Affiliate Nerd Out

The Affiliate Marketing Job Market in 2024 Natalie Ziemba

March 13, 2024 Dustin Howes Season 1 Episode 76
Affiliate Nerd Out
The Affiliate Marketing Job Market in 2024 Natalie Ziemba
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Embarking on a career transformation can be as daunting as it is exhilarating, but Natalie Ziemba's leap from high school English teacher to affiliate marketing whiz is nothing short of inspiring. In our latest episode, Natalie unravels her pathway to success, revealing how a blend of networking savvy and strength-play led her to excel in a realm far from her educational roots. Alongside her professional prowess, she doesn't miss a beat in her role as a dedicated city councilwoman and her passionate involvement with community service organizations. Her tale is a testament to the power of reinvention and serves as a guiding light for anyone yearning to navigate their own professional pivot.

The conversation then shifts to a darker trend shadowing the job market—the expectation of unpaid assignments during interviews. We tackle this head-on, discussing protection strategies for your intellectual labor and advocating for the acknowledgment of the value you bring to the table. Shifting gears, we also dissect the intricacies of affiliate marketing, providing a lineup of strategies for those looking to climb the industry ladder. From understanding the importance of cultural synergy to embracing continuous learning and networking, this episode is a wealth of knowledge for career climbers and marketers alike, sprinkled with success anecdotes from those who've soared by tapping into these resources.

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 Nerdirator, dustin Howe, spreading that good word about affiliate marketing. You're gonna find me here every Tuesday and Thursday, 12.15 Pacific time on LinkedIn Live, so put it on the calendar and stop by. For me and my guest today is Natalie Zimba.

Natalie Ziemba:

Close enough.

Dustin Howes:

I was so close. Welcome to the Nerditorium, natalie.

Natalie Ziemba:

Oh, it's my honor. I'm so excited. Thanks for having me, Dustin.

Dustin Howes:

Well, you and I don't go back very far, but you caught my attention on LinkedIn. I'm very active on there and you are as well, and I've seen your interactions through the years on other formats as well, and I'm so glad that you could stop by and talk about your job market experience going on right now.

Natalie Ziemba:

You bet yeah, it's a crazy world and I'm just living in it.

Dustin Howes:

We've got some live Q&A with me and Natalie. If you have questions, drop them in the chat. If you would like to be in Natalie's seat and come be my guest, go to DustinHowes. com, slash nerd and drop a topic that you would like to talk about, and our topic of the day is about the job market. What does the job market out there look like to you? I think it is brutal. You think it's brutal, you're going to answer it Awesome.

Natalie Ziemba:

I'm answering it.

Dustin Howes:

I am hearing the same thing from friends of mine in this industry that are going through this entire process, and it doesn't look pretty, and I'm so glad that you're going to be here to open up and talk about it today. But before we do that, natalie, who are you?

Natalie Ziemba:

Wow, that's a deep philosophical question. Who am I? I am currently a marketing professional, but one fun fact about me I'm also an elected official. I sit on my local city council here in beautiful and historic Woodstock, illinois, the town made famous, as we were chatting earlier, in the movie Groundhog Day. So, yes, it is that lovely, it's that historic, it's that charming. Come and visit us anytime. Every year we do our annual Groundhog Day festival, so it's really fun, and I moved to Woodstock in 2019 and got very involved.

Natalie Ziemba:

So volunteerism community is really important to me. I give a lot of my time to places like Rotary, so I'm a Rotary member. I give a lot of my time to the Alzheimer's Association. I'm a volunteer ambassador advocate with them. Of course, city council woman that takes up some of my time as well. But in my professional life, I'm a marketing person. So mostly partnership, affiliate type marketing that's my new passion. It's a passion I discovered in 2020. I was lucky enough to be given an opportunity and realize that I really enjoyed that part of marketing. Earlier in my life, my professional career, I was a teacher. I taught high school English in Chicago for 10 years and I'm really, really proud of that. And then in 2013, I pivoted out of teaching, ended up, you know, landing some, some various roles, but marketing really kind of took off for me in 2016. And here I am in 2024, looking at partnership and affiliate marketing.

Dustin Howes:

Upstanding and thanks for that breakdown. Your background in affiliate and like the transition from teacher is very interesting. Tell us about how that got started. You're going from teacher to AM.

Natalie Ziemba:

Yeah, so in 2013,. I feel like I'm almost like a pioneer in this, because now, a decade on, we're seeing a lot of this, this trend of people thinking about transitioning out of the world of teaching, especially if you're a classroom teacher and you're in it every day. I get asked a lot, especially on LinkedIn how did you do it? Help me transition out of you know, from a career teacher with a background in education that's what my master's degree is in into the world of marketing or possibly even something else, and so I have, you know, some tips and tricks and ideas on how to do that, but for me, it was a bit of like research, diving in and then a lot of luck. I'm really good, if nothing else, at relationships and networking, and so I leveraged my network, started doing a lot of research in 2013 and early on in 2014. What are the brands that I know? What do I have an affinity for? I knew I wanted to stay in the world of education, but I was transitioning out of the classroom, the traditional model of education, and I ended up in corporate, in the corporate world of like content and ed tech. And so the marketing department came to me one day and we said. You know, they said we could use somebody like you. You're gregarious, you're charismatic, you know how to work a room, you love to network with people. We can teach you the marketing stuff. We can't teach a marketing professional the teacher stuff. So how do we give voice to our? You know, you are the persona in essence of who we're trying to reach.

Natalie Ziemba:

So I joined the marketing team in 2016 at this organization. It was like a chance that I was given and I ran with it. I ended up discovering I was really good at it and I really enjoyed it because it worked both sides of my brain I liked the analytical, but I also liked the creative and it gave me a lot of opportunity to work amongst you know people. That again, I was trying to build a story to sell to and that person was me at one time. So it ended up working. And then I just sort of kept building in my career, working my network, discovering other areas of interest, and then I lands it up in affiliate marketing. In 2020, again sort of by happenstance, a CEO of a really amazing D2C direct to consumer company approached me. We started a conversation and the rest is history.

Dustin Howes:

Well, awesome, incredible journey to have that opportunity come to you and and to go after it. As well as very admirable, that is a scary leap of faith that you're taking from being in a comfortable job where you're off at three o'clock no teacher is Dustin, that's the big misnomer.

Natalie Ziemba:

No dedicated teacher is ever truly off. They're never off the clock. And it's taxing and it takes its toll on you emotionally and you know it can be very draining. But if you love it and you're passionate about it, teaching is so rewarding. And people ask me do I regret teaching? I don't regret making that move. I am sad sometimes about those relationships. I really loved it. I loved being in the classroom. I loved the content. I love the students, many of whom you know they're all adults in their professional lives now and I'm friends with many of them because it's fun to kind of keep those relationships. But I'm glad that I fell into the world of marketing for sure.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah, and nobody knows how taxing that job is. My mother taught for 40 years and I watched her teach seventh grade and she was my favorite teacher of all time. So I got to watch my mom do that for a career. I say it jokingly that you're off at three o'clock, but sure her time clock was never off in all reality.

Natalie Ziemba:

So I say and I think you know, teachers have so many transferable skills that it's there are certain careers that the transition is a little bit easier to get into. Things that are, you know, people-centric customer service, customer relations, things like event marketing. Those can be a little bit easier to transition to Marketing coordinator or like office assistants, things like that. Those can be a little bit easier because they're not as data heavy or like specific knowledge heavy, where you're going to have to get re-certified and take all kinds of courses and classes. Those do come into play for just professional development. But there are a little bit easier careers to transition to.

Dustin Howes:

Okay, and so once you got a taste of being an AM and what did that look like?

Natalie Ziemba:

as you progressed through your career to where you're at today, yeah Well, in 2020, I was, you know, like I said, engaged in this conversation with this really wonderful CEO of a brand and things were just kind of like launching and getting started, and he's a true believer in the power of affiliate and affiliate marketing, seo, keyword content strategy. He and I started this really lovely conversation on LinkedIn. We had phone conversations and, just like I followed my gut when it was time to leave the classroom and kind of fall into the world of marketing. It was a bit of luck, but it was also tenacity. I had that same feeling in 2020 of I'm having these really organic, really awesome conversations and they're powerful, but I don't know the world of affiliate marketing. This is a whole different. You know, I was building out big strategic campaigns and I was kind of touching a little bit of everything. I wore a lot of hats as a marketing manager, but now affiliate is very specific and, just like I was told when I made the move into traditional marketing in 2016, in 2020, the CEO basically said to me I can help mentor you and teach you the hard skills of affiliate. I can't teach an affiliate marketing professional your people skills. People seem to like you, you're magnetic, you're energetic and enthusiastic. That just comes naturally to you. So I can take you and teach you the skills. But I can't do the opposite. I can't teach your people skills to an affiliate professional. So are you willing to give this a try? What do you think?

Natalie Ziemba:

And I had to take a huge leap of faith to say, yeah, let's try this affiliate thing out. And it was really fun because I got to work alongside him as a mentor and he showed me really the ropes and the ins and outs and then I was building out different tech stacks and different integrations. What I really loved because I think my background is an English teacher. I liked the SEO and the keyword and the content part of affiliate. And then I also loved the research, the recruiting and the retention of affiliates. I liked the people partnership part of affiliate marketing. And then I again I just got approached by different organizations that said, hey, we've heard of you, we heard you're really fun and really you know wonderful to work with. You're so professional, you're super responsive. Would you come to our company and do the same thing and build out a program and help to scale it? So I've done that now a couple of times.

Dustin Howes:

Awesome, oh, that's. That's great background, especially if you're switching out your niche or vertical. Getting you know, new Experiences under your belt is super important to this career and developing I think I Mean. Some people love staying in a company for 10 years. No offense, nick over at Impada, but I I Feel like you're underutilizing your skill set if you stay at one place for too long, especially in the affiliate realm. But it can get comfortable. So it sounds like you like new challenges and With those new challenges, you're on the job market right now. What? What are you seeing out there that you want to talk about?

Natalie Ziemba:

sure and I'll take one step back. It's not that I, you know there's this huge miss no more and miss con. You know the the misconception of like, oh, people are job hoppers. If an opportunity Presents itself and it feels right, trust your instinct and if it doesn't, stay where where you are comfortable and just kind of keep Upskilling and see if there's other moves within that organization that might, might work. If you can, you know, build up into like a leadership role. I'm glad I did what I did. It's it's out of my system.

Natalie Ziemba:

I'm now ready to find that place that's a good fit for me, that's intentional and purposeful, because interviewing the place of and potential employment, I'm interviewing them as much as they're interviewing me and I really, really believe in that.

Natalie Ziemba:

So, finding a good cultural fit, a Place that has a mission behind them, that fits with me really well, that we're gonna gel together, that I like the team I'm gonna be with, that's important because now in my career I'm ready to settle in and find a place.

Natalie Ziemba:

Hey, in 10 years, 15 years, not only do I hope that they have brand and that organization is still around, that I'm there growing with them. So that's really what I'm looking for, what I'm seeing in the job market. I don't think it really matters the kind of industry. There's still a lot of turbulence and a lot of uneasiness in the job market and I say that with all due respect, but there are so many layoffs still happening and I'm thinking, well, if the economy is right-sizing itself, that's not what I'm seeing anecdotally on places like LinkedIn or on indeed right. I'm seeing people desperate for jobs. I'm seeing people hunting, searching, looking for a community, people that empathize with what, what we're all going through in this moment. So I'm seeing a lot of turbulence and I'm still seeing, like you know, big companies laying off 5%, 10% of their workforce, are getting a rift and that's really scary.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah, it definitely is. You brought up a good point. Like affiliate managers aren't necessarily job jumpers, no say. But I've heard a statistic before of like CMO's average Lifespan at a company is is three years, and even a CMO like Whether the company is going in a different direction or CMO's got a new opportunity at a different company. That seems like a short cycle and I think the same applies to the affiliate managers out there.

Natalie Ziemba:

Yeah, and that's interesting and of course you would know better than I because this is, you know You're marinating in this world all the time, every day, and I think because it's you're coming in typically and this is what I've been asked to do come in, build a program and scale it and then just kind of keep working it. Some affiliate managers, and maybe it's most Statistically, see, okay, I've only gone, I've gone so far. Now what else is the new challenge? What else can I do? And for me I thought, well, what else can I do would probably be a challenge. I do, would probably be in a different vertical or a different kind of niche.

Natalie Ziemba:

So I went from D to C, direct to consumer E-commerce, into the world of like SAS and technology and trying to to build out in like scale, more channel type partnership programs versus straight up affiliate programs. That's a big challenge because it's it's really different. You're working with different technologies, sales cycles look really different and I liked the challenge. But, like I said earlier, it's out of my system now and I want to go back to like what I know I'm really good at and we want to lean into that skill set and Find a place that doesn't necessarily need me to build and scale everything. Maybe they have a little bit of the groundwork laid, they have a foundation, they have the the good bones of what what an affiliate program is, and now they need an expert to come in and really help To scale and drive and maybe optimize that program. Maybe go out and like hunt for some really different kind of affiliates and then not only find them and get them but then like nurture them to their best performance too. That's what I'm good at beautiful.

Dustin Howes:

Well, it's good that you know your specific skill set and where you're gonna, where you want to be in a career, and that's, um, that brings me to Like your job hunt situation and it is a early time in the episode to defend your post, but this is how you got on my radar, um, just last month I saw you, uh, make a stop requesting free work from applicants. We are not to be exploited. Our time, skills, energy, professional Acuity and work is a value. Stop trying to exploit it. And it shows a note from somebody like trying to get you a three part homework assignment to do, and the comments in this post and the reposts and the engagement were really, really good and I think that in eye opening to where it hit my algorithm and brought up something that I didn't really recognize out there. But you are seeing a trend of people asking for assignments without pay, essentially.

Natalie Ziemba:

Yeah, and I think it's epidemic. It's pan, it's, it's. It's an epidemic right now and it's not just hitting the world of affiliate or even marketing. There's sort of two schools of thought here and I'll touch on both. One look, I don't mind if I've gotten really late on into the interview process and you're asking me to maybe put together like a 3060 90 day plan and you want me to then go on an interview and screen share and give you some of that intellectual property. One thing I will always say is don't allow it to be recorded. You know, if you're going to do that and you're going to put together, you know, however, you're going to put a deck together and you're going to give your intellectual property away, so to speak. Do so later on in the process.

Natalie Ziemba:

That post, what I posted, that was, came immediately after just a 30 minute conversation. The initial conversation, the interview, went really well, but early on in that 30 minute conversation I almost had the sense of oh, I see what this is right, I they're going to try to, you know, probably interview 1015, 20 people and kind of gather and harness data and information from them and guess what they wanted me to do? Put it into a Google spreadsheet into a Google sheet which is open. There's no way to like lock it down and they're going to probably scrape that data from all of these different people interviewing and then, boom, they just got a bunch of free work that they didn't have to do. It's very, it looks very different. If it's a legitimate organization, if it's an agency, if it's, you know, you're going direct to consumer, you're going to work for a brand, whatever it is.

Natalie Ziemba:

If it's the third, fourth, fifth round of interview and you're asking me to do something, I'm good with that, but don't ask me to do it After just talking to me for 30 minutes and then call it a homework assignment. I haven't done or given a homework assignment for 10 years, since I was teaching it's. You know it's, it looks different, it feels different and I thought there's no way. I'm the only one experiencing this. And it's not just touching the world of affiliate marketing, it's touching across all different industries and all different verticals. And if you're going to give away your work for free, at least know it's later on and you've got a shot at the job. Don't do it, you know, after the initial phone call or the initial zoom conversation, because you don't know what they're going to do with it or how they're going to use that, and I just find it really disingenuous and I don't, I don't like the practice whatsoever, so yeah, and we've got some interactions.

Dustin Howes:

There's a sad face and it sounds like somebody might be out there going through the same kind of thing. But he said there was two parts of this, though. The one is they're asking too early. Yeah, you're okay giving something on a live version, and they really love the takeaway of let's do this on a live version so that you get to keep those properties. So what about on the other side? Has anybody offered to pay you for your time to build? Put these together.

Natalie Ziemba:

Yeah, so that's, that's really interesting. So if you are asked to provide something like, hey, I want you to import some information into this Google Sheet, then they have to be upfront and let you know what they're going to do with it. They're not only going to analyze it, that they may end up actually using your work. And then that's when you come forward and say in order to do that, here's my you know hourly rates. From what I'm seeing, this project or this assignment is probably going to take me about four to five Hours to complete, and this is my going rate to do that.

Natalie Ziemba:

If you want to move forward and see my work, that comes at a cost. And I think, just being really honest and really open about having that conversation, you can't be afraid to push back, and I think right now there's a level of and this is a tough word to say, but there's a level of desperation to get the job, and people are willing to like give that away because they're afraid to push back and say and like gate their intellectual property, it's yours. If they really want somebody to do the work how you're a freelancer to do it, but pay something nominal and just get the work done. Don't expect people to do it for free. I just don't like that expectation and there's different schools of thought and I get it and it was controversial, but I also think it's emotional and people saw that post and they felt like, yeah, this has happened to me and they started commenting and reposting with comments and things like that and it just kind of it took off.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah, and it was something that needed to be said by somebody out there in that job market. I'm really glad you did. I've seen this before with clients where they want to go through this practice, and I get it. They would like the free advice and like strategy, coming from a different angle and not having to pay for it. It sounds like a dream for a company, but it isn't right to the folks that you're trying to employ, and leading them on in that kind of fashion is just downright a little bit on the slimy side. So what I have seen though companies that I've worked with and I make sure that they employ this tactic is to pay something Like even if it's $20 or $30 an hour and paying for 10 hours of work to get this assignment done that they know is going to take some time. Go out there and do it, and I think you're going to get better results as a company if you're practicing that kind of way.

Natalie Ziemba:

I agree and I don't think there's anything wrong with that at all. And, like I said, even if it's your work, your interviewing because this has happened to me multiple times in the last six, seven, eight months I've been asked to do work but it's I know it directly aligns to the job I'm applying for. And it was much later on in the process, right, it was during the third or the fourth round of interviews. Hey, can you take maybe two or three hours? Here's what we need you to complete. And I'm thinking, yeah, that's a no brainer that you know, I can do that in my sleep. So it wasn't. I didn't feel that it was disingenuous. But being asked to do that after just one conversation, or even the second, and just following my instinct, it didn't feel right and I didn't like it. It had to be called out.

Dustin Howes:

Well, great call. So you mentioned something about the well, the assignments in general. So you touched on this a little bit. But you feel like the best way to approach this if they do make that assignment, especially on the too early side, you like to come back with an email and say this is my hourly rate, or like I'm happy to give you that to you in a live interview. Is there a long way to approach this, like just doing the work and not second guessing it?

Natalie Ziemba:

Yeah, I guess you know like I'll go back to trust your gut, trust your instinct if it doesn't feel right. And I think doing something that's just open, where you're sharing the, you're putting the work into something shareable. I don't like that. I think it's totally fair to say here are a few examples of work I've already done and either have a portfolio or some links together. I've put together. You know I've used Lume a couple of times and done prerecorded things and walked through work I've already done. I don't need to do the work for your company or your request because I've already done it. So unless you're going to pay me or you're going to just make the offer and hire me, you're going to get this. You know quality of work from me.

Natalie Ziemba:

Let me give you some examples of things I've already done. That's one way. The other way is to say I'm not going to share it with you. In that kind of document and in this case it was, it was a Google Sheet I will do the work, but then let's get back on a call and I will screen share with you, but you're not allowed to record it. I think those are. You know, two ways to kind of like work around it, show examples of work you've already done and maybe walk them through that, either in a recorded video or live, or say, yep, I'm going to dedicate a few hours to doing this, but I'm not going to just openly share it. Let's get on a call and I'll screen share with you and kind of walk you through my thought process. At the end of the day, that's what they should be looking for how you process the information and your thoughts going into it. How do you approach it? Not necessarily what the product is. That's my opinion.

Dustin Howes:

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Dustin Howes:

Slash nerd out today and learn more and take your affiliate marketing to the next level. Speaking of great companies and a great process, I love what Jake is doing over there at JEB Commerce and the way they are handling their hiring. Good people, good folks, and really appreciate them. I've got a message says recording a video is a great idea. Low resolution maybe, nice, all right. And now switching gears again. You talked about the word desperation and there might be a lot of affiliate managers that don't have a job right now, or affiliate experience of just looking out there. How, how do these folks stand out in this tough job market in your mind?

Natalie Ziemba:

Yeah, I think there's a couple of ways to do it. Obviously, you know following you and and of course, I'm gonna give you every compliment in the world because I think what you do is amazing and You're a good resource, because you're open and willing to just share and say, hey, if you've got ideas or you have other resources or other you know Influencers or thought leaders in this space, share them out, like you know. Yeah, you have your sponsors and they're amazing, but there's other people in this world that, in this ecosystem that we're living in, that do this professionally, and so I would say, just cram their podcasts or their YouTube channels or any of their free resources that they have. Do that. You are definitely one of them. Affiliate nerd out is amazing. I love catching it, I love listening to it. I'll put it out in the background because you bring on really amazing thought leaders in this industry. Performance marketing manager is just amazing. So thank you for for putting that out into the, into the universe, right.

Dustin Howes:

Thank you for your support. Even even you, with all your experience, knew you could gain a little bit more an upskill, and I appreciate you being a part of my community.

Natalie Ziemba:

Yeah, you bet, and it comes out at at a cost, which I understand, but for me it's important. It's like it got to stay on top of, like the industry trends, on top of the technology, the other thought leaders in this space. So, performance marketing manager, there's my plug for you. I love it.

Natalie Ziemba:

I love Thomas McMahon, kyle Kostak, jaw Affiliated podcast. So that's clickbank. That's like their official podcast. They're so accessible and easy and relatable and what they talk about you walk away from their Podcasts every single time. I have like a little notebook that I keep information in and every time I listen to their podcast I'm jotting things down because, like I said, it's relatable, it's accessible and it kind of gives you a couple of things like oh, I got a research that more, or these are actionable things that I can, I can walk away with. So they're affiliated podcast. It's click banks official podcast. I love that. And click bank also has these like free learning modules. So if you're looking for something to do free and like upskill, that's a really good one. Lee Ann Johnston, of course, affiliated marketing, affiliate marketing podcast. She's the founder of affiverse. She's amazing. So go on affiverse and browse around there. Matt McWilliams he's with the affiliate guy podcast. He's awesome. So there's like places for free and maybe some things that come at a nominal, nominal cost, but they're worth the investment Listen to trends, listen to ideas, try to jot things down and then also put into like an actionable plan.

Natalie Ziemba:

So if that you're asked, hey, well, what would you do in this instance, or give us an example of During an interview. If you don't have the experience, at least you can use the nomenclature, you can use the verbiage yeah of this world right, and and say I know I might not have the exact experience, but I'm tenacious, I've done all the research, I'm trying to learn it and I think somebody like a Matt McWilliams he would definitely say A cultural fit personality is almost more important than the hard skills, because the hard skills can be learned. It's the, the, the go-getter attitude, the growth mindset, the personality that's really important in the world of affiliate because it's unlike any other digital marketing channel. It's about people and relationships. People are behind every single decision that affiliate managers have to make. Yeah, we represent a brand, or maybe we're on the agency side, but at the end of the day, it's people and relationships that are really important, and I think that's what I love about it so much.

Dustin Howes:

Well, you bring out a ton of great points the folks.

Dustin Howes:

I think the biggest value that, of course, like mine or or PXA or any of my competitors out there, is Getting you prepared for the next job interview that you're going to have inevitably in this industry and I had a student of ours in our community that was Doing some consulting on a light basis and then he went through my course and realized the the power of his skill set and he was able to articulate that with one of his clients and upsell them into a full-time, billable gig.

Natalie Ziemba:

I love it.

Dustin Howes:

He didn't know he was capable of, what his knowledge was and what he was learning from my course. That was his biggest takeaway and that's heartwarming for me to see that my community is working and the training that I've put in place can help just about anybody. I appreciate that sentiment. We are in a community for affiliate that is always helping each other. Leanne Johnson is one of my mentors and one of my good friends in this industry and she invites me to come speak at some of her events because she knows I'm knowledgeable and if I had an event, if I wanted to bang my head to create one like she is, it just seems like a lot of work I would absolutely invite her. We're not competitors in this field. We're all trying to help each other grow and that's what I love about this affiliate community most.

Natalie Ziemba:

Yeah, that's a really good sentiment. It's true, people are really friendly. Not competitive necessarily in the professional sense. Sometimes it can get competitive in numbers and when you're crunching the numbers and trying to figure out profitability and things like that, it can get a little bit competitive. But when it comes to the P2P, the person-to-person relationship, we're not. We are such a good community of people, we support each other. We'll give you, hey, here's how I did it, or here's some suggestions. Or I just listed People I like to follow, people that I like to listen to podcasts or their YouTube channels, or just going on their site and finding their free modules, things like that. You were just on with Marshall Nyman, performance Marketing Spotlight, and then with John Wright, affiliate BI, you were just on theirs and it's like that's the world we're in right now, this very supportive community of the world of affiliate, because again, it all comes back to people and relationships, and so we're going to definitely support each other in that.

Dustin Howes:

Absolutely Speaking of community. The PMA has been incredible for me and my career growth throughout the years, and I've been a big supporter of what they do. I'm on the board now and just love how they're giving back to the community with their annual membership and you get a free ticket to ASW every year, which pays for itself, which is pretty incredible. But how important is community during this time of your job hunt?

Natalie Ziemba:

It's so critical, I think, to have other people say I hear you, I identify with you. The word empathy cannot be overused people who have gone through it and really understand there's an emotional tax and you pay that emotional tax every day, whether it be the grueling application processes, the research. I take a lot of time before I apply to a job. I've done my research. I have an entire template of people that I find on LinkedIn connected to that company or that organization. I reach out to them and say here's why I'm a good fit for this role. This is why you should hire me. You know how long that takes to do for all of the different companies.

Natalie Ziemba:

But, that's important to me and I think that says something about me and my work ethic. And it's challenging, it's grueling. I've had so many nights where I'm up real late into the morning hours doing this because it's like a full-time job applying for jobs and when you either you get ghosted, you get rejected, you apply and then 20 minutes later you get the auto rejection, it doesn't feel good. And so, having the community of people who say I see you, I get it, I understand, and then take the next step and say how can I help you? Are there people that you see, that I'm connected to? Do you want me to reach out on your behalf? Or hey, here's a couple of really interesting roles that you might want to look at. I don't know if you've looked at them yet, but here's some ideas.

Natalie Ziemba:

I am all about that. If there's a way I can help and pay it forward for other people, I'm in. I will do that all day because other people have done it for me. And just doing it whether it's publicly in comments and working online in a community or in a forum, publicly or privately just DMing people and say, wow, I heard you on this podcast or I saw the post you put out, I hear you, I get it. Sometimes that's all you need. It's just like a few words of encouragement and that's really important.

Dustin Howes:

Well said and I find extreme value in the same, just that support. When you're down and the folks know it, they all come running and it is something special and brings a tear to your eye, it's true. All right, as we wrap this up, how do folks connect with you?

Natalie Ziemba:

Biggest thing is LinkedIn. I'm super active on LinkedIn. I spend a lot of time there People community, really relationships very important to me and that's where I do it professionally and find me on LinkedIn. Just Natalie Ziemba, my photo. Look how I look here. I look how I look in my profile photo so you can't miss me. And, yeah, reach out. Please comment on anything you see, be friendly, be professional and then send me a message. I love if I get messages. I'll respond to you. So make sure you connect with me or follow me and don't be afraid to message.

Dustin Howes:

Awesome. Well, I really appreciate your time today and thank you for being open and honest with this job market. I know how tough it is out there and this has been a great conversation and so glad we could openly talk about it today. So thank you so much.

Natalie Ziemba:

You're welcome and I appreciate you. Thank you for having me on. This is great.

Dustin Howes:

Awesome. If you want this episode and others, make sure you hit that subscribe QR code up here in the top corner. And for those of you out there that are actively recruiting affiliates, go check out my product, afi stashcom, and we'll see you out there. Take care, folks.

Natalie Ziemba:

Bye.

Dustin Howes:

Bye, bye.

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