Affiliate Nerd Out

How To Improve Your Network-Marketing Game with Choots Humphries

May 28, 2024 Dustin Howes Season 1 Episode 85
How To Improve Your Network-Marketing Game with Choots Humphries
Affiliate Nerd Out
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Affiliate Nerd Out
How To Improve Your Network-Marketing Game with Choots Humphries
May 28, 2024 Season 1 Episode 85
Dustin Howes
Ever wondered how a Navy officer transitions into a leading figure in affiliate marketing? Shoo Tumbray, CEO and President of Link Connector, takes us on his incredible journey from navigating ships during Desert Storm to navigating the complexities of the digital marketing world. Shoo's story is not only inspiring but also packed with valuable insights that any professional in the tech industry will appreciate. His experience underscores the importance of resilience and adaptability in the face of changing career landscapes.

We also explore the vibrant world of affiliate marketing conferences, where Shoo shares his favorite moments and top strategies for effective networking. He highlights the balance between structured meetings and spontaneous interactions, emphasizing how real connections often happen in informal settings. From casual rooftop bar conversations to engaging discussions with thought leaders, Shoo provides a roadmap for maximizing your conference experience and building meaningful, long-lasting relationships.

Networking is more than just exchanging business cards; it's about forging genuine connections and supporting each other's growth. Shoo delves into how his analytical and relationship-building skills have evolved over the years, and the importance of having partners who complement your strengths. Tune in to hear about the strategies that can help you not just survive but thrive in the dynamic world of affiliate marketing. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the industry, this episode offers a treasure trove of practical advice and heartwarming stories.

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 how a Navy officer transitions into a leading figure in affiliate marketing? Shoo Tumbray, CEO and President of Link Connector, takes us on his incredible journey from navigating ships during Desert Storm to navigating the complexities of the digital marketing world. Shoo's story is not only inspiring but also packed with valuable insights that any professional in the tech industry will appreciate. His experience underscores the importance of resilience and adaptability in the face of changing career landscapes.

We also explore the vibrant world of affiliate marketing conferences, where Shoo shares his favorite moments and top strategies for effective networking. He highlights the balance between structured meetings and spontaneous interactions, emphasizing how real connections often happen in informal settings. From casual rooftop bar conversations to engaging discussions with thought leaders, Shoo provides a roadmap for maximizing your conference experience and building meaningful, long-lasting relationships.

Networking is more than just exchanging business cards; it's about forging genuine connections and supporting each other's growth. Shoo delves into how his analytical and relationship-building skills have evolved over the years, and the importance of having partners who complement your strengths. Tune in to hear about the strategies that can help you not just survive but thrive in the dynamic world of affiliate marketing. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the industry, this episode offers a treasure trove of practical advice and heartwarming stories.

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

Speaker 1:

Hey folks, welcome to Affiliate Nerd Out. I am your Nerd-erator, dustin House, spreading that good word about affiliate marketing. You're going to find me here every Thursday at 1215 Pacific Time, so put it on the calendar and join me and my guest. And my guest today Shoo Tumbray, ceo, president of Link Connector. Thanks for joining me in the Nerdatorium today, sir.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, thanks for having me, Dustin.

Speaker 1:

Man, it is such a pleasure and an honor to have you here. I know we've not connected a lot throughout the years and I finally got the courage to come up to you at PI Live this time around and I have just been admiring your style and your characteristics and just the way you go about holding yourself at conferences for so many years and watching from afar and like emulating you in so many ways and just so happy to have you and happy to have this conversation today.

Speaker 2:

Thanks, dustin, I appreciate that that's awful Nice.

Speaker 1:

Awesome, awesome. If you have any questions out there, this is live, so jump in and ask us anything. If you've got any questions for me or my guest here today, if you would like to be in the guest seat, go to dustinhousecom. Slash, nerd and drop in a topic that you want to nerd out about. It could be anything. Our question for the day to our audience what is your favorite thing to do at a conference? And I'm going to open it up to you, sir, what is your favorite thing to do, so we can open it up to our audience here as well yeah.

Speaker 2:

So, um, my favorite thing to do at a conference I always leave some time at the end of each day.

Speaker 2:

Um, I mean, I might pre-schedule it, but I make sure that there's some time at the end of the day where I can just sit down, either one-on-one or in a really small group of what I would consider to be thought leaders or wicked smart people. As you know from all your vast experience, our industry is made up of entrepreneurs and that entrepreneurial, constantly changing environment of our industry. It's just a lot of fun for me to sit down, often with a beer in hand as you know, a beer in hand at the end of the day and and unwind before you get going whatever your night routine is going to be the networking events and stuff like that and just have a open-ended conversation with no agenda whatsoever, just talking to smart people and seeing where the conversation goes. So you know, some of the things that I've learned most from, or ideas that I brought back from conferences come from those kinds of conversations. So I look forward to that part of the conference. That's probably my favorite thing to do.

Speaker 1:

That is a smart move and I have enjoyed that part of it as well. Like the first drink is going to happen around four o'clock, maybe five o'clock, but they start serving booze at Affiliate Summit around 10 am, I feel like, and you just have to have self-control until you get through all of your meetings and then get to that end of the day and it's just so much better once you wait for that long.

Speaker 1:

And, yeah, scheduling it somebody that you're catching up with or you really want to get more in tuned and intimate with in a relationship basis I love that sentiment. I would say it kind of follows my style of how I live my life and my favorite thing to do is to make people smile. So if I can, if I can, go to a meeting and meet somebody for the first time, I try not to be funny until I figure out that they have some kind of sense of humor and then I try to knock a joke in there and getting somebody to laugh for the first time at something that has to be my favorite part.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's awesome, yeah, that's fantastic.

Speaker 1:

All right.

Speaker 2:

Humor is such a great tool.

Speaker 1:

It is my best, and we all use our attributes. But without further ado here, sir, who are you?

Speaker 2:

Who am I? So? That's a good question. I'm the father of two great kids, all right, and I am currently the president and CEO, as you said, of Link Connector. I've been working in this industry for coming up on 25 years. The last 20 plus have been with Blink Connector as one of the co-founders. Absolutely if you haven't figured it out already adore this industry, adore all the challenges of this industry and all that it brings to the table. I also like the dynamic nature of our industry. It's constantly evolving, constantly changing, usually for the better, not always. And yeah, I guess that's it. So, right now, that's defining most of me.

Speaker 1:

Awesome. Love that you're a father first. Love that sentiment and career that that can happen, family starting off. I, I just love that, um, and tell me about, uh, we share a a very rare bond that I've seen in this and this is, uh, what I like to call a military turned digital marketer. Right, right, and you spent a good chunk of time in your life in the Navy as an officer and that had to give you some kind of skill set into your career. Can you tell us about what that transition was from going to military into your civilian life?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So I could not. My family couldn't afford to go to the college I wanted to go to. So I guess I should answer this. Most people that know me know this about me already In the who are you question. I'm a big Tar Heel guy, big Tar Heel guy. So I really wanted to go to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill when I was in high school, but we really couldn't afford it and so my only shot at doing so was a scholarship academic scholarship. So I ended up. I fought trading four years of basically post-college career time for an academic. You know, full ride to Carolina. So that's what I thought I was doing, what I ended up doing.

Speaker 2:

I ended up staying in the Navy for seven years, versus the plant four, for several reasons. One, my at sea time. So you know, at the end of coming up on the end of my four years, I was on two different ships as the navigator, and on the second one, near the time I was eligible to resign my commission and leave the Navy, was right at the end of Desert Storm in 91. And so I didn't, you know, stuck in a 10 by 10 box in the Northern Red Sea during Desert Storm. I didn't have a lot of time to prepare for my transition. When I came home I wanted to get married and start thinking about a family and those kinds of things, and so I took a job up in the DC area, the Bureau of Naval Personnel, did three years spent there, did three years spent there, uh, and while I was there I got very, very this is early 90s but got very, very interested in, uh, computers and programming and and that kind of stuff. We used, obviously, computers on the ship, but but not not much, and so that kind of led me down the career path. When I did finally leave the navy, uh, doing computer software design and development for a company, uh, a company out of boston I still lived in dc, but I was working for a company out of boston and so I did that for about five years, learned a tremendous amount about software design and development and.

Speaker 2:

But was really, you know, the internet starting to explode in the mid to the late 90s and I got really interested in how the internet would and applications on the internet. We're going to change you know how we think about software and Interaction with such and, and I just wasn't going to have the opportunity to do that. So late 90s, my wife and I moved back to North Carolina from the DC area to start a family and I just decided to leave that software job and start my own company. And so I started my first company in 99 and with a business partner, ernie St Joulet, who a lot of people listening to this will know. So we started our first company, first company, and it was it was generally a content site uh, related to taxes and um, and we learned a lot about seo and sem affiliate marketing in the early days of the affiliate marketing channel. So we just learned a lot as we built that business and by you know, early 2000s uh, you know, leading up, I would say about 2003, 2004 got really interested in um, um, you know all the things that I thought could be done differently and potentially improved upon in affiliate marketing, uh, and so uh built what is now link connector as kind of an in-house solution for our existing business. And as I was talking to people about it in the first year of building it, a lot of people were interested in using our software just as a different way of handling affiliate marketing. So that's kind of how Link Connector was born born, I know that's a way far off from how did I get from the military, to your question of how I got from military to digital marketing.

Speaker 2:

But what I believed at the time when I was a high school student training four years what I thought would be four years of my life I thought it's low cost, but it's only four years who cares, I don't care that I'll never use anything that I need in the Navy and the business world and that was my perception is that, you know, just four year chunk and then I'll move on and do what I want to do for a living. And in fact I think about and I'm sure you do as well. I think about everything that I learned in the Navy almost every day of my career, you know, since I've left the Navy. So there are lots of lessons that I learned, lots of ways to interact with people, the right way to do things, wrong way to do things. There's so much that just resonates from my time in the service, even time in the Northern Red Sea during Desert Storm that I would never have thought as a young teenager that that was going to be possible.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean, it's ingrained in us at this point, once you go through the service, more than anything, I feel like it's the leadership skills that stand out above everything. Right, right, right. Once you're leading a crew of individuals in some kind of capacity, that transitions really well. That's why people love hiring military folks into their companies because of the leadership capabilities and the discipline to stick with it, and I had assumed that was like the biggest help of your career and like getting you to that level.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and not being rattled by the fact that 20 urgent things are going on at the same time too right, being able to handle multiple things. I mean, we all know multitasking has its limits and you need to focus on, you know, the most important things, but certainly not being rattled by all the external pressures as much.

Speaker 2:

Being trained to handle those kinds of things certainly helps, I think as well too to handle those kinds of things certainly helps, I think as well, too Awesome, all right, stephen Robinson out there saying and you're welcome, no problem, happy to do it.

Speaker 1:

Stephen, what's your favorite part of going to a conference? Put it in that chat there. All right, let's talk more on Link Connector here. Like, has this ever been rebranded? Is this like the original name and it's lasted 20 years? That's very rare in this industry.

Speaker 2:

Isn't it, though? Yeah, yeah, I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but certainly it's the original name. We have not rebranded. You know, the reasons we launched the network and how we thought we could affect positive change on the industry have kind of stuck with us since day one, and since then on a lot of our philosophical beliefs and things. The industry has moved towards where I think we properly shot ahead of the bird. So it's still working for us, it's still resonating with our clients and and those kinds of things.

Speaker 1:

So yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Tell the audience a little bit more about what you guys do and who you're serving out there.

Speaker 2:

Um, yeah, so, um, so we're a traditional affiliate marketing network. Um, you know, think you know what Brian created at share sale or what a wind's doing. So we're a traditional affiliate marketing network. Think what Brian created at ShareSale or what Awin's doing CJ or Rakuten.

Speaker 2:

So less of a software of a service like Awin and more of a traditional, you know, hosting a group of both, whether you call them merchants or advertisers or whether you call them affiliates or publishers. But you basically are a marketplace to learn about opportunities for an affiliate or publisher to promote an advertiser or merchant. And then the network provides both that impetus for introduction, which is a small part of it but an important part of it, helping you find those relationships, but also provides all the tracking and the technologies that both sides of the coin will use to optimize the relationship. And you know, figure out from an advertiser standpoint, you know how to represent their program goals in the forms of things like attribution and compliance and those kinds of things. So there's a highly technical aspect to our job, but there's also the relationship building, and the goal in any relationship is to find out as quickly as possible is it work for all parties involved, which is kind of a requirement for sustainability.

Speaker 1:

Awesome. It looks like you've got some fans out here. Jake Fuller's in the house Great seeing you both here. I love our friends who were at League Connector and learning from you all of you on the webinars Outstanding. Thanks for joining us, jake. And Steven says networking with my old peeps I've known for years and meeting new people, learning the latest trends and ways to drive more rep Steven, that's way too many favorite things. What are you doing here? Love the passion? Just joking with you, steven. Thanks for joining in. Man All right, and I wanna get to the question of the day, and we're going to be talking about conferences. I've loved watching you through the years interact with the folks out there. But, more importantly, I think you're one of the most impressive network marketers that I've ever seen in my life and I want to know what is network marketing to you network marketing to you.

Speaker 2:

So for me, it's the, the relationship part of my, my job, right, so it's it's. It's it's understanding both my customers, my competitors, my, you know, those thought leaders in the industry that I might have interacted with years ago or might have the opportunity to interact with in the future, just keeping my pulse on from my perspective, on, you know, what everybody's needs are and those kinds of things. So so it's. It's really the relationship side. You know, when I'm sitting at my desk back at home not to say that the relationship side is ignored, you know, sitting at my desk back at home, not to say that the relationship site is ignored um, you know there's the. There's the strong analytical component to my job which is, you know, building the software to our customers needs and, and you know, making, you know, our employees enabled as much as possible to be the best that they can be to serve there. So there's a, there's a different aspect to my job. So that's one of the things I love about getting on the road and going to these conferences, which is probably why you see me with a smile on my face most of the time at these places is is I get to, I get to spend that time focusing just on the really really to me, fun part of my job, which is developing and keeping up with relationships in this industry Because, like I said, there's so many smart people in our industry and I can learn so much from my conversations with them and be a better person and better at my job with these interactions, so I really look forward to them and spend a lot of time prepping for them and then and then so that it makes more out of out of the execution phase. So I think it's important for people to understand, as an example and one of the things I think our team does a really good job at not necessarily me, just our team is you know who's going to be at the conference, whether it's a customer, whether it's a current customer or prospective customer, who's going to be there, but also you know who are the thought leaders that are going to be there that you haven't seen in a while and those kinds of things seen in a while and those kinds of things, so that that preparation and understanding both maybe what you might be able to successfully schedule time ahead of time, whether it's that drink in the bar or a meeting at a meetup table or something like that, or whether it's just shooting an email. You know in the slack channel. You know opinion somebody in the slack channel on the pma, uh, slack channel or something. Hey, I see you're going to be at the conference. I'm looking forward to Slack channel.

Speaker 2:

You know a ping and somebody in the Slack channel on the PMA? Uh, slack channel or something. Hey, I see you're going to be at the conference. I'm looking forward to catching up with you. Hopefully you can grab some time, even if it's not a formal meeting. Uh, you know, kind of acknowledging that we're going to both be in the same orbit for two to four days and and we would love to spend some time with you. So, yeah, I think that's a big part of it love to spend some time with you.

Speaker 1:

So, yeah, I think that's a big part of it. Love it, love it. And you brought up preparation at a conference, um, and we'll get into goals a little bit more. But, like I want to jump into that conference preparation, that is something I I hold near and dear to my heart because, um, and it must have been a little bit harder back in the day, like, uh, before the pre-conference apps yeah, pre-conference apps it was yes.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and the pre-conference apps. Like I loved PI live. They made everything easy and they had my schedule on my phone and ready to go. I really enjoyed it. But like, uh, what are some of your goals starting off before the conference starts? To get these meetings in line yeah.

Speaker 2:

So you know my goals are different than than some of my teammates that I might be there. So, as an example, I know you know tara. You know her goals are to, you know, meet with the customers that have reached out to her that want to meet with her, but probably more on the prospective merchant or affiliate side is what she's going after. We have our directors of our affiliate relations team or our merchant relations teams. They and their teams, their goals would be a little bit different. Their goals tend to be more with meeting with the customers that are going to be there and setting up meeting amongst one or more customers that might be working together to give them time to, you know, just kind of for 30 minutes, you know, replacing the phone call that might be happening that month. Otherwise, in person, to spend time developing those relationships and trying to enable those relationships, bringing a lot of data to those meetings and to talk through and stuff like that.

Speaker 2:

I'm the lucky one I get to go with the ability to pop into any of those meetings that I'm either asked to attend or I desire to attend and then have, you know, my outside agenda of of, you know, keeping up with, you know industry thought leaders and spending time with them and popping around and, and you know, one of the things I always try to do is make sure that I have.

Speaker 2:

You know, I'm not fully booked because I can always make use of that time at the conference. And if I'm fully booked and you're you're you run out of the ability to, you know, situationally adapt to an opportunity. Hey, I ran into so-and-so and I really think you guys should meet. Do you have any time on your schedule? If you don't, uh, then that you don't, then you can't take advantage of that kind of spontaneity that might occur. And you know, one of my, I would say, conference tips is I try to use blank time that I have there, if I have a hole, to start some of my follow-up tasks early, having my computer and sitting down, and instead of getting back to them the week after you return, you promise three things to them. You start getting that going right away and I think people really appreciate and feel important when it's important enough for you while you're at the conference just to start doing those things for them.

Speaker 1:

So that's an interesting tip.

Speaker 2:

You can always fill in your holes if you've left open time and don't have anything to do. You know.

Speaker 1:

so, man, so many things to unravel there, Like those aren't the't the things that, um, uh, my necessarily my thoughts that go through my head. So, first off, I want to get into, like the, the conference follow-up that you just mentioned. Um, I've been trained um my old mentor, David Vogelpool. He's told me, like, uh, however long the conferences wait in that many days to until you follow up up because you want to give everybody the time to catch up on their email.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely 100%. You don't want to get lost at the bottom of the thread 100%.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I think that's a good strategy. But your strategy also works, because if I find something that I didn't have planned out in my calendar and I have this like random conversation, it's a good one. I want to get in into their LinkedIn and send them a message immediately. I like your strategy as well there.

Speaker 2:

Right, right, and you know, I think I you're probably guilty of this, just like all of us are. I think most people are guilty of they're so busy at the conference they're just making sure there aren't any fires. They're constantly on their device checking emails or posts or messages through the app through the day, when they have five minutes here, five minutes there, and so I don't think, I think they're certainly not going to react to that message that you might have sent at the conference. But they're going to see that you took the time to follow up right away and that I think you know when you get that opportunity to do that. The point was not so much to make sure you do all of that right away. The point was you can always find something to do. If you leave open time and it doesn't get filled, naturally You're not going to be wasting time.

Speaker 2:

So I do try to stay away from work when I'm at a conference, unless there's a fire, just because take full advantage of the time you're there and surrounded by so many smart people.

Speaker 1:

I totally agree. And getting that FaceTime and, you know, making people smile, shaking hands, kissing babies, all that business is what is going to make you get responses. It's going to improve your response rate when you do actually reach out to those folks. Agreed, agreed. And also, you mentioned the portion about like not or leaving a little bit on your schedule for some time, that of randomness, and that's something I I've never done before and it makes total sense for me to like start using that, because I have been pounding meeting after meeting after meeting into my. I want to get the fullest out of this thing. I said at times, times to go watch sessions of friends and people that I really want to learn from, but I don't take the time for blankness and I love that strategy. I'm going to employ that at my next conference.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, it is tempting. You can always find a session you want to attend. You can always find somebody you want to sit down and meet with. So it is not an easy thing to do, but it's something that I'm lucky enough that I get to do.

Speaker 1:

Okay, Speaking of goals like one of mine is like this kind of baseline where at every conference that I go to, I want to make one really good friend and I want to make 10 new acquaintances. That is my ultimate goal, essentially is taking one of those old acquaintances and turning them into a big new best friend, essentially that I'm going to be super excited to see at the next conference. Do you go about this in the same fashion? Maybe it's not as rigid as that, but do you have that mind frame as well?

Speaker 2:

Um, 100% have the mind frame. I don't have specific, um, you know, quantifiable goals for that, but I do have, you know, kind of that third, third and third. So you know, I I definitely about a third of my time. You know again, it's not a goal as much as I just kind of think that about a third of my time I want to spend with, you know, our current customers, making sure you know with my staff if they're meeting with them, but making sure that they're getting everything that they need and there's not things we can do to improve. Getting to know the customers and all about their families and their interests and all those kinds of things that's important to me. And then, you know, I'll generally strive to support our sales team, which are, you know, in their time that they're talking to prospective customers, to see if I can add any value to those meetings, but also to get a feel directly of the kinds of questions that are being asked of us, the kind of challenges that those prospective customers might be facing in their environment, so that I can better support my sales team and thinking about what we might need to be doing differently, either technically or philosophically or operationally or something like that and then that other third is is you know my fun time when, when I'm going around and and filling that up with having just a kind of an ad hoc conversation?

Speaker 2:

Again, it could be on the schedule or it could be hey, I got an hour, do you have an hour to go sit down and have a beer and just talk? And that's certainly a non-structured time completely. I think structure would ruin it. It's my chance to learn more you and I started out this conversation today before you went live about our families and get to know each other. I think that's important. It's important to know people and what drives them and what their motivations, what excites them and all of that kind of stuff. You know those connection points. So I really enjoy that aspect of my time at a conference. So from that standpoint, that third of the time you know not that I'm not interested in those things and the other meetings, it's just generally they're so time constrained and you have agenda items and stuff like that. They're easier to accomplish with either that open, free, spontaneous meeting time or the planned you know, hey, let's just go off and catch up, kind of time.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, great, great call, but I love meeting new friends and all those kinds of things. And I think you know you know the different networking opportunities generally. I think you know you know the different networking opportunities generally at night, whether you know it's your, it's your own created one where you know you're hosting a dinner for for folks, or or whether it's, you know, a rooftop bar or, dare I say it, even you know, like an affiliate ball kind of event. Um, you know those. Those can provide opportunities for that space, that third of the time you know those kinds of things. So, um, harder to to get to know somebody at affiliate ball than it is on a rooftop bar or at a, a semi-intimate dinner setting. But but, but still, there's a lot of opportunity to use that time less for any kind of goals or agenda as it relates to working with that person, and more just to get to know them so that you can and you bring up like the fist pumping like portion of a Summit, which I really can't do.

Speaker 2:

I mean I'll give it 15 to 20 minutes.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I've tried. I've tried my best to go in there, but I just do not like yelling at somebody that's standing right next to me. Agreed.

Speaker 2:

Or waiting 30 minutes for a drink, oh, and paying an ungodly amount for them like we're used to the alcohol at the conference, like exactly.

Speaker 2:

But uh, you know, one of my favorite people in this industry is paresh, and oh, he makes it, he makes it work like you know, and and I will say he does make it work and his event at PLI was fantastic, yes, and early in the show as well. You know, I think Paresh takes a different approach, which is why it's been so successful for him. He treats that time as fun customer appreciation time and you don't have to be a customer. Brian Littleton used to do the same thing. Really, you know it was really about. I really appreciate you, know you as my customers or industry friends.

Speaker 2:

I mean Brian used to invite me to, you know all of his share sale parties and and you know I'd walk in and everybody's like you're, you're the evil incarnate, you're the competitor and you know all this kind of stuff. And and brian was just. You know, brian and I love to sit down and have those great conversations and he's like come have a beer. You know he's such a great guy. Uh, peres similarly. So, yes, I agree, I agree, done properly, they can be very valuable oh, absolutely I.

Speaker 1:

I I really admire the way paresh goes in. It's called paresh connect because he literally walks around the entire place and like, takes somebody by the hand and introduces them to somebody on the other side of the room and like, hey, you guys talk and he's on to the next one. It's an amazing uh scene.

Speaker 2:

Watch him and even more impressive is seeing him on the show floor at 8 o'clock the next morning.

Speaker 1:

Oh my God, yeah, Right out in Bush Hill.

Speaker 1:

Ready to work. You know he's an unstoppable force, just an absolute beast out there. So so true. All right, I'm going to take some time to pay the bills here today and I want to talk about one of our sponsors, and this is Markableai. This is a really incredible tool for influencers. This is a creator workflow streamline platform that creators can use to automate their affiliate monetization process and the viral product selections. For things like smart, deep links, affiliate tracking, ID management, ai content generation and boost and spread the affiliate links wherever you are, with AI, bio link technology and DMing technology, this is an incredible tool. They have seen folks in the influencer realm go from not knowing anything about affiliate marketing into being a pro very quickly, earning 500% increases in what they're doing. They're fully synced with Amazon, target, walmart and other creator storefronts. So go check them out today. If you are a creator, and even if you're an affiliate manager, go check them out, because it is a super cool tool to suggest to your partners out there. And go to dustinhousecom, slash markable and check them out.

Speaker 1:

All right, and getting back into it, let's talk a little bit more about your networking. Like. It has taken me years to to polish the skillset that I've had and I'm sure it has been the same for you. But, like, how did you get into this state of you know? You know I'll go back a step. I'm not for everybody.

Speaker 1:

I know that, like my, my sense of humor can be dry and sarcastic and some people which is the best kind, by the way some people just aren't going to get it and they're not going to like me at first, but give me some time and I'll win them over. Right, right. How have you, like, polished your skills through the years? Is there anything that you've done that is like, uh, you know a light bulb that turned on for you to, to help you get to this point?

Speaker 2:

um, I'm not sure there was a light bulb that went on there. There was a shift way back when, I would say 10 plus years ago, where I went from trying to stay a little bit farther behind the scenes to fully interacting and engaging. And engaging that has little to do with my personality. I mean I grew up in addition to serving in the military. I grew up a military brat. So my dad was in the Navy for 26 years and so, you know, growing up we moved every two years. So I don't know if I was born an extrovert, but by the time I was done with high school I was an extrovert.

Speaker 2:

You know, as anybody that knows me knows I'm loud and you can hear me coming, so so you know kind of that, no fear mentality, but but I I hear what you're saying.

Speaker 2:

I'm sure there are plenty of people out there that think I'm loud and obnoxious, but I don't let that bother me, you know, the same as you probably don't let it bother you.

Speaker 2:

If they don't get your, your, your sense of humor, know you'll win them over eventually.

Speaker 2:

So so you know, I just am who I am and I find you know, just like you would in a job interview or on a first date, you know, with somebody or anything, if you are who you are from the beginning, then you're going to find those matches quicker, um, you're going to find the people that appreciate that or like that, or or you know all of that kind of stuff, and there's going to be plenty that don't, um, but at least you're going to find the people you enjoy being with long term and you're not going to invest a lot of time and effort pretending you're someone, you're not kind of thing, so so, um, so you know, I, just I, I I have, I'm very blessed, I have plenty of uh, really close friends in my life and have all my life Um and and.

Speaker 2:

While I don't need any more friends in my life, I'll take as many more as I can get, and that includes, you know, friends within the industry that I enjoy having conversations with, the learning from and and hopefully I can add a fraction of the value to the conversation. So no fear, I guess.

Speaker 1:

No fear, I love that sentiment that's let's go love it and like in that same kind of realm. It, um, and like in that same kind of realm. Uh, I, I often consider myself a relationship focused affiliate manager or like networker, uh, but I have friends that are very analytical and do things that I just don't think about. I I don't have that analytical mind like I. I feel like you might be in that same bucket, but you still have the analyst you can do it if you need to, kind of thing Right. But do you see this in the industry as like a common trend for the folks in this industry?

Speaker 2:

I 100 percent see it in our industry and it's it's. It's actually a very complicated industry and one of the challenges in our industry is, I think most people are one or the other or tend to be dominant in one or the other, and it's not easy to switch back and forth between the two and a skill set in both is pretty much required to do well in this industry, I think, or at least to advance and put your best foot forward. So I am lucky. I grew up good at math, logic, all those kinds of things. As I said, I started my career doing software development and design, so I have plenty of analytical abilities.

Speaker 2:

I got a master's degree in business and, you know, was attracted to the accounting and the financial accounting side more than the marketing side back then, you know. So I love the analytics, I love figuring out the puzzle and figuring out how to go from 1% conversion rate optimized to 3% conversion rate. I just I can. I can spend all day in Excel spreadsheets doing that kind of stuff. So I really get a lot of personal joy out of that. At the same time, as you've said and observed, I get a lot of personal joy and professional achievement, you know out of the relationship side too. So I do think we are an industry that requires both sides and I think if you're weaker in one skill set than the other, I think it will behoove you in this industry to do whatever you can to work on the one you're weaker in. We try to the greatest extent as possible to challenge both sides of the brain.

Speaker 1:

That's a good idea.

Speaker 1:

I'm not going to do it, but what I am going to do is hire people that fill the holes in my bucket right oh 100%, and I think this is a good strategy and my best partners in crime at any company that I've ever worked with are great on the analytical side and let me do my thing and focus on on building the relationships and recruiting affiliates. But, uh, how do you find the whole hire for the holes in it? Bucket? Your company I mean Tara is such an incredible asset for what you guys do over there and uh, and and she must feel a lot of these holes that you might have.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So I definitely didn't mean to imply that I didn't have any holes in my skill set, because it's obvious that I don't have Tara's skill set, so for sure. So you know, in building the company I think I think it's important, you know, I generally want an employee that's not necessarily you know, you're not going to hire somebody necessarily that's more knowledgeable about you in an area, but I always shoot to find employees that are smarter than me. But I always shoot to find employees that are smarter than me and, as you know from working with Tara, that was apparent there when she started working with us 20 years ago. So smarter than me is important.

Speaker 2:

But the other thing that's important is I need so as part of, you know, over the years, the interview process, when we target employees, to look for those holes to fill, it's important to find somebody who isn't afraid to speak up, okay, so isn't afraid to say I don't think what you just said is the best way to do it, or I think I have a better idea, or those kinds of things. So, in addition to being smarter than you, they have to be willing, you know, say out loud something that may make them seem stupid, because it shouldn't make you feel stupid, but some people end up being made to feel that way. So say anything out loud and bring to the table. So. So what you will find in link connector is a bunch of employees that are very, very encouraged to um, encouraged to, you know, bring ideas forth and have open discussions, and no idea is a bad idea and and let's all work together to do this. So, um, but yes, yes, lots of holes filled by employees.

Speaker 1:

Okay, awesome, my organizational skills suck.

Speaker 2:

They are really really bad. Every single employee in the company. Even the one that I might've hired last month has better organizational skills than I.

Speaker 1:

Well, to each their own. You've got your own skillset and, as we wind down here, I really appreciate your time today. How do the folks out there connect with you, sir?

Speaker 2:

They can reach out through me through my LinkedIn profile. My email address is if you know my name, it's easy to remember. It's just chootshumphreys at linkconnectorcom. Yeah, and a lot of people on this call have my cell phone, so that's always a possibility too. Awesome.

Speaker 1:

It's always a pleasure to hang out and talk to you. Thank you so much for spreading the good word here today and for those out there who are affiliate managers, keep on recruiting and we'll see you out there next time. Appreciate it. All right, take care, justin. Thanks, dustin, all right, bye-bye.

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