I’ve only been home from Affiliate Summit for 8 hours and it’s already time to start thinking about next steps. I’ve brought in the luggage, spent time with my kids, ate a regular meal at the kitchen table, and read through all of my emails, Tweets, and Facebook posts since Saturday. At the same time, a thousand new ideas are running through my mind and I am trying to channel what is left of my energy into capitalizing on the education and networking I took away from the conference. With so many things to do, it can be daunting to figure out how to make up the work you missed while also making the most of the new opportunities that you have because of the conference. Here’s my take on an action plan. Not everything will apply to you, and you may need to change up the order, but hopefully it will help you get on the right track.
- Business Priorities. Make your way through anything that is an absolute priority for your business that you missed in the last few days. This may be running reports, responding to customer service emails, or something else. Essentially, it’s anything that absolutely cannot wait another 24 hours. Do that first so that you can feel comfortable continuing to focus on the Affiliate Summit follow-ups for another day.
- Sort the Physical “Stuff.” Pull out everything that you brought home and separate out business cards, notes, and swag to deal with later.
- Make Immediate Connections. One of the fastest things you can do is run through your whole stack of business cards (even the people who you do not intend to work with any time soon), and add everyone as a contact on LinkedIn or follow them on Twitter. This is just to get through everyone while you still remember who they are and where you met them. Don’t expect conversations or deals this week because everyone is busy.
- Create Prioritized Task List. Sit down for an hour and go through all of the business cards and notes that you took and make a list of everything that you would like to do as a result. Which merchants do you want to schedule follow-up meetings with? Which programs do you need to join? What SEO changes do you want to make to your sites? Make a list of everything that you would like to DO as a result of what you learned at Affiliate Summit and who you met and then prioritize them with a system like red, yellow, green or 1, 2, 3. Anything that will then help you start going down the list in order of importance as time allows.
- Start Looking at Affiliate Summit West. Incredibly, it’s only 5 months away. Think about whether you will attend, how you need to budget it now, and what you want to accomplish between now and then.
It goes without saying that things like catching up on sleep will have to be a part of the plan the next couple of days, but hopefully this will help you get started mapping out what you need to do for your business. What other tips do you have for people who are feeling overwhelmed after Affiliate Summit?