I received an email from a well-known figure – or, more accurately from the headquarters of a well-known figure – and it got me thinking about the RIGHT way to build a team.
The email started off on the right foot, sortof, with a subject line that said “Unacceptable Affiliate Advertising Methods.” We won’t tell you who it was from…so we’ll use the name “Joe Shlabotnik.”
It has been brought to my attention that some affiliates are using unacceptable advertising methods to promote my products.
The incident I’m referring to was when an Affiliate used a picture of a well known author along with a picture of his book in a PPC ad driving people to a training webinar with Mr. Shlabotnik.
Interestingly enough, I knew the exact thing to which Joe Shlabotnik was referring: an ad on Facebook from a week earlier. It looked a lot like this:
It annoyed me at least a little – since I’m a big fan of Tim Ferriss, the author whose image was being used.
But what was even more interesting here was the chain of events leading to this email. In fact, it went something like this:
- Dave sees PPC ad.
- Dave signs up for webinar from advertiser.
- Dave listens to first few minutes of webinar, throws up a little in his mouth when watching Joe Shlabotnik talk about his 14,000 square-foot house.
- Dave exits the webinar, only to receive a few more emails from Shlabotnik Worldwide.
- Dave opts out of future emails from Shlabotnik.
All this happened, mind you, before I got the scolding email from Joe Shlabotnik himself.
This, Gentle Readers, is no way to build a team.
What’s the takeaway here? A couple things:
1. Guard Your Brand Carefully
Joe Shlabotnik himself told us he created so many techniques that are being used by Internet Marketers that we’re probably using them right now and don’t even know it. So why does he need so many Affiliate Marketers to help make things happen for him?
In this case, he probably decided that he needed to “Funnel” us all through his marketing program, casting such a wide, uh, funnel that it was a pure numbers game. Get 1,000,000 eyeballs and even if you convert at a tiny tiny number (let’s say 0.1%) you still have 1000 paying customers.
But at what price? Did the guy or gal who was sending out the offensive emails really need them to draw eyeballs to a marketer so successful he practically invented Internet Marketing?
2. Choose Your Affiliates Carefully
We are in the middle of our Affiliate Recruitment campaign for 12 Minute Marketing right now, and I can tell you this: we are turning some people down. Once you get too big, you lose control of who is saying what about you – and that may have been the case with Mr. Shlabotnik.
Or, it may not matter to him – it may be more important to grow a big team and have no control over it. Don’t know, but that’s no the way we plan on doing it.
3. Have a Moral Compass
And use it. Whether or not this was authorized by Mr. Shlabotnik – and maybe it was – it’s definitely toeing the line.
In this case, using someone else’s image to sell your own product? Not cool.
What’s most interesting here?
Shlabotnik doesn’t need to use another author’s image to get ahead.
Learn from this, fellow marketers. Guard your brand carefully, Choose your affiliates carefully, and have a moral compass. Please.