I had the pleasure of sitting down with Ally Winters, account manager at Advertise Purple, who walked me through many different aspects of her career and life in general. With a background in PR and previous life in the music industry working with major artists, it became abundantly clear that she brings a lot of past experience to her role here that has helped to inform how she works with her clients.

That experience has made her one of the top performing account managers, working closely with influencers and even being a bit of a quasi-influencer herself. She’s recently dialed back her IG (she went private!), but has previously created sponsored content on her own personal channels.

So if you’re interested in learning a thing or two about how the affiliate space shouldn’t intimidate influencers and how it’s the future of influencer marketing, we’ve got you covered.

What is your experience in influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing has been a part of my life in two particular facets. First, as a consumer and social media user, I’ve been a “victim” to and surrounded by influencer marketing in the form of sponsorships and advertised products from brands and bloggers that I respect and trust. 

And now that you’re on the other side of it, how has that view changed?

From a business perspective, my experience can be summed as influencer marketing without the rose colored glasses on. Previously, I worked for a marketing agency whose main goal was content disbursement and social growth. Influencers getting paid left and right to promote or be promoted; the complexities of the cycle of growing their channels ultimately for monetary value. 

How did that evolve once you got to AdPurp?

Advertise Purple has only added to my knowledge of the complexities of influencer marketing by adding another factor into the mix: affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing, in my opinion, is the future of influencer marketing because both parties (the brand and the influencer) are motivated to ultimately work harder. 

How so?

There are two sides. The influencer who is looking to find and convert a quality audience, and the brand to recognize value in one influencer over another. Overall, my knowledge and experience with influencer marketing is well-rounded. From a consumer to a producer to a brand curator, I would say I fully understand the nuances, false realities, and unmatched benefits of the world of influencer marketing.

How do you think influencers can benefit from an effective affiliate program?

I think influencers can benefit from employing an effective affiliate program because they can organically promote products they truly believe in to their audiences. They are motivated to convert as many of their audience members as possible, and in turn motivated to create not only quality content but content that resonates with their particular audience. In other words, they must not only sell a product, but sell a lifestyle. It is through creating this content that strengthens their brand, promotes consistency, and provides them with the encouragement to continue to grow.

What are the biggest fears influencers have about getting started with an affiliate strategy?

The biggest fear influencers have about getting started with an affiliate strategy is the unknown territory of the affiliate world and as I like to call them the “daunting trigger words of the affiliate space.” I have a theory that because the influencer marketing space is so new, people are hesitant to be the first of their group, the first of their friends, to venture into the “affiliate unknown.” 

What kind of questions are you hearing influencers ask you?

What is a network? Why do I need to sign up? How do I pull links? The process isn’t complicated, but can seem overwhelming when an individual has only ever provided their PayPal to a brand via Instagram and posted their swipe-up stories a day later.

How would you compare those two experiences? Traditional influencer marketing and affiliate marketing?

Influencer marketing is transactional and simple, until now. Affiliate marketing is the new wave of influencer marketing. It’s cyclical and has more benefits to both parties than any before. I suppose my advice would be for any influencer not involved but interested in the affiliate space, try it out, take risks, and be patient. It’s worth it!

What are some tips you have for tackling the affiliate space as an influencer?

A lot of influencers are nervous it will look like they’ve sold out. Most of the time, they’re just not educated on what affiliate marketing can offer them. My goal is always to put myself in the shoes of an influencer, break it down, and make it simple. It’s important for influencers to have some level of awareness. Know the brands in the affiliate space, look up articles for products you like, see what network they’re in, and seek out brands. Be aware of your audience, be patient, and give it time. Don’t be intimidated by verbiage.

How can an influencer stay themselves while also working with brands?

I’d say you have to be consistent, post a lot, make sure your voice is still in everything you do. Be consistent with your own brand, know your values and stick to them.

Big shoutout to Ally for the profile, stay tuned for these once per month!