Wealth From Marketing – And a Wealth of Great Speakers

  • Sumo

Halloween, I was up early – again – and hardly in the mood for a conference on Wealth From Marketing. I’d been working the whole week, the week before than and the one before that, 7 days a week and I was kind of needing a lie-in. But if you’re going to be an entrepreneur and a damn good one, you have to get tough with yourself.

Saturday morning and I was about to subject myself to a torrent of can-do messaging about SEO, keywords and lead generation. Well, what a pleasant surprise.

The think BIG Education event held at the Royal Horticultural Hall in Pimlico was much less about internet marketing than marketing in general. And in many ways it was more about learning how to communicate effectively and wit generosity than marketing. I was expecting plenty of rah-rah and pitching, but was amazed at how entertaining the speakers were.

First on was an Australian marketer, Kerwin Rae, a short, stocky guy, with pugilistic features. He came at us with a lot of I can’t hear you say it louder, etc. which could have been totally tiresome but he had enough wit to keep it engaging, most of the time. This is a guy who regularly advises and does business with billionaires – and, by his own admission, he doesn’t have any qualifications to his name. He looked every part the street hustler made good. He was full of entertaining anecdotes that illustrated a specific mindset to the successful marketer and he came across as a man of action, genuine and generous, and I would have worked with him like a shot.

Second on was American radio show host, Joel Roberts. The guy struck me as totally the part – short, middle aged, thinning hair, a slightly rounded posture from so many hours in an interviewer’s chair, which had done nothing to blunt the sharpness of his owlish expression and satirical smile. He possessed a truly awesome – for once the word used in its truest sense – confidence, and a masterful comic timing. His thing was ‘the language of impact’ as he called it and he roused us all to awaken to the reality of having to learn how to become ‘media ease’. He didn’t go so much for the rah rah, say it louder after me kind of approach, his was more directly interactive, asking members of the audience to ‘spar’ with him. There were some really funny moments when he took two women from the audience and invited them to join him on stage – and they couldn’t get up on the high stools. He just made it all seem so funny, even as he was illustrating a serious point. That’s talent.

Both women were invited to talk to him as if on air about their businesses. He’d pop questions, popping holes in their delivery to illustrate how we must learn to be more specific in what we say about ourselves and the benefits of our businesses. He had the genius to be ruthless and kind, charming and mischievous. And by now I really didn’t care if I was here for the marketing content, I was thoroughly entertained by the guy.

After lunch we had marketing legend – and copywriter – Jay Conrad Levinson of Marlboro Country fame. The guy retired at 29, because he wanted to work a 3 day week. He wrote a book called ‘Making a Living Without a Job’. What a cool title. So ahead of its time. This is even before we had the internet. He called himself a guerrilla marketer – and, as it happens, he came on wearing a camouflage T shirt under a black suit jacket, his hair in a long rat tail ponytail – and set about debunking many traditional marketing strategies as far back as the 70 – a real hero of the entrepreneur as creative thinker. He must be getting on and for the first fifteen minutes he seemed to be struggling with a wheezy chest, but the guy had such heart in his delivery you never doubted him for a second. He had some funny anecdotes to tell, too, and left us feeling grateful to have shared 90 minutes with him.

The fourth speaker, Daven Michaels, I didn’t get to see, unfortunately – I had to get home, it was already late. I was also pretty saturated by then. Half way through the event I realised I wasn’t going to pick up any specific strategy I could use to improve my marketing – but in the end that didn’t matter, because the guys were inspirational, and just watching them perform was a lesson in marketing of itself. I might well have gone for Jay’s pitch, even though it was an amount a little outside my budget, just to be within a chance of taking him up on his offer of choosing someone in his class to write an ebook with him, but I was already booked on a copywriting job and also the World Internet Summit, so, sadly, I missed out on that one. I’d love to tell myself, Maybe next time, but we were given to understand Jay and wheezy chest might only be back here in spirit not in person.

In summary, the event was free and it was a lot of fun – and I’m not usually a big fan of marketing seminars, if I’m honest. So, go check out think Big Education for future events. If the next one is anything like the one I attended, you’ll be glad you gave up a weekend day to go.

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