In this episode of The Business Gay Podcast, host Calan Breckon speaks with Editor-in-Chief of the PartnerStack Publisher, Chloe Tse.
Chloe considers herself a gaysian journalist, media critic, and social justice warrior with a background in print and digital magazines. In addition to running content marketing for PartnerStack, Chloe has been published in The Toronto Star, Curve, Fashion, and the Food Network Canada just to name a few. When she’s not promoting ecosystems in the SaaS world (Software as a service) or intersectional feminism and emphasizing the importance of positive representation, she’s enjoying lesbian rom coms and appreciating great storytelling.
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Key Takeaways for quick navigation:
- [01:43] PartnerStack Overview: PartnerStack is an all-in-one ecosystem platform with a partnership relationship management platform at its core, connecting with some of the largest B2B networks globally.
- [02:55] Affiliate Roles on PartnerStack: PartnerStack accommodates both businesses offering affiliate programs and individuals (like influencers) sharing affiliate links, creating a centralized platform for managing affiliate relationships.
- [03:37] Affiliate Marketing’s Real Impact: Affiliate marketing, when done strategically, serves as an indirect channel that leads to tangible revenue, emphasizing the importance of understanding audience and product fit.
- [05:41] Strategic Approach for Businesses: Businesses engaging in affiliate marketing need a proper strategy, focusing on low consideration, high-volume transactions, and aligning with the target audience for success.
- [15:34] TikTok as an Interest Platform: TikTok’s unique setup as an interest-based platform allows for authentic engagement, and the introduction of the TikTok shop may provide opportunities for genuine product promotion within niche communities.
- [22:09] Marketers should identify opportunities for affiliate marketing based on their go-to-market strategy, understanding the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and audience.
- [23:03] Creators should focus on understanding their audience, evaluating the volume and quality, and aligning with products that resonate with their niche.
- [24:42] When starting with affiliate marketing, creators can begin by promoting products they already use and like, reaching out to companies with affiliate programs.
- [25:22] Opting for recurring revenue affiliate programs, especially in the Software as a Service (SaaS) category, provides a stable foundation for building residual income.
- [30:42] As affiliate marketing programs scale, using PartnerStack or similar tools helps manage relationships, automate payments, and streamline administrative tasks.
[00:00:00] Calan Breckon: Looking to grow your business? PartnerStack accelerates the growth of your partner ecosystem by simplifying every step of your partnership journey so that you can find new customers, grow your market share, and boost demand for your products. Trusted by companies like Monday.com, Apollo.io, and Vimeo, PartnerStack is your go to resource for partner management and affiliate program software. Head on over to CalanBreckon.com/PartnerStack to take the free quiz on affiliate marketing, or just click the link in the show notes. Now let’s get on to today’s episode.
Welcome to the Business Gay Podcast, where we talk about all things business, marketing, and entrepreneurship. I’m your host, Calan Breckon, and on today’s episode, I have Editor in Chief of the PartnerStack publisher, Chloe Tse. Chloe considers herself a gaysian journalist, media critic, and social justice warrior with background in print and digital magazines. In addition to running content marketing for PartnerStack, Chloe has been published in the Toronto Star, Curve, Fashion, and the Food Network Canada, just to name a few. When she’s not promoting ecosystems in the SaaS world or intersectional feminism and emphasizing the importance of positive representation, she’s enjoying lesbian rom coms and appreciating great storytelling. I’m really excited to talk to Chloe today about affiliate marketing. So let’s jump in.
All right, Chloe, I am so freaking excited to have you on the show today because we are going to be talking about affiliate marketing and kind of what that is and what that means for the everyday person. Because I think a lot of people hear the term affiliate marketing and they think of their Aunt’s Juice job or their friend who’s hawking some of these pills or supplements and all that kind of stuff. That is not what we are talking about today.
[00:01:53] Chloe Tse: We’re not talking about MLMs.
[00:01:55] Calan Breckon: No. We are diving into the actual business around what affiliate marketing is in today’s terms, online, and actually some cool stuff that TikTok is now starting to do. And we’re going to dive into that as well. But to start us off, Chloe, what is PartnerStack?
[00:02:12] Chloe Tse: Oh, my goodness. So PartnerStack, that’s where I work, my place of employment. But also ultimately like partner. Stack itself is an all in one ecosystem platform with like a PRM, a partnership relationship management platform at the heart of it that connects directly with a network and one of the largest B. Two B networks in the world with partners ready to make partner program magic. Which is where you’d find affiliate marketing as one of the partner programs that can be run on PartnerStack.
[00:02:41] Calan Breckon: Okay, so to break that down for people who are listening, basically, I’m on PartnerStack because I’m an affiliate. I have lots of affiliate links that I use. That’s what you probably listened to one when you listened to this episode. At the very beginning, that would have been my affiliate link, my affiliate system. So inside of PartnerStack, you can be one of two things. You can be a business offering, hey, I’m going to pay you a certain percentage for if somebody buys this product through your link. Or you can be the person like me on the other side saying, I’m going to share that link and then every time there’s a sale or multiple sales, I’m going to get a percentage of that sale. So this is kind of what we’re talking about. And PartnerStack is the home where a lot of these live. So it’s a really easy place to manage all of your affiliate links.
[00:03:25] Chloe Tse: Well, you’re exactly right. PartnerStack was actually founded as an affiliate solution for B, two B tech companies. It’s been like developing an affiliate management platform and marketplace and network since 2015 and that’s when we were founded. Today, PartnerStack supports more than 500 B, two B tech companies that run their partner programs and 400 of which are running affiliate programs. So that is kind of a big part of our business. Affiliate marketing is real and it can happen. It’s easy to get caught up in the acronym game when you get into partnerships, for sure. But ultimately PartnerStack helps people help people. So whether you’re on the vendor side or the partner side, it’s really like an opportunity for vendors and or companies to partner up with folks like you and relevant content creators and help promote products and share audiences. So that’s kind of like the really great exciting opportunity. You can look at it also as a form of co marketing that drives literal revenue.
[00:04:27] Calan Breckon: Yeah, to break it down. It’s like the influencer marketing. The influencer is influencing people saying, go buy this product. They go through a specific special link and then they get a piece of the sale from that product or they’ve been paid a lump sum to do that. I prefer to get the link because then I get every single time somebody goes through that from now until forever, I’m going to get some sales on there or some recurring revenue tracking it. I know, right? You got to track it. Got to track it. So I also want to say I’m pretty sure people know what these terms are, but B2B means business to business and B2C means business to customer. So just because I know that we’re going to be throwing those around a lot. Can we explain what SAS is? Because we’ve said SaaS.
[00:05:10] Chloe Tse: SAS, like software as a service.
[00:05:12] Calan Breckon: Yeah, just so I wanted to make sure that people knew because we’re going to also say SaaS a lot as well. So SaaS is software as a service. So any kind of software online that you’re using, like I use ConvertKit for my email marketing, that is a SaaS product. I am a partner on PartnerStack. That is a SaaS product. So I just wanted to make sure before we really dive into the weeds that everybody knew these acronyms before truly, truly dive in.
[00:05:37] Chloe Tse: Okay, good level set because SaaS is also kind of linked to startup land too. So it’s interesting because people sometimes look at it that way. But SaaS also connects to mid market and enterprise companies as well. But it’s interesting. So it’s just software cloud based workies, right?
[00:05:58] Calan Breckon: Techie stuff. Yay. Okay, so how does this type of marketing benefit businesses? Let’s dive into that kind of conversation now.
[00:06:05] Chloe Tse: I mean for businesses that are kind of leaning into a proper strategy and doing a bit more than a side of the desk effort into affiliate marketing, it becomes an indirect channel that leads to literal revenue.
Obviously there has to be critical thinking and a strong understanding of audience fit and product fit from both a business perspective and audience perspective.
Some characteristics of a B, two B tech company that typically suits affiliate programs are like low consideration purchase, high volume transactions, companies that offer a free tier or low priced options, four figures annually or less established categories, content creators, affiliates that are already kind of writing about your space. So that’s where the fit and the understanding of content audience is really important, especially if you want to see success with it. Because if you’re like for you right, you’re doing business stuff. If an affiliate for Tampons comes to you might not be the best fit, might not be. So it’s really understanding the kind of the users that you’re attracting, your audience, your readership or whatever platform you’re kind of leveraging affiliates for the product market fit is key for your direct go to market motion. So I think it’s often seen as kind of a more go to market marketing option for companies to kind of create that indirect channel to also generate that revenue.
It supports brand awareness and all that stuff.
[00:07:34] Calan Breckon: Yeah, I always thought of it as like a really great low cost way for a business to grow exponentially. Instead of spending all this money on advertising, they find a bunch of affiliates which could be synonymous in today’s language with influencer and then have them go out and spread the word. So it’s huge business. Lots of people are actually genuinely making a lot of money online. And also I want people to understand that if you went to the Wall Street Journal and they sent you off to go look at some sort of a product or something, I can guarantee you that that is probably an affiliate.
[00:08:13] Chloe Tse: Link to a think there’s. I think that a lot of publishers do it editorially already and the opportunity is to monetize that audience and also support. So I think it depends.
News outlets can’t do it ethically, so typically they’ll have a branded content section. So spoiler alert, I come from a B2C background and so the experience in media with affiliates has been very different than B2B with affiliates. But having been kind of a player on both sides. It’s super interesting.
In my B2C days, I worked within Lifestyle portfolios. So a good example would be of a good use of affiliates because we partnered with some affiliates, like CJ Affiliates, and we did Amazon and we created Storefronts and everything else. And what we actually found was we had really important conversations as editors.
Are we selling too hard to people? Is this like a good fit? Is this going to take the entertainment out of the editorial? And that was something we didn’t want to risk. However, what we found was it actually does help readers and users sometimes who are looking for solutions. So, for example, one of the brands that were within that kind of lifestyle portfolio was Food Network for Food Network Canada. And we came up with some editorial to try it and test and learn with our audience. Like, I tried it as also women’s lifestyle, so I tried it with different kinds of fits depending on brand. But we’ll use Food Network because that’s a clear one.
Food Network could do roundups of the best kitchen gadgets under $100. Now, here’s the thing. As a user enjoying a digital experience, while it’s great to understand that’s something I can look up on my own. How much easier is it for a user to have that link right there? Now, I think the legal language is actually really important here where you need to disclose that you’re going to be earning a commission off this link.
So once you address all the ethics and legal standards for it all, I think it does create opportunity for both the reader, the user, and the brand and the product folks. So what you’re doing is creating a clear path to solutions for your everyday life. So that made it a lot easier. Like, think back in the 60s when you get like a Sears catalog and you’re like, okay, these were great products. I got to go in the store and get them now. Whereas, welcome to 2023. You can get like an editorial roundup of the best stocking stuffers for the holidays coming up and having an affiliate link to be like, oh, this is exactly where I can go buy my sustainable Green Bewax cover or whatever, right? And then you have an affiliate link, you disclose exactly what’s happening there, editorially, and you help the user.
[00:11:01] Calan Breckon: Yes. And so this is really important because I know if somebody’s excited about getting into, they’re like, oh my goodness, this is an opportunity. And there is, but you have to commit to it. Like my website, I am an affiliate for a lot of things. I put out blog posts. A lot of the articles do have affiliate links. But I also have a disclaimer up in the top right hand side of every single article that it says, hey, some of the links you click in here may or may not be affiliate links because some are some aren’t. And so you need to make sure that you have that legal language. It’s very visible and viewable and that you’re always leading with integrity. And anytime that I partner with a company or an organization or a business, I only do it for the business. Gay genuinely, honestly use. So a lot of the things on my websites, that website that I’ve talked about or a lot of the ads that I put into my podcast episodes, it’s all products that I’ve used. Like, I use ConvertKit myself. So of course I’m going to recommend them as an email service provider because I’ve used other ones and I didn’t like them as much. So making sure you’re aligning that integrity with like, oh, I also genuinely use this product. Now, not everybody’s going to be integral, especially in the influencer world, but take it all with a grain of salt. If they genuinely sound like they use the product and that they’ve enjoyed the product, then you can hopefully trust and trust that person that they are using it. But that’s also coming with the trust of that influencer and they build that with their audience. And if they take this business seriously, if they’re actually building a business, not just being like, I’m an influencer, hey, I’m cool, but actually looking at the business side of it, they will take that very seriously. Being like, I will only partner with companies or businesses that genuinely match me on that level.
[00:12:47] Chloe Tse: Well, it’s a brand fit, right, and it’s value alignment. And I think that I give credit to audiences. Audiences are smart, they’re people people.
And especially when you look at demos and generations, right, we know millennials as a fact, don’t like advertisements and being sold to, but they do like helpful solutions. So it comes down to framing that kind of value fit. And I love that. Of course, you do maintain the integrity of only promoting tools and products that you’ve used personally that you can speak to. And I think a lot of that can come through in the editorial, right? If you’re writing an article and your ability to speak to that product and the use case of it and the solution it provides for you is clear. And I think that’s another way of looking at affiliates rather than when you look at SEO, people keyword stuff sometimes, right, because you’re just trying to sell, sell, sell. That’s not what affiliates are about. Affiliates can have a lot of integrity. And that’s why I think sometimes people view it as less than as a business because they don’t quite understand the critical thinking that’s involved to find those brand values and audience fits that is happening with some people who are doing it legitimately. I guess to tie into our theme today, right, there are a ton of folks doing it. Publishers don’t want to be promoting products. They’re not comfortable endorsing either. They’re doing their homework. Their editors are looking into it. As one of the editors in a past life, I 100% push back on anything that didn’t make sense for the publication. It would be like, why are we promoting this? Who is actually using this? And you have to engage in those conversations. And I think that’s the other piece of affiliates that I think people don’t talk about enough. It’s the communication around how you speak to it. And like most things, if you do approach it in an authentic way and it’s providing actual meaning and value, it’s an easier way to operate it. But if you’re forcing things, that’s when you’re going to lose the integrity, you’re going to lose the value fit and that’s going to be an issue. That’s where things don’t feel so credible.
Very possible to do that.
[00:15:01] Calan Breckon: I’m really curious and interested because TikTok just introduced their shop experience. I’m not a big TikToker, all the kids out there and so I’m not a huge TikToker. I’ve just started it now because I know it needs to be part of my business. Being on socials. I don’t love social, but I know I need to do a part of it. But I know before we jumped on the call, we talked about how they are introducing like a really easy shopping option. How do you think that’s going to affect the kind of affiliate marketing world that they’re going to be doing on there? And do you think the waters are going to get muddied with people just hawking stuff?
[00:15:39] Chloe Tse: Okay, so I have a lot of thoughts on this because I’m a big TikTok fan. I lose many hours a day to it for sure.
And I’m going to actually point on a nuance in the way I look at it. I actually don’t think the social media platform, it’s an interest based platform. I don’t think there are influencers on there. I think they’re creators on there. And I think why that works and why that’s exciting is because there is more of an authentic vibe to TikTok. The thing is, we know Instagram people curate for Instagram, right? That’s the whole thing. Instagram is a social network. You end up having people you worked with like five years on there and you just get life updates of their new babies and that is something that becomes less relevant when they’re not in your social circles and you’re like, OK, I’m still getting this and you’re tracking people’s social lives. That is not what TikTok is. TikTok is an interest platform. These are people talking about things. They’re passionate about people. They do all the like. They have their content, they figure out their niche, they lean into it, they become like experts. It is an ADHD’s dream world. It’s true. It’s made for rabbit holes, hyper fixations and deep dives. And I think where I see the opportunity for the TikTok shop is because it’s baked into that authentic mean. I guess I’m being a little optimistic about this. I can’t really speak to where it’s going to actually land because I’m sure a lot of businesses will try to turn into a channel and that will inherently kind of lose some of that authenticity. But the thing is, a TikTok user knows the difference between a brand page and an individual page and how that’s going to work. So I’m putting a lot of faith in the user here and the viewer here. But I do think that there is an opportunity for folks who do have expertise and developed kind of a niche space to be able to promote products that are relevant to other viewers in that space. And what I SEO is creating like small little ecosystem hubs of relevant products and relevant kind of stories and meaning to the that’s I think that’s the biggest difference between interest platforms and social platforms and why TikTok is supreme.
[00:17:57] Calan Breckon: This is really interesting conversation because I never thought of TikTok like that. I just thought of it like another social thing that I’m like, oh God, another rabbit hole to go down. So it’s really interesting to hear what you have to say. I’m going to have to spend more time on it. Oh, that sounds that’s bad.
[00:18:13] Chloe Tse: I’m going to be sending you, I’m going to be sliding a bunch of TikToks into your DMs and you’re going to be like, why did I ask for this? And you didn’t ask for it, I just volunteered, told you that I was going to do this and get excited to be on my TikTok.
[00:18:26] Calan Breckon: But I do like that you say that because I do notice that it is different. The way that it’s set up and the way that I interact with somebody’s profile, I can deep dive into their thoughts and what they’re thinking. And especially like, take me for example, in the business world, business, entrepreneurship, marketing kind of world, I could have a bunch of series on TikTok talking about things and naturally I’m going to talk about the things that I use in my business, the systems I use in my business, the products I use.
I could be able to use my affiliate links over there, fully disclosing. These are affiliate links, but people would know. But it would be coming across in a very authentic way because that’s what my business is.
[00:19:04] Chloe Tse: So the other thing that TikTok offers now this sounds like I’m just promoting TikTok, but the other thing TikTok does offer that I think is unique and neat is playlists. So you could in theory create an entire playlist devoted where you’re explicit, these are my products I’m supporting and users can just go and that are interested in that, go to that playlist and watch one after the other if it does make sense to them. Now, if you get a creator like and I follow some of these, I don’t know why. I love cleaning TikToks.
[00:19:33] Calan Breckon: I love chiropractor chiropractor snapper poppers.
[00:19:36] Chloe Tse: Oh yeah.
[00:19:37] Calan Breckon: I love that.
[00:19:39] Chloe Tse: We’ll use the Chiropractor one as an example. I was going to do the other one, but for Chiropractor, right? If you’re watching all these people crack, what are some products that would make sense for them? Foam rollers, massage balls, certain clothing that.
[00:19:58] Calan Breckon: Helps you best your pillows.
[00:20:00] Chloe Tse: Yeah, right. Think about and it’s having that kind of content, editorial understanding too, of what makes sense with the content you’re promoting and already speaking to. So if you were a partner looking to promote your product, you’d be like, this chiropractor actually makes a lot of sense. They have a lot of viewers and I could provide a product solution for this viewership. And that’s kind of like the relationship you’re looking for. Welcome to partnerships. It’s all about finding passion, point alignments, audience fits, and solutions where two people can win win. And I think that’s why PartnerStack is great in that they help people help people connect through the network of finding out business opportunities. So we did this with I mean, it’s obviously easier to talk in the BTC form because we’re talking products, solutions, everyday uses of things. But translate that to business and you’ve got the same thing. You kind of did that for your business through articles right now, right? You know, solutions for email drip campaigns, you know what the best ones are. You’re an expert in the space. The tools you use will help other people who are aspiring to do similar.
[00:21:06] Calan Breckon: Work to you big time. And so if somebody is listening to this and they want to start getting into this affiliate world, in my head, I see there’s two different routes. There’s the influencer I want to partner with, cool things that I like and be a part of those sales. And then there’s the other more editorial, like I have a blog or a podcast or something like that. So how can somebody get into affiliate business marketing like this?
[00:21:35] Chloe Tse: So it’s interesting because again, it depends on what side you want to get into it if you’re on a marketing team, right, and you’re like, this is a good indirect business solution.
It can be for most companies, right? Especially like I don’t know if we’re talking about tech. We know, let’s be real. 2023 a pretty brutal year for tech. The assignment is to do more with less. You know what might be a good solution here? Affiliates. Like an indirect partner program where you can kind of extend your brand reach, create conversions and transactions through affiliate marketing. Kind of get your product in front of new eyeballs and audiences, but you got to line up that ICP ideal customer profile. Sorry, I hate when we start speaking into acronyms and I’m like, no one, why are we doing that? I find myself doing this now. But like, an ideal customer profile is important. Understanding the audience fit. So from a marketer perspective, it’s kind of looking for those opportunities.
Affiliates are also born in a lot of sales teams, right. So it’s mostly from go to market motions where affiliates would make the most sense to be born in a new organization or newer to an organization. So I think it’s like finding those bits, understanding that, getting to know your go to market strategy really well, figuring out ICP, knowing what your audience is, really knowing where to surface this stuff, and then partnering with the right partners that share that ICP audience. Right.
So that would be like a business perspective on how to do it. I think something that I’ve seen with a lot of folks who launch partner programs, they typically start with affiliates, too.
It’s an easier one to do referrals. Also, another partner program, I think they launch together sometimes or after the affiliates.
But from a creator, if I’m a creator watching this, it’s get to know your audience. Right? And I think a lot of the answers are already with a lot of creators.
And it’s kind of just that exercise of sitting down, understanding, what is the volume of audience, what is the quality of this volume, do I know the demo?
Because once you kind of have those answers, it’s easier to partner with a product from a creator standpoint, like, I use this, or when you get cold outreach calls, you know what you’re willing to say yes and no to. So if I was a B2B creator and my focus was media or top marketing, right? We’ll say marketing, content marketing, and I love to give work advice. Usually there are a lot of different kind of businesses that I could partner with, right. Whether it’s I don’t know.
You have to think about end users in this case, I think, too. So it’s like software that makes sense for my audience that could help people that are doing the same kind of work as I am. And it’s like really knowing yourself too.
[00:24:40] Calan Breckon: Right, definitely.
[00:24:43] Chloe Tse: Those answers, that’s going to be hard to do, but it’s really having a strong sense of your value and what you’re already bringing to people and being able to articulate.
[00:24:52] Calan Breckon: Yeah, basically. I mean, when I started, it was pretty straightforward. I was like, what do I use? What do I like using? And then going to Google and looking up, does ConvertKit have an affiliate program? Does this have an affiliate program? And seeing, what are you already using? What are you already talking about? A lot. And then going to those businesses on Google and searching and being like, hey, does this company have an affiliate program? And then requesting to join that now? Like, not all companies are going to say yes, because depending on your profile, like, what ways you have to market, like, what kind of style different companies have, different regulations and what they like to work with and what they don’t like to work with. But you can start off small and there’s such a range of what you can make. Some products are one time sales and you only get that one time sale, it might be a little bit higher. Other programs, the ones that I prefer to get into, are more of the reoccurring revenue type SaaS program. So it’s like software as a service. Those people are going to be paying their monthly bill every single month. And the more that that stacks up, the more I’m building that kind of residual income into my business, that stable foundation so that when it gets to a certain point, you calan consistently count on a certain amount of money coming in every single month because you know, most people are going to continue paying their bills. It’s not going to be like one thing and all of a sudden everybody stops. It’s like a little trickle in, a little trickle out. So making sure you’re thinking about this in a business standpoint and really finding what makes the most sense for you and who you are and what you want to bring to the table.
[00:26:26] Chloe Tse: Yeah. And as a vendor on the other side, know where your customers live on the Internet, where are they?
And finding the right people to help surface that product solution in front of them.
[00:26:40] Calan Breckon: Yes, 100%. So different ideas people can have is like for me, take me as an example. I use blogging. So I have a website where I have a blog that I talk about a lot of different things, a lot of different things in the world of business, tech, entrepreneurship, marketing. And it lives on that blog. And then people search items on Google and then they find my blog post. They read the article, they like what I had to say. They’re like, cool. I’m going to use ConvertKit because he made a lot of really great points here and I really enjoyed that. They go through, they buy that product. That’s one way. You can also be using them in ads, like I do off the top of this podcast episode. I put them in the ads. I make sure my affiliate link is there. It’s great to go. You can do it on your social media if you’re a big influencer, even if you’re just starting out finding those specific products, and you can put a link to it in your Lincoln bio. Go there. And everybody has their things and I see them all the time.
There’s this one workout influencer who I like, because he’s not like a gym bro. He’s super chill, super fun, super cute, obviously. And he picks his specific things like it’s like a workout belt or like the protein powders and whatever. And they’re just kind of one off kind of things. But they still align with his niche and what he stands for and represents. It wouldn’t make sense for him to be like, go join ConvertKit, kids picking your things. So. There’s lots of different ways that you can learn how to build this into your life. Even if it’s one product and it’s one simple thing but you tell all of your friends to go get it all of the time, become an affiliate.
[00:28:14] Chloe Tse: For it or like a micro influencer. But I think also just like as a content person and so I’m not sure this is always where it gets money and I’m like do people think of the world like this? But if you understand distribution and you already have a strong sense and understanding of how to distribute content, affiliate marketing is just kind of an extension of that because any channel you’re using to kind of promote organic content is an opportunity to promote that kind of affiliate content when appropriate, obviously. But I don’t know. I’m a seasonality person too still, because that’s probably from B2C. But around the holidays, right? If you’re doing a roundup and being like this holiday season, like things that you should pay attention to or you want to get ready for next year or New Year, new you as a theme, for example, a newsletter based on that, you can drive directly to affiliate links there as well.
Any kind of opportunity like that. Like you mentioned, link and BIOS are also a great way. People do it sometimes per post and then people integrate it in their articles as well. But you can also go hard or soft, right? Like in a newsletter distribution form, you can also point to the organic article and then hope people find that affiliate link. If you want to go softer on it, or if you know that your audience would love this solution, go straight to that affiliate link. Being like, if you’re looking for this, here is your answer for that. And there are really clever ways of doing that, but it really depends. And it comes down to, and I can’t emphasize this enough is really knowing your audience.
[00:29:52] Calan Breckon: Exactly. And also I was going to say also if businesses want to implement this, it doesn’t even have to be a direct online like a PartnerStack or something like that. You can just find businesses or organizations if you’re more like a brick and mortar or something like that. Your mutual referral program, it’s like I send people your way, you send people my way and just attaching some sort of a price tag to that and be like hey, this is how much we’ll pay for every single person you send my way. And that’s a great way to I think of it more as like diversification of business and the more you diversify your business and have different people referring you because they actually use your products or services and like who you are, the more that word of mouth is going to spread. And we all know that word of mouth is some of the best marketing in the world because you’re always going to trust your friends over some random commercial.
[00:30:42] Chloe Tse: Tried and true. I mean, the way I guess I really look at it too is ecosystems, right? It’s like the folks and every affiliate is within your and I actually didn’t know that you use PartnerStack. So I love yeah.
[00:30:56] Calan Breckon: Hey.
[00:30:59] Chloe Tse: But I guess that’s where as you kind of scale and grow your affiliate marketing program where solutions like PartnerStack also make sense because what it ends up doing is it manages those relationships for you and something that people go wild for because think about it, that’s a lot of admin work if you are a creator or a vendor that’s trying to manage that indirect channel. So things like automatic payments, automated payments and kind of scheduling, a lot of that admin, those comms are really helpful because it’s going to be rinse and repeat a lot for all the different partners you work with. So once you really start figuring out and I think that’s why it sounds so reductive when I’m like know your audience and figure it out and then find the right people to work with. But it’s more than that because once you figure that out, what you can do is multiply that and scale it and then find a PRM PartnerStack or whatever suits your business needs the most to kind of help scale and grow that channel to be super strong. And that’s where we know that affiliates, I think in 2023 it’s been said that it’s worth $17 billion as an industry. I mean that’s across, right? But it is a legitimate form of business and marketing and I think the thing that you brought up is so important, it ends up being people you trust, endorsing products they trust. And once you’re in that ecosystem that you can trust, what you’re ending up with is easy access to tools and solutions that can benefit your everyday life to make your life better at work.
[00:32:38] Calan Breckon: Which is exciting 100%. And I love PartnerStack because it is just such an easy place to go. I can see everything altogether.
I’m probably in right now 30, 40 affiliates, but they’re all over the pardon.
[00:32:56] Chloe Tse: You’re a network partner.
[00:32:57] Calan Breckon: Well, I mean, you have to diversify your portfolio, right? So I think of each of these as like diversifying the portfolio of where I can invest my time and where I’m going to get investments back from. And so the more affiliate partner programs I’m part of and I started off with one. I didn’t start off with a bunch, I started off with one. And it grew over time. Because the more things you do, the more you grow as a business, the more things you have to recommend, the more articles you write, that kind of stuff. Naturally you’re going to have more affiliate programs but you always have to go and join them. And it’s always so nice with PartnerStack because it’s like there’s a whole bunch in there and they’re collectively together and I can just look at them all and it’s just super nice and neat. But there’s so many of them that are like one offs that it’s like you have to save each and every single website to log in to go check your details. And if you’re going to get to a couple of hundred or whatever, that gets to be a lot to track everything.
So systems like PartnerStack just kind of keep it all together and keep it nice and tidy and clean. And I’m all about efficiency.
And if you want to get into affiliate marketing, like going to a place like PartnerStack where they do have a lot of options is probably a good easy start, like a starting place because then you can kind of have a base home while you learn, and then you can grow into be like, okay, well, I really like this program over here, so I’m going to go apply to them. But making sure that you are saving each and every one of those tabs so that you can go back and check later.
[00:34:21] Chloe Tse: That is a big benefit of PartnerStacks Marketplace, right? It’s that network of 80,000 active partners in B2B that are eager to generate some revenue with you, right? Like, let’s do it.
I think if there’s a hot tip too, I guess it’s like make sure that Marketplace listing makes sense. SEO. It always comes down to content. For me, it’s like, know your brand, know the value you’re kind of bringing to folks, and being able to articulate exactly what you can offer and what you’re hoping to gain. I think that transparency is really key too, and great communicators often get further because they know and they have that strong sense too. Strategic partnerships are key, especially when you are dealing with lower headcounts in a time of like, it’s been shaky markets this year, right? So it’s been a weird time. So having that solution opportunity to kind of do affiliates as an indirect channel during this time is also helpful because you’re still increasing brand awareness, you’re still getting your product out there, you’re still reaching new eyeballs, users, people, and business folks, right.
[00:35:30] Calan Breckon: And you’re only going to make money, or they’re only going to make money if you make money because they get paid once you get paid. So it’s like your business has to make money first in order for that affiliate to get paid. So there’s really no downside to it.
[00:35:42] Chloe Tse: I know. Win win, right?
[00:35:44] Calan Breckon: Win win.
[00:35:45] Chloe Tse: Love it.
[00:35:45] Calan Breckon: All right, so we are coming to the end here. Chloe, is there any last things you’d like to say or mention before we.
[00:35:52] Chloe Tse: Finish things off for affiliate marketing?
Oh, my goodness. It’s a tricky one. I’m like there’s so much more to say about affiliates, but no, I think I think if there is one word of advice I would have for anyone that’s really seriously considering affiliates is know your brand, know your company, know the value, know the audience, know the ICP, and get creative. And I think that’s what’s really exciting about affiliate marketing. It’s an opportunity to get a little more creative with marketing, and for me, that’s always an opportunity. I love thinking about new, innovative ways, and I think affiliate marketing will continue to grow, and it’ll continue to shift and change. I’m excited to see what comes. I’m excited to see what actually happens with that TikTok storefront. Yeah, Amazon storefronts had mad success, right?
[00:36:51] Calan Breckon: That’s all affiliates we need it in Canada, though, for the TikTok. It’s not here yet, is it?
[00:36:57] Chloe Tse: No, I don’t think so.
[00:36:58] Calan Breckon: Boo. Earns.
[00:37:00] Chloe Tse: But Amazon Canada is, and we’ve seen a lot of success there, too.
[00:37:06] Calan Breckon: Yeah. For me, I don’t think I’ll ever be an Amazon affiliate just because the commissions are, like, so tiny, so little. I’m like more of, like it’s got to be around, like, the 30% commission rate.
All right. Thank you so much for being on today’s episode, Chloe. This was super duper informative around affiliate marketing and what it can do for your business, what it can do for individuals, and how people can jump in and just get started for themselves.
[00:37:34] Chloe Tse: Love it. Thank you for having me. This was a joy.
[00:37:38] Calan Breckon: Holy guacamole. Chloe is just a reservoir of amazing information in regards to B2B, B2C, affiliate marketing, SEO. She is a girl after my own heart. If only she didn’t like girls and I didn’t like guys. I want to thank you all so much for tuning in again today. Don’t forget to hit that subscribe button. And if you really enjoy enjoyed today’s episode, please, I would love a star rating from you, it really helps out the show.
The Business Gay podcast is written, produced, and edited by me, Calan Breckon. And if you’re looking to get a free SEO website audit, you can head on over to CalanBreckon.com/Audit and set one up with me, or just click the link in the show notes. That’s it for today.
Peace. Love. Rainbows.