Molding Interns Into Rockstar Affiliate Managers – By Dustin Howes

by Alana Jones on April 24, 2018

Meet Landon. He’s the new intern you hired, fresh out of college with a marketing degree. This is the training he will need to be molded into a rock-star affiliate manager.

Where to Start?

Your product, of course. Your top affiliates are the best sales reps the company has, so show examples of affiliate content that are proven revenue drivers, and explain why it’s working. Have Landon study claims and tactics of those affiliates; he’s going to be huntin’ for more later.

Setting Time Aside

Everyone is busy, but you’re investing your time in training now so that you will save time later to focus on strategy. Three hour-long training sessions need to happen every week.

  1. Upskilling: going through applications are the best way to learn about valuable affiliates. Let Landon drive while you listen to his thought process, offering guidance and positive reinforcement along the way.
  2. Shadowing: Landon must sit behind you to learn your workflow, shortcuts, and how to handle emails appropriately. Send recruitment emails to high potential affiliates and explain your catered messaging.
  3. 1-on-1’s: This is Landon’s time to pick your brain on issues he ran into through the week and focus on development. It’s his hour with you, so create a structure at first, but let him adjust where he wants to utilize the time.

Assignments & Responsibility

You hired Landon because of his skill set, so let’s put it to good use. He is a beast with Photoshop, so trust him to keep your banners fresh. He also types 100 WPM, so have him handle those tedious data-entry tasks to get his feet wet. Give positive reinforcement to build his confidence and trust in your leadership. Have him take first crack at basic email inquiries and escalate if he doesn’t know how to answer. Once Landon gains your trust, give him unique tasks and check in occasionally for updates.

Business Calls & BCC emails

Landon needs to be a fly on the wall during calls and email threads. Even if he doesn’t understand everything you are talking about, he’ll learn your perspectives on unique scenarios and can apply that knowledge down the road. Have him also BCC you on his email replies for the first month so you can observe his responses and give feedback on the way he handled the situation.

Invest in Career Growth

The affiliate channel may not be the most glamorous in marketing, but regularly remind Landon how the affiliate team directly contributes to the business and other teams in the company. Encourage Landon to expand his knowledge through online courses that interest him and recommend relevant books to read. Assign him side projects that increase his understanding of how the affiliate team works in conjunction with other marketing and business functions. Reward his hard work by sending him to conferences and showing him the ropes. When Landon sees that you are genuinely invested in his career growth, it will motivate him to perform at his best.




Dustin trains future affiliate managers with an online certification course at

This article appeared in issue 42 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in April 2018.


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