Today we had a chat with Marty M. Fahncke, known as the “Adventurist Marketer”. Marty is the owner of the Internet Affiliate Marketing Association group on LinkedIn, which has 15,000 members (and growing!) from around the world. And we asked him how to get the most out of this social network if you are an affiliate.
— Hi, Marty! Please tell us more about your journey in affiliate marketing!
— I started my first affiliate program in 2000, and eventually grew that to 27,000 affiliates. I've been a speaker at Affiliate Force and Affiliate Summit, as well as the Emcee and spent 5 years on the Affiliate Summit Advisory Board. I’ve generated over $1 billion in revenue from marketing efforts, and Affiliate marketing has been a significant part of that revenue.
— Why did you choose LinkedIn as the main platform for your activities?
— Having been part of the Affiliate Marketing world since pretty much the beginning, many of my professional contacts are already on LinkedIn, and it's a great place to find new contacts to work with. LinkedIn is THE place for professional networking.
— What groups or people do you recommend following?
I've actually found that following hashtags is more beneficial on LinkedIn than following most groups or people. This gives me a broad range of people, companies, and groups in my feed from which to learn. I currently follow #marketing #digitalmarketing #affiliatemarketing and #MergersAndAcquisitions (my other passion).
— Do you suppose affiliates could use LinkedIn as a traffic source?
— LinkedIn is not like Facebook or Instagram when it comes to traffic. You aren't going to sell a ton of consumer products here. The benefit of LinkedIn is rather about the relationships you can build. Need to find great offers... or more importantly, the people BEHIND those great offers? LinkedIn is the place. Need to find movers and shakers in specific niches to promote an offer for you? LinkedIn is the place. At the end of the day, Affiliate Marketing is as much or more about relationships as it is traffic. And LinkedIn is a great place to build and maintain those relationships.
Having said that, however, I will say that affiliate offers CAN work on LinkedIn, but they need to be primarily business-to-business oriented. SaaS solutions, professional services, business opportunity, and others can all do well on LinkedIn for affiliates. One perfect example of this is UnBounce, who is embracing Affiliate Marketing to reach a business audience.
— Does placing your affiliate link from Amazon on LinkedIn still work?
— Perhaps for recommending a business book for a review site, or other professional products and services, but I would not recommend Amazon links as a primary strategy.
— How did you come to create a group for affiliates on LinkedIn?
— I didn't actually start the group. Instead, I acquired it from the original founder who wasn't able to keep up with it and knew I could manage it.
The growth is 100% organic. We try to curate only vetted quality content. We don't allow any self-promotion and we encourage all members to work together. We also review each and every member for acceptance into the group to weed out scammers and spammers. Using this strategy, we've grown from 12,000 members to 15,000 members in 2021 so far. Come and join us!
— Please share your other passions aside from affiliate marketing!
Affiliate marketing is just a part of what I do though. My main focus is on multi-channel marketing, which includes combining the strengths of TV, radio, direct mail, and all forms of digital channels such as Facebook, Google, and email.
— What goals do you plan to achieve in the nearest future?
My affiliate marketing goal is to continue to grow the Internet Affiliate Marketing Association group, to be the premier destination for connecting affiliates, publishers, marketers, and anyone else in the Affiliate Marketing space.
I love helping people, and I hope that facilitating this group helps thousands of folks around the globe. Personally, I look forward to launching more great offers through all of the businesses that I'm partnered with and to making new connections and friends in the online marketing space.
— How can an Affiliate get the most out of LinkedIn?
— The most successful affiliates understand that affiliate marketing isn't just about ads, offers and eCPM. Affiliate marketing is just as much about relationships. One of the best places to find and develop business and professional relationships is on LinkedIn. If you see a product or offer you want to promote as an affiliate, check LinkedIn for the affiliate manager or Affiliate management company. Connect, and get to know them. Find out what niche or vertical they are missing and offer to fill it. State your case for being a super-affiliate right out the gate.
In addition to merchants and offers, there is great value in networking with other Affiliates. You might find traffic swap opportunities, learn tips and tricks that can help your business, and keep up with best practices to ensure your business is running as strong and smooth as possible.
ENGAGE! I've been in the Affiliate Marketing space for over 20 years. The friends and relationships I've developed over those years have been more valuable and any one offer or Affiliate marketing campaign I've been a part of. There is power in a tribe, and if you use LinkedIn to it's full potential, soon you can build your own tribe to carry you to success.
— Marty, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and expertise!