I have just been to an amazing marketing conference in Norway. I’m not sure how to describe how excited I still am, but I have been to a three hour seminar with Gary Vaynerchuck, and I have been watching people like Chris Brogan, Avinash Kaushik, Bryan Eisenberg, Alex Bogusky and Mari Smith on stage.
I have been to Oslo and the Gulltaggen conference for three days, and yes, it was amazing.
During the conference, I have learned a lot of things about marketing and even some things about myself. I love conferences, at the same time I feel that I don’t belong.
I have at least ten valuable tips that I want to share with you.
Number 1 – Work everywhere
I have been reading books like getting things done, and focus, and I have been looking at many different time management methods, but there’s one thing I haven’t considered at all.
First, let me just say that I went to the conference with nothing but my iPhone, a pen and a notepad. More than 1500 people attended the conference, and I’m not kidding when I say that it looked like most of them had the newest iPad or a MacBook Air (well, I’m only exaggerating a little).
What I discovered was that all the speakers, like Chris Brogan and Gary Vaynerchuck, was working on their laptops while sitting among the audience. It didn’t seem like any of the well-known marketers spent any time to relax or just look around. They were focused, on what was happening on stage and on working. When Chris Brogan was on stage, he even showed the index chards that he keeps in his pocket.
I’ve never been like that, but it made me think.
Number 2 – Trust
Chris Brogan is awesome, and he was a lot funnier on stage than I had imagined. I still haven’t read his book, Trust Agents, but I am going to.
Not only, Chris, but it seems that in one way or the other, all the speakers talked about trust. Trust is probably the most important part of business. We don’t do business with people we don’t trust.
So, the point is, how do we gain trust?
I’ll be answering this in a second.
Number 3 – Sharing
I am not sure who said this, but someone did.
Everything that can be shared will be shared.
You know this already, and I know this. So, what are we going to do about it? Well, the sooner we start sharing, the better the chances are for us to become successful.
Number 4 – Helping
When we share, we’re also helping. Think about that.
Chris Brogan said something like when we publish anything on Facebook, we should help someone 50% of the time and not just be talking about ourselves. When we tweet, the ratio should be 12:1, retweet someone elses tweets 12 times for every tweet about yourself or something you’ve written.
Number 5 – Networking
A conference, and especially a conference about marketing, is just as much about networking and meeting other people, as it is about what’s happening on stage.
I watched all the business people talking, and I saw them exchanging business cards and I even listened in on a few conversations. But, I didn’t participate.
When I saw Chris Brogan and Gary Vaynerchuck just standing there, all I did was look. I could have walked up to them and said hi, and I loved your book or your blog or something. But, I’m shy. So, I just kept watching all the other people talk to them.
Number 6 – Immediacy
I have thought about this for a while, especially since launching a Facebook Page for the college where I work. When we publish anything, it takes minutes, and sometimes seconds before the first reaction. And then, a few hours later, it all stops.
It seems that no matter what we’re doing online, it’s about instant involvement. The speed is lightning fast. It’s about presence, and if we’re not there at the right time, we’re losing.
Think about it, it’s happening on Facebook, on blog comments, and on Twitter. If we’re not responding at the right time (being fast), it’s like we never responded.
Number 7 – Knowledge
All of the speakers at the marketing conference were brilliant. They are among the best in the world at what they do. They talked about the latest trends in marketing, and presented their work.
I found it interesting to discover that I actually did know a lot of what they presented. I have had a gut feeling, and during the conference the feeling turned into an awesome feeling.
During the conference, I felt good about myself, and all the things I had already learned prior to the conference. It’s a great feeling, and it’s an important feeling. A conference is not just about learning, but to discover what you already know.
Number 8 – Action
Many of the speakers looked at the audience, me included, and said that one of the most important things in marketing is to take action. Don’t just think about what you’re going to do, do it.
I know. This is a simple advice, but a very important one. I know from experience, that after a conference, I get so many ideas, and usually I have written them all down. But when I get back to the office, I hardly open up the notepad and look at the ideas.
Number 9 – Listen
I don’t talk much. I didn’t before the conference, and now, after I’ve attended this conference, I might actually talk even less.
What I learned about listening, is that we should listen first, and then talk. It’s important to follow conversations, join them, and help out. Not be the one doing all the talking and starting the conversations.
Join and help. Do it on Twitter, do it on blogs, do it on discussion forums, on Facebook or whatever.
Number 10 – Relationships
Presence is important, really important. We’re on Facebook, we’re on Twitter, we’re on blogs, we’re everywhere, and we’re always online – because immediacy matters.
But, we should understand that web 2.0 or social media or whatever it’s called is still about people. We should become personal, and we should become friends. I have had a hard time to understand social media as a way to actually be social. Until now.
I especially remember when Gary Vaynerchuck said that Chris Brogan and Mari Smith are really good friends of his, but he had only spent about 9 minutes with them offline (he was making a joke, but also making a very interesting point).
When we are online, we create relationships, relationships that lasts a lifetime, without ever meeting people as we used to.
It’s important to understand that online relationships are becoming almost as important as offline relationships (and for many people, even more important).