Who are you and what are you currently working on?
I’m Adam, and I run my own consulting practice, Weiss Digital, focused on providing strategic planning & guidance, operational support, and partnership development to Publishers & Technology partners in the Affiliate Marketing ecosystem.
How did you get started in affiliate marketing? What keeps you excited about it?
I got started in the space in 2003 when I was hired as a Publisher Account Manager at LinkShare (later became Rakuten Marketing). I spent over 14 years there and did a multitude of things but my last 4 years I was the SVP/GM of the Affiliate channel responsible for the North American affiliate P&L.
I have always been passionate about the affiliate industry & all things related to performance marketing. I’ve always been a believer & advocate for the Publishers who, in my opinion, are true pioneers & innovators in our space and shaping the changing e-commerce landscape with tools & technology to provide end users with a better consumer experience.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to a newbie affiliate marketer? And what is one piece of advice they should ignore?
For folks just starting out – the key is patience. As a publisher, don’t expect to put up a few links, sit back, and then the money starts rolling in. Being successful in affiliate – it’s about the long game. Find a niche, build something with value, and think about creating opportunity for brand & retail partners as well as the end consumer. This will take time, but establishing a true partnership requires a 360 degree view and taking the time to create relationships, do discovery, measure your results, and iterate as you build out your offering.
What has been your favorite mistake? A mistake that in retrospect led to a great lesson and progress in your affiliate marketing?
Generally speaking – the cliche is true – it’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them. I love the quote (which I think is from Steven Wright) “Experience is something you don’t get until right after you need it”. I try to keep that in mind every time I mess up.
Maybe not a huge mistake, but in the past I have found myself hesitating to reach out to people who I know or especially people I don’t know to ask for help of some sort. I think they’ll be too busy or don’t have the time or just aren’t interested. But I have learned to do it, be respectful, and I’m always surprised at the responses I’ve gotten and the support, the help, and the relationships I’ve been able to create just by taking a chance and reaching out.
I also have that song by Sheryl Crow – My Favorite Mistake, in my head now.
What is one piece of software or a web service (besides Geniuslink) that allows you to be more effective as an affiliate marketer?
As I’ve started by own business – I’ve found HubSpot to be a great tool to use to track what I’m working on and who I’m connecting with. I’m also, maybe obviously, an advocate for the affiliate networks & platforms and the value they provide to all the partners in our space.
How do you continue to educate yourself as an affiliate marketer? What are some of your favorite resources for learning?
The best resource out there are the people in this industry – a sappy answer I know, but it’s true! I learn something from every single person I speak with. I love talking to other folks in our space about what they’re working on, what their goals and challenges are, and what trends they’re seeing or they anticipate coming down the road. It’s important to make time just to talk to folks with no other motive but to listen & learn from them.
If people wanted to connect with you, where should we point them to?
You can find me on Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/company/weiss-digital-consulting
Or check out my website: weissdigitalconsulting.com or just drop me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org