While GeekWeekTLV is at its peak and seasoned purveyors have flown in from all over to” geek out” and talk native, conduct and scaling, we caught up with Purple Leads Founder& CEO and happening multitude, James Van Elswyk- the man who dines, live and breathes Media Buying.

James’ had a quite the passage, both as a big league Media Buyer and a quality lecturer. From flying solo to overseeing an exceptional marketing team with tons of plan spend a month, he’s here to tell us all about the nuts& bars of build a unit from scratch, how to stop grinding and start scaling safaruss, and drawing lessons from learners and earners.

Our plan was simple- to pick James’ brain as much as we can, and trust you us, we got more than we hoped for. So, here departs , no BS , no fluff.


Image source: affiliateworldconferences.com

You’ve recently returned from Affiliate Summit West, and your very own GeekWeek event in Vegas. How was it?

It was amazing. What was very nice about the contest was that it was a small-sized event. Everybody had just finished their Q4’s, and a great deal of chaps were involved in eCommerce. Since the season was kind of over, everybody was very open to sharing, both the people that were teaching and the people that were learning and show their ground sheets and epitomes, because they were done. Likewise, we had someone teaching Snapchat on Thursday, but we all time kind of started working on Monday so by Wednesday, before we even started the sessions on Snapchat, parties was previously propelling safaruss. You had like 15 people that were very good, high-level affiliates all kind of working together, so this started the event special for us.

Based on Vegas and your own experience in general, what new trends do you think will take over 2019? For example, if you’re an experienced affiliate who needs to consider employing new programmes, what techniques, verticals, and even challenges would you focus on?

Snapchat for sure. We have a course coming up on Snapchat. One of our talkers would also speak, Matt Smith, he has been consistently stirring 5K and up to 20 K of benefit a period, and he got in reasonably early, but now I insure a great deal of other parties also coming in. I know someone who’s spending 50 K a date, I know someone who’s spending a 100 K a date in Q4, probably less now, someone else who’s spending 10 K and getting back 40 K, so you have a lot of people making money on Snapchat physically. And then I started loping it myself, and now I also make a very good profit. So, I think that this is a traffic generator where the CPM is very cheap, let’s say$ 4 in the U.S. and$ 2 in the UK, for example, compared to $20 – $40 CPM on Facebook, so it’s still so cheap and there’s still a lot of area for beings to make money there.

The other thing for affiliates that are just getting started, don’t have a lot of funds or looking for cheaper possibilities, the traffic is so much cheaper on Snapchat. It expenditure less to measure … everything is less. So, I see Snapchat will be the big scaffold. They simply released reports as well that their earnings are up because of advertising.

We’re working a lot with Snapchat Israel and the general manager now. They are really putting efforts into getting advertisers on their pulpit, and they are way supportive. I don’t know how they did it, but their faculty once knows how the platform manipulates. Not simply do the government has good customer service and support like an American companionship, but they know what to do and what’s going on, and I think that this is going to make it very easy for people to on-board Snapchat. But I think it will last for approximately one year. The good fund is now, for the next six months or so, but I think you will abruptly determine those tolls disappear from$ 4 to $8. It is what it is. More and more people will get on the scaffold, and they’ll start offsetting more money. Snapchat’s policy, which is looser now, will get tighter, the type of offers they miss will get tighter, and the challenger will drive up the cost.

One thing I’ve noticed about launching on Snapchat is not that it’s cheaper, but I’m doing mainly Lead Generation on the platform right now, and a better quality of the induces is road higher, and I believe that’s because people are fresh to the ads. The beings that are hanging out on Snapchat are probably not hanging out on Facebook. The beings on Facebook have already seen the ads about a million times, and the people on Snapchat are fresh, so when they’re a Lead and they call up, they are very interested. So, I thoughts, six months on the really sweet money, and then a year, long coin.

But isn’t the demographic on Snapchat a bit too young to really be considered high quality?

It’s younger. I wouldn’t say it’s very young. We’re targeting senilities 22 -4 5.

Are there 45 year old on Snapchat?

There are quite a bit. It’s shocking. But when you have enough of anything, you’re still going to end up with a assortment. It’s not Facebook, and it’s not like grandparents are using it, but there are quite a few people on there, and at the end of the working day, it works.

My friend has a $ 150 to $250 eCommerce product. He’s spending a 100 K a date on Q4. Someone is buying it. So, I’ve been very surprised at, for example, Lead Generation, like credit card debt, which takes time to accumulate, age smart. In America you have a credit card, you deplete, then you have a debt and parties are crowding out a way to get help with this debt. They’re not kids and leads like this have been very good.

Student loan consolidation- that’s another one. It merely originates appreciation. College age, really participating the labour force, I see like 27 -2 8 years old are probably a sweet distinguish. For some concoctions, the re-bill rates are not good because you have younger people that buy something and then return it. So, we’ll see. Time will tell.

We presume most people know this about you. It is said that you started as a solo affiliate and now you’re overseeing a highly knew market team with a 7-figure fund. Tell us about that.

We’re not devoting seven fleshes anymore. We’re still spending a ton of money, but I ever like to keep it clear.

Last year, after the Cambridge Analytica thing with Facebook, our receipt time made a smash, because we were do Lead Generation, which is data collection, which various kinds of kept us in a bad domain. And then earlier this year, a few of my employees and myself had our personal Facebook reports boycotted for 30 days. Facebook was still spending our coin while we were locked out. Ever since “thats happened”, I’ve been on a huge drive to work on other sources. Our spend on Facebook, which was our big-hearted locomotive of spend, weakened quite a bit.

With that said today- how did I change from a one-person affiliate to having a team?

The way that I did it, the room that I do it now and the road that I want to do it are three separate things. The more I learn about the business and its involvement, the more I would change what I did in the past. And the large-hearted thing is, I started, and I belief most people make this mistake, but I was a one-man affiliate, so I contemplated I just need to train someone else like me to scale. And I hired three so that I could split-test employees. I kept two. One is still with me since we started here in Israel. But I realized that doing it that way isn’t the right way to do it. I is of the view that if someone is a successful one-person affiliate Media Buyer, they should spend all their money to scale business-wise- like a human capital investment- into supporting roles; like a Video Editor, which is a much better return on investment than hiring another Media Buyer. Another media buyer is probably going to steal your’ confidential sauce’. It takes a long time to train a Media Buyer, whereas when you get a Video Editor, like an After Effects person, or a Graphics person, you can actually quantify the return on investment with this person. The quantity that they can increase your CTR is going to decrease your CPC, so you can take a look at your cost before and after hiring this employee.

So, I hired three primarily to split-test and culminated up with two After Impacts people, and I watched a big difference in the business- our safaruss were always lasting longer, and we always had brand-new personas to pop in.

I think that is something that I do now that is a big change, as instead of a Media Buyer, my second hire would be an After Effects person or a Video Editor and then after that, I would hire a Copywriter.

If you leave Media Buyers two hours a day to analyze data and then do their uploads, that is like it. The one-person affiliate, they should keep the brains and the intellectual property rights in their brains and get tons of support staff until they’re left with the believing. You know, it’s a psyche responsibility.

Let’s be honest, your specialty as a Media Buyer is to get media. But you don’t undoubtedly know how to write content, how to talk to networks or traffic generators.

Right. The best room to do this is to take a proper inventory of yourself as a Media Buyer, and all that means, you know?

The different tasks that you have as a Media Buyer will turn into different departments in your corporation someday- talking to your Affiliate Managers, and your congestion sources will go to Biz Dev. Doing Photoshop and editing videos will go to your video unit. And when you continue to replace your personal personas with actual employees, abruptly you have this nice business. You can also hire some locates that you have a severe insufficiency. Let’s say on your Biz Dev side you have somebody that’s handling the networks for you. When you start to offer them a bonus for pay-bumps, “theyre going to” probably start getting more pay-bumps than you did because you didn’t have the time to really focus on it. And almost all these types of characters, like if you’re smart with it, you can actually measure what happens before and after this work, if you got your money back on them. That is what is nice with commerce, everybody’s characters are pretty much quantifiable.

For those who’re looking to grow into suitable business with a significant in-house team, I predict this is the main advice that you’d give them- to hire supporting roles?

Just hire for what you are bad at, first off. And what’s going to have the biggest impact on your business, and not only financially, are also time and stress influences to let you do whatever it is you work better. I also considered that when you meet these types of hire and you are trying to be organized with your business, you want to hire enough to buy yourself time to work on your business.

I think a lot of affiliates when they go to scale from 1 to 2, or 1 to 5, or however their flake happens, they must remember that working on your business means to give the same attention as “workin on” your safaruss. You must take a step back and deplete the time to think about it, organization it and construct, and often that will lead to a drop in profits.

When you want to scale you need to understand that your Media Buying is more likely to take a hit, you are going to be very busy training parties; it’s going to be annoying. But you got simply to think that you’re taking a step back to take a few paces forward. I would say, hire enough to schedule time for yourself, and hiring in the right order is how I proposed to scaling it out.

We’ve been following your iStack and Geekout tracks and GeekWeek happenings. Where does that teaching drive come from?

I have always sat in a lot of different roles doing belief, and a great deal of my organizations, I was kind of the presage on it. Like when I opened call centers firstly, I learned how to sell on the phone. It was a necessity for me to teach beings my skill set. My knowledge job, there was always a inevitability to transfer the intellectual property rights and the knowledge of how to do things in my president to other people.

I started to really teach at proportion in the request centers because there is a super high turnover- there were hundreds of people that had to learn.

I came in the habit of teach again and again, and it became very comfortable.

Then with this business, I was beginning to train Media Buyers, which is just like training people in the see centers- sitting right next to them, and instead of listening to their phone calls and taking over-pitches, it’s looking at their campaigns every morning, spot-checking and correcting things.

But I didn’t think to teach it as a business until I spoke about a year and a half ago to do a case study to drive more affiliates to our network. People were super accept, and I recognise I was undervaluing the information I had and undervaluing the different levels that we were buying media.

You ever think everybody around you is better, and I know tons of beings in the nations of the world are course better than me, but at that time I didn’t have high-pitched self-esteem for my media buying. After I spoke and I interpreted the response, I realized that a lot of people still didn’t know what I knew, and I didn’t feel it was something that would hurt my benefit- to share what I knew. I just think that the pulpit is too big, and I noticed, for example, with our offers, I may run them internally, and we have our network offers, and we were able to all be running the same offer. It was never driving up my tolls when I had other affiliates on my network running the same offers as me. Also, we had just finished doing Dropshipping- eCom at the end of 2017, Q4 2017, and we were able to make it fruitful. We experienced the business, various kinds of, and we felt that eCommerce is a proliferating sphere, bigger than anything. But we didn’t control the quality of the product. And I pictured the demand for education and a whole new marketplace for higher excellence- the route I wanted to consume it- and I also participated the possibility of being my own symbol and henceforth control the quality and be able to stand behind the commodity, etc. So we decided to test this out as a business. So far, it’s been ok; it’s fulfilling.

You barely make money on the affair business. I lost coin on my last contest in Vegas, but it doesn’t truly skunk me out, because I went so much value myself everyone is experienced it so much and went appraise. It’s like a long-term brand-building for me. The loss to me was like an investment into my label in the future, because I have great testaments, and everybody vibed it. But the real rotated for me in the grander imagination of the education thing, which I certainly have never shared before and I probably should.

My focus is really to educate , not undoubtedly exactly Media Buyers that want to be affiliates or financiers, because 5% of the world has an entrepreneurial spirit, you are aware? It’s not a huge percentage. I is of the view that when you learn person how to buy media, you empower them, you procreate job opportunities.

In the United State, if you understand how to buy media and you’ve already depleted coin, you’re going to procreate 70 Grand USD on the first time, and some Media Buyers get paid up to 200 Grand USD.

I exactly speaking on one of my purchasers, a very large solar company, and they hired a Media Buyer for like a $160,000 for the first year. This person is not even an affiliate, he has the experience, but it’s not the level that we had exhaust. He wasted a maximum of like 7K a day, while some of my Media Buyers expend about 50 K or more a era. So, I construed the value of this role and the style that you can help people that may not be able to get a job traditionally, people that are just coming out of the U.S. penitentiary system, for example. They have a criminal record; they can’t get a job. But as a Media Buyer , no one cares about what you did in the past. They don’t care if you make a profit.

People that are in wheelchairs, for example, that don’t have access to about 80% of the job inventory because of their physical situation. Media Buying is all mentality. It’s like genuinely a brain enterprise. I want to open a school, with a physical conglomerate place, where people could come to school for a year, maybe a year and a half, and get full education on Google Analytics, Third-Party Tracking, YouTube, Facebook, Natives- build a Media Buyer- Photoshop, Aftereffects, all the pieces that you would need to be a badass Media Buyer. Then have them work in my bureau for six months- three months in an eCommerce/ branding vogue busines, and three months in full on CPA affiliate style. So now you have a year of education, six months of internship where you’ve previously coped a budget.

Placing parties into the workplace is super easy, so I feel very comfortable offering guaranteed job placements on the breast slope. For me, it’s simply a super acquire. I’m creating jobs, I’m getting labor in my bureau, and when I started to look at this type of education piece for me … again, I keep saying, I’m not making any money out of the education side, but I feel like if I stick with this , not as my big moneymaker or the core cash-cow of my life … but if I stick with it for the next five or ten years, I’ll end up with something impressive. I have a school where people can go and learn. Hopefully get to the point when high school kids talk to their parents about going to a school to learn how to buy media instead of throwing away money on college in the United State. It’s like a bigger thing. So, I’ve been using this affiliate entrepreneur type of occurrences I’m doing now to step up into this and generate revenue and branding, and trash like that. There’s a much bigger outlook on this.

As someone who’s belief and mentoring countless parties, who are your instructors?

That’s a very good one … There’s a bunch of people that I look at. I have to say my partner Daniel, who first and foremost comes to mind, because as a business person … like I’m a better Media Buyer, I’m a better salesclerk, I have a lot of skills and capacity that I’m better at, but when it comes to business and the actual arbitraging of values, vesting and analyzing opportunity cost and yield I look up to him for those skill sets in one area that I’m trying to change.

On a personal side, which I think is important, I have a lot of different role models when it comes to mindfulness and meditation. A mint of things that have been affecting my business as well that I find myself more focused on- my thought and my consciousness and the path that I think about things- it has had a huge effect on me with my personal happiness, but too with my recital. I read a lot of J. Christian Murdy; I have for a long time. I too have different schoolteachers for meditation and mindfulness in L.A. and Jerusalem, so I’ve got my spiritual instructors over there, and Daniel my partner as my business instructor and then my grandmother is my relational instructor, and I think it’s important to notice. I’m married, and I adoration my bride very much. I think we will be married until the end of duration. But I’ve watched my grandmother and grandpa married for about 68 times. Recently my grandpa passed away, like last year, and I watched the last ten years of his life and what it was like to support someone so wholeheartedly. I “ve seen the way” my grandmother took care of him, and I see now the need that he has left in her life. She has been my instructor as far as how to build a marriage and their own families. So, there’s been a lot of teach this year. I’m 42, and there’s been a lot of learning this past year personally.


So, GeekWeekTLV is happening now- February 10 th to 15 th- and let me tell you, we’re honored to having it close to home.

Thank you. I’m still happy to have one here in Israel. I is ready to do one in Israel since day one. I want to plant a pennant now. I cherish Israel. In a few years that I’m doing this, everybody will get it and value it. It just needs to happen. I think that Israel has always been a big role in my Media Buying and I attend the appreciate here, and I ever say the same thing, it’s like the cheapest overhead per IQ in the world. Really, you can get the smartest parties for very best rate, and there’s no way around it- smart, hustling … I was very excited to do an event here, and I’m very excited about what we have going on.

The first day of GeekWeek will be at the Taboola office; then we’re going to be at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange with various loudspeakers from YouTube, Snapchat, and Facebook. We have a day of really Snapchat, a epoch for eCommerce with Nick Shackelford. He’s top-notch, he’s very good, so I are glad to bring him here.

One of the evenings, Snapchat is going to host a celebration as well. To have the involvement of two traffic marriages and to have huge beings flying in- “weve had” like 20- 25 beings who the hell is flying in from the U.S ., Canada, Australia – that is exciting. I’m actually gushed for the occasion this week.

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