Categories
Travel

$2,000 Black Jack Hand – #ASW11

Here is the video of the $2,000 Blackjack hand I did at Vegas.

Here is the story in case you missed it:

Video of the $2k Blackjack Hand

Awesome time, thanks Shoemoney!

Categories
Business Travel

Affiliate Summit West #ASW11 – Recap, Video and Photos

Its been more than a week since I have gotten back from Affiliate Summit West 2011 (#ASW11) and wheels are turning. I am thinking it may have been the most productive few days of my life, even though all I did was get wasted all night and wake up at 5pm each day.

Here is a video of my time in Vegas. (click here if you cant see the video)

 

 

You may notice there is very little of the ‘actual conference’. That’s because I didn’t really go to much of the ‘actual conference’…. Hell I didn’t even use my free breakfast’s, lunches and I think I used about 2/10 of my drink vouchers…

Some people may say that I wasted the time there because I didn’t go to any of the sessions and didn’t learn anything (which I know is what many of the others who entered Shoemoney’s Contest wanted to do.

But I beg to differ.

I learned HEAPS. But what I learned, will never be told at a session or keynote. Its the real shit. I also made some deep relationships. I went to Affiliate Summit knowing nobody. Like literally nobody. But I have gotten very used to rocking up to places knowing nobody and quickly making friends. It is kinda necessary when you are a solo traveller.

I left ASW with a bunch of new contacts. But not just business cards. Real projects that are in the works. On top of that I made new friends.

It is really hard to really befriend someone when you meet them during the day at a networking event. Sure you may have things in common, sure you may have an interesting conversation, maybe even go for lunch or something. But it is still surface level.

To build a relationship and you need to have shared experiences. There is almost no way around it. So how do you do this?

Well… going out partying until 8am is a good start. Doing stupid shit helps too:

ASW11

My goal at ASW11 was to make some solid connections. I didn’t want to come back with a bunch of business cards and no follow up plans and I didn’t want to come back having not met anyone but listed to a bunch of speeches which I could learn in a few hours of research on my own (no disrespect to any of the speakers).

But hey, that was just my strategy going in knowing nobody. Next time it will probably be a little different as I will arrange to meet people in advance now that I know a few people.

What is your general conference strategy?

Categories
Travel

A Day at Affiliate Summit West 2011 #ASW11

4:50pm – Woke up at the Wynn overlooking Las Vegas Blv.

4:55pm – Got out of bed to check my phone that kept beeping. Had message to go to lunch – 4.5 hours ago… Organise to meet a friend downstairs for food and to watch the BCS game.

5:45pm – Get downstairs and get in line for food.

5:50pm – Realise Shoemoney is launching his new product in 10 minutes, so run off to the announcement room for the only event/speech I will see all ASW.

6-7pm – Watch product launch of Link Control and get a free lifetime pass. C ya later Hypertracker.

7:30pm – Roll with Shoemoney to play my $2k blackjack hand. I get dealt a 13 against a 10, land an 8 on the hit for 21. Dealer is 18. Winner winner chicken dinner!

8:00pm – Eat dinner/breakfast with Shoemoney and crew at Switch.

10:00pm – Head over to the Affiliate Ball at Rio with a VIP ticket. Watch 3-6 Mafia rock the house.

1:00am – Head over to the Veniusian for a drink

1:30am – Head over to XS at the Wynn

3:00am – Have a ‘drink’ with a nice young lady in my hotel room

7:00am – Sleep time

It’s a tough life…

Photos and video to come

Categories
Business

My Half Assed and Very Late Affiliate Summit West Schedule

Tomorrow I leave for Vegas baby, second time in a few months, and second time with a $1k+ free conference ticket in my hand. The universe must want me to go to Vegas…. You rock universe!

But more importantly Shoemoney, his sexy staff, all my friends and family who voted for me, all the people who don’t know me but I harassed them via email or Facebook and to a few hundred random s from Mturk in some third world country. YOU ALL ROCK!

If you don’t already know, I am headed to Affiliate Summit West on an all expenses paid trip because I won the Shoemoney Crazy Affiliate Contest.

Travel Plans

I am a very last minute traveller.

Some people spend days even weeks planning their trips. I usually wake up in a haze, walk out the door and figure out where I’m going while I’m walking. OK, that might be a bit extreme but I am closer to the latter than the former.

Spending 10+ months travelling last year taught me that its not worth spending all your time planning if its going to cost you enjoyment in the moment. Plus sporadic planning can turn into crazy adventures. It can also turn into a looming and costly disaster but that’s a story for another day.

I have a 9am flight which I booked at 6pm tonight. I then booked a nights’ accommodation at Circus Circus which looks very entertaining for its modest price tag, and is close to the Wynn so I wont have much of a trek in the morning when I switch to the Wynn.

ASW Schedule

Looking around the web for some things to do, I stumbled upon the Canadian Affiliate Marketing meetup which is from 5:00PM – 6:30PM at the Wynn Parasol “Up” Bar. I figure I gotta go and get my pass so could be a good opportunity to meet some Vancouverites.

Then I’m headed off to DKs Poker Tourney. I figure this will give me a good opportunity to chat with people and maybe make some plans for the rest of the summit.

And that’s about all… Ill figure the rest out when I’m there. If anyone has any tips on specific events or parties to attend I’d be keen to hear about them.

I also had some questions about whether I will be blogging live from the event. In all honest, no probably not. I’d like to, but yea, doubt its going to happen. Will try and do a few post about it when I land – if I don’t come back with 100 business ideas that lock me down for the next few months!

Anyways, if anyone is at ASW hit me up. We can grab a beer.

Categories
Business

Winning the Shoemoney Crazy Affiliate Contest – P1

So as you may know by now, I was the winner of the recent Crazy Shoemoney Affiliate Summit Contest that finished up a couple of days ago.

Here is the prize as it currently stands:

  • A platinum pass to Affiliate Summit West.
  • 2 nights hotel accommodations paid for at host hotel.
  • $500 Airfare Reimbursement.
  • $2000 to gamble on 1 hand of blackjack (can you handle the pressure?).
  • Roll with me at Affiliate Summit.
  • A pass to the Epic Advertising Playboy Mansion Party this fall.

Very epic prize.

It was a long road with many hours invested. To win, you had to write a post on your blog stating “why you should win the contest”. 10 finalists were then selected by Shoemoney’s staff. After that it opened up and the winner  had to acquire the most votes over the course a 5 day period. In the end, I emerged triumphant with 43% of the total votes.

Over the next two posts, I will give a break down of exactly what I did to win the competition.

The Finalist Post

First things first. Before anything else you had to get selected by Shoemoney’s staff as a finalist. This meant a killer post.

The first thing I did was assess the competition. I immediately understood that there would be no point attempting this thing half hearted. Just whacking up a useless post on my blog isn’t going to win me a prize easily valued at $5k but it will deteriorate the quality of my blog and brand. So before even deciding whether to enter it or not, I had to do a quick analysis on reward/ratio.

If I my chances of at least getting into the finalists were slim to none, I wouldn’t even bother entering. That decision would be made solely based on the competition. In the end, there were 92 Comments with probably 70 entries to the competition. But when I made the decision to enter, there was less than 40 entrants.

Firstly, this low number was very surprising. I guess that it was the holidays and what not probably meant less people were aware of the contest. Any way, I started reading through the other comments and was fairly shocked at what I saw.

There were a number of entries that were 1 paragraph long, broken links and posts with clearly no thought put into them. Yes there were also a few good posts, but most of them were below par.

Low numbers and low quality? Shit yeah, bring it on.

When I first read the post there was two days left to enter the contest.

Knowing that I had two days, there was no reason to rush the post. You should treat it like any other piece of writing you are trying to get right and write it out, let it sit, edit it, let it sit some more (something I usually don’t do because it takes to long and editing is annoying but it definitely is the most effective technique).

The Essay Approach

When it came down to writing the post, the first question I had to ask my self is “What is this post trying to achieve?” this is something we all had to do in school when we were given one of those annoying questions and told to discuss it. What are you trying to achieve? Are you trying to argue a point? Solve a problem?

In this case, the point was to be selected. To be chosen. So I started thinking about other types of documents that have a similar purpose. The first that came to mind was a resume, something I have lots of experience with as an ex-recruiter.  A resume is a document you create so you are selected. But getting hirired for a job is not usually just from your resume, you need to do a good job selling youself to secure the position.

This train of thought brought me down the path of a sales letter. Really the purpose of this post was to sell myself. Really, this post was to be a sales page.

The Sales Page Post

I am by no means an expert copy writer. But I know a little. I know what some of the key elements of a strong sales letter are. These include:

  • Telling a story
  • Building Trust
  • Emotional stimulation
  • Focusing on the benefits

I started telling my story. People like dealing with people they know, so the more of a story you can tell the more trust you will build plus it makes for an enjoyable read. I continued with emotional stimulation by writing the post in a very casual manner and by sprinkling humour through the post. I then wrote a section on how I can give back and what the benefits would be of hiring me. Whether they are tangible benefits for someone like Shoemoney or not is irrelevant. They just have to be better than the benefits the other contestants were offering. Some is better than none.

Additional Elements

On top of the above elements which appear in every post I added two more of my own for this particular post:

  • An element to show I had done my research
  • A gimmick to stand out from the crowd

If you see down the bottom of the post, there is a picture of a girl in a grey shirt with a CLICK HERE underneath her. This was not chosen by accident. Actually Shoemoney talked extensively about this picture in his video on Facebook advertising. By adding this element is showed that I actually knew who Shoemoney was, followed his stuff and paid attention. Plus it was slightly humours, at least I thought so anyway.

The last was the tattoo gimmick. To be honest, this was chucked in right at the end. I was basically reading my post thinking shiit, I need a gimmick to close this deal and maybe more importantly, to win the votes. Sure I had a strong post, but it didn’t jump out at you, there was noting overly special about it. If you see Donny Gamble’s post he included the elf video and Danger Brown had a cool video of his own plus he was going to shave his head. These are two other fantastic examples of utilising a gimmick to get attention which resulted in both these guys making it to the finals.

I don’t know why I chose to get a tattoo. Basically I just thought it would be something that the judges would notice, people would talk about and it would make a funny story. No real reason besides it was a straight gimmick.

The End Result

Here is my winning entry. I probably spent a good 4-5 hours on it, possibly longer. Lots of that time was just reading it over and over correcting little bits and pieces. But every couple of times I read it I would get another big idea and chuck it in. As I said the tattoo idea didn’t come until the very end, maybe the last or second last re-read so it definitely pays to do this.

Next up securing the most votes.