1796 – Affiliate Partnerships with Frederic Jean-Bart of Performance Partners

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks with the Co-Founder & CEO of Performance Partners, Frederic Jean-Bart.

Jean Bart Wide

Affiliate marketing is a dynamic and powerful tool for e-commerce brands, but it's challenging. Under Fred's leadership, Performance Partners has carved out a niche in this space by helping brands build and manage effective affiliate programs.

The crux of their success lies in finding the right partners and aligning with the appropriate audience—a task easier said than done.

One of the primary hurdles that e-commerce brands face is identifying and collaborating with suitable affiliates. Fred underscored the necessity of a personalized approach and a robust outbound strategy to attract partners that resonate with your brand's values and goals.

It's not about casting a wide net with a “spray and pray” method; it's about fostering authentic relationships with affiliates and content creators who can genuinely connect with your audience.

Fred pointed out that having a solid foundation for customer acquisition is paramount before considering affiliate marketing. It's about adding to an already stable base, not relying on affiliates as the sole avenue for growth.

Performance Partners prides itself on being a connector, bridging the gap between e-commerce brands and the right media buyers. They leverage their connections and expertise to ensure that their clients are ready for the market and positioned to make the most of it.

Fred shared insights into the client journey and the value that Performance Partners adds by facilitating successful partnerships and ensuring their clients have access to top-tier media buyers.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Introduction to Performance Partners and its role in affiliate marketing
  • Importance of finding the right partners and audience for successful affiliate marketing
  • Challenges faced by e-commerce brands in finding and working with affiliates
  • Personalized approach and outbound solid strategy for attracting the right partners
  • Building authentic relationships with affiliates and content creators
  • Different types of affiliates: influencers, content creators, and performance marketers
  • Elements for successful affiliate marketing: good creatives, well-structured funnel, and product-market fit
  • Criteria for businesses to consider when determining readiness for affiliate marketing
  • Performance Partners as a connector and facilitator of successful partnerships

About Frederic Jean-Bart:

Frederic Jean-Bart is a seasoned professional in the affiliate marketing sector, boasting over 15 years of experience. His expertise is constructing and overseeing profitable affiliate programs for Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) brands.

Jean-Bart's skill set includes recruiting top direct-response affiliates skilled in various paid media channels like Email, Display, TikTok, Snapchat, Facebook, and Google. He is adept at increasing revenue while lowering acquisition costs and minimizing reliance on a limited number of channels.

Much of his role involves structuring commission payouts to benefit brands and affiliates. Additionally, he excels in creating direct response content that drives immediate customer purchases and maintaining the integrity of brand, content, and messaging.

Having worked in all aspects of affiliate marketing, Jean-Bart has also successfully recruited affiliates for major global DTC brands such as Goli, Onnit, and Snow Cosmetics. His primary goal is to optimize the return on affiliate marketing investments, educate clients on technical strategies, and achieve results that exceed marketing objectives.

About Performance Partners:

Performance Partners, established in 2021 by industry expert Frederic Jean-Bart, is an agency committed to driving business growth through affiliate marketing. Jean-Bart's 15+ years of experience in the field brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding of effective strategies in this domain.

The agency primarily focuses on recruiting high-caliber affiliates and managing affiliate programs. Their team collaborates intimately with clients to craft bespoke affiliate programs tailored to meet each business's specific needs and objectives.

Recognizing the distinctiveness of every client, Performance Partners aims to deliver personalized solutions that align with and drive the desired business outcomes. This client-centric approach is at the heart of their operations, ensuring that each partnership is nurtured with attention to detail and a deep understanding of the dynamics of affiliate marketing.

Tweetable Moments:

02:27 – “The key isn't necessarily volume; it's finding the right partner that aligns with your audience—that's the thing that matters more.”

04:34 – “Affiliate marketing could be an amazing channel for you, but there's a lot of content out there making false claims about how quickly you'll see results.”

14:26 – “You need to have good creatives, a funnel, and product market fit because affiliate marketing is something you add on top of a solid base for your customer acquisition.”

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Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Performance Partners website at

Check out Performance Partners on LinkedIn at

Check out Performance Partners on Instagram at

Check out Performance Partners on Facebook at

Check out Frederic Jean-Bart on LinkedIn at

Check out Frederic Jean-Bart on Instagram at

Check out Frederic Jean-Bart on Twitter at

Check out Frederic Jean-Bart on Facebook at

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Josh (00:00:04) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach, or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my influence. Com and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now it's Fred Jean-Bart. Fred, you are the founder and CEO of Performance Partners. You're found on the web at Performance Partners Dot agency. I'm really excited to have this conversation. I was just telling you beforehand, great timing, because we're in the process of launching our own partner program, and we got a lot of people to kind of communicate with first.

Josh (00:01:23) - But eventually we're going to need some new partners in the mix there. But so anyway, so excited to have this conversation with you, Fred, and it's a joy to have you.

Frederic (00:01:30) - Yeah. Thank you so much. Excited to be on the show.

Josh (00:01:33) - All right. Yeah. So you kind of explain how Performance partners works for sure.

Frederic (00:01:38) - So we're an affiliate marketing agency. We work with direct to consumer e-commerce brands, and we help teach them how to build and manage affiliate programs on their own. You know, there are a lot of agencies out there that charge a lot, a really high retainer. And so we realize there's a like there's a shift in the market, especially where there's a little bit of uncertainty in the economy. People don't know where things are going. And so, you know, we decided that affiliate marketing is not rocket science. The main thing that you need is you need a good strategy. And so if you can get and implement that strategy, you can have success with an affiliate program.

Frederic (00:02:19) - It's not hard at all.

Josh (00:02:20) - Yeah. Well, what major trends have you noticed when it comes to affiliate marketing over the past couple of years?

Frederic (00:02:27) - The big thing is I don't know if this is a trend, but this kind of always existed is you need to work with the right partners. So yeah, something that I've noticed throughout my 15 years of affiliate marketing is when we talk to clients and we talk to brands, when we talk to businesses, they think when they think of an affiliate program, they think of ten, 20, 30, you know, affiliates and partners and and that's fine. But the reality is, most and some of the biggest affiliate programs I've ever worked with, it was like five, eight affiliates that were driving the majority of the revenue. And so, yeah, the key isn't necessarily volume. It's finding the right audience that aligns the right partner that aligns with your audience. That's the key. Like, that's the thing that matters more. And if you can find someone that really aligns with your business, even if they're have a smaller following that can have a great impact on your business and your partner program.

Josh (00:03:27) - Yeah, exactly. That was our exact experience with my last company, savings Angel. We paid out over $1 million in commissions to affiliates. But you're absolutely right. I mean, the top 10 to 20. I mean, they were doing, like, 80% of the volume just by themselves. And the rest were like, you know, onesie twosies. And I mean, just the way that we had kind of designed it was, uh, you know, every member became an instant, uh, affiliate partner or whatever. So that was helpful. But, yeah, finding those folks, you know, it really did just it was a lot of relationship building, very authentic relationship building. And I know that that can be a real challenge for a lot of E-com brands. Can you talk about why it's difficult for someone who has a consumer product to find and start working with affiliates? I think we're kind of familiar with a lot of those platforms that that exist that are out there, but it's not easy.

Josh (00:04:27) - Instant overnight riches. And all of a sudden, influencers and affiliates are going to be beating a door down to start selling your product.

Frederic (00:04:34) - No, no it's not. And unfortunately, you know, affiliate marketing is it's it's a great it could be an amazing channel for you. But there's a lot of content out there, especially on social media, where people just make just these false claims about in terms of how quickly you'll start to see results. And so when we work with clients, typically two things will happen when they launch an affiliate program. So setting up an affiliate program on any of the one of the big affiliate networks, very commoditized, very easy. But then what happens is one of two things. Either one know affiliates apply to their program, which means no, no money, no revenue, or to a bunch of affiliates apply that generate zero revenue and ask a bunch of questions. And so the biggest thing that we notice is that businesses think that once they set up the affiliate program, you know, if you build it, they will come.

Frederic (00:05:26) - And no, that's not how it works. You actually have to have an outbound strategy. You have to go out there. You have to find these affiliates and partners, and you have to pitch them in the beginning. Because the thing that I tell everyone about the most is the best affiliates and the best partners out there that can generate revenue. You have to understand their mindset. You're probably not the only one that knows that they're a good affiliate. They get hit up by networks, affiliate managers, brands. Everyone's trying to work with them. And so you need to be able to come with them with a good offer. You have to have something enticing that will make them excited to work with you. That's number one. Or you can get in by having a relationship or something with them. But you have to have an outbound strategy. You have to go out there, you have to sell them on your program. And it's not just about, okay, I have a program set up in KG and we're giving 10%.

Frederic (00:06:20) - Okay, cool. That's it. There's a lot of biz dev that needs to go to.

Josh (00:06:26) - Yeah. So what's that normal life cycle like then in terms of like, you know, let's say a founder's like okay, well we created these new awesome coffee mugs and they're really awesome and unique and we think they're going to be great. And now we just joined Commission Junction. What does that day in, day out work look like if they want to start getting a bunch of affiliate partners.

Frederic (00:06:49) - Yeah, it's you know, similar to everything in business these days, especially when it comes to like outbound or cold outreach, you have to have a personalized approach. Right? So if you send out just like a mass email to a bunch of like, let's say publishers or bloggers or influencers and you're just like, hey, we have these coffee mugs, you know, it's 10%, let's work with us. Like, that's not an effective message. No, you really have to identify. Okay. So out of look for the bloggers who are working with your competitors.

Frederic (00:07:19) - That's step one, right? It doesn't necessarily need to be bloggers. For the purpose of this example I'm going to say a blogger. Right. So who are the biggest bloggers that are working with your competitors? And then write a personalized message like, hey, I saw you wrote this article, this review article on our competitor. Loved what you did. Would love to see if there's an opportunity for us to work together, and we would be open to offering you these things. So, you know, ideally you want to try offering a higher commission rate. Ideally you want to sell them that, you know, maybe your product, your brand has a higher AOV. Um, because in the end, what what it really comes down to is money, right? Money talks. And so, you know, sending out that personal message and letting them know, like, hey, we want to partner with you and here's how you can make money with our brand really works.

Josh (00:08:08) - Yeah. And Fred, if we could be kind of sympathetic to what it's like to be an influencer as well, they get bombarded, bombarded with affiliate offers and, you know, after a while you just kind of shrug your shoulders and go, wow.

Josh (00:08:27) - Hey. Why you. You know, it just. It all just becomes noise. I think some of the platforms to get a little. It's just very noisy. So, you know, then you've got the influencer. Hopefully they've got someone on the team to start help manage all this incoming stuff, but it's just a real pain. So I agree with you. Like if your intention is just to spray and pray. Affiliates, good luck with that. I like your approach better. And that was one thing that we've always been a big believer in is spending more time with fewer people because again, at the end of the day, you're not looking for thousands of affiliates, you're looking for a couple of dozen of like, really great partners. Like, we had one partner for savings Angel. I mean, like clockwork, just because she had a really great blog article. It ranked really well in Google, and every single month we paid her many, many, many, many, many hundreds of dollars.

Josh (00:09:25) - For some she did years ago. Just because, you know, that's kind of how the planets aligned. In that case, she had a good blog, had some good domain authority, picked some good terms, and it was a great partnership.

Frederic (00:09:39) - Yeah. And that's what it's all about really. You know, like it's you're not going to make money by just partnering with random affiliates that, that aren't, that don't have an ability to generate revenue. Right. So if that's the case, then a spray and pray approach doesn't really make sense. You go with like a targeted laser focus approach to recruiting partners.

Josh (00:10:01) - Yeah. All right. Well Fred, I've enjoyed our conversation. But what kind of love can you give the B2B folks out there?

Frederic (00:10:09) - Yeah, I can tell you right now, B2B is, you know, B2C has always been a massive vertical, but B2B is something where there are a lot of content creators, there are a lot of bloggers out there, a lot of review sites that see an opportunity.

Frederic (00:10:24) - And so we've worked with B2B in the past as well. You know, I've worked with a lot of different, like B2B companies and SaaS companies. It's the same strategy in terms of whether you do B2C or B to B, you want to be able to find who are the like affiliates that are working with your competitors. That's step one, right? So like let's say you Google your competitors business and then you do a review, look for all of the review articles that show up on the first two pages of Google, and then reach out to them one by one. The good part about contacting, whether it's like bloggers, content sites or even, you know, content creators and influencers is there readily their contact information is there typically on a on a blog site, they'll either be a contact us form or they'll be some kind of email where you can get in touch with them or find them on LinkedIn. And so with B2B, there's a huge opportunity. There's been a rise in terms of bloggers and content creators that are doing reviews for B2B.

Josh (00:11:27) - Yeah, and it's probably sounds about the same process. But now tell me a little bit more about how your solution works specifically. And I know historically you've essentially worked as an agency. But tell me more about how you work with your clients.

Frederic (00:11:43) - Sure. So, you know, typically there are there have been three traditional types of affiliates. There are a lot of different types of affiliates, but the main ones have been influencers or content creators. That's one. Two would be content sites. So like a blog or a review site. And the third one would be a coupon site or a loyalty site. When the majority of people think of affiliates, these are the three type of affiliates they think of. There are a fourth type of affiliate called performance marketers. These are media buyers. These are like, oh, it could be someone working on an agency. It could be the entire agency who will run ads for you on, you know, paid social, paid search for a commission, you know, on a purely performance basis.

Frederic (00:12:28) - And so these are the type of affiliates that we actually work with. There's a few benefits, but I would say number one is they run performance only. So they use their own money to run these ads. So when it works you're able to get growth for your company without any capital investment.

Speaker 3 (00:12:46) - Trash.

Frederic (00:12:47) - And so for example, absorbs.

Josh (00:12:49) - Or absorbing some risks. So obviously they know a few things.

Frederic (00:12:53) - They are the best performance marketers in the world. And you can't even compare it really. Because if you think about it this way, if you work with an agency you have, there's going to be someone buying media there for you. But they're not using their own money. They're using your money. Right. And it's a job for them. So they're going to work a certain amount of hours versus an affiliate. The whole model is performance basis. So if they're not making money then it just doesn't work and they're using their own money. So if something's like they're losing money they're always on top of it.

Frederic (00:13:28) - Um, yeah.

Josh (00:13:29) - Because they don't like losing money. No.

Frederic (00:13:31) - But but when it does work, they have the ability to scale and scale aggressively. That's the upside is that they can get you scale. So the performance media buyer side is a massive industry. You know, we have our own trade shows, billions of dollars in revenue generated. And what I'm trying to do is I'm trying to to bridge the gap between two worlds. Uh, because some of these performance marketers like, they generate millions and millions and millions of dollars a year, and they can be a great source of customer acquisition for your business, I bet.

Josh (00:14:03) - So when you start working with a client, can you take me through kind of like your client journey?

Frederic (00:14:08) - Yeah, yeah. So the number one thing in order to work, it's I kind of comes full circle. Right? So it's everything we do is about working with the best affiliates, because these are the ones that are able to drive scale and volume for you. So in order to to work with these affiliates, there is a list of things that they want to see.

Frederic (00:14:26) - You need to have good creatives, right? Whether it's images, videos, can't come to them and be like, oh yeah, I have nothing. They're not going to want to work with you with that. Okay, so that's number one. Number two is you have to have a funnel, uh, whether it's landing pages like a pre-sell page, advertorial like an offer page, upsell funnels because out of everything, the conversion rate matters the most, right? So if you have a poor conversion rate, it'll be very hard for them to make it work. Think about it this way. Any platform out there like Facebook, TikTok, they will reward you with cheaper traffic the higher your conversion rate is. So a good affiliate wants to spend their time working on businesses that have really high conversion rates. So that's why the funnel is a big important part there. And then product market fit, like whatever you're selling, you need to be generating some number of leads or customers orders on a daily basis because affiliate marketing, is it something where you start with affiliate marketing? Affiliate marketing is when you have a good solid base for your customer acquisition or your digital marketing, whether it's SEO, paid ads, and then you add on affiliate marketing on top of that.

Josh (00:15:40) - This is really exciting. And then just generally again, you can be as vague as you want on this, but someone that's looking at this and they're comparing all of the different kind of go to market or you know, how to get their product in the hands of consumers. I mean, if someone is planning budgeting and let's say, you know, they only have a teeny tiny budget right now, what they might want to do versus, okay, listen, if you're starting to get at this kind of territory now, you should come have a conversation with us. Um, can you maybe give me a, a frame of reference for, you know, when someone's probably at that level where they're serious enough, where they probably need to have a conversation with you?

Frederic (00:16:24) - Yeah. So I would say it comes down to product market fit would be number one. So it's like how many customers or if you're a lead gen business, how many leads are you generating on a daily basis on your own. Right.

Frederic (00:16:38) - And sort of the minimum range is like 50 to 100 sales or orders per day. It's something where it's like, okay, this thing works. Then you add affiliates to kind of like as the fuel on top of it to really get scale. If you were a business where you're just starting off and you're you haven't really figured out, like, your product market fit, your messaging and you're not really getting a lot of sales, it's not necessarily going to work with affiliate marketing because affiliates, they don't want to come in and be your guinea pigs. They're not there to, like, make you to figure out your business. You need to have these things figured out first, and then they come in to add additional sales and incremental revenue to your business. So product market fit and your ability to actually generate revenue already is like the bare minimum. Step one.

Josh (00:17:27) - Yeah. And then the advantage for you know working with performance partners again if I let me know if I got this right. So number one you're going to make sure they're ready for prime time.

Josh (00:17:37) - And then number two then you can help make sure that they've got the right connections to the right media buyers so that they can. And you're going to make sure that the media buyers, because you know what questions, you know what they're going to be looking for. So again, when you feel like, okay, I think we got it locked down, then you start making those connections and then magic could potentially happen.

Frederic (00:17:59) - Yeah. That's that's he basically nailed it. We're connectors right. So we have these connections. We know who the biggest media buyers out there in the world are. Um, and we have access to them and they listen and trust us. But it's we also kind of represent them too, in terms of we're not going to bring deals to the table unless they're buttoned up and unless we know their stuff that they're going to get excited to for. So, you know, we're kind of like agents for these media buyers because, you know, we go out there and we try to find good deals and we just try to line up both stakeholders.

Frederic (00:18:31) - And then when it does work, it works really well.

Josh (00:18:35) - I love it. All right, well, Fred, this has been a great conversation. Your website is Performance Partners Agency. Someone's been listening to our conversation. They want to learn more. Where do they go? What do they do?

Frederic (00:18:48) - Yeah. So you can visit the site. Uh, you can also find me on LinkedIn. You can find me at Frederick Jean-bart or Jean-bart. And I'm very active on there. I also have a link to my calendar. You can book a free one on one strategy call, so that would be the best place. I'm always in LinkedIn.

Josh (00:19:04) - Yeah. Awesome. All right. We're going to have all of that linked up. Uh, again, Frederick Jean-bart, thank you so much. Founder CEO of Performance Partners. And the website once again is Performance Partners Agency. Frederick, thank you so much.

Frederic (00:19:18) - Thanks a lot, Josh. Appreciate the time.

Josh (00:19:26) - Thanks for listening to the Thoughtful Entrepreneur show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up my influence common Guest.

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