568: The Secret Growth Hack to Growing Your Affiliate Program w/ Hailey Friedman

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Hailey Friedman, Product Marketing Manager at RealtyShares and Co-founder of Growth Marketing Pro.

... Your brand? Start a podcast, invite your industries thought leaders to be guests on your show and start reaping the benefits of having a network full of industry influencers. Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to the B tob growth show, podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieve explosive growth. What do you're looking for? Techniques and strategies or tools and resources? You've come to the right place. I'm Jonathan Green and I'm James Carberry. Let's get it into the show. Welcome back to the BB growth show. We are here today with Haley Freedman. She is the product marketing manager at Realty share. She's also the CO founder at Growth Marketing Pro Haley, how you doing today? Doing Great. How are you? I am wonderful. So, Hayley, we're going to be talking about the Secret Growth Hack to affiliate...

...marketing today, but before we jump into that, I'd love for you to give a little bit of context to the folks listening. Just tell us a little bit about realty shares and and also about what you're up to a growth marketing pro yeah, so, bial ty shares is a company that is disrupting the way that people invest in real estate, making it possible to real estate in an best and real estate projects across the country from your computer. Love it so so I'm helping them acquire customers over there. And then I also have a blog called growth marketing pro where I'm sharing all of my marketing tactics every week. So definitely check that out. Love it awesome. And so, Hey, they we're going to spend the rest of our time together talking about this. This this growth hack for for affiliate marketing. Before we jump into that, just to make sure that the listeners can understand where we're coming from here, could you, could you explain to us what an affiliate program is for those that maybe aren't as familiar with it? Yeah, yeah,...

...for those that don't know, an affiliate program really means just building relationships with bloggers and influencers in your space that have an online audience and paying them poorly that they send to your site. So usually you both sign an agreement and you select the set costs for conversion and it's mutually beneficial the partners. Talking about Your Business. They're getting paid when full sign up. Got It. Okay. So now that that we're all kind of on the same page there, I'd love to hear and the story of how you how you discovered this, this growth hack that we're going to be unpacking today. Yeah, I'd love to tell you the story behind it. It's kind of funny story. What happened was my my manager real tsher he's told me, you know, you'd like to start an affiliate program I knew nothing about an affiliate program. I had to educate myself off at that point. Now I know the reason why building an affiliate program matters is because the conversion from people who are coming to your site after someone else tells them to, after they're reading a blog...

...from a blogger that they follow loyally and that bloggers talking about your business, that person who visit your site is four times more likely to convert than the average customer. So yeah, so it's super powerful. So when my manager asked me to start affiliate program it real tea shares. I kind of went and created a list of all the possible bloggers and influencers we could connect with and I reach out to them and I reached out to them, letting them know that we were starting affiliate program and I probably reached out to fifty different companies and did not get one response. Oh Wow, so it's like, okay, no one cares about so I'm going to go focus on other channels that are going to work. So I kind of dropped that for a bit. And then I had a side blog that I was working on about the top restaurants, the top five restaurants in every category. It was kind of a fun project I was working on. I'm still back in New York before...

I moved to San Francisco, and so I was writing these top five lists of like the best restaurants to go to for pizza, her for Burgers or Sushi, your or each random category. Yeah, and what happened was I would post the blog post I'd posted on facebook as well and on twitter and mention it and I tag all the restaurants that I mentioned, and what happened was that over fifty percent of the restaurants I mentioned ended up retweeting my stuff or liking it or sharing it. Yeah, who doesn't want to share the fact that they're awesome? Exactly, and but but really, really big brand names like carvel ice cream or caviare or I don't enough your familiar with something's big name like those Caminos, like big restaurants in New York? Yeah, and so I kind of just had this epiphany. Know, people just love being recognized. You know. Yeah, these are big companies, but they're they're they have a social media person sitting in a computer waiting for someone to say awesome stuff about them. So, you know, people don't get recognized...

...as often as you think. So giving them the opportunity is powerful. Yeah. So how did you take that finding and then approach it to, or kind of cater it to, the affiliate marketing outreach? Like how did that shape when you went back to kind of re engage that, that campaign that you had left sitting earlier when fifty people didn't respond to you? Yeah, for sure. So I took this concept and I ran with an a realty shares, and what I did was I put content together around the top sixty real estate investing blogs or the top seventy alternative investing blogs and really just any category I could think of. That would be aligne blogs that we're speaking to our audience and we post these blog posts on the website and then I'd reach out to every single person that I mentioned and I sent them an email that was worded differently, and a lot of the people were the same people that...

I've shout to the first time and I said, you know, hey, my name is hally, I'm reaching out because I love what you're doing on your blog. You just created a list of the top sixty real estate investing blogs and we ranked you at the top of our list and I was I was hoping you'd be willing to consider sharing this with your readers. And you know, if I'm missing at the other blogs, let me know. So I kind of emailed them and didn't didn't mention our affiliate program at all, and so I ended up emailing about three hundred and seventy five influencers. Over the course of all the blog posts that we ended up posting, sixty six of them ended up signing up for our affiliate program as. So the next email was you know, after I sent them that email that they were mentioned in the blog, that half of them responded? Wow, like that's amazing. I did had no idea there were so many other bloggers out they're happy to share you know, they gave me what they massed and then and I was like thanks, you know, in case you're interested, we've been working...

...on our affiliate program and here are the detail els. And then they were super interested. They responded a lot of them. You know, I'd be very interested. Let me know more details so that, all in all, like with that approach, we had an eighteen percent conversion rate into our affiliate program compared to as the euro response rate the first round. What I love about it, Haley, I've you know, I've started a start at a facebook group and I talked a lot on linkedin about this idea of value first and thinking creatively about if you want something from anyone, whether it's you want to be featured on their podcast, you want them to buy your product, you know, you want them to talk about, you know, your CEO and in their Forbes column, whatever the case may be. If you want something, and as marketers we often do, want want a lot of things from people. If you want that thing, you have to figure out how you can add value first. And I love this example of you putting together these really well done round up articles featuring the best of in an industry.

And obviously, when you. When you highlight someone in that they're going to feel honored and they're going to be excited to engage with you because you did something for them up front, as opposed to just going straight for the ask and you know you shared the was all zero out of fifty with with the original approach. Why do you think people aren't putting in that extra step on the front end? Is It is it laziness? Is it just lack of awareness that that's what works like? What are your thoughts on that? Yeah, I think it's a combination of things. It's either lack of awareness that that's what works or, you know, pressure. I think a lot of people are under pressure to meet deadlines and so they want to get to the point really quick. But it takes a little bit more finesse than that. Yep, Yep, and and clearly it maps to results. Just to go a little bit deeper on kind of the affiliate program that you guys put together, what are some of the requirements for those folks that were writing about you...

...or that you are wanting to write about you and you pay them to do that? Tell me a bit more about that program high level and then maybe share some more granular details. Yes, so getting the affiliate to sign up is one big feat, but getting them to actually go and write content about your company is another. So at you're likely not the only affiliate partner that any given blogger influencer has. So it does take a bit of hand holding to get them started. So the first thing you need is a tool to manage and track your affiliate programs. So you're going to want to be fully give them a unique link to use so that when people click it, you can track and they can track how many clicks are getting and how many sign ups are getting how much money they're making. So there's there's a number of tools that are available to help you do that. One called Omnistar, one called ambassador and there's there's a bunch of others. So in addition to giving them a link, you also want to give them content, if you can.

So adds that they put on their site, ideas for blog posts they could write, a lot of data, interesting facts about Your Business or press times that you were mentioned in the press. You want to try and stay top of mind with them and make it as easy as possible for them to get started. And so is that communication. So once they've signed up, are you sending them you know, those those topic ideas and different things like that through platform like ambassador, or is that one off emails from you or from the person you know leading the affiliate program that is doing that kind of at a hand to hand combat way, or is it through the platform? Yeah, so it's both. You can provide all those tools in the platform, but you don't want to have to. You want to leave them to their own devices to fund that. So let them know it's there. Remind them on a weekly basis about different tools and approaches that they can use their...

...you know, they don't have to only talk about in their blogs. They can also email out to their email list or put ads on their blog or share it on social media. So just continuously giving them ideas to kind of take the brain work away from them. I love it. And so, Hayley, is there. Is there anything else before I let you go today that that you think would be helpful for our listeners to understand as it relates to kind of affiliate programs in general? Yeah, I think getting people activated to send over their first referral your way can it can meet tough to get over the hump but they're are ways to kind of encourage them to get started, you know, providing like time sensitive promotions for them to get them to make the first move. It's helpful, got it. And so saying, you know, hey, we're paying like a higher commission until next Friday or like what. What would those time sensitive offers be? Yeah, exactly. Okay. So just, you know, send us your first conversion by x...

...date and we will put lock in a special rate for good. Love it, Haley, if there's somebody listening to this, they want to dig more into these affiliate marketing programs can look like or they just want to stay connected with you, what's the best way for them to do that, as well as how can they learn more about realty shares and growth marketing pro yeah, for sure. So I wrote a blog post actually all all about this affiliate tactic that I use and detail information about how to manage your affiliate program so it's on my blog growth marketing pro if you want to head over there and check it out. And if people want to learn more about really shares, really SHARESCOM head over there and check it out and shoot me an email, which you can find on my blog. If you have any question. Love it, and you're also pretty active on Linkedin as well. So if you're if you're doing the linkedin thing, make sure to follow Haley there. She's got some great content as well. So, Hayley, thank you so much...

...for your time today. This has been fantastic. I really appreciate it. Also, it was so great to meet you and great to be here. Thanks so much. To ensure that you never miss an episode of the B Tob Growth Show, subscribe to the show and Itunes or your favorite podcast player. This guarantees that every episode will get delivered directly to your device. If you or someone you know would be an incredible guest for the B to be growth show, email me at Jonathan at sweet fish Mediacom. Let us know we love connecting with be to be executives and we love sharing their wisdom and perspective with our audience. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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