Summary: Stephen talks about his key takeaways from the recently concluded Content and Commerce Summit 2016 in Orlando.
[00:00:15] Stephen: Hey, Guys! Stephen Esketzis here from Marketing on the Move. I know it’s been a little while since I’ve released a podcast episode. I’ve been really busy lately and it’s been crazy. So, finally getting back. I just arrived yesterday, actually, from America, straight from Orlando from Content & Commerce Summit 2016. The Digital Marketer crew held their very first event at the Content & Commerce Summit. And I want to come to you guys and deliver you the value. I want to tell you what went down and some takeaways because, you know, I love doing that. It’s going to be one event of many that I’m going to be going to in the next six months. There’s a whole lot lined up actually, more than I really expected last year. [00:00:54] So, there are more events to come and I think you need a breakdown to help you guys who don’t get an opportunity to go to them, really give you an insight from someone that knows what they’re talking about and hopefully this helps you out a little bit. [00:01:07] So basically, what I want to share with you guys is three of the major takeaways from the Content and Commerce Summit. So, the very first one that I kind of picked up when I was there — well, let’s start with the most important one. Let’s start the most important takeaway from the whole event and that has to be — and I’ve said it before, your network. So, the networking there was absolutely phenomenal and I don’t say that very lightly, but after going to Traffic and Conversion Summit and Content and Commerce Summit, two events both hosted by Digital Marketer — I’ve Funnel Hacking Live, by ClickFunnels and a there’s few more in the pipeline for the next six months. But after that, biggest takeaway is definitely the networking. [00:01:54] Now, the networking is absolutely just — look, it’s hard to explain because until you go to an event, you can’t really say, “I know what it’s like and I can just say it for you.” You really got to be through different things until you get the networking in an event. So, the first thing is to be in a right point in your business. So, if you’re a new business owner, you’re not making much money, you’re still getting your systems, you’re still getting your business off the ground. In that case, the network wouldn’t be so great for you. You’re not going to get much out of the network. But if you’re actually a seasoned business owner who’s actually implementing things, keeping busy, then the networking is phenomenal. If you’re someone that needs partnerships, if you’re someone who’s looking to work with people, someone that’s looking to cross-promote and sell, you leverage people to build your business whether you need help with systems and whatever it is, importing, exporting. The network is just huge. [00:02:47] So, Content and Commerce was great. I compare it to a Traffic and Conversion somehow because Traffic and Conversion basically is a lot of people. There’s about 3,000 to 4,000 that were there. Content and Commerce only had about 1,400 for their first year which is fine. It’s a little bit smaller. And yeah, so it gave me an opportunity to really go deep with the people that were there rather than keep really busy, you know, just say hello to everyone then they disappear in the mist like Traffic and Conversion. [00:03:13] So, that was really valuable. I actually sat down, I spoke with a lot of people, different companies, all the booths. So one big ship that I had from this event from other events, is I realized I was out in the booth probably 70 percent of the time. I caught about 30 or 40 percent of the sessions, where the last event I went to, I caught maybe 60 or 70 percent of the session and only 30 or 40 percent of the networking that I did was there for the rest of the sessions; where this time I flipped it on its head, spent far more time networking than going to sessions and I got a massive, much bigger ROI from it. I built some great relationships, I built great rapport with people and I think that was really valuable. So you do have to go in there with a plan. Find the people that you want to speak to, put yourself out there. [00:03:58] These events, there’s a lot going on. People go drinking, people go out, people don’t just stay at the booths. You’ll be surprised how much business goes on beyond the booth, beyond the sessions. That’s where the real business is. So don’t be afraid to actually just step out from a session, speak to people in the booth, introduce yourself. Go out and cold introduce yourself. The amount of times I did that in this event was crazy because you start building rapport and then day three you see that same person, you connect again and have another quick great chat. Day three, you know them pretty well now. [00:04:25] So, you’ve got to make that effort to go out of your comfort zone. That’s one thing I saw a lot of. I feel a lot of people go to events and just sit there on their own, they’re having lunch on their own, they’re sitting there alone in the sessions. You can’t do that. It’s a waste of money. That’s when people go, “Oh, the event was okay, the content was okay.” If you’re actually going there, make sure you make the most of it. Don’t waste your time. Definitely get a hotel, stay at the hotel where the event is and just spend the entire day being down there at the event. The only time I was really away from speaking with people was lunch and even over lunch I was speaking with people, but I wasn’t at the booth. And then — yeah, that’s pretty much. I didn’t leave the event from the moment I got down to the moment I went back to the room in the evening, in which case I’d change, go back out and come back in the evening before I head to bed. So, it’s definitely something you need to invest in and get ready. [00:05:15] The second thing, this isn’t really a takeaway. This is just a bit of a note so I’m not going to make it number two. But leading on from number one, is make sure your body is in tiptop shape. I consider myself a pretty fit and healthy person but I was exhausted after halfway through day two. I was just like standing up all day, lots of talking. You really have to make sure your body’s in good shape and you’re eating healthy throughout the event; otherwise, you’re not going to get through it successfully. So, make sure you’re eating the right food, sitting down whenever you can. My legs were killing me throughout the event. Day two and three were just hell because you’re out at night, you’re out in the day, standing up the whole time. So, definitely sit down when possible and wear comfortable shoes. Also dress the part as well. There’s a bunch of people that go to these events, some of them are just in shorts and a t-shirt, tracksuit pants even. It’s ridiculous. And then you got others who are super dressed up in suits. [00:06:07] I think you want to be moderately quite well-dressed. Maybe not suit and tie, but you know, suit, shirt, pants, just look the part. You don’t have to be the standout, amazing person there. But you feel comfortable and look formidable. I think that’s probably the tips I’ve gotten in relation to dress code. [00:06:26] So number two, the second most important thing I found there was following on from the networking is the follow-up. Now this thing wasn’t rather like the takeaway from the content of the event, but the actual follow-up I had with people. So, once you’ve introduced yourself, you have a chat is — people ask what’s your business card, what’s this, what’s that. Make sure you’ve got a profile or something you can give them, something that speaks out. That was something I found that a bit of trouble with, but something I would change differently for the next event. Go here, put your information in, in that way we can connect. Many people I’ve got on Skype or Facebook or whatever, you need to have an organized list with people you connect with, have a note saying who they are and go from there. Systemize it really well. Also, before you go these events, have a list of people you kind of what to go in, with an idea of who you want to connect with. That really helps. [00:07:19] And a third takeaway was pretty much with the content. The biggest content takeaway I had was basically — and it’s an [inaudible 00:07:26] one. It’s not one specific piece of content. I’ll probably do another one of these. If you’re on my email list, I’ll send out two takeaways and I’ve still got two more to send today. But the third piece for actual content takeaway I had was you just got to go out and execute. That’s one of the biggest things I found, is when Digital Marketer — the whole event was surrounding Native Commerce, all their web properties and everything they do. I mean, they were going through everything. So they went through products, they went to fulfillment, they went through marketing, they went through everything. So, I could go on for hours and hours talking about what they do and how they do it marketing-wise, but what I realized is they built a team essentially and then they just executed. [00:08:03] So, the biggest thing that I see people being held back by all this is just execution. I met with someone who was phenomenal. He was in the war room. He’s part of the Digital Marketing Mastermind and I caught up with him and I — he’s just some guy that I thought I’d have a chat with and he doesn’t — a couple of million dollars a week or a month, something ridiculous, in just selling t-shirts through Facebook. Crazy numbers. I was really impressed and I go, “What’s your biggest takeaway? What makes you so successful versus everyone else?” He goes, “It’s just rules of execution. You’re going to get screwed over, you’re going to get pushed around, there’s going to be all these hills in the way but you just got to keep pushing it forward.” [00:08:41] And I noticed the same traits with Native Commerce. Like, there’s so many reasons why what they’re doing can’t work but they just keep pushing forward. They keep testing. They keep buying domains. They keep doing what they’re doing. They keep buying traffic. You got to find out the reason why something is not working and just attack it full on. And it’s something which I think not enough of us do and it’s a reminder for me as well, that if there’s something I really want to stay away from or there’s a job I really haven’t been wanting to do for a while, you just have to go out there and do it. There’s not easy way around it. Just figure out what’s the next step I need to take to solve this problem. And most people don’t solve problems because they don’t know what that next logical step is. So, figure that out and execute it. [00:09:20] But some quick tips in relation to the content; one big thing I took from Roland Frasier’s session was — he was talking about the trends of I think the 50 biggest retailers online. He was talking about going where your customer is, online to offline, moving yourself online to offline as well because this was an interesting statistic. I think it was 92 percent of all fails are made offline. So that leaves 80 percent online and then 50 percent of those 80 percent are made by Amazon. So really, everything is sold online, we’re fighting for 4 percent of the total sales that are ever made, that are made online. Out of all sales, only 4 percent we’re able to fight for. Four percent, Amazon owns and the other 92 are made offline. So, that’s a really interesting statistic. It just shows you how important it is to really get into things like retail because it opens up the doors so much. And pretty much the way Native Commerce have gone about it and that’s again, really smart and if you’re familiar with their Traffic and Conversion summit or Content and Commerce, you know, you get a bit of an idea and I’ve gone through this a few times, but they build that one web property, they leverage that to build up other web properties, they then leverage the customers to push them up on Amazon, they leverage their Amazon position to push them up in retail. And it’s a pretty smart strategy because it gets you into retail and that’s where, again, 92 percent of the purchases are made. So it’s very, very smart. And obviously, there’s a lot of intricacies to each of that but I think that’s really smart and it’s something which many people sort of — you know, they don’t strategize enough to get to that level. They just do the quick things to get the funnel up and they sort of just stick with that. [00:10:58] What else was there? And then Perry was talking about product-specific stuff. So, he is very product-oriented. If you’re familiar with Perry Belcher. So, Perry was talking about sourcing high-quality products. Not just products, but high-quality products. And it was interesting to see what that started out with when they were importing from China versus what they decided to do after all the revisions with their product. I think they took him like or five revisions before they managed to get products that they’re happy with in terms of quality. And it’s very different with going with the actual, try their own thing, the warehouses versus just making an order online and trying to order something. It makes a big difference. So someone else actually who wasn’t at the event but does a lot of that kind of stuff, is [Inaudible 00:11:44 ] Allen. I love his stuff as well. He has some great offers and great training around if you follow him. He’s got some great content. But that’s pretty much it. I met some great entrepreneurs literally all around the world. People from Hungary, I met people from America, people from Canada. I was the only Australian there I think. I had some friends from Columbia. Literally people from all over. [00:12:04] So, I highly recommend going to these events, guys. The investment isn’t very much in terms of what you get out of it. Again, make sure you’re at the right point in your business when you’re doing your best to go with them — to them. But the ROI is very big. So, you know, I made contacts and SEO paid traffic, affiliate, network, Click Funnel software, vendors, strategies that I can take away. And basically the investment you make — for example, this ticket I picked up for only, I think $300 or $400 when they were doing their early birds. The accommodation I think for three or four nights is only about $1,000. So all up, probably looking at about $1,500 rounded up for a three-night accommodation, food, all that kind of stuff and it’s great ROI for $1,500 US. You’re going to be killing it. I’ve gotten almost — if you can make one sale of over $1,500 or $150, whatever it might be. Look at the ROI. That’s how I want to view it and see if it’s worth your time. The network as well, like there’s people here now I’m going to know for the next five, ten years of business. I can just instantly tell. And you guys should be able to figure that out, too, you know? Over the next five or ten years, are you going to be able to build that network and invest in that? [00:13:19] If I can network with 15, 20 people at one event and I’m paying $1,500, is it worth paying $50 network and build a relationship with one person? That’s kind of how you’re going to think about it as well. Look at it from not just the content, not just the network, but kind of an all in one experience. And it’s also good to travel. So, traveling is something I’m trying to do a bit more of and get comfortable with. I flew literally 25 hours, after 25 hours back just to be at this event. So that’s 50 hours of travel and it’s not cheap to fly internationally and, you know, the stresses and the headaches and the jetlag sort of coming back as well. I miss kind of half a day at work and it takes about a half a day, a day to prepare to go to these events. [00:13:57] So there is a lot involved but if I can do it, you guys can do it. There’s really no way you can’t avoid doing it. If your competitors are going to be going to events like this, then you literally have to make that effort because now I know — look, if there’s someone competing with me and I’ve gone to this event, you’re going to be way further behind because you can’t build a relationship and things like this over the internet for the entire lifespan of your business. You really have to get in there and get in person. You just can’t build a relationship like you can in person. It’s not possible. So, hopefully you guys get a bit of information and a bit of clarity on what went down in Content and Commerce. If you have any questions, hit me up. I’m on Facebook or on the podcast. I really need to get back into getting some interviews for this podcast. There’s a few people I want to speak to. It’s just been crazy busy. So hopefully I can get some people on to this podcast. I know there’s a few of you listening. Let me know who you want to hear from and I’ll make sure we get them on and spend some time in interviewing them; grab all the knowledge and then pluck it out and put it into the Marketing on the Move database. [00:14:59] So, let me know, guys. Hopefully you have had an awesome last week while I was away. It would be awesome to hear a reply to some of my emails. I just sent an email blog recently. Shoot me a reply to them. I would love to hear from you guys. I’m always checking emails while I’m flying and while doing work and whatever. So, feel free to hit me up and we’ll chat soon. Take care!