SMART Affiliate Program Opens It's Doors - An Interview With Dave Sweney, the program's head developer...
Finally the day has arrived! After a lot of work and preparation by team members of the SMART Tools for Business brand, they have announced that the SMART Affiliate Program is opening their doors to Team Members!
What this means is that people can start saving money right away when switching from other platforms that provide similar services at a higher price. It will be good for the market for sure.
The Co-Founder Dave Sweney, was interviewed on 5 June by Daryl Capua to get his perspective on this major development.
Here is what he had to say to her questions about the program:
Daryl: So I guess this has been a long hard road for you to get to this point?
Dave: Yes indeed! Our team has been working day in and day out for as many as 12 to 14 hours a day to get things ready.
Daryl: Are you fully operational then?
Dave: We are operational to the point that we can open for members. They will get the basics, such as hosting, access to the Basic Training Course, the Freelancer Course, the Boot Camp, and many of the Advanced Training Courses right away. They will also get access to the SMART Community Platform, which we are tweaking every day still to make sure it is useful and practical for members.
Daryl: Is that SMART Community Platform just for SMART Affiliate Program Team Members?
Dave: No, no, it is available for almost anyone that is dealing with the SMART Tools for Business programs, tools, and services. They can be a user, an affiliate, or just someone that is interested in getting the valuable free training we offer.
Daryl: Okay, that is nice that you are being so inclusive. It sounds like everyone can benefit from joining that community. That answer brings up another question…What is the training like and where do community members get access to it?
Dave: When people join the SMART Community Center, they will get instructions on how to enroll in the courses. We have a Getting Started Group and Forum where all that is laid out. We know it is important to have a proper welcome and there is where they will get that, to include how to sign up and get access to the training.
Daryl: Is the training found within the Community website or elsewhere?
Dave: No no, we have a separate platform where we host the entire set of courses and curriculum for the different training focuses that we offer. That curriculum is growing by the day, by the way. We have over 1200 lessons that are either published or in the final stages of being published at the moment, and that list is growing.
Daryl: Wow, that sounds wonderful! What kinds of subjects are covered?
Dave: Right now we have the SMART Affiliate Program Basic, Advanced, and Boot Camp programs, and each comes with between 60 lessons to hundreds. We also have a SMART Freelancer Services Platform Training Course that teaches freelancers how to sign up and use our platform to offer their services to buyers (and this can be used to develop offers for other platforms as well, by the way). We also have some special subject training courses that will help other online marketers get started if they are not interested in affiliate marketing.
Daryl: That sounds great. How has the response been from the public so far? Is there a lot of interest in what you are building?
Dave: Yes indeed, there has been a tremendous response from many people in many parts of the country and world. Right now especially, with the COVID-19 pandemic, the high rates of unemployment, people everywhere are looking for answers, for solutions, for proven paths to develop a new stream of income. We provide the training, the tools, and the support to help them get started fast on that path.
Daryl: That brings up a question (yes another one, sorry!). What kinds of tools do you have for members or users that will help them with their online marketing efforts?
Dave: I am glad that you asked that question, as this is an extremely important point…We have a complete set of tools that people can use to get a solid start and fast. The training shows them how to use the tools and we are adding to the list of tools that we have too. As we find ones that are truly valuable (there is a lot of junk out there but there are some good ones too) we secure the rights to offer them to our members. This saves them hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
Daryl: Is there a list of what tools are available through the SMART Affiliate Program somewhere?
Dave: Yes we have a list of tools and services, and also links to access them. BUT, we work this a bit differently from other platforms and memberships. Members earn the access through their activities within the training and community platforms.
Daryl: Can you expand on that a bit more? It sounds interesting!
Dave: Sure, no problem at all. Basically, we want to provide an incentive for people to actively and regularly contribute and learn through all the training, tools and resources we have gathered for them. We want them to participate in the groups, in the forums, and in the comment sections of the training courses on the training platform. So we have developed a reward system.
Daryl: Wow that sounds cool! Tell me more…
Dave: Yes, the rewards include points they receive for completing training lessons and courses, for checking in and being active on the community platform, and for helping other members. They also earn badges for completing different goals, they get recognition as a leader, and so on.
Daryl: So what happens to the points that they get? What are they good for?
Dave: The points are what we like to call “SMART Credits” and they are like cash. They can be redeemed for a number of tools and programs that we have. These are tools they would normally have to pay for if they were to get access outside the membership to them. We want to reward them for their hard work and save them money too!
Daryl: That really sounds like a great benefit of the program. So how do you compare with membership cost? All these benefits must mean that this is an expensive membership?
Dave: No no, quite the opposite. We are one of the cheapest in the market when you compare features and benefits. Our prices are now 30% cheaper than the closest comparable platform for the monthly membership fee. We also have even more savings available with the semiannual, the annual, or the lifetime options we have on offer at the moment.
Daryl: That sounds great too. Are those prices going to hold or will you have to raise them at some point?
Dave: For the moment we will hold them, likely through the end of the year (2020). We will reevaluate prior to the start of 2021 and adjust our pricing as appropriate.
Daryl: Does that mean that current members will have to pay more when the price rise goes into effect?
Dave: No not at all. Those people that are members now and who stay active will be grandfathered (I think that is the right term?). Their price will remain as it is right now.
Daryl: Will you also remove the lifetime membership offer? That sounds like it is a really good deal, I have not seen that on other similar platforms…
Dave: We may keep it but we will raise the price on that right along with the other plans. Right now we are not worried about making a lot of money from memberships, we are more focused on helping the many people that are out there who need some answers, some guidance, some solutions. That is the focus for us!
Daryl: Well thanks for your time today, Dave, I know you are extremely busy at the moment getting all this together. I really appreciate it and readers will also likely appreciate it when they get this insider perspective of the SMART Affiliate Program!
Dave: Not a problem, I really want to get the word out and doing these kinds of interviews will help. Do come by again, and we can drill down a bit more if you are interested. This is a comprehensive platform, there are many pieces, and more coming. I would love to have you learn more!
Daryl: Thanks so much! I enjoyed this and would love to schedule a follow-up. Can I work through your PA to get this set up?
Dave: Ha ha, I do not have a PA! Right now I am wearing about 10 hats, and our team members are the same. As we grow the platform, we will add more people. I do not think I will ever need a PA though! Just give me a call and we will make it happen! Thanks and have a great day!