Last week I shared a little bit of my philosophy on dressing for Alt Summit, and while that’s obviously the fun part, I kind of wanted to get into the nitty gritty of what I do to get my blog all shined up and spiffed out for the conference. Alt is so jam-packed with opportunity it can make your head spin, so I always try to have all of my ducks in a row when it comes to the business end of my blog before I head to Salt Lake. There’s nothing worse than having an opportunity present itself and realizing you just ran out of business cards, or your site crashed, or your social media pages are out of date. Here’s the checklist that I like to run through to make sure that everything is ready to rumble for Alt.
Business Cards. Whether it’s a piece of paper with your name on it, or a full-blown DIY gift, make sure you have something to hand out to the folks you’ll meet. The business card game at Alt may be a little out of hand, but it sure is fun. Last year I received business cards that had all kinds of crazy things attached — food, cookie cutters, craft supplies, and all kinds of trinkets. I handed out cards with a little DIY accessory that I made, to give people a little taste of Lovely Indeed. But my best advice is just to have a card that represents you well and will help people remember who you are. This year, I’m thinking of going simple and classic with my cards (bells and whistles optional).
Blog Maintenance and Organization. Be sure that your blog is ship shape before you head to the conference. After you hand your cards out, chances are folks will be following up online and checking out your little slice of blogland. Be sure that your blog is recently updated, that all links are functional, and that all information is current. It’s your chance to show your stuff.
Social Media Pages. Similarly, be sure that your social media accounts are poppin’. I like to customize Lovely Indeed’s Facebook and Twitter pages with my branding, so that users can see immediately that there’s a common thread with the blog. I like to be sure my Pinterest page is organized into clear, concise boards, and that the most recent selection of pins is on point with my brand. Finally, I like to have some really strong images on my Instagram feed that represent Lovely Indeed well. (And in reality, I try to strive for all of this stuff year-round!) Another note on social media: Be careful when it comes to usernames. Include your most important usernames on your business card, if you wish. Or even better, be sure that all of your usernames are the same.
Analytics. Whether you get 100 or 100,000 monthly pageviews, you gotta know your stuff. Make sure your blog is hooked up with an analytics program that is accurate, and that you have a general knowledge of your numbers (especially if you’re at Alt looking to chat with sponsors). Google Analytics is a great place to start. When it comes to which numbers are most important, sponsors will often want to know your monthly pageviews and your monthly unique visitors.
Media Kit or One Pager. If you feel like you’re at the point where you’ll be chatting with brands or sponsors, it’s smart to put together a media kit or one pager that you can share. It’s kind of a digital resume for your blog. Important info to share includes your blog’s purpose and mission, demographics on your readership, your analytics, social media numbers, popular posts (with links), notable press mentions or quotes, and a method of contact. When you meet a sponsor who’s interested in that info, you can shoot it right to them in an email and they’ll be pumped you’re on the ball.
Know Your Goals. Beyond any of this mumbo jumbo, though, it’s mostly important to know why you’re going to Alt. Is it to meet the brands and sponsors that will be there? Is it to gain knowledge from the speakers and panels? Is it because you’re thinking of starting a blog or business and you are looking for inspiration? (Or maybe it’s just because they throw really great parties…) Whatever it is, be clear about your goals and prepare yourself accordingly. Your goals will most definitely be different from everyone you meet, and that’s what makes it awesome.
If you’re going to Alt, I’d love to hear about your goals this year! Is it your first time? Or are you a veteran? Leave a comment and let me know. And if you’re there, be sure to come say hi. xoxo