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!
New podcast network Geekcast (owned by the Affiliate Summit) looks set to be a major player in the audio content game with the recent launch of two business-related podcasts.
A minor quibble I have about the Affiliate Summit is not being able to hear presentations by the event’s co-founders Missy Ward and Shawn Collins because they’re busy presenting awards or talking to folks during the 3-day event.
In launching and leading their own new podcasts on Geekcast, this should address the appetite to hear and benefit from their expertise.
BrandMouthing, a new solo podcast by Shawn Collins, gives his take on branding strategies and marketing techniques that affiliates and internet marketers can employ in their own business. Usually featuring a 5-10 minute duration (the longest has been about 22 minutes thus far), the short, punchy format (with a high signal-to-noise ratio) gives immediate tips.
I’ve enjoyed Shawn’s synopsis of the Cast of Geeks/GeekyBunch sessions when his Skype recording software failed to activate (resulting in a loss of about 1+ hour of content) and the BrandMouthing podcasts likewise provide a short burst of actionable information.
TheSpew, helmed by Missy Ward, is vaguely themed after popular women-themed talkshow “The View”, with an affiliate marketing slant. Featuring prominent affiliate marketing/internet marketing veterans like Lisa Picarille, Connie Berg, Karen White, Lisa Riolo, Kim Rowley and featuring guests like Brian Littleton, Scott Jangro and others, the sessions are chock full of useful content, involving issues like the California affiliate tax, Missy’s fundraising projects, insights into the affiliate industry.
Bundled together with this, you’ll also hear about how several marketers got their start, get some insights into what makes them successful. TheSpew bunch have also thoughfully included snippets into managing a healthy work-life balancing, addressing issues like dating other members of the affiliate fraternity, networking at events and balancing parental duties with running your own internet business.
Although the sessions clock in at more than an hour, the time will probably fly by and I’ll be saving the sessions to listen to again.
I’ve certainly got a healthy fill of content and will be looking forward to more episodes from Shawn and Missy.
I’d been talking briefly with industry veteran Lisa Riolo at some of the affiliate events over the past year and inviting her on the Friday Podcast was the first opportunity I’d been able to speak with her at some length.
Lisa’s one of the best resources in the affiliate industry, having a blend of brick-and-mortar business operations experience, together with her stints in the online world. Lisa previous experience includes a senior vice president of business development role at Commission Junction and managerial roles at Peet’s Coffee & Tea and Bank of America.
During our call, we discussed:
How she got involved in the world of affiliate marketing
The growth of CJ’s account development team from a headcount of 4 initially to its exponential growth phase involving hundreds of people
Her focus on accountability and being able to quantitatively measure results in order to grow a business rapidly
Her milestone projects in internet marketing, including stints with Eben Pagan
Her system for getting things done and enhancing your personal productivity
How to balance growing your business with a healthy work-life balance
Defining value as growth factor for your business and how to deliver it to customers
Business owners and successful affiliates will get several actionable takeaways from this session.
On the sidelines of PPC Classroom Live in Vegas last month, I got a chance to talk to affiliate industry veteran Rachel Honoway.
Rachel has been in the industry since 1997, starting as an intern at KowaBunga! Technologies, maker of the MyAffiliateProgram (myAP) affiliate tracking and management platform, and following it’s acquisition by Think Partnershi, was promoted to VP of marketing and client services.
Most recently, Rachel has taken on the portfolio Vice-President, Marketing at Anik Singal’s Affiliate Classroom.
Besides speaking at numerous tradeshows and seminars, Rachel’s an excellent resource for affiliate management.
I invited Rachel to come on the Friday Podcast and got her thoughts on a number of issues that merchants and affiliate networks would need to factor in their affiliate programs.
Some of the issues we discussed included:
Changes in the affiliate marketing industry
Key trends to look out for this year, especially in the convergence of affiliate marketing techniques
Structuring an affiliate program, especially if deciding to go along the affiliate marketing, pay per lead, revenue share or cost per impression route
Most interesting is Affiliate Classroom’s new ACCertified program which Rachel is spearheading and will see a launch of sorts at the upcoming Affiliate Summit West with the Affiliate Classroom Live workshop on Saturday 23rd February.
The event features affiliate industry veterans like Lisa Riolo,Â Heather Paulson, Schaaf Consulting’s Stephanie Harris and Bryan Rhodes, Ned Farra from Zappos and Steven Lerch, Todd Farmer and John Vehlewald of Think Partnershipâ€™s KowaBunga! and PrimaryAds Networks.
Heather has thrown down the gauntlet to the members of the Affiliate Fit Club, two teams of affiliates and affiliate members who were aiming to compete and lose weight by Affiliate Summit West a la “The Biggest Loser” format.
The members include veterans like Shawn Collins, Jim Kukral, Wade Tonkin, Karen Garcia, Lisa Riolo and Wade Sisson.
The affiliate fit club had been an inspriation to me, especially since working in front of a computer every day and not getting out much has meant the scale has hovered at 192 lbs for quite some time (especially after having great eats in the US each time I’m there for a seminar or event).
I’ve started swimming for about 20 minutes a couple of times a week (you need to get at least 20 minutes of rigorous exercise to get the metabolic rate into its “fat burning” phase.) and have lost about 5 lbs over the last week.
I’m definitely game to take part in it, if it opens up again. I’m highly competitive, so I’ll be in to win!
So it was pretty inspirational to hear that Heather has lost about 35 lbs (possibly more since the last Affiliate Summit – I’m not sure if she meant ASW last Feb or Affiliate Summit East in Miami last July). In any case, 35 lbs is very impressive!
She’s also thrown down this challenge:
And I’m sure she’ll be pretty smoking in a swimsuit.