Last year, I caught some of Suzi’s tweets from Copyblogger’s Authority 2014 conference. The conference had only just wrapped up but I knew I HAD to be there in 2015. So I bought a ticket. A year later, I was flying to Denver, very excited. It was, quite simply, the best conference I’ve ever been to and I wanted to share three business changing takeaways from three of the presenters. I hope they’ll give you a flavour of the event and maybe get you excited about booking your ticket for 2016! A quick summary of who was there: DAY 1:
- Dan Pink: The ABCs of Selling
- Scott Brinker: Interactive Content Design: Moving Marketing from Communications to Experiences
- Pamela Wilson: Designing a Warm Customer Experience in a Cold Online World
- Sonia Simone: Evil’s Guide to Landing Page Design
- Ann Handley: Good Content vs. Good-Enough Content
- Jerod Morris: The 4 Essential Elements of a Remarkable Podcast
- Bernadette Jiwa: The Secret to Creating Content People Love
- Chris Brogan: Use Content and Community to Earn More Customers
- Sally Hogshead: The Art and Science of Fascination in Your Marketing
- Danny Sullivan: The State of Search Marketing in 2015
- Michael King: How to Get More of the Right Traffic
- Joe Pulizzi: The 6 Steps to Building a Massive Audience with Content
- Joanna Lord: How to Create a Culture of Testing for Maximum Growth
- Sean D’Souza: How to Sell Less and Make More
- Scott Stratten vs. Ryan Deiss: Customer Experience vs. Conversion
- Henry Rollins.
As you can imagine, there was a lot of great content. There was a consistent theme though — of being true to yourself, being honest to your audience, and offering value outside of your products and services. Narrowing this to just three was actually quite hard and if you’re interested in a deeper dive into each speaker, you can read my in-depth summary here.
Dan Pink: The ABCs of Selling
Dan Pink is all about selling and he opened his presentation highlighting the bad rap that selling gets. He asked the audience how they felt about selling and he heard words like YUCK, BULLY, SLIMY, PUSHY, and worse! He highlighted that these responses are strongly linked to the model designed to sell to our parents and grandparents, when sellers had all the information and power. Now that consumers are armed with as much — if not more — information, the process of selling has changed. Modern selling is all about understanding needs, helping people make sense of the information they have and helping them make a choice to overcome their challenges.
One big takeaway
You have to make it easy for people to take action. Dan called this giving them an off-ramp. He cited a story of influencing students to donate to a food drive. Two donation letters were sent. One simply asking for a donation, and one also asking for a donation but with specific information on how and where to donate. The more detailed letter got much better results. The tip: Give people plenty of details on how to say yes and what happens next.
Ann Handley: Good Content vs. Good-Enough Content
Ann is an author, marketer, and Chief Content Officer waging war on content mediocrity. And she’s utterly awesome. Ann opened her presentation talking about how undervalued brand voice is in the business-to-business (B2B) space. As more companies take on content marketing, more noise is bombarding our audience. We need to develop a unique voice for our business if we want it to stand out and be relevant to customers. Ann challenged us to test our content by covering our logos and placing it amongst competitor content. If we can’t recognise our content (from its voice) then we haven’t differentiated ourselves enough.
One big takeaway
Use ‘micro copy’ to find interesting ways to say boring stuff. Micro copy is the copy that appears in small moments like loading and error messages, FAQs, Instagram, popovers (or popups), and calls to action. All these small moments can be a fun and interesting way to tell our brand story and differentiate our business.
Sean D’Souza: How to Sell Less and Make More
Sean is Marketing Strategist at Psychotactics and a cartoonist, but I don’t think that really does him justice. This is the presentation I got most value from as he packed it with really actionable advice. I’m rewriting some of my landing pages and restructuring my products as a direct result! Sean opened his presentation talking about price and value, reminding us we buy on value (not price). Price tends to dominate when customers don’t have information so we can increase the value – and price – by giving them relevant information. He showed us the benefits of creating a Yes-Yes System (rather than a Yes-No System).
- When promoting your product or service, don’t make it a choice between a yes and no. Make it a choice between yes (the product) and yes (the product + bonus).
- Offering a bonus shifts the focus and the bonus becomes more important than the product.
- Comparison is key.
He demonstrated this with examples of a coffee or a coffee plus a muffin. If you had to choose, you’d choose the coffee with the muffin, right? So the offer becomes all about the muffin! To make the Yes-Yes system work you need:
- Exactly the same product on offer
- A must-have bonus
- A price difference that is no greater than 15%
- A call to action
One big takeaway
When selling products, present a regular option and premium option. Three options, however, just make more work for us when we can get the same results from just two options. Learn more with some free resources from Sean.
Other favourite moments:
- Chris Brogan speeding through slides — he didn’t want to talk about and get distracted by the light show.
- Ann Handley chuckling manically at her own slides
- Sally Hogshead having Jägermeister shots on stage at 8:30 a.m. Yes, you read that correctly.
- The organisation: Copyblogger really invested in the wifi, the AV, the food, and the booze. I also loved the single stream so we never had to choose between speakers.
- The music: Each presenter walked on to a classic rock anthem and it made the whole event feel ultra cool.
- The attendees: Almost everyone echoed a variation of the thought, “These are my people!”
- Henry-freaking-Rollins as the closing keynote.
- “Design a customer experience that delights, builds trust and makes friends.“ — Pamela Wilson
- “Don’t make people want something. Make something people want.” — Bernadette Jiwa
- “Find out the people you want to work for. Find out where they want to go. Help them get there.” — Bernadette Jiwa
- “’Different’ is better than ‘better.’” – Sally Hogshead
- “YOUR WORD IS YOUR INTEGRITY AND THAT IS EVERYTHING.” – Henry Rollins
So that’s my wrap up. I hope you got a feel of what it was like to be there. I’m just waiting for the chance to secure my spot in 2016! (Photos by Ethan Beute)