My CMA Live 2017 Experience


My CMA Live 2017 Experience

Danielle Walton

CMA Live 2017 Stage Set Up #DFTBA

One of my favourite things about June is CMA Live. I know every time it comes around I am going to walk away feeling more motivated than ever to do what is right for our customers and business. Not only this but I get to hang out with some of the coolest people in business right now.

If you follow us on Twitter or Facebook then you’ve probably heard us go on about CMA Live.

So what is CMA Live?

In short. It is the BEST Content Marketing Conference in the UK.

Each year the wonderful Chris Marr pulls together an event based around Content Marketing. Called CMA Live. It’s an event for Marketers and Business Owners alike. Teaching the benefits of content for their customers and how to actually go away and do it. Yes, you read that right. You actually learn how to put your learnings into practice. And who are you learning from? The best of the best. The people who have actually gone out and done it, seen and reaped the benefits. And probably written a book or two.

So Who Spoke at CMA Live 2017?

There was a total of 16 guest speakers over the course of the 2 days. 4 Keynote speakers, 6 Main Conference Speakers, and 6 Lightning Talks. Each and every one of the speakers was entertaining, valuable and inspiring.

The four Keynote Speakers:

  1. Chris Ducker
  2. Erika Napoletano
  3. Mark Schaefer
  4. Marcus Sheridan

The 6 Main Conference Speakers:

  1. Roger Edwards
  2. Stefan Thomas
  3. Doug Kessler
  4. Andrew and Pete
  5. Janet Murray
  6. George B. Thomas

And the 6 Lightning Talks:

  1. Col Gray and Ross Coverdale
  2. Yva Yorston
  3. Sharon Menzies
  4. Cara MacKay
  5. Pam Laird
  6. Karen Reyburn
  7. Oh and a surprise talk by Danielle Sheridan (so 17 in total)

The CMA Live Socials

The People

Feel free to skip ahead by clicking on the links above!

So what did they all talk about? What was the main learning I walked away with? Well, below I have outlined exactly that. I hope that you too can find something that will help you in your business.

Chris Ducker – How to Successfully Launch your Next Product or Service with Live Video.

The first speaker of the event was the incredible Chris Ducker. Chris spoke about launching your products or services with live Video. Live Video! I know right. It’s scary enough going on camera to record a normal video, never mind doing it live. So why is it we all should be doing this in our businesses?

Well mainly because it’s people to people. It’s so important now more than ever that our customers see us face to face, in real time. And by going live it allows you to connect with your audience anytime, and anywhere.

Chris Ducker at CMA Live 2017

“Did you know that by 2020 90% of all content consumed online will be video!”  – Chris Ducker

90% by 2020. I still find this shocking. I remember the great silence that fell over the audience at CMA Live when Chris said this. It was as if the whole audience thought in unison “Shoot… I better start doing video then”.

So what does this mean for us at Colinton Furniture? Well, it means you will be seeing a lot more of my beautiful face answering your questions in video. (Yay!)

To find out more information about Chris and his business you can check out his webiste here.

Col Gray and Ross Coverdale – Brand Odyssey

Next up we had a lightning talk from Col and Ross about the CMA Brand. CMA had recently gone through a total re-branding. So Col and Ross wanted to talk about their journey from ordinary to extraordinary.

They went through the process of looking at CMA’s competitor’s brands and coming up with a solution that stood out. Col and Ross made the point of putting the old CMA Brand in among it’s competitors and yeah… it didn’t stand out. But now. After their hard work its safe to say the new CMA Branding is awesome!

Col and Ross did a great job of sharing their ideas and showing the development of the CMA Brand and also… Chris Marr. Cue photo progression of Chris Marr.

Col Gray and Ross Coverdale at CMA Live 2017

So some tips from Col and Ross when re-branding. a. Look at your competitor’s brands. See if your brand easily stands outs from the crowd. And b. Use whatever name your customers are calling you. In CMA’s case, CMA not Content Marketing Academy).

To find out more information about Ross and his business you can check out his webiste here.

To find out more information about Col and his business you can check out his webiste here.

Roger Edwards – How to keep marketing simple from start-up to big corporate.

Next to the stage was Roger or Rog for his friends. Rog spoke about the different mindsets different sized businesses have. From Startup to Big Corporate. He made a great point of how as businesses grow bigger the values and leadership that was known when they were smaller can sometimes get lost. It was all about creating a shared vision in your business, how to keep it as you grow, and how to create Goals, not Strategies.

So how do you do it?

G.O.A. Goal, Offer, Activity. Get a Goal, Figure out an Offer and then get Activity. The goal is well your goal – What you want to achieve. The offer is your product or service – What you are offering. The activity is your Content, Social Media, Sales etc. This is then where your sales plan would come from.

Roger Edwards at CMA Live 2017

Another HUGE thing that Rog spoke about was how to communicate properly with your customers. For example how to talk in your customer’s language and doing it in a way they understand. Effectively how to avoid the “Curse of Knowledge” – speaking to your customers in words they don’t know or understand.

To find out more information about Rog and his business you can check out his website here.

Yva Yorston – There is no such thing as a self-made entrepreneur

Yva, Yva, Yva. Where do I begin? Her message was short but sweet. Yva told the story of her journey to where she is now. She showed her struggle, her strength and her passion.

Yva spoke about how community can be a lifeline. How it can provide support and help when you need it. Not only that but how you can get the right advice from people who are going through or have gone through the same thing.

Yva Yorston at CMA Live 2017

To find out more information about Yva and her business you can check out her Business Facebook Page here.

Stefan Thomas – But networking doesn’t work right?

“Every big opportunity starts with a little conversation.” – Stefan Thomas.

Nowadays people think they can attend networking events and automatically gain sales. But this isn’t the case. Stefan made a great argument for understanding why… It’s because people aren’t willing to buy from someone they don’t know! It is simple. You need someone to know and trust you before they are prepared to buy from you.

How do you do this? Start LOTS of conversations and be more human. People want to know who they are buying from. It’s our responsibility as business owners and marketers to get people to the stage where they are happy to do business with us. You need to build up trust with your customers.

Stefan Thomas at CMA Live 2017

Stefan also talked about the ways you are convincing people to do business with you and not others.

So what makes you choose one brand over another? How does each of the brands grab your attention?

So what was his example? Evian Water.

Have you ever gone to buy a bottle of water and notice how many different types there are? It’s overwhelming. Well, Stefan pointed out one very clever hack that Evian are doing right now. The Red Top. Yes, instead of the normal blue top they have a red top. What does this do? Well, it catches people’s attention. Their eyes are automatically drawn to this Evian bottle. And now they have the attention then all they need to do is persuade you to pay for it. So what have they done? They tinted the bottle blue so it looks colder!! Every single part of it is designed to show you what good quality it is.

To find out more information about Stefan and his business you can check out his website here.

Sharon Menzies – Are you dabbling or are you all in?

722. For Sharon, this is the percentage increase in revenue since implementing Content Marketing in her business. I know right?! How insane is that?

This lady has such an inspiring story of how going all in with motherhood allowed her to go all in with her business, Influx. Sharon knew that there was a negative stigma against Recruitment Agencies and wanted to change that. It was after doing a course with Marcus Sheridan that Sharon adopted the philosophy – “They Ask, You Answer”. Where she and her team are educating people how recruitment works. (Shout out to Lauren Pratt who writes majority of their stuff and deserves a mention!)

By going all in with Content Marketing she saw a huge difference in her business. 722% to be exact. She taught us all the true power of content. And left us with the question – Are you dabbling or are you all in?

Sharon Menzies at CMA Live 2017

To find out more information about Sharon and her business you can check out her website here.

Doug Kessler – How to swear in your f**king marketing.

“In Marketing, we should be playing with the boundaries” – Doug Kessler.

Doug had probably one of the most interesting topics I have ever heard at a Marketing Conference – How to swear in your Marketing. He gave 6 main reasons why he thinks – for some people – swearing might work:

  1. Swearing can surprise.
  2. Swearing can signal confidence and passion.
  3. Swearing can resonate with the like-minded.
  4. Swearing can signal informality and authenticity.
  5. Swearing can be funny.
  6. Swearing can add mojo.

I know that for some they might be quaking in their boots to swear in their marketing. And probably think it’s unprofessional. But for some people it’s a way of relating to their customers, by speaking to them in their language so they can better understand. It’s about understanding your customers and sometimes ruling out who you don’t want to do business with.

Doug Kessler at CMA Live 2017

To find out more information about Doug and his business you can check out his website here.

Cara MacKay – The Trolls: take back control.

Cara recently went through some trolling on a certain viral post she wrote on LinkedIn, which you can find here. Some people weren’t very nice when they found out it contained some swearing. Cue the haters and trolls. The post goes through the story of a mother’s hectic day and how one of Cara’s sheds can make life that little bit easier. Because let’s face it – She makes the best sheds in the world.

But Cara is a writer who believes in what she writes, she has a thick skin and some very witty humour. She gave us an interesting insight into why people “troll” and what you should do to take back control.

“Only ever publish what you believe in, stand by it, be proud of it and never apologise for it” – Cara MacKay

Cara MacKay at CMA Live 2017

And yes in that photo she is drinking champers. Because well… it’s Cara.

To find out more information about Cara and her business you can check out her website here.

Erika Napoletano – How to find your voice and own your f**king brand.

The closing speaker for Day 1 was the wonderful Erika Napoletano. Other than Erika just being pure awesome. She taught us 3 main things.

We have to stop hunting elephants.

By this Erika was asking why you are chasing work from people who you don’t want to work with? I know right? We all do this. But why? We need to stop wasting our time (and others) and focus on the right people.

Be Vulnerable.

People are interested in feelings, not what you’re going to do. Erika showed us that as business owners our superpower that others don’t do is compassion. Ask customers how you can improve and don’t be afraid to hear the bad stuff.

“Your compassion and your vulnerability is what gives your brand heart”- Erika Napoletano

Saddle up fear and ride that mother f**ker.

With this, Erika spoke about finding new ways to make fear your ally. Do this by constantly pushing yourself physically, Emotionally and Educationally.

“Your voice deserves to be heard. So let it drive you.” – Erika Napoletano

“Own your voice, power your brand and be f**king great. Because if you aren’t willing to do it. Someone else is.” – Erika Napoletano

Danielle Walton and Erika Napoletano at CMA Live 2017

To find out more information about Erika and her business you can check out her website here. Or you can find her book on amazon here!!

Mark Schaefer – Become Known.

Big Mark started the 2nd day off right. Back by popular demand for round 2 at CMA Live. Except for this time, he came back stronger. After recently releasing his new book Known it was safe to say we were in for some inside knowledge.

Mark spoke to us about Emotional Interacting. It’s about how our customers can’t love a logo or a slogan. There is no emotion or connection that can come from them. However, we CAN love people. So by turning your brand into a person, you are more likely to connect with your clients.

“We have to start connecting the hearts of our people with the hearts of our customers” – Mark Schaefer

Mark Schaefer at CMA Live 2017

Another interesting thing Mark spoke about was our passions. And how not always will our success comes from them. But instead, come from a sustainable interest we have.

On average Mark found it took 30 months from when someone starts to then get to a stage where they are known for what they do. So can anybody become Known according to Mark? No. Because some people will give up. They will quit. Mark reminded us that there are no shortcuts. You have to do the work, be creative, be patient, and remain relevant. It is constant work to become known. We have to fight to stay relevant and superior compared to our competitors.

Big shout out to Pete Matthew and John Espirian for getting on stage at the end and telling everyone about their journey’s. And how they manage to stay relevant and consistent.

To find out more information about Mark and his business you can check out his website here. Or you can find his book on amazon here!!

Andrew and Pete – Avoiding Content Crickets: How to create shareworthy content people love.

This dynamic duo is hands down two of the funniest people around. Other than the fact they kept putting Chris Marr’s face on aerobic ladies. The two bounce off one another and brought energy to the stage at an insanely high level.

Andrew and Pete taught us how to create kick ass content that stood out with huge share-ability. They also taught us the value of creating content with a Content Stamp! (See image below)

How to create a Content Stamp - Andrew and Pete at CMA Live 2017

I loved that they said to define your brand. You have to define who you are not. The term “Marketing Suit Douche” springs to mind.

Danielle Walton and Andrew and Pete at CMA Live 2017

To find out more information about Andrew and Pete and their business you can check out their website here. Or you can find their book on amazon here!!

Pam Laird – No More Nightmare Customers.

Pam knows that for most of us when starting a business the biggest fear is not having any customers. And then… not having any good customers. Our dream customers.

Pam told her story of how she turned her nightmare customer, Betty into her dream customer, Bernie.

I loved this talk as it was something that resonated with every single person in the room. Not only that but Pam was funny, emotional and educational. The dream 3 when it comes to speakers!

Pam Laird at CMA Live 2017

To find out more information about Pam and her business you can check out her website here.

Janet Murray – Is PR the missing piece to your content marketing strategy?

Next up was the beautiful Janet Murray from SoulfulPR. Janet taught us different ways to get free PR coverage in our businesses. How awesome is that? Free PR! Who would have known that was a thing.

Did you know that on Twitter there is a hashtag that helps connect journalists with people who want stories published?! That’s right. There are people out there looking for writers. Right. Now. What is this magical hashtag you ask? #JournoRequest

Did you also know that there are websites out there that match journalist with writers? What a great way to get your story out there. It’s like tinder for journalists! Some of the websites are:

  • HARO
  • JournoLink
  • Gorkana
  • SourceBottle
  • ResponceSource

“Journalists are interested in the parts of your life that intersect with your business” – Janet Murray

Janet Murray at CMA Live 2017

To find out more information about Janet and her business you can check out her website here. Or you can find her book on amazon here!!

Karen Reyburn – The Power of Niche: How to get more customers by focusing on less.

Karen was another lightning speaker who blew everyone away. Not only was she a confident speaker. Her message was strong. Karen spoke about thinking smaller, not bigger. About finding your targeted niche. This she called the Backwards Thinking Concept.

“It’s about saying what you know best to who you know best” – Karen Reyburn

Karen then asked us these 4 questions to help us all find our niche:

  1. What’s the one thing you keep coming back to?
  2. Who or what do you understand the best?
  3. Where do you get great results for people?
  4. Where are you or could you be really profitable?

Karen Reyburn at CMA Live 2017

To find out more information about Karen and her business you can check out her website here.

George B. Thomas – Creating a Content Marketing Strategy without blowing your budget on tools.

George. B. Thomas. This guy is the boss. When it comes to the tools of making great videos. This is the guy you want to listen to.

George showed us numerous tools for the 8 different aspects that are in an “Inbound Machine”. He made something that people find scary into an educational and helpful topic. I only caught 6 out of the 8 due to my slow typing skills. But from the ones I did catch, there are lots of options that can help.

So what are some of the tools? Well below are the 6 areas in an Inbound Machine (that I managed to catch) and next to them are the tools George thinks can help. Also, did I forget to mention that majority of these are free? Or pretty cheap?

  1. Content – WordPress, Joomla, Drupal
  2. Analytics – Google Analytics, Monster Insights, Slim Stat Analytics
  3. SEO – Ahreads, Yoast SEO, All in One SEO Pack WP
  4. Lead Conversion – Mautic, Inbound Now, Lead Pages
  5. Contacts – Mautic, Inbound Now
  6. Social Media – Social Warefare, Sumone
  7. Lead Nurturing
  8. Automation

George B Thomas at CMA Live 2017

To find out more information about George and his business you can check out his website here.

Danielle Sheridan – Surprise speaker

Is it biased if I say I knew she was going to be good? I mean her name is Danielle after all… And also her dad is the Content Marketing Guru.

Danielle’s message was emotional. I actually had to hold back the tears. It all started with her telling her story when she went travelling around the world with her dad, Marcus a few years back. Can you believe she didn’t want to go? She was afraid. And I totally get that. Aren’t we all afraid to do things? We all like staying in our comfort zones.

Danielle spoke about moving outside of your comfort zone, into the unknown because that is where the good stuff happens. Her experience travelling with her Dad gave her the confidence to set up her very own business. Around her passion, makeup. And at age 15 she had a profitable business and had taken on one employee!!

Danielle Sheridan at CMA Live 2017

Marcus Sheridan – Built to Last.

The last speaker of the Conference was the wonderful Marcus Sheridan. Having heard Marcus speak many times now in person and on video. I have to say this was hands down the BEST I have ever heard him. He was so honest and open about his journey to where he is now. What’s more he got involved with the audience. He broke that wall down and came to be a part of us.

Marcus spoke about the 7 timeless qualities of personal and professional success. I however somehow managed to get 8… Here they are:

  1. Don’t marry your goals, marry progress
  2. Cling to the metrics that actually matter in your business
  3. Embrace that messy
  4. Let go of the 10% (and the doubters, haters etc.)
  5. Seek opportunities of kindness
  6. Effective communication is the most valuable skill in the world
  7. Let trust be your compass
  8. Own your story

“Never compare yourself to anybody in terms of your starting point and where they are now.” – Marcus Sheridan

Marcus Sheridan at CMA Live 2017

“Embrace you and your story. Own it, Love it, and run it!” – Marcus Sheridan

To find out more information about Marcus and his business you can check out his website here. Or you can find his book on amazon here.

Danielle Walton and Marcus Sheridan at CMA Live 2017

The CMA Live Socials

Now it wouldn’t be a CMA event without the socials. There were three socials over the course of CMA Live 17. A great way for people to relax at the end of the day with amazing company. And maybe get a little bit tipsy.

First stop was at Hard Rock Cafe for a kick off drinks and dinner on Wednesday night. Thursday night around 100 of us all headed to Heads and Tales Gin Bar in Edinburgh for some much deserved Gin. And Friday night we headed to Lebowski’s for Burgers, White Russians and some dancing.

Lauren Pratt, Vicky Gunn, Danielle Walton, Sharon Menzies, Martin Huntsbach, Steve McGowen, Scott Young

Shout out to Chris Marr’s dad dancing (it’s awesome) and to Martin Huntbach who is secretly an amazing dancer. Richard Tubb for “making” everyone drink Buckfast and getting photographic evidence. And Vicky and Yva for playing Cocktail Roulette.

The People

One thing that needs to be said about CMA Live is the people.

It brings some of the most incredible people together over the course of 2 days. Never in my life have I been part of such a great community. Or meeting people who are so passionate about improving their businesses. It was amazing to see everyone in person (finally) and getting to meet so many new faces.

CMA Live is unlike any other Business or Marketing conference I have ever been to. You can always walk away from a conference feeling motivated. But it is much more. You walked away with new knowledge and most importantly… new friends. I want to thank each one of you who made it a special event for me! I can’t wait to see you all next year.

Huge shout out to Chris Marr, Vicky Gunn and Cara MacKay who made #CMALive17 run perfectly. You guys are awesome.

Are you scared of having FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) then come join us all next year at #CMALive18? It’s going to be yet another great event. You can find out more information here!!

Thanks for reading!

Much Love,

Danielle x

Danielle Walton