Affiliate Summit founders Shawn Collins and Missy Ward put up another smashing show in Vegas this time round and a summary/wrap-up post will be coming up in the next couple of days, but first I want to go through some tips to make the trip pay off big time for you.
For the moment, forget writing a long blog post and instead focus on what’s important – leveraging from the contacts you made in Las Vegas.
#1 Business growth plans – what’s your plan?: Aside from being a nice business tax write-off, what were your outcomes from Affiliate Summit? Go through the people you met, the cards you collected, the conversations you had. Work through the new networks/new traffic sources/joint projects that were discussed because 90% of the people out there are just blowing smoke out of their butt and will never take action. The ones that day will be laughing all the way to the bank.
So you need to shortlist who you’re going to follow up with. I like to keep my list to 5-7 possible projects and eventually cut it down to 2-3. If you listened to Charles “Dr Ngo” speak at the Meetup202/Bloosky party, you’d realize that focus/prioritization are key to building up a business.
#2 Screen intent/drive the conversation: Within a couple of interactions over instant messenger/email, you should have some idea how serious someone is about working with you. If it’s a backburner/throwaway project for them, you should move on. I’ve seen partners who’ve only put in 1-2 hours into a joint project, which eventually jettisons the project after 3-6 months. Save yourself the trouble, and identify a “losing campaign” early on and focus on the winners. Also, you need to have a clear idea of what you’re putting in to a project, what you want to get out of it. If you have no idea who’s driving the project, then you’re going to be the one who’s being driven.
#3 Give it your best shot: The most interesting projects/collaborations are those that have long term potential, especially if you invest in the business relationship (which might turn into a personal relationship). No one likes to have their time wasted and if you’re giving as good as you’re taking, it significantly increases the success rate of the project.
#4 Time decay: The longer you wait, the less likely you’re going to do anything and have a bunch of contacts you might’ve/could’ve done something with. Essentially you’re bottlenecking your own business if this happens. Ideally, within 24 hours is the sweet spot and shows that you’re serious about the business. You wouldn’t wait a week to convert a lead which probably has gone cold, so why do the same to potential partner.
Yes, I eat my own dogfood. I wrote this after following up with the guys and companies I’m interested in working with.
Photos and wrapups will come later.
How about you?
Edit: One important step that I didn’t mention above and which is probably the most important is #5 Check their cred: It’s easy to jump into bed with anyone (whether in business or otherwise), but you should do your own “background checks” to see if they’re as good as they claim to be. The last thing you want to do is tether yourself to someone who’s learning the ropes on your dime…