If you were heading across the world to impress 1,800 of your peers would you pack lycra? That's just what I considered before packing my favourite superman outfit and heading off to Social Media Marketing World in San Diego in March 2014. Lucky for me I had a partner in crime, the super creativeChristina Canters, AKA 50% of #hashtagheroes and podcaster master.
Why would we do such a thing? Well there was a strategy in our madness, based on the AIDA sales model. The idea was to make an impact with our craziness at the opening night party on the USS Midway (yes an aircraft carrier, if you don't mind!) to get noticed. The first rule of the AIDA model is Attention - and we got some! People were so impressed they were taking photos all night and posting all over social media.
I'm so glad they took it the way it was intended, as some extra fun. Even the CEO of Social Media Examiner, Mike Stelzner, loved it so much he took a selfie of us! See that guy in the middle, yep that's him. What a champion.
There were so many highlights you really have to check out my Pinterest board for all the great pics. But why all the effort? Well my dream is to be invited back next year at SMMW15 to present on Personal Branding. The issue I face is that in the USA my brand is not as well-known as it is here in Australia, so I have to get known!
The second part of the AIDA model is - Interest. So the next day we wore our #hashtagheroes t-shirts and networked out asses off. Capitalising on the Attention we got the night before. I was getting 100+ twitter adds a day and so many positive comments about the stunt. Business cards were flying at us and loads of quality connections made.
The third part of the AIDA model is Desire. So the final day I became Mr. Ford. Wore a suit and handed out copies of my book 'Creating a Powerful Brand'. I'm not all parties and stunts, I have a serious side and wanted to ensure they saw this too. This solidified my brand to the presenters, staff and attendees. I even had a beautiful moment when I was lining up to give my book to Michael Hyatt(one of my heroes), and a guy asked me to buy one! Cash right there on the spot. My first sale as a published author. Bless.
The final part of the AIDA model is Action. Since this conference, I have met with many of the presenters to establish myself as a potential speaker, been interviewed by some and sent my book to others. I even started this blog as a direct result of the knowledge gained there. As the 2015 conference approaches I will ramp my activities and we shall see if my goal is met. Mike if your listening, I'm ready and available!
My advice for anyone trying to break into a new area. Make and impact, put yourself out there and take action. Perhaps not using lycra, but it doesn't hurt either! Which begs the question what crazy stunts have you done to gain attention?
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(the link is http://www.andrewford.com.au/book/)