When you go to an event, the best thing you can do is learn as many tips as you can from the speakers as well as from your fellow investors that are in attendance. There’s always something you can learn whether it’s a small meet up or big event, people are there to share ideas, knowledge and experiences, and you need to become a sponge that absorbs it all as much as you can. Levering events to grow your business simply means levering on people’s time, energy and experience so you can grow your network and reach out to as many people as you can.
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Leveraging Events To Grow
One of the great things that I want to share with you is how you can leverage live events where there’s a small meet up or a big event like a conference to grow your business. My business has dramatically changed in the last eight years in a good, positive way. Traveling across the country for two years, three years straight will definitely drive a lot of traffic to you and help build a following for you. I don’t expect you to do that. We all go to a lot of events. We go to a lot of conferences, summits, expos, and note camps. How do you leverage an event to help you push your business in the stratosphere and how take it to the next level? How do you set yourself apart from everybody else that has had an event to be a little bit different?
I’ll give you an example in some of the things that I did. This goes back to the 2010 NoteWorthy Summit, when it was NoteWorthy, not the work-mutated creature it’s become with the NoteWorthy Investment Summit. There were about 800 people there. This one was held at the Palms Resort Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. It was my first time out there. I’d heard about NoteWorthy beforehand. I knew some investors that were going, had gone to it and spoke at it. This the first time I was going to that event and so I was pretty stoked. I was just going to listen, going to attend. I was just an average Joe in the crowd. I remember driving to the airport and Jack Sternberg called me. Jack used to be the runner or the guy that ran that for 29 to 30 years. When he talked, he was like, “I wondered if we maybe have you speak, but I can give you a discounted ticket.” I’m like, “I’ll take a discounted ticket. Who wouldn’t want that?” I took the discounted ticket, I fly out there. I’m an average guy sitting in the crowd. I was going there listening and talking. I leverage it because I met a bunch of people. I grabbed as many business cards as I could that year to help my business.
There was one key point in that NoteWorthy convention. I leveraged that and that helped me over the next twelve years. I like going to events where I’m doing something so I can maybe learn a tip or two. I don’t like to go stand in the hallway and network that much. I’ve heard everybody speak for a couple of times, but if there’s somebody new, I try to go listen to them because I can always learn something. NoteWorthy, there are many people that are listening. There are also a lot of people that stay in the hallway, network, and not do anything. A lot of conferences are that way. It’s good, but it’s also a distraction because it’s rude to the actual speakers. People are hanging around and outside and it’s rude to the people inside the rooms because they can hear you speaking. If you’re not talking to a vendor, don’t be sitting in the hallway. Go into the rooms and talk or listen to speakers. That’s what they’re there for and that’s what the attraction is.
There was this one discussion. I give Walter Wofford credit for this. I’m in this event talking about marketing and the use of video. Simon White and Walter Wofford are sharing to us about using videos. At this point, Walter is sharing how he’s using video to film all these rental properties, insides and outsides. He created a job for his daughter to go do all these videos and it helped him knowing Jackson, Mississippi like nobody else. Walter is the king there in Jackson, Mississippi real estate. If you need help with anything, he’s the guy to reach out to. Anyway, I’m in there listening. I had started using videos in my day-to-day stuff about marketing properties or sharing things that were going on. Somebody asked if I was using marketing and I raised my hand. I’m like one of the only people in the room besides the two people up there that’s using videos with my deal flow. I get swarmed after the event because I asked an interesting question. I said, “I’m raising capital.” This was eight, nine years ago before it was as prevalent as it is now. YouTube was around, but not many people do it. Still not a lot of people are doing it. I got swarmed, so I collected as many business cards as I could at that point. I had to leave the room because the other speakers were coming on fifteen to twenty minutes later and there’s people still asking me questions about it.
I leverage all those cards with an email that night or the next day, “It was great meeting you. Love to visit with you.” Many of those people became JV partners for me. I also connected with everybody that I could, speaker-wise, anybody that I knew that was there on LinkedIn to expand my LinkedIn connections. You start to see that those two big things were foundations in building my note business over the next eight years. I also found sources there, talked with sources, and did a great job. Over the next twelve months, when I came back to NoteWorthy when I was asked to speak in a breakout session, I shared the ten biggest mistakes I see investors make with my first break-out session in NoteWorthy in 2012. It was a full room. I gave away a drawing. I did something a little cheeky that not a lot of speakers liked. I literally said, “If you’re drawing, I’ll give away some training or some options.”
Everybody in the room put their business card into my envelope. There’s Jack Sternberg in the back of the room cracking up at me doing this, but that added another 150 people in my database, 150 note investors. I took their business cards. Steph can vouch for this because that was Steph’s first NoteWorthy in 2012. It was a big event with about 600 people or 800 people. I took those cards and I made those valuable. I sent an email out that night. I scanned them all in my database. That became a part of my database. Some people are still getting my emails today and I’m laughing about this. I talk to them and I ran into them from time to time. I ran into another guy that I’ve known for six, seven years. I haven’t seen him in forever, but he still gets my emails.
As I went to events over the next few years, that was a lot of the same strategy that I used. Let’s face it, most expos, most summits, the promoters, the people running the events are not going to give you the addresses. They’re not going to give you the list of contacts. That’s a $5,000 to $10,000 thing or sponsorship you’ve got to pay for to get that. That’s why a lot of times, you see those sponsorships at $10,000 or $100,000or $50,000, depending on how big the event is. Usually that big king size or the platinum event they’ll sponsor, that’s why they get that. There are big event that get that. Now they get their money back off of that. That was a good NoteWorthy event but it was even better the next twelve months because I leveraged that to sources and buying assets and moving assets. That helped build my database.
NoteWorthy over the years, especially the last couple of years, it’s only last year they had an event. This year, it’s morphed into something else because Sternberg sold the rights or the naming rights or whatever to the guys at Note Investor Summit, which is now NoteWorthy Investor Summit. I’ve been around for five years, it’s just a different name, another sticker on the thing. We have done events or we’ve morphed into having our live Note CAMP. I wanted to create something that would help leverage people’s time and energy and be a benefit to many people, not just to a few people that show up, not just the speakers, and not just to experienced people. I wanted to make this valuable for experienced, brand-new people, the speakers, the vendors, and stuff like that. I don’t know about you, but when you travel as much and been a vendor at so many places, it gets costly to be a vendor. You’re usually paying around $5,000 to $10,000 to be a vendor or speaker at events sometimes. Then you’ve got to try to make that up in your sales.
So many vendors travel and then it costs them more than that for travel and set up booths, airfare, and food, hoping to drive business out of it. When Steph and I came up with the idea for Note CAMP, it was coming from a failure of an event. It was coming from an event that we bombed on that we canceled that we were going to have in Houston. We’re literally talking about $25,000 on event marketing and nobody showed up. It was a great idea, but sometimes great ideas are not deliverable. Our goal was like, “Let’s do something that’s different.” As I started talking to vendors and speakers, they were exhausted. People are trying to cut back or trying to budget. The market is changing and when I came up with the virtual stuff, Steph’s like, “We should do webinars virtually. Why can’t you do a virtual event?” I first argued against it for twenty minutes.
Over time, I was like, “You’re exactly right. Why can’t we do a virtual summit?” There’s got to be a little bit technology hacks. I got with a couple of friends and we worked on some ideas and that’s where we came up with Note CAMP 5.0,content,actions, marketing, profit generating ideas. There are some things that I wanted to do differently about Note CAMP. I wanted to make it so that we could leverage people’s time and energy, and not be expensive but give people and the vendors everything they want in an event. As Steph says, “Think outside the box and keep adapting.”We started reaching out to speakers. I was excited about doing an online event, especially it’s going to be live and we can put 200, 300 people online at the time and they’re going to love it. That’s what we did. We got a schedule together, we offered some tickets. We had a booth set up. About seven or eight of us are wearing NoteWorthy t-shirts. I totally remember it.
When we came up with idea for Note CAMP, we wanted to make it affordable. We wanted to give people an incentive for being there. We also wanted to help our speakers out and our vendors out. I’ve always been a big advocate of trying to prime the pump for our students so that they can network with everybody else. I know how valuable it is to network and to grow your database. When you get a contact, unfortunately most of the time you get a business card from an event or a speaking spot, you don’t do anything with it. It goes on your dresser drawer, it goes on your nightstand, it goes in a shoe box. We did not keep them in a file or a drawer. We decided to use them.
The first thing is if everybody shows up to an event and they’re around, especially our live virtual note buying workshops, we would email out the spreadsheet of the attendee list. We wanted you to prime the pump. We didn’t want you to spend so much time trying to run around to get business cards. We want you there in the event learning, talking, asking questions versus trying to run around getting business cards, as some people do. That’s what we decided first and foremost. Everybody that shows up is going to get the attendee list. Why is that important? Instead of you maybe only getting ten business cards at an event, you now have 300 or 400, or in some cases 1,000 contacts or 700, that you can add to your database. Are you giving your information to other people? You are, but it’s the 21st century. Everybody has your information whether you like it or not. You might as well have that.
Eric Hyde says, “I want to share my feedback on what I love about Note CAMP. What I love about Note CAMP is it’s not all salesy.” That’s a big thing we wanted to do. We wanted to deliver content. That’s what the big C in Note CAMP is all about, content. There are speakers that sell stuff at our event, but this is not a sales pitch. For our speakers, it’s going to be worth their time. It’s a win-win if you have people that show up to learn and then you have speakers that show up to learn and they provide most of their time giving content. That’s why we require our speakers not to give fifteen minutes of content in a 60-minute sales pitch because I’ll cut them right off. What we do want people to do is deliver 60 minutes of content. I don’t care if they’ve got a class, a workshop, a program, or a software. I’m fine with that because they’ve delivered for an hour, and then they’ve got fifteen minutes to sell and take Q&A from the audience.
It works out really well. We’ve only had one person missed their online speaking spot on Note CAMP. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise because when we had them on again, they went crazy. They went way long and it wasn’t a successful thing. Most people are really good. I’ve vetted almost everybody that speaks at Note CAMP. There are a few people I haven’t vetted, but I get good recommendations from people. I don’t like a lot of sales pitches. If I don’t like a person, if they’re sleazy and things like that, I’m not going to have them on our event. The beautiful thing is helping people learn because that’s the whole focus of going to a conference. When people are spending money or taking time out of their busy lives to do that, you want it to be valuable. You don’t want it to be a pitch fest after pitch fest. You want to have content galore.
Cedric says, “I’ve already drafted an email for the Note CAMP email list. I already told people find a few partners that are fast.” One thing that we do a little bit different is we’ve taken that whole contact list to a little bit different level. One thing that we do that most other conferences don’t do is a lot of conferences will have you fill out a one-page survey. A one-page survey at a NoteWorthy event or something like that is for identifying who might have big pockets and they can pull them away and try to offer a coaching program on the last day. We don’t do that at Note CAMP. Do I have a coaching program on Fast Track? Yes. I may spend half hour to 45 minutes talking about it in one episode, but it’s not designed to be a heavy in-your-face pitch. Say, “Here’s what we do. Here’s what we offer. If you want to sign for it, great. If you don’t, I don’t need people to sign up to be successful.”We’ve taken that to one whole different level.
We have a survey which we call the investor’s survey that we ask our investors to fill up. It includes things like your basic contact information, your LinkedIn profile address, what social media stuff do you use, how many deals have you closed in the last year, how many have closed in your lifetime, what’s your biggest weakness, what your biggest strength? Do you have an IRA? Who’s that with? Who have you learned from? Are you looking to JV? Yes, no, or maybe. That’s a very valuable thing. I can beat a dead horse to death on that, but it’s new every time. What’s great is we often get around 30% of the attendees to fill it out. For a survey, that’s phenomenal. It’s about twenty questions. If people fill out the survey, then the people that fill out the survey get extra information. If you got 289 people or 290 people like the last time we did it, you will have 189 people that say they want a joint venture. They have money. That’s a phenomenal thing.
I haven’t activated the survey yet for Note CAMP 5, but we’ll get around to it sometime in the next day or so. The reason we fill that out is because it gives us an idea to see how smart our group is, how new our stuff is, and that helps us with future topics. It also helps us with marketing after the event, what topics that we needed to have in Note Night in America, just some great stuff with that. That’s the beauty of a couple of things. We throw everybody in Basecamp. People love it or they hate it. Either they love it because they use it and get all these questions, or they hate it because it floods their inbox for four days. I know several speakers who are like, “Please do not put me in Basecamp. I got way too many emails and I can’t keep up with them.” I’m like, “That’s fine. We’ll remove you.” Basecamp is the very place where we share files. The speakers that go on there share their PowerPoint or they’ll share their special bonus. We have been very big in putting together an online manual for the event over the last couple of years. We’re not doing that so much this time around for a couple of reasons. One, a lot of people didn’t use it last time. They use it for the schedule and stuff. We’ll be using that time to the schedule and a few flyers, but it’s not going to be nearly as in-depth. We’re going to lean at that aspect down because we’re using more other things throughout the presentations to help people to learn a bit more about our speakers and some of our social media marketing and things like that.
I would be a little light not to admit one of the favorite things of Note CAMP is our social media content. That’s a big thing that a lot of people don’t do at events, especially the larger events. They don’t push the social media. That’s a great way to network with other people that are going to events. I use this religiously at other events like Traffic & Conversion Summit or the Podfest. I was sharing posts but I was also tracking who was posting posts about those events to expand my database, to expand my knowledge base, expand my friends, expand my colleagues. The things that I tell people do, I do myself because it’s valuable. We do that. We promote, we give our attendees some social media hashtags and things like that to use, and they use it with some amazing posts from people because we give away prizes. We gave away over a thousand dollars of electronics last year. Sometimes we’ll give away a spot in our mastermind. Sometimes we give away a spot on our Fast Track training. It depends. We’re always changing things up a little bit.
You fill out a survey, you get all the in-depth answers in that survey. You know who seasoned and who’s not seasoned, people’s strengths, people’s weaknesses, what they’re looking for, their top three states that they invest in. That’s a huge database that’s not only valuable to me, it’s valuable to everybody out there as you’re connecting, as you’re building your database, looking for people that can invest in the other states. If you took the database alone, that’s a great amount of space, but taking the survey results after we upload them and send them out to those that fill out the survey, that is so valuable in itself. You could literally build a business on that right there. The reason for that is that’s the things I did years ago. I took into consideration that people’s top markets will help me wholesale assets more, or when I had the tapes in, “We’re sending you a list. Do you want to bid on any of these? We can co-bid together.”
As I was traveling around the country and said, “Do you have a real estate club that you go to? I can plan my schedule.” You can get everything that you need at Note CAMP and you can do it all from the comfort of your own home. One of the biggest things that separates what we do is that we live stream it. We’ll have two speakers most days going simultaneously. Don’t worry if you can’t make both sessions. It’s okay because we do record them. I’m not a greedy bastard. I’m not going to charge you $100 or $197 or $297 for the replays after the event that shows up six months from there. We take the videos. We try to get them uploaded over the next week so you have the availability to watch them.
One of the other things that we’re doing as well in the 5.0 version is we’re going to take every episode and turn it into a Note CAMP in its own special podcast series going forward. If you catch it live, great. If you watch the replays, great. If you can’t catch the replays, you’ll be able to download and listen to every episode on iTunes and the podcast platforms. That’s going to take a little bit longer to do, but we’re pretty stoked about that. Our goal is to have that up and ready to roll by the first of May. I’ll be very busy. The following the week of Note CAMP, we have our mastermind event in Cape Coral, on the 16th through the 20th, I’ll be extremely busy working to get those uploaded with our Podetize crew, Tom and Tracy Hazzard, who help us with these podcasts. We’re going to have our own special version of that stuff too so you can listen to it after the event.
They’ll be uploaded at once for you. It’s a very nice thing. That’s why we’re stoked about that. It’s a nice extra feature to add to everybody where they can either watch it live or you could watch it visually later on or you can listen to it when you’re on your 45-minute commute back and forth, like a lot of other people do that are working full-time while they’re still being full-time note investors. That’s an extra thing that we’re doing. I’m really stoked about our keynote speakers. Our keynotes are probably two of the biggest and best attractions we’ve ever had. No offense to any of our amazing keynote speakers we’ve had in the past, but we’ve got two amazing women. Rhonda Britten, an Emmy Award winner, is a ball of light out there helping people overcome their fears. The legendary and absolutely amazing person. She’s got a big heart of gold with helping people with financial education across the world is the one and only Sharon Lechter from Rich Dad, Poor Dad. We’ve been trying to get her on as a keynote for the last three years. I’m so honored that both of these women that I call friends are going to be on for an hour, hour and a half to wrap up the Thursday and Friday schedule for Note CAMP. You’re going to get a lot of notes, a lot of great stuff from these two amazing women.
That’s the biggest thing for Note CAMP this time around. We always try to have a theme. When we finished with Note CAMP 4.0, we want to get what’s the theme for this one. It’s the lantern that helped you light your way to get to where you want to go. I know a lot of people are struggling out there and a lot of people are worrying with other things like bills, life, jobs, the economy, politics, and healthcare. We want to try to be a beacon of light to help you accomplish things. You don’t have to jump on the plane. You don’t have to spend my money on hotel bills and food away from your family.
I know a lot of people are going to be watching from their office playing hooky or watching from taking time off from work to listen and watch. We’re very proud of those people. We’re excited for those people. Our attendees will be close to about a thousand by the time we wrap up registration by Wednesday night, Thursday morning for Note CAMP. We have a big heart. We want people to see. We want people to take action. We’ve changed speakers. We’ve added over 33% to 40% of the speakers that are brand new and have never been to Note CAMP before. That says two things. One, it’s not a knock on anybody who’s not speaking. It’s just we’d like to keep it fresh.
People are sitting up and taking notice of what we’re doing. They’re taking notice of the events that we do, especially Note CAMP. The social media posts, the traffic, and the things that they see, and we see overall they enjoy. Keep sharing the love and we will keep rocking back and forth. A couple of things we’re always very proud of is some of our students are speaking for the first time at the event. People have been on different panels, but we’re literally giving a couple of students their own time slot because I wanted to go through their business. We’ve had Wayne Snell and Jay Tenenbaum, Adam Adams and Stacey Wall and a variety of people over the years sharing their business models, but we’re excited because Gail Greenberg is going to be talking about her mouse model. We have Cody Cox going to be sharing his model. Adam Adams is speaking this time, but he should be speaking to other places too talking about what he does with Pipedrive to help his business and automate business. We’re really excited about those two guys and a girl and in what they’re going to be sharing. We’ve got some other things up our sleeves as well for some big things.
There’s a lot of moving parts. I have to thank my staff. I’ve got to thank Steph. I’ve got to thank the speakers. I’ve got to thank all those that signed up and our students for helping to promote it. We’ve been very busy last few weeks. I’m especially proud of the people that have spent and attended all four of our previous Note CAMP events. The idea is we just want to deliver an event. We want to help you leverage your time, your energy, and maximize it and make it affordable for everybody. Not everybody can fly cross country. Not everybody can take three days off from work or their families or four days off from their families to go to an event. We get that. This is why Note CAMP is so powerful. It’s why our speakers love it so much. We got about five or six speakers who are speaking at a different event. They take time to walk away from an event to go to their hotel rooms and share their information because they value what we do value. They value you as students like us. We love you guys.
If you want to leverage the event, if you’re going to leverage taking time out of your schedule to do something, we believe Note CAMP is one of the premier events out there that allows you to do that with the database, the networking before and after, the survey, and give you the detailed information of those who are in attendance. That’s what we’re here for. One of the beautiful things is seeing people’s growth in the survey. They closed on two deals this year and the next six months, they closed on twelve from the time that they came the first time. They’re closing 20, 24, 30, 35, 50 deals in some cases. That’s always an exciting aspect of that.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate. Reach out. You can always reach me at Scott@WeCloseNotes.com. You can find me on social media, at @1ScottCarson across Twitter, Instagram, and other places as well. You can leverage events and you can fly across country to do it. You’re going to probably meet with 10, 20 to 30 people; that’s great. It’s going to be hard to get the whole database. Our event is the premier event that takes away the barriers and eliminates the excuses for you not having success in the next six or twelve months in your note business. Join us next weekend or this week. If you’re listening on iTunes and Stitcher, we look forward to having you there. See you all at the top.