Affiliate Institute may possibly be the greatest attempt at covering up a scam in modern history… and this in-depth review will give you a peak into the future by examining the past.
This could be the best MLM *ahem* I mean affiliate marketing course you’ve ever joined, even with the MAJOR warning signs flashing for this biz model in 2021.
We don’t actually prefer affiliate marketing for today, but especially not with this hybrid-MLM approach.
If you’d like to see what model we prefer, check out the box below… But, here are the 19 secrets that you must know before buying into Affiliate Institute.
1. What is Affiliate Institute?
Affiliate Institute is an education company that specializes in teaching affiliate marketing.
It was officially formed on 09/25/2019, and it’s rather mysterious backstory only compounds with the lack of information easily available. #sketchy
The story of Affiliate Institute actually starts back in 2013 with an internet reality show, an internet marketing MLM company, and a secret falling out…
The reality show known as Project AWOL (Another Way of Living) was produced to help attract more potential members to the internet marketing MLM company Empower Network.
One of the leaders of the team at that time was a guy by the name of Kameron George.
In 2016, he and Keala Kanae resurrected Project AWOL in 2 ways: the first was by establishing Project AWOL, LP in March and the second was by creating AWOL Academy, INC in September.
Why is this important?
Because at the same time the limited partnership of Project AWOL was established, so was Global Affiliate Zone.
Who were the general partners for Global Affiliate Zone?
Project AWOL (Kameron George + Keala Kanae), Mathieu Jang, and Julian Sherman.
From 2016 until 2019, Global Affiliate Zone taught students how to become affiliate marketers by teaching its students how to promote the GAZ PRO community.
Which was a monthly membership of $99 per month, paying out affiliate commissions at 30% recurring.
Yes, they were teaching people how to make money by promoting the Global Affiliate Zone platform.
But what does this have to do with Affiliate Institute?
In September 2019, Affiliate Institute was co-founded by Julian Sherman and Mathieu Jang, and the website promotes learning from “serial entrepreneur” Kameron George.
The move to start fresh with an entirely new brand was to distance themselves from the negativity surrounding Global Affiliate Zone.
Did they want a fresh start to reflect fundamental changes to the way they do business?
Or did they simply want a better shot at growing their operations now distanced from Global Affiliate Zone?
2. Who are Julian Sherman and Mathieu Jang?
Julian Sherman and Mathieu Jang are the co-founders of Affiliate Institute…
They formed the organization along with the significant involvement of former GAZ co-founder and mentor, Kameron George.
Julian and Mathieu have done a fantastic job crafting their social media brands.
They have been living the digital nomad lifestyles for a few years now, and documenting as much of the journey as possible.
All of the exotic locations, fine dining, thrilling adventures, and inspirational quotes would have anyone curious about what it is that they do!
Julian has over 17.1k followers on Insta and over 18k followers on FB now, but that wasn’t always the case.
He grew up the son of immigrant parents, he first got a path to entrepreneurialism by watching his dad open up a medical office.
Jules discovered how to start a business online, and journeyed down the rabbit hole into affiliate marketing.
After spending a few years learning the hard work and dedication necessary to see success, his paths crossed with Mathieu’s (most likely thanks to the Empower Network platform).
Long before Mathieu had over 116k followers on Insta, he worked at a butcher shop making $9 per hour.
In 2013, he saved up all of his money for months and sold as much of his stuff as he could in order to get to an event that Empower Network was hosting.
This is where he marks his turning point.
At some point after years of grinding and finally making a consistent income from online marketing, Mathieu, Julian, Kameron, Keala, and others created Global Affiliate Zone.
They had achieved some success, but now they were headed towards massive success.
And it’s all thanks to a Japanese company called Enagic.
WTF is this company now???
Don’t worry, we’ll cover that in a moment.
3. How does Affiliate Marketing Work?
Affiliate marketing is an online business model often referred to as performance-based marketing.
Basically, an online retailer or service provider will pay a marketer based on their performance.
Sometimes this is for traffic, but more often than not it’s for sales that are generated.
It is the marketer’s job to promote the product or service, and they are paid for the results.
Affiliate marketing can be done using either free traffic or paid traffic methods.
Free Traffic Methods:
- Creating a Blog Website with Engaging Content
- Ranking that Website on Google using Search Engine Optimization
- Utilize Email Marketing
- Creating Content on Social Media Platforms (not ads)
- Plus More
Paid Traffic Methods:
- Display Ads
- Social Media Ads
- Native Ads
- Video Ads
- Plus More
4. Is Affiliate Marketing Legit or a Scam? What about Affiliate Institute?
Affiliate marketing is not a scam, and is a legitimate way to build a business.
As for Affiliate Institute… well, let me lay out the details first.
Remember Global Affiliate Zone, the previous “education” company that was founded by Julian Sherman, Mathieu Jang, Kameron George, and Keala Kane?
This is how it operated…
There was a monthly membership of $99 that would give you access to the platform.
Once inside, you had access to “affiliate training,” which taught students how to promote Global Affiliate Zone.
Not sure how to feel about that?
Then you’ll “love” this next part.
They gave you access to already completed affiliate funnels for products they had been crushing it with from a company called Enagic.
Enagic is a MLM company out of Japan that sells electrolyzed water ionizers.
As a direct selling company, Enagic requires its distributors to first purchase the products, who then are authorized to resell them at a higher price, as well as other membership prices.
And as an MLM, distributors are incentivized to build out teams of other distributors underneath them by getting paid commissions off of their sales too.
This is their angle, and it’s positioned as way to generate earnings while you grow your business.
The biggest difference is that you actually won’t be focused on growing your affiliate marketing business…
Instead you’ll be focused on selling the $4-6k Kangen water system that you purchased, and getting others in your downline to compound your earnings.
And in reality, you’ll be growing everyone else’s earnings above you.
Including Julian and Mathieu, who have been on quite the meteoric rise within the Enagic community over the past 2 years…
The picture from earlier was from Mathieu’s Instagram saying “Don’t tell them your plans. Show them your results.”
Okay, those results were from the 2018 E8PA Global convention in Okinawa held by Enagic, and it was an award presented to Global Affiliate Zone.
They received a $50,000 bonus for earning a certain number of group sales, thanks to all of the members from GAZ.
They also came in 4th place in 2016, 2nd place in 2017 prior to earning this top prize in 2018.
The image above picturing Mathieu as the 1st place winner of the global sales winner between January and April of 2019.
Due to Covid19, all of the festivities of 2021 were cancelled or postponed, otherwise I’m sure we’d see the 5 year pattern repeated.
Why is all of this important?
Because it is clear that there has been a pattern to how Julian and Mathieu do business and make money.
The market to people who are looking to break away from the 9 to 5, and learn to make money on their own time.
They promote a program that supposedly teaches affiliate marketing, which is a viable way to accomplish those goals.
However, it takes time to get off the ground.
So, they show their flashy lifestyle afforded to them by this other opportunity, and offer you the ability to get results much faster than waiting.
Before you realize it, you have:
- Paid out (they would use the word invested) thousands of dollars you likely didn’t have
- Joined an affiliate marketing course that only teaches you how to get others into that same course
- Joined a MLM where it is beneficial to sign up other distributors underneath you
- Have started a new direct selling business where you had to purchase a $4-6k water machine
All of the fancy lambo-style success pitches, the travel the world social media storytelling, and the rags to riches emotional connections are all true… and that’s the dangerous part.
On the outside, it appears that they had achieved this level of success with affiliate marketing alone.
Benefit of the doubt: From an interview, Julian stated that it wasn’t until after he and Mathieu both achieved about $10k per month in income before they shifted towards creating a program to teach others.
However, since creating Global Affiliate Zone and adding members to their downline, their incomes obviously exploded.
And I’m certain that the incomes of others exploded too…
But the bottom person on the downline is always left holding the bag.
Is there real substance in Affiliate Institute?
Of course, training on affiliate marketing, mentorship, coaching, and events/meetups.
Hopefully, the move away from Global Affiliate Zone to the new Affiliate Institute will also come with more substantive training geared towards the success of the student – with or without promoting the AI platform or an MLM.
But if GAZ was any indication of how business will be handled, the…
- Affiliate marketing training is just to promote the platform
- Coaching is just to coerce you to sign up with Enagic
- Mentorship is to help you build up a better downline team
- Events/meetups help to reinforce the almost cult-like culture that most intense MLM’s have today.
5. How much does Julian and Mathieu’s Course Cost? Any Specials?
There are 2 levels of engagement with Affiliate Institute, even though on the outside it appears there are 3.
The first is Ai Pro & Level 1.
This level gives you a “personalized Game Plan” via a phone call with an advisor, access to Level 1 training (very fundamental), a Facebook group, and weekly live training.
This training costs $997 for the first year and $99 per month after that.
The second and third are Level 2 & Affiliate Accelerator, which is positioned as the world’s first affiliate marketing accelerator, and for the 1 of 30 spots available they guarantee success.
This is a 12 week, 1-2 hour per day instruction from a live expert with a classroom environment with “teams.”
This requires an application which asks questions like:
“What Start Up Capital Are You Willing To Put Towards Launching Your Affiliate Business?”
“In Case You May Need Financial Assistance Launching Your Business, What Do You Feel Your Current Credit Score is?”
I believe that Level 2 / the Affiliate Accelerator program costs $2,995, but this could be outdated by the time you read this.
My suspicion is that this is the new application process to join the Enagic empire.
If they are guaranteeing results, I’m sure they are also offering a lot of done for you funnels, support, etc.
Perhaps, each new round of students will be automatically placed on the downline of a previous team of students, thus enabling them to share in team sales bonuses?
Pros of Affiliate Institute
6. There is Real Success…
Big disclaimer here: It’s most likely from the MLM though.
There is categorical proof that Mathieu Jang, Julian Sherman, Keala Kanae, and Kameron George have had tremendous success with the Enagic MLM.
That’s in large part thanks to the Global Affiliate Zone community.
But, that success isn’t just limited to them either.
After you have 100+ sales in your team, you get the rank of 6A.
If you help other teams reach 6A, you become 6A2, 6A2-2, etc.
In order to achieve the status of 6A2-4 that they held in the Enagic community, they had to raise up multiple teams of very successful sellers in their downline.
So, there is a clear pattern of success for those who have joined the MLM process with Mathieu and Julian.
However, I think they often blur the line between an affiliate commission and a direct selling commission.
Maybe this is due in part to the fact that they teach selling this high ticket Enagic product via paid ads and funnels.
So if their “affiliate success” has anything to do with the water products, it’s not affiliate marketing success.
It’s multi-level marketing success.
7. 14-Day Money Back Guarantee
This is definitely a positive for those who may have been swept up in their marketing & sales.
Their website clearly states:
“If you aren’t 100% happy with your investment in Affiliate Institute, we offer a 14-day 100% money back guarantee for this membership. To invoke this, you can drop a line at email@example.com within the first 14 days of your purchase and we will refund you – no questions asked.”
Like I said earlier, they do a phenomenal job of marketing the desired lifestyle of many 20-somethings, 30-somethings, and even 40-somethings.
From the testimonials to all of the storytelling in their design and messaging is done to attract a younger demographic.
Maybe this is because they know how to speak to their desires and pain points, being younger themselves?
Or perhaps it’s because younger demographics can be more easily swayed by the marketing vibes they are producing?
Either way, if you have buyer’s remorse with the $997, you get 14 days to get a refund.
8. 30% Affiliate Commissions
If you take the affiliate training, you can at least learn how to promote the Affiliate Institute.
When you do that successfully, you’ll get a 30% commission.
30% of $997 is $299.
Plus, if those members go on to achieve success at Level 2 with Enagic, then they will stay on the Ai platform.
This means you’d get a recurring commission of $29.70 per month.
So if you wanted to actually start a true affiliate marketing business by joining Affiliate Institute, you will be taught how to promote the Ai platform.
You can reverse engineer those trainings to promote other products/services from other platforms too.
There is likely the opportunity to promote other third party digital marketing services on behalf of a company out of Utah called Xurli.
But this information was only obtained from the refund policy located in the FAQ section in which they listed third party vendors Enagic and Xurli.
Knowing the relationship they have with Enagic, there is a good chance they have one with Xurli.
Who knows, maybe they are expanding their affiliate platform and adding other high ticket products/services.
9. A Strong Supportive(?) Community
Included in the membership is access to a community of like minded, ambitious individuals.
This community will support you in your endeavors to become successful in the methods that are championed by Affiliate Institute… including the subtle (and often not-so-subtle) drops about Enagic.
Today’s social media driven culture includes elements of what’s known as cancel culture.
It’s cutting all of the haters, doubters, and downers out of your life.
There is truth to this, and the influences around you have a huge bearing on your own self-belief.
But, it is also dangerous creating an echo chamber, which is why strong MLM’s have a cult-like cultural component.
In order to really succeed at them, you’ve got to cut out most of the negative noise about what it is you’re doing.
Replacing your doubting family members with people who think, believe, and act the same way is a powerful way to support those ambitions.
Cons of Affiliate Institute
10. Global Affiliate Zone 2.0 (?)
Yep, I’m going to go ahead and say it.
Based on the overwhelming amount of evidence…
And the overwhelming lack of evidence to deny it.
It basically appears that starting Affiliate Institute was a move to distance themselves from the negativity surrounding Global Affiliate Zone.
At the time of this article, they have yet to provide clear evidence as to how Affiliate Institute is actually any different.
So far, here are the similarities:
- Same Pricing Model
- Similar Membership Levels
- Same Affiliate Commission Structure
- Same Testimonials/Success Stories
- Same Leadership
The fact that they highlight the EXACT SAME testimonial sources (couple Garret Francis and Alicia Ward) in both Global Affiliate Zone and Affiliate Institute is dumbfounding.
You cannot convince me that Julian Sherman and Mathieu Jang would completely shut down an operation that was so successful in order to start a completely new business…
To accomplish the EXACT SAME mission Global Affiliate Zone was meant to accomplish.
Maybe, in the future, they will focus more on actually teaching the skills of digital marketing without intentionally funneling more people into the MLM company Enagic.
11. Trojan Horse MLM
For those who may not know, a Trojan horse is a metaphor for something that appears to be one thing, yet is concealing another.
Just like in 1184, Affiliate Institute is advertised as one thing, but once you let your guard down it turns out to become another.
Affiliate Institute claims to teach affiliate marketing, and I hope they continue to build upon the foundational content that they currently offer to one day earn that claim.
However, the true success to be found with this program is in the Enagic MLM racket.
Plain and simple, if you want to join a winning team/process with a high ticket MLM…
Then this actually may be a good fit for you.
If you are wanting to learn how to become an affiliate marketer to market any product from any platform out there…
Then you might want to check out some other options.
12. Doesn’t Teach Other Affiliate Platforms
To be considered an affiliate marketing education program, they actually don’t focus on platforms that you can become an affiliate with.
Well, except Affiliate Institute (most likely a method taken from Wealthy Affiliate, who is pretty successful at this kind of tactic).
I will give credit where it’s due, they do teach the sh*t out of fundamentals though.
They cover fundamentals like copywriting, funnels, traffic, business, content, warm audience, branding, follow-up, sales, and finance.
Granted it’s all taught towards their own hybrid affiliate/network marketing slant.
Still, there are good fundamental nuggets that could be taken to other affiliate platforms and help you achieve success.
13. Too Mysterious for Potential Members
I think this is for two reasons:
One, this is to attract a generally more curious (possibly more gullible) potential student.
Psychologically, if the marketing is causing us to search it out, we are more receptive to their message because we’ve started with a ‘yes’ rather than a ‘no.’
This better positions someone to be more open to the message that will inevitably be sold.
The second reason is to keep the true nature of the affiliate/network hybrid they have behind the scenes.
If they directly said…
“hey, we’re going to teach you how to sign others up for a program that teaches them how to sign others up for that program, and you can make $78 per year…”
Like the affiliate income disclaimer states below…
“And, if you pay us a couple thousand dollars, we’ll show you how to make $4k commissions by buying into a high ticket MLM with a $4-6k purchase of your own, then recruiting other members online with social media ads and teaching them to do the same!”
It would be much easier to say no up front… but then they wouldn’t get into your inbox or your bank account.
14. Do Julian and Mathieu’s Students Actually Make Money?
The ones who joined early on, like 2017-2018, and stayed consistent, I’m sure are making a good amount of money.
Those individuals would have had the good fortune of getting several other “students” in their downlines.
As shown before, the 2017 income disclaimer for the affiliate marketing showed the average student earned $78.08 per year.
If the affiliate commissions for the program are $29.70, then the average affiliate would’ve signed up 2-3 other students to the platform.
But the real money would’ve been made by the various GAZ teams with Enagic, because each membership would’ve earned a sale.
Based upon the Global Affiliate Zone rating of 6A2-3, they have been responsible for at least over 300 direct sales at approximately $4-6k each…
That’s how their students can actually make money, and they claim that many of their students boast a 6-figure income.
15. Who’s a Good Fit for Affiliate Institute?
To answer this question, why don’t we look at a success story.
Remember Garret Francis from earlier?
He was working in the oil fields before he found online marketing, and he says it took him 7-months of working at it before he could replace his income.
Now he has his own team that he is building, and may even have unofficial leadership within Affiliate Institute.
This was taken from Garret Francis’s LinkedIn page.
I think this is the clearest representation of what it is that Affiliate Institute does, and who would be a good fit for it.
He is clear that he helps network marketers… Not affiliate marketers.
The fundamentals taught within Affiliate Institute can be used for both, but the social media ads strategies are taught in light of the needs of network marketing… aka MLM.
He clearly promotes Affiliate Institute, as well as the “high ticket offers” they are earning up to $4k in sales commissions.
So, if you are looking to become a good affiliate marketer, this training is not for you.
If you are looking to become a better network marketer, this training is for you.
16. What alternatives are there to Julian and Mathieu’s Affiliate Institute?
There are a lot of free or cheap options to learn affiliate marketing.
You can check out places like SkillShare or Udemy.
If you’re looking for a paid course, then Franklin Hatchett is a good one to check out.
His Savage Affiliates 2.0 course is $197 for the standard and $297 for the premium.
Frank teaches a really broad and diverse set of skills necessary to succeed at affiliate marketing, as well as different platforms you can use.
And no, I don’t make an affiliate commission for recommending him.
I honestly think it teaches a good foundation for affiliate marketing.
Pros and Cons of Affiliate Institute
The Good and Bad of Julian and Mathieu’s Course
- There is Real Success…
- 14-Day Money Back Guarantee
- 30% Affiliate Commissions
- A Strong Supportive(?) Community
- Global Affiliate Zone v2.0
- Trojan Horse MLM
- Doesn’t Teach Other Affiliate Platforms
- Too Mysterious for Potential Students
Parting Thoughts on Affiliate Institute
I would not recommend Affiliate Institute as far as learning and developing an affiliate marketing skill set is concerned.
There are simply other programs to learn from at the price tag of $997 for the first year, and $99/mo after that.
However, it does seem like worth looking into for those interested in becoming a high ticket network marketer.
Just be aware that it takes a couple thousand dollars to get into the level 2 program, a few thousand to purchase your place in the Enagic MLM, and then you’d need adspend on top of that.
Overall, I just wouldn’t recommend Affiliate Institute at this time.
Maybe they will develop more training in the future to further separate it from the shadow of the Global Affiliate Zone-Enagic scheme, and then I will reconsider.
How Does This Affiliate-Network Marketing Hybrid Model Stand up to Others? Like Lead Generation?
The affiliate-network marketing hybrid that’s running behind the curtain of Affiliate Institute is lacking fundamental need for it’s Enagic products.
Sure, you can create the need for an electrolyzed ionic water filtration system through effective marketing and consumer education…
But at the end of the day a $5k alkaline water system is a luxury purchase.
With a vast majority of the world’s population still lacking disease-free drinking water, clever marketing and consumer education will be a must.
On the other hand, every single business on the planet (including Affiliate Institute) knows the immediate need for new business leads.
With a business model like lead generation, you don’t have to educate the customer on the need.
You’ve simply got to educate them on how you can meet that need better than your competitors.
That’s on the local, national, or international scale.
Put that in your filter and pump it.
The ability to scale this affiliate-network marketing hybrid model is tricky to flesh out.
But, in another sense it is simplified by the way they teach both of them.
The first bottleneck to scaling based on how Ai teaches will be the amount of money you have to spend on ads.
The second blockage to scaling is found in the network marketing side of things.
If you can build up a downline that has a couple of downlines, then you might be in good shape.
But that’s placing a lot of your income into the hands of others to put the work in.
Plus, the complexity of MLM commission structures can have your head spinning before you can even start.
Lead generation is much more straightforward.
The scalability is found in being able to build out efficient teams to handle specific parts of your process in generating new leads.
This also includes finding, acquiring, and onboarding new customers.
Hey I hope you enjoyed this in-depth look at the 19 secrets we thought you should know after spending countless hours of researching into Affiliate Institute.
Affiliate Institute might be a turning of the page for Julian and Mathieu into becoming a legitimate affiliate marketing education platform… but if history repeats itself, you’ll purchase a course that teaches you how to promote that course, while making money selling high-ticket MLM products.
I’ve made my fair share of $$$ with affiliate marketing, but after grinding at it for almost 2 years I’ve realized that this biz model is not that great longterm. Not to mention the incredibly obnoxious, intrusive, and way too demanding nature of MLMs that are potentially thrown into this mix.
I have invested a lot in courses but regardless of all the tips & tricks from these coaches, there’s nothing you can do about the fact that people really don’t want a $5k water purifier and achieving the scale necessary to make long lasting money off of cheap affiliate commissions is simply not an option for most people today.
This is why today, I have quit affiliate marketing and MLMs altogether and do local lead generation instead. Click on the button below where I go in-depth on the main reasons why I believe local lead gen is a better business model than affiliate marketing…
I Quit Affiliate Marketing
Here’s what I’m doing now Instead…
Local lead generation… Where we build & rank simple websites like these that make passive income
Click button below to find out Top 6 Reasons Why Lead Gen is a Better Biz Model than Affiliate Marketing in 2021 & How to get started with Lead Gen!
Local Lead Generation
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