headquartered here in Chandler, Arizona, I am familar with their big conference, ICON. I have never had the opportunity to attend, but this year was offered a complimentary pass by a friend, April Goudy
, who works for Infusionsoft. I didn't give the event much more thought until the day it arrived on my calendar the day after the PBJ Mentoring Monday event.
So, I wake up Tuesday AM, the day ICON starts, to see a Facebook post tagged with the video from the Monday event. Needless to say, I have a tremendous high going. The first question I asked her was "did I sound smart". Once I was certain I hadn't tripped over my own words I headed to ICON in downtown Phoenix. Guess, I should have looked at my calendar a little closer, because the event actually had started some 2 hours earlier with breakfast followed by a general session keynote. As a result, everyone was already inside, and when I opened the door to go in, I couldn't believe my eyes.
There were masses of people. I was totally not expecting this. My inside connection indicated there were about 3,500 small business folks attending this conference from all over the world. Wow! I've been to many many big conventions and conferences over the years, and this was right up there with one of the largest I've been to.
The set design was the best set design I've ever seen at a convention, and from that moment on the energy kept building. As a brander and marketer, I know how important every little detail is to building and maintaining a brand, and boy did Infusionsoft hit the ball out of the park…on every "little" detail. Even going as far to brand the elevator doors. Yes, as a brander…this stuff makes me do the happy dance
People were so nice…even those you didn't know. It was common to strike a conversation up in the early AM coffee lines at the one coffee station or in the bathroom or in one of the many cozy lounging areas throughout. I kept running into eWomen, Women of Scottsdale and other professionals I've come across from networking over the years. It felt good to have so many friendly faces around to reconnect with, if even only for a minute.
By the time Day One ended, I was so excited with all the new info I gained, especially in some areas of need. Took a ton of notes, and generally loved it including my girl, April Goudy's presentation. So many "answers" to so many questions I have as I build my business' foundation over the next eight months.
Day Two started with a bang because I had to go conducted my own signature workshop, Creating a Memorable Brand Workshop
. This is a three hour workshop predicated on group involvment and energy. This is the second time I've offered this workshop, and it's is on it's way to becoming my signature event. This small group of business owners had the energy, curiosity and drive. By the time I left my workshop three hours later and headed to ICON I was even more energized. Those of you who know me might find it impossible to believe I could find another "energy" level, but I did.
ICON that afternoon delivered again. So much quality information, but the thing that really struck me was this chart.
This chart is signifcant in that it helps small businesses who's customers are other businesses (B2B) determine where in the phase of Small Business Development they are situated. Yes, this helps you, the small business owner, but for me, this chart further validated the question of "who's my ideal target". As you can see from the chart, small businesses aren't the same. I've been saying for some time my ideal client is as follows, but now I'm seeing some other potential. This chart gives me all sorts of ammunition and sales tools. You?
$2M to $20M Annual Revenue
Limited marketing department or staff, if any
In a growth or expansion phase
If you don't save this chart, and use it to pinpoint your ideal customer, you're missing out on a huge opportunity to understand and deliver solutions via your business. It's also a great chart to give you a "forecast" of what you can expect as you "grow", no matter the stage. Seriously, this chart is dang brilliant, and it has provided clarity that is often missing in the world of "small business". I'd love to hear what you think about this chart and how you are applying it to your small business.
But, my all-time favorite keynote presentation had to be ending the day with Johnny Cupcakes
, "the first ever t-shirt bakery"
. I can't do it justice in one paragraph, but this is a business that is predicated on being "irreverant". I love that. I love that he fully embraces who he is and through his energy, and odd ideas, created a business that only he could have created. As a brander, creating a small business is easy, but creating a "branded" small business experience is entirely a different story. You can force it. It unfolds organically, but most people stop before they achieve Johnny Cupcakes success. I don't think this brand is for every small business, but those that do it and do it right…ROCK MY WORLD.
It's hard to top Johnny Cupcakes, and ICON was still abuzz with his energy on Day 3…the final day. As much as I'm full of energy, I start to get a tad drained by the end of long events. This event wasn't any different. I was still willing to drag my "big" head to each session, but I was seriously wondering if my head was going to blow up. Luckily it didn't, but I did crash and burn the following afternoon…information overload of the good kind. I can't wait to go through my bag of all the programs/brochures and review my copious notes on best practices.
Week in Review…
Phoenix Business Journal Mentoring Monday Video
ICON15 (3 days)
Creating a Memorable Brand Workshop – Day One
eWomen Happy Hour for ICON attendees
eWomen post ICON lunch
Proof my marketing/networking is working – SIGNED A NEW BRANDING CLIENT
So, how'd your week look? I'm wondering what's in store for me in the upcoming week. I can tell you one thing…anticipation is a great way to start your week! Try it. It works.