What They Don't Teach You At Stanford Business School
"Ten Things I Learned at Affiliate Summit"
By Larry Chiang
http://www. WhatTheyDontTeachYouAtStanford BusinessSchool.com
Las Vegas, Nevada -- January 14th --
I love commission.
There is no clearer measurement and reward than the paying of a "sales commission". Every cent I have earned is on the sale of SOMETHING.
There's an industry of people called affiliates that make commissions when they sell and promote sales for websites. This past week in Las Vegas, I crashed their conference called, "Affiliate Summit" (ASW09). Here are 10 things I learned that cost me a grand or three but will only cost you nine minutes;
-1- Hide Your Advantage.
I have this theory that 10 guys at Affiliate Summit make what the rest of the 3200 conference attendees make. You'd never know it by asking them cuz they sandbag their business method / sales / profits / business model / how they started.
Sandbagging is when you understate and aww-shucks your way past a compliment. Alpha affiliates sandbag when you ask them how they run programs.
-2- Parties Have an ROI Too
Parties at ASW09 don't promote, they reward. Industry parties in developing industries promote and HOPE for traction. At Affiliate Summit, parties are to reward their best affiliates (sometimes with topless women). If a party is worth throwing, it is worth throwing for money.
-3- Sex Sells.
The biggest short-cut to getting product moved is incorporating sex into an offer.
Sprinkle sex into a legit offer and boom, you've gotta hit on your hands. (Duck9 girls at Spring Break). Cute girls + Credit Education = Duck9.
-4- Pre-Rolls to Promote.
At Affiliate Summit, it's all about promotion. Pre-rolls are when a person makes a long winded statement BEFORE they ask their question during speaker Q&A.
For example, after an @JayBerkowitz session, I'd say, "hi, I'm Larry Chiang of BusinessWeek fame. Yeah, SHUCKS, I also started the largest company that sells credit cards to college students, Ucms. My twitter name is @LarryChiang. ANYWAY, I had a question about my current project duck9... how do you manage podcast questions using 'T7'?
-5- Access is Multi-Layered.
Every event at ASW09 was layered and measured. Badges were Silver to Platinum. Even after you get a wristband, there were layers and layers of crowd control barriers and bouncers. "Character compass" the gatekeepers to whittle away layers.
-6- Half the Attendees Didn't Read "How to Work a Conference"
I read this great great post on "How to Work a Conference". It listed out 21 lucky tips. http://bub.blicio.us/how-to- hack-blogworld/ This really good looking guy wrote it. Holy Ducky!, did I just say something gay?!
Read "How to Work a Conference" because 85% of the time it works all the time.
-7- What the Eff is a Blogger?!
"Press is nice but hey I'm making money so I definitely don't need to kiss blogger ass" was the predominant attitude at Affiliate Summit. I saw an older fellow sporting his bright orange CES press badge from the weekend before. Here at ASW, we just worry about one thing... real money and maybe mainstream press.
Here's the pecking order of importance...
Where was last month's comm check.
Am I getting screwed out of commission.
What did my competitor just promise.
Do I have a shot with that hawt booth babe
Do I have a meeting or a reacharound.
Mainstream press.. I thought someone is blogging from Business Week. Who cares!
Who slept in my room last night.
Can I get a vip LeadFlash party pass for my fuddy duddy boss.
You're a blogger. What's a blogger.
-8-Silicon Valley Come Lately.
The poster child for SV is Facebook. This new kid on the block did something smart... it hired an ex pay day lender (Swish Marketing) and Affiliate Summit veteran, Sarah Smith, to lead the affiliate push.
You might have two Crunchies LINK AND PIC OF ZUCKERBERG but its littered with examples of how NOT to sell.
http://www.creditcard.org/ credit-card-review/facebook- chase-plus-one-visa-90009.htm
Until I can sell credit card #1 on your site, Facebook will still be my lead generation system for who I'm putting out for next. And next-next. CLARIFICATION: By putting out, I mean putting out links to my new bWeek articles ;-)
-9- Swinging Smart For Singles.
If you buy leads for $4 and sell them for $7, you have got a business. Swinging for the massive homerun where you buy for $4 and sell for $40 is tough. Gary Vanerchuck recommends swinging for a homer. Do what Gary does and not what he says. TRANSLATION: Gary motivates YOU to swing for the fences, but he himself hits solid single after solid single.
I've been doing research and I found out that 100% of companies worth $1B, all used to be worth 10mm.
-10- Set Aside Your Need to Make Short Term $.
When you're in a room full of people that love money, they behave cliche-ly. How?! They all chase money in all of its easiest forms.
I got to siddle up and get mentored by a couple of the richest guys in the conference... they all set aside their need for short term money and built something great.
BONUS #11: Wars Aren't Won in Ivory Towers
Did you know Chruchill's war room was the size of a shoebox?! He was the alpha male in London when the Axis Forces were running multiple bombing missions. Ivory tower theorists abound in my city by the bay (SF).
Wars are won on the front lines of business and in the gritty hand-to-hand combat of a conference. They're won over one party at a time and one coffee at a time. For example, the mighty and powerful Facebook hosted a sub $300 event by hosting office hours at an effen Starbucks. Welcome to the trenches Mark Zuckerberg. The water's warm.
BONUS #12: Bingo is Played By the Cool Kids.
@garyVee hosted bingo during his keynote. I love Bingo too. Gary kicks keynote butt, but I bore so I used Bingo as a crutch at iMedia's Finance Marketing Conference.
Twitter coverage at Affiliate Summit West 2009 was under '#asw09'. Don't know what Twitter or a hashtag is?! Read my Twitter article(s) here, here and here.
http://www. whattheydontteachyouatstanford businessschool.com/images/ over-the-top-larry-chiang.jpg
I co-founded http:/ www.duck9.com , which educates college students on how to establish and maintain a FICO score over 750. I testified before Congress http://www.creditcard.org/ testimony.htm and World Bank in Beijing on credit http://www.ucms.com/Larry- Chiang-World-Bank-Beijing- Presentation.htm
My Amazon Blog Summary http://tinyurl.com/AmazonBlog
My Business Week Blog Summary http://www. whattheydontteachyouatstanford businessschool.com/business- week-larry-chiang.htm
My Book that comes out 09-09-09
http://www. WhatTheyDontTeachYouAtStanford BusinessSchool.com
Best of luck to you... and if you hear of a fun conference you'd like me to crash, text me 650-283-8008. And don't forget to buy a copy of my free book. www. WhatTheyDontTeachYouAtStanford BusinessSchool.com