Hello I’m Al Bargen and one of my previous posts was written in Las Vegas while attending a conference. Today I want to share the surprise benefit that, like a gift from heaven, fell into my lap over there. Something that never would have happened had I stayed home.
So while the last post primarily focused on how to break the ice when meeting people for the first time (you can read it here), today we will be looking into the mechanics of extracting the maximum benefit from attending events.
Whether you are in the beginning stages of writing your book or blogging, or are already in the marketing phase, attending events can benefit you tremendously. But naturally, you must always do the most to maximize your participation.
Establish what it is you want to get out of the conference ahead of time and write it down. Do not be vague, use smart goals language here. If your book is written, how many copies are you bringing? Learning to network effectively will benefit your marketing plan in a variety of ways.
1. Expand Your Knowledge Base.
Of course you can learn a tremendous amount by attending events where speakers deliver cutting edge knowledge in your field. Make it a habit to record questions that need answers. Take these with you making it your personal mission to have all of them answered (and any potential follow-up questions) before the trip home.
Introduce yourself to the speakers and ask one or two appropriate questions from your list. Ask to have a photograph taken with the speaker (remove your name tag) and post that picture to your social media platform with a brief tip, or lesson you learned.
As an author, you probably speak from stage or plan to in the future. How are the presenters delivering their knowledge? How does the audience receive the information? Even if you already know what is being taught, you can glean much benefit simply from observing the process and applying what worked best to your own style.
2. Widen Your Platform or Reach.
Building a quality platform can take time, and some genuinely hard work. But as you know you are not at a conference simply to get more likes on Facebook, or followers on Twitter. Utilize your time to seek out the kinds of things that will expand your reach online exponentially long-term. Things like…
- Contributing a post or two to a site in a related niche or find a guest bloggers for your own site
- Give an interview/conduct an interview
- Contribute a chapter to someone’s upcoming book (this is the nice surprise from the conference I attended and I’ll be writing more about it soon – stay tuned)
- Organize a group of experts to all contribute a chapter to your next book
- Seek out cross promotion in related fields… I’m talking JV Partners baby!
3. Create a Content Creation Calendar.
If you have hundreds of ideas for products, articles, and blog posts, that is awesome. But most of us can get a little stuck from time to time. While listening, or engaging in conversation, try to pick up on key hot topics, common problems, new angles, or new ideas. Maintain a running list of topic ideas, and plan out how you will add to the discourse online in your niche. While at this latest conference, many people were interested in how I write blog posts while jogging. I was surprised at how few people knew of this technique. While it may not deserve an entire post, keep your eyes at the Writers Rise Facebook page. I’ll be posting a video over there very soon that will explain exactly how it’s done.
Although this list is far from complete, it is reason enough to commit to attending an event in the future. Make it an accountability game to achieve so many chapters, or have your website finished by the time the event rolls around. You may even be lucky enough as I was to be asked to contribute to a bestselling author’s next book.
Question: What are the top two “best outcomes” you hope to achieve during an event?
Image from R Gebbie Photography / Bigstockphoto.com