AI Podcast S10 Ep4 Behind the Mic: Affiliate Marketing Trends for 2023 with Lisa Riolo

We’re back with another affiliate marketing podcast, with a twist. Lisa Riolo, co-founder and advisor for, is the first guest of the year, but she turns the mic to our very own Lee-Ann Johnstone. Lee-Ann will have the opportunity to give her thoughts on all things affiliate marketing, including networking in the affiliate marketing industry, the importance of party statements and details about the upcoming Amplify Summit on January 17th. Listen to Lisa and Lee-Ann share ideas and discover all the insights gleaned from many discussions with peers in the industry.

The concept of relationships is strong throughout this podcast, and indeed throughout the affiliate marketing industry. Some might say it’s a performance based relationship, but once you’re in the thick of it, you’ll find that’s not entirely true. We take a look at what makes an affiliate marketing relationship valuable and sustainable.


As good as working remotely has been for work-life balance, it has meant that many of us have to work on our communication skills. Communication is, after all, key to any relationship, but you can’t make an “I’ll throw it to them when they get home” mental note when it comes to an affiliate marketing partnership. Lisa and Lee-Ann talk about how you should know how to say what you want and what you can offer, clearly, to your affiliates up front to ensure they know what they’re doing and that they don’t feel left out when asking for help.

“We use a lot of jargon in our industry, which is ridiculous,” says Lee-Ann. “But I think brands open up to the idea of [engaging in a different way] right Now. We actually do this in our agency. So, we actually co-brand together and say, “Hey, I got this” and “I got that. You two should actually work together.”


However, this is a business partnership, not a romantic one, which means that you are giving something in exchange for something. But that doesn’t mean chemistry doesn’t play a role, Lee-Ann and Lisa continued to discuss.

As Lee-Ann explains: “I’m going to be very honest and I’ve said this to a lot of people who refer to us as a business. We also look at chemistry. So add all of that in addition and then add the chemistry we have with the client during the show.”

“Because my first question is not, Do I want to work? Obviously, I want the business, but my first question is, Can I actually move this client from where they are now to where they want them to be, and are they going to let me do that? Because hiring an agency is one thing, but it is one thing. Quite another, to give them the freedom to offer the strategy they know will work for you. You have to be able to let go and trust that this agency will step in and do what they have to do. Without that, it just doesn’t work.”


All this does not mean that you should eat Affiliates for granted. They all bring some level of benefits, even if one performs better than others. Your favorite superstar player could pack up and leave at any moment, so it’s important to show that you appreciate him.

As Lisa says: “As a marketer or as a brander, instead of saying, ‘This is what I want everyone to do for me,’ you can say to your partners, ‘What do you need? And then step back and say, “How can we enable that with the technology we have?”

It is about taking the approach of helping each other, rather than making demands in order to gain benefits. It can start by simply looking at your language and asking more questions.

As Lee-Ann goes on to say: “I promise, the way you treat people makes a huge difference in terms of how much they support you. It’s not just about the money, it’s about the collaborative nature, and partners follow that. And I’ve actually had podcasts with Major affiliates who said the exact same thing.”

Listen to learn more about:

  • What makes a consumer connect with an affiliate?
  • Industry events benefits
  • The symbiotic nature of the affiliate industry
  • Starting at the bottom and working upwards

The main parts of this podcast and where to tune in live

[05:00] Why industry events are vital to success

[15:00] Consumer perspective with affiliate influencers

[24:00] – The values ​​that are appreciated in the affiliate partner

[35:00] The importance of brand awareness

[45:00] The importance of chemistry in the affiliate marketing industry

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