Tony Wang, age 26, is a successful affiliate marketer based in San Diego. Originally intending to become a Pharmacist, he had a change of heart following an internship at a large biotech company where he realised that pharmacy was not the path for him. In addition, suffering from ulcerative colitis, highlighted how short life is and gave him the desire to choose a route that enabled him to have the freedom to travel and explore.
Despite imagining that he could be an affiliate marketer from his laptop on the beach Tony began by spending 10 hours a day in front of a computer screen! He attributes a lot of his success to his mentor, Charles Ngo and is currently partnering up with him on an affcelerator.
Tony’s goal is to develop his business even more and beyond affiliate marketing. Tony prefers to walk and travel by Uber and hates driving, although he’d like to a buy a Tesla which drives itself and he enjoys treating himself to organic food, kombushas and chill out time in a sensory deprivation tank.
Topics of Conversation:
[0:01:38] Affiliate marketing and media buying
[0:03:03] Knowing your numbers
[0:03:53 ]Biggest growth factors in affiliate marketing
[0:07:52] Future plans
[0:09:19] Starting out
[0:13:00] Benefits of outsourcing
[0:14:50] Current team and using VAs
[0:15:53] Pros and cons of working with VAs
[0:18:01] Finding and creating a team
[0:19:28] Office move and Baseball
[0:20:26] Goals for the next 6-12 months
[0:22:00] Building agency/networking, Business Development
[0:23:07] Resources and advice on starting up in affiliate marketing
[0:25:37] Reasons to get into affiliate marketing
[0:27:06] Spending money! Organic food, travel and cars!
[0:31:20] Can anyone be an affiliate marketer?
[0:32:54] Finding a mentor
[0:33:43] Affiliate marketing events
[0:37:44] Recommended affiliate marketing tools
[0:00:14] Stephen: Hey guys. It’s Stephen Esketzis here from Marketing on the Move and today I’m with my friend Tony.
How you going Tony?
Tony: Hey, I’m doing great. How are you?
Stephen: Good. So I met Tony while I was in The States recently. I don’t know if you guys remember, Charles, who I interviewed earlier in the podcasts – I caught up with him while I was in America and then I ended up bumping into Tony in Las Vegas, I think it was.
Is that right?
Tony: Yeah, yeah – a crowded table right?
Stephen: Yeah, so we went out one night and we were on the same table which was crazy, yeah. So I got surrounded by a few affiliate marketers so I thought I definitely had to reach out to Tony and get him on board onto the podcasts.
And then we ended up on the same flight as well, didn’t we? Back to San Diego.
Tony: Oh, that was crazy yeah, with Spirit Airlines, like they don’t fly that to San Diego?
Stephen: Yeah Spirit Airlines was an experience. I’ll say that but we arrived in one piece! It was all good. So, do you want to give my audience a little bit of an insight into what you do?
[0:01:10] Tony: Sure. So, I’m guessing your audience is, like, more marketing savvy so I can be more specific. Because usually I tell, like, whenever some random driver asks me what I do, I say “Oh I’m in advertisting” but more specifically, I do affiliate marketing and media buying.
Stephen: Awesome. So when you mean media buying and affiliate marketing, what does that entail day-to-day?
What do you do every single day?
[0:01:38] Tony: So the basic business model we do promotes other peoples’ offers. Whether their apps or supplements or if someone signed up to their dating site – whatever.
So we handle traffic for that, so we create ads, landing pages and we buy media. We’ll buy advertising on Facebook, this site and that site and then we’ll send visitors to our clients’ websites.
So on a day-to-day basis, basically we do a lot of things! So mainly we’re focused on looking for new opportunities and seeing, kind of, where there’s potential, where there’s good offers. That’s what I do because I focus on more, like, high level things.
So I focus on expanding our business. On a day-to-day basis I have media buyers who do more optimization, so uploading banner ads, changing bids, cutting out placements, really boring stuff!
Stephen: Yeah, it sounds intense though?
Tony: Yeah, it’s intense.
Stephen Because with affiliate marketing, I mean, I haven’t done it myself – I’ve done a bit of it but – nothing to the level you have, but you’ve got to know your numbers, don’t you? Your numbers are probably the most key thing in the entire business.
[0:03:03] Tony: Definitely. So, affiliate marketing it’s like most businesses, I guess, need to know your numbers once every week, every month, maybe, like, every day, but we need to know our numbers, like, every hour almost! Because we’re buying traffic and it’s coming in live and we’ve got to know whether it’s right or not, and we can actually see that. So, having that really lets us know what’s working and what’s not working and based on the data we can make decisions going forward.
Stephen: Yeah, that’s awesome. I mean affiliate marketing it’s pretty crazy isn’t it?
You’ve got to get into it – how did you get into it?
So tell us how did you get into it initially and then what do you think are one the biggest growth factors for your business, that’s been since you got into it?
[0:03:53 ] Tony: So, originally when I went to College I wanted to be a Pharmacist. So that was my plan. I studied Chemistry – yeah- I always joke that if my business at all fails I’ll just go back to that.
It’s a joke though. I majored in Chemistry and for three years I was pretty good at it because I was good at taking tests and studying and all that but I really didn’t have a passion for it.
And there was one summer where I took or rather had an internship at the biggest biotech company that I got to see how the industry really works and what I would be doing which was a lot of hands-on chemical research and it wasn’t really what I expected because it’s like, you’re following instructions to mix some chemicals together, so I saw it as a form of dangerous, like, cooking ‘cos you’re just following instructions like do this, do that, you don’t really get to be creative and also you’re working with chemicals that could cause cancer. On a bottle it says, ‘do not inhale, this is flammable, it may explode’.
So I guess some people would find that exciting but for me it was just like, I kind of don’t want to do this. So it was like a wake up call for me; and on top of that I got really sick one summer.
I had a stomach condition called ulcerative colitis which is, like, inflammation of the colon so I had to go to the hospital and that was kind of like a life-changing experience for me because it made me realise how short life is, like how precious life is, and I don’t want to live my life doing something that I really don’t have a desire to do. So luckily I recovered from that and I just made a decision from then on to really not do something because it’s like expected of me from society or it’ll make my friends happy and it’s to do what I really want to do.
That’s to travel, to have freedom and explore. So I saw internet marketing or affiliate marketing as a way to do that, so I tried different things in online marketing.
I tried building websites, I tried SEO, a lot of that stuff – it just failed miserably for like two years and then it was like, I guess it wasn’t a complete failure. I’d just make like enough money to pay my rent that month but I was still living from month to month and I didn’t have any of the freedom that I wanted, which is why I got into this.
And it was only when I met a mentor when I was living in LA, he actually showed me affiliate marketing from like a very close perspective where I interned for him and he basically said -do this, do this, do this – and it was the first time I had someone teach me what to do. Before I was just reading on online forums, reading e-books , researching blogs but I learnt how it was actually done and once I saw that, that just opened up a whole new world for me.
I saw the possibilities with affiliate marketing and how deep you can go with this and it was really something for me because, there’s like the scientific aspect of it when you’re analysing data, seeing what works, optimizing, all that. And there’s also the creative aspect where the marketing comes, where we’re innovating so I like how it mixes those two skill sets.
So, yeah, I think that’s why I’ve been doing it for so long.
Stephen: Yeah, and have you been enjoying it?
Has it been exactly what you’ve been looking for or is it something that you think will fizzle out over the next …?
Could you see yourself doing this forever?
[0:07:52] Tony: Definitely not forever, but I do enjoy it. It’s kind of weird because I got into this because I thought, “Oh, I’m just going to work from my laptop on the beach” So much like “whenever I like” full of freedom and I work 10 hours a day!
But then again it’s because I want to and because I really want to grow and because I like building this up and turning it into a business, a whole system that’s going to give me a lot more time freedom down the line so … As far as future potential, I do want to do something related to marketing and this whole issue, but not specifically affiliate marketing because I think the affiliate mindset is kind of short-term so it’s great for, like, cash flow generation but the ultimate goal is to funnel that cash somewhere else, to build something more long term.
Stephen: Yep, that’s interesting that you say that because I think I’ve seen that some affiliate marketers, I think, have a very short-term perspective on things and others can see it being scaled and systemized like you’ve been talking about. So, it’s interesting to see how some people, I guess, manage their marketing business, in affiliate marketing and outside of it as well, so yeah that’s interesting.
How do you systemize affiliate marketing, because you mention you’ve got media buyers, you’re not doing all this yourself. Obviously starting out you’ll have had to do a lot of it yourself, how did it get to where it is now?
[0:09:19] Tony: So your absolutely right. At first I was doing everything by myself and it was kind of burning me out because affiliate marketing, it’s not like, just one skill set.
It’s 7 or 12 different skill sets that you need to be proficient at. Like you don’t have to be super-amazing at any of them, but you have to be good at like, designing banners, copyrighting, data analysis, html, programming, all of that.
So before I was doing all that by myself and I was getting kind of burnt out because it was like, putting in all this work and a campaign would do well and then it would just die. It was like getting back on cycles, like being in a hamster wheel!
And one of the turning points for me was actually meeting Charles, our mutual friend, and he, I went to his affcelerator workshop – and it’s like a workshop on affiliate marketing – and basically had a look at systems, repairing damage, all of that stuff over the eight years he’s been doing it and that’s when I realised that I don’t have enough systems in place. Like I’m still doing everything myself.
A lot of this I can out-source. A lot of this I can break down any positives so that it’s not as time consuming. I don’t have to put as much energy into it.
I just focus on the high level stuff. So that’s when I started hiring, creating SOPs, and also picking out the most important tasks and focusing on those while passing aside the stuff that doesn’t really matter.
Stephen: Yeah, and with that were you profitable at that stage, that you could afford to start out-sourcing and systemizing your work?
[0:11:16] Tony: I was, but it was also more of a trust issue. I’ve talked to a lot of affiliates and I think everyone goes through this, where a lot of guys start out as a sole affilate.
They figure out a campaign or they figure out something that makes some money and they’re worried that if they give that away to someone else, like to an employee, that that person’s going to run away with it. So that’s kind of like a fear-based mindset and I’ve had that too so I had to push myself, I had to push my own comfort levels – so hiring, delegating, also the other fear was worrying that someone else may not do as good of a job as me because I have all this experience.
I can see the details of where someone I find at Odesk may kind of miss that. But then I heard another thing which was, if you can have someone else do something, if you can delegate a task to someone else and if they can do it 80% as well as you, then you should delegate it.
And that made me realise, like, they don’t have to do a perfect job. They just have to do good enough and enough where I’m not spending my time doing it.
Stephen: Yeah. It’s crazy when you think about leveraging your time and how important your time’s worth versus giving someone maybe a few thousand dollars to get something done and if they do, like, 80% of the job well then you’ll be sweet for, like … The job’ll get done regardless.
It just might not get done with the fine touches you’d expect but it’ll get done nonetheless. So …
[0:13:00] Tony: Right. And it’s also cool working with other people, because for me, it’s like I just always felt that I couldn’t out-source it because they would never do that great of a job.
Like I don’t know why I had that mental block but actually when I started doing it, now I see that ‘well, they’re seeing a lot of things that I’m not seeing’. So it’s actually, like, a mutually beneficial relationship.
Stephen: Yeah, it’s a fresh set of eyes on your campaigns, on your clicks, on everything that you’re doing, so … I think it’s funny because there’s a lot of things, for example, when I build a sales funnel there’s a lot of things I’m not good at and one of them’s graphics.
It took me a while to realize that I really wasn’t good in Photoshop – I was really bad. So I had to find out graphic designers and this and that, and it just changes your whole business.
It changes everything. So I can imagine that, I don’t know if you’re a big – I know graphics and coding, they’re probably two of the harder things to do if you’re not an actual coder or designer, so were you doing all those yourself initially?
Tony: Yeah, so I knew just the bare minimum to get by, so like, Photoshop I know like, four things – how to resize images and how to put in text and change the background – that’s it! No fancy shadows or any of that stuff.
And as far as html – I’d say my skills go as far as if you give me a site, I can change like the colours, the layout a little bit, the font but I’m not able to design a site from scratch. I would hire someone else for that.
Stephen: I’m exactly the same. With Photoshop – maybe use the magic wand button once or twice and save the html – I can play around with existing things once you’ve got them there but from scratch I’d have no chance – I wouldn’t know where to start!
So, it’s crazy isn’t it?
You’ve got to really know your stuff. And now, so how many people do you have on your team at the moment and what do they do?
[0:14:50] Tony: So I have five people.
Stephen: Five people – that’s pretty strong.
Tony: So two full-time media buyers and that’s for my business buying into Facebook and mobile – so I’ve two media buyers for mobile and for Facebook because Facebook is so huge everyone has a big team for that because there’s so many parts of the whole system. So I have three people just for Facebook.
And then a couple of Virtual Assistants.
Stephen: Cool and your Virtual Assistants are they based in somewhere like the Philippines or are they based …
Tony: Exactly. The Philippines and Columbia.
Stephen: Ok, Cool. How do you find working with them as opposed to having someone in-house? Do you think it would be a big difference? Is that something you’re looking to do, or you’re doing pretty well at the moment?
[0:15:53] Tony: I think it depends on the task because for some of my Virtual Assistants, they do, like, a lot of administrative stuff – I have a press blog – we post articles on it, things like that and that’s pretty straightforward. Also I have a guy who does landing pages so, we have a whole system we just follow which is awesome and it makes everything super-easy so it’s just like we have all the things that we each need to follow, as kind of a step-by-step process.
But I’ve also tried hiring accountants or a book-keeper from The Philippines and that was a little rough because she didn’t understand enough about my business because it’s just like we’d bring her in and she sees all the numbers but she doesn’t know what we actually do. So that was a bit tricky so I decided for book-keeping and accounting that I’d keep that in-house because then I can sit beside them and the train is a lot smoother.
Read and download the full transcription of my interview with Tony. We talk about everything from building a 7 figure affiliate team and media buying.
Stephen: Especially at the beginning as you’re growing your team as well because it sounds like you’re looking to grow it, working so many hours and growing the team, so I think it’s only going to be a bigger from here. So you want to get started on the right foot.
[0:17:16]Tony: Oh definitely yeah. That’s one thing that I regretted was not doing all this stuff from the beginning. I didn’t incorporate into a year into my business, so like when I realised how much extra tax I paid because I was a sole proprietor instead of an S-Corp I was ,like, “Damn, I shoulda done this a year ago!”.
Stephen: It’s crazy when you think back to all the things you could’ve done, just even six months, a year ago, and all the money that was just ‘left on the table’ but ‘live and learn’ right? It’s better than doing it six months later from now.
Tony: Yeah, exactly.
Stephen: That’s awesome and with your media buyers, so that’s a pretty, like, it’s not an easy job to fill. There’s not a lot of people out there just saying “I’m a media buyer and looking for a job”. How did you find people like that on your team as well?
[0:18:01] Tony: They were actually friends.
Stephen: Oh right. That was easy enough!
Tony: So, yeah it was super-easy. It was, like, “Hey buddy, want a job?” Awesome! It worked for me and at first I was a little hesitant because it’s like they’re friends, it’s like you have two different relationships. You’re friends with them but at the same time you’re, kind of, their boss. So I don’t really have challenges with that and so far I think it’s great working with them, and I think sometimes having the friendship there is a benefit because there is a level of respect.
Stephen: And they might go above and beyond what they would do for a regular employer?
Tony: Yeah exactly, exactly.
Stephen: And where they already media buying in the affiliate, sort of, space before you joined forces with them or did you train them up from what you knew?
Tony: Yeah, so they had some computer experiences; one of the guys had some marketing experience but it was very, just, day-to-day training and we are actually doing it remotely for a while because I used to live in Vegas and then I moved to San Diego but they stayed in Vegas so we were doing a lot of the training remotely. But now they’re actually moving here to San Diego so it’s gonna be awesome!
Stephen: Yeah, and you mentioned while I was there that you’re getting a new office, or you may have already moved in? Are you excited about that?
[0:19:28] Tony: Oh dude, so excited! It’s right across from the baseball park, so unfortunately we don’t get to – our office doesn’t face the baseball field – but we can, like, climb on the roof and just watch the game! So it’s really cool.
Stephen: I remember when I was in San Diego I went to one of the games there. In the middle of the day. I don’t know, San Diego is weird man! They run, like, baseball games at two in the afternoon on, like, a Wednesday and I’m like “Who’s going to be there?!” and it was packed! So yeah it was crazy but I thought that baseball seems pretty crazy. San Diego’s beautiful, I’ve got to say, so if anyone’s listening that hasn’t been there before definitely go have a look and go exploring. It’s a great city.
The States are awesome by the way, pretty crazy especially in Vegas – we had a pretty big night that one, but anyway I’m getting sidetracked.
So with your affiliate marketing and everything what’s the goal for the next 6-12 months? Where do you want to take it?
Do you have financial and revenue goals?
Is there a certain team you want to grow out?
Where do you want to take it?
[0:20:26]Tony: Yes so my goal is to, right now, I’m still in the business operator phase so that’s something I learned at Tony Robbins Business Backstream that I went in August, where it’s like kind of my business but it’s not working in it. So I want to get to the point where everything’s kind of working without me.
I have the media buyer stream, I have everyone trained. I have the systems in place so I just need to step in once in a while for consulting or for strategic purposes but not, like, launching campaigns or coding landing pages, all that.
So that’s my goal for the next 6-12 months. And then long-term goal is to build into a long-term asset because, as you know, media buying and just affiliate marketing in general, it’s not really like a real business in the sense that you don’t own anyting at the end of the day. It’s like you still have, email lists, and you still have your podcasts and.
Stephen: So you can’t sell the business, that’s the thing, it’s not a sellable asset.
Tony: Exactly so I think our business model is going to evolve and we’ll probably go in the direction of agencies to put ourselves into a, like, network.
[0:22:0] Stephen: Cool and when you say you say you’re building yourself into an agency/network, how would that look? So what would need to shift from what you’re doing now to building it into an asset like that?
Tony: So we would definitely need to get someone on ‘Biz Dev’ (business development) to actively seek out clients ‘cos right now we just work with affiliate networks and we don’t really have clients that we work with on cases that we have relationships with, so we want to build more into that; and also thinking about also doing some things on the traffic site, where we can sell traffic or just monetize the traffic in other ways.
Stephen: Right that’s really interesting. It sounds like it’s going to be pretty different. Have you seen anyone else do something like this before or is this going to be completely new for you?
Tony: I’m still figuring it out. It’s like I’m, kind of, looking at other companies who’ve you know grown past affiliate marketing and kind of seeing what they’re doing, whether they’re just like taking any of the ideas of deciding where do we want to go.[0:23:07] Stephen: And what would you recommend for someone who’s just getting into affiliate marketing?
Where should they start?
Tony: So there’s a lot of resources online but not that many good ones, I’ll say that up-front! Because there’s just, like, overload of information so I would say, Top 3 Resources: number one would be:
Charles Ngo; and the reason I say that is his stuff inspired a lot of my practices right now. So just find his blog and see, like, how you do stuff from, like, from a fundamental perspective.
So it wasn’t, like, flashy, like, some other affiliate blogs where they’re just telling you how much money they make, or just ‘one hot tip’, ‘right now this month’ and kind of like you can just tell they’re real and the fundamental stuff is there.
The next one I want to say is STM, which stands for Stack That Money. It’s a Forum with a lot of affiliate marketers on there and a lot of, basically, I want to say that 80% of the people in the industry are on STM. So there’s a lot of information on there.
It could be a little overwhelming for someone who’s completely new but it’s also very inspiring because you hear success stories and one of the things that motivated me was going onto STM and keep reading about how someone made, like, $50,000 in a month! Like, holy shit, that’s so much money!
And then the next one would be someone who made $300,000 in a month – like that’s not possible! So it really challenges your beliefs and it inspires you to see what other people are doing.
Stephen: It’s funny when you see that and I remember when I first got into online marketing. You sort of go through all the forums and all the content that’s out there and you see these numbers and you think, “Man there’s no way these guys – like they just did a product launch and they said they did $200,000 in 24 hours”.
But then sometimes it’s pretty dodgy, like they’ve got affiliates and things and they’ve got all these different ends where, like, you’ve got to sort of be careful like you said. Look at the stuff that’s real as well as looking at the stuff that all these people are talking about and the hype and all the strategies and all that and finding a balance.
[0.25:37] Tony: Exactly. Exactly, it’s like I think, like at the end of the day everyone needs a reason to get into affiliate marketing besides just for money. Even if it’s like, what the money will get you.
Because after a while the money’s just all the same. It’s just numbers in the bank account and then it doesn’t really – I just don’t think it justifies, like, spending time in front of the computer for 10 hours straight like making an extra $10,000 or whatever.
So having a higher reason, like, really for me at least it drives me to just, like, ride it out when things aren’t going so well and also not get too reckless when things aren’t going great. So for me that’s stuff like, providing for my family, because they live in China so – I’ll guess we’ll get to that another time but – they’re a very important part of my life, so whenever I think about just money in general like that that’s one of the first things that comes to my mind.
Stephen: And when you thought of, I don’t want to say mated because that sort of puts ‘the cart before the horse’ but when you sort of felt like you’d brought your business together more in a more systemized fashion, what was one of the first things that you sort of, maybe ‘splurged’ on or thought about spending money on that you probably wouldn’t have spent money on a year ago?
[0:27:06 ]Tony: It sounds kind of corny but I buy all, like, organic foods and kombuchas -that does wonders. I just eat really healthy. I get massages – just taking care of myself. So I do the float tank.
Stephen: Is that the one where they put you in the dark, sort of, tank, thing and it’s all blue?
Tony: Yeah. It’s called a Sensory Deprivation Tank and it’s good for relaxation and healing so like you go in there and if you have like a really good session, you forget that your body exists after a while. So it’s just your mind floating. It’s really cool feeling
Stephen: That sounds scary man!
Tony: Yeah, that’s what my girlfriend said. She like, she kept the door open because she’s scared of the dark.
Stephen: I can understand that. Jeez! Because I think they just brought them here into Australia. They’re pretty new.
I think they might be new everywhere, but they’re really new here. And I was looking into it to try it out so I’ll have to get onto that pretty soon. But that was one of the first things you did. As soon as you made some money in the internet marketing world
Tony: Yeah, ‘cos you remember what I was saying earlier how I had that sickness thing?
So I just wanted really to put my health first and just make sure that my body’s good and everything’s taken care of. Yeah, there’s nothing really like crazy -well yes, the office, that we were talking about earlier, but yeah I didn’t even have a car I just Uber everywhere.
Stephen: That’s pretty cool though. I think just that in itself. Taking Uber everywhere.
I’ve spoken to a few people and like “Man it’d be so cool just to take Uber everywhere and not have to worry about a car” and sort of living on, like, the lean sort of, start-up kind of life just going on a minimalist sort of lifestyle …
Tony: Yeah and I did the math and it works out to be about the same
Stephen: Really? So how much, like, I was about to say how much travelling do you do?
Tony: I’m downtown. I’m downtown so everything’s like close by so I walk a lot too but like having a car in the city with like parking rules and insurance. It’s like 300 bucks and if you’re leasing a car too it’s more like, with Uber I’m spending 200 bucks a month.
Stephen: 200 a month? That’s pretty good.
Yes, I guess being in the city is a big plus. I know here in Melbourne I live just outside, probably about 15-20 minutes outside the city, maybe even less but adding up going up and back, I think it’d probably be a little bit more. But it’s interesting because I’d love to try just a month where you just take Uber, or a couple of months where you compare it to what it’s like having a car.
Tony: Yeah also the other thing is I hate driving.
Stephen: Oh really?
Tony: Yeah maybe I’m genetically predisposed to be bad at it because I’m Asian but, like, I just don’t like it and I’d much rather just chill in the car than have to worry about the road and everything.
Stephen: I heard on a podcast when the guy was talking about that when you’re in Uber obviously if you sit there you can do work as well so I don’t know if there’s much of an R&R on Uber but I’m sure it would help.
Tony: You know what car I do want to get though?
Tony: So have you seen the new Tesla?
Stephen: I’ve seen, I think, the S1, is that the sports? I haven’t seen, I think, the new one.
Tony: It’s the same car, but they came out with a new software upgrade and it has auto-drive.
Stephen: It has what? Auto-drive?
Tony: So yeah, it actually drives for you.
Stephen: No way!
Tony: Only on the highways though.
Stephen: So can it change lanes on its own?
Tony: I think so!
Stephen: That’s crazy, man! That’s like so nuts when you think about the technology that we’ve got now, that cars are starting to drive themselves, that’s scary!
Tony: I know, it is scary. It’s cool and scary at the same time.
Stephen: That’s nuts because think about it, if cars can drive themselves – I don’t mean to scare you but – surely they can become affiliate marketers? Surely you can get, like, a robot that can start building landing pages and getting higher conversions or, like I don’t know – I’m scared! That’s scary man, but at the same time it’s really cool.
How much is one of those cars going for these days?
Tony: I think around 80,000 or 90,000 depending which model you get.
[0:31:20] Stephen: Well, I know Rolls Royce came out with a new car recently. I saw my News Feed populate with that so I think I might have to save up a little bit more to get that one! But, that’s crazy, that’s awesome man.
Well, look, we’ll start wrapping it up but I think now with affiliate marketers out there it’s like you said, you’ve just got to find the right content, you’ve got to go through the right way, you’ve got to sort of cut through all the crap; and I think you’ve done that really well.
So, how old are you as well?
Stephen: And do you think that anybody can do this at any age?
Or it is something that you’ve got to be at a certain age or you’ve got to learn stuff?
Tony: I think that anyone can do it. I know guys that are 40 and 50 doing it and I know guys that are not even 20 yet. They are both successful so it’s just, like, all that people using their age as an excuse – it’s just an excuse. We’re all born with the same brain capabilities so, yeah, I don’t see a reason why someone can’t do it because of their age. I will say that one of most important keys to success that I think is having a mentor. Because, for me personally, I struggled with this for two years. That was just with stuff online. But, I actually had a friend, like, sit down with me and teach me, walk me through how to set up everything. That’s when I started getting there.
Stephen: So where would someone go about finding a mentor?
[0:32:54] Tony: Finding a mentor?
That’s kind of tricky because affiliate marketing is like an industry where it’s kind of secretive. Well, it’s like someone who’s doing well they probably have their own secret source they’re just not going to share with anyone.
I would say a good strategy is to do what I did and offer to intern for someone. If you really want to learn it and you’re willing to invest in it then because you can do it for free.
Because then, the education you’re getting is going to be way more valuable than the, I don’t know, the 3 or 6 months you put in.
Stephen: Yep, and with like you said paying for things and going to events, is that a key one as well, where you can network with people? Going to affiliate marketing events?
[0:33:43) Tony: Oh definitely. Definitely because yeah you get to network with people, form business relationships, work with them, hear about some tips. Also you get inspired because you can feel like you’re doing well but you hear about another group of guys who are way bigger! So I think that’s really cool, just meeting and also different ideas.
Just hearing, like, ‘cos for me personally I’m so focused on Facebook and mobile – I think like that’s the only way to make enough money online, but obviously there’s having your products, e-commerce,like, there’s so many other things and I think one of the keys to success is businesses being able to take something from another industry and then applying it to your own because not everyone else is doing that. So just hearing ideas from different people in the industry, that’s really helpful as well.
Stephen: So, yeah, I think that’s a really cool one and I do that a lot as well. Sort of derive ideas from other industries and other verticals and bring them into your own, sort of, business.
You know, in a weird sort of way, a way someone else might not even think about it. Well, so much for wrapping it up, but when you go to events can this get expensive for people?
How much do you spend on going to events and when should people start spending and going to these events?
[0:35:06] Tony: The events are like, ASW and ASC, they are the biggest North American affiliate events. ASW is in January and that’s the one everyone goes to because it’s the biggest and that one’s only $99 if you get a ticket early enough.
So I mean the flight and everything that’s going to cost more. So not only does this get you inside the conventions and I’m not saying I do this but, you can even find someone to split a badge and trade-off or find someone who’s leaving and take their badge as well! Hopefully no-one from ASW is listening to this and also there’s a lot of parties.
A lot of them are free and anyone can sign up so going to those you get to meet a lot of people working in the industry.
Stephen: And obviously networking is super-important, I don’t need to go into that, but yeah I think it’s just crazy. Even on my trip recently just coming out and speaking to people in person; so many people that like you may have connected with online and then you come and see them in person or you go out and have a drink, it’s just a different feeling altogether.
Tony: Oh definitely, yeah. It’s like I always call the penthouse, it’s how I meet them in person.
Stephen: Yeah, I reckon there’s people I’ve known for about two years or three years that I’ve never met in person and I just speak to them on a regular basis and do business with them, like probably spent thousands of dollars going back and forth between buying their stuff or them buying my stuff and it’s crazy. Yeah, it’s just really interesting.
Tony: And this industry, it’s all online marketing. You get to meet people from all over the world and it’s just like so cool because you’re colleagues, your like partners are half-way across the world from you. The internet really gives you that opportunity.
[0:36:59] Stephen: It’s crazy when you think about, like, how you see like, you know what scares me even more? You’re going past, like, a brick and mortar business like a bakery or something and then you wonder, the guy who just bought the roll is probably like an affiliate marketer and has guys in The Philippines and media buyers in, like, Russia and developers in Romania and, like, it’s just crazy how you have no idea, like, how networked someone is and then you see this brick and mortar company, like struggling and they’re just relying on foot traffic when there’s so much other traffic out there.
Tony: Right exactly and sometimes I feel like that, I feel that I’m not a brick and mortar guy because I’m so focused on myself and there’s a whole other world out there on the internet that I’m not even seeing so that’s the stuff that I’m not really involved in.
[0:37:44] Stephen: It’s nuts. And what sort of tools would you recommend to guys using internet affiliate marketing? Like, what tools do you use on a regular basis?
Tony: So the first thing you need is a tracker. So what a tracker does is it tells you basically where each click is coming from, what device it is -whether it’s Android, iOS, what country it’s from, all of that.
It’s also going to tell you how much you’re spending and how much you’re making which is the most important part. So you know whether or not you’re making money in a good time.
So it’s pretty much the industry standard. It’s called volume, you know, VM, if you like them because it’s just very easy to use, very powerful and it’s hosted on their servers which, it’s kind of like a double-edged sword, but I’m not like technical at all so it’s just convenient. I don’t have to clear up a database every day with traffic.
Stephen: I’ve played around with their tool actually. It’s really cool even from a non-affiliate marketer perspective. I use, sort of, the same things when I build sales funnels – not to that extent where you guys have to know the exact mobile type and things like that – but yeah, it’s a really neat tool and it’s self-hosted on their servers.
Tony: Right, so I’d say VM for tracking, for landing pages I use Dreamweaver or for graphic design I use Photoshop. And I want to say that’s pretty much it. Maybe some spy tools once in a while.
[0:39:33] Stephen: Yeah, so things like AdBeat, What Runs where, that sort of stuff?
Tony: Right, right. So there’s a couple of more affiliate focused spy tools where you get to find campaigns that more affiliates are running. So something like WhatRuns here, you find a lot of on there. It’s helpful.
It’s great for idea generation but I think it’s lacking in some of the more active response marketing. So for an example of a mobile spy tool, that gives you affiliate marketing campaigns, is Mobile AdScout, which focuses on mobile pod traffic.
One that’s good for Facebook is Social Adclub. Another example of one of the tools that is good for me is BoxupAds. So I’d say those are pretty much a standard. I don’t know – those are basically the main ones.
Stephen: What was the one you mentioned for the Facebook one? I think it may have broken up a little bit.
Tony: Social AdClub.
Stephen: Social AdClub? That’s cool, I’ll have to look into that one as well. I’ve been looking for a good Facebook spy tool.
Tony: That one’s good because it gives you mobile ….
You want the ones that give you the right hand ads, because that’s what Facebook had, like, I don’t know up until two years ago. So this one actually gives you mix-it-ads.
Stephen: That’s awesome. I’ll have to look at that one. We’ll have all those in the show notes as well, so if you’re listening and want to go back to those tools we’ll add the links in the show notes.
But yeah man, it’s been awesome having you on. I think everyone’s going to be jumping on some of those tools and systems and love your ideas. So if people want to reach out to you or connect with you, where can they do that?
Tony: So I actually don’t have a blog or anything so it’s kind of hard to get a hold of me.
Stephen: Typical underground affiliate marketer here?
Tony: Yeah, I’m not one of those guys who like to hit the spotlight. I do the hide behind the scenes . So right now I am partnering up with Charles on affcelerator, so I do speak at his workshops and you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephen: Awesome! That’s epic man. Well, you guys can shoot him an email there if you want to reach out with him and yeah like he said he’s very underground, hard to catch a hold of so, I had to twist his arm a little bit to get him on, so it’s good. Loving sharing these deep insights into affiliate marketing.
Well, it’s been a pleasure having you on man.
Stephen: Can’t wait to catch up soon when I come back to The States.
Tony: Definitely – a taste of Spirit Airlines?[Laughing]
Stephen: Well, it’ll be big time when we head back so I’ll let everyone know on the website here if we’ve got any other listeners in The States, we’ll have to do a big catch-up or something when we’re in Vegas or San Diego.
Tony: For sure!
Stephen: Awesome! I’ll talk to you soon man and let you get back to it.
Tony: Alright, awesome, take care!
Stephen: Take care – Bye!
Read and download the full transcription of my interview with Tony. We talk about everything from building a 7 figure affiliate team and media buying.