Episode 19: Why Most Entrepreneurs Will Fail - And How To Get The Most Out Of A Conference - SubscribeMe.fm

Episode 19: Why Most Entrepreneurs Will Fail – And How To Get The Most Out Of A Conference

By Ravi Jayagopal | Podcast

SubscribeMe.fm by Ravi Jayagopal 19: Why Most Entrepreneurs Will Fail - And How To Get The Most Out Of A Conference 02/12/2016
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What you should – and should not – be doing at a Conference. And how the tool or the platform is not the end game

My wife Veena and I spent the last 3 days at one of the biggest internet marketing conferences in North America, called Traffic & Conversion, put on by Ryan Deiss and Perry Belcher and the awesome team at Digital Marketer.

It was really good. 3 days of non-stop sessions and talks. Of course, Veena and I, because we live in San Diego, just had to drive like 1/2 hour to get to the hotel where the seminar was being held. And on the 2nd day, we even took off early, came back home, watched most of a basketball game between Lebron James’s Cleveland Cavaliers, and Kobe Bryant’s LA Lakers. And then we went back to an awesome party later in the evening, which I’ll tell you all about in a minute here.

So here are some of my thoughts and ideas about the event itself, as well as my spiel on how to do an internet marketing conference well.

#1) It was very telling that a room with seating for 500 was jam packed for a session about how someone is killing it with Periscope. And in the very next rook, it was mostly crickets where someone was talking about Podcast monetization. Now, I know for a fact that most people with podcasts aren’t making money. In fact, out of the few thousand shows that are launched each month, most of them will not get past episode 10, most won’t ever grow their audience, they won’t get traction, the host will eventually lose interest or get discouraged that no one’s listening or just find the next shiny new thing, and they will all eventually “podfade” – that’s the term used to describe podcasts that just fade slowly over time. So why were there more people in the Periscope session than a Podcast session? Isn’t that amazing? That just tells me that most people still don’t get it, that Podcasts are the single greatest medium for establishing authority, proving your expertise, building really deep connections with your audience, because you are literally inside their head while they’re listening to you, they cannot fast forward, they are the most attentive because they’re probably multi-tasking as they walking the dog or do the dishes or laundry or clean the house or going out on a run – by the way, those are the times I listen to podcasts as well.

Recently I was at the dentist, for a cleaning session that lasted more than an hour. And I had to do that twice in a week. And my dentist has a very posh set up – they have a TV screen on the ceiling, so you can be lying down, getting your teeth drilled into, and watch Ellen Degenres at the same time. But guess what I did instead? I asked them to turn off the TV, I put on my behind-the-ear bluetooth headphones and listened to podcasts the entire time. Alex Blumberg from Startup and Sarah Keonig from Serial were inside my head the whole time. Some of the people whose fan I’ve become lately, are all podcasters whose shows I regularly listen to – like James Schramko from superfastbusiness, or Dave Jackson from school of podcasting, or Daniel J Lewis from theaudacitytopodcast.

Podcasting is such an intimate, personal platform, that it just blew my mind to see just a fraction of the audience for a podcasting session compared to a session about Periscope. You know why? Periscope is the shiny new thing that everyone’s and their dog is creating content with. And at the end of the day, do you know what is the same ol same ol problem that everyone’s going to have on Periscope? It’s building an audience. Doesn’t matter what platform you are on. The platform can only go so far in helping you get some free traffic. Whether it is blogging on Medium, or getting your show on New & Noteworthy on iTunes (Dave Jackson, if you’re listening, I just threw up in my mouth just a little bit). Whether is is creating videos on youtube or scoping on Periscope or Blabbing on blab, the age-old problem that will haunt 99% of the content creators, is that they will not find an audience, they won’t be able to grow an audience, they won’t be able to get traction, they won’t be able to monetize it. And then they’ll simply move on to the next new shiny thing.

And those who stay, pick maybe just a couple of platforms, and go really really deep into it, and figure out how to reach more people, keep more people, provide tons of value and also figure out how to influence that audience to go do whatever it is that you want them to do – whether it is to inspire people or educate or entertain or sell books or sell ads, those are the people who will go on to win, regardless of the platform. And whichever platform you go to, it’s the same case – it’s the 1%ers versus the 99%ers.

#2) So I did start by going to the Podcast session first. But the speaker was such a deadbeat, he was from a podcast monetization company – I won’t name any names here. But he just absolutely killed it – as in, not in a good way. He was actually killing the audience with boredome. He was speaking on a low, monotonous tone, had the abolutely worst slides I have ever seen, with horribly lazy images that looked like he probably spent no more than 1 minute finding the right image for each slide. No energy, no excitement, and the worst thing? He worked for the company that was doing the presentation that taught you how to monetize your content. See the blatant conflict of interest there? Yeah, it sucked. So Veena and I skipped out after 15 minutes, and that’s how we ended up at the neighboring Periscope session.

So, it’s not just about getting the audience, but you have to be good enough to keep them. And this guy couldn’t hold our attention because he sucked big time, and lost us very early. And it’s going to happen to you too with your audience, whether you’re doing a podcast, or a blab or a periscope. So focus on the hook, on the message, and delivering great content and delivering it in a really good way. The platform is secondary. And you’ll be a fool if you ignored podcasting just because it’s not as sexy and exciting as Periscope.

#3) If you are going to spend time, money and effort on going to a seminar, then don’t waste it all on just going to the sessions. I mean, sure, pick and choose a few, like I did with the Gary Vaynerchuk session at the end of day 1. Gary Vee absolutely rocked the place. Check out his podcast ask gary vee, and he might be an acquired taste for some, but just stick with it for a few episodes, and there’s a good chance you’ll become a huge fan, like me. So feel free to handpick a couple of sessions, but don’t waste all of your time just shuttling from session to session. The biggest gold is out there in the hallways, running into folks, crash conversations if you have to, just don’t be a jerk and start handing out your cards.

Join the conversation quietly, as long as it’s a large enough group, wait for someone to talk to you, just invite yourself. Don’t say “Hi, I’m Ravi Jayagopal, Co-Founder & Co-Developer of DigitalAccessPass.com, one of the leading membership plugins for WordPress”. Don’t do that. Say something like “Hi, my name is Ravi Jayagopal”. And wait for someone to ask you what you do. Then say something low-key like “I own a software business. It’s called digitalaccesspass”. In my case, most people would say, “Oh, DAP, I know you guys” I use DAP or I used to use DAP. And some would say Oh, so what does digitalaccesspass do? And then you give them just a little bit more. You say “it’s a membership plugin for WordPress”. See how I’m giving it piece by piece, and only when asked. That’s the way to enter a conversation with a group of strangers and not be shunned as a jerk.

So hang out outside in the halls more than the sessions. You can always pay for the recording of all the sessions. You’ll anyway not be able to go to all of the breakout sessions. So if you think you want the content, then order the recordings. And focus as much as you can on networking and making connections. So in our case, Veena and I were invited to a very exclusive party of who’s who, so we went home early, got refreshed and drove back for the party. And I’m telling you, it was an incredible group of people that we rubbed shoulders with.

Yes, I’m going to drop some names. So sue me. Chris Farrel, Andrew Lock, E Brian Rose from JVZoo, James Dyson and team from Optimize Press, John Lee Dumas from Entreprenuronfire, Jaime Tardy from eventual millionaire, Luria Petrucci, formerly known as Cali Lewis from Geek beat TV and the Leo Laporte show, wow, it was absolutely amazing. In facdt, if you go to the show notes for this show at subscribeme.fm/19, you’ll see a cool selfie of me and John Lee Dumas outside the women’s restroom. No, we weren’t doing anything crazy. Just figured out outside the men’s room as we were leaving, that I didn’t have a selfie with John. He’s such an incredibly down-to-earth guy for someone who’s such a big name. In fact, every single one of them there were such movers and shakers, and they were all so incredibly human and humble, that it was just mind blowing.

And by the way, John Lee Dumas has also given me an amazing testimonial for my book at SubscribeMeBook.com. Here’s what he said about my book:

Ravi is one of the foremost authorities on membership sites & online courses. Every bit of his writing comes from years of selling online and helping others set up membership sites. If you want to learn from the best about recurring income and IGNITE your brand, this is THE book to read.

John Lee Dumas, EOFire.com

Check out my book at subscribemebook.com, also on amazon – just search for subscribe me – one words or two words, and both will bring up my book towards the top.

So that was my mini-soapbox rant about conferences and audience building and platforms.

If you take away just one thing from this episode, then make sure to go deep, then wide. As in, go really deep into your niche, or your marketing platform, before you go wide and move to the next big shiny thing. If you get into podcasting, stick with it. If you write a Kindle book, go deep and don’t just launch your book and forget about it. Promote it, get the message out. Go as a guest on other people’s shows. Do your “book tour” before you fall for the shiny object syndrome.

There’s going to be something new everyday. Videos, youtube, kindle, podasting, blab, periscope, and snapchat – man, Gary Vee is so into snapchat, it’s just crazy. There’s facebook, pinterest, instagram, on and on and on. Don’t get caught up with trying to be everywhere all at the same time. You can’t. Nobody can. So pick one or two platforms where most of your target audience hangs out, and just go deep into it, and crush it till the cows come home.

All of that in today’s episode. Listen to the show via the player above.

Or if you want all of the episodes to be automatically downloaded to your device as soon as they’re available, then subscribe to the show on iTunes at SubscribeMe.fm/itunes/ , or on Stitcher at SubscribeMe.fm/stitcher/ .


Listen to the show via the player above.

Or if you want all of the episodes to be automatically downloaded to your device as soon as they’re available, then subscribe to the show on iTunes at SubscribeMe.fm/itunes/ , or on Stitcher at SubscribeMe.fm/stitcher/ .


– Ravi Jayagopal


About the Author

Ravi Jayagopal is a Business Coach, 8-time Author, Speaker, Podcaster, Entrepreneur, Digital Marketer, WordPress Developer and also an Amateur Ventriloquist :-). Read more about him at https://SubscribeMe.fm/ravi-jayagopal