It's one thing to be a small time webmaster who is trying to make money on his website. It is an entirely different thing to try running a big blog or big informational website. Many times, it is not easy doing it alone and it requires a bit of team work.
However, while you can make relationships online, the best ones happen when you meet face to face and really discuss what your interests are. That's why online dating websites still require you to meet to determine whether you are a compatible match.
The problem is, many people don't really know what they need to do when they go to these conferences. Whether it is a conference for blogging, SEO, social media or some other form of Internet marketing and Internet business, it is important that you follow a few basic rules.
There is nothing worse than going to a conference and then not being prepared. One of the best things you can do is bring business cards. You can a bunch of business cards for cheap at Vista Print or PsPrint. The business card, ideally, should be double sided and needs to include the important information.
Before you say that your address is important, stop! That's not important. What is important, at least for these "Internet conference" business cards is the following:
- Your name
- Phone number
- Twitter Handle
This way, they are able to interact with you as easily as possible whether that's on phone, Twitter or through your website.
One of the worst things you can do when you go to a conference is just go and listen. Sure, you'll learn a lot, but you're going to walk away with very little in regards to overall growth.
Therefore, what you really need to do is interact. Ask questions. Confront people. Talk to them. Ask them about their website.
One thing you'll definitely want to do, though, is offer them something. I don't mean your business card. Instead, say something like, "Oh, you run a site about bicycles? How about I pull together some quick keyword research for you. Here's my card...Email me."
What this does is put you in their mind when they are going through all the business cards they collected. But, what it also does is allow you to begin connecting. If you help that person, now you've got someone on your "team" forever; someone to help you promote your content.
The final step is after the conference is over. Whether it's at the end of the night or when you leave the conference, you need to follow up with everyone. If you took their card and there is any chance that they are going to be useful to you, send them an email.
In that email, thank them for the great conversation (and try to remember something in particular that they said). Tell them if there is ever anything that they need from you, they should feel comfortable asking you. This will help you to build up your team of people to rely on.
The mistake so many "Internet conference" visitors make is to not follow up. You made a relationship while you were there, but for it to succeed, you need to stroke it and let it grow. Otherwise, it'll never grow.
Conferences are great, but they do take some time and they do rely on some networking. It requires you to get away from the "Internet bubble" and really come out of your skin. But, the growth your business will see is so great, you'll love it.
Jay is an Internet marketer who has gone to a bunch of different SEO and marketing conferences. He typically finds coupons for Vista Print and PsPrint such as the vista print promo (avail it in this page) and the psprint coupon codes (more about these here). Vista Print and Psprint have a huge selection of business cards and marketing materials for businesses. One piece of advice Jay has for people who are going to conferences is to just be yourself. If you do that, you'll have a great time!