Going at it Alone: Scalable Affiliate Marketing Without a Team | AWasia 2018

Nice. Alright guys. Welcome to the stage
here. Let’s start by explaining briefly who you are, and how long you’ve been
running, and what you run. Starting with The Wolf over there.
Hi guys. My name is Maor, originally from
Jerusalem, Israel. I’m about to turn 30. People call me The Wolf. I’m a business
owner. I have an agency for more than 10 years now and also some offices, and I’m
an affiliate marketer. Hi, my name is Mike Long. I’ve been in affiliate marketing
since 2004, that’s when I managed the first million dollar day launch of
Traffic Secrets. Then in 2005, I launched a product launch formula, which is about a
million dollars launch each, and then in 2006 I launched Stompernet, which is a
$14 dollar launch in 12 hours. Basically been in the game since then, my
main thing these days has been, most recently, most notable for OMG, which is a
$45 million collected, $30 million profit and that’s all
with affiliate marketing. That’s a pretty good margin. Yes. My name’s Ralfs. 24 years.
I live in Latvia and I’ve been making money online since
I was 16 years old, but for the last three and a half years,
my focus has been entirely on native ads, where me, as a one man army, I regularly
manage campaigns that do over the $1 million mark. So I think I do fairly well
for being the only one, only person in the company. Mike and I didn’t
mention our ages, I like that. 22. Yeah, I’m 30, but anyway, so do you have teams? Have you
built out teams? Are you more or less operating solo with a group of
maybe freelancers? Start with Ralfs. So no, I’ve been doing it as a one man
army, like literally the only one in the company. I never outsource. That’s how I
do. I never really felt the urge to. Never even outsourced? Even for design or
development or? No, not really. I build all the landing pages myself. The
only thing I would outsource is the translations. Of course.
Okay. But that’s it. Huh, very cool. Mike? All the business I’ve done,
I’ve done in partnership with David Mills. We’re from the old Magic the
Gathering playing days. We were both Magic champions and we took ourselves
into internet marketing from there. At this point, most things I do, I wind
up partnering with people. Yeah. So I’m like a solo person who partners with
people but no employees, no outsources. Very cool. I think like every type of
project that I’ve been involved in, I think it’s so different because some
projects I do it all, like I design my own stuff. I even code sometimes. So
basically, I try to use as many systems that allow me to drag and drop, create
funnels, and do those stuff by myself, but for the most part I only outsource
the stuff that is “copy-paste jobs” that take out of me, like doing reports
if I need to and stuff like that basically. Very cool. So Maor, what are some of the
basic questions you need to ask yourself before you partner up? So I think the
first one is that you need to ask yourself how much that person is like
you. Okay and that goes both ways, by the way. So if that person is like you, it
means that you’re gonna really manage the relationship better maybe, and
with partners, there is that point where every decision takes double the
time because basically it’s like marriage, you have to convince
the other person that that decision that you think is good – is good.
So everything takes at least twice as much. So that might be good for that part
but if that person is not like you, that means that he might know and get well
with people that you don’t get well with, and that actually expands your
networking circle. So you want same same, but different. Yeah. Same same but
different. And Mike, you’ve managed a lot of JVs right? That’s your
business essentially. Yeah essentially. So what I look at, of course,
Wolf is absolutely right. You have to look for somebody who’s
seeing eye to eye with you, at least to a decent bit. One of the traps is you
can overly focus on whether somebody is really driven and
excited that moment. That’s really great, but I really, really try to look at
what the market’s gonna want because even if somebody is great, they’re high-energy
and stuff like that. They just may be out of position. They may be focused on more of
a red ocean place, where there’s not really as much opportunity or where the
opportunity is dying. A lot of times they’re focused on that they just want to
make money. We live in an era of integrity mattering more
than anything, and so you really want to be able to follow through on your offers,
and it’s gonna come back on you anyways with your reputation. Cool. And I guess you’ve probably had – because you’re a true solo. I’m a true solo. I haven’t really
partnered up with anybody. I guess the closest thing is I’m
mentoring my brother right now. That’s cool. So he’s gonna be my first employee,
I guess. Yeah. That’s awesome. Actually if I could add,
I really connected to what Mike said. I think integrity is one of the most
important things when looking for a partner because you might not be able to
basically agree on everything and that’s amazing, that’s okay, and that even maybe
makes like more ideas flood, but if that person doesn’t own up to his word.
When you say that there’s a meeting, he comes to the meeting. When you divide
tasks, you know that person is going to do the task. If you are in a
relationship where it doesn’t really happen, that’s one of the biggest red
flags for me. In a way, you brought up the parenting metaphor before, I was just
reading an article about how kids who come from families where parents
actually have different opinions on things, are often better off in the long run. And that goes to your business as well.
If you’ve got two differing perspectives, as long as you can approach it with
integrity, you’re gonna be able to be able to grow your business more maybe.
Very cool. So what have been the most important elements that have held you
back from adding a team essentially, from building out a team of employees? Why did
you decide to stick it alone for your most part as an affiliate or an online
entrepreneur? Yeah. So that’s a very good question and I have actually been
thinking about it myself. I think it’s because I never really
the urge to build a team and that’s because I have always had the goal that
I want to achieve, even working alone. For example, first when you start
out you want to make $100 a day, then you want to move to $1,000 a day and
$5,000 / $10,000 / $50,000 / $100,000. I think that’s what keeps me going.
It’s because you hit those goals without a team. Hit those goals without a team, and then
you want to reach another goal, and you know that you can do it alone, and you
just go after it, but actually right now I’m thinking about it.
I want to reach much bigger goal and for that, I will need to partner up
with somebody but yeah, that’s the main thing that’s been holding me.
Very cool. What about you Mike? Well of course, like I said, I’ve done almost everything
in concert with my partner for 15 years, David Mills. With that said, in terms of
growing our team, sometimes we have grown the team and sometimes it hasn’t always
been the best choice. Again to build on kind of what Wolf was saying, and we were
talking about integrity. So much of what’s going on, even with networking is
you what do you bring to the table? And and is what you bring to the table
really that important? Is it really what’s needed at the time? Because you
know when you add somebody else, there’s more conversations, there’s more
you people get butthurt if you don’t do what they want to do
and stuff like that. So really adding somebody in, they’ve got to bring
something unique, something that’s timely. I’ve made a ton of money off of people
who just had a kid, and they have so much energy after they just had their first
kid. They like really want to get things done. That’s the kind of thing. Sleep deprived.
Yeah but they have that inherit motivation, but you know you want somebody who’s really
digging in deep, who’s really aware of their subject matter, they’re fired up by
it, and you want to build based on short projects. You want
a win on something that lasts a week with them. That’s attainable. You’re
not testing them. You’re making money the whole way but I test
and then build, test and then build. So my answer is kind of combining both
your answers, to be honest. First of all, yeah. I’ve reached my goals. And I
saw that I still have time and I got obsessed with campaigns,
and this is how I make campaigns successful. Even when they lose sometimes
at the beginning. I’m like super obsessed. So I never really got the time
where I need to really recruit, but when I did recruit some employees, and
I tried to expand my team, I found out at the beginning, in theory,
it was amazing. I told myself, oh my god, yeah. I’m gonna save so much time.
These guys are going to do all of the dirty work for me. This guy’s going to do
the report. This guy is gonna upload the campaigns. She’s gonna take care of and
filter the creatives. It’s going to be amazing. No more 20% disapproved ads and stuff, and then I found out that the
exact amount of time, plus some more energy was wasted on parking, salaries,
people who wanted to leave after I taught them. Those who steal.
People who steal. People who give out your clients, your suppliers, some excel
screenshots, and then I figured, you know what, it might fit certain points,
at certain companies, where there is too much job, and then it’s okay
because when you’re going to add those employees at the beginning, the quality
is going to drop immediately and that’s okay when you’re building
something huge, but not as an affiliate maybe. Yeah. So Ralfs, when you were talking
about now. You’re at a point where you’re starting to think
about potentially training your brother, building a team, what
have been some of the key challenges that have sort of really made you start
thinking, okay maybe I gotta expand a little bit. Where’s the bottleneck in your business? Oh that’s a very good question. I
think I get all these advertisers and affiliate networks just sending me
these cool offers, and they’re like, oh man this is crushing right now. Take a
look, submit the campaign, test it, but I’m at a point where I cannot
physically test more campaigns. Yeah. So I think if someone really wanted
to launch and optimise and manage 100 campaigns at a time, you would definitely
need a team for that, and to add on, I’ve always been focusing on the biggest
offers I have. Even if an offer is making $1,000 a day, I will just stop it because that’s not good enough. If there are offers
out there that can me bring me $50,000 a day. So I that’s one of the reasons. Yeah. How
about you guys? Have you questioned your decision to not build
the team out? Well, I think that you always have to question yourself because
basically, if you don’t, then it’s such a dynamic industry and everything changes
so fast, you have to cash out whenever you can. You have to basically adapt
every other week to the platforms technically and not technically.
So I think, for me, it’s mostly about – and I have to promote my
talk in a few hours, so guys, I’m going to talk about it, please come.
It’s going to be at 4:45 today and just like how I talked about it in
Barcelona, it’s mainly about I got to a point financially that I
didn’t even believe that I could achieve by the time that I got to 30 and I’m
not even 30. Rub it in. What? Rub it in. No, I’m just joking. So it’s more then when you get to
that point that money is no longer a big factor and you lose that
survival-like way of thinking and you are left with basically
a clearing that allows you to do whatever you want. So that allows you to
really take more adventurous things and maybe scale up to something bigger.
Interesting. Mike? Alright, I would say that the biggest bottleneck I’ve run
into is, I kind of have this mental image for you of someone coming on Shark Tank,
and they come on with a taco cart, and they’re like, I made a
$1,000 with this yesterday and and they’re like, okay what’s the deal?
They’re like, oh I went to the baseball game, when the baseball game let
out, and now I want to compete with Taco Bell and be a billion dollar industry.
It’s like, it’s not a real business and so much of what we do, so
much of the opportunities in affiliate marketing that are really good are not
permanent, and so what will happen is people around you will do this,
they will push you to try to make something that is not inherently
“permanent-able”, they’ll push you to make it permanent, and you’ll
buy a building, and hire employees, and all you’re doing is just waiting
down a project that’s already hit it’s zenith. So these days I’m focusing more and
more on compartmentalised projects, and letting something live out of its life.
If it continues or is able to pivot from there, but trying to
artificially make something into something permanent, when it’s not. It’s a
huge pitfall, and I really advise against it. Does it wear on you though?
Because as I came up as an affiliate
marketer as well, and you’ll have big wins, and then it’ll go down and
you’ll lose. It’s a constant game of rise and fall of these specific campaigns.
Does that wear on you as an individual? Oh my god, yes.
I cannot even stress this enough, but I think that all of my life,
I used to be like a semi-professional poker player,
and with poker it’s the same. Sometimes you win, you win, you win.
You think you have the formula, you know exactly what you’re doing, you can’t lose
right. So basically, I think that got me 20-25% ready for
affiliate marketing, but it’s so hard when you refresh those stats, and you
have like this amazing campaign converting so good or when it’s Q4 and
you’re super killing it, and then a day later your account gets
banned, your ads get disapproved, the CPCs are twice as much, and stuff like
that, and just managing with yourself, it gets you to the
point where you – I started taking like Tony Robbins personal development
courses just to manage those situations. Just to, yeah.
It’s like your mind doesn’t recognise that you made 50 grand a day for the
past, three months, whatever. As soon as you start losing, you just feel
you feel like a loser a little bit. No matter how much money I have in my bank,
the day I start losing I start cleaning my own house. I’m
trying to save money on gas. I know what you mean, yeah. I like it. So inherently,
that’s kind of the nature of what I’m trying to talk to you about here.
My talk tomorrow is going to be about search engine optimisation. It’s a wild,
wild opportunity and there are businesses that can be very stable.
I teach a lot of people SEO and they have amazingly stable client
consulting businesses. It’s awesome. It’s very inspiring to me. Affiliate marketing,
this is kind of what I established in you know 2004 with the
Traffic Secrets launch and then again with these other launches. The money is
so good if you just boil down to what you actually do. The actual
keystrokes that you make, the number of phone calls that you make,
there’s nothing like it in world history. The amount of money that can be made,
and the thing that you want to fight against, and the way to do this
is not to wait until that campaign goes away. It’s just to inherently realise it’s
such a blessing to begin with and to realise that it’s going to last as long
as it’s going to last, and so the thing to do is just to compare it with
another scenario. What would it be like if I was a plumber or a doctor.
What would it be like in my relationship with my girlfriend, I
just constantly remind myself of what it was like when I was 15 years old, and
just frustrated and scared, and had no idea. If you don’t
remind yourself every day of the blessing that you have and the
opportunity that you have, then it’s really like pearls before the swine.
You’re taking this precious opportunity of affiliate marketing and
and turning it into something that it’s not. That’s what I meant about
the whole the Shark Tank thing. Yeah. Don’t be that guy
with that taco cart trying to tell yourself I’m gonna compete with Taco
Bell. No. Be like, oh my god I don’t have to build Taco Bell to be a
multi-millionaire. Yeah. And you actually have to work very hard and by
the way, if you do have to work very hard, get while the getting’s good.
Make that money and get annuities guys. Get annuities. Lock that money away. So
you do get to a point in your life where your money getting is like collecting
your paychecks. This is why OJ still has money, guys. Get annuities. So I was speaking with my business partner, who is with me here and about the same
thing. It’s about like feeling grateful for what you have, but we also talked and
there was a day like a couple of days ago. We were in Bangkok. We just
arrived, and while we were flying, we thought that we were going to hit like
certain benchmark and we made like $15k. I’m not joking. That was the number. We
have like a data monetisation company. We send some spam, basically. So we made like
$15k and this guy was broken because he believed it was going to get
like to $40 or $45k. That’s was his goal and I told them, dude I’ve seen
a show on Netflix, people for like $10k/$15k a month. They go sell drugs. They go to
jail, most of them. Most of them don’t even get to 30/35. You just made that in
a day. Do you f*cking realise where you are? You just went to sleep.
You didn’t even touch the keyboard. You sent it. You went to sleep on an
airplane and you woke up with another $15k. Yeah, minus what’s mine. Mine is expectations can be
such poison and again, we’re saying this against the backdrop of the
millions that you can make with affiliate marketing profit. How about annuities?
Annuities guys. All day long with annuities. It changed my life. I’m just telling you.
I’m gonna get like 5-figures a month for the rest of my life, when I
turn 60, 40 years from now. But no, it’s a real thing. Very cool.
We have about five minutes left here. Six minutes. How
do you structure your time? So obviously, people become an affiliate
to be able to stop trading time for money, in a way.
So how do you structure your time and how do you battle, or are you able to achieve that 7-hour work week?
Are you able to achieve the freedom that you wanted when you got into it? Well, this is
actually a very funny question. Most affiliates, if they didn’t hit the
f5 button all the time, they would be surprised how much time they actually
get in a day. The way I structure my time is first of all, I
only in refresh my stats two times a day, in the morning and in the evening, and I
find that I have plenty of time just to focus on the campaigns. I do everything
in the morning. It’s definitely not the 7-hour week as you said. Yeah. But you can
definitely structure your time if you manage your priorities. And with your
priorities, like do you go and work out, do you read books,
like what are some of the other things you do in a day besides work
Well of course, I do a lot of things. So I do gymnastics. So every
time I’m in a gym, I’m there for three hours just practicing handstands and
stretching. So yeah, I get the freedom that I want, that I’m after, that’s 100%.
Cool. Mike? I wish I could tell you it was a 4-hour work week or
whatever it is. It’s probably more like 60 hours for me, and I’ll tell you why,
because right now, the getting is so freakin good. Yeah. I mean, it’s just wild
and he’s right about the stat checking. I’m wrapping up a 6-figure promotion right now, and I
have no idea within $50k of how much it’s gonna make. I mean, I could
check right now if you guys want me to. Refresh, refresh.
Yeah, but that’s really not what matters, but yeah I’ll say – I said this at the
beginning a year. I gave a speech at an event I did with Tai Lopez and I said it’s
morning, beginning of 2018, I said it’s morning right now. It’s time to
get while the getting’s good. The economy is so insane. Internet marketing
is in such an ascension. So my recommendation to you guys is to clamp
down and crush it, and make your nest egg right now, and that’s what I’m
doing. Well I think that basically that was the thing that freed me the most,
because I’m like a guy who – my day is super dynamic and sometimes I
like to work in the afternoon, sometimes I like to work at night. So when I work
from home and when I get to spend time with my dog, that’s the life that I
imagined for me, and I know it’s not for everyone because a lot of guys need some
company. They want to talk to people but I figured out that if you cut the time
that it takes you to get to the office, to come back from the office, the energy,
which I don’t even know what the equivalent in time is for that,
and of course, the lunch and stuff that you just spend
money on just like that. I like to sit at home. I can fart whenever I want. I go to
poop. I eat whenever I want. That’s what I do and that freed my time,
and regarding the the gym, well, I only started going after I had to
buy one. That’s what it took. That’s right you’re a gym owner.
I remember that, yeah. Yeah, we opened up like a year and a half ago and I
lost some weight from Barcelona, if you could see. Yeah, I could tell, very nicely
done. You’re a slim wolf. I just want to add on this that it’s really all about the
priorities. When I started, I used to spend time, working five hours into the
night and I didn’t like it. So what I did is I actually bought a timer that I put
in the socket, and it turns off my internet at 9:30pm every day,
and that fixed it, and I still make more money because even though I have
less time, it’s all about the priorities. You guys do all work from home right?
Yes. I just wanted to add I think it’s going to the gym is if I need to – what I’m trying to say is that at the start of
every project, when you’re more excited about it you spend a lot of
money on just refreshing stats because it’s a bit of like taking drugs and
I know affiliates, big or small know that feeling. Doesn’t matter if you’re making
$100 or $100,000 a day. You still waste a lot of time in just
calculating how much you spend, how much you made, how much you spend, how much you made, and when time goes by, when you start being more professional,
you just let the campaigns run. You’re less excited, it’s less urgent for you to
make changes inside campaigns and stuff. So that cuts a lot of the time, at least
for me, and I’m also very quick when I upload campaigns and stuff. So that’s
where I get to do everything like managing clients on the business side,
and choosing clients on my agency side, and choosing offers.
So that saves a lot of time. Are there specific verticals or niches
that take less manpower than others? Should solo affiliates focus on
low-hanging fruit in this area? Well, yes and no. I think that you can definitely
focus as an affiliate on one campaign that might make make you like $20k a day.
I think with campaigns in the evergreen type of campaigns like what
Danilo is doing in the loan space or maybe insurance or loans. People
would always need that and you can run a white hat campaign and just ramp it up,
scale it up, and do maybe an ROI which is not that good, but I think that it
depends if you really focus on multiple campaigns that are doing
really not that much for you, or you just focus on one campaign, build that funnel,
upsell, build memberships, and do stuff like that maybe. I think you
need to recognise, like everything I said, everything is so dynamic. So you
need to recognise that specific point in time, where you are just too obsessed,
maybe you got married to the offer or the project, and you need some more help,
and I don’t really believe in employees. I believe in scaling partnerships
because when someone is your partner, he will work. It doesn’t matter if it’s
Sunday or Saturday or Friday. If it’s 8am, 8pm or 3am, if something needs to be done, you can’t buy that, you know what I mean.
Yeah. So if you scale, you scale partners, and you need
to recognise that specific time that you need to do that. So of course, the
big three overall niches are health, wealth, and love. I’ve done quite a
bit in each of them. These days, what I’ve gravitated to, I tell people that I’m a
digital marketing gunrunner, a digital marketing arms dealer. Bounty hunter, or arms dealer, okay. Yeah. You’re selling the tools. Well, and of course
I’m a money getting mercenary myself, and I use the tools, but I love the
money getting space. If I told you guys that digital
marketing services in the US alone was $10 billion, which is about the
same size as alcohol, then that would sound like a lot of money
probably but the real number is $700 billion, which last year, is
the same size is the US military budget and so, it’s just absolutely wide
open and that’s SEO for dentists, all the way to fertility
clinics, all the way to ad campaigns for casinos. Whatever else
is out there. So I think that for me, I think that the world just
badly needs – if you guys knew how bad, out of that $700 billion
that’s getting spent right now. It’s buffoonery. So much of what’s
going on, nobody knows how to do SEO, nobody knows how to run ad campaigns,
like these guys do. It’s not out there, and it’s so easy. Tony Robbins is fond of saying that
you’re like this little baby elephant who’s got the rope tied around your leg.
That’s the famous story and when you grow up then that rope is still
holding you down but honestly, I differ with Tony Robbins
in the main on that because if you’re at a crowded Tony Robbins event,
that’s probably not your problem. The problem is you’re a dentist or
you’re a doctor. You’re in the wrong freaking industry but it’s
different for you here. Yeah. That is your problem. The problem is that we
are way bigger and way more important in a certain way. We’re not on
TMZ or anything like that, we’re not like famous in that way. We may never be. I
don’t really care about that kind of stuff, but in terms of the importance of
what we do, the value of the understanding that’s in this room, on
this stage, out there. It’s immense and so, you look to your left, you look
to your right. You’re probably gonna see somebody who’s an exceptional,
exceptional person. You look at yourself in the mirror. You’ve probably got a big
future. So I gotta tell you, the online money getting space is really, really big
and I hope that a lot of people take advantage of it because right now, the
people that are out there are hucksters. Yeah and I have to add that, I had the time thinking about what Eric just said and Mike.
Digital products are much more fitting for a one-man show because when you do
ecomm, when you do dropshipping, it’s nice, but when you scale up and you need
inventory if you have some specific product that is selling amazingly, and
you have to touch those customer service stuff, and logistics. Especially
now when Facebook is basically rating your ad account according to the
customer satisfaction. That’s where I would scale employees maybe. Yeah, even
with dropshipping, you need to have a team of people finding products, to churn
through them. Their customer service. Yeah. Exactly. Not only is it about the offer,
I think it’s all about the traffic source. If you cannot spend 15 grand
a day on a traffic source, then I’m not interested in it. It’s not worth my time.
There’s a lot of these small traffic sources where they sell tier 2 or tier 3
inventory, where you cannot even spend 10 grand a day. I mean,
the opportunity is so huge, you just have to focus on the big things. Very cool.
Well, let’s leave it there. So picture yourself all as giant elephants with
tiny threads around your leg and break free into this new opportunity.
Thanks very much for the panel, guys.


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