LinkedIn Marketing Strategy Blog
Ascend 2016 Recap and Highlights – 3 Days of Learning, Connection, and Growth
It’s been over a week since we wrapped up our big event Ascend in San Diego, but the excitement and the enthusiasm it generated is still reverberating through my inbox from all the people who attended.
My goal in putting on an event like Ascend was to provide a formative experience for business owners. I wanted them to come away from this event different in some way. More motivated, more confident, and more prepared to grow their businesses than they were before the event.
And based on the feedback from the attendees, we’ve accomplished that. The reviews from the people who attended have been overwhelmingly positive, and I CAN’T WAIT to see all the results when these folks start implementing what they learned at Ascend.
So yeah, it was super-productive. We also had a TON of fun.
As my team and I are coming down from our Ascend 2016 buzz and start to work on planning Ascend 2017, I wanted to take an opportunity to document some of the top moments from Ascend in this article.
Day One Highlights
Day one, as you might imagine, was filled with a lot of excitement and anticipation. There’s something special about the kickoff of a big event that just gets your blood pumping.
From the moment people started filing in, you could see and feel that this crowd came to make the most of the experience.
We opened the day with the question, “How bad do you want it?” – and watched this incredible video together.
Here are some more highlights from Day 1:
* If you are ready to ascend to the next level in your business, you need to be committed to doing what it takes. Being comfortable isn’t going to get you there.
* There is no magic bullet – success is about systems
* Success is Simple: Decide what you want specifically, decide if you're willing to pay the price to make it happen, and then pay that price.* Know your WHY. Like Simon Sinek says, People don’t buy what you do. They buy WHY you do it.
* Unsuccessful people make decisions based on their current situations. Successful people make decisions based on where they want to be. YOU HAVE A CHOICE – It starts with saying YES and making a commitment to get there.
* Relationships drive business – relationships with clients, customers, your team, and your partners. Relationships are the #1 key to grow a business exponentially.
* You can’t just go online and ask a stranger who you think is hot to have sex and expect to be successful… but that’s pretty much what you’re doing by pitching a prospect online without getting to know them first.
* Relationships can be created and nurtured systematically. They don’t need to be organic to be valuable.
* Great systems grow businesses. Your business NEEDS a system of generating leads automatically – and if creating systems isn’t your strength, HIRE someone to create a great system for you.
* Human beings respond in predictable ways, and being able to predict is a form of power.
* Selling is a style of communication that increases the likelihood that the other person says YES. It’s a skill that can be learned.
* Sell your prospect on the next step – the next action you want them to take. It’s called, “Stage Selling.” Know where you want your prospect or customer to go. Create a “Lifetime Client Map” and then reverse engineer how you’ll get them to that point.
* Only do things that are going to move the needle in your business. Things that move the needle: Preparation, scripting your presentation, sequencing, stories, closing deals, having a clear outcome.
* Success LOVES Preparation. Get over your fear of asking for money by scripting your close and practicing by yourself and with others.
* “Take action in the face of resistance.”
* Webinars done the right way are one of the highest converting sales tools you can leverage.
* People focus too much on the webinar content and the offer – spending too much time building a product without figuring out how they will make people aware of it.
* The two keys to successful webinars are taking action and marketing it. Don’t waste time. Get started with webinars and then grow your results.
*Utilizing automated webinars can DOUBLE your results.
Day Two Highlights
On day two, we dug down deep into systems and strategies. It was all about leverage, value ladders, and the most effective strategies to grow business to the next level.
Some of the highlights included:
* Leads are just 1 component of the blueprint.
* Say to yourself, “I'm willing and the information is there…why haven't I taken action?”
* Success is never a secret. You have to be visible because success never happens in isolation.
* If my dog can have 6,000 daily views on their Facebook page, think of the possibilities for your business out there.
* Pursue progress, not perfection.
* Look at your funnel – what actions did you take and what results did you get? What actions are you going to take now to improve those results?
* Any strategy of yours can be systematized. Whether it's hiring, marketing, sales, onboarding, recruiting or any other area in your business.
* Your clients WANT to refer business to you.
* Indecision is a form of self abuse.
* Doing the same isn't going to get you where you want to go.
* 1 in 9 businesses will be successful and sustainable. Will yours?
* Don't let overwhelm lead to indecision.
* LEVERAGE begins with being honest with yourself, so you can begin YOUR unique ability and create a team that uses their unique abilities to fill in the gaps and get everything done.
* Shift your mindset. Give yourself permission to get help in your business.
* If you aim for a small goal, you are going to get a small result. If you aim for a big goal, you are going to get a bigger result.
* One of the easiest ways to increase your revenue is to increase your prices. Most businesses under-charge for their products and services.
* Limiting beliefs – you think your company can't grow more unless you work more – if that is the case you need to look at your systems.
Day Three Highlights
You’d think by day three, people would be tired and overstimulated a bit. Not this group!
I’d say they were just as pumped up and enthused on the last day as on either of the previous days, if not more so.
Here’s what I covered on Joint Venture Partnerships…
* No matter what products or services you offer, creating a network of joint venture partners who constantly refer business your way is a time-tested strategy for quickly scaling your business. Many times your best referral partners will be businesses that serve the same audience you want to reach and won't necessarily be competitors but complementary to your business.
* You can use a formal affiliate program with tracking links, but you can also use a more informal referral network to get started.
* Good places to start looking for JV partners are LinkedIn, Twitter, Industry Associations, Conferences, Communities, Forums… anywhere where your target partners might hang out.
And on Rapid Growth…
* Spend your time planning and implementing only strategies that are the best fit for your business.
* Consistency + Speed + Urgency = Rapid Growth
Suzanne Evans on Video…
* 88.2 million people in the US watched 58 billion online content videos in January 2015, AND consumers who watch product videos are 85% more likely to buy. It’s a huge opportunity.
* Storytelling is vital. It doesn’t matter what you do – you’ll lose every time to a better story. Video allows you to take people on a transformational journey. We love a good story. We don’t like being sold, but a great story can make us want to buy.
* 3 Types of video your should be doing: Positioning, Personality, and Promotional.
* 3 Tips for GREAT DIY VIDEO
- It's HOW you say it (not what you say)
- Know when to STOP talking
- Talk to a person
Bryan Kreuzberger on Overcoming Adversity…
* When you fail, figure out WHY you failed – then learn from it and determine what you can improve on moving forward. It’s part of figuring out your secret sauce. Failure provides the best lessons.
* We make up our own rules about what defines success, so what if you decided to make success easy – and failure hard? You get to choose what the rules are.
* Think of how you might cooperate with the market, not how you can compete.
* Ask yourself, How would I feel if I was the customer and reading this email, watching this video, or consuming this content? Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes and tailor your process to them.
Looking to the Future…
On the last day during our Q&A session, one of our attendees stood up, visibly moved and obviously choked up. He explained that he was a professional speaker, and in over 20 years of speaking, he’s never turned down, postponed, or cancelled even one of his speaking engagements… until now.
A friend called him and told him in no uncertain terms that he HAD to be at Ascend, so he cancelled two things to attend. He thanked us for everything we did and taught at Ascend, and said he didn't have any questions, because he got more answers than he could have ever asked for from the event.
And THAT makes it all worthwhile.
That’s just one story out of a ton of positive feedback we’ve received since Ascend wrapped up, and to me, when you move that many people and get that kind of positive response, you’ve achieved your goals. So I’m calling it a WIN.
After this experience, you can count on us doing it again next year… bigger and better.
For those of you who weren't able to join us this year, while the experience of the live event can't completely be matched, we do have the next best thing lined up for you. We had a crew film everything, and now you're able to get lifetime access to the recordings of all 3 days of Ascend – every strategy, every speaker, and every session.
You'll find all the details on accessing the Ascend 2016 recordings here.
Let's hear from you…
If you were one of the hundreds of amazing folks who joined us at Ascend this year, I'd like you to do me a favor. In the comments, tell me about your favorite takeaway, biggest “ah-ha” moment, or anything else you want to share about the event that was meaningful for you.