Who are you and what are you currently working on?
My name is Brady Kirkpatrick and I am a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional, helping run a company called CenterPoint Financial Group in Omaha, NE. Our team helps coordinate and organize the financial affairs for clients who are looking to plan their financial futures.
In addition, I own a blog/affiliate marketing site called Gun Made, where we teach the modern gun enthusiast how to customize their setup and shoot with confidence.
A lot of my time is spent meeting with clients, whether in-person, virtually, or over the phone to help guide them through some of the big financial decisions they need to make to help them find peace of mind and be financially stable. I also run a few sales funnels through Facebook & LinkedIn that are pretty much automated, but require some personal touch a few hours per week. This is my main source of bringing on new clients and increasing our revenue.
One big project I’m working on is with a predominant and national non-profit organization to help educate their donors on the most efficient ways to gift while minimizing their tax and estate planning implications.
I currently pay two independent contractors to help manage and run the website. I spend about 10 hours per week running this site, although it initially took about 25-30 hours per week for 3-4 months to get up and running.
Every day I am working to get better at time management and time blocking. It’s something that sounds great in theory, but is very difficult to implement and perfect it. Each day starts with a 5:30am workout to get myself awake and energized. I then spend time at my office from about 8am-5:30pm and take an hour break for dinner after. The rest of the night is spent on Gun Made and/or personal development. This has all been a lot easier to manage during COVID since everything has been closed, so needed something to fill my schedule with!
How did you get started in affiliate marketing? What keeps you excited about it?
I actually got connected with someone over a round of golf in 2019 and we became pretty close friends. After we had met a couple times, he thought I had the potential to be really good at affiliate marketing because he thought we shared similar analytical skills and personalities. I spent over a month researching the concept and different niches that I saw untapped opportunities in. My personality is the type to not invest any time or money into something that I’m not familiar with and not confident enough that I can make money doing so. I quickly learned that affiliate marketing is the real deal, and there is a plethora of untapped opportunities.
Timing couldn’t have been better, with the start of COVID being the beginning of my affiliate marketing journey. Everything was closed, so I had a lot more time on my hands. It also helped that LITERALLY EVERYONE was turning to online shopping and even the older generations were learning to get better at their computers, smartphones, and tablets. The internet is going to continue to skyrocket with traffic, consumers, online shopping, and we are going to see a lot of brick and mortars go out of business. The potentially exponential growth keeps me very excited and energized about this business.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to a newbie affiliate marketer? And what is one piece of advice they should ignore?
Do your research – When I said I spent over 6 weeks of research, I really mean spent about 20 hours per week doing research, running spreadsheets, and tracking all my data to narrow down my top choices. Funny thing is, I actually found the firearms niche by accident! But that’s a whole other story.
Biggest piece of advice to ignore – Take this affiliate marketing course and you’ll become rich if you follow everything step by step. Although there are some good courses out there that can help point you in the right direction, the real key to success is TIME INVESTED. You will need to spend countless hours working on affiliate marketing to make enough money to replace your current income. There’s also a likely chance that it can take at least a year to see results. Popping up on the first page of Google doesn’t happen overnight.
What has been your favorite mistake? A mistake that in retrospect led to a great lesson and progress in your affiliate marketing?
My favorite mistake was starting Gun Made at the absolute worst time. When Coronavirus had started, my job as a financial planner had been absolutely insane. I’m talking about being on the phone nonstop for days talking with clients about the stock market and how to best position their portfolio. Starting up a second company during this time was absolute chaos. However, I really learned to value morning workouts, daily meditation, time-blocking, and saying no to people. I used to always want to say yes because I felt bad if I didn’t give someone the time of day or spend the time to help someone with something even if it didn’t benefit me. But I realized that I didn’t spend enough time focusing on myself and my values, so I learned to start saying no to people.
What is one piece of software or a web service (besides Geniuslink) that allows you to be more effective as an affiliate marketer?
Ahrefs. The greatest SEO tool on the internet. Let’s you research all the SEO that makes your website successful as well as any of your competitors on Google. I used this tool to figure out what niche I wanted to focus on for my affiliate marketing site.
How do you continue to educate yourself as an affiliate marketer? What are some of your favorite resources for learning?
I’ve got a close group of affiliate marketers that I stay in touch with so that we can all share ideas on what’s working and what’s not. Spend some time networking with others in the industry. It’s very helpful for us to bounce ideas off each other and provide insight to each other’s experiences. This has been extremely helpful so that I don’t have to waste time or re-create the wheel.
The other biggest source I learned a lot from was an affiliate marketing course called Authority Hacker. These guys have bought and sold multiple affiliate marketing programs and have been doing it for years. Their course is a little pricey but worth every penny.
If people wanted to connect with you, where should we point them to?
The Contact page on Gunmade.com