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“I talk with every affiliate as if they are going to bring millions to the company” – interview with Anna Buzova, Lead affiliate manager Alfaleads

How do new people get into the CPA industry? We won’t exaggerate by saying that new people come from all walks of life, sometimes very far from working online. Zachary has already shared his journey from tutor to team leader, and today Anna Buzova, our “Breakthrough of the year” at Alfaleads, shares her fascinating story.

Anna, you have become a new star in the company at the start of this year. Tell us about your life before you came to Alfaleads: is it true that your job has had nothing to do with online marketing?

That’s right! I worked as a project manager in premium interior design shops. These are turnkey-style salons where people come to have their homes designed and decorated. My role was similar to what affiliate managers do: only I was an intermediary between clients and architects or designers. For example, the customer will come up with an idea of what they want for their house. Knowing the manufacturers and the specifics of the design process, I would transform this vision into tangible specifications for architects and then curate this project. To do this, I needed to fully understand the design workflow: know the blueprints and visualizations, as well as know all the manufacturers’ products. 

Why did you decide to change your line of work?

I had a lot of clients and everything was fine, but at some point, I realized that I knew everything: all the tasks were straightforward, I had a feeling that there was no inspiration left. And I have always said that if you don’t grow, you regress. 

The COVID pandemic also played its part. Italian manufacturers, my main suppliers, suffered a lot during the pandemic. I felt trapped by circumstances that I could not control. 

These two moments prompted me to search for a new niche where I could develop.

How exactly did you come to affiliate marketing?

First, I came up with an image of an industry where I wanted to succeed: it has money, does not depend on external factors, and can keep you on your toes. Then, for the first time in my life, I published my CV on a job search platform and kept browsing until I came across a company whose values and philosophy resonated with mine. As you might guess, it was Alfaleads.

So, you got hired without any experience in digital marketing? What’s your secret?

I realized that my background had nothing to do with CPA marketing, so I wrote a detailed cover letter for my CV. I knew that my soft skills met the requirements 100%: I have a lot of work and life experience, I am motivated, organized, and I’m a talented negotiator. In my cover letter, I literally wrote down the points why I would be great at this job.

As a result, after the interviews, I got an offer: first, go through a 3-month training, and then get a full-time job. For the company, it was also a kind of experiment, so I am very grateful for the trust. 

What kind of training?

Alfaleads Academy – it is an internal educational program for prospective affiliate and sales managers. The information was organized from simple topics to more complex ones, all divided into themed chapters. I studied Affise (a platform for marketers), read articles in Russian and English, watched videos, asked questions to my future colleagues, and then studied with a mentor. He made sure that I have learned everything properly and clarified things if there were any questions left.

I admit to feeling awkward during that time since despite my status of a “student” I was getting paid. This was unusual for me and prompted me to start actively working with affiliates after a month and a half of my studies, without waiting for the official graduation. 

Did it take long before you felt confident?

At first, I Googled almost every word. When other employees said something interesting, I paused them with: “Wait, I’ll write that down!” I can imagine how funny it looked in their eyes. 

I believe I have done a lot of digging. Not only our Academy, but also my colleagues helped me in this. We went to regular sessions together, where I gained much know-how from top experts. Also, the Research & Development department helped me a lot, for which I am very grateful.

Simply put, a lot has been done – and it paid off! Now I already have interesting case studies that I am proud of. Big media buying teams and solo affiliates with various traffic sources grow with me — we develop together.

And what do you associate this growth with? 

With every affiliate, I try to get as much information as possible to understand the goals we are going to, the resources they have, and the power they are ready to invest. We talk through the profit goals they want to achieve and the exact timing, try to determine the products that could get us there. We meet online and offline, brainstorm, and think over a strategy of how and when we can get to the desired result!

In short, my job is not about “just give me more offers”, it’s a true collaboration. Me and my affiliates, we value such an approach as it brings a sense of unity, common goals, and real growth. 

You mentioned some cases you’re proud of. Tell us more.

For example, I can tell a cool story of an affiliate who made 10 thousand profit in 30 days and ranked among the top affiliates of our company in 4 months. 

I was assigned to an affiliate with very small volumes of traffic. From the very first day we started devising a roadmap, he was very attentive to all my suggestions and implemented them right away. We agreed on a special payout schedule so that he would always have the budget to pay as he goes. In a way, I gamified the process: once every two weeks I requested traffic analytics, set him tasks on volume and quality of traffic, and if he succeeded I would negotiate a payout rate bump from the advertiser. So there was an incentive to grow further. As a result, a month later the affiliate crossed the milestone of 40-50 daily deposits, a month later he increased the volume twice, and then entered the ranks of the top 10 affiliates within our company. Now he is building a local lead support department in the target country and is scaling up his operations simultaneously on several products.

So, it turns out that every affiliate in our niche can grow so much and this fast! And what is the secret to your success?

I talk with every affiliate as if they are going to bring millions to the company.

I am sure that in our industry, success is proportional to expertise, the ability to think one step ahead, analyze the traffic, and understand how each of the teams operates. In a nutshell, the more you invest — the more you get.

About thinking ahead, the 2022 World Cup is drawing nearer, have you already figured out how to use this event to its fullest? 

Right now, we are running preparations for the World Cup with several media buying teams that run ASO and PPC campaigns. We have already found some curious conversion flows and are working on them, so we will be fully armed by November. And I am sure that we will hit the jackpot. It’s nice to see big teams that are used to working directly with advertisers come to us instead. They understand that 

when you reach out to different betting shops through Alfaleads, your only job is to drive traffic and ensure its quality. 

And what do you think about affiliate marketing conferences? How much do they contribute to networking?

It has happened to me more than once that an affiliate I met at a conference became a long-lasting business partner and even a real friend of mine. At last year’s Kinza, I met a member of the team, whose campaigns would fully cover the costs of our participating in the conference in just two months of driving traffic. Now we are discussing the possibility of building a local department dedicated to this team’s campaign flow — this is something our industry has not seen before. 

Tell a little bit about your recent promotion.

This spring, I became a Lead affiliate manager. Now I have people reporting to me and I am very proud of their achievements, I would not be surprised if they surpass mine soon. It is fascinating and thrilling to realize that not so long ago it was I who went around Googling every second word — and now I hold business meetings with my employees. 

Would you like to say something to those who just start their affiliate marketing journey? 

Regardless of the offer vertical, never stop testing new approaches and ideas, because affiliate marketing, like no other field, especially favors enthusiasm. Here, your success comes from your determination.

Hit me on Telegram, I will be glad to become a real partner in your endeavors: I am sure that together we will achieve tremendous success!

And if you want to join the Alfaleads team, email us to [email protected]! We are always glad to welcome talented and motivated people to our ranks.


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