Affiliate Marketing is an industry with a global outlook based on relationships and attracts a wide range of personnel from a variety of backgrounds, often with differing levels of experience.
At Commission Factory, we have identified a range of core skills that we believe are essential for a successful career in this dynamic expanse of the marketing mix. We also highlight the accompanying characteristic traits that often appear alongside these skills.
The skills and knowledge of team members are essential to offering a high-level service in this channel. From a Self Managed to Account Management service level, we find these following skills exhibited across the client services advertiser team. These skills could be something a company looks for in a potential hire, in addition to a previous article Hiring tips in finding an effective affiliate manager or if you are considering a role in this field, it could be competencies you are looking to develop.
No matter the level of experience, we have found that the following transferable skills are the most common Affiliate Marketers use to meet and exceed the requirements of their roles:
Successful affiliate marketers are brilliant communicators, both in the work they’re doing and in the way they discuss prospective and current projects with clients. With promotion being at the core of affiliate marketing, excellent verbal and written communication skills are essential in this industry
The devil is in the detail and you need to be able to locate and analyse details if you suddenly experience a drop in sales or web traffic. Tracking and being able to delve into the data is a highly valuable skill in affiliate marketing.
The more you can think outside the box and come up with creative, original solutions and content for brands, the better you will perform as an affiliate marketer.
Like all businesses, affiliate marketing requires a head for numbers and an ability to manage budgets effectively. You sometimes need to be willing to spend a little to gain a lot, ensuring the costs are within a specified and timely budget, and that incoming payments are paid out when they’re due.
Affiliate marketing is a highly rewarding occupation, but certainly has its challenges. When faced with a flopped campaign, disappointing results, or any other problem that may arise, it’s important that you’re able to quickly get back on the horse and find a solution.
Be a Leader
Once you achieve a certain reputation as an affiliate marketer, you are going to start needing to hire people to keep up with the demand. If you are not a steady, reliable, and an inspiring leader, your team will never reach their full potential.
Being productive is a huge advantage as an affiliate marketer because the more you get done, the more you earn. Developing maximum efficiency while you work is a key part of ongoing success in this industry.
Successful affiliate marketers can easily juggle multiple projects at once. Setting and meeting deadlines, sufficiently preparing for client meetings, and being able to quickly locate files, data and communications are all characteristics of being organised, and are a huge benefit to your affiliate marketing career.
The skills listed most likely are similar to those necessary to excel in other marketing or digital marketing roles, and we find that team members often demonstrate a well-rounded mix of the above.
These skills develop through education and experience. In unison with these skills, we find that many of Commission Factory’s staff, particularly those in the client services departments, demonstrate a mix of the following traits:
- Highly initiative
One recent activity the team took part in as part of their ongoing coaching and training was to evaluate the Advertiser team using DISC profiles (1). DISC is a personal assessment tool used to improve work productivity, teamwork, leadership, sales, and communication. Based on the DISC theory of psychologist William Moulton Marston, the tool centres on four different personality traits; Dominance (D), Influence (I), Steadiness (S), and Conscientiousness (C) scoring the participant on levels of each.
Each team member possessed a unique blend of all four characteristic profiles. However, general trends pointed out that many team members hold high levels of Dominance (D) and Influence (I) characteristics. These include general components such as Problem Solver, Self-Starters and Decisive for those with high levels of Dominance (D). As well as Enthusiasm, Trust and Optimism from those returning high scores of Influence (I).
We can see the overlap in characteristics to the general traits described. In short, a combination of the necessary transferable skills and outlined features can be a winning formula for a strong foundation and a career in Affiliate Marketing. Though not always necessary, add in marketing industry experience, and you would have the ideal candidate for a client-facing affiliate marketing role.
If you think you share a mix of these skills and traits and want to be part of a fast, fun and continuously evolving industry, we would love to hear from you. Check out our Careers page for more information.
1. Scullard, M. and Baum, D., 2015. Everything Disc Manual