On January 25, I participated in the Advanced Blogging panel at Alt Summit during which we discussed effective editorial calendars, advisory boards, working smarter, and the how-tos of getting an agent. Below you'll see the slide deck (thanks to fellow panelist Helen Jane Hearn for the design) and bullet points from our respective presentations.
Alt Summit Panel: How to Build an Effective Editorial Calendar
Don't start writing your posts after you've done your daily tour of the web — it can paralyze your content. Plan in advance to stay true to you. Doesn't matter if it's weekly, quarterly or yearly — or the mix of spontaneous/reactionary and planned content, all that you need to do is plan your content in your voice. An editorial calendar is your chance to articulate your vision — in your words.
Work back from tentpole events
Whether it's a family vacation, holidays or conferences, work backwards from the dates that you know your content will shine. This will help your seasonal content be delivered at the right time.
Plan sponsors, amplification and content at the same time.
Alt Summit Panel: Assembling an Advisory Board
This may be difficult because you don't know what you don't know. Are you looking to raise visibility, scale, lower costs, ink strategic partnerships? You probably need help when you find yourself saying, “I know that's important, but I'll deal with it later.”
Find people who can do those jobs
Give your advisory board members their due
When you invite someone to be on your advisory board you are making an ask, one that includes specific deliverables. Start-ups typically allocate 25-50bps (25%-50% of 1%) of equity in exchange for these tasks; occasionally, there is a cash component. Alternatively, you can follow the Kickstarter model and offer rewards. As a creative, when you are bartering with non-creatives, you've got lots of options.
Alt Summit Panel: How to Work Smarter, Not Harder (excerpted from Alison Faulkner @thealisonshow on Babble)
You don’t need to have all of your ducks in a row, you just need a duck!
You’ve got a great idea, but you hold back on pushing it live because you don’t have everything sorted. I say, push it out! User experience and trusted friends will help you get it right.
Everything in your business should have a system from the way you take photographs to the way you publish a blog post, work on systems. Once you can easily teach someone the way that you do something, then you have a system. And THEN you can start to generate passive income.
Alt Summit Panel: Defining different roles of representation
Manager :: Handle the day to day nitty gritty / finances / counsel on opportunities that affect long term career. If you feel good about your publicity and traffic, but get buried by emails and requests, a manager could be the right fit to help with your business.
PR/Publicist :: Pitch to magazines, sets up tv interviews and helps to create your overall visual exposure. If you stay on top of emails and content, but can't seem to get the attention you want, consider a PR agent.
Agent :: Helps broker deals, uses connections to make partnerships and expand your brand. When you're consistently getting sponsors, traffic is high and inquiries and larger pitches (tv, books) are being knocking on your door….. it might be the time to sign on an agent.
Art of the Pitch
Know What You Want :: small partnerships with brands, on-air personality, deals with Wal-Mart? Whatever your decision, all are ok. But at the end of the day, you are your brand's best representative. A big misconception is the agents do all the legwork for you. False. You and your agent work to gather opportunities through both of your networks and then the agent acts as final negotiator.
Networking :: This is really where it still all comes down too. No unsolicited requests for representation. New client ideas through trusted resources like friend circles, fellow clients, industry folk. Managers and PR reps slightly more accessible. A well formulated email pitches usually gets you a meeting.
Homework :: Research before reaching out. Know who've they've worked with, why you'd be a great fit alongside their other clients, areas you could benefit their roster and potential partnership ideas. Not only is it common courtesy, but it adds a level of professionalism and you can bet no rep walks into even casual meetings without doing their background check on you.