A solo traveler's top 3 takeaways from Infusionsoft's Icon 2016
When you're at a conference like Infusionsoft's Icon, you're bound to be flooded with insights and takeaways. I want to provide a quick post to capture some of the thoughts I've had during this AMAZING week in Phoneix, Arizona. Here are my top 3 takeaways from Icon 2016
The power of vulnerability and rejection proofing
- The biggest thing that I took away from this conference was the networking. Don't get me wrong: the keynotes and breakout sessions were awesome and informative. But when you get so many like-minded people together, you're bound to have some fantastic, and sometimes unexpected insights. Networking FTW!
- I came here solo and so many people were here in groups of 2-4 from a company. My colleagues will laugh if I say that, at times, I felt shy (I’m known to be highly extroverted) but in reality, there were times when I definitely felt a bit lonely and shy. Spending 4 days in a different city with no one you know can be tough but you HAVE to put yourself out there. You HAVE to find people to grab drinks and dinner with after hours, and you HAVE to inject yourself into slightly awkward interactions because it’s totally worth it. The good news is that if you’re travelling solo to a conference, you automatically get a kick in the butt to do this...you can’t just default to hanging out with the people you already know.
- I’m actually really glad that I came here alone. I ended up having dinner with other people on the nights that I was here and they were all with their colleagues. I would think to myself--you can have dinner with your colleagues any night! Go meet someone new! There are people here from Europe, Africa, Australia, and South America! Go have dinner with THEM! At the same time, I’m also super grateful to the groups of people that ‘adopted’ me for a night (ie 3 people who work together invited me to tag along) so if you are at a conference with your coworkers, invite someone who’s there alone (or with their group) to join you for dinner. It will make their day!!
- Brene Brown’s The Power of Vulnerability is one of my favourite TED talks and I was reminded of it while I was here. Watch it here
- The best breakout session I attended was the Rejection Academy by Jia Jiang because he gave such simple and accessible tips on turning a ‘no’ into a ‘yes’ and not getting down when someone rejects you. The biggest takeaway was to not automatically think that rejection is a reflection of how the person feels about YOU. It’s more likely that their rejection is due to something totally external to you (so ask why) and don’t take it personally ever! This was especially motivating for someone at a conference solo.
Nail your pitch
- The people that I met with that could tell me in very simple, non-rehearsed sounding terms what they do and why they’re here were the most memorable. People that threw out buzzwords and didn’t clearly communicate to me who they are or what they do quickly lost my interest.
- This also encouraged me to refine MY ten second pitch about who I am and what Klipfolio does so that there is no confusion about how I might be able to help the person I’m talking to.
- This doesn’t mean necessarily writing down a ten second pitch (because if it sounds too rehearsed it’s also awkward). Rather, you have to understand your value proposition so well that you can communicate it in a few different ways, based on the conversation up until that point. Your pitch should be a response in a conversation that you’re having with another person, not a statement that you recite when asked what you do.
- Don’t assume that people understand what you do. So many people that I saw wearing a partner badge would assume that I understand what kind of partner they are. If I have to clarify with you after 5 minutes of talking to you if what you really do is help implement Infusionsoft for your clients, it took too long for you to get me there. Don’t assume people know who you are or what you do. At all.
Small businesses need dashboards!
- I barely needed to convince anyone that they need Klipfolio. I just had to educate them that there is a better way than exporting data from 10 different services and putting it in Excel. Learn more: Excel dashboard
- I also needed to remind them that analytics is not just for bigger companies. Just because you run a small company doesn’t mean you need to resort to gut feeling. In fact, BECAUSE you run a small company you can’t AFFORD to make decisions based on gut feeling.
- Everyone’s eyes lit up when i told them we’re priced at $24/mth. They suddenly realized that analytics can be accessible for them.
- People told me that for them, the biggest attraction to Klipfolio was the time saver. Just the fact that you don’t have to sign in to 10 different applications to pull out your data is attractive. Let alone having it update continuously (rather than a monthly view), mashing it up with different services (to finally get those key insights), and getting it all for 24 bucks.
Who knows what next year's conference holds?
Icon lived up to the billing as "The Ultimate Small Business Conference." It's so incredible to network and converse with small businesses from across the globe. I was blown away at how tech-savvy, clever, and enterprising these businesses are. What about next year's conference? I think it'd be great to have a stronger Klipfolio presence here. But we'll have to wait another 12 months!
Thanks for reading!