Having been in the space for seemingly countless years, I get to meet many truly awesome people. There are some that exude an aura of success but go one step further to help others achieve the same. Though I personally have never generated any significant traffic for his network, Kevin has ALWAYS extended the courtesy and respect to me as he would to any of his super affiliates and that goes a long way in my book.
It is solely because of this I wanted to dig a little deeper and find out a little more about the man they call, “The Click Father”.
1) KEVIN, CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE GROWTH THAT YOU’VE EXPERIENCED IN THE PAST FEW YEARS FOR XY7 AND XY7ELITE?
We have experienced exponential growth in the last 6-9 months. I attribute this to concentrating our efforts on building relationships with solid, quality-oriented media buyers and advertisers that understand the delicate balance of a win-win environment.
We started to see a major shift when we focused our efforts on specific verticals and media types. We pride ourselves in being masters of our trade and realized that the “jack of all trades is the master of none”. Therefore, by focusing on our specialty, we do a lot more business with lot fewer people. Today, we are able to work hand in hand with each affiliate on overall goals and strategies which allows us to celebrate a lot more success with each relationship.
2) IN A TIME WHEN OTHER NETWORKS HAVE SHUT DOWN, FOLDED, GONE AWAY – YOU HAVE MANAGED TO UNDERGO PHENOMENAL GROWTH – WHAT WERE THE DRIVING FACTORS BEHIND THIS?
Our core strength is the ability to understand and adapt to changes in the marketplace. Our market is continually changing. Once you embrace that fact and “ride the wave”, one can enjoy success.
3) WHAT MAKES YOUR NETWORK UNIQUE?
First, we know what works because we are media buyers ourselves. Almost every single person on our team buys media.
Second, when we call affiliates, we call with a purpose. The biggest complaint affiliates have is they get called by an average of 5 networks a day. All of them pitch that they have the deal that “others are crushing” or “is killing it” but they don’t know the KEY reasons that an offer is a good fit for the affiliate. This doesn’t sit well with me and it definitely isn’t impressing any super affiliate. When we call affiliates, we call with a purpose. For example: “I have an opportunity for you….. and this is the reason we feel it is a good match.” We document these items with facts and not fiction.
Third, I like to think we form real relationships with our affiliates. We take a genuine interest in both their personal and business goals. We motivate them to meet milestones, we celebrate and reward their successes and we make it fun to do business, in general. We are workaholics and we love to have fun while we make money.
Fourth, I think we are the pioneers of unique and cutting-edge promotions like our fun give-aways and networking get-togethers.
4) YOU HAVE BEEN A MAJOR PROPONENT OF ANTI-FRAUD INITIATIVES, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE STRANGEST, FUNNIEST THINGS THAT YOU’VE WITNESSED IN TERMS OF WHAT AFFILIATES AND OR ADVERTISERS ARE DOING?
Well, to date this the the funniest fraud call I have witnessed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjBoNZ7NoRs
When we need a laugh, we often refer to the “Ninja Seo”.
5) YOU HAVE A HIGHLY TRAFFICKED BLOG – THECLICKFATHER.COM, WHAT PERPETUATED LAUNCHING THAT AND WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING TO DO WITH IT?
I started theclickfather.com back in January of 2010 as a place where I could send out tips to my “inner circle” and also voice my concerns about many industry “wrongs”. I have been doing Internet Marketing since 1998, so in conjunction with belonging to several advocacy groups and forums, I felt I needed to do my part in giving back . I will continue to post on there and may also put together a meetup at Ad Tech NYC
6) WHAT DO YOU THINK THE SUCCESS FORMULA IS FOR SOMEONE WHO IS NEW TO AFFILIATE MARKETING SPACE AND WANTS TO BE SUCCESSFUL? WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A GREAT AFFILIATE?
Walt Disney said “I love doing the impossible everyday”. The success formula no matter who you are and what you do is to do what you love and push those limits. There are no obstacles that can’t be overcome. The only person that can stand in your way is you.
A great affiliate must be able to:
1. spot and act on opportunities.
2. reinvest invest in their business.
3. understand that affiliate marketing is a delicate ecosystem between advertisers, publishers and traffic sources. They must understand that successful business will only thrive in a win-win-win environment.
7) HOW IMPORTANT HAS WORD OF MOUTH MARKETING AND SOCIAL MEDIA BEEN TO THE SUCCESS THAT YOU’VE SEEN AT XY7?
Word of mouth marketing is extremely important. We don’t buy advertising for XY7 because we like to think of ourselves as an invite only network. At this point in our business, we are only looking for reputable and referred affiliates. Xy7 thrives on word-of-mouth advertising and promotional give-aways, events and the buzz on theclickfather.com
8) WE’VE TALKED ABOUT ENTREPRENEURS – ARE THERE WAYS THAT YOU’RE SEEING TRADITIONAL BUSINESSES START TO LEVERAGE THE POWER OF AFFILIATE NETWORKS AND MORE IMPORTANTLY YOUR BUSINESS?
I know that we have experienced more traditional businesses leveraging the power of our network. Social Media is the vehicle that allows us to finally serve traditional businesses more effectively.
In the past, it was very difficult to cater to the traditional businesses. It was difficult to control volume for testing. It was close to impossible and undesirable to run campaigns for companies that only want business to come in during business hours. Finally and most importantly, it was often undesirable to set up a campaign with very specific demographics that only catered to a very small group of people. Today with the addition of Social Media, none of these are obstacles and in fact, some of these campaigns end up having the best ROI’s for affiliates since often, people are not bidding for groups in these demographics.
Xy7 has harnessed this power in the most unique of ways. We have rolled out our Direct-Calls program for which traditional businesses cannot get enough. Our Direct-Call program allows the advertiser to place a phone number on the page and allows the affiliate to get paid per call.
9) LET’S FIND OUT ABOUT THE MAN HIMSELF – WHAT IS YOUR NORMAL “NON-WORKING” DAY LIKE? YOU GOT MARRIED NOT TOO LONG AGO, HOW HAS THAT BEEN FOR YOU? I KNOW MY WIFE AND DAUGHTER ARE MY DRIVING FORCE SO I AM SURE YOUR WIFE PLAYS A VERY INTEGRAL ROLE IN YOUR BUSINESS?
LOL….non-working day? I just travelled 13,500 miles in 4 days for a few clients and as I write this, I am on a plane headed to another meeting. Then, I will return only to come back and leave for Ad-Tech: San Francisco.
I love what I do and am very blessed to have an awesome wife, who is also in the business. My daughter is the apple of my eye and we all enjoy gardening together, cooking together and doing projects together. We all work on self-improvement as a family including things like contributing to the community, vocabulary games, exercising and we even help my daughter run a business for which some of the proceeds go to charity.
I have set my life up where I can work an extraordinary amount of hours while still enjoying myself and my family. The opportunity is here and I am taking full advantage of it. As a baby, my first word was not “mommy” or “daddy”, it was “MORE”. That pretty much sums me and my life up. I am very driven to succeed in all I do. I pride myself in being the best dad, husband and CEO. Basically, I live up to my highest potential.
10) FINALLY, WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE TO MY READERS WHO ARE LOOKING TO MAKE IT IN THIS INDUSTRY: LEGITIMATELY?
Learn the business the “right way”. Do not read a ton of books from so-called “experts” that do a great job marketing themselves but cannot make a penny marketing actual products or services online. Put the time in, seek out a mentor, put your pride aside and absorb all the information you can. . Take the opportunity to become an intern, if possible. Remain loyal because it is a small and volatile industry and if you step on people on the way up, you may meet them again on the way down.
I personally train about 10 media buyers a year. As long as they show the dedication and willingness, then it’s game on. I have helped people from all walks of life to become very successful media buyers. Whether they were limo drivers, personal trainers or corporate sales people, if they have the drive and commitment, they make it.
Remember to constantly evolve.
KEVIN DE VINCENZI
Xy7.com A Division of Rapid Response Marketing LLC