How to kill the pitchfest (and still run a profitable event)

A while back I flew to DC for a Mastermind Conference with Joe Soto.

And what was interesting to me was that the event was profitable for him. It took a lot of strategizing to make sure the event wasn’t a loss.

Well, today’s guest helped him with that. I want to find out how he does it.

Andrew is the co-creator of The SAM Event which is is a 2 day event with speakers and entertainers talking about Sales, Advertising and Marketing.

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Andrew Lock

Andrew Lock

The SAM Event

Andrew is the co-creator of The SAM Event which is is a 2 day event with speakers and entertainers talking about Sales, Advertising and Marketing.

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Full Interview Transcript

Andrew W: Hey there, freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy where I interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses. I was at a . . . I guess it was called a Mastermind was it, Andrew, that Joe Soto did?

Andrew L: Yes. The Mastermind Weekend. Yeah.

Andrew W: So I flew to D.C., I spoke there. And it was a good crowd about 100 plus people for an in-depth event where Joe was presenting the whole time, except for me and one other person we had with a short presentation. And what was interesting to me was that he and I were talking about how the event was profitable for him and he and you had strategized about how to make sure that the event wasn’t a loss and that you Andrew Lock are not just helping him create an event that’s profitable, you’ve been doing it yourself. And that stands out to me largely, because when I interview people who run conferences and other events like Traffic & Conversion, Ryan Deiss says that he was losing money on the first one.

Andrew L: Oh, yeah.

Andrew W: It’s a tough thing to do. Frankly, we did an event last year around the chatbot space, it was a money loser for us. Not significant, but we definitely lost money. And so I’m fascinated by how you’re actually able to turn a profit on events and what you’ve learned that I should be learning from. The event that you’re running now and it’s actually going to be happening in a few days in Las Vegas is called SAM. And SAM stands for Speakers . . . , actually, what does it stand for? It’s not Speakers, Authors. It’s Sales, Advertising, and Marketing, right?

Andrew L: You almost came up with another event.

Andrew W: And what you’re doing is you’re going to have 23 experts talk about sales and advertising and marketing or one of them. And they’re going to do it in 18 minute talks. And that’s kind of taking that whole TED model, which is kind of interesting, eye-opening, enlightening and making it more actionable, useful, and business-centric. And I asked you before we started, “Is it profitable?” And you said, “Yeah.” And we started talking about how was profitable and I said, “Wait, let’s make sure that we get this on camera.” And so we’re going to talk about it. For those people who are interested, this event will happen June 13th and 14th in Las Vegas, and you can get a free sponsor ticket right now, which also is kind of interesting that he’s offering the tickets for free. I kind of think the sponsor ticket part is a marketing thing. Am I right, Andrew?

Andrew L: It’s the positioning. Yeah.

Andrew W: I thought so, right?

Andrew L: You know, in many ways, it is true. You know, the sponsors essentially cover the cost. We can get into that, too.

Andrew W: I do want to get into that.

Andrew L: Yeah, it’s a way of presenting it, you know, a reason because everybody wants to know reason why. If you offer a free ticket, you know, it’s like, well, what’s the catch?

Andrew W: Yeah. I’m going to talk about that. Within this interview, I want to find out how you’re pulling this together. This interview is sponsored by two great sponsors. Speaking of sponsors, who make this interview happen, the first will do your email marketing right, it’s called ActiveCampaign. And the second will help you build your website for anything, for an event, for your software company and whatever. It’s called HostGator. I’ll talk about why you should be using those later.

But first, Andrew, let’s talk about this year so far. We’re kind of early. Most tickets . . . I feel like the biggest burst of tickets are going to come close to the start date. How many tickets have you sold so far or how many tickets have you given away so far?

Andrew L: Well, at the time that we are recording this, we’re just inching up to 1,000, just I think maybe 20 or so short of 1,000.

Andrew W: And when you give it away for free, how many people actually show up? What’s the percentage?

Andrew L: Well, I mean, it’s different every time but what we anticipate is anywhere from a half to two thirds. And the reason we can say that is because we have a very detailed campaign to keep in touch with people and basically, you know, keep them excited about the event. So I can share some info on that too.

Andrew W: About how you get at least half of them to show up [inaudible 00:04:25] . . .

Andrew L: Yeah, make sure they show up.

Andrew W: . . . they’re just kind of locking it in I feel like. Last year how many people showed up?

Andrew L: We didn’t do it last year, but the last time we did it we had 350, which was a full house for the theater that we had.

Andrew W: Three hundred and fifty showed up?

Andrew L: Yes.

Andrew W: And what’s the revenue from that?

Andrew L: The revenue was . . . let me grab my calculator.

Andrew W: Really? Okay. And I want to know where the revenue comes from when you’re not selling tickets. I feel like in a world where now everyone seems to be doing events, every software company is [going there 00:05:02].

Andrew L: It was in the region of about 200,000, 210,000.

Andrew W: Revenue. And was it profitable?

Andrew L: Yes. But, you know, the whole point of this is to change the approach of how these events are done because the traditional approach, the vast majority of people use when putting on these types of business events is purely to sell tickets and then you know, maybe they sell other things at the event, or, you know, do the 50/50 speaker split that kind of thing. But, you know, I counted this with Ryan Lee, incidentally, another marketer based on the East Coast. And, you know, the whole reason why we came up with this concept of SAM was because we were both really kind of frustrated and fed up with the events that we were going to. For lots of different reasons, they didn’t resonate with us. And not only did they not resonate, but they really kind of, you know, we weren’t enjoying it anymore.

Andrew W: But you know what? I kind of feel like I know you. You’re more of a mercenary than that. You’re not just a missionary. If you saw that events were resonating with you, you’d say, “You know what? I’m just not going to go to events anymore. I’ll hang out. I’m in love. I’ve got something going on my life.”

Andrew L: The thing is both Ryan and I have always put on events, you know, both separately and together different scales of different sizes. And we hadn’t done one for quite a while. But we also speak at a lot of events. And so we were very . . . we felt like we were very in tune with what was going on in the world of business.

Andrew W: So why didn’t you say, “You know what? I’m giving up on events. I’m somebody who does a lot of online content, I’ll just do that.” What was it about events [inaudible 00:06:54]?

Andrew L: Because, you know, events bring something that isn’t possible through the channels, you know, to actually hang out with your customers and people that, you know, want to get to know you. It’s a very unique experience that you cannot get through any other channels. I mean, you know, we are so used to the digital realm now that a lot of people have forgotten that, you know, there’s this art of connection and something magical definitely happens at events. But, you know, you have to do the event in the right way. And we weren’t enjoying the events that we were speaking at. And we also felt like the events that we were doing ourselves had become also a bit stale. So it was time for reinvention and, you know, with books like “Blue Ocean Strategy,” and this one that kind of encouraged us to think very differently in zig where others are zagging.

Andrew W: Okay, tell me about, let’s be open here, one of your events where you felt like, “It’s getting stale. I can’t keep going with that approach anymore.”

Andrew L: Oh, I mean, I could give you lots of examples.

Andrew W: Do it.

Andrew L: I mean, everybody knows the phrase pitch fest, right?

Andrew W: Uh-huh.

Andrew L: And, you know, it’s this model where you have a whole bunch of speakers, they each speak for typically an hour and a half, sometimes longer. And the last 30 minutes or so of their presentation is, you know, a pretty hard sell pitch. Well, you know, if the speaker is delivering value and then they offer something that genuinely that’s going to help people, I don’t have a problem with that at all.

Andrew W: But you’re saying your events became a pitch fest?

Andrew L: Not my events, but events that I was speaking at.

Andrew W: You were speaking at.

Andrew L: Yeah.

Andrew W: And so when you pitch, you split the revenue with the event organizers.

Andrew L: Yes. Typically it’s 50/50, although, with some promoters now, you know, finding it a lot harder to fill events. Sometimes those splits can be as much as 70/30, 70% is the promoter.

Andrew W: In favor of the speaker?

Andrew L: No, 30% to the speaker.

Andrew W: Thirty percent to the speaker. Because that’s how they make their money. Got it. Yeah, I think it was Russell Brunson from ClickFunnels. I interviewed him and he said that’s where he figured out his model where he was speaking at an event where he made money because he was pitching at the back. All right. So I understand this model. I know that it’s been working for a while. I think Ryan Deiss told me in his interview, look, the thing that he wanted to do was get rid of the pitch fest, and he insisted that people not pitch. And that was his change.

You were looking at this world and having the same feeling, which is, “I don’t want to go into a conference where people are pitching all the time. I’m not even making that much money when I go to a conference, and I’m pitching all the time. It doesn’t feel great for anybody. There’s got to be a better way. A whole Blue Ocean Strategy means start blank with something brand new and see what can we create.” And what you came up with was you said, tell me if I’m wrong. This whole TED approach of keeping presentations short means that our short attention span likes it. But how do we make it be a little bit more useful? How do we bring that approach to our world of entrepreneurs, marketers . . . You’re nodding, that’s what it was. Okay.

Andrew L: Yeah, exactly. And so there were two components to it that were radically different from anything anyone had done before. One was this TED approach of short presentations. No one is allowed to do a sales pitch in their presentation and everyone has to make the presentation practical. It’s, you know, “Follow these steps and you’ll get this result.”

Andrew W: And that was the model. Right. You know what? I like that. So it’s a specific model, keep it short, and get out of the way. But also, it has to be a specific, “Follow these steps and you’ll get that results.”

Andrew L: Yeah, it has to be practical. The speakers need to be engaging. They need to be, you know, good storytellers. And they need to have achieved the results that they are teaching. And so there’s a lot of criteria in among that 18-minute presentation in terms of how we filter speakers. So a lot of speakers . . . you know what? I get pitched almost every day for speakers for SAM, and most of them I have to say no to because they don’t meet the criteria that I had established that, you know, just like TED does a very good job at filtering speakers so that they are left with the cream of the crop. So that was the one component. And then the other component that I decided to add into the mix to make this, you know, truly unique was interspersing these business presentations with live entertainment.

See, my background originally was from the entertainment industry and I used to produce shows. So for me, I could never understand why entertainment didn’t come into events more. I mean, occasionally, you would see something in the entertainment, you know, category, but it would be rare and it would be usually be badly done, if at all. And so I felt like, “Okay, if we created SAM always to be in a theater, a proper theater with first class lighting, sound system and we have business presentations, and throughout the day, performances from incredible singers, musicians, comedians, and so on, this left brain, right brain stimulation would make it much more enjoyable for people to learn and they would remember more.” And that’s exactly what happened.

Andrew W: Okay. I’m kind of surprised by that because I would have thought that business people would not want to sit and watch a guitarist play a guitar on stage. “I got too much to do.”

Andrew L: It’s an interesting comment that you say that. But fundamentally, Andrew, people want to be entertained. Most people kind of look forward to the weekend where they can let their hair down a little bit. And the reality too is, you know, we’re very upfront with what SAM is. And so one of the reasons why someone would choose to come to SAM is because they do enjoy both entertainment and learning about business. So, you know, we’re not sort of bringing anyone in under false pretenses but that is something that is very appealing to the right people is like, “Yeah, I would love to be entertained and learn at the same time.”

Andrew W: All right. I want to find out about, like, how much are you paying your speakers? Or do you have to pay speakers? I want to find out how you figured out if they’re really good storytellers, if they actually can do practical stuff with you. Let’s talk about the money because I feel like that’s the part that kind of hangs over our heads here. Where’s the money coming from? If people aren’t paying for tickets, it’s from?

Andrew L: Well, there’s multiple streams of . . . you know, as we said, with the traditional model, it’s buy a ticket, that’s the main revenue. What we’ve done is reversed it so that we are significantly out of pocket on the frontend, but knowing that we have a proven system on the backend. So first of all, there’s revenue from sponsors. We offer packages anywhere from $1,500 to the top one is $6,000. And for this upcoming event, I think we have in the region of about 18 sponsors.

Andrew W: And the sponsor comes on after each talk, it seems like?

Andrew L: No. There’s no presence on the stage at all from sponsors. However, myself and Chris, as the hosts, will, you know, give credit to sponsors. We have lots of different ways that give them visibility throughout the event, but it’s not . . .

Andrew W: What’s the biggest thing that you’ll do for a sponsor?

Andrew L: Well, the most high profile is, well, I guess it’s open to interpretation, but Chris and I we’ll talk about the sponsors but in a more natural way, rather than just, you know, seem like a pitch rather. Also, we send text message alerts to the attendees throughout the days that they’re there. And incorporated in those is mentions of the sponsors. Throughout the breaks, you know, the sponsors appear on all the screens. They all obviously have our presence in an exhibitor area where they can meet and interact with the attendees. So, yeah, lots of different.

Andrew W: Oh, there’s an exhibitors area. Got it. Okay. All right. I got a sense of it. So that’s one.

Andrew L: That’s one aspect.

Andrew W: Eighteen sponsors paying like what? You say $1,500 to $6,000?

Andrew L: $1,500 to $6,000, yeah.

Andrew W: Okay, it’s not that much. And $6,000 gets you what?

Andrew L: It adds up. Well, just the different tiers.

Andrew W: Then they get a booth and they get you talking on stage and they get their name on stuff. Got it. Okay.

Andrew L: Higher profile, yeah.

Andrew W: That’s a small portion of your revenue my guess is, right? What percentage would you say comes from that?

Andrew L: Yeah. It basically helps cover the costs that we would have got from ticket sales.

Andrew W: So how much roughly?

Andrew L: So we actually pay for the event. It’s probably . . . excuse me. Probably looking at . . .

Andrew W: You’ve been coughing up a storm since before we started. I was a little worried maybe you wouldn’t want to do it.

Andrew L: Yeah, it’s allergies.

Andrew W: Okay.

Andrew L: Probably looking about 80,000.

Andrew W: Eighty. Okay. All right. And then so that’s a small portion, it seems to me. The next portion is the things that you sell. What are those?

Andrew L: Yeah. So, you know, another kind of little component but which helps is we’ll have a store there. Many of or most I would say of the speakers have books so we sell the speakers’ books and, you know, take a take a cut of that. And that’s, you know, we also arranged for signings and it’s, you know, we sell a lot of books.

Andrew W: Did you?

Andrew L: Oh, yeah.

Andrew W: Really?

Andrew L: Yeah. Because, you know, people want . . . they see a speaker, it’s only 18 minutes, so it’s very natural for them to want more.

Andrew W: So I guess, like, if Jay Abraham is on stage, I hear him talk and then when I come off, there’s his book there.

Andrew L: He’s going to do a signing and . . . yeah.

Andrew W: Okay. All right. So that’s one thing, right? So I should say the sponsors and then the sales of products. Okay.

Andrew L: The big ones that we offer two events. One is a very natural follow up to SAM, which is we call it the Build a Better Business Event, which is another two-day event. And it’s the whole idea of it is to elaborate in much more detail and make it into a sort of a more logical progression for people to learn how they can grow any business using sales, advertising, and marketing. It’s quire really expanding on what they’ve learned at SAM. So that’s one thing. And then other . . .

Andrew W: Is that a Mastermind?

Andrew L: Sorry?

Andrew W: Is that like your Mastermind?

Andrew L: Yeah, that’s a two-day event.

Andrew W: That’s a whole other event. So somebody who’s sitting in the audience might buy that event?

Andrew L: Yes, exactly. And then other two-day event is, again, a very natural tie into someone who’s at SAM, and we call it the SAM speaking school. And the promise is essentially learn how to create your own SAM talk or your own TED Talk, that style of short presentation. And we make the offer that, you know, the students who graduate from that program will be given first consideration to present at future SAM events. So it’s quite appealing.

Andrew W: So they get to become better speakers, like the speakers who they just saw and potentially get to speak on stage. What is that sell for?

Andrew L: Exactly. The speaking school is $2,000, which is a smaller scale event and the Build a Better Business two-day event, that’s a larger event which is $200.

Andrew W: Two hundred. Okay.

Andrew L: And at those events is where we sell a Mastermind for $15,000 and that’s, you know, we’re typically looking at about 20 people take that.

Andrew W: And that’s $15,000 one time?

Andrew L: Yes, for a while for the year.

Andrew W: For the year. And then that includes calling you and texting you and also . . .

Andrew L: Actually it doesn’t . . . you know, I’ve been running Masterminds for probably about 10 years now. And I’ve learned a lot in the process about what people want and also what I want and what I don’t want. And so I’ve designed a Mastermind concept that I really enjoy doing. And that, you know, one of the things I don’t enjoy doing is individual calls. So we don’t do that. The main thing that we do is have three in-person two-day meetings spread throughout the year. One of them is a destination meeting, like, you know, quite often I’ll take a group behind the scenes at Disney World or something like that. And, yeah, it’s, you know, like I said, I’ve designed a group that, you know, inspires me and makes me happy to do it not dread, you know, because that’s . . .

Andrew W: Yeah, that’s a very intense relationship with people. If you don’t like them, it’s just soul crushing.

Andrew L: It does. It’s unpleasant. You know, so . . .

Andrew W: It’s worse than a job because they demand . . .

Andrew L: Yeah, it really is.

Andrew W: And so it comes with one in-person meeting and then [inaudible 00:20:48].

Andrew L: Three in-person.

Andrew W: Oh, three in-person, got it. So they don’t even have to pay for those events. They just are included in the $15,000.

Andrew L: Yeah, three times two days.

Andrew W: And nothing throughout the year?

Andrew L: We will meet once a month online as a group.

Andrew W: That’s it. And nothing else like Zoom like I’m doing with you.

Andrew L: Yeah. Yeah.

Andrew W: I got to talk about my first sponsor. Does it feel like I’m like pushing for every bit of information? Does it feel a little unbearable?

Andrew L: Feels right.

Andrew W: No, you like it?

Andrew L: Yeah.

Andrew W: Oh, good. I’m glad I’m looking at you and I feel like, “Maybe actually Andrew thinks that this is a little too much that [inaudible 00:21:16].”

Andrew L: No. I’m an open book and, you know, I’m passionate about SAMs. I love talking about it.

Andrew W: I can see. I feel like this is something that a lot of what you’ve done is you felt good about. This is closer to your heart thing than . . .

Andrew L: No. Actually I want to come back to that in a minute because I want to tell you the exact genesis because that’s actually very helpful for entrepreneurs.

Andrew W: Okay. All right. Let me talk about my first sponsor. Who should my first sponsor be? Should I talk about ActiveCampaign or HostGator? Tell you what? I’m going to talk about HostGator. Here’s why.

Andrew L: I’ve used both of those.

Andrew W: You have?

Andrew L: Indeed.

Andrew W: What did you use HostGator for? Good. We’ll talk about both in context of your life. What did you use HostGator for?

Andrew L: Hosting.

Andrew W: Hosting? What type of website?

Andrew L: I don’t know, actually, because I’ve got so many fingers in the [inaudible 00:22:01].

Andrew W: Perfect. Here’s the thing that I’m going to say. Yeah. I feel like there’s some people who are hosting nerds who are just going to like roll their eyes at me for doing this because they have like their ideal hosting company. And you know what? Congratulations to you, right? Yeah, you know those people. Maybe HostGator is not for you. You got your own little persnickety things that you need and HostGator doesn’t. I totally understand that. I love you. I think you’re fine. For most of us, though, hosting is a solved solution. It’s a solved problem, I should say. It just exists. Just go get a hosting company that works and move on and worry about how you can get people to come to your site. I have an example, by the way, of somebody whose site I under . . . I didn’t underestimate, I had no idea.

My friend, Noah Kagan, when he started AppSumo where he sells software and soon after that he started sumo.com where he makes his own software, not selling other people’s software. Remember he came over to my house for dinner and I’m like starting conversation with people and I say, “Noah, what do you think about like paying too much taxes? What should we do about this? Like is there a way of . . . ” And his answer was, “Shut down Andrew’s conversation about that.” He said, “I’m happy as much money as I make. I’m happy to pay as much taxes as I need to.” Like that conversation didn’t go anywhere, which thankfully, we had a bunch of really interesting people in my house for dinner and so I could find other interesting conversations.

But, boy, he shut me down, I thought, “You know, maybe I’m overthinking this.” Freaking guy writes a book. He sells it for 100 bucks. It’s called something like “What the Rich Don’t Want You to Know.” And I’m only interested in it because the guy sells it for 100 bucks. And I tweet out, “Is this book any good? Does anyone know?” And Ryan Deiss says to me, “Yeah, Andrew, actually, it’s a really good book.” Okay, who cares? Hundred bucks, let’s go do it. It’s not just a novelty that he’s like riffing on me. So I get the book. And in it, he breaks down like all the different ways that he saves on taxes, like all the different ways that his friends save on taxes. And some of them I’ve actually heard people talking to me in private. And I’m glad that he’s talking about them a little more publicly.

[It’s interesting 00:23:54] this about all these different ways to save money and to invest it and to make a little bit more. I can give you an example what comes from his book. There are these people who use a broker who will get a person works at the airline to say that, “You, Andrew, if you hire this broker,” and the person who works at the airline will say, “Andrew Lock is long lost relative of mine. And because Andrew is a long lost relative of mine, he should be able to fly for free using my friends and family or my family tickets.” And so the broker will match you up with someone who works at the airline. You give the broker money, the broker gives it to the person who works at the airline, you get to fly for free off in first class, maybe even usually I forgot.

Andrew L: He said that in his book?

Andrew W: Yeah, I’ve had friends tell me about this. They will not let me talk about it publicly. He said in his book, but he said, “I can’t tell you who the brokers are and I can’t tell you who does it. It’s not hard to find if you need it.”

Andrew L: Yeah. I do actually happen to know the [inaudible 00:24:43]. A few weeks ago, United came out with a huge news on exactly that, that they fired 40 employees for doing that. It is absolutely a fireable offense.

Andrew W: I wonder how much of this is going and how much is not. But this whole book is full of stuff like this. Here’s what people are doing and . . .

Andrew L: Yeah. That’s not really very helpful if he doesn’t give any resources.

Andrew W: In that case, he doesn’t. But in other cases, he absolutely gives resources. He also says here’s how he cannot avoid taxes, but how he could reduce his taxes by doing things that are legal. But we don’t talk about them because it’s crass to say, “I make so much money. I want to find a way to save on taxes,” right?

Andrew L: Yeah.

Andrew W: It’s crass to say, “You know what? I talked to my friends, here’s what’s crass, we’re going to all talk about it.”

Andrew L: Interesting.

Andrew W: “Or at least I’m going to write it in this book.” What’s interesting to me is that he had this goal of how much passive income you wanted to make. And a lot of it was like from his real estate and other stuff. But another part coming back to HostGator was he said he writes his blog and he actually makes considerable revenue from his book blog posts about the books that he reads and then he links over to Amazon. And his links are so like insignificant that I never even noticed they were at the end of his book. Not summaries or reviews. It’s kind of a combination of summary and review. It’s him telling you what he learned from the books. And it was interesting to me. This guy has been blogging for years on OkDork.

Yeah, he likes to blog about the books that he reads and the stuff that he gets. And some of us end up following the link and buying the book. Many people I imagine follow the link and go, “You know what? I actually meant to buy a new whatever, a new Roomba,” or something odd, and then he makes commission off of that.

So why am I bringing this up? Because I think a lot of people sharing their opinions on other people’s sites but they’re not getting to make much money. Imagine if somebody listened to us and says, “You know what? He has OkDork. I’m going to do oknerd.com or Ok whatever, okputz.com.” And they just like blog about this stuff that you’re buying that you’re interested in that you care about, post it on social media occasionally. And then, yeah, you might make some affiliate commission.

It’s not making huge amounts of money for Noah, but it’s significant enough that he’s including it in how much like passive income he’s getting along with his real estate rent and his Airbnb properties. So whether it’s that idea, guys, or any other idea that you’ve got, go on time to hostgator.com/mixergy. When you use that link, you’re going to get the lowest price that they make available anywhere. And you can get started with one click Install WordPress. Don’t like it, shut it down, be gone. Do like it, keep going, keep adjusting, and keep improving it. And maybe you could like Noah Kagan, come to my house and tell me that you don’t care about saving money on taxes.

And then one day you can actually care so much about it that you write a whole freaking book on it. If that’s your path, take it to hostgator.com/mixergy. All right, now everyone is going over to Noah Kagan’s site going, “What the hell is he doing?” Not much. He’s just like he likes to think through books. He’s a reader. We all are readers. But I like that he thinks it through out loud. My approach is a little bit more of a loud mouth. I like to talk to the author. And then I like to break them. “Does this even make sense?” All right, Seth Godin was really good with me on that. He liked that I got into it with him on his book and then he opened me up to be that pushy with everyone else. I’m kind of talking because I see looking up at your screen at something. Be open. What do you looking up there? What do you looking . . .

Andrew L: I’m looking at Noah Kagan’s book.

Andrew W: Oh, you are, right? It’s $100 book. I actually don’t mind that it’s 100 bucks. Here’s the part that was off-putting for me. It’s not a digital book. I read books on my Kindle, on my iPhone, on my iPad.

Andrew L: Oh, you’re one of those.

Andrew W: Yeah. So I have to keep remembering where to put the freaking book.

Andrew L: Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Andrew W: Now what I did was I put it in the kitchen on my wife’s cookbooks. She took it away. It’s like a distraction.

Andrew L: It’s actually very clever that he sold it for $100. I mean, that’s actually . . . you know, it’s standing out from the crowd. It’s great.

Andrew W: It is.

Andrew L: And gets people talking.

Andrew W: And he’s specifically saying, “Look, if you’re making less than $100,000 a year, just don’t buy this book. It’s not for you.” And frankly, I would even say if you’re making less than 300,000 a year, you shouldn’t get that book. It’s at some point, it makes sense at other points just focus [inaudible 00:28:45]. Okay. All right.

Andrew L: Interesting.

Andrew W: I like him. He’s a very interesting person.

Andrew L: Yeah. Oh, incredible.

Andrew W: A little bit of a whack job, which is what I love best. My best friends are a little bit wacky.

Andrew L: That’s good.

Andrew W: And I loosen them down at drinks and everyone will open up with me. I like it. He’s telling me what he’s thinking about when he’s having sex. This is a little bit more than most people. I think I talked to you about, like your relationships, didn’t I? When we were sitting down in . . . ?

Andrew L: We did a little bit. Yeah.

Andrew W: Don’t worry, I’m not going to bring up what you said. It was in private.

Andrew L: I don’t remember what I said.

Andrew W: I love like personal conversations. I was actually at that event in Vegas that Joe Soto put on, I went to go run because I’m training to run seven marathons this year. I’m saying to myself, “Andrew, just walk past, when you’re done with the gym, walk past everyone, go into your room. Walk past everyone, go into your room. Walk past everyone, go into your room.” “Hey, Andrew, how are you doing? Can I talk to you?”

Andrew L: Yeah, that’s right. And then three hours later.

Andrew W: The most interesting guy was a guy who was sitting there who was using . . . he was a kind of a shy guy within the context of the event but he was using Tinder in an interesting way. And I said, “Let me see your Tinder conversations.” And he showed it to me. And he [inaudible 00:29:57]. Right?

Andrew L: I remember that frankly. Yeah. Yeah.

Andrew W: One of his Tinder conversations was, “I’m here in Dulles, Virginia. Do you want to hook up?” And the girl said, “Yes.”

Andrew L: That was actually very eye opening. It really was.

Andrew W: Right? Like it’s eye opening as my interviews are, I feel like my personal conversation are more so. You feel what?

Andrew L: I feel old when people start talking about Tinder. I’m like . . .

Andrew W: From what I remember you were in a happy relationship, right?

Andrew L: I am. I am.

Andrew W: You genuinely are. Look, you’re beaming right now. It’s hard to tell because your complexion but you’re turning red with excitement.

Andrew L: Am I? Or is it the light?

Andrew W: No. Well, are you still in love?

Andrew L: Yeah.

Andrew W: Tell me about your relationship. Who are you in love with?

Andrew L: I don’t know if you remember this, but I . . . which actually has never ever happened to me, you know, for all the events that I speak at throughout the years. One time about, I don’t know, three years ago after an event, one of the attendees came up to me and she was . . . I just knew like I have to get to know this girl. It was incredible. And, you know, thankfully, she felt the same way about me and long distance relationship but we’ve made it work so far.

Andrew W: Yeah, like bicoastal or something or you’re not on the coast?

Andrew L: No, she’s in Sweden.

Andrew W: Oh, it was even further, right.

Andrew L: Like International.

Andrew W: Wow wee, man. Wow. And you’re like facetiming all the time?

Andrew L: Oh, yeah. Yeah. WhatsApp.

Andrew W: Oh, really? Okay. Yeah. Right, anyone outside the U.S. you’re not facetiming, you’re whatsapping. All right. Let’s come back to business the, the Mastermind, the Build a Better Business that . . .

Andrew L: Yeah, I want to share with you what the sort of genesis was because I was at an event and unfortunately I don’t remember who said this, but what’s more important is what they said. And you may have heard this before, I don’t know. But he was talking, you know, about success and what success really means and I’m really on his own journey about how to be happy. And, you know, not just financially but also, you know, truly deep down being feeling fulfilled. And I’m an entrepreneur so I’ve done a lot of things and continue to do a lot of things. But what he said was the turning point for him and what he recommended to the audience was to find a why that makes you cry. And those words just really hit me. Find the why that makes you cry because, you know, a lot of the things that I was doing I felt like, “Yeah, it’s work. I kind of enjoy it.” But I think I definitely didn’t feel that deep resonation and definitely those things did not move me emotionally and that’s the point here. And so I started thinking about it, “Well, you know, what has done that for me?”

And I realized that I needed to refocus and bring in more of my background from the entertainment world. And, you know, essentially create what I’ve always been good at, which is create a show for the market that I love, which is entrepreneurs. And it was a big shift for me that has really made a huge difference in my own happiness because SAM is truly a why that makes me cry. I love putting this event on. I get great, genuine deep satisfaction from it as well as being able to support a great charity in Make-A-Wish Foundation.

So it sort of checks all the boxes for me, which once I had looked honestly about the various things I was doing before, I couldn’t check all the boxes. I could check one or two. And so hopefully that’ll be helpful to some watching this is to maybe just pause for a little while and really deeply think, “Do I have in what I do and how I spend my time a why that really makes me cry? Am I doing something that moves me emotionally and really satisfies me deep down emotionally, rather than just a means to making money?”

Andrew W: I’ve been looking up your LinkedIn. I’m trying to see where in the past you are in entertainment. I know you were a Web TV producer in 2001. Is that . . .

Andrew L: Yeah. I mean, I don’t really list it on LinkedIn. But basically my original background was . . . wow, let’s go back even further than that. School, I was absolutely passionate about theater. In all my school holidays, I would always work at my local theater. I would work on drama type shows, plays, musicals. And also like, you know, with touring bands and so on. I later when I left school became a cameraman at the BBC, a TV producer, live event producer. And so I produced events like Miss UK, which you know, the equivalent would be Miss USA here or Miss America. And I also worked with a whole bunch of bands as well. So I was very, very immersed in entertainment until I . . . and I managed this very famous celebrity too. I was very immersed in entertainment . . .

Andrew W: Who was the celebrity?

Andrew L: You wouldn’t know him because he was . . . I guess the way to . . .

Andrew W: I don’t know any celebrity. I’m going to google . . .

Andrew L: The way to compare him would be he would be like the Jimmy Fallon of England.

Andrew W: Okay, what’s his name?

Andrew L: His name is Paul Daniels.

Andrew W: Paul Daniels. Okay.

Andrew L: Yeah. So, yeah, you know, that was my background. That’s what I knew . . .

Andrew W: And you wrote a magic book with him.

Andrew L: Yes. He was doing. Yeah. Yes. So he was someone I grew up watching on TV. He was on, you know, every . . . he was the prime time entertainment on Saturday nights. Bearing in mind, you see, in England at the time there was only three channels to choose from. BBC One, BBC Two and ITV. So his “Paul Daniel Show” on Saturday nights would get ranked ratings that would be far, far bigger than any individual TV show here because, you know, the shows here, the audiences are so segmented because you’ve got so many in channels. You know, in England, every single person in the population knew this guy.

Andrew W: Oh, look at this, and he appeared on the “Da Ali G Show.”

Andrew L: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Andrew W: I’ll look you up. I look up everything.

Andrew L: Yeah, he did Vegas residency a couple of times. We did a tour in the States. I mean, he wasn’t really known in the States but his show was actually syndicated in 43 countries around the world.

Andrew W: Okay. I now see your theatrical background. The challenge for a lot of events is most speakers are not that dynamic. They’re not that interesting.

Andrew L: Very true.

Andrew W: Right? And so what do you do to make sure that they’re practical, that they actually tell stories instead of like throw out bullet points at the audience, which bores me to death? Well, how do you do that?

Andrew L: That’s a very, very good question. First of all, I have a very strong filters, as I mentioned earlier, so that, you know, for someone to actually be approved as a SAM speaker is a big compliment because, you know, we turn down far, far more than we ever accept. But beyond that, so we know that they are a good speaker at the outset. Beyond that, what I’ve done is I’ve created . . . I’m just literally looking for it right now in my notes here. We created speaker instructions. Do you want to do a screen share on this or . . . ?

Andrew W: You know what? I don’t know that our audience will be able to see it so . . .

Andrew L: Okay. Yeah, no worries. But basically, I’m just looking at it now. It’s a four-page document that goes into great detail about what makes a great SAM talk. It talks about how . . .

Andrew W: But most people are going to ignore that. I’m glad you do that. I think they’ll ignore or they won’t get it right, don’t you think?

Andrew L: You know, again, you could say the same thing about TED but this is what TED does.

Andrew W: And so one of the things that I remember a friend of mine was giving a TED . . . there’s like a TED company talk, whatever that is, where the TED people will help companies get great speakers. And he said they forced him to go through his presentation over and over and he was annoyed because he was already a good presenter. He said, “You know what, he actually learned to become a better presenter because of it.” Do you do that? Do you actually go through that with people?

Andrew L: Yes.

Andrew W: You do?

Andrew L: This is the difference, you know, with most presentations and you know this because you’ve spoken to a lot of events, you know, if you’re pretty much left to your own devices, but that’s not acceptable. Because the whole . . . you know, one of the big aspects of the SAM brand is the high quality presentations. It’s an extraordinary event for extraordinary people. And so it’s a non-negotiable.

Andrew W: That you forced them.

Andrew L: Yeah.

Andrew W: They’re required to give . . . all right. So a lot of the people who speak, I said, that’s actually interesting. So they have to do it. I’m guessing you do via Zoom.

Andrew L: Yeah. Whatever method is . . .

Andrew W: Whatever they like. So if they want to do via WhatsApp, that’s fine. But they have to give it to you. Is it awkward when they’re giving you the presentation for 18 minutes?

Andrew L: No. They don’t actually present the talk to us. But we will review the slides beforehand and we will also review the . . . we will also go through the guidelines with them. So in other words, there’s never any excuse for someone to say, “Oh, yeah, you know, I didn’t get that information,” or . . .

Andrew W: They have to get on a call and do it.

Andrew L: Yes.

Andrew W: Okay. And then they have to send you the slides. My guess is the most speakers still have not given you the slides. We’re getting close to the event day, and they still not.

Andrew L: No. But they will. You know, this is the third SAM. And again, it’s a non-negotiable.

Andrew W: They have to send it over.

Andrew L: And part of the reason too is, you know, because it’s a theatrical event and, you know, we have a theatrical style control and so on, we cannot handle someone bringing the slides to the event. It’s not technically within our capabilities to just do that at the last minute. So it’s, again, you know, it’s a clear . . .

Andrew W: Okay. So that’s part of it that they have to send it over. The other part is I can’t find the tab. All right. I have so many tabs. I can’t find the tab where I have SAM. You also have like really well known people, people who are especially good at it. Like let’s talk about Jay Abraham. I found . . . I was supposed to have Jay Abraham on. I found that Jay Abraham whoever he was working with was so insistent on a lot of things. I won’t get into specifics of what they were insistent on to keep it private. But they were so insistent. I finally said, “I know, we’ve got this booked, I can’t do it. Thank you so much. I can’t do it.”

Andrew L: Well, that’s good.

Andrew W: That’s good. I’m glad that he does that. I think a lot more interviewees should be more demanding. They should be clear.

Andrew L: But I think at the same time, there is a balance and, you know, I, again, from my background in the entertainment world, I’m very, very used to dealing with something called a rider, which is . . .

Andrew W: No, I get that. That’s why people demand certain things like M&Ms; or whatever.

Andrew L: But what you may not know with riders is that they are really a call to be attentive. You know the entire, you know, the thing about the Red M&Ms;, you know, I only want a bowl of red M&Ms;.

Andrew W: So it was like no. It was a Van Halen. I think no brown M&Ms; or something nonsense like that. Because I want to see will you read the whole rider and if there’s no M&Ms;, they know you have read the rider, which is important because they said that they have all this heavy equipment. And if you didn’t get the M&Ms; right, you may have missed a thing that you that . . .

Andrew L: That is interesting that you know that. So my point is with this is that it’s still a negotiation. So, you know, whereas someone else may be put off by, you know, just having these list of demands that they view as non-negotiable, from my background in entertainment, that’s just a starting point. And, you know, frankly, that’s what we did with Jay Abraham. Because when I first spoke to his team about SAM, they said, “Well, you know, Jay never speaks for less than an hour.”

I said, “Well, there are no hour talks. It’s 18 minutes. That’s what it is. That’s the format.” And they said, “Well, you know, he can’t do that.” I said, “Well, you know, I would encourage you to actually talk to him about this because SAM has a unique concept. And it’s actually a great challenge to do an 18 minute talk.” So sure enough, they talked to him. And he was like, “Yeah, actually, that is kind of cool to have that challenge.” You see what I mean?

Andrew W: I do see that. Do you pay him to speak? You must?

Andrew L: No. No speaker is paid.

Andrew W: He’s not getting paid. But he is. He does . . . I don’t feel like he just does stuff to do stuff. His upside is what? Selling books?

Andrew L: He likes the concept of SAM.

Andrew W: He’s doing this for free just because he’s going to . . . you flying him out. You’re putting them in a nice hotel?

Andrew L: Yes.

Andrew W: Okay. I get that. Or you’re hesitating, which means that like you’re worried that some other speakers are going to ask for it. But Jay Abraham is on a level that he . . .

Andrew L: No, no, no. You know, we’re very open with speakers. In fact, you know, and I think it is important to treat speakers well. But, you know, there’s a few things here. First of all, SAM is an unusual event and so speakers like that. You know, they like the fact that it’s . . .

Andrew W: No, they don’t, because they like to be home with their girlfriends, with their husbands. They don’t want to fly out.

Andrew L: Let’s clarify that. Let’s say some speakers, right?

Andrew W: Okay. So you’re saying there’s a handful of speakers who say, “This is interesting enough. I’m going to come speak.” I am looking at some of these people on the list. Let’s not single Jay Abraham out. Aren’t they asking to sell or make some money off of this? They don’t just need another audience of 300, 1,000 people to show up.

Andrew L: People have different motivations. And among the speakers that are speaking at this SAM, there is a multitude of motivations. For some, it is that they are genuinely passionate about the chosen charity, which is Make-A-Wish. But others, it is they like the challenge that they’ve never done before, which is . . . you know, TED is not for business. And so there is no TED for business until you know, SAM. And so a lot of speakers resonate with the concept of the challenge of doing an 18-minute presentation. The prospect of doing that actually excites them. That’s another motivation. A third motivation is a lot of speakers have never spoken in a theatrical setting, where we also have a very high quality like TV quality, multi-camera set up. So they will get like the best looking promotional video out of this from their performance.

Andrew W: I do get that. Yeah. That’s a big thing.

Andrew L: That’s a good motivation. So, you know, another one is simply that they want to get in front of a different type of crowd. You know, there’s so many different motivations among the spectrum of speakers. But I actually . . .

Andrew W: Joe Sugarman wants a new video for his real? Joe Sugarman is a copywriting legend. You actually wrote copywriting legend under his name, which you would go, “Come on.” But Joe Sugarman is a copywriting legend. Phenomenal fellow.

Andrew L: I’ve known Joe for many years. He lives in Vegas. He never speaks at events. But, you know, I told him about it. And he said, “You know what? This is actually is kind of cool. It’s on my doorstep. Sure, why not?”

Andrew W: Got it. And, you know, I have so many other questions. Let me come back to my second sponsor and then go into it. I love that you’re into this stuff. I love that nothing is made you like . . . nothing has made you feel uncomfortable so far. Second sponsor, ActiveCampaign. Do you remember why you used ActiveCampaign?

Andrew L: They have a great reputation. You know, I’m always interested in tools because a lot of people ask me, you know, for recommendations. And so I want to be able to be knowledgeable in making recommendations. And I recommend different tools for different reasons and ActiveCampaign is great.

Andrew W: So let me give you a suggestion for how ActiveCampaign would just rock on thesamevent.com. That’s your website, right?

Andrew L: Yep.

Andrew W: Like imagine if you were able to ask people how big is the company you work for? How big is your company, right?

Andrew L: Yeah.

Andrew W: And because you’re asking people for their first name, email address, phone number on your thing, which is kind of interesting. How many tickets would you like? I like that you also are offering two free tickets. But imagine if you also said how big is your organization just like as a survey question. Maybe it’s a follow-up after they register. And what you did was anyone who had an organization of more than 20 people, imagine if you just tag them, and then the emails that go out would say in that case big organizations have found that bringing the whole team over creates a bonding experience and those are the things that you can do while you’re here. Imagine that. Imagine if you actually asked for their . . . sorry? You like that?

Andrew L: Great idea.

Andrew W: Imagine if you ask what their title was? And then if they just registered, oh, we got to find out what you do to nurture to follow up and make sure people show up. Imagine if you follow up, then if they say they’re the founder, if they say that they’re the marketer of the company, if they say they do ad sales. Imagine if you just put that in a field, and then every email that goes out, same standard email, here’s who is going to be speaking, Jay Abraham will be here. And then under that it’s, “Founders love Jay Abraham because he is a real marketer who gets results.” And then if I said that I was a marketer, it would be, “Marketers love Jay Abraham because he’s a real marketer who gets results.” You just fill in the blanks based on what people told you.

All right. I can go on and on and on about the stuff that you can do with ActiveCampaign. The beauty of it unlike other email providers, they make it simple, and unlike other email providers who will force you to write different email copy for each one of these different instances, what ActiveCampaign does is they just have a fill in the blank. You just write your copy. And then if there’s a content in this field, they pop it in. If not, they don’t. It’s beautiful. All right. Anyone who wants to go try out ActiveCampaign should use my URL because, number one, it helps me and I really appreciate you guys doing it. And number two, because when you go to activecampaign.com/mixergy . . . oh, I see you’re like grabbing your back like I’m . . . I think I’ve hit a nerve with you at this point.

Andrew L: No. I’ve been sitting in this chair all day and I’m starting to get stiff. That’s it.

Andrew W: You know what I think it is about me? I feel like I am both exciting and also exhausting. Like, the rat tat tat of words from Andrew is like, “This is invigorating,” until it’s like, “Oh my God.”

Andrew L: No. I genuinely love . . .

Andrew W: You like it.

Andrew L: This is my why that makes me cry. So I’m passionate. I love, you know, talking about it. I love sharing it. You know, I want people to listen to this and feel, you know, the right people to say, “You know what? Actually, I’m really curious about SAM now. I’d love to go.”

Andrew W: All right. I didn’t even give out the URL for SAM. I’ll give it out in a moment. I’ll close out the ad for ActiveCampaign by saying if you use my special URL, in addition to helping me out, which is nice too, but frankly, you care about yourself more than you care about me, and you should. Here’s what you’re going to get. You’re going to get the try it for free, 100% free, go in and try it out. See if it’s the right fit for you. Try all these features. See if they really are as easy as I say they are. Second thing you’re going to get is your second month for free.

And finally, you’re going to get . . . no, not finally. You’re going to get two free one-on-one sessions where they will work with you to make sure you get all the utility out of marketing automation software. A lot of people sign up for this stuff, they never use it. And they think, “Oh, something is wrong with me.” No, if it doesn’t work out, there is something wrong with them. And they will be there to help you get it right. And finally, if you sign up for another email marketing company and you don’t like them, just use their free migration service. They will do it for free. All you have to do is go to activecampaign.com/mixergy.

Andrew L: How much of that was scripted?

Andrew W: Not a bit of it. I’m actually.

Andrew L: Interesting.

Andrew W: Oh, totally. I actually forget about everything. I have to go back to activecampaign.com . . .

Andrew L: That is really impressive.

Andrew W: Thank you. I appreciate it. I kind of I used to be really crappy at these ads and I called myself out on. And I think people said, “Oh, Andrew always thinks that everything he does is so bad. Why can’t even love himself more?” No. It was really crappy. Now, I think it’s good. I always [inaudible 00:51:18]

Andrew L: Oh, yeah. Very, very good job.

Andrew W: Thank you.

Andrew L: Yeah.

Andrew W: I appreciate. You see that makes me feel happy.

Andrew L: You really do. This is impressive.

Andrew W: But you said it makes you feel happy because you are a guy who knows marketing. You’re a guy who’s not just like throwing this stuff out, these compliments.

Andrew L: No. I mean, you know, I’ve been doing my show for 11 years now. And that’s, you know, I do sponsor mentions too. I prefer scripting, you know, because I’m good at making it seem like I’m not reading. So lots of practice.

Andrew W: The challenge with me is that sometimes I say things that my sponsors don’t like. Like, “Andrew . . .

Andrew L: Well, you know that’s the good and the bad, isn’t it? You know, personally, I think it’s much better to be authentic with it.

Andrew W: I do too. And I read an article. I wish I could think of where it was, which said that sponsored advertisers are actually looking for the personality of the . . . excuse me, a podcast advertisers are looking for that. And they give examples of people doing things that I would never do like cursing within an ad and going on a lot raunchier. And I realized that is what people are looking for. It’s not me. So I’m not going to do it. But they’re looking for me to be authentically me. And so I’ve got to do that.

Andrew L: Yeah, you know, and to incorporate it very naturally, obviously, is so much more interesting and engaging rather than like, “His content, now his ad.”

Andrew W: Yeah.

Andrew L: You know, it should be seamless. That’s the best way.

Andrew W: You know who does that? It’s Zip Recruiter. I think they force the people who read their ads to read the same thing. And so I listened to a bunch of podcasts. Suddenly, we’re all saying the freaking same [drill 00:52:50], “Are you guys allowing yourself to be robots?” It was always . . . You know what’s not smart? Listening to podcasts while . . . I don’t know what. You know, what is smart using Zip Recruiter? I go, “No. I heard the same . . . have the courage to say it.”

Andrew L: Oh, contrived.

Andrew W: Yeah.

Andrew L: Yeah, yeah.

Andrew W: So people sign up when it’s free. I feel like a lot of people are going to go . . . I should give the URL. It’s thesamevent.com. I feel like a lot of people are going to go and say, “You know what? It’s free. Let me lock in my ticket and then I’ll figure out if I’m going to go or not.” What do you do after somebody signs up to make sure they show up?

Andrew L: Another great question. So, first of all, we have an automated text message that goes out that thanks them and you build a little bit of excitement. Secondly, we have a ringless voicemail message that goes out.

Andrew W: Really?

Andrew L: Yeah.

Andrew W: Okay.

Andrew L: Within about 10 minutes that says, “Hey, sorry, we missed you, you know, but I saw that you signed up for SAM.” And, you know, again, gets them excited. Third, we have a real person call them within 24 hours to answer any questions that they have to see if they needed help booking transport. You know, basically overcome any obstacles that may be in their mind about, you know, the cost of the hotel and so on. And, you know, really kind of answer any unanswered questions that may prevent them from attending.

We do weekly video updates where we kind of reveal some of the entertainers, which we don’t normally announce publicly ahead of time. But we want to get those people who have signed up excited about who’s coming to perform. So every week, there’s those. We have a Facebook group, which we make it very easy for people to in all of the confirmation emails, the confirmation web page. And then when we talk to them, through all those different channels, we get them to join the Facebook group. And in that Facebook group, again, there is a lot of interaction and a lot of excitement building leading up to the event. So, you know, that’s some examples of it’s a whole big very strategic . . .

Andrew W: The marketing campaign. So if you [ask her 00:55:13], they take the free things.

Andrew L: Yes. Exactly.

Andrew W: So I like that I’m doing this now, probably second time or third time. And I like that now I’m on it. And as soon as I register, can I say what comes up right after the follow-up page?

Andrew L: Yeah. Sure.

Andrew W: Okay, great. It immediately says stop your ticket is not yet processed. Get $3,120 worth of gifts for free when you upgrade your ticket. Now you are a good marketer, by the way. And I could see that there are three levels of upgraded tickets that I can get. I can pay . . .

Andrew L: The last one is . . . what’s the word? Where it’s just there as a . . . No, we’re not expecting anyone to buy that.

Andrew W: I love that you’re saying that. It’s the anchor. You’re offering something for $1000 to make the $97 look cheaper.

Andrew L: Exactly.

Andrew W: I love that you’re talking about how you anchor stuff. Let me see what comes in that really super high end stuff. Oh, it’s a four monthly implementation webinars with that. Oh, it’s a webinar with you and . . .

Andrew L: Which I do not want to do.

Andrew W: So if nobody takes it, you’re going to be happy?

Andrew L: Yeah.

Andrew W: Okay. I got it. I got it. And then there’s also a very clear . . . I like that it’s actually super clear thing that says, “No, I’ll just take my free sponsor ticket.” The whole thing is actually published on Kajabi, which is a course platform. But they talked to me yesterday. I just did this whole live event with a bunch of software makers who were offering their stuff for free to my audience. They said that people using it for conferences. Why didn’t you [inaudible 00:56:40]?

Andrew L: I am a huge fan of Kajabi. You know, Kajabi has . . . it went from this little kind of, you know, dinky, little platform to, you know, I actually . . . I used to be with Infusionsoft since they first started. And sad to say that I don’t feel like they’ve made the progression that they should have done. And Kajabi now does everything that Infusionsoft does. So it was originally a course platform but now it’s, you know, it’s whatever you want it to be.

Andrew W: I saw that. They are getting it into marketing automation too.

Andrew L: It has a beautiful page builder. I love the page builder. You know, you can build any type of landing page. It will do evergreen webinars. It can do communities. It handles all the email, tagging, you know, advanced, you know, processes for . . . It does beautiful upsell training, you know, like in the checkout process it says, “Hey, do you want to add a ticket?” You know, there’s order bumps. It’s, yeah, I love it. I really do love it. And it is extremely reliable. So, yeah, I just can’t say enough good things about it.

Andrew W: Wow, I’m glad that I asked about that.

Andrew L: Yeah.

Andrew W: And then if my credit card is in Kajabi and I want to buy something else, do I have to put it back in? Do you know if they did it?

Andrew L: I do. I think so. There is, for example, you know, if you were already logged in and I made you an offer, then you would not have to, but generally, yes.

Andrew W: Oh, it’s interesting how far they’ve come with that platform.

Andrew L: Oh, it’s, you know, people don’t realize Kajabi has more customers outside of our . . . you know, I call it our world of kind of, let’s say, internet marketers. It’s a mainstream company. They have over 100 employees.

Andrew W: Really? Wow.

Andrew L: Yeah. It’s huge company.

Andrew W: I didn’t realize they got that big.

Andrew L: Oh, yeah.

Andrew W: All right. I’m trying to now to figure out where you’re getting these attendees. Is it . . . I want to ask you . . .

Andrew L: I can tell you multiple channels. So there’s a number of strategic marketing campaigns. One is obviously online, Facebook being the biggest.

Andrew W: Buying ads on Facebook?

Andrew L: Yes.

Andrew W: To your email list or to who? What did you [inaudible 00:59:10]

Andrew L: No, I mean, of course, to our email list but also to cold traffic. And we employ a company who specializes in only that.

Andrew W: Oh, who’s that?

Andrew L: Actually, it’s an individual . . .

Andrew W: Based on the name.

Andrew L: . . . based in England. There’s one company in England that does it. And there’s a company here called We Fill Events that does it. And the guy in England that does it is named Sam [Drus 00:59:45]. And basically, he does it for all the big name marketers in England. And then We Fill Events here is another great company. But, you know, that’s . . . it is hard to fill events but they’ve got the process down because they specialize in that for Facebook. We also have campaigns that are specifically designed to attract people here in Vegas, which is where SAM is based now.

Andrew W: Yeah, so you know what? I did a crappy ad job for Ahrefs. They paid me and I don’t think that they got their money’s worth. But I got a lot out of it. I signed up. I got a free . . . not free. I’m paying for an account. I’ve had an account with them. And it’s kind of interesting. I put your site, thesamevent.com into it.

Andrew L: Yeah.

Andrew W: And what I see is you get a lot of backlinks from different Vegas event sites like bestofvegas.com. You guys are on there listed. You’re on, whereas . . .

Andrew L: Over 100 event sites.

Andrew W: You got . . . so who is that? Is that like an SEO company that puts you on all these event sites?

Andrew L: No. One tip that I was given as we were coming up to promoting this SAM event was to list the event separately on Eventbrite. And turned out to be a great tip because Eventbrite generates its own traffic. And I would say, you know, somewhere in the region of about 10% of ticket sales, we know, which is not insignificant have come from Eventbrite.

But when you go through the Eventbrite process, they partner with a company who . . . I think it may be called . . . it’s a funny spelling. Anyway. They partner with a company that will offer this service of listing your event on like every possible relevant event listing service. Now, I felt like it was very, very expensive for what they were offering. However, funnily enough, when they offered the service, they said, “Hey, we’re going to list you on these 80 different sites.” But they tell you what the sites are.

Andrew W: So you can go do it yourself, you’re saying?

Andrew L: Yes.

Andrew W: And so is that what you did?

Andrew L: That’s exactly what we did.

Andrew W: You know what? Here’s why that’s brilliant, because I was wondering how you did it. It’s not listing the Eventbrite page. It’s listing . . . every one of these people listening to thesamevent.com page.

Andrew L: That’s right.

Andrew W: So for me then is I’m about finding out about SEO through Ahrefs. You’re getting all these backlinks from them. And that’s kind of fascinating. That’s brilliant.

Andrew L: Yeah. So there was a targeted campaign for Vegas, obviously, because, you know, locals don’t need to worry about airfare or hotels. We had individual campaigns for each speaker and . . .

Andrew W: What kind of campaign for each speaker?

Andrew L: Well, we created graphics for them that they could use using their image, you know, their face on Instagram, Facebook . . .

Andrew W: We did that too.

Andrew L: . . . Instagram Stories, and so on.

Andrew W: Is that effective?

Andrew L: Yeah. Because, you know, when you hand it to them on a silver platter, we wrote the blurb for them as well so that we could get the message inconsistent. And, you know, basically, you know, all they had to do was send it out and share it. Well, it’s very important, you know, you cannot rely on speakers to do that on their own devices. You have to serve it to them and make it super-duper easy.

Andrew W: You know, I found this one person who got me to promote an event, I think, by . . . I’m trying to think of the details. Since I’m not mentioning their name, I can do my best with memory. He bought ads on my site. He said, “Andrew, I’m going to have you come out but I also need to buy like access to your email list or something.” Something like that. Or something like that that he’s not paying me to speak but he’s getting me to promote it. And then I as a result was emailing my list or something. It was kind of clever that way.

Andrew L: Yeah. Interesting. Yeah.

Andrew W: And I always do speaker dinners at events where I invite the other speakers out, which is fantastic for me. Do you do your own speaker event?

Andrew L: Sometimes, yeah. We were just discussing that at the moment to see what we were going to do. You know, the challenge with SAM is it is a very complex event logistically to put on. You know, imagine you go out for a night to a show, you know, a two-hour show. Well, this is a two-day show. So logistically, it’s extremely complex. And, you know, personally, I’m just, I’m absolutely spent at the end of every night. So we were just talking about whether we should do something, you know, separately another time for speakers because I want to be able to give my best.

Andrew W: See, this is why I do it. What I do then is I realized that a lot of events can’t do speaker events and do everything else. And then you might also have like your VIP guests who are expecting you to do their thing and you can’t do. So what I do is I looked at the speaker list. And Megan on our team is fantastic at putting together partnerships. What she would do is she would go through the list, find the people who we should get to know and then the people who everyone wants to get to know. And we started inviting them to a dinner of like seven or eight people.

Andrew L: It’s a great idea.

Andrew W: Right? It’s fantastic. And then we might know a couple of people and then we start off with them and then we build around that. That’s what we do at events. And it’s fairly inexpensive. It will cost like 1500 bucks to put on a nice dinner for people. The challenge is that it doesn’t directly lead to any business for us. It’s just nice goodwill and I feel like I’ve got enough goodwill in my life. Too much goodwill. My wife laughs and I say, “I got enough friends. I don’t even need more of that.” All right. I’m seeing how this works. What else? You were starting to say that there was something else that you’re doing to bring people in? What’s another event like yours that’s in Vegas? I would just now plop them into Ahrefs and see what are they doing.

Andrew L: Well, one interesting thing we do is geo-fencing. Are you familiar with that?

Andrew W: You’re buying ads for people who are in the area on Facebook?

Andrew L: Yeah. So what we . . . you know, because Vegas is such a big event city we look at what related events are there or happening in . . . not just in Vegas actually but any other city but just so happens that a lot of them are in Vegas. Excuse me. We look at what events are related. And then we put very simple ads that . . . the ad can be just anything. The only purpose of the ad is to capture those people that are in a specific. So what we can do is we can say to Facebook, “Only show this ad to people that are at the Las Vegas Convention Center on these days during these times.” Knowing that that audience is also potentially our audience. The ad is not for our event, the ad is for just something that will capture their attention because what we then do is we then go back and retarget those people.

Andrew W: If they click an ad. Got it. As soon as they click the ad now you know they’re kind of interested and they’ve seen it then you retarget it. But is someone goes to another conference and another event, another show, a good target for saying, “Hey, you know what? I’m in Vegas. Anyway, I’ll go do another two-day event here”?

Andrew L: It’s not the . . . we’re talking about events that happened in the year leading up to SAM.

Andrew W: No, if they’ve come maybe three months before they might come back because they’ve shown that they’re . . .

Andrew L: And these are . . . we’re only targeting relevant events. You know these are . . .

Andrew W: [inaudible 01:07:48] for you.

Andrew L: . . . well, one we did recently was Social Media Marketing World in San Diego.

Andrew W: Oh, got it. Got it.

Andrew L: We did Traffic & Conversion. ClickFunnels. You know, all of those are big events that would encompass the type of people that would come to SAM.

Andrew W: I was thinking that it all had to do with Vegas. Got it. In that case . . .

Andrew L: Vegas is irrelevant. It’s the people. Doesn’t matter where the event is. It just so happens that a lot of the events are in Vegas.

Andrew W: And if they’re doing . . . right, Social Media Marketing World is great. I’m now plug in Social Media Marketing World. Let’s see where they get most of their traffic. This would be kind of interesting because that guy is so nice and calm like you. They’re ferocious animal.

Andrew L: Well, they’ve done this really, really . . .

Andrew W: But doesn’t make seem like Mike Stelzner. Seems like [inaudible 01:08:34]

Andrew L: It’s so impressive.

Andrew W: He’s like on top of every freaking detail. I actually . . . So one of the things that I did at his conference was I got a nice suite, I invited some of the speakers over, I invited people who did his marketing. I said, “He seems like someone who’s on it.” He goes, “Yes, he’s on every detail with me. He’s not just hiring us and saying, ‘You’re the best take care of it.’ He wants to know every part of it. He wants to meet.” You’re not like that. You’re probably like that with the show, aren’t you?
Andrew L: Yeah.

Andrew W: So what’s the presenter who you think is like the most interesting? Who’s going to make you . . . I, actually, I have to end this. I’ve got to go back home. I’m always late now lately for the kids.

Andrew L: Who I’m most interested in? You speak like Christian. I really enjoy watching Glenn Morshower. He spoke at the first SAM and we’ve invited him back again. He’s one of these actors that’s been in like every blockbuster movie in the last 10 years. It’s crazy how many he’s in. You know, he was the president’s chief of security in “24.” He was in “Transformers.” I mean, “Super Girl.” You know, so many. And he’s just such an interesting character. And he shares how he . . . you know, on screen he has this very serious persona, usually military type person, but on stage, you know, you really see a different side of him. And just a brilliant, brilliant presenter so I really enjoy watching him. We also have someone who I don’t think he’s on the website but a young guy from . . . was born in South America with no arms and no legs.

Andrew W: Yeah, I saw that.

Andrew L: Gabe Adams, his name is. An incredible inspirational story. You know, we have some very different types of presenters too. There’s a guy who’s a friend of mine who has created characters who he presents. And one of his characters is a guy who’s was essentially a prisoner. And so, you know, during this presentation at SAM, the stage is going to open and you will see a prison cell set on stage. And he will act the part of a prisoner but he’s going to talk about, you know, how most of us are prisoners in our own minds and how that can stop us from taking action . . .

Andrew W: And you are setting up for him, setting up a jail cell on your stage?

Andrew L: Yeah. Yeah.

Andrew W: That’s intense. Because that’s heavy that can make the floor fall.

Andrew L: No. I mean, it’s a set so it’s . . .

Andrew W: Okay. All right.

Andrew L: It will look like a jail cell.

Andrew W: Yeah, I get you. You know, and actually putting him in a real jail cell but . . . Now I’m actually . . . since we were talking about Michael Stelzner, I was doing research to see like where’s he getting his links?

Andrew L: And then what did you find? I’m intrigued.

Andrew W: Okay. Here’s one that I that I wouldn’t have thought would do much. Okay, there’s isocialfanz.com. Has seven of the best social media conferences in 2018.

Andrew L: I never heard of that before.

Andrew W: I didn’t either. That was kind of interesting but that was sending him traffic. And then the other one is . . . I’m just looking at the weird things that I wouldn’t have expected. The other one that’s kind of weird is Influencive.

Andrew L: Oh, yeah. I know Influencive. Yeah.

Andrew W: He did three takeaways from a meeting with Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income. And it’s about like what’s happening at Social Media Marketing World. And he got 73 shares on that, which is not huge, but it was a . . .

Andrew L: Yeah, Influencive is getting a lot of traction.

Andrew W: They are?

Andrew L: Yep.

Andrew W: See, I’m learning this from freaking Ahrefs.

Andrew L: I-N-F-L-U-E-N-C-I-V-E.

Andrew W: Yeah.

Andrew L: In fact, they’re publishing an article for us next week.

Andrew W: Oh, they are? All right. So you know about this stuff. This is fascinating to me.

Andrew L: Yeah, that a good one.

Andrew W: I can actually go on all freaking day. Oh, wait, but wait, I was looking at socialmediamarketingworld.com. Maybe that’s not their URL because it looks like that URL is for sale.

Andrew L: It’s Social Media Examiner.

Andrew W: Oh, and then has the URL. Oh, so those people actually pointing to the wrong one. Social Media Examiner. And then on there he’s got a subfolder probably. Okay, so . . .

Andrew L: Yeah, exactly.

Andrew W: Got it. Influencive needs to know that he should change that link because he’s linking to a dead thing. Got it. All right. So much more for me to learn on this. Here let’s see a link to the conference.

Andrew L: I love learning.

Andrew W: All right. I can spend freaking ever on this. All right. For anyone who wants to go sign up, the URL for them for them to go sign up is thesamevent.com. I like that you called it SAM because it feels more friendly, less businessy. I like that you also don’t have like the SAM com’s, .coms, right? We not looking for com . . . oh, I like how you actually winced when I did that.

Andrew L: No. And you’re absolutely right. In fact, you know, we always referred to it as the domain name aside, which is the event, we call it the SAM Show because, you know, it really is. You know, we talk about show business, well, SAM is a business show.

Andrew W: Yeah. I’ve never seen two business people spend so much time on their sales page promoting the fact that it’s entertainment. There’s like the red curtain on the side, there’s world class entertainment. I actually don’t . . . oh, there. If I look carefully I can see advertising and marketing, right. You really [inaudible 01:14:00] here,

Andrew L: This page, incidentally, I’m happy to share that this page converts at 25.2% to cold traffic.

Andrew W: Really?

Andrew L: Which is difficult.

Andrew W: Wow. Wee.

Andrew L: Yeah.

Andrew W: See, this is how you get me. I love it. I love the stuff that gets me excited.

Andrew L: Yeah. I love the copy. I love copywriting.

Andrew W: Oh, yeah. I could see you’re in your element. I can see it.

Andrew L: Yeah. It’s fun, you know? And I think the thing is, you know, it is genuinely different. You know, we’re trying to create a blue ocean here. You know, I want people to think . . .

Andrew W: Why do you keep that book on your desk? [inaudible 01:14:39] bringing it up.

Andrew L: I bought it because . . . no, I brought it with me today because I wanted to specifically refer to it. Blue ocean strategy is huge. I mean, you know, when I read about Cirque du Soleil in that book I’m like, “That is genius.” I mean, they reinvented the circus.

Andrew W: Yeah.

Andrew L: They made their circus high end.

Andrew W: Why are we not linking to freaking books and every one of these episode pages and then we do affiliate revenue and then we bring it? I should ask every guest what book do you recommend?

Andrew L: We just talked about that like 20 minutes . . .

Andrew W: I’m not doing it. Like if you look at the page that we’re going to have for Andrew Lock, it’s going to be your interview. And then underneath it’s going to be the transcript and links to the sponsors. Underneath that we should always have the books that people mentioned. And then I bring up books. I wonder if that’s Tim Ferriss’ deal. I wonder if what he does . . .

Andrew L: He does do that. Yeah. No, he does.

Andrew W: And he specifically will ask people like, “What things would you buy for under five bucks?” So $50 . I forget what it is. I wonder if that’s partially like an affiliate marketing play where he’s linking back and then he has this list of things that the best people would buy, right?

Andrew L: Yeah. The thing is it is small revenue but he has scale, you know.

Andrew W: Right. Now people will go in. I just interviewed someone who says . . .

Andrew L: And the fact is people love resources. They just . . . it’s tools and resources. You know, you make those recommendations . . .

Andrew W: Let’s try right now. What’s the nicest thing that you bought for under $5? What are you proudest of that you bought for under five bucks?

Andrew L: Let me see.

Andrew W: Michael, we need to put a link. I’m talking to Michael, our developer, we put something underneath that so.

Andrew L: Let’s just see.

Andrew W: See, it’s kind of hard. I wonder if I should have primed you with that.

Andrew L: Well, yeah. I could definitely come up with things if I had known in advance. It’s funny because actually, I did, I looked at a post a month ago . . .

Andrew W: Of anything that you bought that was especially nice. I’ll tell you what I bought that was nice. I got this one every time I have a battery pack for my iPad and my iPhone, I forget to charge the freaking thing. I found this tiny battery pack from Anchor that you flip this little thing and then you can plug it into the wall. It charges your stuff. But then if you ever take it out of the wall, it’s a five . . .

Andrew L: Yeah. No, that’s great.

Andrew W: . . . five, whatever. It’s got a lot of charge in it. It could charge up my iPhone two and a half times. It’s fantastic.

Andrew L: I like that. Now you’re going to have to put the link to that.

Andrew W: Right. And then we get affiliate revenue from that. I got to go.

Andrew L: I read the post that someone had written. Actually, there was on exactly that. It was a great bargains and useful things under $5. And I actually ended up buying three or four of them.

Andrew W: You know what else we should do then? See, this is where you getting me fired up about marketing, dude. This is what I like about you. I never do this at the end of an interview. I like to get into people’s personal lives. Not into their marketing techniques and get fired up about mine. And then the other thing we should do is I should ask you what software you like. And then ask the people who work on that Twitter account say, “Hey look, Andrew Lock said he loves your software.” And they’ll link them to that and then have them say, “Thank you, Andrew Lock for . . . ” We actually tried that. I take it back. We tried it everyone likes the same five things. And it’s always Slack. So I go, “I got to roll my eyes at freaking Slack.”

Andrew L: [crosstalk 01:17:48].

Andrew W: Oh, Andrew is going to die on this podcast. He’s muting because he’s coughing up so much. All right. And meanwhile, you’re going to die on the podcast. I’m going to die after the podcast. My wife has been calling me because I’m running late. I was supposed to pick up the kids at 6:00. It’s now 6:10. I’m never late for that but she’s helping me out I hope. I’m never late. I usually will prefer to give up anything just to go spend time with them. Andrew is actually still coughing. I’m actually just keeping it going because you’re coughing so much. I thought the whole idea of Vegas was no allergies because it’s so dry. Like there’s no pollen in the air, no nothing.

Andrew L: It’s a lot better.

Andrew W: But not that much. All right, we got to go. We got to go because one of us is going to die here. It’s me because I am late and Olivia has been covering for me twice today. All right, I’m going to tell people one last time. If you’re interested, we got to get this interview edited and published fast, it’s thesamevent.com. Go sign up. And I want to thank my two sponsors for making this interview happen and for being okay with me saying whatever I feel like with their ads. The first is the company that will host your website right, it’s called HostGator. Check them out at hostgator.com/mixergy. By the way, I actually said, “Oh, HostGator. No one is going to remember HostGator.” I went to Amazon and I bought an alligator hat and I literally wore it in an ad. And I said, “Great. Isn’t this wonderful?” And the guy laughed and he said, “Actually, it’s a crocodile and it’s not our color either.” But he laughed at . . .

Andrew L: Oh, that’s funny.

Andrew W: . . . the green crocodile. But it’s hostgator.com/mixergy. So thankfully, they’ve been very good with me going off script. And the second sponsor is the company that will do your email marketing right, it’s called activecampaign.com/mixergy. What do you run and go get? What is that? Oh, card.

Andrew L: That’s the logo.

Andrew W: I like it. Yeah, everything about is show businessy.

Andrew L: Exactly. That’s the point. Yeah, thanks for noticing.

Andrew W: All right. Thanks so much for doing it. Thank you, everyone. You know what? I’m going to close out with one other suggestion. Noah Kagan’s podcast, the Noah Kagan’s project or whatever. People need to put that into their iTunes. I’ve been listening to this so much. Especially if you’re into copywriting like we’ve just been talking about, Neville Medhora, just type in Neville or scroll around until you find Neville. He is such an interesting copywriter. He is so interesting. Great podcast episode there.

This is not like anything other than I just freaking . . . I love Noah Kagan’s podcast so much. I send the him freaking text messages that I never send long text messages. I send them text messages that go on for paragraphs. And then it always ends with, “Noah, I’m sorry. I promised myself I wouldn’t blow up your chat.” And thankfully, he’s okay with me blowing up his chat endlessly. And then he sends me links to stuff like his Strava accomplishment or something.

Andrew L: Is that the one?

Andrew W: Yeah, that’s it. “Noah Kagan Presents” exactly. The green one. Really good. It’s a great podcast because Noah started off saying, “I’m going to dominate by numbers.” You’ve subscribed.

Andrew L: Neville Medhora.

Andrew W: Oh, that’s the latest one. I didn’t listen to that one. That’s what reminded me. That’s the latest one. I haven’t heard it. The last one with Neville was really good. I don’t know about the latest one. I guess it’s good. I liked it. He just realized, “You know what? This is not a good way to for me to increase my stats, not a good way for me to do much of anything by way of getting people to click links. So screw it. I’m just going to talk.” And I like he’s just going. The fact that he’s just talking, Noah, is good. All right. I got to run. And, Andrew, thanks so much for staying on.

Andrew L: Yeah. Thank you. It’s been fun.

Andrew W: It’s been an hour and a half.

Andrew L: Yeah.

Andrew W: I appreciate it. Bye, man. Bye, everyone.

Andrew L: Bye. See you.

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