So now you have a bag full of business cards, a notebook full of inspiration, and a handful of sponsorship opportunities on your plate. Your mind is spinning with ideas and, yet, you are exhausted. The best advice we can give you is to push through that exhaustion for just a little bit longer. Write down all those new ideas, reassess your goals, and write a list prioritizing who you want to contact first and for what purpose.Read More
Relationships are one of the best perks of participating in a conference, right alongside the information gained. And the most crucial thing you need to do post-conference is to begin building the relationships you started while you were there.
Don’t miss out on opportunities to build better relationships just because you didn’t put in a little effort to follow up. Eight tips to ensure your follow up nets results.Read More
Congratulations! You survived the whirlwind that is Alt Summit. Before you put up your feet and take that nap you're craving, take a moment to start your follow up.
These six tips will keep your momentum going and prepare you for an amazing 2015.Read More
Last week we talked about collaborations from the perspective of a brand. Now we will approach collaborations from the blogger's perspective. The right collaborations can establish you as an expert, increase the size of your audience, result in income, reduce your workload, and more. However, rarely do collaborations come to you; you need to go in search of them.
Before you begin reaching out to other bloggers or brands, think about the type of collaboration you want. If you do not know what you want, you will have a hard time finding it and may also have difficulty allocating the time to work on a collaboration that turns out to be a poor fit.
Consider the why behind a particular collaboration from your perspective and from the perspective of the other bloggers and brands. The why is the value you and your partners want out of the collaboration. How effectively you identify and communicate their why will determine whether or not they say yes. The value you see from a collaboration does not have to be the same as the value your partners see. Each party should see benefits.
Be honest with yourself about whether you have the time with your current commitments to tackle a collaboration. While collaborations can reduce your workload once they have started, there is a lot of legwork and communication that needs to happen before you land them.
Finally, collaborations do not always start when it is convenient for you. They take time to set up and nurture. You may find yourself with more collaborations than you can handle. Avoid overcommitting. Rather than let yourself get overwhelmed if the timing is bad, propose an alternative schedule if possible or politely say no.
Want more tips on ensuring your collaborations will be successful? Here are a few more:
- Maddy Hague of Confetti Pop runs through a four step process where she develops the big idea, scouts the competition, collects inspiration, and then produces a project deck.
- Shelby Hill of Wayfair shares three tips for getting a brand's business: be professional, ask the right questions, and think of a brand partner as a customer.
- Sara Urquhart of Alt Summit believes great communication is the key to success: clear deadlines, setting expectations, discussing challenges throughout, and following up on completion.
Wanting to grow your business? One way to do that is through collaborations, specifically the right collaborations with bloggers. Before jumping into a collaboration, there are a few questions to ask yourself:
- First, are your brands aligned? If yes, is there a natural fit with an existing series or project the blogger promotes?
- Second, is the relationship mutually beneficial? What is in it for you? What is in it for the blogger?
- Third, how are you going to measure success? And, can both the blogger and you dedicate the time necessary to complete the project successfully?
Here are some previous posts to help you get started finding the right collaborators, grabbing their attention, and ensuring you have found the right match:
- Four criteria to consider when pursuing bloggers
- Four tips for approaching bloggers with a targeted "what is in it for me" proposition
- Four tips for collaborating with bloggers
- Four instances where you should say no to a collaboration
Next week we will tackle collaborations from the blogger's perspective. Got any tips for how to successfully chose a business or fellow blogger with which to work? Or, alternatively any advice on how to avoid imperfect matches? Tag @AltSummit and we may feature them in a round up of best practices.
Alt Summit Summer conference has ended. You have pages of notes and handfuls of business cards. Now what? Now is the time to review what worked, what did not work, and what you want and need to do next. The actions you take in the next week and the next month will determine how valuable your Alt experience will be to your business.
Sort Your Business Cards
You probably have at least a few dozen business cards in your bag. If you organized your business cards by where you collected them, note that on them or in a spreadsheet now. Once you have recorded the where (you will use this in your nice-to-meet-you note to jog the recipient's memory of who you are), organize your business cards into three initial piles. The first pile is anyone you said you would do something for or with. The second pile is for sponsors and businesses. The third pile is for content creators.
Craft Your Nice-to-Meet-You Note
There are two main types of notes you should be sending. The first simply acknowledges that you met. The second gives a brief note about where you met and what you talked about, and then includes an ask (proposed time to meet, collaboration idea, or something else) or a promised resource. Both communications apply for follow up with businesses, bloggers, and sponsors you met.
Not so crazy about email? Now is the time to start a habit of good email communication. Brands want to work people who are easy to get in touch with and who respond in a timely manner.
Follow Up on All Commitments and Promises
In the heat of the moment, it is easy to get excited and commit to more projects than you can execute successfully. While it might be tempting to ignore the situation, be responsible. Contact bloggers you said you were interested in collaborating with and sponsors you pitched ideas to and tell them. If a date in the future works better, propose it. The worst that can happen is they say no. The upside is that you still have a connection who views you as a responsible business owner. Let them know you will touch base with them in the future and add a reminder to your calendar.
Determine How (or if) You Will Share Your Experience
Before sharing everything you heard and saw while at Alt Summit on your blog or through your newsletter, pause. What is the mission of your blog? Who is your audience? A series of educational posts about social media strategies and best practices may not be of interest to readers who look to you for inspiration about meal planning or quilting.
If your blog is not the right place to share your newly acquired knowledge, look to other sites. This may be a perfect opportunity to pitch a guest post.
Should you decide to share your experience, remember your post or posts should be your insights and not a repeat of everything that was said or shared. Your audience wants to hear why the material mattered to you or the experience affected you.
Throughout the conference you may have noticed our photographers, Brooke Dennis and Justin Hackworth, hard at work capturing the excitement. The photos they took are available for you to use.
Prepare Now for Your Next Conference
Whether this is your first or fifth time attending a conference, you can always improve how you prepare for an event. While the event is still fresh in your mind, jot down what you did. Maybe you used a packing list to plan your wardrobe and travel essentials that resulted in little to no overpacking. Save a copy of the packing list or print out a clean copy for your files so that you have access to it for the next conference. Maybe you waited until the last minute to design and order business cards and were worried they would not arrive in time. Add a reminder to your calendar for your next batch of cards that gives you enough time.
If you are just starting your blog, maybe you want to be ready to connect with sponsors at the next conference. Draft an action plan today so that you can shine.
Attending conferences is an investment in both time and money. If you want to attend another conference, but are unsure how you can manage the investment, start planning now. Reach out to potential sponsors who may be willing to pay to have you attend for them. Are you an expert? Brainstorm a session or a roundtable you could teach or lead.
Other Post-Conference Follow Up Resources
- Five steps for organizing your inspiration and getting to work
- Checklist for post-conference success by Kelly of the centsible Life
- Eight steps for getting over Post-Alt Summit depression by of Amy of Old Sweet Song
Got a great strategy for maximizing the connections you made at Alt Summit? Or an action plan for putting ideas you heard into action? Share them with us here or on social media (be sure to tag #AltSummit) and you may see your post in a future round.