Frankly, in our tenth year of business, our affiliates have achieved more than we ever thought possible.
But, we knew that what grew them to this level wouldn’t grow them to the next.
To lead the new generation of superaffiliates, we knew we had to evolve.
I joined the AdCenter branding team a year ago. When we looked at the company, we found one thing we could immediately improve to get to the next stage of our growth.
And doing it would have a direct impact on how much our affiliates could achieve.
It wasn’t just improving our SEO, hiring the best people, optimizing our cashflow… all that played a part.
But, there was an underlying opportunity we hadn’t tapped into yet. One that could (and now IS) fueling our success, making each one of those tasks infinitely easier, faster, and more influential.
The thing is, many networks try to implement this strategy and it doesn’t do a damn thing.
They do it all wrong, they don’t do it from the ground up. Quick fixes instead of real and lasting change.
And their affiliates suffer because of it.
If you focus on metrics alone, you can’t reach your full potential
What I’m talking about are what most people call “company values”. We’re inspired by the StoryBrand framework, so we think of them more as guiding principles.
So many brands say they have these deep company values that mean so much to them. But, when you ask an average employee, they can’t even tell you what they are.
Not much of an impact there, right?
All those companies do is throw a few “corporate speak” values on their websites and go on focusing on only the numbers. They’ve completely missed the entire heart of their business. Numbers won’t get you to push past what you think are your limitations.
But believing in something will.
We knew if we really wanted to help our affs, and get to our next stage of growth in the process, we had to do things differently.
And it’s a good thing we did, because harnessing our guiding principles the way we did has allowed our team to stay close and productive during COVID.
They allow us to work seamlessly together, to support each other. To produce our best work that has a real impact on the company and where it’s headed.
And that boosts the self-confidence of each person who touches our company. Whether as an employee, affiliate, or acquaintance, these principles feed into all areas of life.
If you’re stuck doing work that doesn’t fulfill you, it’s TAKING your energy instead of GIVING you energy.
All this introspection so we can serve our affiliates to the best of our ability. Consistently and faithfully.
How to accomplish more work in less time
Here’s what we did to uncover the guiding principles that have launched AdCenter and AdCenter affiliates to their highest achievements yet. In the past year, what our affs and our company have achieved has been astounding.
A lot of companies go to some kind of retreat and come up with a few buzzwords that sound cool. “Grit”, “Hustle”, “Loyalty”, blah blah blah. Words that might look nice painted big on their walls, but don’t have any true or real meaning for their people.
What we did was look deeper into the history of our company. We looked at the hard work of our affiliates. And to the things we’re already doing every day.
We saw common threads that tied all the decisions we’ve made to get this far together.
Pulling them out and putting them into words helped each person feel like they play a vital role in our company, because they do.
We wouldn’t be anywhere close to where we are without these guiding principles:
We must persevere to be the best CPA network we can be. We must collaborate to work efficiently so we can reach our goals. And we’ve got to keep learning so that we can stay on top of trends, of what our affiliates need, of how to better serve our industry and continue to trailblaze.
How these guiding principles define the work we do casts a vote for the company we’re becoming.
And, the same goes for you as an affiliate:
How your guiding principles define the work you do casts a vote for the person you’re becoming.
If you want to be the highest achieving affiliate you can be, all the different parts of your life need to work together.
AdCenter has taught me to do this, to be introspective and pull the best parts of myself out and into the work that I do.
And our affiliates can do the same thing for themselves.
Those guiding principles are a part of every single thing we do here. If a project doesn’t align with them, we drop it or modify it so we’re all going in the same direction.
Since doing this, the company has become more aligned. Launches are smoother, and we’re able to get out groundbreaking tech, support, and offers faster than our competitors.
In the year since we’ve uncovered what has been driving our success all along and presented it to our teams, we have:
- Launched a cutting-edge, first of its kind affiliate marketing app that helps affiliates earn more conveniently and reliably
- Created the affiliate-customized AdCenter Academy that gives thousands of affiliates a head start with industry secrets and tips
- Headlined Affiliate World Asia as a title sponsor and industry leader in Bangkok
- Continued attracting and hiring top talent so we reach our next goals that much faster
- Broken into completely new verticals and set the bar high for competitors
So, what can all this corporate speak do for an affiliate marketer such as yourself?
You don’t run a huge company, you don’t have corporate responsibilities or an HR department to worry about.
Why do guiding principles matter? Is this really applicable for you?
A resounding YES.
We’ve interviewed thousands of our top affiliates over the years. We’ve talked with superaffiliates, industry giants, and top performers in many verticals.
The one thing they all have in common… those guiding principles.
Getting clear on your principles brings unparalleled confidence. You will know what has created momentum in your life. You can define it with words. And then you can use those principles to guide you to your next big move.
Here’s what you can do to create your own personal ones so you can skyrocket your success in almost every area of your affiliate marketing business… and I daresay your life.
Get mad. Get real mad real often.
You know, over my years in marketing, I have been to plenty of retreats and seminars that bang on about this stuff. “Define your core values! Your values drive your success! Live a life that stands for something!”
Yeah, great — but what if you don’t know what those are?
The best, most solid advice I have ever gotten on this subject comes from the great Don Miller. He’s CEO of the aforementioned StoryBrand and a NYT bestselling author a few times over.
He put it simply:
What makes you mad? What things in your life get you riled up, get you angry? You are probably upset because, deep down, your personal values are being stepped on or disrespected in some way.
So, when something makes you angry, think of what the opposite could be of that, and that’s one of your values.
For me, I get really angry when people are pushing and shoving on the metro. This means that, deep down, I don’t like how those people don’t think of others or consider their feelings. So, one of my deep-rooted values is empathy. That’s the opposite of being a selfish jerk, caring for others.
Once you uncover those things about yourself, you realise how much meaning and purpose your life has. Failures don’t affect you in the same way. You see opportunities instead of obstacles.
You have an easier time being motivated because you know what drives you in life.
And if you do start to feel unmotivated, you can pull yourself out of it because you have something to aspire to.
It’s not a cure-all, and defining your own guiding principles won’t suddenly turn you into a superaffiliate. But, without a doubt, it will:
- Stop you from feeling discouraged if a campaign doesn’t go like you planned.
- Give you the resilience to dust yourself off and try again.
- Help you create goals you can achieve, and give you the passion to follow through.
- Increase your productivity so you have more earning potential.
- Help solve your procrastination problems by reminding you of the bigger picture: you aren’t trying to sell a streaming offer, you’re trying to buy your first home because you believe in security.
- Open your mind to new possibilities, and give you the confidence to trailblaze and try new things.
- Allow you to stop comparing yourself to others so you feel more successful and satisfied.
- Give you a reason to feel more self-assured so you worry and stress less and can focus on your goals.
- Help you navigate partnerships and alliances to make sure you’re enforcing your boundaries.
- Makes it easier for you to spot and respond to bullshit.
These are just some of the benefits we’ve seen affiliates gain once they get clear on their guiding principles.
Doing so has helped our company grow in leaps and bounds in the last year, it’s almost astonishing what we’ve been able to achieve…
Part of it even during the pandemic.
If you need help uncovering your guiding principles, join the AdCenter Academy. There, we teach you the foundations of affiliate marketing so you can spend more of your energy on yourself.
I can’t stress enough how important figuring out your principles is. So, let us take care of the practical stuff and you take care of the you stuff.
Together, we’ll be well on the way to our next ten years of success.