On the 30th of October, I attended a seminar at Burnley Football Club on the subject of social media meets affiliate marketing hosted by one of the UK’s leading experts, Daniel Priestley. Now I have to be absolutely honest and confess that each time I schedule to attend such events I am invariably filled with a combination of inspiration and trepidation. Inspiration, because I have never failed to leave any such event without it least one piece of valuable information; trepidation, because I have seen far too many presentations where the speaker appeared more focused on self-promotion than educating and motivating the audience.
To date there have been relatively few speakers that completely satisfied my personal requirements for information and inspiration, but I am immensely pleased to report that I can now add another unique individual to this fairly short list; the name of Daniel Priestley.
It would be churlish to ignore an aspect of the speaker that becomes immediately evident; that is that Daniel is one of our antipodean cousins. Daniel hails from Brisbane, Australia, although is now based permanently in the UK running businesses that include writing affiliate programs, event management, and his particular specialty Social media and affiliate marketing. Whether it was the intimate nature of the seminar facility or Daniel’s natural relaxed and open manner of presentation what next struck me was the almost instant engagement of the audience to the speaker in an informal yet professional manner. For what it’s worth, my personal opinion is that it is likely to be more the latter than the former. A perfect exponent of the adage; “It ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it”.
Out of personal and professional courtesy I will not provide absolute detail of the full content of the seminar but I will summarily provide a list of the topics covered;
Internet services and tools; Facebook and the like.
The use of case studies.
The benefits of finding voices for your business.
How to integrate the above into a co-ordinated campaign.
In the latter part of the seminar, Daniel presented to the audience several existing website podcasts and blogs that whilst on the one hand, may appear to be abstract and bizarre they represent examples of extremely popular broadcasts on the Internet today. To further enhance the virtues of the various sites, Daniel highlighted 2 important and consistent elements; namely, that social media is precisely that, it is social and supposed to be fun, and also the importance of personal authenticity.
In a general discussion about the potential pitfalls of posting personal information and photographs onto Facebook for example, Daniel’s advice was unfaltering; if you’re not authentic then you risk of the pitfalls. Firstly, that people have the same access to this information easily and readily and will probably find out these details anyway, and secondly that it takes far more energy to present ourselves differently in different circumstances than it does to present a consistent and authentic self-representation. These particular nuggets of information resonated highly with myself, and in fact, with all of the audience.
Another aspect of the seminar that I found unique and definitively practical was Daniel’s insistence that every member of the audience should not end the day without at least £1000 idea for their business. In fact, he took this further and challenged the room to strive and create a £10,000 idea before they leave. To encourage this Daniel consistently engaged individual members of the audience to discuss the specific idea that they were formulating for their own particular business. Practical, realistic and individual solutions for each and every member of the group. I am pleased to announce that every member had found at least one £1000 idea, and several confessed to conceiving a £10,000 idea that they would immediately put into practice in their own businesses.
During one of her many interactive discussions between Daniel and the audience, he made a couple of statements that I found particularly relevant and poignant. The first was that historically information was held and delivered to the millions by a very small number of media and news channels, whereas nowadays with the inception and expansion of the Internet, information was provided by millions of “media and news” individuals, by virtue of their own websites, blogs, Facebook pages and tweets, and read by a relatively small number of individuals. This he felt represented a huge change in the way that business and life will run; effectively a change in human behavior and potentially in global human consciousness.
To emphasize this point, he articulated that Twitter allows for the instant transportation and communication of thoughts. Within seconds of theTwitterer tweeting, any follower has potentially instant access to the very thoughts of these individuals. His advice, follow the industry leaders, leading entrepreneurs, experts and gurus. It has been sent that eight out of 10 of the leading entrepreneurs of today read it least 10 inspirational business and life books per year. Nowadays, it is possible that not only can we access to historic activities of these business leaders but we can actually tap into their very latest thoughts. Powerful stuff, indeed.
The second and possibly even more profound statement was that the Internet is a clear and even playing field. The resources available to each and every businessman and woman, be they sole trader or SME, are exactly the same as those available to a global mega-organisation. The same rules, the same tools and at the same costs. No preferential treatment for the global business. The conclusion was that with a well co-ordinated and effective social media and Internet marketing campaign, any small business can compete with the big boys without anything like the available finances and can in fact, for a relatively small amount of money, far outstripped the global companies in terms of visitors to their website, their business and their products and services. Just consider that for a few moments.
So compelling and simple were these points that further proof of their relevance and accuracy were not really required. But just to force the point home, if you will, whilst the audience were completing a five minute brain dump with themselves, Daniel created and executed a simple but extremely effective online marketing campaign for a book and a friend of his had written and wished promoting. Daniel created this campaign is approximately midday, when the book in question was lying in 86000+ place in this week’s book sales. He lets the campaign run approximately 2 hours and showed us the result that he had achieved within that incredibly small time frame. He had managed to sell almost 100 copies of the book, raised its standing in the listings to around 14,000th place and managed to get the book to number 11 in the standings of its own particular category. He did all of this at a cost of around $14! I am sure I don’t have to tell you of the impact that this had on the audience; you can just about hear brains ticking and wearing over the frantic sounds of pens and pencils scratching noisily on paper pads.
I would like to thank Daniel both personally and on the behalf of the whole group. They even have to admit to having some of my slightly tainted faith restored in both marketing and in marketing seminars. It remains for me to make just two more points;
1) if you are considering utilising Internet tools, social media and affiliate marketing into your business activities, and after all, why would you not be? Then I would recommend your first click be on Daniel’s website and your second click would be to book on one of his courses.
2) that Daniel donated his entire fee for the day to stepUP Foundation , a gesture that in these times of credit crunch and cynicism that may be perceived as either be relatively cheap form of PR to a relatively small group of people or what I prefer to believe, and it was a genuine gesture from a genuine bloke. I recommend that you meet him for yourself and make up your own mind.
And thank you to Debra Brown, who we’ll here more from next month, for setting up the seminar