Blogging Highlights Strategy

85 Takeaways from New Media Expo 2014


New Media Expo (formerly Blog World) has always been one of my favorite conferences to attend. While I did spend more time networking than sitting in sessions, I still managed to take a ton of notes from those that I made it to. Without further ado, here are the 101 things I learned at #NMX 2014.

For sessions with multiple speakers, the initials of the speaker will be in parenthesis after their tip.

How to Land the Expert Interviews You Want For Your Podcast

Speakers: John Lee Dumas, Jared Easley, Erik Fisher, Rick Mulready

Summary: Even if you aren’t a podcaster, these are some great tips to connect with experts, industry influencers, etc.

Best Takeaway: Find out what books have recently been released in your niche. These experts will be in search of media exposure. (JLD)

  1. Make in-person connections at conferences to get expert interviews. (JLD)
  2. Do you research. Know what people are doing on a personal and professional level so you can customize your request. (RM)
  3. Include social proof to show experts why they want to be on your show. (RM)
  4. The subject line of your email should be something to the effect of “I love your podcast / book / blog.” (JE)
  5. Keep your request email short and sweet. (JE)
  6. Make your website look good. Highlight the top past guests on your podcast. (EF)
  7. Get ratings and reviews for your podcast ASAP. Call in personal favors. (EF)
  8. Ask guests to quikcly recommend / introduce you to other industry experts that they know who would be a good fit for your podcast. (JLD)
  9. A handwritten card goes a long way. (JE)
  10. Send something unique to an expert to make your request stand out. See the yellow ball sent to Seth Godin. (JE)
  11. Interview the manager, assistant, or other close colleague of an expert if you can’t get that expert to say yes. It will get you closer to understanding their business and the colleague will be more likely to help you get that expert on your show in the future. (JE)
  12. Let people record an answer to a question on their own time for a crowdsourced interview podcast. (JE)
  13. Come to the expert’s session / panel at an event and ask them to be on your podcast in front of a large crowd. (EF)
  14. Include a link to your schedule in your request so experts can book a time immediately. Try ScheduleOnce. (JLD)
  15. Send an email, then a followup email, then a followup on social media to make sure they got the email if you get no response. (RM)

Humanizing Your Business

Speaker: Chris Brogan (He filled in for a speaker who could not make it to NMX due to the weather.)

Summary: If you put serving people first, your business will succeed.

Best Takeaway: Chris saw a 78% increase in sales by adding a shopping cart abandonment email through Infusionsoft that asked the potential customer if they needed help.

  1. Use marketing channels to be more human.
  2. Honor your customer first. Don’t think that there are enough of them out there to burn through.
  3. Grow and nurture your community.
  4. Delete everyone on your mailing list that hasn’t engaged within the last six months. Now you will have a list full of only buyers and brand advocates.
  5. You don’t need everyone in your audience to be a buyer. You need people in your audience who will tell people who want to buy about you and your business.
  6. We have the opportunity to do what we love, or work for “the man” for a false sense of security.
  7. Lead generation is finding people on the same boat with the same passion.
  8. Remove do not reply from email newsletter and let people reply to a real person (preferably you).
  9. Chris spends 1/3 of his time engaging with people, 1/3 improving himself, and 1/3 reading.
  10. Chris uses a clear warning (selly sell) when an email is devoted to selling a product. Drives other marketers nuts. Considers this a way to build an honest relationship with his audience.
  11. Only gives one link to click in sales emails – no social sharing or other distraction links.
  12. Reinforce that you don’t have to be a customer to be your friend.
  13. Don’t over discount, even when asked. People don’t have a problem with price – they have a problem with perceived value.
  14. If someone wants to request a refund, try to keep the money in house by offering them another course, ebook, etc. instead.
  15. Product creation formula: what do you know how to do that other people want to know how to do that they will pay to learn.
  16. Ask yourself how you can create value for the people you serve (your customers)? How can you help them either make more money or put them in a better position to make more money.
  17. Add value to your product / service offerings instead of subtracting cost.
  18. Chris filters emails mentioning LinkedIn to the trash. LinkedIn is not bad, but many of the people who use it are.

200 Videos, 200 Days, and 5 Million Views on a 2K Budget – How to Leverage YouTube to Increase Sales & Trust

Speaker: Antonio Centeno

Summary: If you’ve ever thought about adding video to your content marketing plan, here are some reasons to motivate you to do it and some tips to doing it right.

Best Takeaway: Don’t say you don’t have time, say it’s not a priority. This will help you prioritize better.

  1. Remember that you do not own YouTube, Vimeo, or other video networks. Your ultimate goal is to get your video subscribers to your list. Move them from rented to owned property.
  2. Video benefits the speaker saw included deeper connections with his audience, the ability to connect to a new audience, 3x increase in sales, higher quality traffic back to his website, the ability to create content faster, credibility in the form of social proof, and a ton of thank you emails from viewers.
  3. Why challenge yourself to do 200 videos in 200 days? It challenges you to learn and commit to the process, volume allows you to be ultra specific about topics covered, allows for experimentation and mistakes, and if you have a deadline to create so many videos, you won’t obsess about editing.
  4. Shoot multiple videos at a time while you are in the flow.
  5. Edit as little as possible to save time and focus on new content creation.
  6. Outsource non-creative parts, such as transcription of video to blog post.
  7. Create a powerful introduction that establishes your credibility, tells viewers what they will get from the video, and asks viewers to engage (like, subscribe, comment).
  8. Create thumbnail images that people want to click.
  9. Important elements for high quality videos include sound, lighting, HD camera, a simple script, bringing your personality on camera, having lots of excitement and energy, and always standing for something.
  10. YouTube lets you upload your own transcript as opposed to using their auto-generated script.
  11. See speaker’s favorite resources (courses, equipment, etc.) and presentation slides here.

The Business of YOU: Why Building Your Brand Through Content Marketing Will Unleash the Influencer Inside You

Speaker: Chris Ducker

Summary: If you can’t figure out the right content strategy for your business, this will help.

Best Takeaway: When you build the business of YOU, nobody can copy it. It’s 100% original because it’s you.

  1. Focus on P2P – people to people – when creating content.
  2. In 2014 we need to become prolific content creators and marketers to build relationships with people.
  3. The three main content types that are most successful are educational, inspirational, and entertaining.
  4. Planning on being in front of the camera? Refer to this infographic on How Not to Look Ugly on Webcam.
  5. Create a persona description for the three different types of people you want as customers. The more specific, the better you can tailor your content.
  6. Three key ingredients to becoming an influencer: blog regularly (also can podcast or create videos), become an author of a book with a real publisher, and get on the stage to speak and tell stories.
  7. Your audience will determine what the Business of You actually becomes.
  8. Invest in your business this year: identify three influencers that you look up to, learn from them by stalking them to see what they do.

Unleash Greatness

Speakers: Lewis Howes, Chris Brogan (They filled in for a speaker who could not make it to NMX due to the weather.)

Summary: If you want to achieve success, this session has lots of great tips.

Best Takeaway: Want to write a book? It takes 40 minutes a day, every day, for three months. (CB)

  1. Things that hold us back from greatness: fear, lack of vision, ego, lack of execution, and lack of community. (LH)
  2. Kill five excuses you have holding you back today and you will achieve more. (CB)
  3. The opposite of bravery is settling. (CB)
  4. Ego makes you always want to be right, stops you from learning. (LH)
  5. Ego allows you to make excuses instead of moving ahead. (CB)
  6. Anyone who is not in your shoes should influence your opinion of yourself. (CB)
  7. Push yourself out of your comfort zone – that is where you will start to achieve great things. (LH)
  8. Ask questions, say “I love me” five times in the morning, and drink a glass of water when you get up. (CB)
  9. Say “I need support” instead of “I need help.” (LH)

How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon

Speaker: Penny Sansevieri

Summary: If you are selling (or planning to sell) Kindle books on Amazon, these are tips that can help you sell more of them.

Best Takeaway: It’s better to be the top seller in a very small / niche category than to have a low sales rank in a broad category.

  1. Use Amazon search suggestions under the Kindle store as your keyword research tool.
  2. The Amazon search algorithm = title popularity + matching search term + reviews.
  3. Keyword optimize your Kindle books by including your target keyword phrase in the title, subtitle, book description, and the keywords field in the back end of Amazon.
  4. Write notes back to people who review your book in Amazon Author Central.
  5. Find the right people to review your book by looking under Amazon’s Top Customer Reviewers and finding people whose interests match the topic of your book.
  6. Also try searches on Google such as reviewers “Top 500 reviewer” “Business” and reviewers “Top 1000 reviewer” “Business” to find specific subject reviewers.
  7. Ask readers for reviews in the last page of your book.
  8. See a listing of current Amazon categories under the Browse Subjects directory.
  9. Link all of your books together so readers can find more from you.
  10. Use custom domain URLs to redirect people to your book on Amazon.
  11. Bundle similar books together to create a new title with your older work.

Racist Tweets, Flip-Flopping Cracker Barrel and Free Donuts

Speakers: Allison Kramer, Scott Stratten

Summary: Open discussion about podcasting, current events, and making a difference.

Best Takeaway: Start a podcast because you love talking about your subject, not because you think you should because it’s new media. (SS)

  1. Content should not be a chore. Don’t listen to the people who say you have to post X number of times. (SS)
  2. People who hate you consume your content more. (SS)
  3. Twitter reach: 10% of your followers will be online, 10% of those online will see your tweet, 10% of those who see your tweet will engage. Personal observation by speaker. (SS)
  4. Your podcast listeners are your most loyal fans. It’s better to have 3k podcast fans than 10k Twitter followers. (SS)
  5. We don’t want people to be authentic. We want people to be authentic within our own values. Re: Duck Dynasty (SS)
  6. Consistency is not first, content is first. (SS)
  7. Your audience will respect you for respecting them by not publishing subpar content. (SS)

Why Podcasting if We’re Already Broadcasting? Social Media/Blogging Addicts Reveal Why They Started Podcasts.

Speakers: Amy Porterfield, Scott Stratten

Summary: Reasons why successful people have taken their message to podcasting, and how to use Facebook to promote podcasts.

Best Takeaway: Podcasts should feel natural and relaxed, not polished and corporate. (SS)

  1. Use a one minute video to introduce your latest podcast, post it to Facebook,and use Promoted Posts to spread the word. (AP)
  2. Be willing to pay to move people off of Facebook to your mailing list. (SS)
  3. Target people through Facebook ads that like podcasts. (AP)
  4. Use show notes from the podcast as a blog post so you are not forcing people into a medium they are not interested in to get your information. (SS)
  5. Pull tweetable quotes from your show and put them in your show notes. (SS)
  6. If you use unpublished posts in the Power Editor for Facebook ads, the image will be clickable to your target destination. (AP)

The Best Keynote Ever

While I do have notes from Scott Stratten’s keynote, I think it’s better if you watch it yourself!

There you have it! The bulk of my session notes from New Media Expo 2014! Of course, these notes only represent a fraction of the sessions offered at NMX. If you’d like to get the audio for over 100 sessions at NMX, be on the lookout for the Virtual Ticket that will be available for purchase soon!

By Kristi Hines

Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and ghostwriter who specializes in business and marketing topics.