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The third and last day of Affiliate Summit East 2010 started with a great keynote speech by Jim Kukral, who also gave his recently published book: Attention! This Book Will Make You Money: How to Use Attention-Getting Online Marketing to Increase Your Revenue to the first 300 attendees.

 
Jim’s talk focused on providing guidance to businesses and individuals who are unsuccessful so that they can become successful. Here’s his five step plan:

  1. Say what you do: be specific.
  2. What you do should solve a problem or entertain: All problems in the world can fall into either category. (Someone tweeted afterwards that this is incorrect and stated that looking for information is a third category. I disagree – looking for information solves a problem: getting information you lack).
  3. Know your customer: Ask them why they use your services so you could further hone your message.
  4. Be the alternative: If you have a tough competition, find an alternative way. The example given was of the 5 hour energy drink – the alternative to coffee, which many drink for the energy boost.
  5. Make it easy: Easy as in simple, instant, quick, hassle-free. One suggestion Jim gave to businesses is to avoid the Paypal button as most ‘normal’ people simply aren’t familiar with it. Real world businesses and individuals pay with credit cards – so give them that option.

An interesting anecdote: one of Jim’s tips was that if you come up with an idea and get a reaction – even a very bad one – it means you’re on the right track. After saying that, he shared the story of a company who came up with a bizarrely disgusting line of juices. Someone in the audience blurted “Ewww” and Jim responded – see, that’s exactly what we’re looking for. This company was very successful.

 

 

The Info Product Co-Creation Formula
Later I went to the breakout sessions. This one session in particular was very good. Despite the fact these sessions were 20 minutes each, it lasted more than 30 minutes and there was so much information given it could’ve easily filled an entire hour (I add this picture simply because I liked the speaker’s official title..).

 
In this session a ‘formula’ for creating info-products was given which is said to be so effective that it can be used to sell products even before they are actually made. This was compared to a tennis match, where you, the product creator, ask questions and get feedback from your prospective buyers multiple times.

 
Although the speaker gave a precise list of steps, there was so much information I wasn’t able to type them exactly as specified. Here’s my amended version (I probably split certain steps).

  1. Start with a survey
  2. Get responses
  3. Identify core needs of the people in your list
  4. Verify this is what they want: they confirm or deny.
  5. Give them a free report based on their responses.
  6. They read the report and respond
  7. Pre-sell the full (nonexistent) product. If you do it right you can sell more before the product exists to justify your costs. Be fully transparent about this, that you haven’t created the product and want to make it if it’ll appeal to enough people.
  8. Create the full product.
  9. You already have enough buyers to return your time investment, and can get many more now.

 

 

Affiliate Platforming: How to Attract & Retain Audiences
I went to Scott Stratten’s (@UnMarketing’s) talk. I spoke to Scott during lunch just before – since both of us are very active Twitter users, we exchanged amusing anecdotes (well, mainly horror stories..).

 
Scott’s talk was excellent, not to mention, absolutely hilarious. He advocated using social media as a platform to engage people and build an audience both for individuals and for businesses. This session would’ve fit perfectly with Social Media 201, the conference I helped organize (and gave a talk) back in April.

 
Here are guidelines towards attracting an audience (this is relevant for blogging, tweeting, any relevant medium).

  1. Traction: “nothing works at first”. This is the hardest phase. You blog and/or tweet and it seems no one is listening.
  2. Momentum: starts taking care of itself. People are coming to you. The ratio change.
  3. Expansion: you built so much traction and momentum you can expand it.

 
A few more general guidelines.

  • Don’t use Twitter as a one way communication stream and expect success. Scott suggested the key to success is 75% replies.
  • To those who just use scheduled tweets – you can’t automate authenticity, people know this and react.
  • Social Media investment is much more than dollars (.. and this relates to my own blog post, Twitter: Beyond Immediate ROI)
  • Be ready for negative comments. The 1% happiest and the 1% unhappiest are the most vocal.

To demonstrate these points, he gave both good examples and bad ones, i.e. a coffee shop that criticized at length a customer for tweeting a complaint.

 
Blogger room
Since I was running back and forth between sessions and the exhibition hall, I barely spent any time in the blogger room. To be honest, I didn’t really need to, after all, we had wireless access. But I went there to spend some time with friends.

 
The blogger room was run by the amazing BlogMistress, Heather Smith. Heather told me about Missy Ward’s competition and I am very sad to say I did not win, though I was runner-up with @loxly. Next year I vow to win.

 

Missy Ward's competition


Heather Smith at the blogger room and the prize I almost won

 

To summarize: I had a fantastic time at the summit. I think the fact I spent much more time in sessions than in parties really gave me a different affiliate summit experience. Despite not going to parties, I did a good share of networking – I talked to a lot of people at the exhibition hall/meet market, during lunch breaks and in between sessions. Personally I feel this is more effective than exchanging business cards while shouting during a loud party (though I can’t argue with a friend of mine who said “people spill their secrets when they’re drunk”. True.)

 
Looking forward to the Affiliate Summit West 2011!

 
p.s. Still have two sessions I intend to summarize as independent posts.

 

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affiliate summit east meet market

Before I begin: I took a lot of pictures from the day using my crappy phone camera (I know, I should’ve brought a camera), so when I met Drew Bennett, a professional photographer and the guy behind the “Photo a day” blog, I asked for his permission to use his photos. So all credit goes to him.

 
I know I said I’m going to be providing every day a summary of the summit. What I didn’t realize is how intense it is going to be, and how tired I’ll be at the end of every day. And once I returned, how much work and emails would’ve piled up. Excuses, excuses, I know. Anyway, I figure, better late than never. So here’s my perspective on the fantastic event that was Affiliate Summit East 2009.

 
The day started with the Meet Market. Basically a space filled with merchants, affiliate networks, affiliates and press all trying to talk to each other. I’m pretty used to similar events, but it was quite overwhelming (considering more than 3,000 people registered to ASE that should not be surprised). I started losing my voice after about 45 minutes – probably spoke to 15 people by this time. Nonetheless, I forced myself to network as much as possible, after all, this is what the summit is all about (I call this “Networking on Steroids”). And it was definitely worth it: I made so many contacts, some of which I hope have become new friends, which just proves how important these networking events are.

 
Of particular interest was meeting the PPCBully guys. PPCBully 2.0 is a fantastic research tool for PPC advertising which I bought, and watched their weekly webinars with great interest. So it was very cool meeting Emil Paz (@ppcbully), Ran Aroussi (@Aroussi) and Yefi Gureni (@yefig) in person.

 
But in the back of my mind I was just thinking of the evening. Why? Because of the Yacht Party! As I stated in a previous post, I won a ticket to the MarketLeverage Yacht Party.

 

Market Leverage Yacht Party from John Chow on Vimeo.

the valiant

Once it was evening, three limos (each with room for 28 people!) took us to the Valiant, the yacht where the party was to take place on. Although there were some hiccups, the first two limos were taken to the wrong address (fortunately I was on the third), this ruined none of our moods. Once we were all on the boat, we ate a delicious meal made by celebrity chef Casey Thompson.

 

statue of liberty

Then the cruise started, we went from the east river southward, reached the statue of liberty, made a circle and got back to where we left.During this time I was introduced to many interesting, exciting and successful people. First I got to meet super blogger John Chow (@JohnChow), and even star at the beginning of his coverage of this trip (as you can see in the movie above). John is not just a super blogger, but also extremely friendly. He is also the man who defeated Google (I hope I’m linking to the right article).

 
I also met and had a long and insightful conversation with Drew Bennett (@BenSpark), the “Photo a day” blogger, Kim Rowley (@KIMarketing), an affiliate marketing mogul (been doing affiliate marketing longer than anyone I have ever met!). Heather Smith (@HeatherinBC), also known as the Blog Queen, who’s always up to a good laugh (we played my standard game of “guess where I’m from” based on my accent, and for the first time ever someone actually got it! Not heather ;) , Murray Newlands (@MurrayNewlands), a cool guy who was quite shocked I’m not doing (yet!) email marketing. I also spoke to Richard Young, a publisher, and our conversation was one of the best I’ve had during the entire summit (not just the Yacht party) – what a great guy. There were many more. Apologies to anyone whom I’ve forgotten! Remind me if I forgot you? please?

 

yacht party

 
All of this was made possible thanks to the amazing Dina Riccobono (@MLDina) who organized this entire event for MarketLeverage. Dina is not just a fantastic organizer, but a sweet and fun person.

 
My summary of day 1

My summary of day 2

My summary of day 3

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