Wozniak and Kawasaki Set to Keynote at NextCon16 – Look for ‘Ah-Ha Moments’

Steve Wozniak - NextCon speaker

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, will keynote at NextCon16 in November

If you attend just one business conference before the end of 2016, put NextCon at the top of your shortlist.

You’ll get to see high-octane speakers like Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, and tech superstar Guy Kawasaki — not to mention executives from LinkedIn and Google.

NextCon16 is a conference for entrepreneurs, small business owners, tech professionals and more.  It’s all about building a business, managing it well, marketing it and, of course, profiting from it.

NextCon, which takes place November 14-16, 2016, is being hosted by Nextiva, a cloud-based unified communications service.

Nextiva itself has grown rapidly over the past few years. So the company executives understand well the challenges of growth.  That experience is part of what motivated this conference.

According to Yaniv Masjedi, Nextiva vice-president of marketing, who spoke with Small Business Trends in a telephone interview, the company didn’t want it to be the typical brand conference focused on products and services.

Instead, Nextiva executives wanted the attention to be on helping all businesses grow and prosper — regardless of whether they are Nextiva customers.

By holding the conference in Arizona, Nextiva also wants to spotlight the thriving tech and business scene there. As Masjedi says, Arizona’s business environment has been instrumental in Nextiva’s own growth.

NextCon keynote speaker lineup

‘Ah-ha’ Moments

Nextiva promises that attendees will experience some genuine “ah-ha” moments. In other words, go with the idea of getting breakthrough ideas.  Look for Ah-ha opportunities like these:

1. Professional Growth Insights

One ah-ha moment opportunity will likely occur on day one. It consists of a “fireside chat” with Darin Brown, CTO of Angie’s List; Neill Feather, president of Sitelock; and Carol Roth, TV host and CNBC contributor.

These entrepreneurs and business leaders will share how they overcame challenges and drove growth.

2. Real-world Marketing That Works

Speakers get down to brass tacks on day two. You’ll hear real-world advice about paid search, brand building, SEO, social media, customer service and more. Other topics include raising capital, women in business, sales and data analytics.

3. Real Life Business Success Stories

Day three is where local business owners talk candidly about how they started and grew their businesses.

Another “bonus” ah-ha moment will likely occur when Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak takes the stage for his keynote.

According to Masjedi, Wozniak will share what it took to create Apple’s culture of innovation, and what other businesses can do to emulate it.

NextCon16 — an ‘Everyone’ Conference

NextCon16 is an “everyone” conference. It’s designed for anyone to get value regardless of role, industry or company size. Students are welcome, too, said Masjedi.

At $499, the price is right for small business, particularly considering NextCon16 spans three full days. Plus, it’s being held in Scottsdale, Arizona, which, in November should be pleasant  just as the weather starts to turn bad elsewhere.

Most sessions will be non-product specific.

“There are tracks for Nextiva partners and customers but that’s not the goal,” Masjedi said. “The bulk of the sessions will apply to any business professional.”

Sessions are divided into four tracks:  building, managing, promoting and profiting in business.

Co-hosted along with the event will be the Rule Breaker Awards ceremony.

NextCon16 takes place at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, Nov. 14-16, 2016. Learn more at: nextcon.nextiva.com.

 

Steve Wozniak image credit: Nichollas Harrison [GFDL CC BY-SA 3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

This article, “Wozniak and Kawasaki Set to Keynote at NextCon16 – Look for ‘Ah-Ha Moments’” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Twitter Will Pay You to Post Video, Up to 70 Percent of Ad Revenue Going to Creators (Watch)

Twitter is going to start splitting ad revenue with content creators who post videos on its platform. The company hopes that this move will make it more competitive with other social platforms like Facebook and YouTube. And actually, Twitter is giving about 70 percent of ad revenue to content creators, making it an even better deal than YouTube.

However, YouTube is already a more established platform for those looking to raise some money through their content. So influencers and content creators already know they can make money there, whereas Twitter could be seen as more of a risk at this point.

Even so, there’s no rule stating that everyone has to choose only one platform for their online videos. And a lot of influencers and online content creators already use more than one social platform to reach their audience.

So Twitter doesn’t have to convince people to leave YouTube or any other platform. It just has to convince them to use Twitter in addition to those platforms.

The Takeaway on Financial Incentives

Small content creators who are already producing video for YouTube may see this an additional opportunity for revenue. All they need to do is post video they are already sharing on other platforms on Twitter as well. Twitter’s strategy could also inspire small businesses. Giving your community financial incentives to engage can often boost the visibility of your brand. Look for ways to reward members of your community for visiting your website or sharing your social media posts. You may be surprised by the results.

Image: Newsy/Twitter

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How to Breathe New Life into Your Online Content Archive

yp-content-archive

In this episode of Youpreneur FM, Chris dives into the topic of making the most out of your online content archive by repurposing content to help you reach your followers in new ways.

We’ve all been there before. You work hard on creating a solid blog post, you feel a rush of pride as you hit “publish” and share it with your audience.

Then it disappears into your archive.

There is always such a steady stream of new content for our audiences take in on a daily basis that sometimes even the best of blog posts, podcast episodes, or videos pass people by and don’t get the attention they deserve.

This episode is all about identifying that evergreen content that we already have and making the most out of it.

I also go into repurposing content to help reach your following in a different way, as well as a chance to reach new audiences with a fresh take on your evergreen content — hitting two birds with one stone!

This is a great episode, so grab some coffee, a pen, and your notepad and get ready to dive into this episode of Youpreneur FM.

In this 17-minute episode I discuss:

  • Why you need to take inventory of what you currently have
  • Which powerful social media tool I use to help promote older content
  • The importance of keeping aware of what you are linking to
  • What steps you can take when freshening up older posts
  • How you can use your “Most Popular” section to promote sales

Subscribe in iTunes to Listen


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Pre-Launch Protocol: How to Position Your Book to Be a Sales Success

zb-pre-launch-2

Once your book is written, you’ll turn your efforts toward giving it the best possible chance to get attention, engage readers, and sell.

Launching a book happens in three stages: pre-launch, launch, and post-launch.

All three stages have an effect on the long-term sales success of your book. In this episode, Pamela and Jeff talk about best practices for each stage and how to position your book to maximize sales on launch and in the future.

One thing that helps? Getting a few well-known people to endorse your book before it launches.

In this episode Jeff Goins and Pamela Wilson discuss:

  • What “sticky statements” are, and why you need them in each chapter of your book
  • The three-part approach to book launches and how to optimize each stage
  • One surprising fact about book endorsements (that left Pamela speechless)
  • An innovative approach to beefing up opening week sales

Subscribe in iTunes to Listen


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Will New Samsung Gear S3 Smartwatch Be Business Friendly?

Will New Samsung Gear S3 Smartwatch Be Business Friendly?

The smartwatch market is picking up traction as manufacturers reassess the design and functionality of their first generation watches with much better versions. Samsung (KRX:005930) is one of the companies that has dramatically improved from the first Gear S to the Gear S2, which has placed some great expectation for the upcoming Gear S3 to be unveiled this week. When the company made a not so subtle hint a watch will be unveiled on the invitations it sent for the 2016 IFA trade show in Berlin, Germany, the speculation started in full earnest.

If history does set a precedent, then the fact Samsung announced the Gear S2 at last year’s IFA show may be a good enough reason it will do so again this year. So what will the Gear S3 have, and will it be able to compete with the Apple Watch 2, which will be unveiled on September 7 along with the new iPhone 7.

Gear S3

The S2 was a success by all accounts, with many reviewers labeling it the best smartwatch in the market. And the company will be keeping two of the physical features that went well with most people on the S3: the round form factor and rotating bezel.

The watch will come in three different versions: the Classic, Explorer and Frontier. As reported by Sammobile, the Explorer and Frontier have been designed for users with an active life style. They will feature an altimeter, a barometer, a speedometer as well as an integrated GPS. As for the Classic, there isn’t much information about any new features it will have.

With such limited information, there is not much that can be said about the potential application for business users with the the Gear S3. However, if it builds on the S2, users will be able to view SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email and IM. They will also be able to use voice with natural language commands for dictation, memo and to dial numbers. Samsung Pay should also be available to make payments on the go without taking out your wallet or your smartphone.

Gear S3 and Apple Watch 2

The comparison between the Gear S3 and Apple Watch 2 has already begun, even without the specs for the watches readily available. The fact they will be released so close to each other only adds fuel to the fire.

As with the smartphones these companies make, there are diehard fans of both brands and this extends to the watches. The form factor is still a big issue for many users, with a round watch now becoming the preferred shape by most consumers and manufacturers. But having a square design gives those who like the shape only Apple as an option.

The Bluetooth + 3G/4G options on the Gear S2, which should be available on the S3, built-in speaker for standalone phone calls, and GPS navigation are all features the Samsung excels in.

According to Macworld, the new Apple Watch may have a front-facing camera, Micro LED display, built-in GPS. It will be thinner with better battery life, Cortex-A32 processor, new health sensors, and less reliance on the iPhone. The iOS will also be upgraded, which will make it much easier to integrate with other Apple products and new generation apps.

If all these features become part of the Apple Watch 2, there is no doubt it will continue to hold the number one position in the smartwatch segment, but this remains to be seen.

The Future of Smartwatches

The smartwatch market is still being figured out by the players in the segment, and the recent International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker report will do very little to make it easier. According to IDC, the market saw a year-over-year decline of 32 percent, with only 3.5 million units sold in Q2 of 2016. The leader in the segment is still the Apple Watch, selling 1.6 million units, followed by Samsung with 0.6M, Lenovo with 0.3M, LG with 0.1M, Garmin with 0.1M, and all other brands selling 0.6M units.

A decline of one third is substantial, which begs the question, are smartwatches going to always be a niche product that will never see mass adoption? Either way, are the added productivity features they off attractive to small business owners and entrepreneurs?

Samsung Gear S2 Photo via Shutterstock

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Jerod Morris on The Everyday Innovator

re-everyday-innovator

This week, Jerod Morris and Chad McAllister of The Everyday Innovator have a fascinating conversation about the connection between product management and content marketing.

In this 40-minute episode, Jerod and Chad discuss:

  • What content marketing is
  • How content marketing and product management are similar
  • Applying content marketing to product management

Subscribe in iTunes to Listen


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New FAA Rules for Commercial Drone Use Now In Effect: Here’s What You Need to Know

New FAA Regulations for Drones Used Commercially are Now In Effect: Here’s What You Need to Know

Heads up: if you are looking to fly a drone for business purposes, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has put into effect new rules for commercial drone use.

The announcement came Monday, Aug. 29 at a press conference held by FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx. Now you can legally use drones for business purposes, whether that’s aerial photography or videography, scientific research, real estate inspection, surveying of land or other uses. However, clearly some envisioned uses won’t be possible given the current guidelines.

“The United States has been a pioneer in aviation since the Wright Brothers first took to the skies more than 100 years ago. Today we’ve reached another significant milestone. With the small UAS [Unmanned Aircraft Systems] rule now in effect, the commercial drone industry is cleared for takeoff,” said President and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the industry trade group, Brian Wynne in an official release. Mr. Wynne was also present at the press conference announcing the implementation of the new FAA rules that were first made public back in June 2016.

The New FAA Regulations for Drones Used Commercially

According to the FAA’s new rules, formally known as Part 107 (PDF), which govern commercial flights of small unmanned aircraft, all drones being used for business purposes in the U.S. must be registered with the FAA and weigh up to 55 pounds (25 kilograms).

The drones must be operated during daylight hours only, 30 minutes before sunrise or 30 minutes after sunset local time. And the unmanned aircraft must remain within the visual line-of-sight (VLOS) of the remote pilot in command and the person manipulating the flight controls of the small UAS. Alternatively, the unmanned aircraft must remain within VLOS of the visual observer, FAA states.

Other Part 107 regulations that must be adhered when operating a commercial drone include:

  • Flying at a maximum altitude of 400 feet above ground level (AGL) or, if higher than 400 feet, remain within 400 feet of a structure.
  • Flying at a maximum ground speed of 100 mph (87 knots).
  • Avoiding flying over any persons not directly participating in the operation, or under a covered structure or inside a covered stationary vehicle.
  • Yielding the right of way to other aircraft, like planes and helicopters
  • No person may act as a remote pilot in command for more than one unmanned aircraft operation at one time.
  • No carriage of hazardous materials.
  • External load operations are allowed if the object being carried by the unmanned aircraft is securely attached and does not adversely affect the flight characteristics or control-ability of the aircraft.

Other rules would forbid a single remote pilot operating multiple drones at once, the use of drones for the carrying of hazardous materials and the use of drones to carry any load that is not securely attached or adversely affects the controllability or “flight aspects” of the vehicle. (This last is something to think about before strapping a couple of pizzas on your drone and sending it on deliveries, although there may be other restrictions that would also negate such a use.)

If your proposed operation doesn’t quite comply with Part 107 regulations, you may apply for a waiver of some restrictions but you’ll have to prove the proposed flight will be conducted safely under a waiver.

Training and Certification of Remote Pilots

The FAA adds that the person operating a small unmanned aircraft must either hold a remote pilot airman certificate with a small UAS rating or be under the direct supervision of a person who does hold a remote pilot certificate.

To qualify for a remote pilot certificate, the FAA says you must be at least 16 years old and demonstrate aeronautical knowledge by either:

  1. Passing an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center; or
  2. Hold a part 61 pilot certificate other than student pilot, complete a flight review within the previous 24 months, and complete a small UAS online training course provided by the FAA.

What these Regulations Mean for Small Businesses

Part 107 rules at the moment would seem to make drones usable for commercial photography, videography, very localized transport and similar simpler tasks, but certainly not long-range delivery as envisioned by companies like eCommerce giant Amazon. Amazon envisions flying drones to customers up to 10 miles from an Amazon warehouse and delivering orders within just 30 minutes of an order placement.

Foxx and Huerta, however, revealed in the press conference that government agencies are waiting to attain more data on the privacy, security and safety risks of drones in the national airspace before rolling out more rules and allowances that could help the nascent industry flourish.

The FAA anticipates as many as 600,000 unmanned aircraft will be operating in the national airspace within a year of Part 107 rules coming into effect. An estimated 100,000 new jobs will reportedly be created and at least $82 billion in revenue generated in the first decade following the implementation of Part 107, according to an AUVSI economic report (PDF).

“Drones are helping to create a whole new means of realizing the American dream,” Huerta said.

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3 Things To Tell Every Customer

Customer Communication - 3 Things To Tell Every Customer

Your customer’s or prospect’s attention is extremely important to your business.  Let’s look at three statements you should be making and backing up to your customers.

Must Have Customer Communication

1. We Want Your Feedback

At the end of any purchase, project or service with your customer, let them know you want to understand how the customer experience was for them. While it’s great to use many different methods to get your customer’s thoughts post-sale, you will get more feedback by personally letting them know you care about it and want it.

Customer Communication - We Want Your Feedback

My bank let’s me know they want my feedback with signage, for example. (See the image above.)

This mention of desiring their feedback also takes your feedback process from surprise to an expectation. When your customer survey call, email or mailer arrives to request their feedback they aren’t surprised one bit.  You also have increased the responsibility of the customers to respond since you made a personal request of it.

Best of all is your extra touch of mentioning. This speaks to your business’s culture of caring about your customer’s experience and that’s valuable in itself.

2. Here’s What You Get And How Often

I see endless requests on websites, in store signage and everywhere a business can place an icon to ask people to sign-up for their email marketing, follow or like them on social media or opt-in to their mobile/SMS marketing. You absolutely should be making every attempt to gain more channels to communicate with your customer, but you can do it better.

“Sign up for our email list and get just a once per month email containing our specials, tips and clearance items.”

You just set an expectation and a value of your communication with them and they clearly understand what they are opting into.

I find endless “Join Our Email List” fields on websites without a single mention of how often you’ll be emailing them or what with. Do you know what your customer likely thinks of this? That you’ll email them daily or more with every sales pitch you have. How many customers want to sign up when they think that?

Customer Communication - Here's What You Get and How Often

This email newsletter sign up lacks any detail on the content or frequency of this communication.

If you are asking for mobile numbers, which I think are marketing gold, make sure you clearly state when you’ll use it and how valuable it will be. Customers guard their mobile number and rightfully so. Make sure your mobile campaign delivers great savings, insight or enables your process to be perfect (like reminders).

You’ll find more customers subscribing and following if you state your offering, timing and value.

3. This Is Our Number One Differentiator

In our world of competition, access and pricing, it can be very hard for a customer to understand who is best for their needs. They combine what you say about yourself with what others say about you to make a decision.

Are you clearly communicating what your biggest difference is with your service or product? You need to be. If you don’t control this messaging and clarity you rely on your customer figuring this out themselves from online reviews, referrals and other sources. Make it easy for prospects to decide. Give them your biggest difference right up front.

The best version of this is to be specific as well. While you can state it’s your staff, you’ll be better off stating why your staff is great. “Our technicians set us apart from other Windshield installers with over 40 years experience and multiple Master Level certifications.”

Telling this to your customers is just as important because this is messaging they are likely to repeat to others when referring your business.

Great Communication Wins

All of these examples and tips center on clear and valuable communication with your customers. Showing customers you care, you respect their time and where you are unique will help win more first time and repeat customers.

Customers Photo via Shutterstock

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Small Business Loan Approval Rates at Big Banks Decline, Biz2Credit Index Finds

The July 2016 Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index Reports that Small Business Loan Approval Rates at Big Banks Decline

Turbulence in global markets has made big banks wary of approving small business loans. That’s what the latest Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index (PDF), the monthly analysis of more than 1,000 small business loan applications on Biz2Credit.com has revealed.

Details from the July 2016 Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index

According to the report, small business loan approval rates have dropped at both big banks and alternative lenders in July.

The big bank approval rate declined to 23.1 percent in July, down two-tenths of a percent from June’s figure. Meanwhile, alternative lenders approved three out of five loan requests in the same period.

In a prepared release, Biz2Credit CEO Rohit Arora observed, “The economy in the second quarter was a bit sluggish because of slower global growth; this impacts big banks more than other lenders.”

“When there is turbulence in international markets, such as the angst over Britain’s leaving the EU, big banks tend to become more conservative in their lending. Brexit had some impact, but not a major one, on small business finance.”

Explaining why lending plummeted at alternative lenders, Arora said, “Alternative lenders have steadily lost favor among small business borrowers, in large part because their cost of capital is so high.”

“Credit-worthy borrowers can typically secure better interest rates and terms from other types of lenders. Alternative lenders still have some appeal for borrowers whose credit scores might be low.”

While small business loan approval rates dropped at big banks and alternative lenders, not all the news from July was bad.

Institutional lenders’ loan approval rates bounced back to 62.8 percent, matching an all time index high. Small banks also saw a slight increase in their approval rates.

According to Arora, “This category (institutional lenders) of lender is doing well because of high yields and low default rates. Further, institutional investors from other countries are looking to enter the U.S. market as there currently is much global uncertainty, especially in Europe.”

He also added that the current global market scenario doesn’t have as much impact on small banks as it does on larger ones.

For small businesses that are currently profitable, securing loans for expansion should not be a challenge, the index suggests.

Arora echoed this when he told the New York Daily News, “Rates are still historically low, and small businesses that are currently profitable are able to get loans for expansion and working capital.”

Moreover, the U.S. economy is stable, which is definitely good news for small business owners, Arora obsrved.

For its monthly index, Biz2Credit analyzes loan requests ranging from $25,000 to $3 million from companies in business more than two years with an average credit score above 680. Unlike other surveys, the results are based on primary data submitted by more than 1,000 small business owners who applied for funding on Biz2Credit’s online lending platform, which connects business borrowers and lenders.

Image: Biz2Credit

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Use This Step-by-Step Guide to Feel Confident and Connected at a Conference

Make the most of your next conference

For someone who spends most of her days sitting alone behind a computer, entering a crowded room filled with hundreds of strangers can be a bit intimidating. I know because I’ve been there, done that.

In 2015, I went to Rainmaker Digital’s Authority Rainmaker conference by myself. It was not only my first time attending a conference solo, it was also my first conference where I was representing my business, not an employer’s.

My previous employer sent me to the 2014 Authority conference, and what I learned that year prompted me to leave that job and start my own business. (You can read that story here.)

So, I couldn’t miss the next event — even if that meant going alone. And I’m so glad I did.

The conference provided me with motivation, smart guidance, expert advice, and a network of colleagues that have been integral to helping me grow my new business.

No matter what conference is ahead — but especially if you’re attending Rainmaker Digital’s Digital Commerce Summit this year on October 13-14, 2016 in Denver, Colorado — here are simple tips to optimize your experience before, during, and after the event.

Before you attend

When you approach any project with a plan, you will have better results.

Don’t wait until you’re on the plane or walking into the opening reception to strategize for the conference.

If you prepare now, you can even become a sponsor to expose your business to influencers and decision makers.

Identify your goals

Not everyone who attends a conference has the same goals. My goals in 2014 (when I was attending as a sponsor) were very different from my goals in 2015 (when I was representing my business).

Choose one or two goals that are the most important to you.

Are you looking to:

  • Learn something new? If so, what skills are you specifically looking to hone? Which sessions or person could help you learn that skill?
  • Find a solution to a business problem? If so, who or what at the conference can help you solve it?
  • Meet people? If so, what type of people? A network for referrals? A community for support? A person for a potential partnership?
  • Sell a product or generate leads? If so, who is likely to buy your product? How can you connect with that target audience at the event?
  • Find a vendor? If so, browse the event sponsors before you attend. Which one offers solutions to what you need?

Network and make plans to meet up with other attendees

Don’t wait until you walk into the opening reception to meet people.

Use social media to reach out to other attendees who have posted with the event hashtag prior to the conference. Spark up a conversation and make plans to meet up on the first day.

Hone your elevator pitch

Your elevator pitch doesn’t have to be a sales pitch. Unless you are there primarily to seek out new customers or clients, you don’t need to sell what you do.

You just need a 15-second elevator pitch that simply says:

  • Your name
  • Your business or employer’s name
  • What you do and why you do it

Arm yourself with conversation points

Know how to keep conversations going by arming yourself with some talking points.

Many attendees of past Rainmaker Digital events love that you get a single-track educational experience, personally curated and handcrafted by Brian Clark, and shared by every attendee.

If there is a lull in conversation, the single-track experience makes it easy for you to ask questions like:

  • What are you hoping to gain from the conference?
  • How are you enjoying the conference?
  • What’s been your favorite takeaway from the conference?
  • Who has been your favorite speaker?
  • Have you been to the conference before?
  • How far did you travel to get here?

Create a free offer or giveaway

Consider creating a free offer or giveaway prior to the event. That way, you can offer it to new contacts you meet and highlight it on your website to attract the attention of visitors you met at the event.

While you’re there

Once you arrive, the real fun starts.

Shake the fears of in-person events

If you are nervous, remember this: many people attend conferences by themselves.

Look for others who are flying solo and make a confident introduction knowing they are as happy to talk to you as you are to talk to them.

For more tips, check out Pamela Wilson’s article: The Introvert’s Guide to Surviving an In-Person Conference.

Don’t be shy on social media

Last year, I used social media to put myself out there.

I was a little embarrassed when I posted this tweet right before the opening reception, but multiple people stopped to have a conversation with me because they saw it.

Erin Flynn created a list of Authority Rainmaker 2015 attendees and sent a message out to the event hashtag.

This simple action made Erin the unofficial Twitter group leader of the event.

Find a “conference anchor”

If you’re attending the conference alone, you don’t have to be on your own. Look for someone else who is attending alone and ask him or her to be your “conference anchor.”

A conference anchor is a person who is your home base for the event. If you find yourself wandering around alone, go find your anchor.

Eat at least half of your meals with strangers

While it’s fun to make friends and spend time with those connections, don’t forget that you should still make an attempt to meet other new people.

Try to eat at least half of your meals with a table of strangers.

Collect and give business cards

Bring business cards and don’t forget to use them.

End conversations by asking someone if you can grab their card so you can check out their business. This approach creates an opportunity for you to hand over your card without it feeling forced.

Focus on creating authentic relationships

I used to attend conferences and feel a sense of victory depending on how many connections I made. But when I went into the conference last year, I had a different approach.

Instead of focusing on talking to a lot of people, I focused on really getting to know a few people. I sought out relationships, not connections. That approach gave me far more value than previous events.

After you leave

Don’t close the book on the conference the day you leave. Let the benefits flow into upcoming months.

Use the conference as an opportunity to create content

Clark Buckner planned ahead and used the conference as an opportunity to fill his podcast schedule. He took advantage of having so many smart content marketers in one place and recorded dozens of interviews from the event.

Follow up with everyone

A day or two after the conference, pull out those business cards you collected and put them to use:

  • Make connections on LinkedIn.
  • Follow your new colleagues on Twitter and add them to a list of Digital Commerce Summit connections so you can keep track of that specific network.
  • Send each person an email with at least one detail you discussed, to reinforce your connection.
  • Use Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat to connect with the people you formed more personal friendships with.

Follow an action plan

Digital Commerce Summit is going to give you a lot of momentum. It’s going to fill you with inspiration and ideas. Don’t lose that when you board your plane to go home.

Take the knowledge and excitement you gain from the conference and put it into action. Schedule at least half a day upon your arrival home to review your notes and identify an action plan for how you can execute what you learned.

An outstanding conference experience starts and ends with planning

I followed these simple steps last year and they helped produce wonderful benefits:

  • I was asked to guest blog on an attendee’s website.
  • I was asked to be interviewed on an attendee’s podcast.
  • I found someone to interview for my website.
  • I met someone I could partner with to support my service offerings.
  • A group of people and I started a private Facebook group for brainstorming.
  • I met a good friend who has helped me when I’ve struggled with work. And, she’s going to be both my roommate and my conference anchor this year.

Plus, I had an awesome time!

So if you’re headed to Digital Commerce Summit this year on your own, don’t be anxious. Be excited. Use these tips to get prepared. Have a mission when you get there, and come find me to say hello.

Join us October 13-14, 2016 in Denver, Colorado

Digital Commerce Summit is the premier live educational and networking event for entrepreneurs who create and sell digital products and services. It’s a value-packed experience that will define the digital commerce industry.

This inaugural conference features an integrated agenda that covers digital product and service creation, plus the latest cutting edge marketing, sales, and product launch techniques from expert practitioners.

Grab your ticket to Digital Commerce Summit today.

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