Shawn Collins

The Value of Real World Networking for Publishers

PostIt By Shawn Collins

We’re pleased to welcome Shawn Collins, cofounder of the Affiliate Summit convention and tradeshow, as a guest blogger. Read on for his take on the importance of networking to help strengthen an affiliate business.

The Internet is an incredibly powerful place for commerce and relationships, but there are some offline experiences that cannot be effectively replicated, such as face-to-face networking.

Sure, we can sort of interact face to face with video chat, and plenty of conversations take place by email, instant message, social networks, and the like, but there is a big difference when you are actually present with somebody.

Here are three techniques to help you make the most of your in-person networking opportunities.

  • Be prepared: When you attend an offline event, there are so many potential relationships and opportunities to take advantage of, but it’s key to schedule meetings in advance. Schedules get tight at conferences and other events, so do some homework to find out who will be there and get on their calendars as early as you can. Also, in the weeks or months leading up to these meetings, you should ensure that you have all the marketing materials, business cards, and other support documents you may need. If you need more, get that order in well in advance to avoid expedited shipping fees.
  • Plan efficient meetings: In speaking with countless conference attendees over the years, I’ve found that in-person meetings typically run anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes. So, you’ve got a tight timeline to accomplish your goals. Have your elevator pitch rehearsed (30 seconds that summarize what you do and what you can do for them), as well as questions you want to ask and answers for things you expect to be asked. Be sure to have a hard stop and honor it, because you’ll both have other people to meet.
  • Follow up: After you’ve had a meeting, make a point to follow up within 24 hours with an email that summarizes the points that we covered. Ask for a follow-up phone call, if needed, to work out the plans you’ve made. Also, get some thank you cards and write a short note to drop in snail mail – that final, personal connection makes a big impact.

Meeting and networking online can be quality building blocks for publishers, but taking it offline will enhance and progress that relationship.

Affiliate Summit West takes place January 12 – 14, 2014, at Paris Las Vegas. Registration is now open, and our very own Brian Marcus will be speaking at the event. 

Kicking Off Affiliate Summit East 2012

Participants chat at the Meet Market during Affiliate Summit East

Greetings from New York City! The eBay Partner Network Team has arrived at the Hilton and we're excited to be amongst friends and colleagues at Affiliate Summit East. Today, the Meet Market kicked off and various companies showed off their businesses and the vast array of opportunities available to potential partners. Personally, I get excited to see what trends are driving innovation and what we can expect to see in the coming six months.

Affiliate Summit Founder, Shawn Collins, chats with attendees 

We'll be here through the end of the conference on Tuesday night and would love to catch up if you're in New York. To those that RSVP'd to our Happy Hour tomorrow night, we'll look forward to seeing you then.

For those interested in keeping up with our team during the conference, you can connect with us on Twitter.

Don’t forget, the ePN Blog can now be delivered right to your inbox. Simply enter your email address in the right-hand sidebar in the section titled “Subscribe by email” and follow the instructions.