Season 03 / Episode 027

Versatility, Leadership, and Self-Awareness in Marketing with Sal Conca

With Sal Conca - CEO, AmazingAds

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Join host Jamie Birch in a captivating conversation with Sal Conca, CEO of AmazingAds, as they delve into over two decades of industry collaboration and insights. From their co-marketing endeavors at 1800Flowers and Coldwater Creek to leadership reflections, affiliate marketing strategies, and the dynamic realm of video marketing, this episode offers a wealth of knowledge and experience. Discover the innovative “Flanking Allies” approach utilized by Sal and AmazingAds to empower affiliates and enhance brand visibility. Gain valuable insights into the importance of flexibility and adaptability in leadership, along with the finer nuances of YouTube audience targeting.

With highlights ranging from affiliate video tactics to leadership principles, this episode is a must-listen for anyone seeking actionable advice and industry expertise. Don’t miss out on this enriching dialogue with one of the industry’s luminaries.

About Our Guest


Sal Conca


I am an inbound marketing specialist. I help businesses build, grow and solidify their potential by creating content and marketing campaigns that speak to their customers and core audiences at every step of their customer journey.

Fine tuning your brands message, creating stunning visuals that tell a story and developing a funnel that builds a trusting relationship takes time and expertise. I believe that successful campaigns start by putting the customer first.

I have had the privilege of working with brands large and small, start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. I started my career as an affiliate relationship specialist and expanded my skill set to plan and manage integrated marketing campaigns that include email marketing, content marketing, social media, mobile and display advertising.



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[00:00:48] Jamie: Hey everyone. Welcome to the Profitable Performance Marketing Podcast. I am your host, Jamie Birch, at least for a few more episodes here and former well, always the founder of JEB, former CEO of your award winning affiliate management agency.

[00:01:05] Today I have a special guest. They’re all special, but this one is a very good friend of mine, Sal Conca, digital marketing extraordinaire.

[00:01:14] But before I get into that, if you’re looking to, for help with your affiliate program, and you want to incorporate some of the things we talk about today, you want to grow this channel. You want to scale, find new customers and really find incremental revenue, then you got to go over to my friends at JEBCommerce.

[00:01:34] Go over to They recently released different packages and service levels. So it’s very easy for you to see very transparent of what you’re getting and what those costs are. So go over to and give them a ring. They would love to help you.

[00:01:53] So today is… I’ve known Sal my entire career. We worked together and we talk a little bit about this. While he was at 1800 Flowers, I was at Coldwater Creek, hopefully you guys have experienced this in your career, in your life, but sometimes you meet someone and you’re like instantly, “dude, we’re best friends. We’re going to be tight.” Like you get along.

[00:02:12] And that is exactly how it’s always been with Sal and I. Not only is he one of the best people I know, one of the best men I know, but he’s also really good at digital marketing and incredibly experienced. So one of the things that we talk about today is usage of video in digital marketing, but also in affiliate marketing and how brands can help their affiliate allies in generating revenue.

[00:02:41] It’s definitely a different take than has happened with many advertisers in the past. A lot of advertisers they’re competing for that traffic, with and against their affiliates. But he brings a strategy that is incredibly unique. I’ve not seen anyone else do it.

[00:02:57] And Sal’s expertise in video affiliate marketing and all funnels, all channels of affiliate marketing definitely bring something to the table that we don’t get a lot on this podcast. Definitely unique experience, expertise, and success. So I’m super excited to get Sal on this podcast.

[00:03:15] He called me up in one day and said, Hey, when am I going to be on the podcast? I was like, you need to, that’s right. You need to be here. So today is the day, we brought him on. Thank you Sal for your time. But you know what, I’m going to get out of the way so you can listen to this conversation.

[00:03:29] We learn about his career and we talk about juggling different aspects of your personal life with being a CEO and running marketing teams. And so that vulnerability that Sal brings is pretty incredible.

[00:03:43] That’s the first 40 minutes we talk about history and things we’ve done together and that sort of thing, and then we dive into video marketing using YouTube and these other platforms, as well as how to use that with affiliate marketing.

[00:03:58] Definitely give it a listen. I’m going to shut up now. So you can listen to my conversation on the Profitable Performance Marketing podcast with Sal Conca.

[00:04:06] Jamie: Sal Conca, welcome to the Profitable Performance Marketing podcast. I’ve been trying to think, how do I introduce you? And I don’t know where to start. Digital OG, you’ve been in the space as long as I have, if not longer, you’ve been on the agency side, you’ve been on the brand side. Now you’re doing something pretty different.

[00:04:28] We haven’t had anyone on like, how do you introduce yourself? Other than this is what I’ll say. One of my closest friends in the space. Someone I have the most respect for. I have enjoyed our friendship a hundred percent of the time since we, I think we got connected when you were at Puritan’s Pride.

[00:04:46] Sal: 1 800 Flowers.

[00:04:48] Jamie: When I, Oh, way back. That is way back. Forgive me for that. But yeah, Sal, welcome to the show and introduce yourself to everybody. How do you talk about yourself?

[00:04:59] Sal: Awesome. Yeah, I am a chameleon, right? Or somebody that has evolved over the decades. And Jamie, thank you so much for having me on here. I’ve been watching what you’ve been doing and watching your career as a friend and as a peer. And I’ve seen the things you’ve accomplished and seen the things that you’ve done personally and professionally.

[00:05:19] And so it’s awesome to see, people that I know and respect have success and find their place in what they do. Like you’re in this room with the horses right now. And I like all your gear I love that, and I had this conversation with my team and my partner today, and I was like, I gotta get my guitars are going to be hanging

[00:05:37] Jamie: Yeah, that’s what you need to have.

[00:05:40] Sal: Yeah. So

[00:05:41] Jamie: be doing this from your studio.

[00:05:43] Sal: yeah, I wish I had a studio. I don’t have a studio. That’s part of my problem in life. I need to upgrade my life to get a studio. That’s surely what I need. For…

[00:05:52] Jamie: yeah, and you were in like we left out, you were in a Green Day cover band, right? Or are?

[00:05:56] Sal: Yeah, Green Day tribute band since 2005. We’ve really tapered that off. The guys and I have had these mini text conversations where we’re like “should we do one gig this year?” And like a revival Green Day’s on tour this year a new album just dropped like last week. So we’re like always teasing the idea but life changes sometimes don’t permit for that stuff, but we’ll see maybe we’ll do a reunion tour.

[00:06:20] Jamie: Yeah, awesome. So were you at, I forget a lot from two decades ago, as I’m sure we all do, but I turned 50 this year. So those things are seemingly dropped from memory more. Did you work with was it Prakash?

[00:06:34] Sal: Yeah, Prakash was my first manager under Francis Cuomo at 1 800 Flowers. That was my second job out of college. I’m a little bit younger than you. I’m going to be 47 this year. So yeah, I’m a baby. But yeah, I was at 1 800 Flowers at the time where went from 1 800 Flowers to being a dot com.

[00:06:54] So like the significance of that and the generation that we grew up in, you were at Coldwater Creek at the time, and the biggest memory that I have around that time I was going for my master’s degree, so I was going for my MBA and I met Fran cause I was running the American Marketing Association at Hofstra University.

[00:07:13] And so she came in to speak, she was an alumni and I was there running it, and we spoke and I was like, “yeah, I’m looking for work.” They brought me in and I remember running group promos with Flowers, Coldwater Creek, and Hotwire and we were doing like recruitment c”aigns and like bonuses and like all this wild stuff in 2000, 2001. It was wild, crazy.

[00:07:33] Jamie: That was back in the day. I think we all got connected through Sean Collins that USA MC chat group.

[00:07:40] Sal: Prakash was probably on it. I was too young and naive. I had no idea. Prakash probably gave me, so shout out to Prakash Barwani. I haven’t spoken in years, but I still communicate with all like. 20 years later, I still like, yeah, Mike Stromer and these folks from flowers that I still communicate with on LinkedIn, like perks of social media, you can stay in touch with people after 20 years. It’s crazy.

[00:08:02] Jamie: It is nice. In fact I just had a conversation with Andy Newland from old Sierra Trading Post days. And the last time we spoke was two decades ago at a conference. There’s so many lessons I think people can learn just from what we talked about so far, but I remember those early recruitment stuff.

[00:08:21] So we would like swap lists. Here’s who I got. Who do you have? Make an intro for me. So we did a bunch of emails. Do you remember the package insert swaps that we did?

[00:08:31] Sal: Oh my goodness, yeah. I remember package inserts too. Yeah, all that stuff. It was, the internet was there, but it was such a baby. So like you were still relying on classic marketing methods. And just the way the world works, right? Everything that’s old is new again.

[00:08:45] Like people are doing mailers again, printed stuff.

[00:08:49] Jamie: Yeah, anything to stand out, but I do remember then we were just trying to do anything to grab customers. I think you and I and Prakash and a few others always looked at the channel as a means to track an action and then where is the audience? I want to go use this.

[00:09:06] They just got a set of flowers. Let’s put an insert in there. They just got, new outfit, they’d probably like flowers too. Let’s get that in there. And then travel who doesn’t like travel. So always trying to do something to get another affiliate, and back then, you didn’t know everybody.

[00:09:24] Where you were at, you could have a hundred affiliates that I had never met before, and they weren’t in like my particular network.

[00:09:31] Sal: That’s right. It was, the networks were distinctly separate. If you were on LinkShare and then somebody was on CJ, there wasn’t this merging of all the affiliates and the personalities and the relationships. And yeah, you really had to work at relationship management like then, like there, nobody had a CRM for their affiliate program.

[00:09:48] I would assume at JEB, like you guys probably had a CRM to manage affiliates at some point. And like all those things didn’t exist. It was just man manual, like literally, and really the biggest thing about that industry and what I learned through affiliate was how important relationships really were, and I’ve carried that throughout my entire career.

[00:10:06] That’s been my number one thing, and I teach at Stony Brook and I tell the students there, they’re graduating with their masters, and I’m like the first day of class, ” connect with me on LinkedIn. That’s my first like assignment is if you’re not on LinkedIn, create a profile and two, if you’re not, if you’re not going to connect with me, do it now.” I add points to their grade for it because I know how important… it might not be now, it might not be in five years. It could be in 10 or 20 you don’t know.

[00:10:31] Jamie: It literally could be 20, 25 years from now, someone sees something, and what I’ve found and I’d love your perspective on this too: people coming into the affiliate space… at JEB we always hired from the bottom. There’s always two schools of thought you bring in someone with experience and they should be able to do the job quicker, you just have to teach them your way.

[00:10:53] Or you bring someone who has all the building blocks and you teach them your way. And so we’ve always done that. What I found is when I get to the part of relationship building and using LinkedIn and even Facebook and Twitter X or whatever it’s called now using any of those tools, the people who excelled and stayed in the industry didn’t argue about the importance of LinkedIn. They didn’t drag their feet in using those tools to build relationships. They were like, “Oh, this is what I do. Let’s go in.”

[00:11:26] But the ones who weren’t successful long term the relationship building wasn’t important to them, and it’s so vital. I don’t know how many times I get a conversation like I did just this week of, “Hey, we haven’t talked in 20 years, but I’ve been following you on LinkedIn. Can we talk this week about this need that I have?” It happens so often.

[00:11:48] Sal: Exactly. I think about even the way some of the things, like even the Green Day tribute band that you mentioned, right? First of all, I put the band together by posting an ad on Craigslist. That’s like, and I held auditions like I was…

[00:12:00] Jamie: So rock and roll, by the way.

[00:12:01] Sal: Yeah like I was forming a boy band, like I, I’m going to hold auditions.

[00:12:06] Jamie: I love this. I’ve never heard this story. Yeah, please continue.

[00:12:09] Sal: Yeah, the audacity of me to hold auditions. It was like, so my post was Green Day Tribute Band, need: singer, bass player, drummer, and guitar. They’re all like, “well, what the hell do you do?”

[00:12:21] Jamie: I’m the manager.

[00:12:22] Sal: I’m the manager and the second guitar player. I don’t really want to be the forefront, but anyways, so I did all that.

[00:12:27] But when we booked gigs, yes, we did social media and we did advertising and we did all that stuff, but you want to know what brought people to the shows? Me direct messaging people on Facebook going, “Hey, saw you RSVP for the show. Heard you’re a Green Day fan. Would love to see you there.”

[00:12:42] I was doing direct outreach to people and that, like for a little tribute band on Long Island and we went national, but like I think about some of my clients today and like the affiliate space, it requires the hard work to build relationships, to build a base, to build reputation, to build momentum, like the hard work that goes to businesses, marketing, all of it.

[00:13:09] Yes, the tools are there. The tools help. But there’s just this hard work that has to go into things to make them truly grow and scale and work.

[00:13:18] Jamie: Your story reminds me, I was listening to a podcast with Dane Cook, and that’s how his rise was so quick, is he literally would talk to every single person that DMed him. Everyone that, RSVP on, I think it was MySpace at the time, everyone who did all that, like literally every single one got a note and everyone’s like, “how the hell did this guy get somewhere so fast as he spends all his time interacting with those fans.”

[00:13:45] That’s a cool story. I haven’t been able to see you play yet, but if you do a Green Day show this year, I will be there.

[00:13:52] Sal: Awesome. Yeah, Sean Collins and I there was like a point where it was like, we were close to getting us to play an Affiliate Summit, but we just, we never made it happen. Cause Sean was a fan and stuff like that. I had a couple of affiliates. Like you remember David Lewis, right?

[00:14:04] Jamie: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

[00:14:05] Sal: Right. So like when we played a casino in California, the whole band and another tribute band, we flew all the ways to California to play a casino and David showed up to that show. It was like, I had to fly across the country to get affiliate people to show up at my show. It was great.

[00:14:20] Jamie: That’s so cool. Yeah, I had a few people show up to my wedding, we talked about the importance of relationships. Stephanie Schwab, Beth Kirsch, Rob Key all showed up to the wedding now almost well in two months, I think it’ll be 19 years ago.

[00:14:34] Sal: That’s right.

[00:14:35] Jamie: They all…

[00:14:36] Sal: What was the name of his agency? I forgot you…

[00:14:38] Jamie: Converseon. Yeah, they’re still around. They’re doing a lot of social listening. But you’ve gone full circle. You got your first job in college 1 800 FLOWERS came to speak, but now you’re doing a little recruitment through the university too, cause you’re a professor.

[00:14:56] And so tell me a little bit about, how did you get that role? What do you like about it? What’s that like? There are a few of us in the space that have gone that route. It’s nice to see.

[00:15:05] Sal: Yeah, there’s a couple of adjunct professors. I don’t know when I graduated Hofstra and I was a MBA grad, and I don’t, that stuff doesn’t exist in like my LinkedIn profile. Like I don’t say Sal Conca MBA. Like I don’t put a lot of out in that. Maybe I should have, maybe I should have talked it up more throughout my career.

[00:15:21] Maybe it would have been further along, but I always wanted to teach. I used to teach music lessons since I was like 16. So I’ve always had that kind of in me. Then I was at jobs that… affiliate agency I worked at, which was Net Exponent, then Net X, then House of Kaizen, if you’re looking for them today.

[00:15:38] I was always training people. Same thing we hired for passion, trained for skills. I had people working under me, they knew nothing about market. I’m like teaching the four P’s in our conference room, like stuff like this, right? Like everybody talks about affiliate marketing, same thing.

[00:15:51] A lot of the marketing gets left out of affiliate marketing, or at least it did. I felt like it did back in the day. It was very transactional, bottom funnel. So yeah, I always had this in me, to teach and wanted to teach and during COVID another former colleague that I worked with at Puritan’s Pride, so you’re talking 15 years later kind of thing, 12, 15 years later, he reached out to me and said, “Hey, there’s this online conference going on. They need speakers for this online event that Stony Brook University is hosting. Would you do it?” And I said, “sure, of course I’ll do it.”

[00:16:24] I had lost some clients during COVID. I was an independent consultant at the time. I was doing anything, and I did that speaking gig, and after it was over, I said to the head of marketing, I said, “Hey, if you ever have an adjunct professor position open, or you’re ever looking for somebody, just let me know.”

[00:16:40] And she was like all over it. She’s actually, we’re looking for somebody to do this, and this and that, and this was in June. I had to start teaching in August. Like she hired me, said yes. And there was no curriculum. There was no course. There was no… there was nothing.

[00:16:55] Jamie: What were you going to… did you know what you were going to be teaching yet?

[00:16:57] Sal: They just knew they wanted a digital marketing course. That’s all they knew. They knew they wanted somebody to teach digital marketing because they had all the other marketing. They had somebody that did social media specifically. They have a brand course, entrepreneurial courses, all sorts of things. Nothing was focused fully on digital.

[00:17:15] The short story was they needed somebody to teach this digital marketing course, and it was pretty fast and furious. I’d never been a teacher before. I didn’t even know… they were throwing all sorts of terms at me like rubrics and they didn’t give me a lot of instruction, let’s put it that way.

[00:17:29] So it was good and bad, right? I was looking for a little bit of direction, so I knew I was like meeting the requirements of the university I would say, but at the end of the day it was fully open to teach whatever I wanted to these students. Basically, there was no textbook, there’s no anything right?

[00:17:46] So I reached out to some other people who were adjuncts in the space, and I started doing research on what other people teach in the space and doing things like that. I ended up deciding that I give my students actual real world certifications as tests. For instance they become Google ads certified at the end of my class, they become HubSpot inbound marketing certified at the end of my class, they take the Facebook exam, they do all this stuff.

[00:18:11] So I’m teaching in real time these things, but then I’m bringing the real world ex”les from my agency and my experiences. So I’m showing them some data. I’m showing them behind the scenes. I’m telling them how my biggest clients treat us. And I’ve given them like all this, the anecdotal stories.

[00:18:29] The class has grown so much. So I started out with, I think less than 20 students the first semester, and it was completely asynchronous, meaning I didn’t even get to interact with them. I just recorded videos and they watched them. So to me, it was like, wow, this isn’t really teaching. It didn’t feel like teaching.

[00:18:44] Jamie: Yeah, it was like creating a course, but not…

[00:18:46] Sal: Yeah, it bummed me out. It was not what I envisioned in being a adjunct college professor. Now fast forward four years, I had 44 students in my class. It’s one of the most popular courses at Stony Brook right now in the grad program. Everybody wants in on this class.

[00:19:03] I didn’t know that I was going to have this influx. My course was prepared for a smaller group, and I had them writing companion papers. So let’s say they took their Google ad certification, they’d also write a Google companion paper with it so I knew they conceptually understood it and didn’t just pass the test, but now I’m like, there’s no way on a Sunday I’m grading 44 essays.

[00:19:22] Jamie: 44 essays…

[00:19:24] Sal: Like like a couple of times a semester. There was no way. So I ended up switching to group projects, which ended up being awesome. So I had them writing complete content marketing calendars and a social media plan and an email series.

[00:19:38] And they worked together, pick choosing like real brands and changing them, picking promos, writing copy, using AI and Chat GPT just like we’re doing at our agency today. So it was awesome. It was a really great experience this past semester.

[00:19:51] Jamie: Can I take this course? This sounds amazing.

[00:19:55] Sal: I’ll teach you whatever you want, Jamie.

[00:19:58] Jamie: No, it sounds amazing. So when I graduated I have a BA in finance and marketing the last class, I basically taught the end because it was e-com, but this was e-commerce and marketing in 99, so there was no one in the universities that had been out in the world, seeing this stuff cause it was evolving. I wish if I could have had a class like that, holy cow.

[00:20:22] We didn’t plan to talk a lot about the educational area, so I hope you don’t mind, but how did you go from, “Hey, here’s your course. Do something on digital marketing. You can do anything,” to the first day. How did you know where to start?

[00:20:37] Sal: Well, I had to put together a curriculum. I had no choice, right? I’m drawing a blank on what it is, but the curriculum I have to actually, I had to submit it to document. So there you go. There’s the word. I had to put a, yeah, I’m some professor I am. I had to put the…

[00:20:51] Jamie: My kids just started their next semester. So I had to sign all of them today.

[00:20:54] Sal: Right. Right. So the university wanted to see my syllabus, so I had no choice, and I had to put together the 13 weeks and what it was going to look like from a flow perspective. And it really was built upon thinking about overall marketing strategy, customer journey. Like I start them at the ground zero, like the first class is talking about literally what my opinion of what makes a good marketer.

[00:21:19] That’s how we start the course, talking to them about what real life situations are in like managing clients, managing businesses and brands. Here’s what it’s going to take for you to be a marketer in today’s world, you got to be creative. You got to be empathetic. You got to be precise and have precision, know how to use tools and you got to be innovative, like continuous learning.

[00:21:41] Part of my class is we do weekly trend discussions and I dump a bunch of blogs, newsletters, podcasts for them to listen to. And I don’t care which one they listen to or read, but they’ve got to pick a topic and submit it into the forum that every week they’re like on top of some sort of what’s new in the world in marketing.

[00:21:59] Jamie: So my question is twofold based on that. That’s one thing I’ve noticed following your career and being friends for so long is that curiosity and evolution that just has never stopped for you. And what it sounds like you’re doing with your class is also what I’ve done when I was running JEB of we would do a article Tuesday.

[00:22:18] So the meeting, everyone would have to come with an article. And I didn’t care if you brought an article about Elon Musk’s trip to Mars or a recipe for food. Like I didn’t care what it was. I just wanted to instill the curiosity in that learning.

[00:22:35] For you, my question is twofold. Like, where does that come from for you? That’s a core of who you are. Where’s that come from? And then have you seen with your students coming through, is it real obvious the ones you don’t have to teach that to? I know there’s a bunch of people in our space, and I don’t want to do the whole back in my day, but it does feel like there’s a bunch of us out there that’s what drove us.

[00:22:57] So anyway, those are the two questions: where’s that come from for you? And then have you noticed a change with students?

[00:23:04] Sal: I think it’s a personality type, frankly, not everybody’s built this way and wants to continuously improve or continuously learn. I think if you’re, we’ll use the Type A personality and you’re a business owner and you’re looking to achieve and do different things, that part of your survival and improvement is based on the need to be adaptable and innovative.

[00:23:29] If you become a dinosaur, you will go by the way of the dinosaur. And I don’t know where that’s instilled from. My dad had a corporate job, worked there for 30 years, was forced into early retirement at 55. I didn’t learn that from him.

[00:23:46] He wasn’t out buying real estate and out starting businesses and doing this thing. Greatest man ever. My dad’s my best friend. It’s not a knock. It’s just a different generation, different mindset. I guess I had teachers, musically I had discipline.

[00:24:00] My mom was the discipline one. I had routines. I was used to: come home, do your homework, play music, do your thing. Then you have your free time. I had those certain guidelines moving into adulthood. It was get a job… like the 1 800 Flowers and the Puritans Pride jobs that was very much like, get a job, get married, the rich dad, poor dad statements, the whole thing. I had conversations with people in the affiliate industry when I was like floundering between, would I go out on my own? Would I not?

[00:24:29] And people like Bob Glaser, he looked at me, he’s ” I can’t hire you. You’re not hireable. You’re going to go do your own things.” Go… you know what I mean? It wasn’t a bad thing that I was unhireable. It was just like, you’re a free…

[00:24:40] Jamie: Recognizing something about you.

[00:24:42] Sal: Yeah. Yeah. It was like, you’re a free spirit, man. Go be the free spirit. So a lot of it is time as entrepreneurs has spent figuring it out. What do I want to do? How does this look for me? How does it take shape? A lot of wondering, a lot of imposter syndrome, a lot of sleepless nights, all the shit that comes with being entrepreneur. Since I left House of Kaizen in 2000, probably going to blow the date, but 2010, 2012, I’ve been independent since then for the most part, that’s like over a decade of independence.

[00:25:10] Jamie: Was that a scary transition for you? I look back at some of the stuff that I’ve done and I’m like who was that guy? Two kids on my own. I quit a good job to go hang my own shingle. What the hell was I thinking?

[00:25:24] Was that sort of a self awareness thing of ” look, I’ve tried this route working for other people, Rob was right, I’m a free spirit.” Walk me through that decision.

[00:25:34] Sal: Yeah. I think circumstances play a role in nudging you a certain way, but I have had a no fear… even though like probably I internalize fear in certain ways like we all do, but I think I outwardly, I had this no fear mentality like I’ve been doing this long enough. Let’s go do this. Let’s go do that. Let’s go try this. Try that. I had my food company, that was successful and a failure at the same time. I’ve tried things. I’ve tried lots of things.

[00:25:59] Some of them are fun, independent filmmaker, made short films, shot a reality show.

[00:26:04] Jamie: It looks so cool.

[00:26:06] Sal: Yeah. I’ve done a bunch of these different things and it’s, I think it’s fun to divert from what you’re doing for a living too. Part of that is sure, take a risk from if I’m a marketing guy and I sit in this chair, like 90 percent of the time, there’s a real part of me that’s like this discoverer, wanderer. I love… my wife and I like to travel at the same time. I like to also try things. I like to be inventive, creative. There’s all of that. And I think it’s a personality type to answer your question. Like, where does it come from? I think it can be learned.

[00:26:39] I’ve recently been listening to Rick Rubin’s book, who are people that don’t know, famous music producer, worked with the Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys, on and on. His book is awesome. It’s speaking to creatives, but if you’re in the marketing world, you’re a business person and a creative, no matter what you think about yourself.

[00:26:56] And so that book crosses the lines and thinking, at least the way I connected the dots for what he was talking about. So…

[00:27:03] Jamie: I’ll have to check that out. He’s a weird… weird sounds like a knock. He’s one of the unique individuals.

[00:27:09] Sal: Unique.

[00:27:09] Jamie: He is just one of a kind.

[00:27:12] Sal: Yep. He’s amazing, like he’s a music producer. You hear him talk. He does not play an instrument. So when you think about that, like what you want to achieve in your life, it’s ” I want to be in the music industry. Do you play an instrument? Do you know anything about music? No, but I’m going to produce all the biggest artists in the world.” That’s wild.

[00:27:30] Jamie: My favorite story about him is… who sings Chop Suey? Is it a…

[00:27:34] Sal: System of a Down.

[00:27:35] Jamie: System of a Down. I think it was on that song, there was a hook they didn’t have and he’s go grab that book. Right. And the line that they use that we all know, and I’m forgetting right now, but the line we all know and sing when that song comes on came from just a fricking book. Yeah, it’s the bridge.

[00:27:52] Anyway, I wanted to ask you, you have an MBA. For the listeners who are younger and looking to get in the space, did you find that useful? Do you encourage your students to go and get that advanced degree? I’ve had this conversation and I honestly, the answers are all over the place.

[00:28:09] Sal: And I think because people are so individual by personality type, what people need in their life, some people thrive on structure. Some people thrive on free wheelin’ it. So for certain people, and like anything, your MBA is the same as going to a networking event. It’s the same as taking a sales call. It’s the same as having relationships. What you put into them, you will get out of them.

[00:28:35] So if you’re in your MBA and you’re just coasting and you don’t really give a shit about it, and I’ve got out of my 40 students that I had last semester, I can see the ones that do and the ones that don’t, you can see it’s personality types. Not everybody’s meant to be a business owner.

[00:28:50] So I think self awareness is really important. Who you are, what you want out of your life and lifestyle, because lifestyle is important, do you want the burden of… what do you want the MBA for, right?

[00:29:05] If it’s to network and meet people and those people are gonna be the ones that you… it’s like joining a Fraternity or Sorority, right? It’s are you gonna take advantage of the benefits that are there? Or are you just going to show up for class and go home, not talk to anybody? I just want the piece of paper. What I guess what I can say is the piece of paper alone will not advance your career.

[00:29:25] It won’t be the thing that advances your career. Some people may look at it, if you’re going to an Ivy League school, and I never went to an Ivy League school, so I can’t say, but I would assume if you’ve got an MBA from Harvard, it holds a lot more weight then an MBA from Hofstra or Miami or wherever other schools are out there.

[00:29:42] There’s always benefits, I think it just depends on how you’re going to approach them. How you’re going to, I don’t like the word leverage so much, but leverage those skills and things maximize. Yeah. Right. I think that’s what it’s about. I think the world is changing.

[00:29:56] I’ve got a 14 year old, will he go to college? Like the world is changing so rapidly. The education is free online. I have these thoughts internally about myself, about what I’m teaching. The university has come to me and said, ” Hey, a lot of students don’t want to come to class. They want to be just asynchronous or doing it remote and whatever.” And I’m like… I’m so old school. I’m just like, “that’s not really the experience I want to give. The whole point of being in my class is I’m giving them real world education. So that…

[00:30:29] Jamie: Well, I would think like part of your job as the professor is to also see where someone’s struggling. I remember my first semester, I took an econ class because I had to, and that prof pulled me aside and said, ” you haven’t missed a point all semester. You just get this, you should go into economics. This just comes naturally.”

[00:30:53] And the asynchronous, if he was just talking to me or I was watching his videos, he would have missed the opportunity. I would have missed the opportunity to hear, probably for the first time, like I’m naturally gifted at something. And that’s a huge part of that.

[00:31:07] So I would think, like when we hear about, I love YouTube university and Udemy and all of these other things, I use them all the time, but there is something different about being in a classroom and…

[00:31:19] Sal: The same problem I have with audio books. I tried doing audio books this year. I was committing to it. And I’m like, you know what? I’m very passively listening. I’m not attentively listening. I’m listening to it like I listen to a podcast. When I’m sitting down and reading a book you’re doing two skills, it’s a whole different thing.

[00:31:36] So while all these technology shortcuts and hacks, like there’s jokes, there’s all these memes online. I don’t know if you’re familiar with these guys, like Chris Crone in the real estate space and some of these heavy hitters that, that like entrepreneurial… they’re the ones that like, they own the jets.

[00:31:50] They own like…

[00:31:51] Jamie: Oh yeah. They wake up at two 30 in the morning to…

[00:31:54] Sal: Yeah. Their day is I’m up at 4am. I listened to a book on 4x speed while I’m on the treadmill and my wife and I are also doing our meditations. And like the whole thing, it’s…

[00:32:02] Jamie: I’ve seen that video. I’ve seen that exact video.

[00:32:05] Sal: Yeah, of course you have, because everybody’s seen it if you’re a business person. And it’s just, it’s hysterical, right? Again, I think all of life is about what works for you. So maybe self awareness is one of the most important things, I think, in discovering who you are and what you’re going to be good at and where you’re going to go.

[00:32:21] Jamie: Talk to me about that. Cause you mentioned that on the prep call and you’ve mentioned it a couple of times now, like that self awareness. What I’ve said is leadership is a crucible of self awareness. Like you’ll learn a lot about the people you lead, but if you allow it, man, you learn a lot about yourself. What does that mean to you? And how is it important in in leadership? And you’ve done a bunch of startups and different things. Like, how is it important?

[00:32:47] Sal: Yeah to make it real, it’s you’ve got to do a lot of like self internal reflection. I’ll be completely open and honest. Last week I had one of the shittiest weeks of my life ever personally, professionally, it was like, whatever, I had a bad week.

[00:33:02] And the only thing that got me out of it was like, I went on a two hour walk on Sunday. Like just to think and figure shit out and if you’re familiar with Mad Men, it’s Don Draper going to the mountain to clear his head type stuff. If you’re so engrossed like you can’t have self awareness if you don’t break away or change your routine or make a difference in how you’re treating yourself, right?

[00:33:27] So self awareness, it’s like how do you treat yourself, right? There’s, a lot of people talk about self care or mental health and all those things, and I’m not diminishing any of them. What all of that, to me, means is how you treat yourself, right? Like how you behave, right? To yourself, would you treat a stranger the same way you’re treating yourself?

[00:33:47] Meaning overworking, eliminating social aspects to your life, eliminating creative, no time to play guitar, joy, music, the things that you enjoy, right? What is it like? And so when you reflect on all that, when you have two hours outside to just walk. Birds, clouds, nature, like for me, that works by the way, it doesn’t mean it’s going to work for everybody.

[00:34:10] It’s what works for me. I just had a lot of time to self reflect and and then the second part of self awareness: will you take action on the things that you realize about yourself? Right? So if you’re noticing something about yourself and you’re unhappy with the way things are going, now you’ve identified it.

[00:34:29] Well, what the hell are you going to do about it? Are you willing to take action? Can you take action? Right? So all of those things matter really. Completely because some people just they mull in the well, Everything just sucks and it’s okay, but how do we get past the suck?

[00:34:44] Jamie: Yeah, we all have the friend who were probably like, yes, we know, do something about it. That’s an interesting point, how we treat ourself is how we… that self talk. You talked earlier about imposter syndrome. So I know when I have a bad week, the first place I go to is this comparison circle, especially if it’s business related, I’ll look at all our peers that started, I’d be like, “Oh, well, that person did this and that person did this and their agency is bigger or they are more respected” or whatever that garbage is. Then that next step is what are you going to do about it? And I had a coach that walked me through create the plan. So when you hear, when you’re treating yourself that way, or you’re doing this, like, what are you going to do? That has really really helped.

[00:35:28] Sal: Yeah, for sure. I think it all comes down to that little inner voice that we all have. What’s that inner voice really saying to you? And, some people need it more. You hear the daily affirmations. Some people need to wake up and talk to themselves in the mirror. Some people need… everybody needs a different routine and find what works for them. That’s part of the journey.

[00:35:45] And I think also people go through seasons in life. We’ve all been through stuff personally, professionally. Probably the personal stuff in life. Well, whether it’s a parent being ill or my wife had cancer last year. Like these things affect you in ways that you can’t prepare yourself for. You can’t be prepared to know how you’re going to react when your wife has cancer. You can’t, there’s no book you can read that prepares you for that.

[00:36:09] Jamie: Yeah, yeah, and we talked a little bit about that day because of the day you found out your wife’s diagnosis, you had two sides of the coin going on completely. Talk to me a little bit about… you just given the CEO position of your current role and then…

[00:36:27] Sal: Yeah. Yeah. In the morning. So my partner, Pat Grady who’s the owner of Windfall Media, he was looking for a CEO for the business and he has another agency called Amazing Ads and Windfall Media was meant to be a separate division, completely separate company focused on video marketing and lead generation, financial services, and high ticket item companies, high ticket sales organizations.

[00:36:52] And Amazing Ads is focused on e-commerce, Amazon businesses, Shopify stores, and things like that. So the talent set and the pools that we needed to build were completely different, right? The disciplines we needed and all that.

[00:37:03] So yeah, that morning that Pat and I we’re on the phone and did all this and worked out our arrangement of what Sal’s CEO role looks like and getting the good news that I’m going to be the guy and all this awesome stuff. Yeah, here we go. It’s like the thing and in the back of my head, I knew my wife had these appointments. I knew that there were undertones of this, but when she came home that afternoon was, she had gotten the call that she got the diagnosis, and in that moment it was like very clear to me that I had to be a different person.

[00:37:31] You can’t be the same person, be a CEO, and be a caregiver, essentially, for your family, like literally have to be a different person at that point in time. And I don’t know what made me think that, I don’t know, it’s just in the moment that was my thought.

[00:37:46] That was my thought is I need to be a different person. So it was just a lot more self reflection and, ” Hey, probably need to work on my health, my overall health, mental health” like all these things and I’ve been following a lot of people, you know the Joe Rogans of the world and others that are like carnivore diet, mental health this right all these sorts of things, so I was like, “you know what it’s time for me to start just trying it. Let’s just try and adopt some new lifestyle habits and stuff like that.” And I did and they were, it was like super effective for me.

[00:38:17] My mind was the clearest it had ever been going carnivore and like running every day and like doing all this stuff. It was great. It was a great period, like a focus and like all that stuff. So it did help. Me personally, I’m a big believer in like food is the fuel kind of thing.

[00:38:33] Like I’m all in, I’m all in on that stuff.

[00:38:35] Jamie: What’d you put in? Yeah. What’d you put in, food, spiritually, what you read, like all of that has an…

[00:38:42] Sal: Exactly. Exactly. So yeah, a lot of that had to do with this shift in who I had to become to be able to manage both of these high pressure situations, right? Not that my wife’s diagnosis, high pressure, but like being a CEO and it…

[00:38:57] Jamie: I don’t, yeah. I would count, I would, that’s what I would…

[00:39:00] Sal: Yeah, I don’t know what the right word to use is, but yeah, it was appointments and being emotionally supportive and mentally support, right? She’s the one that needs all the support. I have to be the backbone.

[00:39:12] Jamie: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I love that you stepped back and it’s like, “yeah, okay, two new roles and I can’t be CEO here. And I’m not husband over here. Who do I need to be for these things to go through it? That’s awareness right there.

[00:39:29] A lot of people wouldn’t have done that. In fact, I know a lot of people who would have just given of themselves unto nothing, but to realize I have to take care of myself first, that’s a huge thing that a lot of people…

[00:39:42] Sal: Yeah. Listen, I’ve had my days. I enjoy my bourbon, like I’m not perfect. You know what I mean? I’m only human too. There’s only so much I can take on, and I think that’s okay too. Like my wife and I have talked about it, it’s been over a year now and I need a little bit more… I gotta be me again a little bit, kind of thing and have those things in my life, like music or whatever it is that give me an internal boost, that type of stuff, so…

[00:40:03] Jamie: Yeah. And your wife is doing well?

[00:40:07] Sal: She’s cancer free today and doing well and all that…

[00:40:10] Jamie: Man, that’s amazing. So good to hear.

[00:40:13] So let’s dive into where are you now? We for 40 minutes weaved in your career and mine, but where are you now? You’ve done a lot of video and that’s one of the things I want to dive into today. So talk to me about that transition, where you are now, what that agency does, and then I do want to get into, you called it flanking allies. I do want to get into that. So let’s go that direction. But how did you, what, why video?

[00:40:40] Sal: In my, when I went independent and left, so after my stint, I didn’t want to say 2010, 2012, when I went independent, I had formed a partnership with some other people and I was a partner at streamline marketing, the affiliate marketing agency. But at that time I already had this like desire to move into social media, content, and I was like learning Twitter, and I was learning Facebook, and I had some side gigs where I… cause the people that I was talking to we’re not like the big brands that I was used to managing. Like I had Dick’s Sporting Goods and Audible and all these like huge companies doing affiliate marketing for, right? I had managed affiliate programs from the largest brands in the country. What else can I do? If you go down my roster of clients that I’ve worked with, it’s And I guess that’s part of the, “Hey, what’s next? How do I do something more? What’s next?”

[00:41:26] And that it was like I started working with a lot of like smaller businesses and small companies and like startups and local businesses and like that’s maybe how I got the flavor to be more into entrepreneurial and all this stuff. But at the same time, they needed more than affiliate marketing.

[00:41:40] Many of them didn’t even need affiliate programs. So it was like, what else can you do? A lot of that was media buying. So I started learning like programmatic advertising, and I had already been exposed to Google ads for years because the agency I was at prior, we did affiliate marketing and Google Ads and media buying and I was the head of media for North America when I was at House of Kaizen before I left.

[00:42:00] So I was already multi channel to begin with. So in the content world, in the context of content I don’t know, I video was a thing that just I enjoyed, I always liked the camera, but I had zero skills. As a kid or whatever, like I like taking pictures, but I didn’t really know, nobody taught me anything. Nobody said … I remember as a kid, my dad always had this really cool camera. To this day, I probably, if I asked him, I don’t know how much he knew how to use it or not. He just had this really cool camera and he used to take a lot of photos. He probably knew what he was doing.

[00:42:31] And I think somewhere in the back of my mind, I liked this thing with the camera. And so I wanted to learn video more and get it in my hands. And then one of the guys in my band, the Green Day tribute band, he was making independent films with his buddy, and they were doing stuff and they invited me along to do sound one day.

[00:42:53] So I get in the car and they’re filming this thing in the car and like the sound and, being the person that I am, I was watching what they were doing and like setting up for a shot or I was like, “so why is the camera over there? Why don’t you put it over here? And then it was like, why are you doing this way? Why are you doing that this way? And I was like, it would be better if you did this?” And they’re looking at me like, “You want to, you want to take over?”

[00:43:15] Jamie: You want to take this job?

[00:43:17] Sal: But it was all fun stuff. Like they were doing it for themselves. It wasn’t client work or anything, but I got a taste of this camera thing and video.

[00:43:23] And so then it was like podcast, YouTube, learning all these skills, really learning the camera. In one of my transition periods as an independent consultant, I was out literally camera in hand, shooting videos, commercials, social media videos, like doing all this stuff. Right.

[00:43:41] Jamie: I remember you posting those and I’m like, “What are you doing?”

[00:43:44] Sal: Yeah. And so I was doing that stuff, but boy, being an independent like film or video creator at the time it was before TikTok it wasn’t as sexy to just be like, “Hey, I’m a guy that can film 30 videos for you in a day.” This is pre-COVID and so finding work, unless you were truly like this professional videographer, I found it hard to find work, I would say.

[00:44:07] Getting work as an independent videographer, I was like, “This is going to be a slog.” like I would add it on if I had other marketing things, cause I was still consulting with people for affiliate marketing. I was running social media for people and doing other things.

[00:44:21] So I was building my skillset, right? People today, they love all the terminology. They call it skill stacking. That’s what I did. It’s like skill stacking and learning different things and then building my own startups, having the video production company, launching my own podcast, having the food brand, like I was just doing these things on my own for my own businesses and my own projects.

[00:44:38] So when Pat and I were talking about this and what they needed at Windfall Media, these clients, these high ticket sales, educational products, they all, I’m sure you’ve seen it. The 90 second explainer video, “Hey, there’s the five things you need to know about real estate investing,” like that type of stuff, right?

[00:44:57] So knowing how to one: script a video like that, how to target audiences. What are the audience’s pain points? Like really understanding how to put together an ad that speaks to a lead generation or sales tactic. It’s not that I’m the only one in the world that does this, but somebody needed to fill that role that understood really video and combining that with an overall marketing strategy for these businesses.

[00:45:20] The agency was founded on YouTube ads and video marketing at Windfall Media servicing real estate, and legal, and accounting clients and things like that, financial services, education. We did, and have been doing a ton of that, started to add on channels. We built a team, two of my employees are former students at Stony Brook university. So I hired two students out of there and, same thing…

[00:45:43] Jamie: Saw the best and brightest and …

[00:45:45] Sal: Yeah, get over here and and they’ve been great and I, we’ve got a social media ads expert, I’ve got a director of SEO and so we built a team there that I’m very proud of in the last like 18, 19 months. I don’t even know what the true date is. What are we in January? So over the last year and a half, let’s just call it year.

[00:46:02] Jamie: Almost February.

[00:46:02] Sal: Year and a half-ish or so, right. So we, we did that and built it up and things were going really well and are going really well. That’s been the journey at Windfall and it’s been just exciting to do that.

[00:46:12] And with what I do, I’ll say the Stony Brook piece is so crucial because it keeps my skillset and knowledge of marketing up at all times. I like just doing the HubSpot certification with my students, it’s changed twice since I’ve taught it in four years. So I’ve had to relearn it twice.

[00:46:34] Jamie: Yeah.

[00:46:35] Sal: So it’s one of those things that like I’m learning is they’re learning to a degree, but I bring a lot of the experience to the table and now it’s stepping away from the day to day strategy bits. I’m involved with our largest clients from a strategic perspective, right?

[00:46:50] Because it’s again, full scope, like when you’re managing multiple channels and you got to really understand how they interact, attribution, what’s top of funnel, bottom of funnel. You really have to be an all in. So, it’s been a great journey there, and the next stage is coming. We are merging the agencies now.

[00:47:08] The next stage is merging the agencies, Windfall Media, and Amazing Ads are going to merge, and I’m going to be the acting CEO of Amazing Ads. Pat Grady’s on a retirement path in the next few years. So he’s looking at me to take over the reins and take Amazing Ads to the next part of its journey.

[00:47:26] Amazing Ads has been around for six years and we just see the convergence of all these e commerce clients. Amazon is now promoting video advertising right inside its advertising platform, right? Meaning if you’re watching Amazon Prime, they’re going to serve ads to you just like Hulu does or any of the rest of them.

[00:47:45] We work with major like programmatic partners like Mountain, the Ryan Reynolds owned company where we’re serving programmatic video ads and as well as of course, YouTube and YouTube is awesome. And I know you want to talk about flanking allies for your audience, but YouTube’s targeting capabilities that’s just where it’s at.

[00:48:01] Jamie: That’s a hell of a jump to go from… not for you, but for like marketers. I saw last night was the first time I logged into Amazon, we went to watch something and Prime had changed. Now we have to pay more for without the ads. And so I know a lot of people are pissed off about that, but going from purely doing some video marketing on YouTube or that come up to your phone now doing that same thing for Amazon Prime that’s on our TV and these other streaming services, I think that’s a monumental shift, wouldn’t you say?

[00:48:34] Sal: It is. It requires a completely different ad creative asset. The platforms, Google, YouTube, Mountain, all of them are using AI to inform their audience targeting and decision making about who gets served what ad. So they’re getting simpler and simpler to run.

[00:48:49] Mountain is a self serve platform, YouTube is a self serve platform, Amazon ads is a self serve platform. The startups in the businesses, if you own an Amazon business, on the Amazon side of things, so many entrepreneurs. They buy and sell these Amazon stores. I bought an Amazon business last year.

[00:49:06] Like one of our clients is Quiet Light Brokerage. They help people buy and sell seven figure e commerce businesses. Many of those people that do that, they’re business people, entrepreneurs. They know how to buy and sell businesses. They understand inventory management. They understand sourcing, production…

[00:49:24] They don’t understand these platforms. And so as automated as they are, it still requires a marketing mind to understand the type of creative you need, and the creative will be the thing that sets you apart in the future because the platforms are becoming more AI. Google’s moving to P Max, Performance Max c”aigns.

[00:49:43] Amazon and Mountain, the AI is driving the audience ad buying. You’re not adjusting bids anymore as you did in the past. You’re letting the AI and the feedback loops inform the decisions where the platforms are going to find your best customers. So the creative is what matters.

[00:49:59] And when you’re shifting from YouTube, where the ad creative and the audience mindset, people are there for these high ticket sales. They don’t really want to be interrupted, but if the targeting is spot on enough, you are giving them a piece of education and value in your ad. On Mountain, or Amazon Prime, you’re interrupting their broadcast.

[00:50:17] It’s traditional TV. We could talk about it however we want, but it’s NBC, primetime at eight o’clock at night, and they’re going to run three ad spots. And those ad spots need to be a tight 15, 30 second ad spot.

[00:50:28] So the question is, are we driving brand awareness? Are we driving dynamic ad insertion that can be performance based? Are we putting QR codes in the ads? What is it? How are we going to measure this performance? The beauty is with Amazon being an integrated platform, you will be able to manage performance, right? So it’s really cool stuff that’s happening on that end.

[00:50:48] Jamie: were worried that all these tools are going to commoditize what they do. I know a lot of creators were worried, Fiverr and 99 Designs and those came out, but it sounds like now all these tools are so automated, but the creative is the most important. Like a shift back to the tools are relatively easy to use, but the creative is going to be hard to do without creatives.

[00:51:11] Sal: And you need a production team. You got to have people who know how to use a camera. We have partners, I’m past the days I don’t hold a camera for my clients. I have been on site to remote produce and direct, but I hire camera people now. It’s just not for me. I’d rather do it for fun, camera stuff. I don’t want like I’d rather have somebody that’s got better cameras than me. I didn’t go down that road of investing thousands of dollars in camera gear and stuff, so I abandoned that path for the marketing path. But, so we have a network of partners that we work with literally all over the country.

[00:51:40] I’ve got film production crews in New York, Texas, California, Florida, we could find people to shoot this stuff. UGC content, there’s tons of platforms and I’m sure in the affiliate space, I don’t know if you’ve come across these, but Billo and Join Brands. If you want to have UGC content created for your affiliate programs or other things like that. You can sign up to these programs, get TikTok and short form video made pretty easily, and use those for social ads or other types of advertising as well. And if you’re really creative, you could string a bunch of them together and make a formal ad for some of these connected TV platforms.

[00:52:15] And, cause people are just so used to seeing what looks like UGC. I see these ads now on the big screen where it’s like, Hey, I’m They’ve got a vertical video sitting over to the left and text and stuff over on the right and they want this So it doesn’t all need to be polished like an old school ad there’s options for people.

[00:52:33] Jamie: Talk to me about the flanking allies strategy. This has been super intriguing since you dropped it in our prep call. So what is it? How do you guys use it? And what kind of successes have…

[00:52:42] Sal: Sure, so we coined this term flanking allies because we manage a holistic strategy for one of our clients, paid search, YouTube ads, SEO, a whole bunch of things, and so one of the, one of the strategies was, in working with the affiliate team, we’ve got these great YouTube assets that the affiliates are creating but sometimes because they’re affiliates, they can’t get the reach. We’re giving them the opportunity “Hey, they’re going to get paid on performance” and we know how hard it is on the YouTube side and the social media creator side to get somebody to convert like link, link down below and all this stuff. It’s not an intuitive click to transaction, right? There’s a lot of ambiguity that happens with that type of marketing for the affiliate mostly. We know we’re getting eyeballs. And so sometimes they don’t have the reach.

[00:53:30] So it was like, how do we “lify these affiliate videos? How do we take them and give them a bigger platform? We have sizable ad budgets, so let’s as Pat likes to say, “well, sprinkle a little love on a couple of these affiliate videos and gives them a boost,” and so we utilize this strategy to put those affiliate videos, give them a shot to get further awareness and views, and then track that performance and say, ” do we see an increase in this affiliate performance? Is their video actually driving people to conversion or is it just an awareness building video?” You also could use that for just a straight YouTube ad.

[00:54:10] So on YouTube there’s two types of advertising. Well, there’s six, but I’ll talk about two that we primarily use. One is the in-stream ads that you’re probably familiar with when you start a video and the ad comes up first and you’ve got five seconds to skip it. That’s what we call in-stream ads.

[00:54:25] Then there’s in-feed ads or discovery ads, and those are the ones that like, when you do a search on YouTube and you’re searching for, I don’t know, best affiliate marketing agency on the right hand side, right? On the right hand side or up in the sponsored results, you’ll see native looking videos.

[00:54:44] They say sponsored, but you’ll still see the thumbnail and somebody will click on that then to go view them. So it feels like a more organic experience. So that’s what we’re doing with our flanking allies program. We’re advertising them with in-feed or discovery ads to get them more exposure for those videos.

[00:55:00] And then we monitor and track performance, and over time we either scale them up. If we see performance, we may scale it up depending on the size of the audience, et cetera. And the audience targeting is what’s really crucial here. YouTube has a number of different ways that you can target.

[00:55:16] The custom intent audiences are some of the most powerful that we find. And you can build custom intent audiences in two ways. One is with URLs. So for instance, you could say, let’s say JEBCommerce wanted to run in-feed ads for one of their podcast videos because it was a banger. And so you like this one right here.

[00:55:39] So you want them to get, give more love to this video, for instance. Well, I could create an audience of people who visited websites like Impact, CJ, LinkShare, well Rakuten. I’m old school, right? So…

[00:55:51] Jamie: That’s… hey I still call it LinkShare.

[00:55:53] Sal: Go. But you could build an audience of all the affiliate network URLs and build an audience and people that… so what Google says, just so I don’t confuse anybody, it’s not conquesting. You’re not remarketing people who visited those websites, cause Google can’t say they do that, but ultimately what it says is we will find people who visit sites like this, but we’ve seen the results speak for themselves,

[00:56:19] The correlations are pretty damn great. So for a simple ex”le for you, yeah, this is a great strategy. Now the only rub there is you don’t know. You’ve got people who. Are visiting that website. They could be brands. They could be affiliates. So depending on how you truly wanted a target, that might be a little ambiguous for you, right?

[00:56:38] So what happens is those people who visit those websites, they end up in an audience and regardless of where they are on YouTube, that ad then is served to them, whether they’re watching the latest Snoop Dogg video or watching affiliate content, it doesn’t matter. We’re building the audience of people who visit websites like that. Again within a timed period, and I forget the timeline, I forget if it’s 30 days or 90 days, but we know that they’ve had the intent based on that URL visit, now they’re in that audience.

[00:57:05] The second part is by keyword. So let’s say somebody went to Google and typed in best affiliate marketing agency or affiliate marketing agencies or whatever they typed into Google. Same thing. They would be put into an audience if you put those keywords in your c”aign on YouTube.

[00:57:22] So we’re not saying I’m targeting that keyword, what we’re saying is I’m targeting people who search for that keyword on Google and put them into an audience c”aign. Okay? There are also keyword c”aigns. You could just target the keywords on YouTube as well. That’s a third type of targeting, but the custom intent stuff, knowing that somebody has been on YouTube.

[00:57:40] One of our specialties that we do is actually take that keyword, “best affiliate marketing agencies,” we end up building a keyword intent audience out of that, and then we build a URL targeting audience out of the top 10 results from that search result as well.

[00:57:57] We take all the URLs from that search result, plop them into an audience as well. So there’s so many, there’s so many ways to utilize.

[00:58:04] Jamie: And so you’re utilizing that, and then when you sprinkle fairy dust, is that you’re adding budget to advertise their videos?

[00:58:13] Sal: That’s right.

[00:58:13] Jamie: So this is incredibly intriguing for two reasons. One, that just the shift… as you were talking, I’m thinking most advertisers view the affiliate and them as competing for traffic and they’re like, all right, you got this traffic. I’ll pay you for it. But it’s very much “okay, we have to work in this area because you’ve carved this traffic.” This is a completely different like we’re going to come beside you. It’s sort of like, I know your potential. I want to help you drive traffic. So I…

[00:58:44] Sal: But think about the benefit to the advertiser, the advertisers, they didn’t spend any money to create the creative. They didn’t spend it. I didn’t have to go hire a video production crew. Think of all the money they’re saving by not going out. And somebody is talking on your behalf instead of the brand talking themselves.

[00:59:01] Yes, the affiliate has to have the proper affiliate disclosures. We also have rules for them that state, they’re not allowed to talk about. We will only sprinkle fairy dust if you don’t talk about competitors in the video. So you’ve got your rules, that they have to abide by if they want to take advantage of that.

[00:59:15] And it doesn’t mean every one of them is going to work out. If the video doesn’t convert, the traffic doesn’t convert, we cut off the hose, that’s it.

[00:59:21] Jamie: And I would assume you’d work with them so that the tracking is set up, so you can look at that video and you can see what that piece of creative generated. You’re not looking at affiliate overall did more, but you can see like, “Hey, the fairy dust was sprinkled here and here’s …”

[00:59:37] Sal: Yep, yep, you can either give them specific, unique URLs in their description to track that video. There’s a lot of ways you can, you could do that, and in your YouTube advertising stats, things like view rate, engagements, and all that stuff. So there’s a lot of different ways you can measure it, and in the YouTube world, when we deal with YouTube channels in general, because we manage some YouTube channels as well for clients, there’s three reasons or three things that a YouTube video will do.

[01:00:00] One, some videos are better at generating subscribers. Some videos are better at holding people’s attention, and some videos are great at sales and conversions. Not all videos can do all three. So you’ve got reasons to want to use the video that’s going to drive more view rate.

[01:00:17] Jamie: You need to be doing all those three things, and if an affiliate is doing a video, a better video to do one of those things, why not capitalize on that?

[01:00:27] Did you find that the two things I’m thinking about is one: that seems to be a shift in how advertisers will look at how to use affiliate marketing, very cooperatively. I think that’s happened because affiliates have done such a good job of creating their own brand. And if you want that traffic, you’re going to have to work with that affiliate.

[01:00:46] Did you find it difficult to convince clients to use YouTube and use the affiliate’s content in that way? Was that an obstacle?

[01:00:57] Sal: Think it’s hard. I think it’s hard to find the right client that does understand it for sure. And that has the, not only the mix of channels and diversity in their marketing strategy. Some brands, they’re just so linearly focused on like performance, advertising, only performance, advertising, only they don’t even think about brand awareness. To their own detriment many times.

[01:01:19] Jamie: Usually two different divisions, not even in the…

[01:01:22] Sal: That’s… that’s right. So the fact that like certain clients where as an agency, we’re managing multiple channels. It puts us in the position to be able to do those types of things. But we’re an agency, we work with other agencies, like we would love to work with an agency like JEB and say, “Hey, you got any clients that you want to have YouTube spend managed for the affiliates? We’ll come in and do that for you.” So I think there’s opportunities all over the place.

[01:01:46] Jamie: And I know owners, so I’ll make an intro. I would love for them to work with you too. So tell me like, what’s an ideal client for Windfall? If they’re listening, tell me about them and what really works that you guys can really make an impact with?

[01:02:01] Sal: Yeah. Well, Windfall Media Is going to go away in a few weeks, months. By the time people listen to this, it’ll be fully merged.

[01:02:09] Jamie: That’s a big deal.

[01:02:10] Sal: Thank you. Thank you. Yeah. It’s exciting times. We’re, yeah, in the middle of building all the things to make that merger happen. We’re 60 plus clients and 50 million in managed spend and we’re a global company. So it’s really exciting. Overall the staff has grown by leaps and bounds and all that, and a credit to Pat Grady, who’s been building Amazing Ads for the last six years.

[01:02:31] Our ideal clients are ones that are looking to scale to seven figures and beyond. That’s really where we’re at. Clients with no budgets and small budgets, they’re just not an ideal candidate for the type of marketing that we do. Unless you’re a VC backed startup or something, that’s going to be able to invest in all stages of the funnel.

[01:02:49] So it’s less about what the brand or the company is. I think it’s the mindset of the owners and the people that run those brands. Do they understand full funnel marketing? Do they understand what it takes to build brand engagement and conversion? And filling that funnel with video, creative and other assets, that’s really the key.

[01:03:08] We love to work with creative fun brands that really get video. We’ve got some Shark Tank brands under the agency now. I don’t want to drop names, but we’ve got some fun brands in the gaming space and the apparel space, the beauty space, home… we don’t focus on like, “Hey, we only do dental websites.” Some agencies do that, right. They focus solely on a particular vertical.

[01:03:30] We’re not vertical focused. I think because, the diversity in my career, diversity in in the types of clients that we take on. I think it’s really just the ones that are open to understanding what that marketing looks like, because what I’ve seen so many times is many business owners, startups, entrepreneurs, they’re strapped and tight for money so many times.

[01:03:51] And they’re so focused on bottom of funnel activities and that like every dollar has to convert and be a sale. And it’s like, man, your website wouldn’t even convert if you tried. It’s so hard, right? You’re trying to have these conversations, like you need more.

[01:04:04] I’ve got a great designer on my team, we’ve built these great landing pages for clients to help them along, and do all that stuff. So…

[01:04:11] Jamie: Yeah. JEB, before I sold, we launched a conversion optimization product because we were getting so frustrated that, “yeah, we can drive a ton of traffic, but if you can’t convert, you’re not going to be happy with the c”aign. And first we got to make sure your website converts.” And there are so many, especially in the range you’re talking about that, they found a niche, the product worked really well, but as far as working on the usability of the site and all that, they never got to, and it makes such a huge impact.

[01:04:43] Sal: Isn’t it mind blowing? I had two or three client calls in the last week, like new business calls. It’s 2024 and I see some of the websites being built and I’m like, “how, how is this still going on?” It throws me right back to like 1999, 2000. It was like, you’d have an affiliate that was just a banner farm type shit.

[01:05:01] Jamie: Yeah, yeah, if I see a new site with a hit counter, I’m out. I’m out. Awesome, man. Well, thank you so much. There’s a whole other episode I want to go through with you of the full funnel marketing. I think that’s a really big thing. So I may ask you to join me again. This has been fantastic.

[01:05:22] For our listeners, if they want to follow you, connect with you, or they’re an ideal client and need your help, what’s the best way for them to interact with you?

[01:05:31] Sal: Yeah, just email me directly Our website, which is going to be up by the end of this week, hopefully by the time this is released, it’ll be up And on LinkedIn, you could find me Sal Conca, C O N C A. I’m happy to talk to anybody, and even if you’re not a client, I’ll just say, I love helping entrepreneurs.

[01:05:49] I love helping business owners. If you just have questions about YouTube, YouTube advertising specifically, I’m happy to answer any questions. Just shoot me a message.

[01:05:57] Jamie: Okay, I will have many questions for you that I will take you up on that.

[01:06:01] Sal, thank you. Appreciate your friendship over like 25 years and your expertise and your vulnerability of talking about some difficult things. I’m so happy your wife is cancer free and I can’t wait to see you and your band.

[01:06:16] So you got to do one show. One show, I turn 50 in December. We’re having a big, we’ll call it a hootenanny here, we’re going to have a band. You’re definitely invited to that. So I just got to know when the show is and I’ll be there.

[01:06:29] Sal: I hear you, man. Don’t they have bands at all these like horse, like the rodeos and stuff, man. Get us booked. Get us booked.

[01:06:36] Jamie: I’ll get you booked. That’ll totally happen. Awesome. Well, Sal, thank you so much. And for our listeners, I’ll include all that contact info at the end. This has been my pleasure.

[01:06:47] Thank you, Sal.

[01:06:47] Sal: Me too, Jamie, take care. Thanks for having me.

[01:06:50] Jamie: Well, first off, talk about a jam packed last 15 minutes of this podcast episode. I was going to book this for two hours, forgot to book it for two hours. Sal and I could totally talk for another six, I’m sure. And we will do our best to get Sal back on the podcast and talk about that full funnel marketing. And I’ll dive a little more into video advertising as well, especially with the new changes with the connected TV and what Amazon’s doing. Definitely want to bring Sal back.

[01:07:19] So Sal, thank you so much, man. I thoroughly enjoy every time I have the good fortune to spend time with you. And I always learn a ton. And today is no different. Love watching your career and everything you’ve done and so many different things.

[01:07:38] Talk about so much stuff in this podcast. For leaders, if you’re listening definitely go back, listen to that part again, where Sal talked about ” who do I need to be here? Who do I need to be over here?”

[01:07:51] What I’ve seen in the successful people I’ve been able to interview and I interact with is that like that adaptability, in this situation with this group of people in this role, I have to be what? What do I have to be in order for them to be successful, for me to be successful? And that’s huge. Leaders, we really need to look at that.

[01:08:11] I remember when Sal was telling that story, I remember the antithesis of that was a leader in this conference I was speaking at we were doing a personality test and he got his results, he said, “see, my employees just have to deal with me. I’m an asshole.”

[01:08:28] That is the antithesis of what I think a good leader is. You got to adapt. You got to know what your family, what your team, what your clients need you to be and from you and adapt to that. So there’s a ton there. For those younger digital marketers out there, or those who want to get into digital marketing, there’s a ton here to learn.

[01:08:48] The skill stacking that Sal talked about is huge. Man, I wish I had a class like he teaches in college and I really do. I want to take his course. But skill stacking and then the relationship building. Sal and I talked about that for a while, but you never know when that contact is going to come into play.

[01:09:07] I know Sal has these experiences too, but I can’t tell you how many times someone contacted me, we have not talked for 12 years, we did a little bit of work together, had followed each other through LinkedIn, maybe Facebook over the years. And then they had a need and they knew who to go to.

[01:09:23] Before this podcast, we had a call very similar. It’s been 20 years since we met and when they were looking for help with what I do for a living, they thought of me first. So that relationship building, if you’re thinking of that, don’t poo poo on LinkedIn because your parents used it.

[01:09:41] I know there’s a lot, the Facebook is one of their biggest problems is what the generation after ours, they not really into Facebook. So what are they going to do? But LinkedIn is different. Yes, sometimes there’s people still posting about what they eat and they using that more of a social network than a professional social network, but there’s still a ton of value there.

[01:10:02] This is a tool for you to help build your career and learn from other people, follow other people. And I use it so much just because over 25 years, you meet a lot of people in an industry that’s based on relationships. And boy, if you don’t have something easy to see and follow people relationship building can get pretty, pretty tough.

[01:10:23] As far as the video stuff goes, let’s talk about flanking allies. So often the way that advertisers look at their affiliates is they’re cooperative, they’re appreciative, but they really look at it as, I’m competing for that same customer as that affiliate. And I prefer to have that customer directly. I don’t want to go through them.

[01:10:46] I work with them because while I have to, they have the audience, but if they didn’t have the audience, I wouldn’t work with them. That’s a pretty old school way of thinking and it drives the majority of affiliate marketing. But what I’ve seen in my career is.

[01:11:01] I’ve helped some of these affiliates grow. I’ve helped with sometimes the design of their site. I’ve helped them test to make sure it was all working. I gave them discounts and deals and assets and resources from my clients or the brand I worked at well before their performance deserved it because I wanted them to be successful.

[01:11:22] I’d love their idea and I really wanted them to be successful. And those affiliates then grew very large. And it’s not because of what I did, but when they grew, they had a great idea when they grew, they were able to bring me along because I was there helping them in the beginning. We’ve lost that a bit, so that flanking allies of taking content that an affiliate created and boosting it and spending a little bit money on that to help build them up. Like now we’re talking about actual partnership beyond just do a thing for me and I’ll pay you for it. And that’s generally what affiliate marketing is, but there’s so much more when you actually work with them in a cooperative partnership manner.

[01:12:02] Like, how can I help you? Well, I can maybe spend some money here and help boost your presence. That’s only going to help me. So I definitely want you to think about that. And I’d love to hear what you think. Do you think that strategy is crazy? Or are you looking to figure out ways to deploy that? Let me know in the comments.

[01:12:21] And if you need help with your affiliate program, please The team at JEB is waiting and ready to help you figure out how to make 2024 your best year ever. So email them at I also still get that email address. So, if you’re listening to this in 2024 and you want assistance, or you want to be on the podcast or you have a comment or a question, you can email as well.

[01:12:48] I am helping them set up their guest list for season four, so if you’d love to be on, we would love to have you email us at

[01:12:59] Now, if you’re looking to follow Sal, you can email him at You can go over to, check out their services and you can follow LinkedIn. We’ll include that in our show note as well. So definitely connect with him. He will be the first to tell you connected with me on LinkedIn. So go do that.

[01:13:18] Hopefully you found this as a beneficial and interesting and entertaining and informational as I have today. I learned a ton about video. I want to, spend a lot more time with Sal on getting up to speed there. But if you know someone who needs to listen to any portion of this episode, send that over to them, promote this on Facebook, and LinkedIn, and Twitter.

[01:13:42] One of the best ways to help us get the word out about this podcast is to leave us a five star review, whether that’s on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or the podcast player of your choice.

[01:13:52] Thank you for listening. We’ve made it here almost an hour and a half. Appreciate you spending the time.

[01:13:58] That is a large chunk and I know you could be doing anything else. I really appreciate your spending time. Thank you for listening to today’s episode of the Profitable Performance Marketing podcast.

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