David Olsan, Mars Spiders
Mars Spiders were not exhibiting at the show, but I bumped into my friend David at the beginning of the day. He runs an app development company and we went to the first talk together.
James Nicholson, How to rank your site on Google in 2016 and beyond
Ooh, I don’t think this guy follows his own rules. I tried to search for the URL for his company, but the top two Google results are two very similarly named companies that do the same thing. And then when I entered his name, I got neither.
Much of what this guy said I already knew, but he did introduce some new concepts. The most interested one was: on a website, don’t try to drive all search results to your home page. Instead have different pages for different searches.
Keyword density. While keyword are a good thing to have for search results, too many of the same keyword can look spammy and be detrimental, as Google takes this into account. One website that I’ve since looked at suggests a keyword density of 1 to 3%.
Backlinks. I knew these were crucial for a good search result. But also, use a backlink checker.
Dmoz. This is a directory of the web that is edited by real people.
Steeeve Lamontagne, The Amazon opportunity: an introduction to this accessible business model
Although I don’t think this talk was relevant to me – I can’t see me selling a physical product – I found it very interesting. Also, it was full of information and it wasn’t a sales pitch.
John Davy, Make your LinkedIn profile work for you
This talk was standing room only and the best talk I saw all show. Full of information and very little selling.
I think I was already doing a lot of what he advised on LinkedIn, but since his talk I have already changed some things and I will continue to refine it.
Your LinkedIn page should clearly tell
- who you are
- what you do
- why you do it
Get found – What problem do I solve, from the perspective of the customer?
Get viewed – stand out.
Get results – have a call to action: “call me” or link to website.
Your professional headline should be full of keywords and not just a job description. In fact, probably not a job description, but something that differentiates you from others. This way you will turn up in a LinkedIn search.
Link various parts of LinkedIn profile to various sections of your website.
The only “have to have” sections on a LinkedIn profile are
- Advice for contacting
- Rich Media
Gayle Heggie, How start-ups turn ambition into reality
This was an on stage interview where Chris Goodfellow (editor of Business Zone) interviewed Gayle about what Entrepreneurial Spark is.
It is a free entrepreneur accelerator. In other words an organisation that offers help, advice and mentoring, free of charge, to well-selected entrepreneurs.
One of the ways they do this is by doggedly asking the difficult questions. If a business, or business proposition, can’t answer the difficult questions, then it’s probably not a very good proposition.
The two quotes I have written down are:
Fall in love with the problem not the solution. In other words, a business should be founded on the problem that it will solve, the solution then follows.
Value proposition is central.
I really liked this talk, because what was being ‘sold’ was a non-profit organisation. They exist purely to help people. Although they do have sites all around the UK, they are yet to set up a London branch.
I spoke with Gayle afterwards. A very encouraging person.
Shankar Ravi, Making and selling vertical apps on the cloud
I was really disappointed with this talk. The speaker gave no real substance to the what the title of the talk was and instead was selling his product, which is an app. I walked out quite early on this talk.
Brad Burton, Hype. Crowd. Wisdom.
This was my least favourite talk of the whole two days. A really aggressive guy who spent his whole time shouting at his crowd. This is supposed to be motivational speaking?
This talk was really well attended. A fact that the speaker didn’t fail to point out. But what he didn’t point out was the other Keynote Talk, that was supposed to be on at the same time, had been cancelled. The other (cancelled) talk was supposed to be Hillary Devey, one of the dragons from Dragons’ Den (she rescheduled for later in the day). I suspect she would have been the most popular at the show, as she was featured speaker of the conference. Consequently, a lot of people had a sudden hole in their schedules.
I would have left this talk earlier than I did but I was hemmed in by the crowd, so I had to endure it way longer than I wanted.
Most of what this guy had to say was that, if he could do it, so could you. His whole spiel was just talking about himself and his book.
The only note I took was “turn down the volume on negativity”. Although on reflection, how about just turning down the volume?
I didn’t know what URL to associate with this speaker as, I think, he was supposed to be promoting 4networking, but I think he mentioned them only once.
Andy Wilcox, Unveiled: the 7-11-4 formula for proven business success
Another talk packed with information and very little self promotion. This was the final talk I attended and was the talk where I took the most notes.
- Why are you in business?
- Where are you now? Clarity (now).
- Where do you want to be? Clarity (in 12 months). Is your behaviour congruent with you goals?
- Switch from a doer to a marketer.
- Spend the first 90 minutes of each day getting and keeping customers.
- Market. Message. Media. (I think this note is incomplete)
- It’s all your fault
11 Marketing Pillars
- Track your marketing
- Paid traffic
• Google Ad Words
• Facebook ads. These can be hugely targeted.
• Banner ads. Also targeted.
- Follow up. Keep following up. Repeat business takes an average of 10.8 follow ups.
- Video – look at the closed captions on YouTube. Manually add your own closed captions.
• direct mail – use a bright coloured envelope, hand address it and use a first class stamp
- Referral campaigns, use your current customers
- Offers. Have time limits on these.
- Lost customers.
- Pricing. Have a premium product – it won’t cost you much more to have a premium product, but can be charge a lot more. The example he gave was fast lanes at the big amusement parks. All it costs them is a bit of rope to create a new lane, but they get loads of ££ for every fast lane package they sell.
4. Killer strategies
- Your positioning
- Deadlines – get stuff done
- What would the best in the world do?
- Learn & implement.
Two other things that he mentioned. The book “The E-Myth”. And the video email service “Bomb bomb”.
And that was it. The first trade show that I’ve been to. A real sensory overload. Half the talks were interesting, the other half were, as David Olsan put it, snake oil salesmen.