How did you get started in the affiliate industry?
I did a Marketing degree and always loved the idea of working agency side. I liked the idea of working with 'sexy brands' and a few all at once. When it came to affiliate marketing, I started working for a digital marketing agency in SEO. I took a particularly unorthodox approach when it came to 'link building' including cold calling and persuasive cold emails on behalf of my clients.
This was spotted by the Sales Director and owner of the agency at the time, and I began my role as a Business Development Executive selling several digital marketing services including SEO, PPC, CRO, and affiliate marketing. I had to learn affiliate marketing from scratch, and it became my favorite channel to sell. The rest is history!
What changes have you seen in the industry since you started your career?
The major one for me is the development and diversification of affiliate partners. Affiliate marketing is now moving in a new direction, for example, larger media partners that were traditionally not in the affiliate channel, are now working on a full performance basis. We have helped some of our clients to establish new affiliate partners to drive their brand reach across radio, podcasts, YouTube and even crossing into in-store advertising.
When I started working in affiliate marketing, it was often referred to as the 'goal hanging' channel that cannibalised other digital marketing channels and was almost a 'necessary evil'. I feel the perception of the affiliate channel is really changing now, with many brands reaping the channel's capability to drive new customer acquisition and incremental sales.
Can you tell us more about your role at AP as Global Program Strategist, and what this involves?
The key focus of my role is acquiring new clients for Acceleration Partners. This involves approaching clients, discussing their pain points and challenges, showcasing solutions, getting the client over the line, and onboarding new clients with the delivery and client success teams.
What advice would you give to those considering it as a career?
Firstly, you need to be passionate about what you do. If the idea of affiliate/ digital marketing and sales puts you off, I would suggest pursuing something else. Secondly, learn as much as you can about the market you are working in. Practice asking open or leading questions, and 'swallow the frog' when it comes to putting yourself out there. With every NO you are closer to a YES. Thirdly, try and find a mentor who has been there and done it. Someone you can learn from, but also someone who will critique you and at times and tell you what you might not want to hear.
What attracted you to working at AP?
AP already works with some of the world's biggest brands and has a long average tenure with clients. That was a huge attraction for me from a sales perspective. In my previous sales roles, I found I was usually working remotely in some fashion, so it was nice to take the plunge and work remotely full time.
How does remote working accommodate your lifestyle?
Working in sales at AP usually means fitting your calendar around other time zones and preferences, so I find that with AP's approach to work flexibility, I can work hard and sometimes long hours when I need to, then take the hours back when it's a bit quieter.
Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself?
A lifelong ambition of mine was to get a dog and working remotely has allowed me to do just that. I got a puppy in December 2020. Her name is Winnie, and she is a German Shorthaired Pointer.