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Why a Rockstar Photographer Shares Format with His Community

Format’s affiliate program is the perfect side hustle for creators. We chatted with photographer Matthias Hombauer about authenticity and endorsements.

If you’ve listened to a podcast, browsed a website, or scrolled through Twitter or Instagram lately, you’ve likely come across referral programs and affiliate links. Affiliate programs are becoming increasingly popular with creators across all disciplines—as a way to share both what tools and services they use as well as have some extra money coming in.

Affiliate programs aren’t just for IG models and professional creatives. Format created a public affiliate program to open up the idea of generating passive income to everyone. In fact, you don’t even need to use Format to join. We chatted with one of our partners about why he chose Format and what he looks for in an affiliate program.

Concert photographer Matthias Hombauer has spent years not only honing his craft, but building an authentic brand and community of followers with How to Become a Rockstar Photographer.

Hombauer takes his responsibility to that community seriously, and that includes only partnering with brands he believes in. “The number one key point for me is if I don’t like it I won’t do it. I’m in a position where I can choose who I want to work with. If I don’t like the product, I won’t promote it. It’s about working with companies who have outstanding products for me and my community.”

When deciding which type of ear protection to recommend to would-be concert photographers, Hombauer tested more than 15 types of ear plugs and ranked them accordingly. He was equally discerning when it came to recommending a website builder. “A portfolio is something every photographer needs but it can be a pain in the ass. When I started out I had no clue, it can be rather tedious for newbies to set up their own portfolio.”

Hombauer decided on Format, but not before trying it out himself. “I want to test it out before I share with my community. Format was a good fit.” With a focus on transparency, he wrote a thorough review and then added in layers of video showing exactly how he uses Format.

In addition to only working with companies he believes in, Hombauer is selective about the affiliate program itself. With Format, Haumbauer says “it’s rather easy to set everything up. It’s important because I don’t want to promote a program that’s not transparent, or is complicated to set up.”

Uncomplicated might be an understatement. To get started, all you need to do is sign up and share your link. Seriously, that’s it. Format’s affiliate program is unique in a few other ways as well. The biggest difference is that it’s public: unlike a lot of brands, you don’t have to use Format to be an affiliate—although in Hombauer’s case, it helps. It also has a high compensation structure of 30% that is automatically paid out every 30 days.

Hombauer’s advice for aspiring affiliates? “I would just promote the stuff that you really like and have a good feeling with. It doesn’t make sense for me to promote a bad product if I get a higher commission—because, in the end, my community will get back to me. It’s really important that I’m the first wall of defense, I look at the product. I promote the stuff I like and I think is a good fit for my community.” Hombauer also recommends going beyond just sharing a link, explaining how the product works, why it’s a good fit, and embodying the ideas of authenticity and transparency.

Sign up for Format’s public affiliate program here.

Images courtesy Matthias Hombauer

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