We held the first ever Build Your Influence online event last week. It was a raging success.

With any sort of learning event like webinars or seminars, you can expect about half the people to show up who register. Sometimes more. Sometimes less. With #BYI, more people showed up than actually registered!

All the credit goes to our amazing presenters. The line-up is what brought people in the door and they did not disappoint.

I jotted down some notes as the event was going on. Here’s what I discovered…

#5. People want to belong to something.

I was surprised by how deeply connected we all felt throughout the conference. The #BYI hashtag was lit up with folks from literally all over the world. The chat room was maxed out for 80% of the conference. Everyone was…connected.

The conference didn’t trend or anything, but I was shocked how many people just wanted to be a part of the action. We created online community and folks were clamoring to be a part of it.

#4. There is a huge opportunity for online conferences.

I had been a part of a few online conferences before, but they all left me kind of…wanting. I wanted something more than just a few famous folks talking into a webcam for 8 or 9 minutes. I wanted back-and-forth, liveliness, and most of all, rock-solid content that actually helped people.

From the feedback we’ve been getting, Build Your Influence hit the mark for a lot of folks. It showed me that even with a small budget (a few Facebook ads, some studio lighting, and video hosting fees) you can create something pretty special.

#3. There is a huge opportunity for online courses.

I’ve been a huge proponent of online courses since 2006. I earned my Master’s degree online. I saw first-hand how online education can work. I reaped the benefits of being physically located in one place, yet educationally active in another.

Fast forward to 2013 when I formed Think Digital Academy (by the way, registration closes TOMORROW). We’re just starting to scratch the surface of what’s possible. In many ways, it feels like the early days of blogging (circa 2004).

So much opportunity. With traditional learning institutions feeling the pinch, the industry is set for disruption. The ones who are brave enough now to do online education *well* will reap the benefits later.

#2. Even if you don’t have a clear idea, start anyway.

When we were lining up all the interviews for #BYI, I had no idea how the end product was going to turn out.

You can even hear this in some of the interviews. I say things like…

“Welcome back to the event…”

“We’re here at the event…”

“So-and-so is our next speaker at the event…”

I said “event” so many times because I didn’t know what “the event” was even going to be. I just knew I wanted to do something and didn’t want to wait around for it to be perfect.

This has been a hard lesson to learn. “Just starting” is easier said than done. It can be terrifying to put one foot in front of the other. But I’ve learned the alternative to starting, inaction, is an even more terrifying prospect.

#1. Technology glitches seriously bum everyone out.

As much as you try and prepare, glitches bomb the system.

Truthfully, our servers weren’t prepared for the initial influx of people. Most people got in. Some didn’t.

When I saw how many folks were disappointed with the tech glitches, I knew we needed to make it right. So that’s why were offering a replay of the Build Your Influence online event.

It’s happening Tuesday, August 12th starting at 12 PM CST/1 PM EST. You’ll get the same content, the same speakers, the same wisdom, same experience.

Register For The Replay Here

Your social media deserves more than just vanity metrics.

In this video post, I talk through the dangers of only measuring “vanity metrics,” a.k.a. things like:

  • Retweets
  • Likes
  • Follows
  • Fans

These are “feel-good” metrics that only provide short term value. The key is moving from short term to long term. This video gives you a framework for getting started!

Build Your Influence Is Only TWO Days Away!

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When email marketing is done correctly, the results are second-to-none.

No amount of Twitter followers or Facebook fans can match the effectiveness of a rock-solid email list. The email inbox is still the best place to get a one-to-one connection with the people in your community.

Building a list takes time. Creating trust with your list takes time. Selling products to your list takes time. But what if you could put your list-building efforts on autopilot? What if you could build trust with your list while you were hanging out with your kids? What if you could sell to your list while you were asleep?

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