Always Write a Report About What You Learned

September 30, 200830 Comments

I’m back from my trip from Affiliate Incubator 2008 Dallas.

I learned a lot, and here’s my tip for attending seminars: Take whatever notes you write down and turn it into a PDF report, that you NEVER show anyone else.

Not only does it train you to keep pumping out 5 to 10 page reports, the information becomes a part of you because you retyped it and revised it.

If I had a clone who wasn’t able to attend the seminar, I could just hand this document over to him and he would have all the info without having to attend.

I’m a pretty rare note-taker.  If you’re a smart enough businessperson you know that 99% of what’s being said doesn’t apply to your business, but I still wrote about 10 pages of notes.

I took the best of Perry Belcher‘s AdWords tips, Ryan Deiss‘ continuity management, Mr. X‘s time management secrets, Frank Sousa‘s traffic tips, Russell Brunson‘s “moving the free line” and article marketing stuff, and Anik Singal‘s affiliate marketing techniques… plus some stuff I learned from chatting at meals and made it into an 8 page report.

To be honest, I walked out of all the other presentations to avoid information overload.  There’s only so much information you can absorb over a weekend, and with seminars I always avoid the newbie oriented stuff.

Now I’ve torn most of the pages out of my physical notebook and I have stuff to do for the next 30 days to keep me busy.

To be honest, looking back over my report, I’m going to ignore about half of the tips on there because I know I just won’ t have time for them.

Knowing what NOT to change on is even more important than knowing what to change in your business.

Anyway, my friend Jason Fladlien wrote up a quick report of his own about the 8 mistakes he saw being made at these seminars.

Some of these are truly classic, like the SEO guy and the “60 Second Rule.”  If you can’t make a decision about something, give yourself exactly 60 seconds to decide…. even if it’s the wrong choice.

P.S. No, I didn’t get to meet Russell, but I did meet Stu McLaren, Joel Christopher, Big Jason Henderson, Blake Milton, Bobby Walker, and more.  It was great to see Eric Louviere again, and Marc Harty talking about mini-days.

P.P.S. I’m also on an article writing frenzy, setting aside one hour per day to write 7 articles… before I come off this seminar high.

Today’s Question: What’s your best post-seminar productivity tip?  How do you get back on track, and maintain that seminar high?

I need my ten comments… if I don’t get them, I’m never attending another seminar ever again.

Please take a moment to comment below.

Filed in: Seminars
Tagged with: 60 second ruleaffiliate incubatoranik singlacontinuity blueprintfrank sousajason fladlienmr. xrussell brunsonryan deissstu mclarentraffic geyser

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  1. Robert,

    Thanks for the link! I appreciate it. You’re absolutely right about ducking out of the seminars because of too much info. I’m glad we went geo-caching instead. That was fun.

    What you told me one day about how you made a list of “this is what I’m going to do in the first hour when I get home from the seminar” and “this is what I’m going to do in the first day” was an awesome strategy.

    What I like to do is “the big 3″. I ask myself: “What are the three things I can takeaway from this to implement in my business?”

    Here’s my list:
    1. “big box” high ticket item of all my products together.
    2. Need more lead generation material. Spend second half of work day solely on creating lead generation content.
    3. Push my time management product more, based on the reactions I was getting. I got a few different ideas for marketing it, based on seminar feedback.

    And that’s it. That’s my to-do list!

    -Jason

  2. Deep Arora says:

    Hi Robert,

    I agree… seminars can be great while you’re actually IN them, and kinda “not great” when you’re out of it. I mean note taking is an important activity that keeps what you learn in your head for a longer period of time.

    When I attend seminars, and if it’s allowed, I turn on my portable audio recorder. I politely ask because I wanted to get the most of everything said. Some say OK, while others give me a slight grin… so not allowed.

    When I come back to the office or back home, I re-type what I scribbled in my notebook so I can print a clearer version of it.

    -Deep Arora

  3. Stu McLaren says:

    Robert,

    It was great seeing you this weekend :)

    My tip for seminars actually applies BEFORE you even attend. The key is to know where you’re at in your business and what information will help you the most.

    For example, if someone doesn’t have a product idea or something to sell online, then they are most likely going to get the biggest benefit from sessions on “product creation” or “affiliate marketing”.

    For someone who already has a product selling online, sessions like “traffic generation” or “conversion strategies” are more applicable.

    Lastly, if someone has a successful business, the focus for them is more about “business building”, “back-end marketing” and “creating business systems”.

    When you know these things going into the seminar, you’re able to focus in on the content that will bring you the biggest benefit.

    With that said, I ALWAYS think that there are many side benefits to attending seminars and you alluded to one of them in your post – the networking.

    There is nothing more powerful for building relationships than shaking hands with someone and talking to them face-to-face. It’s easily the fastest way to “connect” and no matter what level your business is at, building powerful relationships will help you get to where you want to be a whole lot faster.

    This is definitely a great post and I my hope is that people pay attention to it and apply what is being shared :)

    Take care and all the best.

    Stu McLaren

  4. Angela says:

    Hi Robert,

    I was doing a search to see who else was writing about Affiliate Incubator and came across your blog. Great advice you have here! I went to all of the seminars and yes it definitely is a little mind-boggling to try to absorb everything.

    Your point on knowing what not to change is so true. I work with a number of clients and sometimes people come back from these types of events with so many things to do and not enough focus. It’s so important not to lose the end goal and try to do everything I think.

    Anyway, didn’t meet you at the event but nice to meet you now :)

    Angela

  5. Samuel says:

    Jason’s report really kicks butt! Short & sweet, to the point & that’s the kinda info that people really need to know & to act on…..

  6. Well,

    I’ve never attended a seminar and never will, but I was interested in the reference to the “seminar high”.

    That’s the clever thing about running seminars.

    The people in charge are actually using ‘mass hypnotism’ to con the attendees out of their hard earned cash and give them all notebooks full of false dreams.

    Two days later they’ll all be back at their mundane jobs.

    Until the next time, and so it will go on ‘ad infinitum.’

    Some will wake up to the fact that they are being conned, but sadly, most will think they will make money from the “next one”.

    Pathetic, really.

    The Beachcomber

  7. Robert Plank says:

    I’ve never attended a seminar and never will, but I was interested in the reference to the “seminar high”.

    That’s the clever thing about running seminars.

    The people in charge are actually using ‘mass hypnotism’ to con the attendees out of their hard earned cash and give them all notebooks full of false dreams.

    That’s what I thought seminars would be like at first, I was afraid I would have to leave my wallet in my hotel room or else I would be hypnotized to buy a $10,000 coaching package… but those seminar speakers actually get very few sales… usually I only see one or two.

  8. Bob Stovall says:

    Whenever I come out of a seminar, I try to pick the three most important tips I learned and implement them in the first week after returning.

    Then, I go on to others in order or importance (in my opinion). Usually by the time I get a good way down the list, I’ve attended another seminar, listened in on another teleseminar, or read a great PDF or blog post and the cycle begins again.

    4 more comments and you can start making travel arrangements again Robert.

  9. X says:

    “The people in charge are actually using ‘mass hypnotism’ to con the attendees out of their hard earned cash and give them all notebooks full of false dreams.”

    That was my favorite part of the weekend. The part where we sinister geniuses got together and plotted ways to brainwash the unsuspecting masses and steal their hard earned money.

    Dude, you’re a moron. The next time I wipe my ass I’ll remember to say goodbye when I flush you down the toilet.

    Here’s what was on my action list when I got home:

    1. Start using Traffic Geyser – NOW.
    2. Implement Perry Belcher’s “thought stringing” into my PPC (brilliant stuff)
    3. Re-focus on systematizing and outsourcing.

    I met a ton of great people at the event to include Robert and Jason. Stu and Russell are good people and man, I’ve never had a dinner quite like we had that last night! Was that a dream?

    X

    PS – Robert – hope you don’t mind me abusing your blog readers. :-)

  10. Robert Plank says:

    1. Start using Traffic Geyser – NOW.

    I know, some of that stuff looked amazing! Up until this weekend I totally dismissed video submitters just the same as article submitters (submit to 995 sites with PR0 and 5 that actually matter). But heck, TG makes the landing pages for you, lets you schedule video posts, even runs a teleprompter for you to record talking head videos? Way cool stuff.

    I’m on an article writing campaign (7 articles a day) but once I get to 100, I’m going to spend an afternoon making them into PowerPoint videos, then I’ll use Traffic Geyser to blast them all out to video sites and see what happens.

    2. Implement Perry Belcher’s “thought stringing” into my PPC (brilliant stuff)

    That was brilliant, totally in the “I wish I’d thought of that” category. I still use AdWords but I gave up on the content network for ads a long time ago, before they introduced Gmail. Time to get back into that.

    I met a ton of great people at the event to include Robert and Jason. Stu and Russell are good people and man, I’ve never had a dinner quite like we had that last night! Was that a dream?

    I know, best steak I’ve had in years, and did you see how large Big Jason’s piece of pie was for dessert? I wish I’d thought to take a picture of that!

    PS – Robert – hope you don’t mind me abusing your blog readers. :-)

    Go for it… I do that every day.

  11. Lou D'Alo says:

    Couldn’t agree more, Robert.

    I was taking notes manually, but found that I couldn’t write as fast as I could type, and I could never find my notes in the pile of physical files I keep (structured filing is not my thing. *grin*).

    Buyt recently I started bringing my laptop into the seminars and mind-mapping the presentations – I’m totally hooked.

    I have mindmaps of the basic info, plus a parallel mindmap of resources that I want to check out (books, links, software, people, etc), and I have a third mindmap track on action ideas.

    I like to go through and review the mindmap, but I can also export the mindmaps easily into word and pdf – so I can consume it and repurpose it easily.

    I’ve come out of three day seminars with mindmaps that translate into 150 pages of word/pdf notes!

    What else is great about this? I can file it on my hard drive and Google Desktop retrieves the notes and content any old time within seconds. Suh-weet.

    There’s a bunch of free mindmap softwares around (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindmap_software ) but I personally don’t find they’re as feature rich and easy-to-use as the Mindjet Manager (Lite) software.

    I use the $99 version (not the $349 PRO) version and it does the job fine. There’s a 30 day free trial at http://Mindjet.com.

    Lou

  12. Joe says:

    Thanks for great points, Robert. I always get lost after a seminar, so also appreciate the couple comments on “pick your Top 3 Things”–now maybe I will get some implementation out of these!!

    Keep up the good work.

  13. Star Riley says:

    I was very happy to have met you and create another online friendship and while I sat with you and jason eating dinner I was soaking up some great tid bits.

    I love to see people who are down to earth and not big headed yet rise thru the ranks. Thanks fdor all the insights.

    Would love if your offers had another option other than paypal as i’m the head of a seriouse group of Paypal sucks forum members.

    “Your Online Friend.”

  14. Paydex says:

    Robert, I think you’ll safely be able to go to future seminars… you have 11 comments already!

    :D

  15. Terence says:

    Is that the real ‘X’ abusing your commenters or someone pretending to be him/her? :-)

    If it’s a copycat he’s sure got his style down to a tee.

    Anyway,that Traffic Geyser sounds very interesting and ‘thought stringing’ has my curiosity meter maxed out.

  16. I like what Stu said about knowing where you are in your business. Going to seminars can be a drain on both your budget and your time, if you don’t use them wisely.

    I think it’s useful for IMers to go to at least a couple IM seminars. It expands your mind, you get to meet people who were previously name, and sitting around with a millionaire or two — who are sitting in the audience — definitely resets your frame of what’s possible.

    I was in a company that was started in 2006 where all 7 principles had never met each other in person. In fact, I was the only person, at the time, who had met the person who was semi-responsible for us getting together: Mike Filsaime. (And, in fact, several of us met for the first time at WIMME.)

    My top tips:
    * Bring business cards
    * Collect other folks’ business cards
    * Bring a camera & get pictures of you with other folks.

  17. Robert Plank says:

    Is that the real ‘X’ abusing your commenters or someone pretending to be him/her? :-)

    If it’s a copycat he’s sure got his style down to a tee.

    It’s got to be him, he mentioned the steakhouse where we all went out to eat.

  18. Bern says:

    If I followed Jason’s advice on information overload, to have laser focus and ignore anything that does not directly impact my business, I would not be buying your products or reading this blog.

    Whilst I can see his point, (most conferences are about self promotion not edution). I have always progressed in business by being able to take people beyond the obvious. Unfortunately that requires that you explore the opportunities, relationships and knowledge around your chosen niche.

    The real skill is the innate sense of what to pursue, knowing how far to delve and when to stop. I do agree though most published information can be reduced to the about key 5%. The rest is waffle and noise.

  19. Robert Plank says:

    If I followed Jason’s advice on information overload, to have laser focus and ignore anything that does not directly impact my business, I would not be buying your products or reading this blog.

    So you’re saying you buy my products and do nothing with them? You don’t use them on your web sites to make more money, then what is the point?

    Whilst I can see his point, (most conferences are about self promotion not edution). I have always progressed in business by being able to take people beyond the obvious. Unfortunately that requires that you explore the opportunities, relationships and knowledge around your chosen niche.

    I have learned a TON from every seminar I’ve been to. When I watch someone speak at an event and I don’t learn something, it’s because they are focusing on the newbie oriented stuff, I’ve rarely seen all pitch and no content.

    I only get offended if someone DOESN’T try to pitch me something at the end.

  20. Jason says:

    Thanks for this post Robert and also thanks to Jason for the report. Both are bang on for me as well as timely.

    It reassures me of my recent decision to go to my first live event. I mean the bigger ones are very hard to find up here.

    I keep getting the advice to do it, so I am.

    Both of your tips and Jason’s are going to come in really handy in November.

    Alright back into action mode. :)

    Thanks again and all the best,

    Jason

  21. Robert Plank says:

    Both of your tips and Jason’s are going to come in really handy in November.

    Cool, what seminar are you attending?

  22. Donna Maher says:

    Wow… some outstanding tips here, yours and the comments from your readers.

    There is a place to get the “Thought Stringing” in a PDF without sharing any info… pretty slick, I just downloaded it and will be reading shortly.

    Here’s Ryan Deiss’ site where you get the ebook: http://www.wholesaletrafficsystem.com/stringing/

    I’ve only been to one seminar, and I came home with such high hopes, totally mind-boggled, and a sore wrist from taking notes on every speaker… now I know better how to tackle seminars thanks to you and all your terrific readers.

    Have a good one!

    Donna

  23. Robert Plank says:

    I’ve only been to one seminar, and I came home with such high hopes, totally mind-boggled, and a sore wrist from taking notes on every speaker… now I know better how to tackle seminars thanks to you and all your terrific readers.

    Oh yeah, definitely don’t take notes on every speaker. There is no way you are going to be able to do AdWords campaigns at 8 AM, AdSense at 9 AM, CPA networks at 10 AM, article marketing at 11 AM, forum marketing at 12 PM, product creation at 1 PM, etc.

    When I went to my first seminar (Warrior event in Austin — April 2008) I noticed myself keeping track of who was ALWAYS taking notes, about every speaker. I made it a point not to approach those people. Because who would want to joint venture with somebody with that kind of Internet Marketing A.D.D.?

  24. Hey Punk Kid,

    I abandoned seminars and company meetings a long long time ago!

    I determined, fairly quickly, it was a needless waste of time and money, not unlike many stupid unnecessary regular company type meetings.

    In the past I decided that regular company meetings should be avoided at all costs unless it is project progress type meeting or think tanks,unless they dock your paycheck in my case, as a waste of your precious time and then later concluded that seminars were ,for the most part, a waste of money and precious time.

    Since your still just a punk kid, you can be easily be forgiven for not being fully aware of this phenomena. lol

    However, you are right on man when it comes to converting your notes, like from Biochemistry, Nursing and Medicine lectures etc to PDF

    When you have to rewrite your notes into a more legible form it re enforces the learning process and you are less apt to forget the important stuff from the lectures, then of course read the assigned chapters and do the recommend problems at the end of the chapter your mentor recommends.

    Although I don’t know short hand you must develop your own style of shorthand to keep up with the lectures,this tip is intended for one of the above comments. Sorry, I forgot which one you were.

    Yours very sincerely and respectfully,
    Frank Funston Eckdall
    Esquire
    aka Johnny Pissoff or Mad Max

  25. Jason says:

    Hi Robert,

    Sorry I missed the reply, battling a bad cold right now.

    I’m going to the World Internet Summit in Toronto Nov 6-9.

    I already live far enough north of there to begin with, so I jumped at an opportunity to get to this one as I can drive to it.

    I don’t ever recall it coming here (Ontario) and didn’t want to miss the opportunity.

    It’s going to be a huge shift for me to be at a live event of any kind which is a good thing.

    All the best,

    Jason

  26. Hi Robert,

    What I took away from Affiliate Incubator was a plan to throw out most of what I’d been doing (unproductive and time & money consuming) and focus on one business model until I make it work. I kind of created a hybrid from some of the various presentations that I’m going to run with.

    Oh, and I’m seriously increasing my use of Traffic Geyser (submitted 15 videos last night for an affiliate offer). It will be an interesting experiment as every single keyword I targeted had reasonable volume yet was under 300k search results, and each video’s keywords were tightly grouped by relevancy. Plus I haven’t yet done any other promo for the squeeze page, so all traffic will be video related.

    This morning I’m just starting to see some placements in the SERPS; not as high as I wanted, but it’s only been 12 hours…

    My method for keeping that “high” around as long as possible? I typed out a half page (in big letters) 10 point action plan and stuck it on the wall right above my computer. So far so good…

    Cheers
    Jonathan

  27. Robert thanks alot for your recent help about a PHP email question I had.

    For those of you who have not purchased from Robert before let me publicly say his support is second to none.

    I purchased his most recent package and had a question and instead of trying to charge me more money (which I would have gladly paid) he was able to help me figure out what needed to be done in only 3 email exchanges.

    Thanks again for your products and your support.

    J.R.

    http://www.jrjackson.com

  28. Nigel Thomas says:

    Sorry to post here but I’m not sure where else I can post! I need some help with PaySensor set up.

    1. The set up instructions refers to the ‘sales page url’ (// URL to the forum thread where the special offer is being held). I’m not entirely sure what this means – I have many sales pages leading to many products. Is it necessary to fill this part in or can I just leave it blank? (ie. $sales_url2 = “”; in the config script).

    2. Also, for a few of the products I sell I would like an email also cc’d to a second email address after the purchase has been made. Not for all products though just a couple of them. Is this possible? If yes, how do I do it.

    Many thanks!

    Nigel

  29. Robert – You’re always so good about taking ACTION and sharing what you learn. Truly a gift to the rest of us.

    BTW – I’ve read Jason’s report and it is EXCELLENT! He shared some great tips for getting the most from a seminar – and naturally mentions you sharing in the fun.

    My best post-seminar productivity tip? I use spreadsheet-based trackers to run my business (I share all of them in my Organize Your Online Business product). So as soon as I get out of the seminar room, I take the “keepers” and “to-dos” that I have in my notes and add them to my Activity Tracker – all under a new tab for that specific conference. For each I set a deadline and the project it relates to. Then I just start working my way through them.

    Since I tend to remember the event more than I do the task, I find that keeping them all under one tab makes it easy to refer to “that” URL I remember Stu mentioning or “that” idea I got from Armand.

    Jeanette

  30. Robert, you’ll soon have 20 days of silence on your blog. Que pasa?

    As always, your blog is interesting (read: controversial) and it’s nice to be able to discuss the various elements of your posts.

    Good points about releasing a report for each thing we have learned, and I agree. If one’s own learning can help others learn it’s actually spreading the good methods that worked for ourselves.

    Good idea. :-)

    Have a nice weekend everyone. :-)

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