Using Niche Conferences and Meetups to Recruit Affiliates

If you've been in the affiliate world long, you've heard of the big conferences where everyone gathers to have meetings with existing affiliates and meet new ones: Affiliate Summit, PubCon, AdTech, even New Media Expo.  These are all great events, but there may be a great source for new affiliates right under your nose in a local niche conference or meetup.

One of my favorite events that I attend regularly is a sports bloggers meetup in one of America's great sports cities.  The organizer has built a great event over the years with over 100 attendees who are passionate bloggers and social media content creators.  By sponsoring the event in the past, I was able to get our brand in front of a lot of influencers by manning a table, giving away some products and donating some raffle items.  All this was done on an investment of around $1000.  One of the affiliates I was able to round up from this event was the conference organizer.. who after 18 months of prodding and follow ups, finally gave our program a try, and had a great Q4 of 2013 with us.  This won us an evangelist. 

This year, I decided to step up the effort a bit, so I contacted my conference organizer friend, and proposed that I'd team up with the Affiliate Network that he's worked with us through and we'd present a session on how to monetize your blog or social media presence without alienating your audience. Because of his great experience with us, he was excited to have us there to provide some solid content to his attendees.   Once again, we'll be getting great exposure, sharing some practical information that these content creators can act on and make money quickly, and we did it at a really reasonable cost in terms of travel expense, sponsor money and some giveaways. 

If you'd like to meet up with some great grassroots, content creating folks in your niche, so some homework and see if you can find local or regional blogger meetups.  You'll likely find passionate people that you can evangelize to your brand if you approach them with the right attitude, and with tools and strategy that speak to them.  Be ready to do some education on the basics of affiliate marketing and to be able to provide some support to help get them started.  The investment will pay off in affiliates who have some great buy in from their audiences.

Affiliate Disclosure - I'm an affiliate for the New Media Expo and Affiliate Summit conferences.  If you register after clicking my link to those event pages, I will receive compensation.

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Wade Tonkin

By Wade Tonkin

Wade Tonkin has been active in the affiliate industry since 1999, working as in internal affiliate manager, outsourced affiliate manager, consultant, and sales specialist before joining Fanatics in November of 2010. Wade currently manages the affiliate management team for Fanatics.com and FansEdge.com as well as the official online stores of the NHL, NASCAR, NBA and NHL.

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