ENTREPRENEUR INSIGHT: Want to know my “Why?

ENTREPRENEUR INSIGHT: Want to know my “Why?

Why after 20 years in Affiliate Marketing are you starting a blog or a personal brand?

20 years of “grinding” and “hustling.”  20 years of working in Affiliate Marketing.  The question is, “Why am I still doing this after so many years?”  Why would I put up a website about myself and my thoughts on the industry?  Ego?  Financial Gain?  No.  I do this for the passion and love of giving first, and to make things happen for people that they wouldn’t have made happen otherwise.  Put simply, I have the resources and happiness to last me a lifetime.  I’m most concerned about the industry as a whole and helping others right now.  If my business grows as a result, or if I come into more, that’s ok but it is NOT my primary focus.  I’m looking to truly change the world, to change the industry I’m in, and to change the lives of those around me.
There are so many “Gurus” out there you can follow that will tell you what to do and profit from you buying their books or enter into their courses.  You would have to question their motive as they ask for your credit card to make more money, to tell others how they made money.  That is NOT my motive.  I absolutely ask for nothing except enthusiasm and surrounding myself with like-minded people that want to engage in digital marketing and entrepreneurship to make a better situation for themselves or their companies. #givefirst

 

Starting with my “Why”

 If you want a great book to really change the way you approach things, take a look at Simon Sinek’s book, Start With Why. This helped me really evaluate what gets me up every morning to do this “hustle” and “grind” as an entrepreneur of 7 different companies after 20 years of doing it.  I found out that my God-given purpose is to help others who can’t fully help themselves, and to add value in the lives of Clients, employees, and friends and family.  I also discovered upon further reflection, that I am only driven to help those that truly get out of their own way that are ready to do the work that it takes to help themselves.  I don’t provide handouts, and I don’t offer free advice.  My advice comes with an implied homework that the person I’m in that level of relationship must do for us to move to the next level.  If the person or employee I’m working with isn’t motivated to put in the work, then I too lose interest and move onto those that will.

It is important to learn these types of things about yourself and it was important for me to learn it about myself.  Why do so many business relationships or personal relationships drop off so quickly for me?  I have learned that it is because we are in an exchange of time, knowledge and resources, and when I “give first” and the receiver doesn’t give their time and energy equally, I lose interest.  That’s ok, now I know.  If the person I’m working with gives a damn about themselves, their situation, and understands none of this happens without time and energy, then we are a good fit to move forward and work together.

 

Continuing on to my “How”.  How do I do all of this?

Once I discovered the “Why” recently, I moved onto Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle and the next layer was to evaluate my “how.” The good news is I have fumbled my way to a pretty good answer for my “How.”  I have built 7 companies sub-consciously to support my “why” that I hadn’t realized yet, perfectly supporting the overall “why.”  The 7 companies I will not all layout here because this is not a self-promotion piece.  Instead, I can tell you that they all help companies online acquire users and new customers more effectively and efficiently than they could do for themselves.  There, I did it right?  I built out companies sub-consciously and effectively to achieve the “Why.”  Nope.  We are not done.  Building companies around this is not enough.  That is only part of the “how.”
To really truly get to my “how” I could support the “why” I have to go deeper.  I have to go deeper within myself to really achieve the “Why.”
I learned that upon further inspection of my life, I was finding success building these companies, but I was letting myself down.  In order to achieve your “why” in life you really have to see “how” you are going to do that in your own life.  I took a look at several areas of my life, and much like in business I had to orient those things to my “why.”
I use a journal and I write down all aspects of my “how.”  The sub-categories or headings may be different for you?  The point is that you have to find in your life what really drives the “why”.  This is called your “how.”
These aspects in my life are:

1. Family

This is the #1 most important “how” I am able to do everything in my life.  My core family is THE most important aspect of my life.  When this is not in alignment or they are not happy, I cannot move on to the other areas of my life.  It’s a fact that everything else will fall out of balance in my life.  Many say this, many realize this, but not many practice this.  We came up with a mission as a family to always “leave a legacy of giving, kindness and compassion and to build strong kids and legacy-minded futures” and we try to practice this in all we do.  We also set aside time and resources to achieve this mission, and we re-align when we aren’t on the right trajectory as a family.    Our family doesn’t let other family members have a negative impact on our life, and we pause from any activities that perpetuate that or walk away from situations where it doesn’t follow our family mission.  Write down your family goals.  Build a family mission, and stick to it.  Meet regularly with your family to see if you are on track to achieve those goals or if you are on mission.  Take time for your family, and be present.  

2. Health

Without your health, you cannot get to your goal.  If you do get to your goal and you still haven’t taken care of your health, you will quickly fade and won’t be able to enjoy that goal. 

A few years ago, I was completely unhealthy.  I was over weight by too many pounds, and I had allowed my iron levels in my body to go to almost nothing and had to have a blood infusion.  During my journey, I also sustained a traumatic brain injury from slipping on ice and hitting my head, and it took months to speak again and over a year to be able to go through a day without throwing up.  In addition to that, I got in a skiing accident tearing both ACLs and Meniscus, undergoing double knee surgery.  I was in a wheelchair for a whole summer.

At this rock bottom health point, I realized that it didn’t matter how hard I worked or how hard I focused on the other areas of my family, I was going to need to make health a priority as part of my “why.”  Today, I’m one of the healthiest places I’ve been in my lifetime.  I implemented a “move” policy where I work out or do physical therapy at least 30 minutes per day, I do yoga when I can, and I am following a Keto-based diet.  As of this post I’ve lost 32 lbs and still dropping!  

Many say they will work out when this or that happens, or they will change their diet when they aren’t so stressed, but when you are stressed is EXACTLY when you should be working out and eating right.  It helps you have the reserves to attack your “Why.”

 

3. Financial

“I want to make a million dollars” says every Entrepreneur.  I realistically looked at it and I know to retire and to be able to give back at the rate I want to give back, I probably need to earn personally $10 million in net worth.  If that sounds high, that’s ok, it’s my goal not yours.  The point here is that you should stretch and reach and be realistic with yourself.  What will it take for you to really achieve your “Why.”?  You don’t have to say it out loud, and you don’t have to run it by anyone, just write it down.

We often just survive with our finances, and we live on a day to day cash basis.  Planning your personal finances is just as important as planning your business finances when trying to achieve your “Why.”  The amount of stress you feel when you don’t have money or don’t know how to pay a bill will absolutely consume you.  I carefully considered the amount of cash I had on hand when I started SmarterChaos, and how long I could go before I could pay myself.  I would also look at my assets and come to grips with the fact I may be selling them off if things didn’t go well. This gave me a ramp time that I could build the company without having the day to day stress of figuring out where money was going to come from.  Many of you may want to start your company as a side-hustle or you may have to work other jobs to make it happen.  The quickest way to self destruction is ignoring your finances.  The second quickest way to self-destruction is to rely only on credit cards.  If you are running up credit cards without ANY plan to pay them back, you are on the highway to bankruptcy.  There is fat to little chance you are going to pull out a Hail Mary and just pay them off in the future.  That doesn’t mean credit is bad, but credit is bad if you have no plans on how you will pay it off in the future.

Buy some personal finance software like Quicken, and map out your expected income, your expenses, and stay on that budget.  Find innovative ways to earn money like consulting or helping others in their businesses and getting paid for it.  At the top of each month, write out your goals for the next month, the next quarter, and the year.  Plan 2-5 years in the future.  I would write down the income that I wanted to earn, and each year I would surpass it.  

 

4. Spiritual

This is an area many don’t talk about in business but it is very important.  The internal drive that I have comes from a higher power.  I am a Christian, plain and simple.  You may be something else.  It doesn’t matter the religion, the theology, or the drive. The point is that you really have to get in touch with that spirit and that higher being that you feel drives you.  In my life God plays a part in my life to help me make the ethical decisions, as well as to give me strength and power to move forward.  Fear can be crippling and the dark nights can be very dark during this journey.  To properly execute your “Why” you should explore your spiritual side.  For me, that is going to church every week, going on church retreats, participating in Bible studies, and volunteering on missions.

Another part of spiritual growth is meditation and being present.  Prior to this Entrepreneurial journey I thought mediation and the power of being present was all bologna.  I would make fun of people that thought they could somehow center themselves.  Since I’ve ridden such a rocky road to get to where I am, I downloaded some meditation apps like HeadSpace,  then I set aside 15 minutes a day when I wake up to focus and meditate.  Many CEOs have told me about the positive benefits of meditating, and I agree with them.  Meditation gives you a sense of quiet and focus on your “Why” and let’s you better execute your “How” and “What.”

 

5. Learning/Growth

 “Once you stop learning, you start dying.” – Albert Einstein 

Growth and purpose takes learning to fuel it.  Most entrepreneurs and CEOs read regularly.  I personally break reading into several categories.  I read for industry knowledge, personal growth, and for fun. 

In any industry, especially digital marketing, the cutting edge technology and the techniques change all the time.  In order to stay ahead of these trends, I find myself always having to read every week and study new methods.  You can join industry newsletters, read industry websites, or participate in industry conferences.

For personal growth, I read spiritual books, management books, and I try to learn more about emotional intelligence.  I have learned that in order to continually grow I must keep reframing the world around me with different personal growth models.  I take what I can use from those models, and I leave what doesn’t make sense in my life.  I read a passage from the Bible every night, and I reflect how it fits into my purpose and my life.

You have to escape once in a while, and there is no better way to give your brain a vacation than to take it to another world in a book for fun.  Don’t forget to read for fun!  This is one of the hardest things for me to remember because I do consume so many management and industry books, that I don’t want to take the time to read fiction.  It’s important, and its a good exercise to increase the imagination.  

 

6. Business

There is an entire discussion that could be had here on structuring your business to achieve your “Why.”  That would be another post entirely.  My purpose for putting it here is that you should realize that your Business is one of the main vehicles by which you can achieve your dreams.  If you realize this, it becomes exciting!  Your business is one of the most valuable assets that you have and that you can nurture and grow to achieve your dreams.  Remember that people that work for you do not have the same dream you have, so you have to structure the business to achieve your goals but also to achieve each person’s goals that works for you.  

Plan regularly.  Every month just like my financial plan, I write down goals for the business and major tasks that would help me get closer to that financial goal in the business.  If you write down 5 things each month that are deals or projects that you could accomplish that would earn you what you are looking to earn, then you will always be stretching and getting closer and closer to the financial goals we talked about earlier.

 

7. Travel

Often I hear Entrepreneurs, even those close to me, say “I don’t have time or money to travel.”  My response to this is that everyone should find a way to take a vacation and get outside of your geography.  Save for it, plan for it, make it a mandatory expenditure.  Too much concentration on the business without getting outside of your head, outside the office walls, or even outside the city limits will absolutely drive you nuts and burn you out.  When you are burned out, you can’t achieve your “Why.”  

Write down your goals for travel.  Where are all the places you’ve dreamed of traveling?  Think exotic lands and exciting trips!  Nothing is too silly or crazy.  We have dreams to stay in an ice hotel in Sweden, to travel to the Galapagos and swim with sea turtles, or to heli-ski in the mountains of Alaska.  Our family has taken amazing trips to Hong Kong, England, France, Vancouver, and all around the US.  Nothing is off limits except dangerous destinations, and we discuss regularly the next places we are going.  It gives the family a chance to dream together, and it lets us realize the entire family’s dreams.  Remember, the family has to be part of your dreams and experience since they are there to help you achieve your “Why.”  A trip once a Quarter will re-energize your family and yourself, even if it is a camp out in a field outside your town, or just a road trip to grandma’s.  Do not fool yourself into thinking “we will travel when……something happens.” 

Know Your Why, Dig Into Your How, Get to your What

At the end of the day if you start with your Why, as I have done, the rest falls in line nicely and everything will drive towards your life’s purpose.  If you live each day on purpose, focused on that “Why” then you will realize you are happier and healthier.  It’s taken me 20 years to get to this place, but I plan on spending the next 20 years focused on my “Why” and realizing all of my dreams.  I know that focusing on the Why, leads to me planning and digging into the How, which then gets me to the What.  I know you can too and I’m here if you need to bounce anything off me, understanding you have to put in the work!

 

ABOUT the Chief of Chaos:  Matt Frary is a Digital Marketing Entrepreneur who started in affiliate marketing at eBags.com in Denver, CO in 1999.  He has since built one of the top CPA Networks called ROI Rocket and built some of the most iconic companies in customer acquisition to include SmarterChaos, She Is Media, Elite Media Partners, and Webfluential US.  Matt is a Graduate from The University of Colorado in Marketing and International Business, and earned an MBA from Thunderbird the School of Global Management in Phoenix Arizona. Recently Matt has purchased affiliate sites, is helping mentor startups and is driving innovation in influencer and multi-channel attribution. Matt spends time in Colorado skiing, jeeping, and building a life for his family.  Matt is available for speaking and panels at conferences or events.

 

 

 

Forbes: Key Factors In Identifying Your Brand’s Most Effective Influencers

Forbes: Key Factors In Identifying Your Brand’s Most Effective Influencers

Influencer marketing has become a trendy marketing tactic that bridges together brands and consumers by engaging the most influential people in specific industries. It isn’t a new trend, though. In China, key opinion leaders are essential to most brands’ marketing strategies. And in the U.S., many leading brands either have or are beginning to create influencer marketing plans. It’s not a trend that’s going away, so marketers need to pay attention to it.

Finding the best influencers for your brand is not easy. In a lot of ways, it’s similar to picking a sports team. You can spend a huge amount of money on star players for your team, but that approach means you could miss someone who can consistently deliver but doesn’t have that same kind of swagger. Brands are oftentimes choosing those influencers with the most followers or bravado, but not those who make an impact or have the actual reach you need.

At SmarterChaos, we have managed influencer campaigns for various major brands. We choose influencers based on their real engagement versus fake paid followers, and on relevant content, their constant engagement with their audience, their pricing and their authenticity with brands. We also identify them based on demographics, personalities, platforms they are strong on and much more.

We go through a rigorous process to select people who are not only influential, but who are the most influential for the particular goals a brand has. We always want to make sure the influencer is a good match for our brand’s audience and that our brand will resonate with the influencer’s audience.

There are a lot of questions you can ask yourself to try to figure this out.

Does the influencer match your brand personality? Is their content a good fit for the voice and tone of your brand? Does their audience actively engage in their content (like, comment, share)? And do the demographics match up — not only the general demographics but the demographics of the people who are actually engaging with the posts?

Here’s an example: If you have a jewelry brand that wants to reach women over 30, an influencer in the general sense of the word could be a celebrity who has millions of female followers over the age of 30. But a better influencer could be someone who has only thousands of female followers in that age range, but they regularly buy jewelry and comment about the jewelry they buy.

There’s a difference between those two pools. One is broad and far-reaching, and the other is targeted but reaches the exact right audience. We look for the targeted influencers, the ones we know will convert.

Measuring a person’s influence is a tough, subjective task.

There are so many things that can be looked at, and they can be sliced a number of ways. How much should you care about their overall number of followers versus their history with brands and their content or tone? Is their personality the most important thing, or are their engagement numbers the top metric to consider?

As a brand, you have to choose what works best for you. Different industries, of course, call for different influencers. Some platforms are better than others. For instance, Instagram is often better for fashion because of the pictures, and we see that Facebook might be better for some “mom” brands.

In addition, we measure the success of a campaign on the reach of the influencer’s message, the engagement and the overall sales produced — the sales that we can track as originating from the influencer.

Back to the sports analogy. Imagine you’re drafting your best possible baseball team. Pulling in the flashy celebs will be pricey, and they might not live up to the hype. The opportunity with influencer marketing is to find the rookies or the under-recognized stars who get the crowds going and are consistent with their performance, game after game.

Here are a few tips to help you get started:

1. Look at the influencer’s past. Do they write in a way that works for your brand? Are they brand-friendly? Do their posts seem to fit with your brand standards?

2. Consider your industry. Influencer marketing can work for just about any industry, but it has to be viewed through different lenses. The influencer strategies that work for a shoe company won’t be the same ones that work for an insurance company.

3. Measure everything. One of the biggest mistakes people make is starting a campaign without a clear measurement plan in place. Be sure that you’re tracking every single click, and that you’re matching those clicks to your return on investment (ROI) so you wind up with a solid picture of how effective your influencer marketing is.

Don’t get so caught up in the hype of influencer marketing that you forget to make sure all the boxes are checked. So slow down, make sure you’re choosing the right influencers and set up a clear measurement plan. Engage the influencers who are right for your brand. Empower them to represent the brand to their followers. And make the most of this lucrative new marketing channel.

Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?
The Power Of Review Sites For Brands

The Power Of Review Sites For Brands

You may be a marketer, but you’re also human – and that means you go out to eat, shop for clothes, purchase subscription boxes and get your hair cut. And as a consumer, you’ve probably read a few online reviews in your years on the internet.

We all do it, though some of us more make more recommendations than others. My friends often tell me to stop “selling them” when really I’m just recommending something passionately. According to Search Engine Land, a whopping 88% of consumers now trust product reviews as much as advice from friends and family, putting an anonymous online synopsis nearly on par with the age-old reliability of word-of-mouth marketing.

The Role Of The Review

In a lifestyle dominated by the internet, millennials see unique value in a well-thought-out purchase decision. Yes, some choices throw caution to the wind ($18 avocado toast, anyone?), but above all else, the younger generation appreciates a world where knowledge reigns. And when authoritative news sources fail to keep up, reviews are the next best thing, with 90% of customers reading online reviews and 88% of customers trusting what they read about those companies reviewed.

Don’t believe in the power of reviews? The numbers speak for themselves: According to BrightLocal, 92% of web users now read reviews and 40% make a decision based on as few as one to three opinions. Customers spend 31% more with a business that has excellent reviews,  and only 14% of consumers consider investing in a business with a one- or two-star average.

A New Way To Review

You’re likely plenty familiar with OpenTable, Angie’s List or TripAdvisor, but the vast universe of review sites has spread into countless other markets, from video games to America’s new favorite indulgence: subscription boxes. Their popularity is hard to ignore: According to Inc., site visits are up 3,000% between 2014 and 2016, with over 2,000 options to choose from in the U.S. alone.

Take, for example, Subscription Box Society, an affiliate of one of my companies. An authority in the subscription box review space, this company gives consumers access to a wealth of data at their fingertips, from FabFitFun to Dollar Shave Club. Peruse a StitchFix review and you’ll see what customers love (and hate) about the curated clothing concept, while a Five Four Club review narrates exactly what men can expect from their monthly boxes.

Unlike public pages like Yelp!, Subscription Box Society isn’t open to just anyone. Writers are pros in the industry, providing an unbiased look at the experience without allowing contemptuous feedback to muddy the waters. Instead, reviewers hone in on the facets that add true value. Sites such as Highlight Reviews add credibility to the brand with ratings and third-party trust seals as well as pricing information and quick feature bullets. This additional information is more believable by a third party and will be more accepted by users.

Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?

Making The Time To Share

Despite the importance of online reviews, attracting honest feedback organically is a little harder than it appears. Search Engine Land also reports that 70% of customers are willing to leave a review if asked and only approximately 50% do so when asked. And unfortunately for you, customers who had a bad experience are two to three times as likely to leave feedback as someone who received great service. Companies with strong reputations, however, often know how to work the system, leveraging marketing tools to urge users to share positive interactions.

Brands can entice users to leave reviews by interacting with them in comments sections, on social media or on blogs. You can provide the user a feedback system in your shopping cart or use good customer feedback software. One of the most important things that you can do as a brand is to engage positively with your audience, and never ever post something that would be considered combative, snarky, distasteful or anything that would offend or turn off a potential customer. Sometimes you have to turn the other cheek when it comes to reviews and fight any negativity with more positivity.

Content is king, even if you’re not the one writing. With the influx of review sites, both crowd-sourced and not, what the world has to say about you has never mattered more. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to make sure what others say sends the right message.

Don’t Lose Any Money In Affiliate Marketing With ITP 2.0 Coming

Don’t Lose Any Money In Affiliate Marketing With ITP 2.0 Coming

I KNOW that when you think about the UPCOMING ITP 2.0 (Intelligent Tracking Prevention 2.0) from Apple on their Safari and Mojave browsers, you can’t eat, you can’t sleep, and you are going crazy with total anxiety because you wonder how your affiliate commissions are going to be affected……OR NOT.  Or you are so worried as an Affiliate Manager at a huge Advertiser that your Affiliates won’t get credit for their sales, that you are doing stress eating.  OK, probably not.  In fact, you might be glazing over on this first paragraph thinking that this has something to do with submitting cover pages on all of your TPS reports.

As an Affiliate Marketer, I want to appeal to your inner Propeller Head (that’s a thing) and let you know that very simply, if you are not paying attention to the upcoming update called ITP 2.0 then you might be missing out on money.  That’s right.  You may be LOSING MONEY as an Affiliate, and, as the advertiser, you may be losing affiliates or your affiliate program might start to take a nose dive after this update.

OH NO!  So what can we do about this?  What does this even mean?  I’m glad you asked.  Your Chief of Chaos at SmarterChaos  has your back.

 

THE SKINNY ON ITP 2.0 IN AFFILIATE MARKETING

I’m going to put this into very non-technical terms, so any hard-core geeks please do not blast me:  ITP 2.0 is the latest idea for Apple to try to protect their users privacy when surfing the web using the Safari browser in light of the Facebook privacy scandals, and all of the hoopla online about the European Union’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).  That’s right, there is hoopla on GDPR and everyone was freaking out to get compliant.  GDPR DID NOT AFFECT YOUR REVENUE AS MUCH AS ITP 2.0 MIGHT.  Apple is looking to update all browsers with ITP 2.0 sometime in late August or Early September.  We don’t have exact dates, but there has been speculation and we know it will coincide with the new release in Q4 of iOS 12 from Apple.

There was already an ITP 1.0 that narrowed the cookie window to 24 hours in September 2017, but Apple felt that this was not good enough, hence the latest update ITP 2.0.  So basically, this new update to users Safari browser DOES NOT ALLOW THIRD-PARTY COOKIES AT ALL OR THIRD PARTY REDIRECTS like we use to track affiliate programs. This is set as a default in the User’s browser, and likely will remain that way because most people don’t change their settings to be tracked by cookies on purpose.  Suddenly the term Intelligent Tracking Prevention becomes very funny and almost ironic given that it makes our intelligent tracking less intelligent.  But I digress.

So to recap, here are the changes from Apple in this latest update:

  1. Protecting Users Against Tracker Collusion:  Apple introduces a feature to “protect against Tracker collusion” that basically does away with redirects.  As we all know, affiliate marketing relies on tracking redirects or affiliate links, and you may or may not know that there are also tracking redirects on pixels on the conversion pages of merchants.  Apple is now tracking when a redirect is happening to your merchant’s page, and discouraging or blocking it.
  2. 24 Hour Cookie is Being Removed:  Third Party Cookies are no longer allowed, even with a 24 hour window.  The tracking cookie for a long time has been the cornerstone of storing all of the information to pay the affiliate, track the sale or lead, and basically has held up affiliate marketing over the years.

What about Chrome, FireFox or Netscape (Is that even a thing?).  Chrome has been doing some updates and you should look into all browsers, but really I’m only talking about ITP 2.0 with Apple Safari browsers on desktops, iPhones, and iPads.  When we looked at one of our largest campaigns at SmarterChaos, we realized quickly that 48% of the traffic going to one of our largest campaigns had users coming through Safari on their mobile devices or on their desktop.  That simply means, we would not have tracked affiliate commissions for the affiliates of these campaigns for this Advertiser if proactive attention was not given to this issue.

 

GOOD NEWS:  ADVERTISERS CAN USE BEST PRACTICES TO TRACK AFFILIATES

Yes, that’s right, amidst all of the chaos and confusion around this, you can easily fix your tracking and make it best practices “cookieless” tracking.  Each network has a different solution for this, but if you check with your Affiliate Network, or with your Affiliate Tracking Solution, you can put a fix in place.  This will cause your affiliates to feel more comfortable, thereby becoming more loyal, and thereby making gobs and gobs more money through your program making you gobs and gobs of money.  You will look like a rock star in your Affiliate Program, and a rock star to your Affiliates.  We all know how much you want to look like a Rock Star!  I know I do.

Cookieless tracking does not use cookies to track such as traditional pixel based tracking solutions, but instead it will use some JavaScript or some piece of code that you have to install onto your pages, and you will have to pass the click id (or something similar) from the affiliate URL through your site and into the conversion script that the network or tracking solution gives you.  I know I’m oversimplifying this, but it isn’t that much more difficult than I’m describing. If you have a developer or a tech staff with any basic skills, this should be easy and installed quickly.

If you want to see what the various networks are saying, I’ve referenced their blogs and solutions here:

The following platforms and networks I have not seen an update yet, but I hope to and if anyone sees an update please send it to me:

AvantLink
LinkConnector
Cake
HitPath
Refersion
MORE GOOD NEWS FOR AFFILIATES:

Ask the merchant to have all of your commissions tracked and be sure they are taking all the necessary measures.

  1. Take control of your merchant relationships or the affiliate marketing agencies that represent them, and start demanding that they comply with ITP 2.0 and Best Practices tracking in Affiliate Marketing.  Ask them if they are using cookieless tracking and have them explain back to you which network they use, how they’ve instituted the new cookieless tracking, and be assured that they are tracking all of your commissions.  Test your own links to track a sale using an updated Safari or Mojave browser on Desktop or Mobile. You work very hard to attract traffic, don’t lose it because your links aren’t tracking.

  2. Reach out to the Affiliate Network that you belong to and ask them which merchants are using this cookieless form of tracking and which are compliant with the new changes.  If your network doesn’t know, send them a link to our blog here and have them reach out to me.  I’ll update them.  Make sure you understand which merchants will track all of your commissions at a network, and make sure that the network takes this seriously.

     

KEY TAKE AWAYS FROM ITP 2.0

This new change from Apple and recent changes from Google Chrome are telling us as marketers that users do not want to be tracked using cookies, and they do not want there to be background redirects passing information that they don’t know about.  We have to adapt as an industry and follow those wishes so that our livelihood is still there for us as Advertisers and Affiliates in the Affiliate Eco-System.  The tracking capabilities are there and we just need to quickly bring our programs up to speed.  The best takeaway is that you can have even better tracking in your program, you can get advertisers to track even more of your commissions, and we can all co-exist with users if we just follow the rules being set by the browsers.

 

WHAT IS SMARTERCHAOS DOING AS A LEADING AFFILIATE MARKETING AGENCY?

SmarterChaos has audited ALL of our Advertiser Affiliate Marketing Programs, and we have begun installing the best practices code so that all affiliates in Smarter Chaos programs will be properly tracked and credited.  We have reached out to every Affiliate Network that we work with, and we have alerted them to our concern for our affiliates and our advertisers, and we have asked them for solutions.  In addition, we reached out to the PMA (The Performance Marketing Association)  and asked the President, Tricia Meyer, to address the topic in a position paper to alert affiliates and merchants about the potential seriousness of this issue.  We have had our “chicken little” moments about the sky falling, and then we calmed down, and Chived On.  You can be assured that Smarter Chaos is the leader in affiliate marketing and we are leading the way on this issue.

So Keep Calm, and Affiliate On.

Cheers,
Your Chief of Chaos
Matt Frary

Key Factors In Identifying Your Brand’s Most Effective Influencers

Key Factors In Identifying Your Brand’s Most Effective Influencers

– Forbes Agency Council by Matt Frary –

Influencer marketing has become a trendy marketing tactic that bridges together brands and consumers by engaging the most influential people in specific industries. It isn’t a new trend, though. In China, key opinion leaders are essential to most brands’ marketing strategies. And in the U.S., many leading brands either have or are beginning to create influencer marketing plans. It’s not a trend that’s going away, so marketers need to pay attention to it.

Finding the best influencers for your brand is not easy. In a lot of ways, it’s similar to picking a sports team. You can spend a huge amount of money on star players for your team, but that approach means you could miss someone who can consistently deliver but doesn’t have that same kind of swagger. Brand are oftentimes choosing influencers with the most followers or bravado, but not those who make an impact or have the actual reach you need.

At SmarterChaos, we have managed influencer campaigns for various major brands. We choose influencers based on their real engagement versus fake paid followers, and on relevant content, their constant engagement with their audience, their pricing and their authenticity with brands. We also identify them based on demographics, personalities, platforms they are strong on and much more.

We go through a rigorous process to select people who are not only influential, but who are the most influential for the particular goals a brand has. We always want to make sure the influencer is a good match for our brand’s audience and that our brand will resonate with the influencer’s audience.

There are a lot of questions you can ask yourself to try to figure this out. Does the influencer match your brand personality? Is their content a good fit for the voice and tone of your brand? Does their audience actively engage in their content (like, comment, share)? And do the demographics match up — not only the general demographics but the demographics of the people who are actually engaging with the posts?

Here’s an example: If you have a jewelry brand that wants to reach women over 30, an influencer in the general sense of the word could be a celebrity who has millions of female followers over the age of 30. But a better influencer could be someone who has only thousands of female followers in that age range, but they regularly buy jewelry and comment about the jewelry they buy.

There’s a difference between those two pools. One is broad and far-reaching, and the other is targeted but reaches the exact right audience. We look for targeted influencers, the ones we know will convert.

Measuring a person’s influence is a tough, subjective task. There are so many things that can be looked at, and they can be sliced a number of ways. How much should you care about their overall number of followers versus their history with brands and their content or tone? Is their personality the most important thing, or are their engagement numbers the metric to consider?

As a brand, you have to choose what works best for you. Different industries, of course, call for different influencers. Some platforms are better than others. For instance, Instagram is often better for fashion because of the pictures, and we see that Facebook might be better for some “mom” brands.

In addition, we measure the success of a campaign on the reach of the influencer’s message, the engagement and the overall sales produced — the sales that we can track as originating from the influencer.

Back to the sports analogy. Imagine you’re drafting your best possible baseball team. Pulling in the flashy celebs will be pricey, and they might not live up to the hype. The opportunity with influencer marketing is to find the rookies or the under-recognized stars who get the crowds going and are consistent with their performance, game after game.

Here are a few tips to help you get started:

    1. Look at the influencer’s past. Do they write in a way that works for your brand? Are they brand-friendly? Do their posts seem to fit with your brand standards?
    2. Consider your industry. Influencer marketing can work for just about any industry, but it has to be viewed through different lenses. The influencer strategies that work for a shoe company won’t be the same ones that work for an insurance company.
    3. Measure everything. One of the biggest mistakes people make is starting a campaign without a clear measurement plan in place. Be sure that you’re tracking every single click, and that you’re matching those clicks to your return on investment (ROI) so you wind up with a solid picture of how effective your influencer marketing is.

Don’t get so caught up in the hype of influencer marketing that you forget to make sure all the boxes are checked. So slow down, make sure you’re choosing the right influencers and set up a clear measurement plan. Engage the influencers who are right for your brand. Empower them to represent the brand to their followers. And make the most of this lucrative new marketing channel.

New Rules of Entrepreneurship for Building Highly-Profitable Companies – Shoulders of Titans Ep. 017

with Matt Frary of SmarterChaos.com

“Remember how to be a student again, take knowledge and use it to achieve your goal.”

Shoulders Of Titans Podcast Interview #017 with Matt Frary

Matt Frary is CEO and Founder of SmarterChaos.com, an Internet Marketing and Sales Agency focused on large brands such as the Nationwide Pet Insurance, ValueMags.com, CBS Interactive, StraighterLine, JewelScent, Meredith Magazines, ShaveMOB, SkinIt and many more. Matt is a also a Founder of one of the former top 30 online Ad Networks in the US called ROIRocket.com, and a frequent speaker and influencer in the Affiliate Marketing and Online Marketing arena. Building highly profitable companies is something he has had much success with and loves to share his knowledge.

Matt has an MBA from #1 International Business School in the world, Thunderbird Graduate School, an education in marketing and business from the University of Colorado, with a strong focus in Russian and Brand Marketing and Finance.

As a Mentor at The Founder’s Institute in Denver, Co, Matt enjoys working with start-ups to realize their positive ROI quickly and is a passionate and serial entrepreneur.  His career also includes branding for the Smart Car at Mercedes Benz, Marketing at eBags.com, Lead Generation for the Auto Channel at MSN (DriveOff.com), Brand Agency Experience at The Integer Group in Denver, and becoming a dominant force in ethical lead and sales generation online. Recently Matt’s company SmarterChaos.com was listed 2 years in a row as one of Colorado’s Top 100 fastest growing companies, and was listed on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America 2015.

To learn more about Matt, visit: www.SmarterChaos.com

Topics Discussed In This Interview:

  • How to spot the #1 sign a profitable business that is about to go out-of-business… A lesson on business all entrepreneurs must know, but most ignore
  • How to create a $40 million dollar business even with a tiny marketing budget
  • The step-by-step guide to becoming an internet marketing millionaire… an insider uncovers how to instantly and accurately spot huge growth opportunities in online affiliate markets
  • How to “stack backend offers” to easily double, triple or quadruple the lifetime value of any client or customer
  • The 3 powerful ways to instantly and strategically increase cash-flow in any business
  • How to create social capital and get big business favors from successful entrepreneurs… discover powerful strategies even if you’re just starting out in business
  • The easiest and fastest way be a CEO that is respected, loved and influential
  • What is known as the simple “Your-Mama Rule” that gives business owners consistent, long-term influence and income
  • How to 10 times the success for a business using simple, proven tools, cheat-sheets and training
  • How to “practice the game of business” and profit handsomely… all while spending more time for yourself and your family than ever before
  • The secret to investing in “Brand Champions” that promote your work and your brand around the clock… and only paying them when they make you money
  • And much, much more!

Full Transcript of Interview:
http://www.shouldersoftitans.com/interview-with-matt-frary/

Resources Mentioned:

www.Clickbank.com
www.SmarterChaos.com
www.ROIrocket.com
www.Pollen-8.com
www.SheIsMedia.com
The E-Myth” by Michael Gerber

Quotes:

“There are only so many Ubers, Googles, Facebooks in the world. The rest of have to grow through sales.”

“Reward your partners upfront, handsomely.”

“Just pick up the damn phone, call people and ask them if they trust you and ask them if they’ll trust you on this product.”

“Remember how to be a student again, take knowledge and use it to achieve your goal.”

“It’s not the business that we want to work with. It’s the people we want to work with.”

“Discipline doesn’t mean a lifestyle without fun or working around the clock. Discipline means being effective in the hours you do spend building that business.”

“Busy doesn’t mean effective.”