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50 Tips and Life Lessons I Learned at Affiliate Summit

Written by: | Published: August 23, 2012 | Updated: June 05, 2017

I attended Affiliate Summit East 2012 earlier this month. I had the opportunity to speak on a panel with a few good friends as well as host the Newcomer Program meetup. I met fantastic new people, sat in on ome amazingly informative sessions about business and marketing and I had a great time at the after hours events. I absolutely love this show because the people involved have such a wide variety of interests yet many of them are successful work-at-home business owners. We swap ideas, share experiences and brainstorm new ideas to hopefully make the next big thing happen. The Affiliate Marketing industry is a wonderfully diverse space – I love the energy of it all!

Affiliate Summit East 2012
Affiliate Summit East 2012

When I attend Affiliate Summit, I have the unique position of being a creative professional in a sea of technically savvy, internet marketing specialists. My geek side loves the interaction, my creative side thrives on figuring out how to put the information I learn from this event to good use both for my business and personal growth. So after attending over 15 different sessions, having a number of fantastic conversations and a long plane ride to think it all through, this is what I came up with that I think you can benefit from too.

Affiliate Summit East 2012
Affiliate Summit East 2012 (and that’s not really a saxophone is it?)

On the plane ride home I sat for 3 hours writing down all the people I met, talked to and ideas they inspired. These aren’t quotes or exact lessons – They are bits of wisdom I want to remember that came from a combination of events, comments and observations each inspired by someone in particular. Some thoughts I already knew and want to remember to focus on. Others are bits of insight I gained from people I chatted with while in NY who didn’t even attend the show. Further still are examples of things I think some people should have learned themselves first and I’m merely noting the lesson we can all gain from.

Affiliate Summit East 2012
Affiliate Summit East 2012 – photo from Greg Hoffman – I <3 NY!

50+ tips I learned at Affiliate Summit East 2012
– Here’s to our future success:

Tips for Business

  1. Find something you truly enjoy and it will be amazing how hard you’ll work and it won’t even feel like work. ~ Pat Grady – RhinoFish
  2. If you have a great brand and understand your customer you have the upper hand.  But, when you think you are the customer… it’s tricky to really get a good view of what the customer really wants. ~ Sara Levinson
  3. Don’t use who you are as an excuse for why you aren’t where you want to be. Don’t blame others for your lack of success. If you want to move ahead, you have to make it happen. ~ Rae Hoffman –
  4. Get to know your audience, find out their  primal need – the unconscious ultimate desire driving the customers in your niche. e.g. For my own site offerings,  I think of this example: My audience is people seeking DIY inspiration. They might really want to give nice handmade gifts they create themselves to their friends and family. So by offering tutorials, supplies and ideas for making your own beautiful handmade items, I will be satisfying the primal need of my customers to create unique handmade gifts and decor. What your customers “need” might not be initially be apparent so start with understanding where they are at and then determine what they really want. ~ Chris Haddad – Moneyfingers Inc.
    Affiliate Summit East 2012
    Affiliate Summit East 2012 – A couple of my favorite peeps


  5. If you are in business, treat your customers with respect and don’t take for granted they’ll always be there. ~ all the people that found a new hangout at the Irish Pub Around the Corner
  6. Be open to new ideas and opportunities you can get involved in. Your expertise might be exactly what will take a project to the next level. ~ James Martell
  7. Always be open to the idea that a door you close today, or a project you put away, might open up again and create a whole new exciting opportunity. ~ Jeremy Palmer –
  8. Be accessible and do what you can to help. ~ Jed Duffield – The Fruit Company
  9. Don’t be afraid to ask others to take a look at what you’re doing and give feedback. A new set of eyeballs can make the difference and really help grow your business.  ~ all the people that volunteered to share at various site reviews
  10. Do your job and do it well even when you might be up against a  bunch of singing hippies. ~ Hilton security guy that kept busting up our parties
Tips for Marketing
  1. Invest time to market and grow your business. There is no such thing as “I don’t have time”, it’s about making time. ~Mike Nunez –
  2. Always have your game face ready, you never know when you’ll have the opportunity to stop and talk shop. ~ Liz Glazer – Growth Spurt Media
  3. Be your brand. ~ Shannon Vogel – The Be Scene
  4. Make time to help your customers and they’ll be excited to tell others what you have to offer. ~ Scott Jangro
  5. Create an environment to encourage involvement and creativity and your loyal following will surprise you with their ability to not only participate with enthusiasm, but inspire others to join in. ~ Share a Sale Disco Party
  6. Everyone is a potential customer. Don’t disregard people you assume are not a fit without qualifying your assumptions. You really have no idea the impact your lack of interest might have on your business. ~ The Google booth
Affiliate Summit East 2012
Affiliate Summit East 2012 – Share a Sale Disco Party

Tips for Working Online

  1. You need to build your website or blog to build credibility and establish you as an authority in your field. Write regularly to demonstrate your expertise. When you design your site and logo and even when you write your content, make sure you use your own unique voice so you stand out. ~ Zac Johnson and John Rampton –
  2. When Google updates and you have a drop in traffic, sometimes the drops in traffic are good. Google is helping to define more specific content appropriate to each topic/keyword sending more of the right traffic instead of just broad traffic. – Eric Nagel
  3. Stop worrying so much about figuring out technical gaming tricks for SEO and start thinking back to how you would  have connected with real people to sell stuff before the internet. ~ Wil Reynolds – SEER Interactive
  4. WordPress rocks, there’s really no reason to use anything else if you need a content management system. ~ everyone (I already knew this but wanted to throw it in here anyway because it’s that big a deal to note.)
Affiliate Summit East 2012
Affiliate Summit East 2012 – Brazilian Steakhouse Night


Tips for relationships and working with people 

  1. Take the time to praise people and appreciate them for their work and they will work twice as hard for you. ~ Heather Blackburn – Carousel Checks (shameless plug – look for JGoode penguins here)
  2. Collaborate with others to make something happen that you can all benefit from. ~ Greg Hoffman – Greg Hoffman Consulting
  3. Real friends are rare. Remember to appreciate them. ~ Lisa Picarelle
  4. Take the time to ask someone about themselves. You might be surprised by what you learn. ~ Robert, I didn’t catch his last name.
  5. Don’t be greedy. Listen when someone says no. ~Blood shot eyeball panhandler guy
  6. Be kind but be blunt. Genuine feedback is far more valuable and not beating around the bush prevents misunderstandings and results in improvements much faster. ~ Charlie Calabrese – Performance Horizon Group
  7. When you spend time listening to others and doing what you can to make them happy, you’ll end up with a following that will bend over backwards to do whatever ever they can to help you succeed. ~ Brian Littleton – Share a Sale
  8. Speak your mind – but be polite about it ~ girl on the subway that got pissy at me for accidentally whacking her in the head with my ponytail
Affiliate Summit East 2012
Affiliate Summit East 2012 – Me and Kim Rowley

Tips for Finding Your Own Success

  1. Gumption will take you to the top. – Missy Ward –
  2. Follow through with your promises. Sometimes it might seem like you’re just one little person, you can still do your part and be a super hero at the end of the day.  ~ Stephanie Lichtenstein – Micro Media Marketing
  3. Be open to sharing ideas with others. Find 2-3 other like minds to collaborate and coordinate with. Share ideas, brainstorm together, ask and give advice to each other and you will find yourself increasing your success. ~ Jonah Lehrer – Imagine How Creativity Works (great book)
  4. Teaching a skill is half the strategy to successful learning – inspiring and encouraging engagement and excitement to want to learn a skill is where to start. ~ Ntiedo (NT) Etuk – DimensionU
  5. Give value first – success will follow. ~Dave Cupples –
  6. Ask for help. You can’t possibly do it all and that’s ok. ~ Andi –
  7. Try something new, even if you think you’ve tried it already. You might find you like it the 5th time around. ~ One of the Attendants in Box #7 at the Yankees, Rangers Game
  8. Find your own meaning in things and pass-it-on for others to define themselves. ~ Jason Rabucky – #GetSome
    Affiliate Summit East 2012
    Affiliate Summit East 2012  


  9. If you find yourself in a new situation, just jump in and don’t hold back. You’ll come out of it with new insight and probably a whole bunch of new friends. ~ Ashley Coombe
  10. Trust your friends that you can be  honest with them even if you aren’t proud of things you need to tell them. ~ Good friend – I’m not telling you their name
  11. If you want something, go for it and be proud of what you accomplish even if it doesn’t look like what you envisioned. ~ Daniel M. Clark –
  12. What you expect or envision and what you end up with aren’t always going to be the same. Set a goal and go for it. ~ Tanner Schepper – Texas Rangers
  13. Ask questions. You might learn something new about yourself. ~ Lisa Ann – Craftsy
  14. If you find yourself in a situation you didn’t expect, keep your eye on the end goal and remember you can make it through a better person regardless of who else is on your side. ~ Trisha Lyn Fawver
Affiliate Summit East 2012
Affiliate Summit East 2012 – Monster Ball

Tips for Happiness

  1. Do something that makes you happy. ~ Kim Rowley –
  2. Remember what your true passion is and make time to enjoy it regularly ~ Julie Balzer – Balzer Designs
  3. Enjoy every day and share that happiness with everyone else around you. ~ Heather in BC
  4. Enjoy just being there. ~Bhavik Modi
  5. Be who you are without worrying who you might run into or what other’s might think. If you’re true to yourself, doors will open regardless ~ Shawn Collins and his Birkenstocks – Affiliate Tip
  6. Dance like no one is watching. You’ll be happy and you might even find those around you will stop watching and start dancing with you.  ~ Danielle Feinnberg – GTO Management
  7. Take time to indulge in things you love. ~ the Brazilian Steakhouse crew.. mmmmmmm!

And my tip for you:
Say hello to someone you don’t know – you might just make a new friend or better yet, a new business contact.

If you stop for a minute and think about things every day, you can learn from everyone you run into, you can learn from every situation and you can definitely pass on that knowledge if you take time to share it. Thank you to everyone that taught me something new, reminded me of something important and took the time to say hello at Affiliate Summit East in New York!


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Jen is Passionate about Creativity. She is the owner and "doodle in charge" of JGoode Designs, a Denver based design studio. She is an illustrator, mixed media artist and creative lifestyle blogger. Jen has been a creative professional since 1998 but says she's been an artist since she was old enough to eat glue.

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9 thoughts on “50 Tips and Life Lessons I Learned at Affiliate Summit”

  1. what a terrific recap of all the take-away highlights from this amazing event! brought it all back to me like it was last week. LOL – oh , it was last week ๐Ÿ™‚ Great photos too (wink wink). thanks for putting all these great tips into an inspiring post!

  2. Jen — you consistently amaze me. This post is phenomenal and really captures the essence of what Shawn and I try to accomplish with the Affiliate Summit Conferences — an environment in which people of all different backgrounds, in so many different business niches that somehow connect through affiliate marketing can all get together to learn from each other to help create better lives for ourselves, our families and our communities — all while having a bit of fun!
    This list of 50 nuggets is very inspirational and for some reason, got me all sappy.
    This one tickled me: “Do your job and do it well even when you might be up against a bunch of singing hippies. ~ Hilton security guy that kept busting up our parties” (It was totally awesome when he told us “I’m leaving… just letting you know that I’m leaving… wink, wink)! Thanks again for everything you do!


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