As the Internet Summit event kicked off on Wednesday in Raleigh, the two live DJs made the audience of tech geeks ALMOST want to get up and dance. If they played the new Duo Lipa song, Blow Your Mind, I may have convinced others to dance on the main stage between keynote speakers. (I have been promised my new jam will be played on day 2.)
After opening the event with U.S. Olympian runner LaShawn Merritt, the second person on stage was a comedian begging the audience to put down their phones only to actually make fun of geeks on review sites like Yelp.
KLT is not a Kale, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich for Millennial Vegans
The entertaining and educational Viveka Van Rosen (@LinkedInExpert ) made it VERY clear that LinkedIn is the social media site for Decision Makers. No, executives who make buying decisions are not hanging out during business hours on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. But the speaker and the audience also made it VERY clear, they don’t like the changes that are coming to LinkedIn that are currently being tested in England.
So there are changes coming to LinkedIn post-Microsoft acquisition and they are going to be more expensive as fewer of the functions you have been using are going to be free in the near future. Why would you expect such an important piece of business software that supplied you with qualified business leads to be free?
At the end of the day, just like In Real Life (IRL) ,you have to build KLT, or you have to Know, Like and Trust the people before you will be willing to do business with someone. You have to build your community by not only promoting yourself and your products, but promoting the people in your city and the people you hope to partner with to build a relationship. And the more you share their story with your contacts, the rest of the community will be much more willing to tell your story to their contacts around the world.
Put down your phones so I can make jokes about technology you use on the smartphone
Alright, so we all know the tip about starting your speech to a room full of strangers with the icebreaker joke. But you better be funny.
Al Madrigal, comedian from the Daily Show, begged people to put down their phones several times before he would begin his quick bit.
He was the first to point out the irony as he quickly made his jokes around review apps like Yelp. He was very funny pointing out why would we put so much weight into the opinions of people we don’t know nor do we know their backgrounds. Why would the person who gives three out of five stars even bother to write a three-page review of a restaurant only to summarize by saying the experience was OK?
The lunch keynote was Rand Fishkin who was also funny in a different way. With self-deprecating photos as a stone-age cave man dressed like Fred Flintstone, he made fun of the old theory of Build – Click – and they will buy. In a busy world of marketing messages, this won’t work anymore. One of the many points is how can you make your content 10x better than your competition to drive conversions from traffic to sales revenue. He nailed the point home to say great content needs to be matched with great marketing to create conversion to sales.
To bring the BBB marketing message home to startups, Bigger, Bolder and Braver
The final speaker of the day was Boston-based marketing expert Anne Hundley. She had the most memorable point of the day. Today your marketing must have BIGGER context, BOLDER marketing and BRAVER content.
She opened her speech with a story about her brother’s love for beer koozies. He collected those boring foam koozies with every possible corporate logo. But then that got boring. So then she showed crazy pictures of different koozies made of crazy things from wood to actual animal hair…. And then they found Wilmington, North Carolina-based Freaker USA. Freaker is famous for an appearance on Shark Tank.
As I currently live in Wilmington, I know the Freaker story but Hundley had a different perspective. Her brother loved the product and was soon the most popular man in the office as he gave the unique Freaker designs as party favors and holiday gifts. But Hundley loved the edgy social media promotions of Freaker, promotional content and unique job titles and job descriptions of the founders and executives. I will leave this link to their web page of job titles and job descriptions right here as your option to read http://www.freakerusa.com/pages/team
I was very proud she was talking about a Wilmington and a North Carolina company even though she NEVER mentioned that Freaker is based in the same state as the event today. Oh well, our missed opportunity. She was great at the end of the day when the crowd had lost their energy.
AND THEN …
And then the most famous reggae band in the history of the WORLD, The Wailers, played the closing reception…indoors. So we ended up dancing a little bit anyway. No there is no video proof. But I would like to thank friend and founder of Internet Summit Eric Gregg for a unique musical experience and lifetime memory.