As the world attempts to navigate its way through a global pandemic, businesses are having to respond in their own ways. From cutting marketing costs to laying off certain employees, businesses are navigating the difficult space of handling world instability while keeping their operations afloat.
In the time of social distancing, many corporations and businesses have transitioned into work-from-home (WFH) models. This remote work allows for business operations to continue unperturbed while keeping distance between employees, helping to lower viral transmission rates and keep all business staff safe.
Some businesses that have never done remote work prior to this time might be worried. There are a lot of factors that go into remote work, from trying to ensure that company goals are still met while trusting your employees to meet daily expectations from their own home. Affiliate marketing strategists may be wondering how to continue managing their program, now that they are out of the office and away from fellow marketing staff members that could help discuss future affiliate decisions.
Thankfully, the Refersion affiliate management software is designed to be readily managed remotely. When you join our affiliate platform, you are given access to a digital toolset that makes it easier than ever to remain in touch with your affiliates, track statistics, and manage affiliate content and planning. Yet, if you’re unversed about using our affiliate management software, you may still be scratching your head, wondering how to effectively keep all of the moving parts of your affiliate network in control while working from your home office or dining room table. Here are some of the best ways to guarantee your affiliate marketing strategy continues unaffected, all while keeping track of it from the comfort and safety of your own home.
Determine how you want to communicate.
To start, you need to understand the channels of communication that work best for you and your affiliate marketing network. The last thing you want to do while running your business is appear as if you’re absent to your affiliates — unable to be reached and nonresponsive.
Thankfully, Refersion’s affiliate network makes it easy to stay in touch with your affiliates. Specific sections of your platform are designed to meet all of your needs: You can check statistics, provide your affiliates with a hub filled with useful information, and regularly communicate with your affiliates through messaging features.
To stay in touch with all of your team members, marketers, and affiliates, it’s in your best interest to figure out what mode of communication works best for your company. While you can rely on the Refersion network, it might be useful to hold regular check-ins through a platform like Skype, Zoom, or Slack. The latter, and similar instant-messaging platforms, will allow you to create groups where team members can instantaneously interact with one another, possibly answering questions for one another if you’re busy watching over your kids or taking another business call.
Streamline Your Operations
So you want to understand how to best operate while working from home, making sure tasks are assigned and met with great efficiency. The best way to do this is to create a system of operations. While operations can be made incredibly complex, depending on the size of your company, it’s a good idea to simplify wherever possible to properly handle your affiliate marketing network.
The best method you can take is to have a number of goals you want to meet over time — daily, weekly, monthly. By outlining your goals, you can begin identifying the necessary operations required to meet them. This can involve checking in with specific affiliates if required, scheduling content that needs to be uploaded for affiliate use, and checking affiliate statistics to guarantee certain engagement and conversion numbers are met. Having this system of operations in place is important, as it will keep you from dropping the ball by simply forgetting a task that needed to be finished a week prior.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
Working remotely might feel difficult, but it’s actually easier than ever, thanks to the amount of technology available to us nowadays. Rather than relying on the office and running the risk of transmission, you can readily stay in touch with all of your coworkers and affiliates right from the comfort of your home, whether sitting at your office desk or lounging in bed.
If you’re looking to remain in touch throughout the day, having regular check-ins between you and your coworkers, this is readily possible with digital instant-messaging platforms. And if you ever need to hold a conference, that’s now made easy: Rather than having to sit on the phone throughout a conference call, you can now chat face-to-face through video conferencing apps like Skype and Zoom.
Working on a draft for future content to be shared with your affiliates? Upload it to Google Docs, where you can instantaneously write and edit with your marketing team to craft the perfect piece of affiliate content.
The Refersion affiliate marketing network makes it easier than ever to remain in contact with your affiliate marketing team, too. By providing you with a hub specified for your affiliates, you can actively communicate with your affiliate partners and share content with them in an instant. Not sure what app might be most useful to you? Consider giving some of the following a chance.
- Dropbox and Google Drive are great places to store files and share content.
- Hootsuite makes it easy for you to manage and schedule social media posts.
- Slack is a great site to manage projects, schedule project timelines, and communicate between coworkers.
- ZenDesk is a customer service software that can relieve you of customer service, allowing you to create and manage remote help desks available to customers.
- Zoom is an efficient video conferencing app that is free for use.
- Skype is a great contender for international video conferencing and instant messaging.
- PayPal is perfect for direct payment transfers between you and fellow business partners.
- QuickBooks is an app that makes it easy for you to keep track of your company’s accounts, managing payroll and payments made directly to affiliates.
Make Considerate Hires
You don’t want to employ just anyone as an affiliate or for your marketing team. This is true at any time, but it’s especially important when trying to fortify your WFH team. What you want is a team of reliable workers who will meet deadlines without having to be regularly guided by your hand — people who are able to achieve under their own direction.
One of the best ways to achieve this is to hire self-motivated individuals who are open to taking initiative, who represent your company’s culture, and who are interested in meeting deadlines each and every day. These should be people who are problem solvers — those that are interested in undertaking challenges even when no one else is around.
These are important qualities of crafting a team that is reliable even when not in an office environment. You need workers who are able to meet your desired goals without regular supervision — people who are committed to the bottom line and who are willing to achieve such goals before that deadline arrives. Consider vetting your choices before hiring them. In the case of affiliates, it might be a good idea to put them through a trial period to see how they work before signing them onto more work.
Make Yourself Available
While you want to leave your employees up to their own devices, you should still take the time to check in with them. And this doesn’t mean suddenly showing up once in a blue moon to critique everything they’re doing and then flying away; rather, you should be checking in with them on a recurring basis to ensure that they’re meeting deadlines and doing all right mentally, all while making yourself available to any questions they might have.
A good remote affiliate network manager is someone who makes themselves regularly available, even when it might not seem necessary. While you want to make sure that your affiliates are meeting goals and working to support your brand, you also want to remind them that they’re supported.
Simplify Wherever Possible
Before we start working remotely, we might think to ourselves, “Wow, I’m going to be so productive; able to work whenever and wherever I’d like to!” This is wishful thinking, as most WFH and freelance veterans will tell you.
Things come up all the time, whether it’s a sudden errand that needs to be taken care of, realizing you’re out of food, your kid getting sick, your dog whining for attention, and much more. Furthermore, you very well might end up getting distracted by various things around your house, whether it is an art project you’ve had your mind on, dishes that need to be washed, or one funny YouTube video after another.
It’s hard to find the balance of work when you first start working remotely. The best thing you can do, to minimize distractions and keep yourself on task throughout the day, is to simplify wherever possible. Delegate tasks between other members of your marketing team so you can all effectively focus on the moving parts of your affiliate marketing strategy; set specific times in the day where you can communicate with one another and your affiliates; set hardlines where you will walk away from work.
Keep Work Feeling Positive
Working from home can feel strange if you’re used to heading to the office five days a week. This is especially true for any extroverts out there that rely on human interaction for that feeling of daily joy. The switch to remote work can feel laborious, and it might even lead to a feeling of burnout, where you’ll end up intentionally forgetting tasks and allowing your affiliate network to slide by the wayside.
The best thing you can do for yourself while working remotely is to have a routine set in place — one that is set around positivity, for you, your coworkers, and your affiliates. What are some ways to make your day easy and feel enlightened as the hours go on?
- Determine when you work best: Whether it’s during the normal office hours or set back to 10 a.m. — 6 p.m. schedule, you can determine what time frames work best for you while at home.
- Consider utilizing a task management system: While Slack is great for managing business projects, have a whiteboard in your house that can be used to track your daily tasks.
- Don’t work 24/7: It can be very easy to start working around the clock while working from home, so give yourself breaks where you close your computer, step away from your email, or simply go for a walk to stretch your legs.
Set Up a Trial Run
Before you jump right into the deep end with virtual work, you should try a trial run first. While a situation like the pandemic makes this fundamentally impossible, due to social-distancing measures, it should be tried out under other circumstances.
Why a trial run? It will help you to identify weaknesses within your business’s approach. You’ll even identify some of your own weaknesses, too, from what easily distracts you to what is most needed in your living space to make you feel like you’re at work.
Let Us Help You with Your Affiliate Marketing
Working at home might not be ideal for some people, but it can be done with the proper mindset, preparation, and team management. Running an affiliate network can be laborious, and that’s why we developed our affiliate management software into what it’s becoming, all to make it easier for you to effectively meet marketing goals with ease.