2014 A4D Meetup: Part 3

This is Part 3 of a 3-Part Series. Read the rest below.
2014 A4D Meetup Part 1
2014 A4D Meetup Part 2
2014 A4D Meetup Part 3

Holy sh#t… The conference was ready to begin.

Everyone took their seats and Jason took the stage to welcome everyone. Here is a run down of the speakers and a little bit about what they talked about.

*I would love to expand on all of the talks more but I could never do it in a way that would serve the speakers justice. I’ll just give you an idea of what I got from them.

I’ll probably send my presentation out to my email list, if you’re not on it yet, click here to automatically subscribe.

The Speakers

  • Jason Akatiff (opening). Jason (owner of A4D and founder of the meetup) got up and opened the show. He thanked everyone for coming and commented that the crowd looked a little light. Mainly because most people were still waking up and shaking off hangovers from the night before.
  • Zeal Caiden (Multivariate testing). Zeal did a full walk-thru on how to build a profitable email campaign using PPV and Multi-Variate Testing (MVT) with Landing Page Genius.
    Zeal Caiden
    Zeal Caiden talking MVT at the 2014 A4D Meetup. Photo by: Ilya Pozin

    He went over exact steps on how to pick a niche, create your LP, capture leads and then optimize the funnel with MVT. @zealcaiden

My Turn

I’ll intrude here and tell you a little about my experience.

I was pretty nervous as I walked up to the stage. Part of me thought something was going to go wrong. I figured the laptop wouldn’t turn on, or the presentation wouldn’t open or the microphone wouldn’t work.. you know, all those kinds of things.

Jason gave me a little intro as I got things hooked up. Big thanks the A4D guys that were onstage to help, you made it really easy for me.

Luckily my computer turned on, the presentation opened and showed up on the big screen. Someone handed me a little clicker to go from screen to screen and I was set.

a4d meetup malan darras
“You only need to do this right ONCE to change your entire f#cking life…”

The second I started talking my head cleared. It was all good. Everything was fine.

I had a lot of fun and people seemed to respond pretty well.

  • I’d tell a joke, they’d laugh
  • I’d show some stats, they’d nod their heads.

As a speaker, that’s all you can ask for.

The entire thing flew by. I’d cut my presentation down to 38 minutes, so I’d have a few minutes for Q&A. Before I knew it, it was over. I asked if there was time for me to do Q&A but since the show was a little behind we had to skip it.

It’s funny, after all the stressing and near-cancellations… when it came down to actually doing it, I didn’t want to get off the stage. I was having a great time.

Ok, back to the run down.

  • Malan Darras. (High volume media buys) My presentation covered how to negotiate, launch and maintain gigantic volume campaigns. I showed how to use managed media buy networks, a lot of guts and some creativity to wield massive streams of traffic. I also explained why I scale campaigns at break even and use the traffic volume to my advantage. If there is interest, I may post a more in-depth outline of my talk at some point on the blog or email list. If you want to be notified when it’s live, click here to automatically get a spot on the list.
  • Lars Callary. (Tailoring communication) Lars killed it. He talked about how affiliate marketers have a bad reputation int the business world and how it hurts our business. He then broke down how to  dress, how to talk on the phone and how to build your website so you don’t look like a guy working at home in his underwear. Doing this correctly gives a single affiliate the same respect as a startup in Silicon Valley. @larscallary

Lunch Break

For lunch I hit a seafood place across the street called Tin Fish with a few guys including Jason, Zeal and Nana from Prosper202.

After lunch we headed back over to the conference — and this is when I got mobbed by blog readers and new affiliates that wanted to talk about my website and my presentation.

Mob Scene

It started when one girl stopped me in the hall to talk, then her two friends walked up, then 2–3 more people saw us and walked over. Before I knew it there was a circle of about 15–20 people all around me asking questions at the same time and trying to get my attention.

At first it was cool – and I did my best to talk to everyone and answer questions. But after a while it started to become a bit overwhelming. But I did my best to answer everyone’s question, shake everyone’s hand and have a good time.

It was really cool to get to meet so many new people, especially the regular readers of this website. Thank you for being there and I hope I said something worthwhile.

I remember telling several people “we’re all in this together and heading in the same direction I’m just a little further down the path.

Back to the Meetup

  • Sergey Sundukovskiy. (Product development) How to build your own product. How to take your project from an idea all the way through hiring and managing the build out.
  • Coast Law Group (Legal). The guys from Coast Law gave a full on legal smack down about compliance in marketing. Rob speaks every year and is always a show stopper. They also did a long Q&A session and gave free legal advice. coastlawgroup.com


I wanted to avoid getting mobbed this time so I left the room a few seconds before everyone else. I really just wanted to go to my room and lay down for a few minutes.

So I dashed out, headed to my room and took a break.

Jason had been telling me about Zack’s presentation and I knew it was going to be something I didn’t want to miss, so I was sure to get back before he started. And I’m glad I did.

  • Zack Linford. (Next level) Hard for me to summarize. The title of his presentation was ’How To Make Your First $1,000,000 $10,000,000 in Affiliate Marketing.
    zack lindford a4d meetup
    Zack Lindford showing how to take it to the next, next level.

    In it he introduced a whole new level of what can be done with this skill set and how we can grow companies to 9 figure valuations. @zacklinford

  • Jason Akatiff. (Managing next level) Jason closed the show with a presentation on next level stuff. He went over how to grow your business and manage the people you hire so that you’re free to do what you do best. His advice on goal setting inspired me to rethink all of my goals and go for much, much bigger targets. @smaxor

The flow of the Meetup was really cool. Each presentation built off of the one before. The crowd was taken from their first profitable campaign all the way through turning it into a $10 Million+ a year company.

  • Zeal: How to launch and optimize a profitable campaign
  • Malan: How to do gigantic media buys
  • Lars: How to present yourself to the business world
  • Sergey: How to build your own products
  • Coast Law Group: How to keep your products/campaigns legal
  • Zack: How to take your skill set and go to the next level
  • Jason: How to manage your business and time as your business grows

That was it. A really great Meetup, probably the best meetup/conference/event I’ve ever been to. I spent about 1/2 an hour talking with the other speakers and sharing ideas and then headed out in search for food.


I opted for dinner alone at Mary Janes. I was too beat to talk to anyone and just kinda wanted to chill out.

While eating, I was approached by several different people that wanted to say thanks and tell me about their businesses. I didn’t mind really, it’s nice being surrounded by people that get it, people that understand what we do. And they actually had some pretty cool backgrounds and ideas.

The After Party

There was a huge after party / networking event on the roof of the Hard Rock hotel that evening that kicked off at 9pm. I was pretty beat, but decided to stop by.

I took a Zzzquil before going. My plan was that I’d stay for an hour and be back to the hotel room just as the Zzzquil was kicking in (so i could get some sleep).

When I got up to the roof I immediately ran into some affiliates I didn’t know that wanted to talk. Then I talked with a few more readers from the blog. We all swapped stories for an hour or so until I was ready to go.

On the way out I got stopped a few more times by drunk affiliate marketers who wanted me to tell them exact details about my current campaigns. And while they asked, they stepped on my feet and spit all over my face. Really great.

Finally on my way out I saw my friends Chris, @uccash and Joe by the elevator so I stopped to talk for a bit. Pretty soon the Zzzquil was hitting me so hard I had to go or I would have fallen asleep on my feet.

I took the elevator down, headed to my room and officially called it a done deal.

– –


Going to this meetup was a great reminder of how necessary it is to take breaks. For the past few months I’ve been living in my routine without a break at all. I didn’t realize at the time how burnt out I was.

But taking some time to road trip to San Diego, see my friends, meet tons of new people, break all my schedules, get no sleep and not enough food was the best thing I could have done for myself.

On the drive home I felt recharged and excited to get back to work.

It doesn't get much bigger than this. Malan and Jason Akatiff from A4D.
That’s a Wrap: Malan Darras and Jason Akatiff, 2014.

If you’ve never gone to a Meetup or conference I suggest you make plans right away. And if you’re only going to go to one, go to the A4D Meetup in San Diego.

  1. The speakers are higher quality than any other conference there is
  2. The information is exactly what you need to hear (no fluff)
  3. You can network with some of the biggest names in the business
  4. It’s Free

Big thanks to the A4D team for putting on a great event.

See ya next year.

This is Part 3 of a 3-Part Series. Read the rest below.
2014 A4D Meetup Part 1
2014 A4D Meetup Part 2
2014 A4D Meetup Part 3

Click Here to Watch the A4D Meetup Day 2 video on Youtube >> 

  • pete

    “Malan Darras. (High volume media buys).”
    Yes, I’m def interested in and in some more info. of this.

    “And if you’re only going to go to one, go to the A4D Meetup in San Diego.”
    That’s really interesting. For someone not from the U.S. and had to choose one event, I was thinking ASW or ASE were the places to go for networking. Not so sure now. Looks like A4D is good too.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      Hell no, A4D Meetup gives you way more bang for your buck. It’s smaller but much more real information. Definitely do the A4D thing if you can only do one. plus it’s free.

      • nasty

        Will there be videos of all speakers at YouTube or somewhere?

        • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

          probably not, you have to be there!

  • Peet

    Yeah i’m also interested in information about high volume media buys 🙂

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      gotcha, thanks. 🙂

  • Petre Veluda

    It’s amazing how far some guys in the industry are thinking and how much space there is out there to explore and finally conquer. I think that with the skills needed for this business, affiliate marketers will develop in a whole new species of entrepreneurs.

    Anyway, glad you summarised what happened there. Definitely one more reason to go to such an event.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      yeah man, we are (myself included) way too wrapped up in just the arbitrage model and are missing the big (real big) picture. The skills that any mid-level affiliate has is highly valuable to big businesses outside of the affiliate world. If you can show Bank of America how to take their cost per new customer from $100 to $50, you can pretty much name your price.

      • Petre Veluda

        True. Paradox is that people good enough at their craft to know how to do that, they don’t F** care about how much Bank of America pays them.

        Probably this kind of “job” you’ll accept when you are really really “bored”. Like Boris Becker these days who mentors Novak Djokovic (not saying that he is that bored, I’m sure he enjoys it).

  • Jakie

    I’m interested in a youtube video of a tour of your house

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      haha noted. thanks Jakie

    • Petre Veluda

      I’m with you on that one Jakie :)!

  • Jon Tam

    “It will be Okay”

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      i make those shirts myself. I have about 14 of them and wear them almost every day. Someday I’ll do a post about the back story. It’s pretty wild.

      • Jon Tam

        Awesome, I smell a blog post coming 🙂

        Every Super Affiliate has got to have a tag line, I’m stealing yours!

  • JerryLing

    Awaiting for your presentation slides, it should be very interesting and informative! The information you provided is always awesome 🙂

  • Iliyan Deyanov Tsonev

    Thank you for the post Malan! I can’t wait for your (High volume media buys). 🙂

  • Kelly Sheffield

    Hey Malan nice meeting you (I’m the tall guy in the green shirt in last pic). I ended up deciding to go somewhat last minute, making the 10 hour drive from NorCal while sick to boot. Totally worth it. It was definitely the best event I’ve been to yet by virtue of all those points you listed.