The Warrior Live Event in Orlando kicked off day 2 with a slow-moving line of attendees trying to get registered before the sessions started at 9 (which in the way of these things, actually began at 9.30!). Of course, all that meant was that there was a little longer to “network” with other folks – or at least, compare notes on hangovers.
I had a chat with Valerie DuVall at breakfast about her upcoming talk and her first-time nerves, but in the end she did a great job of talking the newer attendees through the kind of things they’d need to do to get attention on the forum. I’m not so “new” any more, but there was plenty in there for me too. She comes across as a really genuinely nice person and it was a welcome start to my day to be able to chat with someone so pleasant…..I probably ruined her breakfast 🙂
The actual opening speaker for the day was Erik Stafford, whose talk about branding (and the accompanying worksheets) were a really solid introduction to creating an “avatar” of your customer and then building your brand to attract them – and maybe drive away those that don’t fit at the same time. Erik has done work for a lot of really large customers as well as folk in the IM space, so I’ll definitely be keeping track of him for when I want a “makeover” of my own.
The next speaker up was Dan Page, mainly known on the forum for his WSO release called Search Engine Caffeine. He spoke about the “opportunities” that are all around us and how to both spot them and then capitalize on them quickly. A standout quote from Dan was “Your competitor can be your best friend” as he talked about how he had paid his competitors in a niche to send him their unconverted leads so he could break into thee market quickly. Dan’s a smart guy that doesn’t do IM conferences so often, so it was a pleasant surprise to get the benefit of his insights in Orlando.
A change of pace – Tim Castleman
After lunch we were hit by the one-man tsunami that is Tim Castleman!
I’ve not seen Tim speak live before, but he was precisely what was needed after the vast lunch in TGIs – (I confess I’m getting to point of wanting to coin a new acronym FNNFA – which ends “no not Fridays again!)
Tim is loud, fast and somewhat anglo-saxon in his choice of language and I loved every minute of it! He’s a natural speaker that brought the audience to life while discussing ways to produce and release small, low-cost reports and then using them to drive a full business behind the scenes. I may yet sign up for his offer, but regardless, I’ll be watching Tim for his combination of content and entertainment.
The contrast when Mike Cowles got up next was dramatic. As so many have said, your persona needs to be black or white, as you just can’t hope to attract all types of people to your site…..well this was white following black (or something like that :-))
Mike gave a great baseline walkthrough of the stuff needed to get a start in internet marketing – all the tools, sites and tweaks needed to get a site up and running quickly and successfully. As with most of the speakers, he made it clear that this stuff doesn’t happen with no work at all. That’s been one of the interesting surprises for me about the speakers so far, all emphasizing the “business” side of internet marketing. I’ve attended several of Mike’s webinars in the past and he always gives great content, so if you haven’t checked him out before, have a look now.
Chris Winters rounded out the day with an inspiring talk about where he has come from and where he has taken his business in the process. A former alcohol addict, Chris has both stopped drinking and also done a ton of work on his physique and his premise was that those tasks were not so different to succeeding in business. The dedication needed to get fit can be applied to other walks of life.
Chris now runs a pay-per-call business for local businesses and in the process skips all the normal “offline” work of SEO, Google Places etc etc that slow down the growth of an offline company (and need loads of support staff in the process). All he does now is generate phone call leads and his business has grown to over $1 million in little over a year. A great finish to the day and Chris would have taken my money if not for the fact that his solution is very US focused at the moment.
So, six great speakers, a bunch of giveaways and load of coffee later, the first day of talks was over…..check out these names, they are all going places fast.