Welcome to the Meet the IA Team series, where our team shares their tips, tricks and resources that help them complete daily tasks, stay organised, increase productivity and meet their goals.

Affiliate Manager Sam
Name: Samantha RossPosition: Affiliate Manager

Background: Samantha joined the Income Access Affiliate Management team after graduating with a Bachelor’s of Commerce from Concordia University.

Samantha shares her thoughts on learning to become an affiliate manager

What is one thing you wish someone had told you on day one of your training?

I didn’t know affiliates had such diverse business models. I had a very specific idea of what an affiliate was: a blogger with one site who used banners to encourage their readers to buy a certain product.

As I quickly learned, the term ‘affiliate’ is so broad! An affiliate can be:

  • A one-person show, with a single entrepreneur taking care of website design, partnership outreach and site performance
  • A large business with employees, an office and entire departments dedicated to each task
  • A network of social media profiles without any site involved
  • A single partner who refers your brand to other affiliates
  • And anything in between!

Without knowing about the variety of business models I would be encountering, it was a bit difficult to understand the true needs of affiliates.

What is one skill you have perfected since you became an affiliate manager?

Persistence!

With everyone’s busy schedules, completing a project from A to Z can sometimes take a bit of time. Being persistent is something I have found useful in ensuring my projects receive the information, support and resources they need.

Sometimes an email gets lost in an inbox full of messages so I have learned that sending follow-ups is an efficient way to kindly remind the recipient that something is required of them. My follow-up messages usually include:

  • A short email body that outlines why I am writing
  • A copy of the original message and any relevant attachments
  • A reasonable deadline for when I must hear back from them

And based on the follow-up emails that I myself receive, affiliates have also caught on to this skill!

What is a tip you would give a new affiliate manager?

Continuing on the previous question, I’d say the best thing to keep in mind is to never get discouraged.

As an affiliate manager, especially a new one, you’ll encounter some roadblocks. Whether it is grasping a difficult concept during your training or being part of a tricky negotiation, you might find yourself wondering how to overcome this challenge. Yet with the right approach, almost any bump in the road can be surmounted.

A few of the techniques and resources I used when I encountered any barrier are:

Asking Others for their Insight

Someone has probably been in your shoes before and they likely have a good perspective on the situation. Ask others, especially your team, about how they would go about solving the problem.

When I was first learning about the Income Access software, I had trouble navigating and understanding a few of the reports. I asked my teammate, Alexandra, about it, she shared some handy tips that helped her learn the insides and outs of the software when she first started.

Trial and Error

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again… without repeating the same mistakes every time!

A great way to learn is to simply get your hands dirty and give it a try. Of course, this does not always lead to success on the first try. Instead, every time something didn’t turn out quite how I expected, I would change gears and try something else.

This technique was especially helpful when completing affiliate outreach. When a given format didn’t return many leads, I would rework a section. If this improved results, I would see if another section can be changed. In the end, I came up with a formula that works best for me.

Get to know Sam!

The team knows all about your two little dogs, I think it’s time you tell the world about them!

Jasper is a bichon-yorkie mix. He is seven years old but actually acts like a grumpy old man. He does, however, love to get his photo taken. He puts on a huge smile! He is quite the diva. He also loves cheese! He excitedly comes running as soon as he hears the package rustling. Not surprisingly, Jasper could do with losing a few pounds…

Clio is my other dog. She is a yorkie and similar to Jasper, she is a little princess! She loves to be pet and carried around, and always settled down on our laps when we are watching TV. Clio follows Jasper everywhere he goes, sometime to his discontent. One of Clio’s favourite activities is hunting bugs in the backyard. Given her size – she only weighs four pounds – her prey is almost as big as her!Sam Affiliate Manager Dogs

Speed Round!

What is your favourite…

  • Food: Tacos and any dessert
  • Movie: Pitch Perfect 1 & 2
  • Sport: Soccer and Volleyball
  • Hobby: Hiking – no, not to look for Pokemon!
  • Colour: Purple
  • Animal: Snow Tiger – and my dogs, of course!

For more tips, Sam would be happy to chat. Email her with your questions.