Affiliate Summit co-founder Missy Ward is at it again, raising funds for Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Los Angeles. To motivate supporters for the effort, a slate of experienced marketers involved in the affiliate marketing industry have put up their services and products up for auction.
The auction closes this Friday, August 28th, 1159pm. Some of the bid prices are ridiculously low at the moment, so if you put in a bid for charity, you’ll either get the product or service at a steal, or you’ll be doing your part to aim in breast cancer research and relief.
Here’re some of my personal top picks for the auctions:
Two hours of consulting with Lisa Riolo: Lisa was formerly affiliate network Commission Junction’s senior vice president for business development and has had management roles at brick-and-mortar institutions like Bank of America and Peet’s Coffee. Besides the obvious affiliate marketing issues you might raise with her, she’d be pretty experienced in the operations side of running and growing a business too. The auction is currently in the $100+ region, and even if you were to contribute the retail value of $1,000, there’s no doubt that her advice would bring your business to the next level. (check out my Friday Podcast interview with Lisa R).
Two hours of consulting with Lisa Picarille: Affiliates might know Lisa as the former publisher/editor-in-chief of Revenue Magazine, the performance marketing standard, as well as co-host of the Affiliate Thing and TheSpew podcasts. You may not know that she’s a wealth of experience with print, radio and online content publishing. Whether you’re a merchant, network or affiliate, you’ll be able to bounce ideas off Lisa which will help you on the media and content elements of your business. Again, the $100+ bid is ridiculously low, and even the $300 retail value is lowballing the potential benefits. I’d realistically value the advice you could get from Lisa at at least $1,000. (check out my Friday Podcast with Lisa P).
Affiliate Summit West 2010 Platinum conference pass (Las Vegas): Gives you all-access pass to the conference sessions and trade show. If you network effectively at this event with merchants, networks and fellow affiliates, there’s no reason why your affiliate business won’t double or triple (at the minimum) from the networking you’ll be doing. In a number of cases, affiliate incomes have increased exponentially as a result of face-to-face meetups at the event.
Thesis WordPress template/framework developer’s pack: Thesis is a SEO-friendly WP template that can be customized easily to replace other website publishing tools you’re currently using. I’m developing a new set of affiliate sites using Thesis and with the SEO features, it get much more visibility from organic traffic. Also, designer Chris Pearson has placed a strong emphasis on typography, so readability and usability are greatly enhanced. The lifetime upgrades and great support at the forum is worth its ticketed price many times over. Again, the bids are ridiculously low at this point ($30) on a $164 retail value. (read my Thesis product review for more information)
Market Leverage A-List Experience: The highlight of this package is dinner at the Eiffel Tower restaurant at the Paris Hotel and Casino with Market Leverage social media manager, Dina Riccobono. If that’s not enough, you’ll also get coverage on MarketLeverage TV and be featured on JohnChow.com. With a little out-of-the-box thinking, this package can significantly boost your branding and bring a number of benefits to your business. (Disclaimer: I’m also bidding on this package). (Check out some of Dina’s tips from the Friday Podcast on videocasting and social media branding)
Although I’ve mentioned just a few of the packages up for auction, do check out the various packages available, you’ll be getting resources to grow your business and doing a lot of good for charity too!
With prizes like gift cards and mini laptops on the line, there’s been a long line of applicants to Market Leverage in order to participate in the contest. (Note: for this specific contest, you have to be Singapore-based in order to qualify).
The sticking point has been getting approved – to date, there’s only 1 eligible contestant in the contest.
One of the “risks” in making this contest only for Singapore-based affiliates is that there might be zero participants in the contest – not because there’s no interest, but because international affiliates in general have to take number of additional steps in order to get their affiliate applications approved, compared to their US counterparts (a point I highlighted during my appearance on Missy Ward’s TheSpew Episode “The SpewGirls Go Global” ).
Here are a couple of tips to be successfully approved as an affiliate (more…)
Affiliate Summit co-founders Shawn Collins and Missy Ward made a joint appearance on the Friday Podcast, giving insights into behind-the-scenes actions at Affiliate Summit, together with updates on two ongoing projects, Geekcast and FeedFront.
During our conversation, we talked about:
The history and growth of the Geekcast podcast network and upcoming plans
The expansion and growth of content on Geekcast beyond just affiliate marketing
Incentives and admission criteria for would-be Geekcast podcasters
Details and the launch of Missy’s new podcast, “The Spew”, soon to debut on Geekcast in late March
The addition of video content on Geekcast
Shawn’s tips on getting started as a podcaster
How to organize and structure a winning podcast
The growth of FeedFront magazine
The upcoming inclusion of AffStat data in FeedFront
Missy’s new involvement with the affiliate program for DIYThemes (publisher of the Thesis WordPress theme)
Highlights and details of the upcoming Affiliate Summit East (Aug 9-11, New York City)
ShareASale’s Director of Client Services Carolyn Tang AKA Catango is one of the most pleasant and knowledgeable individuals in the industry and it was a pleasure to talk to her at the SaS booth, even though there were lots of people there.
As a tradeshow visitor, I’ve got more than my fair share of t-shirts, notepads, pens, paper weights and stationery to last 2.5 lifetimes. I liked how SaS did a little out of the box thinking to provide a photobooth where affiliates took some crazy pics (I’ll post mine later), and thoughtfully gave out baby T-shirts and bears. For affiliates with families or significant others, they’ll likely be seeing the SaS logo on a teddy bear or baby T for some time to come. (a good thing).
It was cool hanging out with top affiliates Colin “Google” McDougall and Ros Gardner over dinner at the Nobu Japanese restaurant at the Hard Rock for the private launch of Jim Lillig’s Offeratti network.
Considering that Colin doesn’t take raw food, it’s a testament to the great food at Nobu that Colin was enjoying the sashimi with the rest of us during the meal. It was also interesting to hear Colin tell his stories about his towed trailer that he rolls out for holidays. And if you’re looking for inspiration as you’re working towards your ideal affiliate lifestyle, Ros has bought a lot of nice toys/trinkets to enjoy the fruits of her labor.
It was great to meet affiliate network Market Leverage‘s marketing manager Dina Riccobono after talking to her over IM and being interviewed for MLTV late last year.
Market Leverage has a proactive outreach and affiliate recruitment program and it’s refreshing to see a network take the intiative in getting to know affiliates. They hosted a dinner at Switch at the Encore hotel, with Market Leverage CEO Mike Jenkins in attendance. It was a great opportunity to talk to affiliate managers Mike Kelly and Jen Fluker to get insight into how affiliate managers operate.
At the dinner, Mike announced the launch of Market Leverage’s greenlinks program, which provides links to video-based affiliate training from the ML website interface.
Jen Goode, better known as JGoode, headed the Affiliate Summit mentors program and did a great job (I believe there were more than 100 mentees in the program). I also had a picture taken with the penguin and nearly kidnapped him. Ah well, maybe next time.
At last month’s Affiliate Summit in Las Vegas, I took a question asking “How do I effectively use social media in my business?”
Here is the long answer:
Social media (I would consider this as “blogging and the other stuff that goes with it”) is more than just a tool in my business. Up till now, it is the foundation of my business.
If HTML websites are billboards filled with information waiting for people to stumble upon them and read them, then blogs are like aggressive ticket scalpers running up to you and shouting in-your-face, in a direct manner. (this is a good thing).
And if you’re new to the social traffic, social networking game, here are some pointers:
Go out and try everything: The best and worst part of social marketing is that it’s usually free to sign up and participate in. (Although if you forget to factor in the value of your time invested, you could be losing out in a great deal of opportunity cost). Heard about LinkedIn, MySpace, Facebook, Plurk, FriendFeed, Friendster, Orkut, Plurk, Hi5, Flickr, Craigslist, YouTube, Twitter? Why not sign up for an account. If you’re concerned about it (and you probably should be), make sure you register your personal name, your business, your brand, and get your related domain or account name before someone else does. Sure, you can go after “social network domain/account name squatters” after the fact, but it’s going to take time and resources to do that, so why not spare yourself the trouble now.
Learn to specialize: I don’t think it’s worth being a “jack-of-all-trades” and spread yourself across all the social networks and have merely superficial relationships with the people in those communities. Instead, I’d suggest focusing on specializing in one or two social networks and “embedding” yourself in them. Learn the social rituals, get to know the influencers, build YOUR own social influence within those circles. Some wannabe “gurus” would have you believe that your social influence is dictated by the number of followers or friends you have. In my opinion, that is utter nonsense and is at best a simpleton’s scare tactic. Just like wine, it’s quality than counts, not quantity.
Being “successful” with your social marketing efforts has a lot to do with your social influence and ability to shape opinions and behavior. And that’s going to take more than just a simple follower count to resolve.