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OPM versus Affiliate - Where to start?

Discussion in 'Affiliate Management and Recruitment' started by TJM, Jan 1, 2007.

  1. TJM

    TJM Affiliate affiliate

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    I have an entrepreneur background having started and run several small companies and have been involved in the net for years, but was out of all things tech for the last 3 years. Am now getting back in and debating between becoming an affiliate OR creating a small OPM type of shop within a niche market. Is there anything or anyone in the forum that could offer any advice on their decisionmaking process when becoming an affiliate or seeking affiliate manager opportunities?

    I realize that there's a lot of personal stuff in making this decision and i'm wading through that, but looking for thoughts on people who may be doing one instead of the other and how they got to that point. Or if people are doing both. Any examples would be great. Does anyone know of any examples of small, niche OPM players? I realize that many times people don't want to reveal their storefronts or businesses in the forums, so i'm open to personal emails as well. Thanks.
    TJM
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2007
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  3. Linda Buquet

    Linda Buquet Affiliate affiliate

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    Hi TJM,

    Sorry! I tell you I can't give one-on-one advice by email and ask you to post your question in the forum - then take a day to get around to answering.
    How's that for service! :p

    Well, I think it's a little difficult to be an OPM unless you have experience being an affiliate - not impossible, just harder. Plus the OPM space is VERY competitive, but if you specialized in a specific niche, it may be doable.

    Do you know everything that goes into managing an affiliate program? Do you think you have all the skills and would LIKE doing all the things that affiliate managers have to do?

    Something else to think about is that affiliates if they are good can make a LOT more money than AMs can.

    I haven't really answered your question, just aksed you some and gave you more to think about.

    Anyone else???
     
  4. Linda Buquet

    Linda Buquet Affiliate affiliate

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    Moved a copy of this thread here to the AM forum to get opinions from other AMs.

    TJM, also wanted to add, that if you decide to go the OPM route, you may want to start off working as an independent AM for an established OPM firm. That way you learn the ropes and get experience.
     
  5. TJM

    TJM Affiliate affiliate

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    AM suggestion

    Linda,
    Thanks for the advice. Well taken! I think you helped me articulate more of what i meant -- that being an independent AM might be a better route for me than being an affiliate. But... I've been in marketing and writing for 20 years having done work for large and small companies (including a columnist stint at the Wall Street Journal and other large dailies). Specifically I've worked helping companies get online and into forums and communities and connected online since 1994. A lot of my work has been online research and i'll keep my eyes open for new technologies and services to help our community.

    I feel like i have the experience for either -- i'm just needing to understand the new online landscape that has developed the last 3 years while i was off in another industry and not as connected. I think the affiliate side appeals far more, but most of my connections/contacts are business owners and executives who are trying to figure out things like the blogosphere, affiliate marketing, etc. Therefore i thought i might be able to earn income faster doing AM work on an independent basis for small merchants and larger companies seeking to build a presence.

    Thank you again for creating the best forum out there. I've had a lot of cool interactions in just a short amount of time as a new member. I'll be active!
    TJM
     
  6. Linda Buquet

    Linda Buquet Affiliate affiliate

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    "Thank you again for creating the best forum out there. I've had a lot of cool interactions in just a short amount of time as a new member. I'll be active!"

    Cool, thanks TJ!
     
  7. Linda Buquet

    Linda Buquet Affiliate affiliate

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    In the other thread you wrote:

    "Part of my AM thinking was i have merchant friends who simply could be doing so much better if they had affiliates working on their behalf."

    Hmmm, well if you are thinking about helping them START programs from the ground up I think it would be pretty hard without experience. I think you have the savvy to educate them and sell them on why they need an affiliate program, but then making it happen takes a lot more than you may realize.

    It depends on your personality and what you like...
    but for me if someone offered me $10,000 I still would not set up an affiliate program. In fact I wouldnt do it for 50 or 100K either. I've done it before but have NO interest in doing it now.

    Managing an existing program would be easier to step into.

    The other option, if you decide you don't want to be an AM, is to convince your merchant friends they need an affiliate program and then work out a referral agreement and refer them to an existing OPM. That way you can go become an affiliate and still make money from your existing contacts but not have to do the grunt work yourself. :p
     
  8. TJM

    TJM Affiliate affiliate

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    Linda
    Awesome ideas and comments. So, which OPMs offer referral agreements -- are they in essence running affiliate programs for their affiliate management services ;-)
    TJM
     
  9. Linda Buquet

    Linda Buquet Affiliate affiliate

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    Hi TJ,

    Nope most OPMS don't have affiliate programs. Well actually a couple do. But where you can make some money is with a direct referral arrangement. Most will pay you a finders fee for clients that close. Plus since you know the companies you wouldn't just have them click a link. You would talk to them, educate them to the point they said YES I want to start a program.

    Then you could pass the OPM a well qualified lead. If you have talked to, pre-qualified and pre-sold to a degree the lead is worth more. That's what I do. I just passed an 4 leads to one OPM in December and all 4 should close this month.

    BUT most of the good OPMs that would pay you a decent amount are pretty particular about the type of clients they take on so you would need to get to know them and their requirements. THat's the only way I can pass such good leads. I'm good at qualifying and pre-selling based on whichever OPM I refer out to. I refer to lots of different OPMS and match the client up with the right one for their needs so its a good match for everyone.

    Also be aware, most good OPMs charge 5,000 a month. So if you are talking to small merchants with low budgets who arent really convinced they need an affiliate program it will be VERY hard for you to even make this work.
     
MI