How to Become an Affiliate Manager

Affiliate Marketing

If you’ve ever wanted to become an affiliate manager, this episode is for you. I’ll share what it takes, how to develop the skills you need, and even share a possible job opportunity that you might be interested in.

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Previous Episodes of The Affiliate Guy

The Power of the Dream 100 with Dana Derricks

How to Use Pinterest for Affiliate Marketing

10 Ways to Get Your Affiliates Fired Up Before a Launch or Promo

How to Provide Great Swipe Copy for Your Affiliate Program

The Dark Side of Entrepreneurship: Overcoming Setbacks, Pain, Fatigue, and Failure

7 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Live Longer

How to Become an Affiliate Manager

If you’ve ever wanted to become an affiliate manager, this episode is for you.

I’ll share what it takes, how to develop the skills you need, and even share a possible job opportunity that you might be
interested in.

So how do you become an affiliate manager?

That’s a question I get a lot. People think maybe it’ll be cool.

That looks like a fun job, the money can be really good, and all of those are true.

I often joke, like, that if my high school guidance counselor had any idea that what I do even exists, he would tell me to do what I do. I love it.

To me, it’s like the perfect combination of I get to be a nerdy kind of techy marketer guy, but I also get to be a people person.

I get to deal with stats and spreadsheets. I don’t like spreadsheets, but I like what they can do. I like the data.

I like getting into the data and driving things via data but I also like the relationships. The money is great.

Even back when I was like, a nobody in the affiliate world, it can be very lucrative because mostly I’m paid on commission and that’s great. It’s a lot of fun.

But ultimately, the question is, how do you actually become an affiliate manager?

I think it starts with asking yourself three questions. These are kind of like the important prework, so to speak.

Question number one, are you even right for it? Are you even right to be an affiliate manager?

Like, the job itself, the personality, the expectations, right?

What’s expected of you as an affiliate manager?

Is that the right career for you?

It might not be.

A lot of people looking to go, okay, I look at me and go, you know what? I’m almost 43, actually. By the time this airs, I’ll be 43.

I’m not going to go suddenly become an NFL quarterback. That’s just not going to happen. I’m not going to make that career change. That’s an obvious one.

But there are some things where I’m like, maybe I could do that.

I have no intention of changing my career, but I’m saying, like, I’m capable of doing that. I have the disposition to do that.

So I think it’s important to just ask, is this something that you even really want to do?

Is it the right job for you?

So think about what affiliate management is and isn’t.

What are the responsibilities of an affiliate manager?

Number one, identifying potential affiliates for clients.

If you’re working with clients or for your own thing, you got to identify those potential affiliates.

Honestly, that’s a lot of looking. It’s a lot of grunt work. It’s not sexy. It’s boring.

Now, I often say, you know what?

I’m going to sit down and really do some grunt work and go trying to find like 100 affiliates and do that grunt work for 3 hours.

I’m not going to find 103 hours, but I’ll find 40 or 50 in 3 hours and then do it again the next day.

I need a good Spotify playlist. I’ve got to have something going.

Like, I got to have some music or something to keep me occupied mentally.

I need to take breaks. I can only do that for 20-25 minutes at a time, and I got to take a break.

You got to recruit affiliates, right? But you also have to strategize promos and offers.

You’ve got to do things like come up with contests and have the creativity to come up with like, okay, here’s what the stats are.

So you look at that. You look at stats, and this is a linear thinking thing, right?

This is kind of like I forget what side of the brain is left and right, but it’s the analytical side.

And then boom. You got to flip and go creative. That’s a really hard thing to do.

Some people can’t do that. They can do one or the other, and that’s fine.

Then don’t be an affiliate manager, right?

You’ve got to assure that affiliates are paid. So that’s an analytical side.

You’ve got to get over your fear, like bugging somebody.

You got to learn to be persistent.

You got to communicate with clients.

If you’re working with multiple clients, you’ve got to identify growth opportunities.

You got to monitor those stats and monitor and handle fraud.

You got to stay up to date on what’s working.

You got to be up to date.

Like, you got to keep studying the industry.

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These are things you got to be able to do from your responsibility standpoint.

As far as skills, you need to be a people person. You can not be a people person and be a good affiliate manager.

You have to be the most outgoing.


Can you be an introvert?


I’ve said it before. I’m an introvert. But when I get on the phone with people, I enjoy people.

I just need to talk to people for 60 minutes and then take a break for a half-hour and go be by myself or go do something analytical, and then I can talk to another person.

You need marketing skills. You need to be up to date on the latest in marketing.

If I say, “Hey, do you want to be an affiliate manager” and you don’t have a clue what TikTok is, that’s a problem.

Do you need to be an expert at TikTok?

No, I’m not.

I said that a couple of episodes ago where I talked all about TikTok.

I’m not an expert, but I’m learning.

You got to have the tech skills and the sales skills and the leadership skills, right?

You do not need to do it alone. If you’re going to be a great affiliate manager, you need a team. You at least need a VA.

I heard my first VA back in 2005. It’s a long time ago, 17 years ago.

We have a team here at Mamma Williams Consulting. We have a team. You cannot do this alone.

You can’t spend 2 hours running a report and spend 2 hours talking to affiliates at the same time.

And a lot of times, if you can’t toggle your brain from one extreme to the other, you need some space to be able to toggle that’s fine.

Have a VA do the grunt work, running the report, downloading spreadsheets and de-doping them against each other to make sure you’re not reaching out to the same people or identifying inactive affiliates and things like that.

There are all kinds of things that the VA can do to help you.

But you got to have leadership skills, right?

Because you got to be able to lead them. You got to be a good leader.

So you got to have tech skills and sales skills and people skills and marketing skills and leadership skills just to be an affiliate manager.

Those are the things that it takes and if you’re lacking any of these, then work on them.

If you’re lacking leadership skills, learn to lead. Listen to leadership books. Study sales. Just general sales.

If somebody came to me and said Matt, and we’ll talk about this later, they came to me and said, matt, I’d love to work for you and be an affiliate manager.

How are your sales skills? Not so great?

Go listen to ten books on sales. Ten books.

Go listen to Jeffrey Guitar or Sales Bible.

Go listen to a couple of Brian Tracy things.

Listen to Jeffrey Guinemer’s The Little Red Book of Selling.

Go listen to Gosh, the books that come to mind. They’re so many.

Jeffrey Ginger’s Black Book of Connections. I think he’s got so many great books by the way.

Go listen to Secrets of Closing the Sale with Zig Ziggler and some of Zig’s other Sales Training.

I’m trying to think of what other books I’d recommend.

Just while we’re on the subject. Customers Born Every Minute. I forget who wrote that.

I think it’s Joe Vitally, I’m not mistaken.

The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way with Jeffrey Guitar. Or there’s just something like go look them up, right?

Start there and go down the Amazon Rabbit Show. If you listen to seven or eight, that’s fine. You don’t have to listen to ten.

Listen to sales books if you don’t know marketing, pick ten books about marketing.

Read Launch by Jeff Walker. Read Russell Brunson’s stuff.

Trying to think what else I would recommend as far as Marketing Influence by Robert Cialdini.

That’s going to help you with people skills too. Yes by Robert Cialdini. Persuasion by Robert Cialdini.

Go listen to those books. Read those books right learn marketing and people skills, and learn how to use your technology.

You need to be able to know those things. So if you’re lacking, then work on them and if you go, Yeah, all those things sound great.

I’m just not really great on the marketing side. Then spend a month where you just immerse yourself in marketing.

Do you have basic marketing, sales, networking skills, and good personal habits?

That’s question number two.

You don’t need to be the greatest, but you do need to have the basics.

So do you have those basics?

“To me, my philosophy with affiliate managers, success is not based on personality, charisma, intelligence, or even hard work. It’s based on following the system.” – Matt McWilliams

We have a proven system. If you come in and work for us and follow the system, you will be successful.

Now, that said, we expect innovation and creativity. So there’s a balance.

You follow the system, but you innovate, you follow the system, but you have an idea, you follow the system, but you tweak it a little bit.

And then ultimately it comes down to the question, would affiliates be okay with what you’re doing, or do you want to wow them?

We want to wow our affiliates, we want to wow our clients.

Like one of our core values. We always overdeliver.

So our clients, our customers get at least ten X value on what they invest.

We take that extra step to ensure that people feel amazing in their interactions with us.

So do you have those skills? We kind of talked about that before.

Do you have the basic skills?

Do you understand marketing?

Do you understand launches?

Do you understand evergreen promos?

Do you understand webinars enough that you can get by? Right?

Do you have those basic skills and personal habits?

Because here’s the thing –

“As an affiliate manager, nobody’s going to tell you what to do. They’re going to give you a system, but they’re not going to tell you that from ten to four every day, you’ve got to do these three things.
No, you’re pretty much on your own.” – Matt McWilliams

So do you have the basic habits, personal habits, that you’re going to be able to get your work done? Are you a productive person?

Okay, so man, I struggle with productivity. Then learn productivity.

Go Get Free to Focus by Michael Hyatt, read Getting Things Done by David Allen. Robert Allen, I think, is the I always get Robert I think it’s David Allen.
You know, I don’t know, whatever you need to read there.

Look up productivity courses and books and go through those.

Then question number three, do you have a basic understanding of affiliate marketing and affiliate management?

Do you listen to my podcast?

How many episodes of my podcast have you listened to?

If you’re north of 40, yes, you have a basic understanding.

And again, I’m not looking for you to have the world’s best understanding.

It has taken me 17 years to get to this point, and I’m still learning and I would consider myself an expert.

You don’t need to be an expert, but have you promoted some affiliate offers?

It’s really hard to be a great affiliate manager if you’ve never promoted anything as an affiliate.

I was okay, maybe slightly above average affiliate manager before I promoted something, after I started promoting something, I became a phenomenal affiliate manager.

I went from like, I might make it to the medal stand, win a bronze medal, 2 Affiliate Manager of the Year repeatedly.


Because I started doing affiliate marketing. That was the very simple reason.

And I got to see what others were doing, and I said, man, what they’re doing is awesome, or what they’re doing is wrong. I don’t ever want to make those mistakes.

And I saw a couple of things that they would do, and I pulled them into my system.

I had a 100-page playbook, and I added five pages, and that made it better. Now I had a 105-page playbook, and then I saw five more pages, and I pulled from that it’s.

And then I saw things that other people were doing, and I went, that’s stupid. That gives me an idea. I’m going to do something to fix that.

And I would take things from other people and I would tweak them, and I’d make them even better.

I can give you one example, and I typically have only shared this with private coaching clients but one example, I got an email years ago.

I don’t remember who it was from years ago, and it was an email that said, “Hey, Matt, if you want to run Facebook ads, we’d like to help you pay for them.

We’re only sending this to our top 20 affiliates, so we’ll give you $1,000, kind of an advance on your commissions.

We’ll send it to you right now. Just let me know if you want it, and you can use that money to run Facebook ads.”

I was like, that’s a cool email. What if we took it to the next level?

What if we sent a check in the mail? We call them our fake book checks, and it looks like it has a little window, and it has their name on it, looks like a check.

If they open it up, it looks like a check, and there’s a letter with it that’s like, “Hey, if you want to take advantage of this, just send me an email or shoot me a text, and we’ll PayPal you $1,000 right now.”

So it’s breaking through that clutter. It costs like a buck in paper and envelope and time and mailing. It’s like a dollar.

That’s the kind of thing that you can like I took this one idea and added my own flavor to it. Now it’s my idea.

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Now, a lot of people do that now because they sold it for me, which is kind of cool.

So I wouldn’t have learned that if I wasn’t promoting affiliate offers.

So question number one again, is it right for you?

Do you have the personality, do you hear the responsibilities and the skills that are needed and go, yep, this is right up my alley, dude.

Number two, do you have the basic marketing and sales, networking skills, and personal habits to be a good affiliate manager?

Thirdly, do you have a basic understanding of affiliate marketing and affiliate management?

If so, and you’re looking to be an affiliate manager for, I think, the top affiliate management company on Earth, if I say so myself.

I’m going to tell you about something.

Over the past couple of decades, almost oh, my gosh, it’s been 17 years. My company has worked with more than 300, 350,000 affiliates now.

We’ve worked with clients like Ryan Levesque, Stu McLaren, Michael Hyatt, Lewis Howes, Brian Tracy, Jeff Walker, and Ray Edwards, working with Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi, helping them with their launch.

We’ve worked with some amazing people, and we’re hiring. We are hiring affiliate managers and if you think you might be interested, this opportunity is for you.

Now, I want to explain some things, though, and if you’re like, Matt, I don’t want to be an affiliate manager. I definitely don’t want to work for you. That’s fine.

I want you to listen to this hiring process, though, because if you’re planning on hiring anybody, we have just proven that this hiring process, the idea of this has made things so much better, as far as retention and whatnot.

So we have a really unique hiring process for our agency. We put them first for a five-week.

If you apply, you’re going to go through a five-week training session.

So actually, very first, you’re going to fill out an application that’s extensive. I’ll talk more about that in a little bit.

You go through a five-week training session, which will teach you all about affiliate management, client relations, and more, right? So the training is free. We don’t charge for it.

There are tests, and at the end of the training and we’re grading those tests, you’re going to have an opportunity at the end to work for us on a trial basis.

And if your skills, your attitude, all these things are a good fit for our agency, then you’re going to be invited to join our team.

If that sounds like something you might be interested in, apply for our Affiliate Manager Training at, we’re going to put this in the show notes.

Now, as I said, we’ve been around, been doing this for 17 years, and we are on a mission to help businesses increase their revenue. This is our mission, right?

This is our mission as a company to increase their revenue so they can have a greater impact on those they serve and create a lifestyle they love. That is straight from our mission statement.

How does this look as a company?

I mentioned earlier our core values, right? We always overdeliver. We give customers at least a 10X value on what they invest.

We take that one extra step to ensure that people feel amazing in their interactions with us.

So we do that with our clients, we do that with our affiliates. That’s a core value in our company.

Another core value is constantly learning. I touched on this, right?

We are constantly learning from others. We learn from ourselves. We experiment, which means we fail, by the way, which means we learn.

We allow others to surprise us. I talked about this with leadership. We delegate freely.

We focus on our unique abilities, and we allow others to fill in the gaps. I’m reading some of this straight from our core values, right?

The other core value, we do not work with jerks and it says in our core values, we give grace to the hurting and confuse, but we have zero tolerance for jerks or abuse of customers.

As much as reasonably possible, we avoid working with negative people on the front end.

Fifth, we ruthlessly protect our downtime.

If you think you’re going to come here and work 80 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, you are absolutely wrong.

Will there be a week? Sure.

When you run in a big launch, will there be a week or two out of the year where you work 60 hours? Absolutely.

You know what happens the following week? You take some time off.

We are purposeful about giving our team rest and rejuvenation.

They need to care for their health, to care for their mind, to care for their most important relationships, and selfishly as a business owner so they can do their best work.

If you work 60 hours a week for more than about three straight weeks, you’re done. You’re toast.

I told one of our guys on our team earlier, he was not feeling well and I said, Listen, here’s what I need from you.

I need you to tell me if you need me to help with you today so you can get some rest because I’d rather have you at 100% for the last week of this big launch that we’re running.

I’d rather have you at 100% for the next seven days and be at 0% today, than be at 70% for the next eight days, including today.

I’d rather have to do your whole job for you today, and then you’re going to be at 100% starting tomorrow and be running at 70% the whole time.

You can do the math on that. That’s the difference between I get 700 out of 800 or I get whatever, 560 out of 800. I’d rather get the former of those two.

We’re the hero, not the guide. Every customer is the hero, not us.

We do the things that scare us. We take on new projects that challenge our current skill level or resources.

We apply what we call the 80 20 rule. Not 80 20 in the sense of the Pareto principle, but done is better than perfect. Right?

“We believe that a wrong decision is better than no decision.” Those are our core values.

If you’re going, that sounds like a company I’d like to be a part of. Awesome. Keep listening. If not, that’s cool, too. Now, about the training, just to be real quick.

It is intended to teach you the basic framework of affiliate management for our company’s core focus. Okay?

Which are affiliate programs and the online business, digital products, memberships, coaching, books, and similar spaces. Right?

It’s not meant to teach you everything about affiliate management. That took me 17 years.

You think I’m going to put that into a five-week training? It’s not going to happen.

You’re going to learn a lot of our secret tactics and strategies.

In fact, one of the things that you do when you apply is you agree not to share them.

You’re not going to, like, go through this training and then go share all these things with people. That’s not cool.

You give you kind of a high-level view of things along with specific situations and case studies, examples, things like that, right?

It’s intended on our end. Again, this is where you as a business owner, can learn.

We’re identifying qualified, enthusiastic, eager candidates who work for our agency. It’s effectively like an extended job interview.

So if you’re interested in this, think of it as a lengthy job interview.

It’s not five months long, but it’s also not like, hey, I’m going to talk to you.

You’re going to say great things about yourself. I’m going to check out one reference, and then I’m going to hire you.

It’s meant as more of an extended job interview, you’re going to learn a ton of things in the way that you may or may not apply elsewhere. It’s not comprehensive training in that.

So much of the learning takes place as you engage in the activities, as you do the work.

You can ask anybody in our agency, the first big launch they ran, they learned more in that big launch, and they learned in the training, but they couldn’t have done that without the training.

All right, so again, it’s not intended to teach affiliate marketing outside of our core focuses.

So if you’re like, Hey, man, I want to run a gambling affiliate program, you’re probably not going to learn a whole lot.

It’s not for showing up randomly. It’s not for showing up sporadically. If you commit to this, you’re all in.

This is a unique opportunity just to paint expectations. The last time we had 52 applicants, we accepted 27 into the training. We had five make it to the test phase.

So only five out of the original 52 made it to the point where we had them do a test and we hired two.

I’m not saying that to scare you. I’m just telling you I’d rather you go, whoa, man, that seems like this is not for me right now, than end up getting into this and discovering it’s not for you three weeks in.

It’s not easy, but they’re loving it. Like, the two that we hired are loving it.

They learn as they won. The keys to success, right? Show up, be on time, be all in, and ask a lot of questions. You know, be interactive. Right?

The people that we ended up hiring that made it to the test phase are the ones who asked questions.

They were the ones who were the most engaged. That’s the key to success there. That’s the key to success in anything in learning.

So if you’re interested, like Matt, this sounds like it’s for me, maybe I think I’m interested.

I’d like to learn more about being the affiliate manager and apply for our affiliate manager training at no cost for it.

It’s a lengthy application. I’m actually going to pull open the application while I’m recording this.

And just so there are no surprises, like, again, I want to be totally transparent so you can see, like, of course, we need your information, your contact information.

We ask you, why do you want to join the team?

Describe your current job or business?

What do you like most about your job or business?

What do you like least about it?

Why would you make a good affiliate manager?

And then I ask a handful of questions. These are situational questions.

Like, if you’re running an affiliate program and you find out that one of your top affiliates is breaking the rules, what do you do first? How would you proceed from there?

This is an open-ended question. There’s no right or wrong answer. I want to learn how you process things.

Then we ask him some specific questions. Like, according to Matt, what is one of the three C’s of a successful affiliate program?

Now, here’s the deal. You either already know that because you’ve listened to enough of the podcast, or you’ll do the work to go find it.

Those are the type of people we’re looking for. It doesn’t matter which one.

I don’t care if you have this as your first ever podcast episode.

Your friend sent this to you and said, go listen to this. I think you might be interested, and you never even heard of me. That’s fine.

But you’re going to do the work, because the questions that we ask on here, you can find them.

Look, if you use a search feature on, you will find the answers to these questions.

Are you going to put in the work? It might take you 20 minutes.

Are you willing to spend 20 minutes? Don’t put I don’t know. I couldn’t find that information.

You were immediately removed from consideration, and that’s what I’m talking about.

Again with that hiring process, you know, so again, that’s what it looks like. There’s some more to that application.

The reason why only 27 of the 52 people made it through are some of the reasons you could probably figure out half of those 25 that we didn’t select.

They put things like, I don’t know, I’m not sure. An affiliate asks you for a special landing page.

This is not something we’ve previously discussed with the client.

How would you handle this situation? I would tell them no. That’s the extent of your answer? No, that’s a terrible answer.

How would you proceed if an affiliated broke the rules?

If you provide a thoughtful answer and I think, wow, that’s not the way I would handle it. I don’t care. I want to know how you think. Right?

I can teach you the right answer. I can teach you what to do. But what kind of thoughtfulness do you put into your answer?

Please describe why you’d make a good affiliate manager. I want to know about that.

“Let me give you one tip since you’re a podcast listener. What do you like least about your job or business?

Is not an invitation to complain about your current job or business, don’t do it. Don’t do it.” – Matt McWilliams

All right, so talk about what you like least. Be honest, but don’t complain. There’s a difference.

So again, if you’re interested, go to

To get started with affiliate marketing the right way, download my free quickstart guide to affiliate marketing. Grab your copy here!

Again, we’ll put that link in the show notes, go check it out and apply. Thoughtful, thorough application. And hopefully, I’ll see you in the training.

So if you’ve got questions about this or anything else, you can text me anytime. 260-217-4619 text me anytime with questions about what we talked about today, about the agency, or about hiring us.

Obviously, we’re looking for affiliate managers for a reason because we’ve got more potential clients than we have people to run their programs considerably more.

We have considerably more demand than we have supply. Great problem to have.

It’s just that we’re leaving a lot of people on the table that we could help.

I like to serve five times as many people as we’re serving right now, and we can’t do that with our numbers.

So if you’re interested in hiring us, you can reach out to me there as well.

Make sure that you subscribe and share this episode with somebody with that you think it might be a good fit.

And the next episode is a little bit of a surprise because I actually don’t know what it’s going to be yet.

I’m recording this so far in advance and I don’t know what the next episode is going to be.

So be interesting, we’ll find out together. But make sure you subscribe because you don’t want to miss it. I’ll see you then.

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