712: From Stagnant Sales to 6-Figure Success: Proven Affiliate Marketing Hacks | Seth Greene

Podcast Cover Image: From Stagnant Sales to 6-Figure Success: Proven Affiliate Marketing Hacks Featuring Seth Greene
Podcast Cover Image: From Stagnant Sales to 6-Figure Success: Proven Affiliate Marketing Hacks Featuring Seth Greene

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Are you struggling to find high-performing affiliates to promote your business? 

The Conquer Local Podcast unlocks the secrets to explosive growth with actionable strategies from marketing authority and Inc. 5000 founder, Seth Greene

As the founder of an Inc 5000 company and co-host of the Sharkpreneur podcast, Seth’s expertise in direct-response marketing is remarkable and shares insights on leveraging 50 DREAM affiliates to promote your business weekly for a year. 

With nine best-selling books and features on major media outlets, Seth’s undeniable impact speaks volumes. His achievements include being a three-time nominee for the GKIC Marketer of the Year award, with endorsements from industry giants like Dan Kennedy and Kevin Harrington.

Learn how to leverage powerful affiliates and skyrocket your sales. Don’t miss this insightful conversation!

Book a strategy call to claim your $1200 offer here: https://get.vendasta.com/rb2i1wov5zgc

Conquer Local is presented by Vendasta. We have proudly served 5.5+ million local businesses through 60,000+ channel partners, agencies, and enterprise-level organizations. Learn more about Vendasta, and we can help your organization or learn more about Vendasta’s Affiliate Program and how our listeners (like yourself) make up to $10,000 off referrals.

Are you an entrepreneur, salesperson, or marketer? Then, keep the learning going in the Conquer Local Academy.

From Stagnant Sales to 6-Figure Success: Proven Affiliate Marketing Hacks


Jeff Tomlin: Welcome to the Conquer Local Podcast! Our show features successful sales leaders, marketers, thought leaders and entrepreneurs who will inspire you with their success stories. Each episode is packed with practical strategies, as our guests share their secrets to achieving their dreams. Listen in to learn the highlights of their remarkable accomplishments and get tips to revamp, rework, and reimagine your business. Whether you’re a small business owner, marketer, or aspiring entrepreneur, the Conquer Local Podcast is your ultimate guide to dominating your local market. Tune in now to take your business to the next level! 

I’m Jeff Tomlin and on this episode, we’re pleased to welcome the one and only Seth Greene!

Seth is the CEO of East Fifth Avenue and has founded four successful businesses, including a direct response marketing agency that landed in the Inc 5000 fastest-growing company list.  He is the nation’s foremost authority on growing your business with 50 DREAM affiliates that promote your business every week for a year.

He is the co-host of the Sharkpreneur podcast with Shark Tank’s Kevin Harrington which was named the number 6 business podcast to listen to. And he is a 9 time best selling author who has been interviewed on NBC news, CBS  news, Forbes, Inc, CBS Moneywatch and many more.

Get ready Conquerors for Seth Greene coming up next on this week’s episode of the Conquer Local Podcast.

Direct Response Marketer found Success using Old-School Tactics in New Media.

Jeff Tomlin: Seth Greene, it is an absolute pleasure to have you on the Conquer Local Podcast. How are you doing today, sir?

Seth Greene: I am fantastic. The pleasure is all mine. It is an honour to be here. I’m super excited.

Jeff Tomlin: Hey, well, when we kick off here, I just wanted to give a quick thanks for you. I know you’re a busy guy and we appreciate you taking some time to join us here in the podcast. I have you for a very short period of time. So I think I’ve got a checklist of things I just want to hammer through to try to squeeze out as much of your knowledge into the short 20 minutes that we have to chat. But you’ve got a long and storied background in direct response marketing, and so I wanted to maybe start there and just have you talk a little bit how you got into it, what that journey looked like a little bit, and how you see that space has changed over the years?

Seth Greene: I’m happy to share. I’ll try and do the bio part as quickly as possible. I went to college many decades ago for musical theatre. I wanted to be a Broadway star at the age of 18. My father gave me such a hard time every semester about the high cost of the school I went to, that by the time I graduated, I had created a separate degree program that didn’t exist at the time in College Financial Aid Negotiation, because I wanted to help other families avoid what I went through. And I went to work for a Fortune 500 company before the internet that said, “Here’s a phone book, make 300 cold calls a day and go get them.” And I absolutely hated that. And a couple of years later, I had the good fortune to get connected to legendary marketing guru Dan Kennedy. I had to borrow more than the mortgage on my first house with myself and my wife to go get to work with Dan. Thank God it worked. There were 6,700 advisors at that firm. I was dead last. And in two years of working with Dan, I was in the top 30 nationwide competing against people who had been in business twice as long as I had even been alive. That got me written about in every trade journal in financial services. Advisors started calling me out of the Yellow Pages going, how do we do what you did? I faxed Dan. Dan said, “You start a marketing company and do it for them.” So we started a marketing company in financial services 17 years ago, and I found that the principles of direct response marketing I learned worked no matter what the industry was. So we soon branched out to 63 different industries. The firm has grown from just me to the INC 5,000 list. And along the way, obviously, there’s been the internet and social media and a whole lot of other forms of communication. We found ways to make direct response style marketing work in all of them. And it’s been an incredible roller coaster journey.

Podcast Program Helps Agencies Get Dream Clients.

Jeff Tomlin: Well, congrats on taking names and kicking ass for this many years and continuing to do so all the way down the line. Seth, so as I pound through my list here, one of the big audiences that you have is you work a lot with digital marketing agencies. You’ve got the million-dollar digital marketing agency podcast program and it helps agency owners scale and scale profitably. Maybe talk a little bit about that program, what the guts of it look like and its focus.

Seth Greene: Absolutely. So that program came out of my own frustration. I was trying to make a name for myself in the industry. I was trying to get in front of impossible to reach high-level decision-makers and get them to take us seriously and get them to hire us. And what I figured out was I took Chet Holmes’ Dream 100 strategy from 20 years ago. I brought it into the 21st century and added new technology to it and our businesses took off. And it now is one of our flagship programs where we’ll help either an agency owner or an affiliate because we have a large presence in the affiliate marketing space as well through our company, East Fifth Avenue. And whether you’re an agency owner or an affiliate, we help you get 50 centres, either your next 50 A-level clients or your next 50 dream centres of influence. So if I was a local agency owner, maybe there’s a business attorney, a commercial mortgage broker, a commercial real estate attorney, a financial advisor, and a business banker, they all see the same clients I want, but we don’t compete with each other. So if I use that million-dollar podcast authority program, I can get them all to think I’m their new best friend and get them to literally actively promote me to their client base every single week for a year. Works the same way in the affiliate marketing space as well. But I found one of the biggest struggles as an agency owner was getting in the door, getting them to perceive you as different, and getting them to give you a chance, and getting referrals from other centres of influence. And our program that starts with a podcast and then has an 82-step follow-up sequence is great for converting guests into raving fans, ambassadors, or affiliates for our agency clients or for their client’s brands.

Client Retention: Strategies for Consistent Cash Flow and Customer Satisfaction.

Jeff Tomlin: Amazing. And I love strategies that have steps and playbooks that go along with them because you can follow them and understand them and you’re the king at that. One of my last guests, we were talking on the topic of client retention. It’s something that you also talk quite a bit about and maybe share a little bit about on your program how it helps agency owners maintain consistent cash flow and keep the clients that they have too because it should be job number one for most businesses.

Seth Greene: Absolutely. And again, born out of my own frustration, I would find clients that were getting great results with our program but wouldn’t renew their contracts. And I would say, “You literally got results last week. You said you were happy. Why aren’t you renewing?” “I’m bored.” Clients are just like us. They get shiny object syndrome. They’re like, “I know it works. I just want to try something different.” So I realized we had to prevent them from shopping in other places. So part of our innovation strategy is to come up with something new, whether it’s ours or something we offer through an amazing firm like Vendasta every 90 days so that they always see we’re coming up with something new, we’re always adding value, we’re always coming up with something. What’s next? So that that way they never end up spending any money anywhere else because right when they’re about to start thinking about it, we’re hitting them with something new. I think that’s a huge part of retention. I think the other part that I learned was communication. You have to be in front of your clients all the time because Dan Kennedy taught me it’s not their job to remember you. It’s your job to make it impossible for them to forget you. I had someone come in my office once and go, “Oh, my buddy opened this type of business.” And I’m like, “Why didn’t you refer him to us?” “Wasn’t thinking about you, totally forgot, didn’t have your business card handy.” I’m like, “Well, that’s a crock.” We’ve got to fix that and be in front of our clients all the time and doing things that go above and beyond. So we try and under promise so we can under deliver. We try and always surprise and delight, and we’re trying to always send our clients something in the mail that they’re not expecting. Every two weeks they get something in the mail that’s a surprise that isn’t promotional for us. It’s just a warm, fuzzy touch. It might be a gift, it might be a present, it might be something they’re not expecting. They go, “Wow, that was so cool. Thank you so much. No one else takes care of me like you guys do.”

Jeff Tomlin: I love that. And no one’s expecting that either. So that’s amazing. We’ve thought about that at Vendasta here for some time and what are the small things that we can do? But it doesn’t have to be a big thing. It can be a small thing like that, but it has a disproportionate impact on your relationship when you surprise them with a little treat like that. Hey?

Seth Greene: Absolutely. And then when we figured out it worked, we built it into a system that has automations behind it so we’re not stuffing a million boxes every month.

Jeff Tomlin: Yeah. I was having this chat with a gentleman at Corporate Visions, and I just got to thinking as you were describing this process of always coming up with a new thing and sending the new thing. When they were talking to clients and having renewal discussions, one of the things he said that was different, and this was Tim Riesterer at Corporate Visions, when you’re having renewal discussions that you have to reinforce a status quo where when you’re signing somebody brand new, you have to disrupt their status quo. It’s interesting the way that you’re describing things though. As you’re keeping clients and you’re having regular discussions, your status quo is, “Hey, you’re the guy that’s always bringing something new to the table,” and other people aren’t doing that. And I just think that that works well together in those two trains of thought.

Seth Greene: Absolutely. We’ve even had clients who have fired other marketing vendors to say, “Well, I haven’t heard from them in a while. They’re doing the same thing they’ve always done. I don’t know how well it’s working. You guys always seem to be coming up with something new. I’m going to move more of my marketing dollars to you and hire you guys for other stuff.” 

Sell on Value, Not Price. Focus on End Results for Clients. 

Jeff Tomlin: Yeah. Hey, Seth, I wanted to talk to you about creating value. And you’ve got a thing where you think first value over price. I was wondering if you could just expand on that a little bit and talk about how you think about putting value at the forefront.

Seth Greene: Absolutely. So clients don’t know how to price us. They don’t know what we should cost. They only know in comparison to something else. We had someone the other day say, “We quoted the price of… Well, that’s kind of high.” And they said, “In comparison to what?” And they didn’t have an answer. “Well, I don’t know, it just seems high.” And they said, “Okay, is it high in comparison to the return on investment we’re promising?” “Well, no, it’s a drop in the bucket.” I said, “Well, then there you go.” So we sell on value. It’s all about what is the end result the client is going to get. Let’s say, their average lifetime, first-year value of their client. How many of them can we get them? What is that revenue stream? We should be a drop in the bucket. We should be 10% of that so that we’re a no-brainer.

Quantifying Value and Using the Dream 50 Program for New Business. 

Jeff Tomlin: Yeah, I like that way of thinking and always being able to quantify what you’re delivering and being able to quantify the value on the other end, or being able to quantify a pain if you’re talking about someone’s pain point, but quantifying it is always the important step. Right?

Seth Greene: Absolutely.

Jeff Tomlin: I want to talk to you a little bit about your Dream 50 program, and one of the biggest challenges for businesses is ensuring an ongoing stream of new business, because especially for those that are focused on growth, in order to grow, you have to be adding new business all the time. And so talk a little bit about that.

Seth Greene: Sure. So our Dream 50 process is also part of the million-dollar agency program. It powers part of it. And the Dream 50 is all about who are those Dream 50 ideal clients? The A-level folks that would make your month. Or who are those Dream 50 influencers and micro evangelists in a target market or national if you are not a local agency. So we built, again, a process for getting our client, our agency owner, our business in the door for a podcast interview, which is not perceived as salesy. And then we built a, as you heard, 82-step follow-up sequence that takes that person from, “Hey Jeff, thanks so much for having me on my show to, oh my God, Jeff, it’s like your new best friend. What can I do to help you?” And then we happen to have an answer for them and we get them in a system that emails their list every single week, promotes their business, but takes our client along for the ride. So they’re literally getting new leads, new business, new website traffic every single week and can track it.

Seth Greene Developed a Successful Podcast Marketing Strategy that Generated Revenue. 

Jeff Tomlin: Walk me back through the thinking. Through your experiences, what led you to develop the program? You’ve put an awful lot of work into it, and so it’s quite the effort. So talk to me a little bit about the process and what brought you there.

Seth Greene: Sure. And it’s driven $150 million in revenue. So we know it worked.

Jeff Tomlin: Oh, just.

Seth Greene: And I came up with the process, this was about 10 years ago. I had interviewed 10 top-level marketers for a book I was writing. And these were folks who were like Madison Avenue ad agencies who handled the NFL or AT&T, so amazing marketing ad executives. And I put the book out and the book did great, and I got business out of the book. And at the same time, I started listening to podcasts. And every podcast I listened to, the favourite ones I had were interview shows. And I said, “Oh my God, I just did 10 interviews. I wonder if I can toss this out as a podcast and see what happens.” And so I did. I didn’t know any better. The production quality was awful. I didn’t have an intro, I didn’t have an outro, I didn’t have sound. You literally had a phone call like you heard, “Mr. Jones, are you there? Are you ready to do the interview?”

The production was awful, but all of the initial reviews of that show are if you can get past Greene’s awful production, the content’s really good. And I said, “Maybe we’re onto something.” And all of the people whom I aired their podcast episodes, some of them promoted it more than they did the book that they were in. And I said, “Oh my God, I think I’m onto something.” So I went back to Chet Holmes’s Ultimate Sales Machine. I pulled out the Dream 100 best Buyer strategy, and I said, “I think if I use the podcast as the first touch point, I add direct mail and all these other steps that Chet did, I bring it into the 21st century and add some technology behind it, I could make this really work.” I tested it on myself with those 10 people, didn’t work 100%, eight of them went through the process, agreed to it, and started promoting us every single week. And I said, “Oh my God, I’ve got something here. Let’s make sure it doesn’t just work for me.” We took a local golf coach through it who ended up quitting his job at the country club and making more money in three months with the program we created for him than he previously made all year. And I said, “Okay, this works in a regular business. Now let’s hire a team and offer it as a service.” And that was like 12 years ago. It worked so well it spun off a whole separate company that’s on the Inc 5,000.

Jeff Tomlin: It’s amazing. Seth, you give me the impression there’s a science to all of this stuff.

Seth Greene: Well, there’s art first, right? There’s the idea and the inception and then the art of crafting the messages and the copywriting and all this stuff that goes behind it. But ultimately, what I learned the hard way when I started in marketing, I was, for lack of a better term, a marketing junkie. Every seminar I went to, every book I read, and every video I watched was all about marketing, and getting more business, and it was just me and I made myself a giant mess. And then I realized there’s more to this world than just getting customers. You actually have to keep them happy. You have to do what you promise, which means you need a team unless you’re solely, let’s say a Vendasta reseller, which is an awesome business model, you’ve got to have a team and then you need a process. So I realized I needed systems to run the business because I was managing by Post-it note, I was managing by Excel sheet. Everything was in my head, and I kept making a giant mess and upsetting people because it was all in my head. So I said, “We need to build an automated system that tells our team members what to do every day so I don’t have to do it, and we can scale,” which with the help of a person I met at a Trafficking Inversion Summit, Scott Polat, he helped me build a system that literally cloned me, supervises my team, tells them what to do every day on every client, make sure they get it right, and I don’t have to micromanage the process anymore. And we’ve been scaling ever since.

Building Scalable Systems and Personal Development are Key to Success. 

Jeff Tomlin: It’s not trivial either creating systems as a software as a service company. We’ve talked for a long time as we’re growing that you have to build systems and that people can follow if you want to be a scalable company. And it’s not trivial building those things. And oftentimes you have to revisit them and update them. It’s a lot of work with these things coming together. And so I appreciate all of the work that you’ve done in putting these things together. It doesn’t only take a tremendous amount of knowledge, but a tremendous amount of effort to bring them all together after they’re proved out. Right? If you had a couple of takeaways for the audience, what would they be?

Seth Greene: I think the most important lesson I’ve learned in the last 17 years is who you are being affects how well what you do works. And it might sound like spiritual woo-woo, but it’s absolutely true. If I come into work in a negative mood, in a scarcity mindset, all cranky and messed up, magically our marketing doesn’t work as well, and clients don’t hire us at the same rate. If I come in on top of the world, excited, ready for my day, passionate, ready to help people, magically that energy works and our marketing works better and our clients are happier, even if nothing else changes. So I have learned to spend more time working on myself and my personal and spiritual development, whether that’s as a father, a husband, a leader, or an entrepreneur. I just spent the last four days doing a Tony Robbins event. And even though I’ve attended that event before, I got new distinctions because I’m in a different place than I was a couple of years ago the last time I attended it. So I would say, “It’s not a cool marketing hack, but the more you work on yourself and you make yourself like this bigger vessel, your business will grow to meet the new person you are.”

“Your clients will never be happier than you and your team.”

Jeff Tomlin: Oh man, Seth, I love that takeaway. There’s a saying that I just reiterated to my last podcast guest that I think about a lot, and that saying is, “Your clients will never be happier than you and your team.”

Seth Greene: That’s really good.

Jeff Tomlin: And it’s true. It’s true. So I completely buy into what you’re saying. Seth, it’s an absolute pleasure having you on the podcast. If people wanted to continue the conversation with you and learn more about the entire world of Seth Greene, where do they start? How do they get a hold of you?

Seth Greene: Sure. So two different websites, East5thavenue.com. East, the number five, thavenue.com. And Marketdominationllc.com.

Jeff Tomlin: You’re an absolute encyclopedia of knowledge, especially in the realm of marketing and sales. It’s an absolute pleasure having you on. I hope that you can come back and join us on the podcast again in the future and we can continue the conversation.

Seth Greene: This was a lot of fun. I would love to come back.

Jeff Tomlin: Hey, very good. Good luck to you in the future here and in the near future, and I hope you have a fantastic week, Seth.

Seth Greene: You too. 


Jeff Tomlin: Well, there you have it from the Man himself. The first tip worth highlighting from our conversation is to provide exceptional value to your clients. Don’t just focus on acquiring new clients, but prioritize keeping your existing clients happy. Go above and beyond with communication, service, and results.  But be the one bringing new things to them. This will not only prevent churn but also encourage referrals and positive word-of-mouth marketing.

The second tip is to promote your clients and build relationships with influencers. Identify your ideal clients such as the A-listers and develop a strategy to build relationships with them.  Use your marketing efforts to promote their businesses and establish yourself as a trusted partner.  This can lead to valuable referrals and a steady stream of new clients.

If you’ve enjoyed Seth Greene’s episode discussing Direct Response Marketing revisit some of the older episodes from the archives. Check out Episode 644: Scaling Global Brands to 10+ Figures Using Omnichannel Marketing with Justin Brenner or Episode 647: Leverage the Lighthouse Strategy to Attract High-Profile Clients with Dennis Yu

Until next time, I’m Jeff Tomlin. Get out there and be awesome!

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