Today I want to share an inspirational story…
A story that will hopefully give you the fuel to get started. To keep going. To not give up.
At just 17 years of age, Alexander Bachmann dropped out of school to set out on his entrepreneurial journey.
With just $27 in funding, he was able to buy a domain name and some web hosting, and kickstart his dream.
Starting as a simple publisher, he soon became one of Germany’s most respected online content publishers in the affiliate marketing industry.
His ideas were gaining traction with the media, his mentors, peers and perhaps most importantly the consumer market.
Today, Bachmann’s business admitad is valued at over 100 million US dollars, with an annual growth rate of over 150%.
So what is his secret sauce?
To find out, let’s take a closer look at his business.
Before starting admitad, Bachmann was a Zanox, Affilinet publisher. This platform was considered as the affiliate marketing giant of Europe.
But he spotted an opportunity.
Instead of going head-to-head with Zanox, Bachmann discovered a gap in the Russian market in the niche field of Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) affiliate marketing. To capitalize on this opportunity he needed to act fast, so in 2009 the concept of admitad was born.
Admitad is an affiliate network that brings Advertisers and and Publishers together by providing the technology they need to execute high yielding affiliate campaigns.
It is the fastest growing affiliate network in the European market, and is quickly expanding to both Asia and North America with offices now opening all over the world.
As mentioned, Admitad focuses on a Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) payment model for its users, which means that the ROI is obvious and measurable for companies that use the platform.
But Bachmann says himself that they aren’t actually extremely unique in their offering:
“I decided not to reinvent the wheel, I just wanted to improve the existing platforms, and excel at customer service” says Bachmann.
If I was to sum it up: admitad aren’t doing anything particularly different, but what they do, do is the best in the market.
Here’s a quick look at why admitad is a market leader in the affiliate space.
- They have over 550,000 publishers
- They directly connect advertisers with partners to sell their products
- They provide experienced personal account managers to help promote your campaigns
- They provide in-depth and transparent reporting about your campaigns
- They only charge you when someone takes action
- They have over 1,300 affiliate programs for you to pick from
- They have over 140 exclusive advertisers… meaning you can’t access their affiliate programs anywhere else
- They have an in-depth set of tools available to publishers, including promo codes
- They provide direct access to advertisers, and help you develop relationships
- They offer convenient weekly payments
Below is a behind-the-scenes snapshot of the admitad dashboard:
Despite the size of the company, admitad have maintained a very centralized decision-making structure within the business, where the primary decision-maker is Bachmann himself.
This centralized model of decision-making enables admitad to move fast, make decisions without bureaucracy, and inevitably get the jump on their competitors when opportunities arise.
They have built the business and its brand around the expertise and thought leadership of Bachmann. He’s the market influencer.
This is a trend we are seeing more and more of in the digital world. Individuals have a voice, and people crave that personal connection with a brand and its leaders. The secretive, cold, corporate boardrooms of the past don’t connect any more.
But, rightly so, Bachmann takes little of the credit himself.
The key to their exponential growth and continued success has little to do with the product, the idea, the market, or the primary decision maker. It’s about the team.
“The most important thing in setting up a huge company and boosting your business growth, is about investing properly in your team. If you have a good idea, it doesn’t mean that you automatically get a lot of money. A good team is much more valuable in this context. Only an effective team is able to bring your idea to life.” says Bachmann.
This emphasis on the team is reiterated in the high level of customer service that forms the backbone of admitad’s competitive advantage. Their team of affiliate experts are available around the clock to connect advertisers with relevant publishers, customize advertising solutions, and make regular and highly impactful improvements to the way the business operates.
But why would they put so much time into their team and not the customer?
The answer to that question is simple. With a continued focus on building a high-performing and service driven team, the customer always comes out on top. As much as you can claim to have a customer-centric business, it means very little if you don’t have the team and processes in place to deliver on that promise.
Alexander Bachmann’s story is without a doubt one of success…
But the biggest takeaway from his journey is that it’s all possible. Starting at 17 years old, with just $27, he built a million dollar business.
What’s stopping you from doing the same? Fear of failure?
I know it’s not a lack of drive. You’ve got that in spades.
Get started. Take a leap. Don’t accept your current reality as the way it has to always be.
Draw inspiration from people like Alexander, me, or anyone else you know who has started from zero at some point in their entrepreneurial journey. (Because everyone has)
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for admitad. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.