3 months ago, my friends and I asked each other what had been the most impactful moment of our year so far. I had the fastest response: “Going to Traffic & Conversion Summit.”
Conferences had always felt out of my reach. On average, they can run over $2,000, between ticket and accommodation, and I doubted that it was worth the price tag. So 4 years in a row I told myself, “Next year, I’ll buy the ticket. This year isn’t the one.”
What a mistake.
It took one event, T&C, to teach me that I was choosing the more costly path. Conferences are like the steroids of your industry. They’re where everyone convenes to talk shop, and being a part of that conversation will change the trajectory of your career.
After attending T&C, I saw everything differently. I learned the top-performing copywriting and content writing tips. More importantly, I realized everything I was doing wrong in my freelancing business. I was making huge mistakes and then wondering why having a marketing business was so challenging.
In the 5 months since T&C 2019, I have:
- Landed my first long-term contract
- Taken my client load from 8 clients to 3 top performers
- Doubled my business
And I can confidently say I’m not the only person out of the 6,000 T&C attendees who walked away with a more profitable business.
Here are the 6 reasons why going to a conference can help your job and career.
Reason #1: You’ll Watch the Best Marketers in the World, Market Themselves
This is something I didn’t realize until I sat in the audience and watched Billy Gene Shaw, Dean Graziosi, and Sunny Lenarduzzi speak. T&C doesn’t mess around. They only bring on top-tier presenters. I heard Jay Shetty talk about acquiring over a billion Facebook views, Ryan Deiss explain the future of marketing, and Rachel Hollis walk me through how she created her fandom (and highly motivated customer base). I was in awe.
I realized these people, who I had only ever seen online, were just regular people who worked hard, stayed focused, and became an expert at their craft. And now they were on stage, marketing themselves and their businesses.
And that meant I could be on that stage one day too.
I studied each presentation and then came to my second most significant conclusion from T&C.
Reason #2: You’ll Learn How to Convey Your Point
After attending your first conference, you’ll see a pattern. Some people market themselves well, and others go on rants mid-presentation or can’t quite figure out how to deliver the point they’re making.
So I started taking notes beyond the strategies the speakers were explaining. I asked myself,
- How are they wording their point so it’s clear and concise?
- When did they say their point during their presentation (beginning, middle, end)?
- What could they have removed that’s “fluff” information?
- How would I do a better job of getting their point across?
I now have an arsenal of data that tells me how to state my point, when to state it, and what doesn’t need to be said. Now, I can land the long-term contract, I can explain why we need to do research before writing the copy to my clients, and I can make people understand my point without adding 300 unnecessary words to an article.
This made me a better marketer for my services.
Reason #3: You’ll Market Yourself as a Marketer
Put yourself in your ideal customer’s shoes. Who would you rather hire?
The person who put “Digital Marketer” on their LinkedIn profile, or the one who is posting Instagram stories of their biggest takeaway from Day One of Traffic & Conversion Summit?
Which person seems more committed to their job as a marketer?
When clients, peers, and social media followers see that you’re attending industry events, you’re marketing yourself as a marketer. You’re doing exactly what all of the big names are doing on the Traffic & Conversion stage.
You’re showing that this isn’t just your job; this is your commitment.
The key to marketing yourself as a marketer is to make sure that you’re sharing your experience. If you notice, 100% of the T&C presenters shared that they were speaking on their social profiles. They do this by hiring a photographer/videographer to grab b-roll of them, posting on their Instagram profile, and writing blog posts about their experience.
I wrote this article on Medium so that I could remind people after the event, and after my Instagram stories had disappeared, that I wasn’t just marketer watching from the sidelines—I was committed to becoming part of the community.
And this was great for my digital presence and personal wellbeing.
Reason #4 You’ll Learn That You’re Not the Only One Experiencing Your Pain Points
I don’t have research to back this up, but I’m pretty sure the moment another marketer explains word for word the problem that you’re having in your marketing efforts/business you get a spike of oxytocin. Oxytocin is the hormone that your body creates when you’re socially bonding.
I want to bond with people (all. day. long.) who understand what I mean when I say, “I gave them a 2-day turnaround and they finally paid me 4 weeks later.”
There are only a select few who understand this pain, and those are the ones that I need to be around to escalate my career. When you realize that your peers have the same pain points that you do, your problems become smaller. If you know that they’re still hustling through their marketing struggles, it’s like you transform into Hercules and are suddenly capable of overcoming your biggest challenges.
When your challenges become smaller, you can move faster. When you move faster, you can sift through prospective clients to find the quality prospects.
Reason #5: You Can Land Clients
You’re going to spend money getting yourself to a conference, but you’re also going to make money. Guess who attends marketing conferences? People who need help marketing.
Guess who can help them do that?
I landed 2 clients while at T&C.
How, you ask?
After you buy your ticket and figure out your accommodation, buy business cards. Yes, we live in the digital world, but you need to have something tangible to give people you meet while at the conference.
My strategy is to give people my business card and then ask what their Instagram name is. Your business card is there to make you look professional (saying you don’t have one makes you look bad). Adding them on Instagram keeps you top of mind. This isn’t just an Instagram method either—choose your social network of choice.
If they don’t follow up right away, keep posting your marketing knowledge and testimonials so you can show them that you know what you’re talking about. Your business card can get lost in the mix of all of the other cards and swag they’re getting during the conference. But your social media won’t.
The more prospective clients you talk to, the more you’ll find a lot is going on in your industry— a lot you didn’t know, and a lot you could be a part of.
Reason #6: You’ll See New Opportunities
If you’ve never been to a conference before, you’re going to be blown away by things happening that you didn’t realize were going on. Business partnerships (for millions of dollars), sponsorships (for thousands of dollars), marketing promotion (like giving away hundreds of free books), and even more.
When you see money moving, you realize how much opportunity is available to you that you couldn’t see because your coffee shop, coworking space, or office can’t show you what’s going on in your industry. I can confidently say that if you haven’t attended a marketing conference yet, you know about 5% of what’s going on in the marketing world.
It’s the conferences that will show you the rest.
If I could go back in time, I would have bought a ticket to even the smallest marketing event that I could as soon as I started freelance copy and content writing. Had I chosen to invest in my education and network, I would have surpassed where I am in my business now. It took one marketing conference for me to double my business and land my biggest contract yet.
What would happen if I went to another?