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a f* - affiliate manager edition with Erica Deforge-Zarza
Feb 02, 2024 Season 1 Episode 66
Dustin Howes

Ever wondered what it takes to skyrocket to success in the competitive world of affiliate marketing? Buckle up as we draw the curtain back with the phenomenal Erica DeForge-Sarza, whose journey from pandemic uncertainty to industry powerhouse is nothing short of inspiring. Erica opens up about the strategies and resources that propelled her forward, sharing tales of her self-styled "Bible" of affiliate marketing know-how and the significance of networking—providing a treasure trove of actionable advice for both newbies and veterans in the field.

Working from home has become the new normal, but mastering it in the dynamic field of affiliate marketing is an art in itself. In this episode, Erica reveals the tools and practices that keep her at the top of her game, allowing her to make precision decisions and remain impeccably organized. From her anecdotes about the early days to her current strategies for managing budgets and data, Erica ensures you leave with insights that could potentially recalibrate your approach to remote work and decision-making in affiliate marketing.

Finally, we wrap things up on a note of anticipation, teasing the exciting future sessions with Drew Johnson and Sal Conca, who will unpack the intricacies of tracking, attribution, and YouTube strategy. As we bid Erica farewell, we hope to fan the flames of your passion for affiliate marketing, leaving you eager for the networking possibilities and pearls of wisdom that lie ahead in our upcoming episodes. So, stay tuned and get ready to level up your affiliate marketing prowess!

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

Ever wondered what it takes to skyrocket to success in the competitive world of affiliate marketing? Buckle up as we draw the curtain back with the phenomenal Erica DeForge-Sarza, whose journey from pandemic uncertainty to industry powerhouse is nothing short of inspiring. Erica opens up about the strategies and resources that propelled her forward, sharing tales of her self-styled "Bible" of affiliate marketing know-how and the significance of networking—providing a treasure trove of actionable advice for both newbies and veterans in the field.

Working from home has become the new normal, but mastering it in the dynamic field of affiliate marketing is an art in itself. In this episode, Erica reveals the tools and practices that keep her at the top of her game, allowing her to make precision decisions and remain impeccably organized. From her anecdotes about the early days to her current strategies for managing budgets and data, Erica ensures you leave with insights that could potentially recalibrate your approach to remote work and decision-making in affiliate marketing.

Finally, we wrap things up on a note of anticipation, teasing the exciting future sessions with Drew Johnson and Sal Conca, who will unpack the intricacies of tracking, attribution, and YouTube strategy. As we bid Erica farewell, we hope to fan the flames of your passion for affiliate marketing, leaving you eager for the networking possibilities and pearls of wisdom that lie ahead in our upcoming episodes. So, stay tuned and get ready to level up your affiliate marketing prowess!

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 :

Hey folks, welcome to Affiliate Nerd out. I'm your Nerdirator, Dustin Howse. Spread that good word about affiliate marketing. You're going to find me here every Tuesday and Thursday at 12.15 Pacific time on LinkedIn Live, so put it on the calendar and stop on by for a little chat. Today we're going to be doing live Q&A with my old friend, erica. We are old coworkers, erica. Welcome to the Nerditorium.

Erica:

Thank you, I'm happy to be here.

Dustin :

Okay, our live Q&A will be going on. Erica has a short but amazing career that has unfolded in a short four years, and she has some incredible stories about her ability to get to where she is in her career in such a short period of time. So feel free to drop in some questions If you would like to be in that hot seat where Erica is, come be my guest. Dustinhowse. com slash nerd. Drop in an application anything you want to talk about. And today's big question and topic is the subtle art of not giving a duck. And this is all about being an affiliate manager and how to leave and split your work life balance essentially. And today's question of the day is how many ducks do you give? Please answer in the chats how many ducks you have. But without further ado, let's hear about you, erica. Who are you?

Erica:

Hello, hi everyone, my name is Erica DeForge-Sarza. Like Dustin said, I've been in the affiliate space. Okay.

Erica:

I'm going on my fourth year, so we'll call it like three and some change. So I got into affiliate right at the beginning of COVID, like March 14, let's say 2020. So truly in the thick of it. I had been working in a customer support role for a while and I was working at a startup in Santa Barbara where I went to school. My boss at the time asked me because sales in general were just down. He asked me if I wanted to help take over their affiliate program. I had no idea what an affiliate was, so but I was like sure, let's do it. Two seconds later, I'm on Google like typing in like what is affiliate? All night I stayed up watching YouTube videos, reading articles. I think I had my probably similar headphones in listening to podcasts on affiliate while simultaneously reading it. I was determined I'm like I'm going to keep my job, I'm going to learn affiliate, I'm going to do what they requested of me to manage their affiliate program, and I really just went full throttle into it.

Erica:

The internet was a huge resource. Specifically, I utilized Acceleration Partners blog posts. If you haven't tapped into them already, they have amazing, amazing material navigating from what your day should look like as an affiliate manager, because that is something I definitely Googled in March of 2020, as well as like what the breakdown of your program should be. They have definitions of every type of partner. That there is what capacity you should be working with them in, whether it's a CPA, cpc first click, last click you name it. That became my Bible. I printed out pages of it. I was fresh out of college, so my college brain was still flowing and I printed out most of those pages and put them in a binder.

Erica:

I'm not even kidding, and like it's hardly yes, literally, and I like would refer back to it and it was a massive resource for me. Also, I don't know how I discovered it in March of 2020, but I joined the Martech Records Slack group, which, for those that aren't familiar with it, it's an amazing community of people in the Martech space. Affiliate, specifically, you can. There's all different types of channels where you can talk about essentially anything affiliate related, but during COVID they had, I think, they were called like happy hours, like networking happy hours, whatever.

Erica:

I joined one. I think there was a hundred people in the Martech community then. I probably had been in the affiliate space for like two weeks. At that point I knew nothing, not nothing, but I knew the bare bare bones. And they went into breakout rooms and I remember someone asking me like Erica, what are your, what are your, what are your thoughts on the first click versus last click attribution? And I was being like no idea, no idea at all whatsoever.

Erica:

But from that community, in that exact breakout room, I believe Sarah Bundy, who's a pretty well-known name in the space, total like girl boss in affiliate she had reached out to me, I think on LinkedIn after, and was like hey, like, if you ever need anyone like I'm a resource, and at first being an affiliate, I definitely didn't feel comfortable utilizing my network. I guess you could say I know that's advice people always give like tap into your network, tap into your network. It's so much easier said than done because you don't want to like come off as like asking dumb questions or whatever, and I just had to rip that band-aid off, like I was. It was just me managing an affiliate program. I had my boss who he was heading up the whole marketing team, and so this was just like one little thing on his agenda, didn't devote too much time to it, so I really just had to educate myself. Sorry, that was a really long answer.

Dustin :

Yeah, and it barely said your name and then talked about it. You're trying to take all of my questions away that I've prepared for today. What do you do?

Erica:

Well.

Dustin :

I told you.

Erica:

I told you you just have to ask the one and I will just let it flow from there. And I was not kidding.

Dustin :

Oh, okay, I got. You're calling me a bad host. Now that's a new one. Thank you, maybe.

Erica:

I'll be the new host and affiliate. No you think you're your host material? I'm kidding, I don't think I'm host material. I don't even know if like the whole like podcast live thing is fully for me, but this is my first time, so I'll tell you what if I'm not able to do it and Kristen Evans doesn't want to step in.

Dustin :

and then I have a list of like 10 others before you write it, but I'll put you on number 11 slot. Okay, 11 slot for backups on the tonight show. Here. We got a comment already from Marissa. She says she gives too many ducks. Perfect answer, outstanding. Thanks for participating, marissa, and thanks for being here. All right, let's talk about your career. Where are you now? Actually, we don't need a name origin story. Let's talk about Vibrant Performance. Where you're at, what do you guys do and who are you serving out there?

Erica:

Yeah, so currently I'm working at Vibrant Performance. We are an affiliate marketing agency primarily overseeing brands in the Vintech space. So I've been at Vibrant for, I guess, four or five months, so not too long, so relatively fresh. Vibrant Performance is the agency branch of Aeron Advertising, which is a much bigger name in the affiliate space. Vibrant Performance is going on their fourth year. So, yes, similar timeline as myself, but I really love being on the agency side. It's definitely challenging and unique ways, but I love being able to take my existing skill set and apply that to all of our clients as well as just dabbling different verticals in the space.

Dustin :

Gotcha, ok, any particular clients. You guys handle any verticals in particular.

Erica:

Yeah, so mostly finance tech, so mortgage-related financial advisors. Debt yeah, finances are spreading better.

Dustin :

Gotcha, and is that fall into the direct response that we were used to were going to people connect back on the day, or is this like a whole new network that you're jumping into?

Erica:

Whole new network. For the most part I mean some affiliates like the natural intelligence, better impression of the world et cetera. They'll kind of appear in most affiliate programs. However, for the most part it's a relatively new network. Didn't work in finance previously. Ok.

Dustin :

Yeah, whole new world, but your person enjoys a new challenge and embraces it more than anything. I want to start here by giving this audience a little bit of insight on our relationship together. So we worked at People Connect and Truthfinder and working as a tandem team for a year and Erica just impressed the socks off of me Like I've never seen somebody that is as efficient as she is and with a chill attitude behind her. Like the people that I've seen that are the most, I guess, successful in this industry are usually a little bit neurotic and super nerdy about it, but Erica has a personality about it, not giving a duck, as we call it here.

Dustin :

And somehow, which is the most frustrating part about her is she is way more efficient than I am like caring 100%, so I don't get it. I am so jealous of her skill set and how amazing she is, but her efficiency level is better than anybody else I've ever met in this industry, which is why I'm having her here for this conversation.

Erica:

I appreciate the kind words. Don't jinx me, my efficiency is just going to go out the door after this, you don't lose skill set.

Dustin :

So you've been in this industry just a short four years, but I've been so impressed by how talented you were and you were talking about acceleration partners and learning and I'm sure you watched videos of mine, of course, right Like in that education. Just kidding, tell us more about your career beginnings, like how did we get you told us you got assigned which is a very common thing in this arena of getting the affiliate program thrown at you. What was your next steps after getting that opportunity? And you took a hold of it and you thrived with it, apparently.

Erica:

Yeah, no, it's been a wild but fun ride, and one of the reasons I wanted to do this live with you is because I think a lot of people are in my exact shoes, where they have been thrown an affiliate program. They didn't know what affiliate was and they kind of got tossed into it. And also a lot of people are like a one person show managing a massive network and it's a ton of work and I feel like we don't hear from people like that enough and it's so common in our space. But, yeah, so, like I said, I started in 2020, working for a startup in the e-commerce space.

Erica:

The brand Nomad Goods had an affiliate program operating in the background for some time, but they just didn't have a devoted team member to manage it. So, like I said, went home and I regurgitated and just took in as much information as I humanly could Like I'm not kidding Literally, we'd be listening to a podcast on affiliate while reading a blog on affiliate and just trying to retain it all, which probably wasn't the best method, but I was determined. We were operating on Pepper Jam at the time and I had an amazing rep there that would take like hour, two hour long calls to me and be like Erica.

Erica:

This is an affiliate network and this is where you can find partners and these are the type of partners you want. So again, I got really fortunate with having amazing people that were willing and wanting to support me. And also joining the Martec group was tremendous. I met some really awesome people through there that I still connect to this day. But, like I said earlier, it took me some time to get comfortable utilizing my network. So Sarah Bundy had reached out to me directly and I so appreciated it that and I think that actually kind of helped me with my gain a little bit of confidence.

Erica:

Initially, like this is a really amazing community and although affiliate's somewhat big like you do see the same people at conferences and it simultaneously is a small world. And then, from my days at the startup, I went over to our Truthfinder, our previous company, where that was like a whole other roller coaster, because I think I was six months into affiliate marketing when I joined that job and I think I was like maybe I don't know 25. And I somehow was managing a $5 million monthly affiliate budget and I'm like who let a 25 year old do this? That has six months experience. But again, I tapped into my network. In this case it was at my company. I became like BFS with the Business Intelligence Director and I'm like just really utilized data to back into most decision making.

Dustin :

Yeah, it became quite the data nerd. I remember that. And so many things to touch on in that space. First off, martek, incredible Like you introduced it to me and you being my first hunter that group is up to like 3,500. And accidentally just I joke about this with Mike over there I'm like Nerny that he accidentally created this incredible community of affiliate knowledge that people participate in and still, to this day, a very good community to be a part of.

Dustin :

And then, secondly, you talked about Sarah Bundy, who is a dear friend of the show no-transcript. That is not an uncommon story for her, but she doesn't do that for just anybody. She looks for people that she knows are going to be talented or have potential and she saw something in you and, you know, reached out with that olive branch that is so clutch and I'm so glad you took Advantage of that, because when people do well-known people in this industry it can be a bit intimidating and it may be hard for you as a junior marketer to break out of your shell. Tell us about, like, how you decided in your mindset to like, hey, I'm gonna take every piece of advice I can get and run with it.

Erica:

Yeah, I mean it kind of goes to like the title of this episode of like no one's thinking, like when I do would get nervous about reaching out to someone, whether it's in person, on LinkedIn, and sometimes my initial thoughts were like, okay, this is gonna be probably a stupid question, they're gonna think I'm dumb. And I had to remind myself, like, first of all, if anyone's thinking you're stupid for asking a question, shame on them. And second of all, who cares like you're I'm thinking about it more than the person is that I'm asking the question to. So, like back to Sarah I think the first question I came to her with which again it makes me giggle now in in hindsight is like asking her what versus. Like I Asked her what the difference was between coupon versus loyalty and like how to utilize them, which is a common question, and I know now quite a lot about it being in the space for several years. But Even stuff like that, like it took some courage to ask. Ask that.

Erica:

Or we just got back from affiliate summit West and Walking around the conference. Naturally, you see people that you've seen on LinkedIn and I was talking to a friend when I was there and it was her first ASW and I'm like go say hi like you like hey, I've seen you on LinkedIn. I really like your work, my name is so and so nice to meet you. Like that's the type of stuff that I just kind of did and in my head I'm like Erica, don't say hi, just walk by, be cool. And then I would be like hi, america.

Dustin :

You. I love that attitude. This is a first affiliate summit After I've done, you know, 70 episodes of this affiliate nerd out and I've got my name and branding out there a lot more. I had 20 Plus random strangers walk up to me and like a dustin you know me, I'm this person, I love your, your content out there and I want to be those guys friend and I'm more than willing to have a Conversation with them and and talk to them at a later date and help mentor them in the future. Those are the ones I want to mentor. So I love that attitude and I think we just don't see enough of it out there. But the most successful people have that kind of attitude, right.

Erica:

Yeah and like again. Another reason why I wanted to jump on here is to, like, hopefully give people some confidence that are in that have been in the affiliate space for, whether it's a day or three years or even beyond that, and I and I I'm from the East Coast, so I feel like some of my like Loudness and just blunt attitude kind of stems from that. But I mean regardless, I would hope that, like People, just hearing other people's experiences gives them, yeah, the courage to do it themselves.

Dustin :

So well, I really appreciate you coming on and and helping people out. Let's talk about your continued education. So what I have found in this industry to be the weirdest thing is Affiliate managers that get two to three years experience in this space, feel like they know everything and they're not willing to to learn. They think they've got it and that's it, and then, once you get to like year six, you recognize how silly you were in year three, of how little you know about this industry. And when you get to year 14, you still recognize how dumb you are in this industry and you start a podcast and start inviting people that are smarter than you to come on and be your guest. So about your continued education and and how you go about it today yeah, totally A lot of it is trial and error, like testing things.

Erica:

Like you said earlier, I'm a dated nerd not, I could be way more nerdy in that space, but I like working with numbers. Norris, yeah, it's like my favorite part of my job is being in spreadsheets and analyzing data, so, but a lot of what I've learned is trial and error. But in terms of Adding additional skills, my existing skills set I Like I'm at fiber performance now, so my fourth month or so in and I'm a part of a team which I had never really been on, a team with people, and I'm learning so much from my colleagues like I see them Landing various placements on a mass media partner that I would dream and or is like even being involved in, like various email threads. So I'm really learning from my team members. Impact has their amazing PXA course and I'm Involved in that, listening to online webinars like these or podcasts. So that's my, that's my current mix.

Erica:

But in terms of like like you were saying earlier, knowing everything, I feel like when I was getting started and like you see big names all over LinkedIn and wherever they might be at Conferences and you're like, oh, that person knows everything. I want to be like them. I want to know everything. I've learned over time that you can bring a ton of value without knowing everything and also asking for help is totally okay. Like a lot of mistakes I have made and over over my couple of years is they probably could have been prevented if I had asked for help instead of just like I'm gonna try to figure this out. So that's actually one of my biggest learnings over the last couple of years is just being comfortable with asking for help.

Dustin :

Yeah, great, great points. I, as you know, I have no shame whatsoever. I don't mind feelings stupid, whatever. Today on Martek, somebody asked a weirdest question or was weirded word Oddly and I asked a follow-up question hey, what do you mean by this? And my old buddy, rob shop, like, give me a frowny face and I'm like Rob, why are you trying to make me feel stupid now? I'm just gonna Everything he does for the next month. He's gonna get it back.

Erica:

It's so funny, I actually saw that comment.

Dustin :

I I'm not afraid to ask questions whatsoever, like I'm not afraid of looking stupid. That is part of my, my character and who I am, and I wish people would stop being like they're in high school and afraid to make mistakes or not look cool Like that's never going to be me. I like your attitude in that.

Erica:

Thank you. It's hard to make mistakes, though, like some, mistakes are obviously way worse than others.

Dustin :

And we both share that same like ideology of let's ask for forgiveness rather than permission in some of those cases. Right, and I think that's a great way to go about as an affiliate manager in some essences, like, obviously don't do that in your first three months of working at a company because you don't want to get fired for something really ridiculous, but once you get comfortable in a role, like, take some chances, ask for forgiveness if they fail, but loved your attitude all the way. I just want to remind the folks the question of the day is how many ducks do you give? I want to hear more answers on here. Let's see I've got Jake Fuller in the comments section. Say there is never a dumb question. If you're thinking of it, somebody else probably is too Great point, jake. Thanks for joining in. Congratulations on your new role over at Jeb Commerce as a running the show. So glad I got to meet you at Affiliate Summit.

Dustin :

Babe Jake and I were on our flight together back to Colorado oh yeah, oh, that's cool, awesome, Yep, great dude from you know who I met. That was weird having him met him the first time, because I know almost every agency owner out in this industry. You know Jake's fresh to that CEO seat. Let's switch gears a little bit here and talk about AMs being on their own island we talked about. When I came on board to work with you, you were 25 and you were running this incredibly huge affiliate program one of the biggest I've ever seen in my life and I got there and I took a look at the data and the numbers going on and I just looked around and I'm like how are you doing this, erica? How are you running this show? This is so silly. Like obviously I understood, like why I got hired to come in help with you on this, but like I was just so impressed that you were making this happen. Like how do you work on an island? Like most affiliate managers out there?

Erica:

Yeah, the key is organization, which ultimately leads to efficiency, in my opinion, because when you're managing four or five programs, things definitely can slip through the cracks. So, just keeping all my decks in order, like utilizing task management tools, keeping notes, love spreadsheets. I will put my whole week into a spreadsheet, like daily things I have to do weekly things I have to do monthly things with, like relevant reminders. Another this is also another tool that I got from Impact. They have like a whole spreadsheet that allows you to break out all of your daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. Tasks for an affiliate manager. So again tapping into my resources there. But I think that's my number one. And then well, also my number two potentially also number one is data utilizing data to back into decisions. It allows me to have a lot of confidence into the decision making process. It's not like I'm like, oh hey, we should spend $100,000 on this random thing. It's like no, this is what it can back out to into a CPA based on existing conversion rates and demos etc.

Erica:

So, yeah, it was definitely wild and I'd have to like forecast like what? $60 million or something. Again, who let a 25 year old do this? And I will say at the beginning I would get really in my head like, oh my God, like I'm not qualified for this. I had to remind myself, no, I'm here because of my qualifications and which I proved obviously by being successful there. But I would get in my head like maybe someone with like a master's in marketing should be doing this or whatever it might be. But again, like you just have to remind yourself that you are capable and like just affirmations for yourself. Or again going back to like asking questions and getting help when needed.

Dustin :

So yeah, yeah, and it's hard to create self awareness and and listen to that self awareness and know the right time to ask questions, and you know I'm I'm full of self confidence in in some ways, and then not at all in other ways. But being confident in this role is an important part of it, and just acting like you know what you're doing and knowing that vision is going to be the right thing for the program is an important aspect of this.

Dustin :

That's why you want employee of the year at 100 person company at the age of 25, which was very well deserved and I was impressed that you could make that happen. But more than that, like them, recognizing how good of a worker you were was good on them as well. So you're working on an island as an AM. What are some of those things? You mentioned? Organization, but how do you work on your own and stay self motivated? Because at an AM role, there's usually not a lot of other people at the company that know about affiliate marketing. Maybe you're seeing a lot of us sometimes, but not always the case. How do you stay motivated and keep working on your own to push that needle?

Erica:

Yeah, I mean some days are easier than others, of course, especially working from home. I mean some days you're like, oh, I'm just gonna take it a little easy today or whatever it might be. But a lot of it's intrinsic, just like having, like I've always kind of been a hustler. I'm although I don't give a, don't give a duck, like I do take great pride in my work and what I deliver. So a lot of the motivation comes from that.

Erica:

And on days where I feel like usually on days where I'm feeling discouraged because I probably do need help with something and just a matter of identifying that, like I would and I still will do. This is like again going back to acceleration partners. Like they have a feature where you can jump on like a 20 minute call with one of their account reps, just ask them questions. So I did that a lot, just like again tapping into various various resources there and a lot of account managers are kind of in their own little realm and when you're working in house with a brand, a lot of it's educating your higher ups about affiliate and why we like you to be an advocate for affiliates, which is can be pretty difficult because of all of usually if there's like one bad actor in your affiliate program then people are like pissed at every affiliate name they hear. So that definitely posed posed some challenges.

Dustin :

Yeah, I got you. I don't have much follow up. I think that's very well said. I'm rarely speechless, but I think you nailed it on the head right there of working on your own being a work from home situation, as long as you're getting your community aspect from some outlet, whether that be friends, that that you actually can hug, or if that's virtual, like I'm a part of several different communities, including Martek and my own community, my inner circle and the PMA all of those all essential to my education and and continual learning. So it's good that you're, good that you're in that space as well, because it's so easy to just fall behind, like in the day to day, right.

Erica:

Oh, totally. And people will be like how did you know about this update? Or X, y and Z or whatever. And I have to be like well, like mostly from Martek, I cannot take too much credit. Or even this morning, when CJ was down, went over, checked, martek, and what do you know? Of course, someone had already posted about it and someone from the CJ team had already followed up. So, yeah, I think I'm like one of their number one advocates, maybe behind behind you, martek.

Dustin :

I am active in there. I like it. It's good for communicating and networking Love it. What about any other resources that you're utilizing out there, anything else that we haven't talked about and that that you're finding success with right now?

Erica:

Yeah, totally Obviously, martek. I'm trying to think back to when I was getting started, like what I used a lot. Ap is tremendous. Pxa is amazing. Trying to think those are the big ones.

Dustin :

How about any tools that you might be utilizing, Maybe an ATRAF or maybe any, I don't know affiliate recruitment tools that you might be using right now?

Erica:

Similar web is my absolute freaking favorite. I know I'm not. I don't know if that Canada's a swear, but I know enough is to curse in this thing similar. What's amazing, that thing is bold. You used it our when we were working together, right.

Erica:

I've used it in very distant, different companies yeah so that's my go-to because I can utilize it for Finding new partners, monitoring where top affiliates are sending their traffic. What portion of that traffic is going to competitors? Who's been fridding on branded key terms when they're not supposed to be All the compliance fun stuff? Do you know I'm also tend to be in the weeds with?

Dustin :

good, good, good. Well, now that you mentioned it like recruiting affiliates, I want to give a shout out to our sponsor today, happy stash. This is the easiest way to recruit affiliates out there for any agency or brand. Go to happy stashcom, get five free contacts. Use the code asw to get a little bit of a discount. I've got a new discount Actually, it's a and, oh and for 10% off. If anybody wants to go and try that out for themselves. And you mentioned similar web, we have an API with them, so you get all the stats that you would get on Similar web with our tool all for $97 a month. Go check it out for yourself and, with that, tell us about your affiliate summit experience. How was it this year?

Erica:

It was great. It was definitely one of my most successful events. Super busy again. Make I you always share your calendar. I wasn't quite to that capacity and I'm totally okay with that. You should. It was great again.

Erica:

I think I love getting to meet people in person, especially people that I've been chatting with Online. I actually find that some of my most successful connections aren't even Connections, aren't even planned. Well, they were at Topgolf and we're both ordering a drink next to each other and we start chatting, or I am. I'm a part of the link unite group. So women in the affiliate marketing space I went to their quick. They just had a quick little meetup On one of the days and I met someone new that's now going to be driving traffic to our brand.

Erica:

So I love the unexpected connections that you make at conferences and I like it. I'm, I enjoy networking. It's a challenge that you don't. I don't get very often because I do work from home and it is a different pace. Those like fast 15 15 minute minutes. So, and again, I like to. I don't know if I like to be this person, but I am the person that will just stop whoever's walking by and say hi, even if I've Not met them in person before, so, and it always leads to a positive outcome.

Dustin :

Yeah, just be nicer. People have a fun time. Network that's what that whole place is all about. Linky night I've heard good things about. Obviously I'm not allowed in there, but Sarah Mallow seems like she's running a good organization over there. I would love to have her on a guest, but she just hasn't scheduled the time yet. We're gonna get there All right. Moving on, defend your post time. So I pulled something a little bit deep from your history on LinkedIn and Motivation. Monday you said the goal is not to be successful. The goal is to be valuable. Once you're valuable instead of chasing success, it will attract itself to you. These don't believe in this statement.

Erica:

Oh, 100%. I mean, like even I said earlier, like you can be also. This is so funny. Four years ago, erica LinkedIn, yes, um, you can bring so much value without knowing everything and I think once you Understand that too, like that ultimately will lead to your success. And, like we were talking about earlier, younger, you thought you maybe knew everything or maybe Whatever. Like also Accepting that and accepting that good things come with time. Yeah, and just being a hard worker Definitely helps me reach reach my success and I'm still early on in my career, but I do have big goals and I plan to continue what I've been doing To reach them.

Dustin :

So awesome well, great and yeah, I looked on your LinkedIn and you had literally like three posts ever In five years and that was one of them, so I had to go with it. It would just seem like the the most attractive Option to go with, except for your post about being on this. I was pretty funny.

Erica:

Yeah, I'm not active on LinkedIn very much. Early, even when we talked about doing this, I'm like Little old me what do? What do I have to bring in terms of value? And I was like there's a whole bunch of little old me's that make up our whole affiliate community.

Dustin :

So that's right and that's why I wanted you on here and I'm so glad you did come and produced all this value today and lesson of the day for me is you mentioned a resource over at Impact that I wasn't even aware of. That was giving you a chart of like daily tasks that you could fill out. If Anybody from impact is watching this episode, can you please put that in the chat.

Erica:

That sounds like an amazing resource that a folks should have out there totally and piggybacking on that, if you are a person that has to conduct Quarterly business reviews, like me, impact also has a QBR Template that talks through just like the various talking points that should be covered in a QBR. So that's another super helpful one. I can't remember even how I got those. I wonder if they were. It was a previous account rep, maybe, but definitely get your hands hands on those. It'll help with your efficiency.

Dustin :

Great call. We all need to be more efficient, except for you. You're already killing it. I wish I could be just like you. All right, as we wrap this thing up, I want to know how do we connect with you?

Erica:

Not on LinkedIn. No, I'm kidding LinkedIn. You definitely message me on there. I think my email is on there, so anyone is welcome to reach out. I'm in the Mar tech group, which I probably communicate with most people on there. There's not any other Erica to forge Sarasas in the chat, so you should be able to find me probably not, and if anyone has questions or just wants to Chat, I'm all ears always and I love Meeting people in the space that have been around for about as long as me, and we can always link up at a future in-person event or something like that.

Dustin :

Awesome, all right. Well, thank you for joining me. My guests next week they're gonna be Drew Johnson from Everflow and Sal Conca, old friend of mine in this industry. He's gonna talk about YouTube and Drew is gonna talk about tracking, attribution and all that cool stuff. So stay tuned for that on Tuesday and Thursday next week and Don't further ado. Erica, appreciate your time and your knowledge drops today. Thanks for joining me.

Erica:

Thank you.

Dustin :

All right all right, keep on recruiting out there and we'll see you out there, take care.

Erica:

Bye.

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