Top 5 Lessons I Learned At FinCon

A couple of weeks ago I had the great fortune to be a guest on the first edition of the Money and Media Podcast, brought to you by FinCon.

The FinCon Expo is a conference where all the brightest and best of financial media and blogging worlds come together to learn, and to network with others who have similar interests. It’s a great time every year, and if you’re interested you can check out my recap of last year’s FinCon here.

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The Money & Media Podcast Brought To You By FinCon

money-media-podcastI received an email from Joe Saul-Sehy of the Stacking Benjamins blog who also creates one of my favorite financial podcasts. He is working with PT, founder of FinCon, to create a series of FinCon podcasts leading up to FinCon14 in New Orleans this year.

He asked me to appear on that first episode of the podcast to do a roundtable discussion with another talented blogger, Lauren Bowling of LB And The Money Tree, around the topic of the top 5 lessons we learned at FinCon.  Also on the podcast is featured guest Farnoosh Torabi, as well as Phil Taylor.

I was happy to take part, and even though I was nervous doing my first real podcast, Joe is a podcasting pro and put us both at ease.

Let’s take a look at my top 5 things I learned at FinCon. Click on the link below to download the podcast and follow along!

Money & Media Podcast Episode 1

Top 5 Lessons I Learned At FinCon 2013

There were quite a few things I learned at FinCon13 in St. Louis, Missouri.  Here are my top 5 that I shared on the podcast. (You’ll have to listen to the podcast to get Lauren’s top 5!)

lessons-learned-fincon

5. I Learned The Importance Of Making  A Good First Impression

Falling down on stage can leave a good first impression. No, really.

Pat Flynn Fincon KeynotePat Flynn of Smart Passive Income gave the first keynote address at FinCon13.  He came into the auditorium to loud, fast paced music. Think along the lines of “Eye of the Tiger“.  He ran down the aisle pumping his fists and leaped onto the stage only to trip and fall down flat on his face.

The room went silent and I heard several people gasp. Pat got up off the ground and paused. He looked around the room and asked if he could start over. He explained, “I don’t feel like I made a good first impression”. The sound guys then reversed the music and he ran backwards down the aisle and started from the top. This time he made it to the stage in one piece, and the crowd cheered.  (Nice stage fall, Pat. You’d have a good second career as a stuntman!)

In his speech he talked about how important making that good first impression is. He said:

It’s extremely important to make sure that when people visit your website for the first time, whether it’s through search engine traffic, through a link from someone elses’s site or a recommendation from a friend – that your site feels very welcoming.

He stressed how important it is to

  • Introduce people to who you are, and personalize your site.
  • Make it easy to read your content and navigate your site.
  • Don’t overload your site with un-necessary distractions. Keep it simple.
  • Give people a reason to come back – share your personality, your story. Make them want to come back that first visit.

4. I Learned That Being A Perfectionist Can Mean You Never Get Anything Done

Jesse MechamJesse Mecham of  You Need A Budget had a session where he lamented how the “perfect can become the enemy of the good”.

He talked about how he took a simple budget spreadsheet and built it into a multi-million dollar software business. He examined why his perfectionism often kept him from releasing a good product because he thought it wasn’t yet perfect.

Jesse went on to explore how many of us will worry about how our product or content may not be good enough. In the end, he posits that it’s more important to just get a good product together and release it despite any small flaws.

Don’t be afraid to release an imperfect product.

Yes, you want to release something good, but you should constantly be iterating anyway – improving your product for your readers or customer, building upon what you’ve already been able to do. So if you release a product that isn’t 100% perfect, that’s OK because you can continue to improve on that product and release updates, iterations and improvements.

3. I Learned About Leveraging The Assets You Already Have To Build Traffic & Income

steve chouSteve Chou of My Wife Quit Her Job talked about how we all spend so much time creating great content, but a lot of the time we don’t use the content we’ve already created to it’s utmost.  He also talked about how we often don’t have a goal for our content and a focus for what we want it to achieve.

He suggested leveraging already created content by creating autoresponders that can be sent out to email lists, sending people to money making articles through your email lists, and by improving existing articles that already get traffic and leveraging that success to make more money.

Sometimes we think we have to just churn out content, when in reality we ignore some of our best money making assets – our already created content.

2. I Learned The Importance Of Diversifying

Jeff RoseI learned the importance of diversifying your content offerings to find traffic wherever the people are.

Jeff Rose of Good Financial Cents talked about how his site had suffered in the Google Panda and Penguin updates, and how he was struggling to rebuild his traffic. His strategy was to diversify his traffic and go to different sources than just the search engines for traffic.

He called upon Pat Flynn’s motto, “Be everywhere“.  In other words, be where the people are consuming content, not just on your blog. Write, do video, do a podcast, do partnerships with big brands.  Essentially, get your name out and find new readers in as many avenues as you can.

Jeff went on to rebuild his site by doing podcasts, creating video content, writing a book, launching an email newsletter, setting up blog movements with bigger brands as sponsors and more.

Be everywhere and you’ll see results in traffic, as well as in getting noticed by bigger brands.

1. I Learned The Importance Of Creating Strategic Partnerships With Brands Bigger Than Your Own

stacy-johnsonStacy Johnson of Money Talks News talked about how he was able to create partnerships with sites and companies larger than his own, and how he leveraged those relationships in order to build his own brand and credibility.

Stacy took things that he did well, like creating video content, and created strategic partnerships with bigger media sites to provide content for their video sections. That allowed him to take his own brand to the next level by appearing on bigger sites where he could link to his own site.

Whether it’s through creating video, writing articles, or producing other media, you’ll see people capitalizing on the names of bigger brands all the time. They do that by writing or partnering with those sites so that they can get links back to their own sites, so they can add the “as seen in” tagline to their about pages, or by using the connections it brings them that can help further their own projects.

If you don’t have credibility – borrow some from someone bigger!  Just make sure that you’re truly providing value for the other party as well, otherwise they won’t keep asking you back.

The Things I Learned At FinCon

Some of the key takeaways I had at FinCon were.

  • The importance of making a good first impression on your online presence. It can be hard, or impossible to get readers back if that first impression isn’t a good one.
  • You need to be willing to realize you’re not perfect, and that it’s OK to release a product that’s just “good” and not “perfect”.
  • You should make sure to set clear goals for your site, and then make sure you capitalize on the content and other assets you have already created that are doing well.
  • Like in investing, it’s good to diversify.  Diversify your content offerings and find an audience wherever they are.  Do blog posts for readers, video for watchers, podcasts for commuters, and so on.
  • Make strategic partnerships with brands bigger than your own that can help you take your presence to the next level. Provide value to them.

If you attended FinCon, what were some of the takeaways you had?

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Last Edited: 14th April 2014

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  1. says

    Great takeaways Peter! Last year was my first time at FinCon, so I was just trying to soak it all in. That said, I had some of the same takeaways – especially with regards to the making a good first impression and diversifying. I knew the importance of those already, but learning how to implement those online was invaluable. It’s hard to believe the next one is less than six months away – I’m still working on things I learned from going last year. :)

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