Whether the internet, or real life, people want to use and recommend quality goods and services. So often affiliate marketing is misinterpreted as a way to earn money without adding value to the lives of others, simply mentioning a brand, or service and reaping the monetary rewards. The false hope of unearned riches is soon replaced with a more realistic axiom; affiliates often require more trust, rapport and influence than the product creators themselves. Oprah Winfrey is the archetype affiliate, with her book of the day segment creating millionaires, plucked out of obscurity and thrust into the spotlight. This makes sense, as people value recommendations from those they implicitly trust.
Because it takes years of earning a reputation, and a track record of excellence, affiliates or industry leaders do not squander this built-up-relation with their followers recommending fly-by-night products or services which are unproven. This has been the single biggest factor to Dan Anton’s success in the SEO (search engine optimization) industry. SEO often over promises, and under delivers; the idea of getting “free” traffic from Google, Yahoo and Bing enticed droves of individuals looking for a quick buck. Dan Anton took the opposite approach. After a meritorious military career, he applied his applicable traits: dedication to a mission’s success, detail oriented, long-term focus. Armed with a computer science background and previous flirtation with entrepreneurship, Dan would set out to create the longest running organic SEO service and most reviewed since 2010, BacklinksIndexer. This is a testament to Dan’s long-term focus and support of his SEO products (feature updates and responsive helpdesk), cognizant affiliates would only promote products which have stood the test of time in the marketplace.
“Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain” – 1 Timothy 5
In a short-sighted money grab, some product creators attempt to squeeze profit margins by not paying affiliates, or properly compensating their sales force and team. Dan Anton realized even though his products were revolutionary, he required the backing and support of the community, and nothing talks quite like money. Affiliates were paid handsomely, recurringly, and on-time, every month for 7 years. The search engine marketing products and services would still be widely popular, but the internet tribe leaders in their respective niches or consumer followings expedited the process.
“Only action determines my value in the market place and to multiply my value I will multiply my actions.” – Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman in the World
Affiliates multiplied his marketing efforts, promulgating the value of the software services culminating in Dan’s Rockstar of JVzoo book section.
Customer Support, Conversion & Sales Funnel
Promised riches, and a reduced work week, birthed herds of product creators, who refused to update, or properly service their existing customer base. Somehow the idea of working in your pajamas is misconstrued, by the masses, as not working hard; Kim, bloggers and other successful affiliates know the truth, whether wearing a 3-piece suit, or underwear, it’s about value added to the end user’s life. While most marketers dread customer service, and negative criticism, Dan welcomed it, using it as a tool to make enhancements or find new opportunities. Army officers are brutally honest; in life and death combat situations one must quickly assess weaknesses and confront them, rather than hiding or ignoring deficiencies.
The notion of “If you build it he will come”, is an iconic line from Field of Dreams. Luckily they weren’t selling tickets to the ballpark, as any marketer knows, if a sales funnel and conversion rate aren’t properly managed, affiliates and others will not sign up, nor promote it. Webmasters must have a clear focus and glaringly simple signup process, marketing to the lowest common denominator, while remaining relevant, powerful and niche focused. The average earnings of Dan Anton’s SEO products were much higher than comparable products because it was simple to use, effective, and implemented a more robust sales funnel, to maximize traffic, increasing conversion rates.
Now, momentum was earned for the next big SEO product launch, CrowdSearch. With such a complex problem being addressed through software and human labor, the organic SEO product was simply better than fake bot traffic alternatives. Coupled with super affiliates promoting it to their online tribes, it resulted in a 6 figure launch, earning product of the day honors in JVzoo, and millions of dollars in recurring revenue, another SaaS product. Quite simply, if only one difference could separate the wheat from the chaff, it would be his willingness to support a product, constantly updating it, and applying customer feedback with prompt, courteous support. In a world of get rich quick schemes online, ironically those grounded in traditional business principles are the victors. A series of interviews, Q&A sessions, and speaking engagements culminated in a helpdesk saturated with pleas of personal attention and advice, rather than merely a software subscription.
Dan’s business model was based on automating tasks intelligently, but started to open-up to a non-scalable service model, focused on humanity, a client facing search marketing agency in Atlanta, where each new client would go through an application process and be rewarded with a detailed consultation and a custom marketing plan of attack. While the software did and does continue to solve search engine marketing complex problems, the added human layer provides more high-end services to be rendered including consultation, SEO content marketing, PPC, social media, web design, the complete gamut of digital marketing. Employing the core traits, honed from his software business, to his new agency, Dan Anton quickly surpassed other marketing companies in the area, by adding more value, whether through consults or services rendered, dominating the competition. Dan’s achieved success both in the private and public sector. Cater to clients, treat affiliates like gold, and create products that are needed, useful, and supported.