As a regular guest at affiliate conferences, you may have heard about (or even met with!) Akie Hamam , an expert in e-commerce, online events organizer, and co-founder of his own Performance Marketing Agency. Recently Akie has created the first affiliate marketing social network Affiliate Business Club .
However, the affiliate community knows Akie not only as a marketing expert but also as an experienced networker who has managed to find common ground with an enormous multitude of people. So, we have decided to learn the best practices of successful communication as well as Akie's plans for his big project — social network for affiliates.
— Hey Akie, please tell us, what's the main idea behind the Affiliate Business Club?
We have done many events to bring all these people that we want in one place and still be able to connect with each other. The goal of the online platform is to have a full-circle online platform for everyone to network, connect and learn.
ABC is not only a forum, we are a social network where you can learn from rich video content and also filter people based on what they do and where they are .
— The affiliate community is relatively small — at least considered to be, what is your estimation? What numbers do you keep in mind as a target?
For us it's important that we focus on the quality first and the content we put out. We’re not really looking at how big it could be. Eventually you could bring in people from outside affiliate marketing to join us, as long as you are able to help them with connections, content or products.
— How do you bring people to the platform?
Advertising and own database. :-)
— How did you come to create a social network for affiliates? Why do you think we need one?
We want something different from what is in the market now, we believe we can bring people together better on one platform and have a better quality than for example on Facebook or LinkedIn.
— Peeps in the community always say that you are a cool dude and nice guy to work with. What is your secret?
Be nice to everyone and always show genuine interest in helping people or connecting people with what they need. I will do all the introductions you need as long as I have a good feeling about your energy.
Never ask what someone's job title is, because when you do you basically are trying to see how much respect you should give someone. For example, everyone would respect a CEO more than an account manager, that is instinct. But when you focus on the energy and kindness of someone you get a whole different conversation. You can learn more from people knowing how they are instead of who they are. The title doesn't mean you need anything if this person is an awful person or a scammer.
— Okay, let’s imagine that I’ve got acquainted with an interesting fellow, but there is no business between us. Should I keep this relationship alive? For example, text him from time to time or wish happy birthdays?
Always try sending people a message just to check how someone is doing even though there is no point of business. I haven't done business with many people but I’ve always kept a good relationship. I try to congratulate everyone on Facebook Bdays or send Skype messages daily. I take 15–30 min a day just to reach out to people to say “hi, how are you doing? It's been a while”, and see what they are up to nowadays.
Any books that you can recommend to get along with people better?
Check my blog , I will be listing a lot of books here. :-)
— Behind marketing and advertising, what are you passionate about?
Connecting people in real life with each other outside business. Helping people succeed and push them in doing things in life. I also really like to work on charity programs and playing chess, soccer and tennis )))
— What goals do you plan to achieve in the upcoming year?
Grow the community, connect more people and lay down a foundation of the online platform we’re building. For SD (*The Flow: Sidekick Digital, Performance Marketing Agency, co-owned by Akie) it’s onboarding more clients. For me personally, the goal is becoming more and more healthy, reading more books and helping more people out there.
— This was very helpful and inspiring, thank you a lot for the interview!