When affiliate marketers launch a campaign, they only care about the bottom line – the profit. Although profit is always the goal, I also work on improving my operational efficiency. One way of doing that is focusing on the speed of implementation, i.e., how fast I can turn an idea into reality.
How many times have you had a great idea, but you never actually did anything about it? Maybe you were excited at first, but after a few days, the enthusiasm died down, and the idea never got launched. Or how about that time you had an amazing idea, but someone else beat you to the market?
The world doesn’t reward the dreamers. Your reputation is based on what you’ve actually accomplished.
Improving my ability to execute ideas has given me a huge competitive advantage in affiliate marketing, and it is a skill you should improve on as well.
Speed of Implementation in Action
Here are some examples of how I made tons of money using this concept.
A few years ago, I came across a new campaign that had potential. I asked my affiliate manager if anyone was running it yet.
“No, no one’s running it,” he replied.
“Why not?” I asked.
“Because affiliates are lazy! No one’s running it because there are no landing pages or ads to steal.”
I realized I had a great opportunity and rushed to launch within six hours. My team groaned but hustled. After a few hours of the launch, they got addicted to refreshing the stats page. The campaign ended up doing $10,000 in revenue on the first day.
The company running the offer had some limitations and wanted to take things slowly. They closed the offer down and made it exclusive to me. Not a bad advantage. What if I took a week to launch the offer? It might’ve gone to a competitor.
Here’s an example of when the slow speed of implementation cost me.
I was excited to launch an offer. But for whatever reason, I was slow. I suppose we are more passionate about some niches than others, and this niche definitely didn’t excite me.
It took me over a month to launch this campaign. Once I did, however, I saw that this was one of the biggest campaigns of my career. That’s when I proceeded to face-palm. I realized how much money I could’ve earned had I launched this campaign on the first day. I missed out on a whole month of potential earnings.
How many potentially huge campaigns did you miss out on because you were too lazy?
I use the speed of implementation on my blog all the time. I reported that Facebook banned dating affiliates before anyone else, and it ended up being my most shared post.
A few weeks ago, I woke up to an email from Voluum.com saying its affiliate program got launched. I knew I had to be the first one to announce it so I could have an advantage getting referrals. I rushed to write my guide on Voluum, and I ended up getting hundreds of referrals. If I waited a week, I would have gotten significantly fewer referrals.
Another benefit of fast action is the speed with which I learn.
The faster you take action, the faster you learn. It’s how people become world-class experts.
- Take action.
- Get feedback.
This feedback loop is always churning. The faster we spin the wheels, the faster we learn. If I add a strong team and optimized systems, I can learn ten times faster than the average affiliate. I don’t want to be slightly better than the competition. I want to crush it.
That’s why I always preach innovation and creativity. If you’re always copying what others do, then you’re always five steps behind them.
(If you want to be a more effective affiliate marketer, read my classic article.)
Ways of Improving Your Speed
I hope by now you can see the benefits of improving the speed with which you take action. Most people will think, “If I want to move faster, I need to work harder.” That’s not how Super Affiliates think.
We examine, analyze, and focus on our leverage points.
Find the Bottlenecks in Your Campaigns
I visualize my campaign process like an assembly line in a factory. Each step of building a profitable campaign is a different department. What I’m looking for are the limiting steps that are slowing me down.
The next time you launch a campaign, I want you to write down your process and the time it took to implement each step. Once you see what is taking you the most time, think about how you can do things faster.
We can’t figure everything out by ourselves, and that’s where the power of networking comes in. I don’t like asking other affiliates what traffic sources or campaigns they’re running since it’s sensitive information. However, I love looking at other people’s processes to see if I can use them to improve mine.
A few years ago I was advertising heavily on Facebook, and submitting ads was my limiting step. I asked a few guys to see if they had any solutions, and someone shared with me his technique. As a result, I improved my speed by 3x. How valuable is that?
Here are some freebies to help you improve the speed of your campaign launches.
Ways I have improved my campaign launching abilities:
- Getting a custom landing page built could take two days. Instead of building landing pages from scratch, I have landing page templates. All we need to change are the pictures and the landing page copy, and we’re ready to launch. I can launch a new vertical in a few hours to get some initial data.
- I have employees and virtual assistants. Imagine telling an employee “launch x campaign in y country in z traffic source” and having it done in a few hours. While other affiliates spend 5 hours launching a campaign by themselves, I delegate and use those 5 hours on bigger stuff.
- I use software, tools, macros, and automation. Instead of spying on ads manually, I can use tools such as WhatRunsWhere to speed up the process. My friend is a programmer, and he dominated certain traffic sources because he designed his own bidding software.
- I always ask myself, “How can I do this better? How can I do this faster?” I’m always in the state of mind of kaizen. My brain is wired to seek improvements.
Remember that there is always a better way.
Minimum Viable Campaigns
This is a concept I got from the Lean Startup movement (I highly recommend you read it).
It means not to waste your time and energy launching campaigns that no one cares about. Because time and money are limited, we want the biggest “bang for our buck.”
I have seen newbies spend days creating landing pages, angles, and ads and then launching the campaign. Their enthusiasm dies out once they see how horrible the campaign is.
“Okay, the theory sounds great, Dr. Ngo, but how do I actually put this into action?”
Here’s an example of what I did a few months ago.
A new campaign accepted 10 countries, but I didn’t know which countries were the most profitable. I could just ask which one’s making the most revenue, but that doesn’t really tell me which one would work best for me. Maybe the best country is not in the top revenue bracket because no one’s tested it yet.
What does the typical affiliate do? He spends hours setting up the campaign for a random country like Belgium. Why did the affiliate pick that country? Who knows. He will spend days thinking of angles and designing a landing page before finally launching. It does horribly. He gets demoralized and moves on to the next “hot” niche.
I tested the 10 countries and found two that broke even. Once I added landing pages and optimized the components, I had another winning campaign.
Do you see the difference in my approach? I make data-driven decisions like a scientist.
Anyone can come up with a great idea, but ideas alone don’t make you rich.
Being a great affiliate is about a speedy execution of ideas. Instead of focusing on how much money you make with each campaign, start analyzing your processes and improving them.
Being able to execute ideas faster than your competition is a huge advantage.