Season 03 / Episode 009
Mass Media Publishers and Affiliate Marketing with Nick Marchese
With Nick Marchese - Founder/CEO, BetterLakes
Note: if you get only a 30 second preview, please log into your Spotify account, or find us on one of several other podcast services.
In this installment Jamie engages in a dynamic conversation with a long-time friend and industry luminary, Nick Marchese.
Jamie and Nick’s friendship has withstood the test of time, spanning over a decade. Nick, a trailblazer in the affiliate marketing sphere, has showcased his leadership prowess throughout his journey, starting with his impactful tenure at ShareASale and continuing to shape the industry today.
The episode begins with Nick’s fascinating origin story, an account you won’t want to miss. From there, Jamie and Nick delve into Nick’s experiences at a Mass Media affiliate publisher, shedding light on common pitfalls that advertisers encounter in this evolving landscape and offering invaluable insights on how to navigate this new world.
To connect with Nick and delve further into his wealth of knowledge, you can visit his LinkedIn profile.
A big thank you to Nick for sharing his wisdom and experiences in this illuminating episode!
About Our Guest
Nick Marchese has over 11 years of experience working at various AdTech companies and service providers helping advertisers increase their online presence and e-commerce revenue.
Most recently, he created BetterLakes.com with the intention to create a centralized, easy to navigate, database where lake goes can review and leave feedback on specific lakes. Visitors will be able to see select nearby business and book a lake front vacation through third parties.
Want to be notified when we release a new episode?
[00:00:48] Jamie: Hello and welcome to the Profitable Performance Marketing Podcast. I am your host, Jamie Birch. Welcome to the show. I’m also the founder of JEBCommerce, your award winning affiliate management agency, and today I have someone near and dear to me, a good friend for over a decade, who’s been in this space in a lot of different ways Nick Marchese.
[00:01:13] We met when, during his tenure at ShareASale and have become good friends ever since. So before we get into what that conversation is, just want to let you know, if you’re trying to figure out your best strategy for 2023 and beyond in your affiliate program, how to manage that with all your other channels, how to get more mass media publishers.
[00:01:35] We actually talk about that today. Get more incremental, how to deal with top of funnel, bottom of funnel, any of those things about your affiliate program. If you need help, we’re the team to help you just contact us at email@example.com. We’ll set up a free half hour consultation and go over what your needs are, what issues you’re having, and how we could help you solve those. And you can email us with any questions you have at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll answer that. Sometimes we turn those into podcast episodes themselves.
[00:02:06] Now, Nick and I go back at least 10 years. Maybe, maybe longer. I don’t actually remember when we first met, but we go back quite a ways. Nick has been on the network side, ShareASale, Rakuten. He’s been on the agency side, and he’s been on the publisher side, and the mass media side. And that experience the vast difference and unique experiences really lends to a phenomenal conversation, puts Nick in a position different than most of his peers, and he’s worked in so many different areas.
[00:02:40] We talk about all of that today and more. So please tune in, continue listening and enjoy the conversation with me and Nick Marchese.
[00:02:51] Nick: Oh, Here.
[00:02:52] Jamie: Here we go! It is the fabulous Nick Marchese, the indomitable, the famous. How do you want to be intro’d to our podcast today, Nick?
[00:03:05] Nick: I this is honestly something that I wasn’t prepared for. You’re throwing me you’re throwing me off. But if I could, I’ll just reference my list here really quickly of adjectives that I like to use to describe me. I don’t know. I how about this? Your good old friend, Nick Marchese, who you’ve known for I don’t know, 10 years now?
[00:03:25] Jamie: At least.
[00:03:26] Nick: And at the very least it seems like a lot longer like they say “fun, like time flies when you’re having fun”. It seems like it’s been about 40 years.
[00:03:35] Jamie: Forever. It’s really…
[00:03:37] Nick: It’s been miserable the whole time.
[00:03:39] Jamie: True. Everyone, welcome my good old buddy. Of 40 years, Nick Marchese to the Profitable Performance Marketing podcast. How’s it going, man?
[00:03:50] Nick: I am fantastic, Jamie. How about yourself?
[00:03:52] Jamie: I’m doing good. We are trying to pack in all the back to school stuff in eight hours. That’s where I’m at. It’s…
[00:04:02] Nick: Why eight hours?
[00:04:03] Jamie: We decided to pack our summer as tightly with exciting things, as you can possibly imagine, we have three days here at the house before we leave again for our last preschool trip.
[00:04:18] Nick: Oh my god
[00:04:19] Jamie: And so we pretty much have this afternoon, which my wife is already with the kids to do all the back to school shopping and do all the things I will join her shortly after we’re done with recording to help. But because we do not as a family know how to sit still to… well, to just sit, we don’t know how to do that.
[00:04:42] This is how it happens. So yeah, that’s why we’re trying to fit it in eight hours.
[00:04:47] Nick: That’s a good problem to have, right? Otherwise it’s very easy to fall into that trap where you’re the family that sits on the couch and watches Matlock throughout the summer.
[00:04:56] Jamie: True. I’m more of a Murder She Wrote kind of guy, but yeah, I get your analogy. Yeah, we’ve tried it, man. We have. Yeah, thank you. I had to go back to the Nick at night sort of stuff. Is that what that is? I don’t know. Anyway, welcome to the podcast, everybody. Yeah, we’ve tried to sit still and not do a whole lot.
[00:05:15] And it’s just not who we are. We get about a day and a half. And we’re just like, we gotta go do something. So that’s what we’re trying to do. Now, are your kids, are they there yet? Is it back to school? Is it the craziness?
[00:05:27] Nick: Yeah, so we, I’ve got a two year old and a six year old. Six year old started first grade last Wednesday, and we are not quite as jam packed as you are, so we had some time to prepare for this. Actually, I should rewind a little bit and say that my wife had time to do this, and actually, she didn’t have time to do it, but she still did it.
[00:05:47] That’s how fantastic she is. Yeah, she is. No, she got all the back to shopping done. Maybe with a day in advance. So more than ample time, as long as it’s not late, it doesn’t really matter. So he started his first grade on Wednesday of last week, and then our two year old Parker started, or he’s been in daycare and he doesn’t get a summer break, he’s too young for, he hasn’t earned his breaks yet, so…
[00:06:11] Jamie: He’s gotta put time.
[00:06:12] Nick: …he’s year round.
[00:06:13] Yeah, he does. He hasn’t started paying even like property taxes yet or like contributing around the house. We, when he does, we’ll give him a summer off.
[00:06:21] Jamie: Yeah he’s two years old. Do you think it’s time?I do.
[00:06:25] Nick: I do. I think it’s past time actually.
[00:06:27] Jamie: I think we were both working by the time we were two and a half, right? And supporting a family.
[00:06:31] Nick: Oh, I mean, yes, but more importantly, I was also working when he was two and when he was one, and if I was working, he should be working. It’s just logic.
[00:06:40] Jamie: That’s… That’s how it should work. Man, I’m excited to talk to you today. We always have good conversations regardless of what is going on, but I’m excited to learn some things that I probably don’t know. So tell me, how did you get to affiliate marketing? You’ve been in this space for a long time.
[00:06:58] So if our listeners don’t know you and I met when you were at ShareASale. I’ve had you over to my house. You’ve ridden a horse. At the Birch ranch.
[00:07:07] Nick: I’ve ridden your horse, one of your horses.
[00:07:10] Jamie: Yup. And ate my wife’s amazing I think they were, she made…
[00:07:14] Nick: Tacos. Yes. Oh, they were so good.
[00:07:17] Jamie: So you’ve worked at ShareASale. You’ve you’ve been on the network side.
[00:07:22] You’ve been on the agency side. You’ve been on the affiliate side and you have your own web property going. So tell us I want to know how the heck did you find affiliate marketing? What’s your origin story, man?
[00:07:35] Nick: So I won’t go into all the nitty gritty, but I’ll …
[00:07:39] Jamie: we’re not on tape anymore. So it’s not like you have to worry about the tape running out. …
[00:07:43] Nick: Oh, thank God. Okay, great. Yeah, no, this is wonderful then. Okay. So I I had graduated college in 2009 and it was like recession, couldn’t find a job for anything. And I landed this job that was, for lack of a better term, akin to a boiler room where you’re, I’m handed a phone book and they said, here’s your lead list.
[00:08:05] And I went to go start emailing the companies or researching the companies. And I said, no computers, here’s a pencil and a note card and a pencil so that you can erase the contacts when they change or make updates or make changes.
[00:08:19] Jamie: That’s crazy.
[00:08:20] Nick: And the best part, it was straight commission. So I was like, I need something, I’m going to make this work.
[00:08:25] And I did, I actually made it work really well. But I prior to that, I was at Loyola and I had this this. professor at the time who was just super cool, super informative and made the learning process of e commerce marketing very tangible and very realistic and very humbling. And I remember in one of the classes she showed a picture cause she was teaching at Loyola, but she was also working full time at this marketing or technology company. I didn’t really know what it was, but she showed a picture of the office one time and they were playing cornhole in the office and that believe it or not shifted my career, seeing that picture because at the time. I’m like, okay, yeah, so I graduate college, I go get a job where I have to wear a suit every day and I’ll have a briefcase, like that’s what I thought the world was.
[00:09:15] Then I see this picture of people playing cornhole in an office and I’m like, there is a God. I know exactly where I’m going to go, what I’m going to be doing with the rest of my life, and it is going to be playing cornhole in an office, in shorts and a t-shirt. I didn’t right away because I graduated college in the recession and got that job selling credit card processing actually. And the reason that’s important is because I remember that professor who her name is Carolyn Tang Kemet. I remember her…
[00:09:45] Jamie: A mutual friend of both of ours.
[00:09:47] Nick: She’s fantastic. She’s a true mentor to myself, to the industry and just wonderful all around. And if you’re watching this Carolyn, I will send you my address, and my direct deposit account number so that you can mail me your check.
[00:10:00] I ended up calling on her at one point in time because I’m like, Hey, credit card processing. I’m sure that her company takes credit cards and let’s call them up and see if I can get them as a business. And it didn’t work out just, I don’t think she actually understood what I was trying to do, and then I wasn’t going to push it because she’s Carolyn.
[00:10:17] And then about two months later I was in a bad place at work and I didn’t really like what was going on there, and she reaches out to me while I’m on vacation and she goes, “Hey, we’re looking for we’re looking to fill a role here as a salesperson. Would you be interested?” And I’m like, “okay.” Everything is aligning. I’m not happy at work. I’m on vacation and I’m playing cornhole quite literally. I was playing cornhole when I got the email on my phone and I’m like, this is it. I took a break from the vacation to go interview with the director of sales at the time. And I walked out of that interview and called my company up that I was working at and gave them my notice.
[00:10:58] I didn’t have an offer. I didn’t, at that point in time, I didn’t have an offer. I hadn’t met with anyone else at the company, but I was just so confident that this was my future that I was like, I’m done. I’m starting my new chapter now. And maybe a week later I met with so that was David Zelkin.
[00:11:15] A week later, I met with Brian Littleton and who was the founder and CEO of ShareASale at the time. And we went out to lunch, had a great conversation and we talked about, just the intricacies of marketing and technology and what we think, I think the future of it is it turns out it was way off, but it didn’t matter, still got the job. I remember he asked me at one point in time and he goes, all right, I asked him like, ” when do you look to have this role filled?” And he goes, “I don’t know, two, maybe three months.” I had already quit my job.
[00:11:47] Jamie: And he said, you broke up a little bit. Was that two or three months?
[00:11:51] Nick: Yes. Two or three months. Yes.
[00:11:52] Jamie: Oh you had been unemployed now for a couple of days.
[00:11:58] Nick: Exactly. And I’m like so I just, I was very candid with him. I’m like I can start Monday. He said, okay. Yeah, I started the following Monday, or maybe it was the Monday after that, but it was really like far sooner than the two to three months that he had initially forecasted. And it was a really good time. I started off in sales there and just learned the ropes from him and from David.
[00:12:23] Carolyn ditched me after about a month there to move on with her career. She basically conned me into the space and then and then left. I think yeah, I don’t have any …
[00:12:32] Jamie: it’s Good to have friends like that.
[00:12:34] Nick: Totally.
[00:12:34] Jamie: She saw your affinity for cornhole. You were, it just fit. Now walk me through… I always look back at some of the decisions I made in my career and I’m like I would never have thought of myself as real courageous. And risky, but I look back and I have to…
[00:12:51] Nick: I would say that.
[00:12:52] Jamie: …that view of myself.
[00:12:53] So when you quit your job before you were finished with the interview process, walk me through, how did you make that decision? What were you thinking? What went into “Oh, I want to be in this space. I want this job. And I quit.”
[00:13:10] Nick: Honestly, I don’t know if there was a rhyme or reason to it. It was the meeting with David the director of sales at the time, it was just so perfect. It was a perfect interview. Everything, every aspect of it felt right. The job I was at, it was going through a lot of changes, a lot of uncertainty, and I just had an all around bad feeling about the direction that the company was going and that my role was going.
[00:13:34] And I was leading a really nice team at that time, but it just, something was off and it was enough to make me not hesitate. When I walked out of the meeting with David and the meeting, it, by the way, wasn’t in the office. It was at a a hotel lobby/Starbucks.
[00:13:51] So everything again, it just jibed so well because it wasn’t super buttoned up. It was very casual, very laid back. And we just, it would just enjoy each other’s conversations. And he taught me a little bit about affiliate marketing that I knew already. And, just. It seems so natural and so right that I just I had so much confidence in it that I was like I’m doing this, I’m doing this regardless.
[00:14:14] I will work at ShareASale one day and whether they know it, I will work there.
[00:14:19] Jamie: That’s fantastic. That’s great. I know when I started the job that I took right out of college, there was a similar aspect to it in that they had a gym in the office. They had a masseuse that came on Tuesdays and Thursdays and every day at four o’clock dinner and stuff was delivered.
[00:14:38] And I’m like, and this is at the tail end of the Dot Com boom. So I was like, this is fantastic. And then for the rest of my career, that’s what I chased. I was like, “where’s the masseuse? Why don’t we have Tuesday massages here?”
[00:14:52] Nick: What a letdown, right? What a way to build up your expectations of what a working environment should be, and then the rest of it is just downhill after that. I’m kidding. I’m kidding to all you young people. It can be whatever you make it.
[00:15:05] Jamie: Bring the energy you want from your employer. Now…
[00:15:09] Nick: bring your own…
[00:15:10] Jamie: This was… bring, bring your own masseuse. It could be awkward, but yeah. So, this was your first introduction to affiliate what was the learning curve like, what did you really… ShareASale Always been one of my favorites.
[00:15:25] I had the good fortune to work with Carolyn, David, and Brian, and you, and many others and I always felt like our organizations vibed together quite well, very similar culture and things like that. What was the learning curve like to get up to speed? How long did it take to where… cause you’re in a sales role so you’re, you’ve got to be able to talk to the client, the prospects, bring them on board. How long did that take being like the first entrance?
[00:15:52] Nick: Surprisingly not long at all. I think I got my first like small sale within a week or two. And part of that was I, I’ve never once in my life said that I’m this amazing salesperson. I don’t think that I am. I think that the, if it’s a good product or a good service or good ethics or good integrity, whatever it may be it sells itself.
[00:16:12] And then the salespeople just talk about it. And I think that is just how it operates. And that’s ShareASale had all of the, all the above. And at the time it had this wild, innovative technology that had basically been unheard of before and it was called: quote, real time tracking and reporting. That was my sales pitch. That was my sales pitch. You can see the moment and affiliate refers a sale to you, you can find it in the dashboard and you can do whatever you want with it. If you want to make that commission more, you can, if you want to make it less, it’s yours. If you want to delete that commission, don’t do that, but you can do that.
[00:16:54] And so…
[00:16:55] Jamie: Yeah.
[00:16:56] Nick: It was such an easy sell though, because. Out of the gates, I was passionate about the company having a chance to meet with more of the team. Now I can see that the business ethics that went into ShareASale were exactly what I aligned with. And so being passionate about that company out of the gates, just based on the ethics was an easy, an easy talking point, but then the first, I think two, the first week David sat me down and he is, he was really busy. We were all getting ready or everyone was getting ready for Affiliate Summit East at the time and he didn’t have time to really train me. Cause again, they were trying to hire me in two to three months and I bullied my way into the next week. And so he’s here just log into the affiliate platform and just play around. Explore it. And that was my sales or that was my training rather, was log in, learn the platform and then here’s the phone.
[00:17:49] Jamie: Wow. Then now did you have to cultivate your own leads and everything?
[00:17:54] Nick: Not at first, actually the demand at ShareASale was so high that the overwhelming majority of my time there was not it was being responsive and reactive to incoming leads and I think I, I don’t know where the exact number was, but at one point in time the the demand was so high or the interest was so high, I should say, that I was turning down like something like 45 percent of all business that was coming to all prospect that was coming to us or the prospects that were coming to us rather just because it was… we didn’t have the bandwidth to take on everyone. We didn’t want to take on everyone, but also again speaking to the ethics that, that ShareASale and that Brian and the team had, we didn’t want to be selling the dream to people whose dreams we couldn’t fulfill.
[00:18:36] If you start up a used shoe business, that is, UsedShoes.Biz and come to ShareASale, part of my job was to vet right out of the gates if you had any viability to perform well in the affiliate space. And so someone like that, which was a real business, maybe not that domain, but that was a real thing.
[00:18:56] It was not selling. Again, it was just talking to the people, to the business owners, explaining to them what works, what doesn’t work, why they shouldn’t be doing this and more so when they should be coming back to us and setting those metrics for them. So advising them from a business perspective on when they should be tapping into this semi-expensive marketing channel.
[00:19:16] Jamie: It’s very interesting. And then so you were there for a long time. That’s where we met. And we worked together quite a bit during that time. But that was four years ago. So tell me about, you moved on. Isn’t that crazy? It’s been…
[00:19:30] Nick: Yeah.
[00:19:30] Jamie: Yeah, four years, almost five. So what’s been your path since then?
[00:19:35] Nick: So it’s been an adventure. At ShareASale, I moved up in the ranks and was privileged enough and honored enough to, or they honored me, I should say, with the ability to oversee the client success team which was agency relationships, advertiser development, publisher development, technical support, and phone support.
[00:19:54] And that, I did that for about a year and a half, and it was one of the most challenging aspects of my career because it was all so new to me. I had gone for eight years selling the service, but never having to necessarily fulfill it with the exception of agencies. But at that point in time, we looked at agencies just as a satellite sales office, our satellite sales team, rather.
[00:20:17] So it was more so just making sure the sales teams were taken care of. But now having to fulfill the service that I’ve been selling was, it’s just a completely different mind shift. And at the time Awin had acquired ShareASale, too. So it was a lot of change all at once. And candidly that year and a half burned me out.
[00:20:35] It burned me out so quickly that I needed to take a break. I needed to take a break from that role and from that responsibility, just for my own mental health. So I got extremely lucky and Rakuten Advertising brought me on board as an enterprise sales rep, and it was selling primarily to travel advertisers with some finance and technology brands sprinkled in there as well. That I learned so much that I had no idea even existed. To me, the affiliate world before was content publishers are what makes it and then there’s, this sporadic Fat Wallet at the time and stuff like that. And that was the world of affiliate marketing and everything outside of that I had a jaded perspective on and at Rakuten, I learned very quickly that everything that I knew was just the tip of the iceberg for performance marketing and that you could run display, you could run programmatic, you can run retargeting, you can run every aspect of marketing theoretically through the affiliate channel, if it’s done right. Now, it just becomes a matter of attribution at that point in time.
[00:21:45] I got lucky at that point in time to realize how little I knew and was quickly humbled. I also was in a precarious situation because while I was focusing so heavily on the travel industry, this little thing that I think most of us are somewhat familiar with called COVID happened.
[00:22:05] And as you might imagine, It’s basically, it’s a it’s a website that you’ve probably heard of.
[00:22:11] Jamie: I hear it was really big in the Midwest.
[00:22:16] Nick: It’s very popular,
[00:22:17] Jamie: Opened for Foo Fighters or something
[00:22:20] Nick: Yeah, it did. It was the warm up to the openers for Foo Fighters, but same thing, nonetheless. No, I was on the team that focused on travel advertisers and not too much travel was taking place during COVID. And yeah, it was quite a shock.
[00:22:37] It was. And honestly, until that point in my career, I’d never had to struggle for getting a sale or for getting business. But, when COVID first hit, we’re like, “Oh this is just going to be two weeks. Oh, it’s just gonna be three weeks. Okay. It’s going to be a month.”
[00:22:52] Jamie: Yeah.
[00:22:52] Two weeks to flatten the curve. I remember that. Yeah.
[00:22:56] Nick: Yep. Exactly. And I remember sending, crafting up these perfect emails that were, ” look, travels in chaos now, but as we all know, in a month and a half, everyone’s gonna be back to them, their normal selves.” And I think the the integers were correct, but the decimal was off.
[00:23:12] It wasn’t two months. It was two years. Yep.
[00:23:15] Jamie: Yeah, just a little bit.
[00:23:17] Nick: Just a little bit. Rakuten did a fantastic job of trying to keep as many folks on board as they could, and shift our focus from travel to a little bit more on the finance, on the tech team or on the tech side. But at that point in time, money, there’s overhead.
[00:23:32] There’s overhead to maintain. And there was, and I think it was fair.
[00:23:37] Jamie: Everyone had to make tough calls.
[00:23:38] Nick: Yeah, everyone did. Every single company did. And it’s never fun to do that. And I actually, I had a lot of respect for the way they handled it. But I was part of a group of folks that got laid off and put into a nice temporary retirement.
[00:23:52] And it was nice because I then got to start, as you mentioned, my web app that I kind of had been passionate about for a couple of years before, but had been working so much that I wasn’t really able to do anything with it. I use that downtime to refocus myself and get into what I was passionate about again.
[00:24:09] And I’ve been tinkering around with it since.
[00:24:11] Jamie: And since then you’ve been on the agency side and you’ve actually been at one of the larger media publishers and been doing a lot. So you have a really unique perspective that not many people have being on almost every side, every facet of this industry. I want to dive into when you were burnt out and you made the decision to “I need to do something else with my career”… I and I think we’re similar in this tenacious as hell, we’ll try to make it work.
[00:24:43] I know in my life, I’ve had people have to tell me, “Hey, you’re done, man. Like game’s over. No one’s in the stands. You’re still swinging and it’s over. It’s time to go.” Like I that’s a problem I have is I don’t know when to quit. What resources did you have? Someone’s in there listening and they’re thinking of that.
[00:25:03] How’d you recognize it or you just knew and, was it conversations at home? Was it family? Was it your mentor? How did you figure out to leave and move on? What was that process like?
[00:25:14] Nick: It was a lot of, I think at first it started, the stress started to manifest physically. I was getting sick more, I was tired more. And it was just jarring because, I like to think that I’m relatively young. I’m not old per se, at least in my perspective at the time I was even, even younger, obviously.
[00:25:32] So getting sick to the way that I was just… at the same time I had a, I want to say he was at this point, maybe time year and a half old son and I was getting home from work at seven and for anyone out there who has a one year old, that seven o’clock for a one year old that’s like bedtime and and I was leaving before he was waking up.
[00:25:54] I was leaving before he was waking up. I was coming home right when he was going to bed. So I was seeing my son for maybe 30 minutes a day. And that 30 minutes was a stretch because we were forcing him to stay awake so that I could see him and spend time with him. Not fair to him. Not fair to my wife, not fair to me.
[00:26:12] And and so that was the second component of it was seeing how me working these hours at this awesome company it was affecting my family. And then finally, it just got to the point where I wasn’t quite having mental breakdowns but it was showing in the quality of my work in the sense that I just I couldn’t get ahead.
[00:26:31] Brian Littleton had this fantastic motto, this strategy that we did on Friday is where we shut down at noon every Friday to quote, get off the wheel. So think of yourself as a hamster and you’re on this wheel doing the grind all week, you can’t move forward if you’re on this wheel, just going around in a circle.
[00:26:47] So if you can’t get forward, you have to get off that wheel to go forward. I couldn’t get off that wheel. I was always on it and I was always just behind the wheel actually and just trying to always maintain my status quo. And I realized that it just it wasn’t conducive to any sort of, to anyone’s benefit whatsoever.
[00:27:06] It was a lot of self realization. Also my wife saw, how I was doing my coworkers saw it. And one of my mentors had the conversation with me of if you’re not happy, if you can’t see a future here, then is it worth exploring or are you, and maybe think back and realize that, or reflect on myself.
[00:27:25] Is it a moment in time that you’re stressed or is it an actual trajectory that you’re going down that’s going to be detrimental? And having that perspective really made me realize that it was probably both. I probably could have worked my way out of it and figured out a different way and take maybe taking a month off or something like that and come back refreshed and recharged, but I also…
[00:27:47] One of the things that I’m very proud of that I learned in the Air Force was that no matter how much, you know, you know, nothing. And I wanted to expand upon that. I knew as much as I thought I could possibly know about ShareASale and that world of the ShareASale ecosystem, but I knew nothing else outside of the ShareASale world.
[00:28:04] So I wanted to learn something different and I’m glad I did because seeing everything that I’ve seen afterwards has made me realize that there’s a whole world beyond what I knew. And that’s not to say that the folks at ShareASale and Awin don’t have that same perspective, but me personally, I saw only the small little blip, not realizing that I was just, it was just a small pixel in the 4k screen.
[00:28:27] Jamie: One thing that I always am reminded of, we’ve managed hundreds of programs. I’ve been doing this for 25 years. Every new client we get, there are new partners and new models that I’ve never heard of. I think that’s a really good way to walk through life is no matter how much, you know, you know, nothing.
[00:28:48] And being open to learn the next turn is super important. Now your world was expanded quite a bit when you left and went to Rakuten. What was that like going to the publisher side? I would imagine that would be even more mind blowing, a much greater shift from one network to another from network to publisher.
[00:29:13] Nick: Yes and no. It required, I want to say it required more creativity in the sense that, at platforms the billing model, the pricing models are all just established. There’s some flexibility, but the principles are the same one way or another.
[00:29:27] On the publisher side, there’s so many different ways that you can monetize content and, in one sense, it was not all that different from everything that I had been doing because the majority of my career has been working with brands and helping brands one way or another and negotiating with brands or dealing with them or agencies or whatever it may be, and this was very similar in the sense that now as a publisher, I’m working with brands.
[00:29:50] I’m trying to get them as much exposure for their efforts as possible. But I’m also part of a business, and I know that we need to make money. So trying to find the balance, the creative levers that are needed to actually monetize the content and the site accordingly. It was a lot of fun.
[00:30:06] It took a little bit of creativity, but also there, that the team where I was at, there are so many fantastic people working there that it was fun. It was, I was one of the few remote people. But they had a culture there that was so welcoming, so inviting and it was… you felt part of a team.
[00:30:23] So in that sense, it was very similar, but the idea now of making sure that the brands I’m working with come back. Meaning we set up the right pricing model, get them the right exposure, we take the right strategies to get them the right exposure and much like ShareASale, being honest with who we can and can’t work with because we won’t be able to help them partially because maybe there’s lack of interest from our consumers onto the brand, or maybe the website’s bad or whatever it may be, but having to be the person that makes that decision, it comes up with that idea. It was it does, it definitely requires a different part of the brain, but it was so fun that it was almost easy because it was fun.
[00:31:07] It was, of course it’s any job, so there’s still the grind, there’s still the work, they’re still getting all the KPIs and that but, it was fun doing it and I’m so glad I got to see this because not only did I learn a lot about the company that I was at and monetizing it, to your point, now just networking with folks from other publications and other partnership models, there are some cool things taking place. Some very cool things taking place.
[00:31:32] And I think that one of them is in the media world and how that… it actually opened up my eyes a lot, but how the media world is now coming into the affiliate space and publications are major publications are relying on affiliate monetization strategies to drive their revenue forward. And I love seeing that happen. I think it’s so cool.
[00:31:53] Jamie: Yeah that’s been a really unique thing to see. I think COVID shortened the timeframe on a lot of evolution in a lot of areas and everyone had to adjust very quickly to what was going on, and so did those publishers. It’s been welcome in a whole lot of ways, because the advertisers, they want that type of affiliate.
[00:32:15] For a long time, if you gave them a report of affiliates, they wouldn’t recognize a single name. Some of them were so goofy that they would be points of contention in meetings and there can be such a downward view of the channel that I was talking with Choots Humphreys this morning, and we’ve always been the redheaded stepchild is what he said, and so now to have publishers come in and to monetize it is a huge, huge impact.
[00:32:44] It also raises the awareness of the channel, which I think we’ve been wanting a seat at the table for 20 years. And that requires a different way to approach it. But, this emergence from your perspective… cause it started, I think a little bit before your tenure there and then continued while you were there, tell me why is this, in your view, why is it important? Why is it important for the channel and for advertisers?
[00:33:10] Nick: I think for advertisers, that’s an easy thing to answer. Historically, like you said, the affiliate channel has had this perspective of being the ugly redheaded stepchild and part of it was that the attribution typically fell or falls lower in the funnel. Not that’s good or bad, it’s just from a brand’s perspective, their justification behind supporting a lower funnel activity is complicated.
[00:33:37] With publications that have millions upon millions of viewers, any brand is going to be willing to want that. If they don’t want that, then there’s obviously something else going on in the business. But if I’m selling my… going back to the used shoes business any used shoe business is going to want to get on Huffington Post is like the best used shoe company or whatever it may be.
[00:33:59] Now the question though becomes, “why does Huffington Post want to be promoting used shoes?” And that’s the hard part. And maybe not Huffington Post, obviously no one’s gonna wanna pitch, but whatever, you get the point. So the challenge though is why and that’s where a lot of the PR companies are starting to come in and become really popular ’cause they have the ability to pitch it and pitch it strong.
[00:34:21] But I’m seeing now there’s a lot of dabbling from in the PR space, from performance PR. And performance PR in my perspective is the same thing that we’ve all been doing is business development, finding the right publisher to promote the brand, but within the higher tier of media publications and doing so that is the hybrid of earned media and paid media, but on a performance basis.
[00:34:51] And I think that is so fascinating. It is so exciting. And I think it’s important because it takes the model of just read, click, sale, pay to something that is what I feel like this industry has been really wanting for, which is awareness of the brands, awareness of the product that leads to conversion, instead of just the LLV around, instead of just attributing the conversion to the affiliate partner, this is now bringing it way higher up in the funnel through reliable, trustworthy sources.
[00:35:23] And I think that’s really fascinating. I also still think that we’re in its infancy, believe it or not.
[00:35:27] Jamie: I agree with you because, bringing the focus up the funnel is what I think that the advertisers, the CMOs, e-com directors, VPs, that’s what they’ve been wanting and they viewed it as a lower funnel channel. What I’ve seen is the mistakes that are made when that happens is the focus wants to be on upper funnel, but the alignment from corporate to the consumer, essentially, doesn’t follow suit. So if you want to work with introducers, influencers, that top of the funnel, you can’t commission. You shouldn’t do the same things you would do for bottom of the funnel. Did you see a lot of that kind of pull and push while you were there?
[00:36:14] Nick: Yes and no. So there were 2 facets to what we were doing, and one was focusing lower in the funnel. The other, of course, was focusing higher in funnel activity and more so on the awareness and education. There was always more value assigned to activity higher up in the funnel. And I’m able to use that and I was able to use that rather as a stepping stone.
[00:36:36] This is an important thing. We have this awareness, we have this value to you. Do you want this? And if you do, then by all means, we find a way to make it work. I’m torn on whether or not there’s a right way to do it or a wrong way to do it. There’s a lot of folks that are talking about as probably most of the folks listening are aware, our industry default is last like attribution. And then several years ago the idea of multi touch attribution got introduced and now I’m hearing more and more folks talking about first click attribution, and I understand the desire for that, but I think there’s a lot of risk if it’s not managed properly.
[00:37:21] And I think that’s something that you guys at JEB handle very well is finding the right partners and finding the right attribution model for them, that makes sense for that specific partner. You’re not doing it just based off of the channel as a whole for each brand. You’re doing it in the right way.
[00:37:39] Jamie: Thank you for listening to the Profitable Performance Marketing podcast. Hopefully you are finding this episode as intriguing as we have. Now, one of the things we are talking about a lot at JEBCommerce is the merging of public relations and affiliate marketing. Maybe you’ve seen this happening. Maybe you’re a PR agency trying to figure out what all this is and how you can take advantage of it.
[00:38:04] Well, if you’re a brand, you’re an affiliate or you’re a PR agency trying to figure out what this new world looks like we’ve got a ton of content for you. You can go to jebcommerce.com/pr and there you’ll find podcast episodes that walk us through this new change, as well as a ton of content talking about the technology that’s available, what the similarities between pitching for PR and recruiting affiliates are, and really what you should be doing to take advantage of this exciting new change.
[00:38:34] So go to jebcommerce.com/pr And if you need any help deciphering and figuring out your next step, then please contact us at email@example.com and we will jump on a call and walk you through the whole process. And then what we can do for PR agencies and brands to take advantage of this.
[00:38:56] We actually have a service level for each of you and we can help you track, acquire new customers, increase your reach and adapt to things very, very quickly. So check that out at jebcommerce.com/pr and email us firstname.lastname@example.org now back to our episode.
[00:39:18] LIterally, a conversation that I just had this morning was that. You can take a look at the top line and compare it against other channels, ROAS, revenue, costs, that sort of thing. But the problem that I think some CMOs grasp is there’s an attribution within the channel as well as across channels, because inside you have coupon sites, you have loyalty sites, you have browser extensions, you have content creators, you have mass media, you have influencers…. there’s all these different things and all of them are wildly different. They’re not aligned with each other, so why would you treat affiliate A who’s generating solid content, sending you people who’ve never heard of you before, and that takes 12 months for them to convert, why are you incentivizing them the same as someone who’s coming in near the end and putting you over the line? So that has to change.
[00:40:12] Now did you guys do different things, different commissioning? Talk to me a little bit more like if someone’s listening and they’re like, man, my CEO, my bosses, the powers that be want me in these things. What’s sort of the top line? This is what you need to know to work with a mass media publisher.
[00:40:31] Nick: It’s not cheap. I think that’s the thing that comes to my mind first out of the gates, but if it’s done it’s still done on a performance basis. And I do think there’s a hybrid where it might make sense to sometimes have an onboarding fee or an integration fee, or if there’s editorial being written that is more commerce focused instead of editorial integrity that you might have to pay up front.
[00:40:54] And I think that’s fine as long as there’s a package that comes with it or something along those lines. But to someone who’s watching who has to pitch the idea of getting into the New York Times or Wall Street Journal, whatever it may be: first off, be relentless. There are hundreds of thousands of brands who are all trying to get the attention of a handful of people at these publications. As large as the publications are, I’ll just keep on using the Wall Street Journal and New York Times as an example here, there’s still only a handful of people that are operating within the commerce and affiliate space.
[00:41:29] So you have to think about all these hundreds of thousands of brands that all want exposure there, because what brand, again, what brand wouldn’t. Even Nick’s Used Shoes dot biz and why, how…
[00:41:40] Jamie: Hold on,. I gotta finish purchasing that.
[00:41:43] Nick: Yes, please do. Org is available too. You have to find a way to stand out amongst all the noise because these publications are getting hundreds upon hundreds of new partners, new brands to be working with on a daily basis.
[00:41:57] So stand out. And how do you stand out? First off, share share upfront what you’re willing to pay on a commission basis. Now, this kind of comes to the double edged sword because, for whatever reason, it’s frowned upon to give your number first.
[00:42:11] I never really understood that I would just, it is what it is. Let’s just do business.
[00:42:16] Jamie: Yeah.
[00:42:17] Nick: Expect some pushback or expect some negotiation, whatever it may be. But offer that at first, but then also make sure that you’re throwing in other important metrics about why the publisher should work with you.
[00:42:28] It aligns well with this article that you’ve already written. Here’s a listicle that makes sense for you. Also, if your editorial team needs products to review these used shoes, then I can send them to, I can send you the product. I can give you an elevated CPA, I can give you a discount, if that’s the thing.
[00:42:46] And here’s the articles where you’re already writing about it, or you’re writing about something that would complement it. Basically take the work off the employee at the publication. Make it easy for them. Here’s the sign up link. Here’s this, this automatically throws you into an elevated CPA.
[00:43:02] Just boom, make it super simple for them. So it’s, almost a no brainer for them. And then not if, but when you don’t hear back from them, just keep on hitting the pavement and keep on reaching out because it’s important. If your product is important and your product aligns, sometimes it might just be a matter of timing, and if you don’t have that right timing because you’ve reached out once that month or once that quarter there’s a lot of days in a month and there’s a lot of days in a quarter and there’s a lot of hours in each day where maybe you had that the one moment that that this person saw their email address or saw their email pop up with elevated CPA, killer product, whatever it may be.
[00:43:41] And if you can do that, I think that’s how you, that’s how you go to that CEO in your company and you say, I got them now help me execute… budget to increase the CPA.
[00:43:52] Jamie: I wrote this down is be relentless. You said that and, that brought to mind, like a characteristic of maybe the best, the most successful people in our space is a very sales oriented kind of mindset. There’s also a service mindset in it. We, a lot of us want to help others be successful, but that, that work ethic and the tenaciousness, relentlessness that comes from being a really good and successful sales professional is so useful here.
[00:44:28] If you’re an affiliate manager listening to this, and you sent out a recruiting email two months ago, and that’s the first and last time any of those people have heard from you, let this be your smack to the side of the head that you need to talk to them more. And a non-response is a no.
[00:44:47] And you don’t stop at the first one. You keep going. So I really liked that: be relentless. One of the things that we’ve always found working with mass media is you have the content and the commerce side.
[00:44:59] So talk to me a little bit about how they play. With some of these partners, we may have a great product, it aligns with them and everything, but they haven’t actually written any editorial content on them. So there’s no way we can work together. Is that pretty common? Do you see that changing? Is there still a push and pull between those two departments?
[00:45:17] Nick: There’s always a push and pull, especially it’s more so of a push from the commerce team trying to find ways to influence the editorial team, and there is oftentimes very intentionally, and I think there’s a good reason for this a thick line, not even a thin line, a very thick line between the two teams so that the sound and voice of the publication doesn’t sound like it’s been bought by a brand.
[00:45:45] The editors of the team are the ones who are guiding the voice and the direction of the publication. And they need to have the editorial integrity to continue on with that. Now there are… there are ways though to get creative. And if I’m on the commerce team and I know that there’s a brand that I want to be working with because they’re going to make me a ton of money if we can get the exposure out there for them, then there are ways.
[00:46:12] There are ways. And maybe I, maybe I shouldn’t be saying this. I don’t know, but there are ways to influence the editorial team by just making friends with them and talking about some fantastic products that you’re interested in and joining their Slack channels where they’re at and chiming in about the best pillows that that you have or maybe don’t have and get their interest that way.
[00:46:38] So you’re now taking a two pronged approach to this, where you’re communicating with the brand let’s do this together. I can’t control what they write about. Now, I can, however, plant little seeds on the way. You can get your PR team to reach out to them and we can take this two pronged approach to get them to write something.
[00:46:57] Now, the other thing that we can do to or that publishers can do, if there is an editorial team that is not related to commerce at all, there oftentimes is an editorial team that is focused on commerce, and that’s oftentimes where you get the, here’s why these used shoes are the best shoes in the world and, top 10 reasons why these used shoes are going to be what you need for hiking and so on and so forth.
[00:47:22] When you take that approach, you can oftentimes use that as the springboard to get the attention of the editorial team. So that’s where that $5,000 upfront fee to have an article written for you might come in handy, if there’s a strategy behind it. If it’s just sign the check, go, and CPA… that might work and it might not work.
[00:47:43] But if you can justify again, going back to your CEO that, “Hey, we have to do this. Now we have to say, I need the $5,000 and increase CPA, but here’s why, because I’m also reaching out to the editorial team. I’m going to use this first though, as the springboard, once this is published…” cause it’s a lot easier if there’s commerce content already created to then go to the editorial team and be like, “look, we already wrote about this. How easy would it be just to write about it a little bit more?” And then you can start getting that publication to start turning out more content for you.
[00:48:16] Jamie: Yeah, that’s great. Two things that reminded me of one of the things that we found successful is doing sort of a merging of pitching. So a PR pitch is much different than a, you can earn this much commission affiliate pitch, putting those two together has been really helpful. And then doing our due diligence.
[00:48:36] This goes for any type of affiliate, but we found it really helpful here is to go look at the site. Don’t make the commerce team go to the content team or go search their damn site themselves. Go through the site. If there is content related to your product, your industry, then include that in the pitch.
[00:48:55] Hey, you guys have these seven fantastic articles. We would love to work with you, elevated commission, CPA, and here’s why your audience should be hearing about our products. And so merging those two kinds of pitches.
[00:49:09] Would you agree that’s also a good way to get over any obstacles and humps.
[00:49:14] Nick: Absolutely. I think that especially having just come from the publisher side there’s one affiliate manager, and I won’t say their name, but they stand out to me because it was that it was, it was a combination of everything. And I had so much respect for them as individuals and as consultants and agencies, because they were super annoying.
[00:49:35] They emailed you once a week and each time though, it was something new about why this product is good. A new article about why, like that we had already created where we can easily plug this in. Each week I was getting a new email for the same product and each week was something a little bit different.
[00:49:54] We can give you a exclusive discount code. Here, you’ve already written about it here, it would be a great travel product here. Like just keep on going. And and it was that relentless nature of that publisher, of that brand, that got me to finally just submit and be like, fine.
[00:50:12] Jamie: I give in!
[00:50:13] Nick: Please stop bugging me. I will do this for you. And that’s what you want.
[00:50:20] Jamie: And there’s an aspect of ” Oh God, please stop calling me.” But the other part of that is they were making it easy for you to make a decision every single time.
[00:50:28] Nick: Every single time.
[00:50:31] Jamie: And that’s what I think, as I’m training new affiliate managers, you’ve got to be service focused.
[00:50:37] You gotta be thinking, how can I make this easy for them? I can’t expect Nick to read every bit of content his company is putting out and tell me when something fits. But I sure as hell can watch that every single day, put up some Google alerts and be real proactive. Because usually like the person we’re working in commerce, there’s a performance aspect to to their compensation.
[00:51:01] So they want something that’s going to be successful. And if you can say, “Hey, you guys already have this, this makes a lot of sense. And you’re also doing that regularly and not hounding them with the same damn message over and over again, but actually providing some value there so you could easily make a decision is super important.
[00:51:19] Nick: Yeah, it was. I was so impressed by that strategy. And because you’re right. It made it so easy each step and it, of course, each email included the sign up link. So that if I was ready that time, I could just click it and go. But it’s a lot like web design, right?
[00:51:35] Where the fewest clicks to conversion is optimal. So if you can make this so easy that I’m an idiot to not sign up, then do it. Make it so easy.
[00:51:48] Jamie: Yep. That’s a really good way to look at it too. The person on the other side has to make a decision with every contact you send them and every idea they have to make a decision and then to read it or to open the email, to read it, to act on it. Make it so damn easy that you’re removing 10 clicks from that and it’s only two and they only have to make that decision twice and helping them do their job.
[00:52:11] And if you, if they bring in something that works, they’re going to look better. They’re going to earn more. Their company’s going to earn more. It works. It works for everybody. So my last question around this, before we wrap this up is: what are some of the mistakes being made? Especially on the advertiser side in dealing with mass media pubs.
[00:52:29] Nick: Boy, on the advertiser side, I think going back to that, not pursuing your prey, if you will and actually just like sitting on it and letting it go. But I think also knowing the audience of the publication. If it’s US News, knowing what their demographics are, knowing that the demographics… It’s not the same users that are on Instagram.
[00:52:50] And it’s not the same users who are reading about… it might be the same users who are reading about retirement guide and RetirementLiving.Com and stuff like that. So knowing the product, knowing who you’re reaching out to, but also I think one of the biggest mistakes is making… especially for large publications this seems nitty gritty, I almost don’t know if I firmly believe this, but I think I do. The program agreement that you have is wildly important, obviously, to the rest of your program. Don’t bid on this, the terms are this, these are the nuances, but there’s a legal team at that publication and if it’s a new partnership that legal team has to review that program agreement and they are bogged down because you’re not the only one. There are, as we mentioned earlier, hundreds a day, just on the commerce side, and that legal team likely isn’t just dedicated to the commerce business. They’re likely expanded beyond that well beyond that.
[00:54:01] And that’s a hard one. That’s a hard one because any lawyer on a brand side is going to say that we need to have these things in there, but it’s your job as the brand representative to, to dial them back and say… there was one situation that I worked at somewhere at some point in time where the brand was… they sent me a contract and it was so nuanced that it basically said that if we do this, they could acquire the site.
[00:54:30] Jamie: Yeah, yeah.
[00:54:32] Nick: Who’s going to agree to that? No one. And, but no one, everything is no one reads that. But that broke the deal that killed the deal. So don’t overcomplicate it.
[00:54:40] Jamie: You know and that’s… we are at time, but I do want to bring you back for a second episode and talk about… that hasn’t been spoken to on our podcast yet and especially with this group of publishers, they’re not coming into it as they grew up and they made their first dollar in affiliate marketing, and then they built their company.
[00:55:00] They’re coming from hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, exposure around the world, and a legal team to make sure they’re safe. So hopefully you’re okay with that. I’d love to talk about that a little bit more. But I always enjoy chatting with you.
[00:55:15] In fact, I was in Vegas with my kids and we walked back past the place that you and I always have breakfast at and I had to tell them who Uncle Nick is and share with them some stories that I was able to share. But it’s always great to chat with you. You’re you gave a lot of really good stuff. We only got to like half of the questions that I had, but I anticipated that anyway, but we’ll do another one if you’re up for it.
[00:55:37] If anyone wants to get ahold of you, they want to talk about talk about this or work with you. What’s the best way to do that?
[00:55:43] Nick: Probably LinkedIn. I’m very easy to connect with on LinkedIn. I don’t know, maybe I’m not actually, cause I don’t know if I’m Nick Marchese or Nicholas Marchese on LinkedIn.
[00:55:53] Jamie: I found that out today because I couldn’t find you.
[00:55:58] Nick: So much for me being easy to find on LinkedIn.
[00:56:00] Jamie: Yeah, I had to just type in Marchese and then make sure I didn’t pick your brother.
[00:56:06] Nick: Oh, that’s that’s also a valid point too. But he’s also a fantastic resource to tap into too. If you reach out to him or you reach out to me, you’ll end up with me one way or another. So anyone with the last name of Marchese and you’ll find us. That’s a good rule of thumb.
[00:56:20] Jamie: We’ll include a link to your LinkedIn so people don’t have to search. It shouldn’t be it’s not that hard of a name. And do you want to talk about your web app that you’re working on? You want to share that at all?
[00:56:31] Nick: Yeah, BetterLakes.com. So this is a quick background on this. I was on a vacation, we rented a lake house a couple of years ago or several years ago at this point in time. And I grew up on not on, but I grew up going to a local lake and water skiing, wakeboarding, tubing, just all the fun stuff that you do on a lake.
[00:56:51] Every summer, my mom was water skiing with me in the womb, basically, and I did that my entire life, every summer. We always went to the same lake it was, it’s a wonderful lake called Lake Holiday in Sandwich, Illinois, and there’s a crew that takes care of the water, make sure there’s no major logs floating around, which keeps the skiers safe, keeps the boat safe.
[00:57:10] And it’s hard to leave that because you know what you’re getting into. You know that everywhere you go in the lake, you’re safe. We rented a lake house several years ago outside of the holiday and on the website, it would just like Airbnb or something that pictures of the lake look fantastic.
[00:57:27] The house was beautiful. The host was fantastic. The vacation itself all around was a win. It was a good time. We rented a boat, which I think was a big part of wanting to create Better Lakes was to help people have a better lake experience and thinking about all the things that we went through on that vacation and just boating and lake life in general.
[00:57:45] And so we rented a pontoon boat and we go out for our inaugural, Midnight rides and maybe on the 20th lap around this dinky little lake. I’m like, God, I need to find a better lake. There’s gotta be a better lake out there. And there’s gotta be a way to find that better lake. Cause if you do a Google search for lakes near me, you get lakes, but you don’t get any feedback on the lakes.
[00:58:14] You don’t know if there’s a sandbar in the middle. You don’t know if there… you have to proactively search to see if there’s a restaurant on the water and things like that. And so right then at like two o’clock in the morning on this pontoon boat my father in law was like, it’s two in the morning.
[00:58:28] He’s an older man though. He was like snoozing in the, on the front of the pontoon boat. I just pulled up my phone, I went to godaddy.com and I’m like BetterLakes.com. Oh my God, it’s available.
[00:58:42] So I bought it and sat on it for a couple of years, didn’t really know how to do it or what to do with it.
[00:58:47] And then finally, actually, as I got laid off from Rakuten, the moment struck and I’m like, this is it, I’m going to do this. And and Better Lakes is now a functioning website. It still has a lot of work to go. A lot of user feedback, visit it, submit a lake, review a lake, give me your pictures, tell me all the information.
[00:59:05] Jamie, I’ve seen you submit about 20 lakes so far. So thank you.
[00:59:10] Jamie: It’s on my plan. I was just thinking how, I was like, maybe one, I also rented a pontoon boat this summer and I do have the website I’m looking right at it and I will be submitting later today my information on Lake Coeur d’Alene.
[00:59:29] Nick: Yeah, I’m going to be finding… I’m gonna pull up my Hotjar and watch you do it.
[00:59:35] Jamie: It’s not going to be right away. I got to do the intro, the outro of this episode.
[00:59:39] Nick: Can we do a shared screen really quickly while you go ahead and do that?
[00:59:42] Jamie: That’s, you know what our listeners do not want to listen to me type a review for my like,
[00:59:49] Nick: b
[00:59:50] Jamie: it. I actually have two lakes. I’ll get those in there. Awesome, man. Thank you so much. Everyone definitely check the show notes to connect with Nick.
[00:59:59] He’s an amazing resource. You heard that today and definitely go check out Better Lakes, if you’re looking for a better lake and just connect with him. He’s got years and years of experience and exposure that not many people do across our industry. So Nick, thank you so much for joining us today.
[01:00:14] Nick: Thank you for having me. It was as always, it’s a good time connecting with you even more so when we get to talk about used shoes
[01:00:22] Jamie: That’s true. I
[01:00:23] Nick: business in the same conversation
[01:00:25] Jamie: NicksUsedShoes.biz. Yeah.
[01:00:28] Nick: and org.
[01:00:30] Jamie: Alright. Here we go.
[01:00:32] Well, first off, Nick, thank you so much for joining me today. It’s always a great time when you and I hang out and always fun. And today was no different. You know, there was a lot. In today’s episode that I want to bring out for you and hopefully you stayed with us. I think the biggest thing from this is be relentless.
[01:00:53] Now, Nick will say, and he said on this podcast, he’s not an amazing salesperson. I really disagree. I’ve always experienced him as, as one of the best in that field, in our industry and that concept of be relentless. This is a really good episode for like, if you want to be a really good affiliate manager, frankly, if you want to be really good at anything. This is a good episode that be relentless, that weekly contact. And like I said in this earlier, if you’re an affiliate manager and you reached out to an affiliate a month ago, and that’s the only time you reached out and you don’t think you need to reach out 10 more times, let this be your wake up call.
[01:01:31] What we do is about building relationships. And so much of what we do is exactly what sales professionals do. You got to come to it with a service mindset and you have to be relentless with what you’re doing. I was having a conversation with a young entrepreneur and they wanted to know how’d you get successful?
[01:01:52] So then running JEB for almost it’d be 19 years and two months, and I have one other successful business and he asked what that difference is and Nick really summed what my answer up was be relentless, tenacity, perseverance, like you just can’t stop. Don’t take no for an answer and keep contacting these publishers, keep moving forward, like don’t ever stop, keep moving forward. You know, Nick was specifically talking to mass media publishers, but it really goes that, that philosophy goes everywhere.
[01:02:24] Contact these individuals, but be service minded. So how can you make their job easier? If you want to get into mass media publishers, you want to get into any publisher, you’re going to have to be relentless and you’re going to have to do a bunch of the legwork. Don’t expect your publisher to hear about you and go, “Oh, you could fit on this page, and this thing, and this thing, and this piece of content, and that piece of content.” Do the work for them.
[01:02:51] Put yourself in their shoes. They’re fielding, like Nick said, hundreds of requests a day at a mass media publisher. And most affiliates would say they’re doing the same thing. Hundreds of requests a day. The ones that stand out are clear. They have everything that they need to make a decision, and when the person on the other end of that feels like you put time in to make their job easier and make them more successful, you’re going to be successful.
[01:03:20] So make sure you do that. We talked about merging a PR pitch with an affiliate pitch. But some of the other things that I wrote down here, on my notes, the mistakes that people are making, these are really good ideas for your affiliate manager.
[01:03:36] Know your audience. Know, their audience. If you want to work with U. S. News and World Report, or a Huff Po, or Hearst, know the audiences. The worst thing you could do is send a request and it be the wrong site. They have no audience for you. It’s not the audiences aren’t aligned. Not only is, are you not going to get a call back from them, but that person, when they move on to their next position, they’re gonna remember that.
[01:04:00] Another major mistake is not being relentless and giving up too easily. And then we have not talked about this on this podcast, but the agreements, if you want to work with mass media publishers specifically, and this kind of goes for everybody too, but really with them, they’re bringing a legal team into that conversation.
[01:04:19] Your legal team needs to know that. Your agreement needs to protect you for a lot of things, but you can write a separate agreement for those publishers that is clear, concise, and brief. It covers what they need covered but is very easy for the attorneys to review, markup, and get back to you.
[01:04:36] That also speaks to if you need to get mass media publishers in Q4, you should have started last year, Q1. Sometimes these take a lot of time. They have thousands, hundreds, thousands of agreements to get through every year. Yours is one of many, so make sure it’s easy, but also this is the long game. You have to always be building these relationships.
[01:04:59] Anyway, this was a phenomenal conversation. I hope you listened to hope you’re still hanging out with us here at the end. If you did find this useful. Maybe you know someone who’s working through these issues right now. Well send this episode right to them. You can send them from the webpage. You can share it from any of your podcasts.
[01:05:16] Also share it on all your socials, Facebook, X, LinkedIn, whatever platform you use, share this episode with your friends and followers on those mediums as well. And one of the best ways to help us get the word out is on your podcast player of choice, whether that’s Apple podcast, Spotify, or any other, give us a five star review. Let the world know what you thought of our episode, what you think of our podcast. That really helps.
[01:05:41] Now we are still looking for a few more guests for season three. And even kind of talking about what season four is going to look like. So if you want to be a guest or, you know, someone who should email us at email@example.com, and we will get them in the queue.
[01:05:57] Well, thank you so much for listening and leaving your review and spending some time with us. I know time is really valuable, but we appreciate you being here.