Blog: 5 key skills every affiliate manager should have

Affiliate Management Skills
5 Key skills an affiliate manager needs

5 Killer Skills an Affiliate Manager should have

Affiliate managers have to wear many hats these days, which calls for a unique set of skills. If you want to become a more effective and successful affiliate manager, then these five skills are the ones that you should be honing throughout your career and self development.

  1. Confidence

Confidence is a key skill in just about every walk of life, but this is a skill that affiliate managers really need to work on. This doesn’t mean being overconfident or aggressive in business, but having the confidence to speak and advise those around you.

This skill requires some groundwork however, as to be confident you need to know that your advice is sound. To feel confident with this, it’s important to spend time researching and learning about the industry, including the latest developments.

Coaching can be a great way to hone this skill, as an experienced mentor can help you become more assertive in your negotiation tactics and positioning during commercial negotiations. This has many perks within affiliate marketing, as this industry can be harsh it’s important to be self-assured n your own knowledge and skills set.

This will naturally help with negotiations with affiliates, suppliers and other business deals. Affiliates will also feel more comfortable with a manager that clearly knows what they’re talking about and gives a good impression. This also helps to create a better impression of the programme among affiliates in general, which is invaluable.

  1. Flexibility

Being able to adapt to the changing market is becoming much more important for affiliate managers. Even the best laid plans can be changed at a moment’s notice in this industry, being able to be flexible in this regard is essential.

Part of this comes under forward planning too, if you have an idea of what could be coming then you can be better prepared for it. Expecting changes and future proofing your plans can greatly benefit the affiliate manager and their programme. No matter how well we prepare, changes can come out of the left field, in this situation you want to be able to push through and use them to your advantage.

Some affiliate managers may find that they already have a degree of this, but others may need to spend more time getting accustomed to fast paced changes. Don’t get stressed out when flexibility is required, see it as a challenge to be overcome.

  1. Develop your Digital lead Business Acumen

An affiliate manager that takes a real interest in the business will naturally be able to measure their efforts. A keen sense of business acumen helps the affiliate manager make decisions and understand the effect they have on the programme as a whole. Being aware of costs and profitability helps the manager to identify areas of growth and tasks that may not be worth the amount of time they spend on them.

This can assist the manager in freeing up time that would otherwise be wasted. Affiliate managers that can spot these opportunities for themselves, instead of waiting for audits, will save the programme as a whole time and money.

Generally speaking, this is a skill that can be learned and should remain a focus throughout your career as an affiliate manager. Some of it will only come from experience learning on the job and by working in various companies or across multiple brands. Networking is a fantastic way to hone this skill, as learning from others is a great way to learn from their experience.

  1. Originality

Along with having the confidence to express ideas, originality assists affiliate managers in coming up with unique ideas. These can bootstrap your marketing campaigns to much greater success than the original resources would allow for. Original ideas serve to beat the competition at their own game, which is essential in the current, competitive industry.

Although this is a skill that’s difficult to master, it’s much easier to put out ideas in a positive environment. Regular brainstorms and collaboration can unlock massive amounts of potential in this regard. Not every idea is fantastic, but negativity in these kinds of meetings will halt the creative process, so keep it positive.

  1. Social Skills

Affiliate marketing is made up of people from all different walks of life and it’s primarily a social business. Therefore, affiliate managers must have the social skills to represent the brand. People will naturally be drawn to those with these skills and that’s an asset to the programme.

Being able to read affiliates and understand their point of view will create a positive impression. News easily travels between affiliates and they will speak well of programmes with personable managers.

We’ve all encountered managers that are brash or spammy, which naturally gives us a poor impression of the programme. To improve on these skills, affiliate managers can collaborate more closely with affiliates and industry insiders.

Being a great affiliate manager is  an ongoing skills development process. It’s a demanding job which requires you to have multiple skills. Build on all of these skills with us here at Affiliate Insider, check out the latest news and training events to start and keep reading up about the industry to keep abreast of the latest digital trends so you can be in a position of strength when you negotiate your next deal.