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seanwes conference is coming up soon (and the price increases next month)! You can save $500 when you register today.

Why go to a conference? Isn’t it just as good if you look up the speakers and read their blogs?

This misses the entire point of conferences.

I could go on about the value of hearing people speak in person and getting to ask your questions, but the point of good speakers is to bring like-minded people together.

If you’re interested in things like copywriting, personalizing your marketing, building your own community, spreading the word about what you do, getting your money right, or being more creative, those are the type of people we have at seanwes conference.

As much as you want it to be what you know, it’s WHO you know.

I always wanted it to be what I knew. But that’s just not how the world works.

Relationships are everything.

You can build relationships online, but it’s the slow way. When you spend just a couple of days with someone in person, you accelerate that relationship faster than six months of online communication.

What you’ll find is, relationships with smart people lead to more relationships with more smart people.

The best way to increase your influence is not by increasing your knowledge but by increasing your connections.

Highlights, Takeaways, Quick Wins
  • Start building relationships now for the thing you’ll make in three years.
  • If you want to increase your influence, you have to increase your connections.
  • When you connect with someone, even if you don’t end up working with them, they can introduce you to people they know.
  • The people you meet are your key to the next level of expanding your business and increasing your influence.
  • Exercise giving and asking. When you give back and forth with small things, people will be prepared to do it with big things.
  • In a good relationship, two people give with no expectation of anything in return.
  • When you find good people, make a point to meet them in person.
  • Magic happens when you get awesome people together in one physical space
  • Build up the reciprocity muscle with small gives and asks.
Show Notes
  • 00:59 Sean: I’m pumped about seanwes conference, because that is quickly approaching. So fast.
  • 01:07 Ben: It feels like we were just talking about—
  • 01:10 Sean: Last year. I know. We’re taking it to the next level. We have a legendary lineup of speakers. It’s still going to be in Austin, Texas. We’re doing it even bigger. We have a new venue. It’s going to be exciting. I wanted to let people know about it. They’ve heard us talk about and mention it before, but I don’t know that we’ve ever mentioned the dates or not. Not for the conference—it’s in September, we’ve said that.
  • 01:36 I’m talking about the increase of price. Ticket prices are going up May 25th. This is 2017. It’s going up by $500. If you register today at seanwes.com/conference, you can save $500 on your ticket, so we definitely encourage you to go do that, unless you really believe in what we’re doing and you want to pay us more later. That’s also okay, but we just want you to be there.
  • 02:05 Ben: There’s also the risk, though, that tickets might sell out before the 25th.
  • 02:10 Sean: That’s true. We can accommodate more this time, so we have a higher ceiling. We have a bigger venue, so that’s really good. I’m hoping more people come. That would be fun.
  • 02:21 Ben: It’s almost like you took last year’s theme and you actually put it into practice.
  • 02:28 Sean: Think Bigger? Yeah. We thought bigger. It’s going to be a good time. seanwes.com/conference. Register today, save $500. May 25th is when the price goes up, so go check that out. The reason I brought up seanwes conference is that today we’re talking about how to increase your influence, and specifically, the power of relationships.

Build More Connections

  • 02:51 Sean: I always wanted it to be “what I know,” and it really truly is “who you know.” I had heard this before. I wouldn’t really listen when other people said it. You probably won’t listen when I say it. That’s okay, but I’ve seen it over and over again.
  • If you want to increase your influence, you can’t just increase your knowledge—you have to increase your connections.

  • 03:19 Ben: Whether you’re an outgoing person or more of an introvert, it’s a struggle. In general, we’re wired to think, “The value I provide in the world is solely linked to what I know and what I can do.” What you know and what you can do is useless if you can’t connect it to a real person who has a real problem that you can solve. You don’t get to know those real people and real problems unless you have real interactions.
  • 03:56 Sean: That’s so true. We’ve said it, but especially when it comes to getting to know your audience, getting to know people you want to build a relationship with, getting in person makes all the difference. Yes, you can build relationships online. It is possible, but I’ve seen it time and again. You spend two days in person with someone, and you strengthen that relationship more than six months talking with them online.
  • 04:23 It’s just so different. People are like, “What’s the point of going to conferences? Can’t you just look up the speakers’ blogs? Isn’t that just as good?” That misses the entire point of conferences. I could go on about the value of seeing a speaker in person and getting to talk to them, asking your question, and getting answers.
  • All good speakers do is bring like-minded people together.

  • 04:50 There are people who are interested in building their businesses, interested in marketing, copywriting, building their own community, increasing their influence, and staying creative. People that are interested in those things are coming together because of the speakers. The speakers are going to be great, and we have legendary speakers coming, from best selling authors to marketing and sales geniuses. It’s going to be a really great lineup.
  • 05:17 It’s about the people they bring together. These are your people, the people you want to be around. When you get in person with them, it accelerates that relationship, to the point where someone’s like, “Oh yeah, I know them. We met at this conference.” Almost every person I’ve met at a conference, we end up doing something. More people that I meet than not, we end up doing something together, but even if we don’t, that’s a connection point.
  • 05:46 You now have forged a path into someone else’s network. They can refer you to people they know, especially if you have your pitch down. We talked about this recently, your elevator pitch (Related: e208 Mastering the Effective Elevator Pitch). If you give them the message, the verbiage, to use to describe what you do, they’re going to carry that on to someone else. “Oh, I know someone who does filming for local businesses. I know someone who does personalized marketing.”
  • When you connect with someone, even if you don’t end up working with them, they can introduce you to people they know.

  • 06:25 Ben: That really makes such a strong case for being clear about what you do and being able to articulate that well. If you’re kind of confused and bouncing back and forth, trying to explain what you do, and you’re saying, “It’s kind of like this, but it’s also like that,” if you have that much trouble with it, think about how that person is going to relay that information secondhand or thirdhand.
  • 06:59 It breaks down so quickly, even when the message is crystal clear, it breaks down. If you’re going to be around people and you’re going to have an opportunity to share what you do and how you can help others, it’s so important to be very clear and communicate that as well as you can.

Meet People in Person

  • 07:18 Sean: There’s a difference between people you know online and the people you’ve met in person. When you look at your feeds, whether it’s Twitter, Instagram, or whatever you use, and you see a post by someone, you put people in two different buckets: online people that you follow and people that you’ve met. There’s that deeper level of connection, like, “We’ve met. We know each other. We’re real friends.”
  • 07:49 When it comes to collaborating and working together with people—we should talk more about competition vs. community, because people were talking about that in the chat earlier—when you connect in-person with people, it’s totally different when you end up working together. Say you end up working on some kind of a collaboration. Your level of commitment and their level of commitment is going to be a lot deeper if you’ve met in person.
  • 08:16 It doesn’t take much, just a conversation or two over a couple of days. That’s it. Then it’s automatically, “We’ve met. We’ve connected. I know this person.” Not, “I’ve heard of this person. I’ve followed this person. I subscribe to this person. I’ve seen their work,” but, “I know them.”
  • 08:38 Ben: There’s this really fun thing that happens, and I’ve experienced it from someone else who has read my blog or has seen these podcast videos, where they encounter me in person. They’re like, “Oh!” There’s this moment of, “I recognize you. I knew I would be able to pick you out in a crowd, but encountering you in person is so different. Now you’re this real person, and you’re taller than I thought you were. You’re shorter than I thought you were. I can see why your hair is always…” Whatever it is.
  • There’s something about being in the same physical space with someone and seeing their actual stature that translates into every other interaction.

  • 09:42 It’s like you said, Sean. Now, if you’re going to work together, or you’re scrolling through a list of people you know who kind of do the same thing, you’ve had a much more tactile interaction with a person you’ve actually encountered in person, and that person is going to stand out to you.

Vlogging & Using Video

  • 10:01 Sean: That’s why vlogging is so fascinating to me. You see someone in their natural element, in their real life. We just put together a vlog on the seanwes tv YouTube channel, and it was the first vlog I’ve ever done. I took recordings and footage and spoke to the camera while I was on my trip to Las Vegas over the last sabbatical. I went to MicroConf, which is a conference for startup founders, especially SaaS businesses(Software as a Service) that don’t take on Venture Capital or any kind of funding.
  • 10:41 They’re totally bootstrapped. I was in Vegas and I did a vlog, and the response to that was overwhelmingly positive. Big response, everyone really appreciated it. People struggle with vlogs, like, “I’m trying to provide value,” especially if you already provide value in some other medium. Maybe you do a podcast. Maybe you blog. Maybe you have a newsletter. Your vlog, your videos, can just be an extension of yourself, letting people get to know you and you as a person behind all of the stuff that you produce. My hair isn’t always this perfect when I’m outside in the wind. That’s why I don’t go outside.
  • 11:26 Ben: I refrained from making this comment, but now that you mentioned your hair, I have to say that in the next vlog, whenever you do it, we need more shots of you walking and your hair waving gently behind you as you walk. You can see the bounce in your step. It’s not like, “I can tell this person is walking.”
  • 11:50 Sean: People not watching the video and seeing my facial reactions to this are missing out.
  • 11:54 Ben: Because of your hair, now I can see how you walk. You walk as if you’re walking with purpose, but you’re also gliding. It’s hard to explain. Your hair underscores all of it.
  • Vlogging lets people see a different side of you, a more real side, so they’re able to connect with you.

  • 12:18 Sean: That’s why the people you watch regularly, the Casey Neistats, the Gary Vaynerchucks, or whoever you watch, you feel like you know them. That’s why people freak out when Casey Neistat is rolling down the streets of New York on his Boosted Board, and they run up to him like he’s their long lost friend that they haven’t seen in years even though they’re a complete stranger. They feel like they know him because he’s let them into this intimate space.
  • 12:46 The problem with vlogs is that they’re one-sided. Casey doesn’t know these random strangers running up and flailing their arms at him. He doesn’t know them. It’s one-sided. Your relationships with people online are one-sided. When you meet in person, both of you are sharing that real life, vulnerable, in-person experience. You immediately connect.

Get Around the Right People

  • 13:14 Ben: When I think about the hierarchy of different online interactions, I don’t know that I completely agree that online interactions are one-sided. When you’re putting out content, yes. In the comments, you can have some interaction, but people can chat. They can type messages to one another, and that’s a certain level of interaction. Now, you can have a pretty reliable, high quality video call with somebody, and you can have that kind of interaction. You get to see their facial expressions, and maybe some of their mannerisms.
  • 13:55 There’s something about occupying the same physical space. This is why I’m skeptical about the whole virtual reality recreating that experience. In the back of our minds, we’re always going to know that there’s a difference between this and actually being in the same physical space with somebody else.
  • 14:16 Sean: I see what you’re doing Ben, but I’m not going to take the bait. You and I are going to have to do our own futurism show some day in the future. David says, “People want to recommend people to their friends. It makes them look connected, useful, and valuable to others.” Jordan says, “seanwes conference 2016 solidifies in my mind how important it is to use both online and in-person interactions in tandem. Because I’d engaged in the Community, when I arrived at the conference I immediately started having deep conversations.”
  • 14:47 I love that. Getting around the right people—how do you find the right people to get around? How do you find these connections? When I think about everything, all of the places where my business has expanded, it’s related somehow to another person, someone I knew, someone I reached out to, someone I met with, or someone another person introduced me to. Every single speaker at seanwes conference is someone I’ve met, was introduced to, had a conversation with, or someone else brought us together.
  • 15:28 It’s all connections and relationships. I’m not googling, “Great speakers for small business conference.” It’s all connections. The conferences I’m speaking at were because of relationships that I had. It’s because I went to a conference and met someone. It’s because someone else I knew recommended me to the conference organizer. It’s all connections. This might be the biggest takeaway of the entire episode.
  • You need to be building relationships now for the thing you will make in three years.

  • 16:06 You don’t even know what it is yet. I don’t even know what it is yet, but you need to be building relationships now for that thing. Cory is shaking his head.
  • 16:14 Cory: That’s huge. That’s so, so true. I’m working on some projects, and I don’t go to Google or Craigslist and ask, “Hey, who’s good at cinematography? Who’s good at editing?” I’ve made connections with people, I like their work, and I have a relationship with them, even a friendship. That’s so powerful for the future and whatever you’re going to set out to do. I’ve seen it in your own life, Sean, with Nathan Barry, and I could go on with the list of people that you’ve met and made a connection with. You’ve done things together since then. It’s so, so powerful.
  • The people you meet are your key to the next level of expanding your business and increasing your influence.

  • 17:06 Sean: It’s all about the people you meet. You can’t just follow them on Twitter and expect things to happen. You’ve got to go where they are. Where do these people hang out? Where can you find them? What’s that thing you’re going to be making in three years? The wrong time to build relationships, build your network, and increase your connections to promote this thing you make in three years, is in three years. You have to build up that reciprocity now.

Benefits of Relationships

  • 17:35 Sean: What does a good relationship look like? Let’s analyze one of your friendships, any one of your friendships with your good friend, your best friend. It’s mutually beneficial. It isn’t one-sided, one person giving and the other taking. It’s two-sided. In a good relationship, two people are giving with no expectations of anything in return. It’s not like, “I give to you and you give back to me,” it’s like, “I’ve got this, man. I’ll help you out. I’m happy to do it.”
  • 18:03 We’re not keeping score, and that takes time. It takes time to build that relationship, and you don’t want to just go to people and ask, “Hey, it’s great to meet you. Will you help me promote my book/thing/film/whatever it is that I’m building?” You can’t just go to people and ask that. You need to build that relationship. Invest in them. It takes time. You need to be doing it now, right now.
  • 18:24 You’re like, “What’s the point? I don’t need to meet anyone.” You need to do it for three years from now. Think about what you’re building right now, the main thing you’re focusing on, what you wish people were aware of and had their attention on and were supporting. If you could go back three years and build relationships and really focus on people three years ago, investing in them, wouldn’t you?
  • When you build relationships, it’s not one-sided with you only investing in them.

  • 18:54 They invest in you. Back and forth. That’s a big thing I learned from the book Never Eat Alone, that it’s not just, “Store up your one reciprocity credit and wait for the perfect opportunity.” You want to exercise that relationship, like a muscle. Give and ask, give and ask. Back and forth. It strengthens that relationship. Rather than, “I’m going to give a bunch to them, and then I’m not going to ask for a really long time.”
  • 19:28 Ben: I’m thinking back like three years. I have no idea what the thing is. I haven’t even imagined it yet. It’s not even on my radar. My focus should be on building relationships. This makes it feel a lot less like it’s for a specific end goal, and really more as a lifestyle and a way of doing business, building credit for whatever you’re going to do. I know your views on debt and stuff like that, but we’ll use this as an example. When I was working for Wells Fargo a long time ago as a personal banker, one thing I was really passionate about was when students would come in to open accounts.
  • 20:23 The bank was really pushing hard on us to get them to open credit cards and all this stuff. With every student, I tried to spend some time talking with them and saying, “Look, if you get a credit card, this is considered debt. It can be a tool to help you build credit for other things.” As I’m saying it out loud, I’m hearing your voice in my head about all of the debt stuff. When it comes to managing money well, you could have a short term goal.
  • 21:09 You could have some idea of what your long term goal might be, but you have no idea whether or not some emergency is going to come up. You might suddenly think, “I want to go travel the world for a few years,” or, “I want to buy this house,” or whatever it is. Exercising financial well being is something you do as a default so you’re prepared for those things. That’s the idea with relationship building.
  • Don’t just build relationships for a specific goal, but keep that practice healthy so you can call upon it when needed.

  • 21:53 Sean: I remember Nathan Barry talking about wishing that he took advantage of credit he could have taken on when he didn’t need it. When you need it, the bank doesn’t want to give it to you. You don’t have any collateral. That’s essentially what we’re talking about here. You don’t want to go to people and say, “Hey, let’s get together. Let’s build a relationship so you can help me promote this thing.” It doesn’t work. You need to build that relationship while you don’t need it, ahead of time.

An Example in Reciprocity

  • 22:25 Ben: Can you give me a practical example of what it looks like to exercise that muscle, that back and forth, when it’s not focused specifically on some goal that you have but is really more about that reciprocity interaction?
  • 22:43 Sean: This is why I like having Cory on the show, because we’re not making up examples. We get to use real examples. Cory, you’re working on a feature film. You’re going to be working on more feature films in the future. You have ideas for more than just one, I’m sure. You can think in terms of this next feature film, or even ones in the future. You can imagine three years from now or five years from now. What would be a very helpful thing for you in terms of promoting this thing?
  • 23:11 Who would be an amazing fit, within your reach? I’m not talking about the most well known producer sharing your work. Within your reach, what would be a tremendously valuable promotion by someone that you know?
  • 23:33 Cory: Probably by my friend Robert Hardy.
  • 23:40 Sean: I imagine he has projects that he’s working on right now. I imagine he has things he wants to promote, things he wants more people to know about. How could you be helping him reach his goals now? Let’s put this in terms of benefiting you, because we’re all inherently selfish. This will resonate more, and then we can extrapolate the example. Imagine if Robert reached out to you and said, “Hey Cory, how can I help you promote your next feature length film? Can I write a blog post about it? Can I interview you on my show? Can I share this with my audience in the next newsletter? Where would be the best place to point people?”
  • 24:22 Imagine if he did that. You’d be blown away. You’d be like, “How much does it cost? What do I have to do?” I started with you so you understand how blown away you are. Now, let’s flip it around. What can you do to go out of your way to promote his project, to help him? “Is there anything I can do? Can I shoot some B-roll for you? I don’t have a huge audience, but I want to promote your thing.”
  • Imagine how your friend would feel if you offered to help him promote his project, no strings attached.

  • 24:52 Wow, that’s amazing. For the next small thing you do, you put out an episode of Behind the Film, let’s say he shares it. Once again, you help him. You provide value for his audience. It’s back and forth and back and forth. Three years or five years from now, Robert is someone who’s willing to help you promote your big thing, because you’ve helped him.
  • 25:14 Ben: It’s like, “That’s a thing we do. We promote each other’s stuff.”
  • 25:18 Sean: Exactly. Shawn Blanc is a good example here. I’ve had him inside the Community. People can find the workshop he did in the Vault about increasing your productivity. I’ve helped promote his couse to my audience. I’ve shared his work. I guarantee you, I haven’t even asked him yet, but I guarantee you that he’ll be happy to help me promote my book, Overlap when it comes out.
  • 25:42 That’s because there has been so much of that back and forth. There are so many other things. He has spoken at seanwes conference. He’s started this retreat that I’m going to in June in Colorado, and I’m invited because we know each other. We’ve talked. I was blown away. It’s the smallest thing, but he’ll send me an email with an article or a resource, something he’s read, and he’ll say, “Hey, I think this will be helpful to you.”
  • 26:07 He goes to a conference that I wanted to go to but didn’t get to go to, and he writes detailed notes and sends me all of his notes. “Hey, I think you’d like this, especially this part.” I’m blown away. Part of me, I have to be honest, thinks, “Okay, what does he want?” It’s so rare for people to just give like that.
  • Because I’ve built up these two-sided, back-and-forth relationships, I have this strong network of influential people with large audiences who will help me promote my book.

Exercise the Reciprocity Muscle

  • 26:42 Sean: I’m sure they’ll promote the next big things to come. For instance, CommunityTalk. I’m going really tangible with examples here. Within seanwes membership, we have the Community. We’ve built our own custom, from the ground up, community messaging system that is the glue to our membership site. A lot of other community organizers, people who start membership sites, are shoehorning all these different options together.
  • 27:05 They’re making their members juggle four or five logins. “Here’s the forums. Here’s the Slack. Here’s the Facebook group. Here’s the training.” We have brought all of that together into one unified experience for people, a community in a box. It’s called CommunityTalk, and you can find it at CommunityTalk.com. This is something we’ve been building for years for ourselves, and I realized a long time ago, which is why I invested in it, that we’re in the process of making this available to other people who don’t want to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars building their own infrastructure.
  • 27:36 That’s not even ready yet. Go to CommunityTalk.com, and we’ve been working for a few months on a new website and a show that I’m very excited to launch soon, but it’s not even ready yet. We’re just backwards building. I’m producing a show called CommunityTalk. We’ve done half a dozen episodes behind the scenes, and we’re going to launch this show. I’m interviewing community organizers. We’re talking about community building. All of this is just backwards building up to the launch of the SaaS, of CommunityTalk.
  • 28:06 Also, in these interviews I’m doing with people, I’m promoting them to my audience. I’m going on their show. I’m doing a workshop with them. I’m promoting them and building a relationship with them. I’m getting on calls with them. What do you think they’re going to do when I launch my software?
  • The people I’m building relationships with right now are the key to successfully launching my software business.

  • 28:31 Ben: It’s blowing my mind right now. I’m kind of backtracking a little bit, thinking about how that reciprocity muscle needs to be exercised. This was something I hadn’t considered, honestly. When I think about reciprocity and trying to be generous so others will give back, I think some people are having revelations right now, where they’re thinking, “Oh yeah, I need to be the first giver in the relationship.” That’s a great way to get on someone’s radar. Give things.
  • 29:18 Sean: Yeah, there’s a lot of, “Wow,” “Great ideas,” “Oh my gosh, I need to give more.” “Dang, I need to listen to this episode on a loop.” “Mind blown.”
  • 29:24 Ben: This is what’s hitting me really hard right now. I think there are many people who feel frustrated and worn out that they have been giving, they have been providing value and putting stuff out there, and they come to the big ask, whatever it is, and they feel like they’re getting crickets. Your reciprocity muscle has not been exercised enough—it’s weak. You haven’t conditioned it.
  • If you don’t condition people to give back and forth with you in the small things, they won’t be prepared to do it with the big thing.

  • 30:16 That’s with your audience and with one-on-one relationships. This principle is blowing my mind right now. How can I make this practical for the things I’m working on?
  • 30:29 Sean: You’re going in and you’re like, “I’m going to deadlift 300 pounds. I’ve never done it before, so instead of doing it today, I’m going to jog around, stretch some more, and then I’m going to stretch for three more days. I’m going to do so much preparation, build up so much readiness, that I’m going to come in and deadlift 300 pounds right off the bat, first time.” It doesn’t work. You have to build up the reciprocity muscle with small gives and asks. To what you’re saying, though, Ben, to someone who’s feeling like they’ve given so much, in this episode, we’re talking about tailored giving for a specific person.
  • 31:10 Building an audience is one thing. It’s one to many. That’s good and you should be doing that, but the key to the next level is building personalized, individual relationships, where you’re like, “How can I help John? How can I help Sarah? How can I help James?” For very specific people, how can I be all about their thing? How can I promote them?
  • You’re missing an opportunity to exercise the reciprocity muscle when you have something someone else could help you with and you’re not putting it in front of them.

  • 32:03 Ben: Or, you could give them a really specific way they could help you based on what they’re good at. We like to provide value. We like to feel like we’re valued in our relationships. If you’re only focused on giving and you’re not allowing yourself to be open to receiving, you’re doing the relationship a disservice, because you’re not allowing that other person to play their vital role in your relationship. If you’re not exercising that, they’re not going to be ready to help you in a big way when the time comes.

How to Meet in Person

  • 32:38 Sean: I don’t think I checked back in with you, Cory, after sharing that and talking about working backwards several years in advance. How can you help them? Exercising that relationship.
  • 32:50 Cory: You got so practical, especially for my situation, specifically, in saying what I can do. I’ve always known the idea of, “Help them out, and maybe you can build that relationship and something else happens,” but when you got really practical with all the things I could do, like reaching out to them, my mind is still spinning from that.
  • 33:15 Sean: Have you met Robert?
  • 33:16 Cory: Not in person. We’ve called.
  • 33:19 Sean: So you’ve met online. Where is he going to be?
  • 33:26 Cory: Geographically?
  • 33:27 Sean: Physically. What’s the next thing he’s going to? What’s he excited about?
  • 33:31 Cory: I don’t know.
  • 33:31 Sean: How can you be there? What’s something you’re going to, and how can you try and get him there? Think really strategically. Once you find a good person…
  • 33:46 Ben: It’s so much easier now to figure that out than it used to be. It’s called Facebook stalking.
  • 33:58 Sean: I’m thinking about the incredible rarity of good people with a good mindset who are actively working towards their goals. It’s hard enough to find good people. You can say, “Most people are good people.” That’s good, but there’s potential for being good and people who are acting it out, who are really pursuing it and going after their goals. They’re positive and they have a good mindset. They’re not detracting others.
  • 34:30 They don’t waste time commenting on other people’s stuff, critiquing it. They have a positive mindset. They don’t waste an ounce of energy on what other people think. That’s rare. Finding those people is rare. Finding people who’s values align with you, they have a good mindset, and they’re actively pursuing it, it’s just rare.
  • When you find good people, it’s worth it to meet them in person.

  • 34:57 It’s worth driving however long on your motorcycle to go where they are.
  • 35:03 Cory: I was about to interrupt you and say that this is what I’m going to do. On one of the sabbaticals, I’m going to go to Colorado. That’s where he lives. I’m going to say, “Hey, I’m passing through town. If you want to meet up, cool. I’ll be available these days.” If not…
  • 35:17 Sean: Nathan Barry’s favorite trick, which he might have gotten from Ramit Sethi, or maybe to meet him—someone else gave him this advice, but I’m passing it on. You just say, “Hey, I’m passing through your town on these dates. Do you want to meet?” If he says no, you don’t have to go. If he says yes, then you go. It’s that simple. It doesn’t just have to be driving. It can be booking a flight.
  • 35:47 When you really get this long term mindset, the few hundred dollars you spend on a flight is nothing compared to the return on this relationship. Getting in person for a few hours, a few days, is incredible.

Finding the Right People

  • 36:01 Sean: First, find these people, and then get in person with them. It’s really hard to find the people. The good news is, you don’t have to find the people. We’ve attracted them for you. You’ve made it this far, some 40 minutes into this episode, and you’re resonating with what we’re talking about. You’ve been listening to this podcast for a while. There are a lot of others like you who have made it this far into the podcast.
  • 36:25 People who don’t align with your values, people who don’t care, if they ever stumbled across this episode, they wouldn’t have made it this far into the episode. The people you want to connect with have, and they’re sharing this with you. We’ve attracted these people by showing up every day for years and years and hundreds of episodes, and that’s why we’re creating seanwes conference.
  • 36:45 I was talking to someone recently, one of our attendees, and we got to talking about how it was so refreshing that we weren’t upselling them on stuff. That wasn’t even registering in my mind, that people do that. They have conferences, and the conference is their business. The ticket price is just to get people there, and where they make the real money is they upsell some multi $10,000 whatever on the back end.
  • 37:16 I was just like, “That’s so foreign to me. We spent tens of thousands of dollars of our own money to make the first conference happen.” We’re not taking on sponsors. We don’t want to waste your time. We want to maximize your value and connect people. I figure, I can connect Levi Allen, Felippe and Rafael, and they work together creating the animations for Levi’s Leftcoast videos.
  • 37:47 Charli meets Nathan Barry and ends up working at ConvertKit. I helped facilitate those connections. I don’t get money for that. We spent tens of thousands of dollars so Charli could get that job, so Levi and Felippe could connect and work together. The return on that is so great.
  • seanwes conference costs us tens of thousands of dollars, but it’s worth it to me.

    It’s not about selling something, it’s about facilitating these connections with people.

  • 38:17 It’s about the building of these relationships. That’s so incredible to me. The return in the future is so obvious to me. It’s a no-brainer.
  • 38:28 Ben: Especially if the conference becomes known as, “That’s the place where you make life-changing connections.” It’s like you’re branding it as that instead of focusing on, “Oh, that’s the place you go to hear good speakers,” or, “That’s the place you go for fun workshops to get better skills.” The focus of the conference is, and has been, about those connections. It’s not just, “Oh, you’ll meet interesting, like-minded people there.” That’s cool.
  • 39:18 These are legitimately life-changing connections. That is more than worth the ticket price, obviously. Then you have all that other fun stuff, like the speakers.
  • 39:33 Sean: We had breakfast tacos, too. Good food. S’mores at the after party. I said, “Does anyone have any questions?” Andrew said, “Can you find me a job?” I don’t know, Andrew. Show up. I can’t promise a job.
  • Magic happens when you get awesome people together.

  • 39:57 It’s so hard to sell the idea of going to a conference and building relationships with people to someone who’s never done it. All it takes is you doing it once, and you understand. I don’t know of anyone who’s been to one conference and never any more, ever again. That’s got to be a pretty terrible conference. It’s so hard to not get a return on a conference. You would have to try really hard to not get a return on a conference.
  • 40:26 Everyone I know who’s gone to a conference goes to more conferences, because it’s accelerating. It’s why people love New York City, because it’s so concentrated. So much is happening. So many talented people are there that things just happen. It’s this melting pot. What if you could live in a city where everyone was driven, positive, and wanting to help you? Every single person. You go outside and you walk down the sidewalk, and every person is smiling and nods at you.
  • 41:14 They’re there because they’re happy to be there. It’s like a mini, concentrated city for a few days, and it’s a high unlike any other.

Come to seanwes conference

  • 41:52 Cory: Last year, when we were at the conference, I knew right then, “This is my favorite part of the year.” I knew that the conference being an annual, yearly thing… As a kid, it’s Christmas. “I can’t wait for Christmas!” Now it’s this conference. I love what you were saying, Ben. The conference isn’t just about these days. It’s not about those three days, it’s about everything that happens from then.
  • 42:21 I got an accountability partner. I met Zack Meisner, awesome guy, and we’ve been connecting every week. I’ve done so much since then because of the help he’s given me. That conference is so much more than the three days. It’s so much more than that time. It’s life-changing.
  • 42:45 Sean: Karen says, “I met my strategic partner at a conference. We intimidated each other, but later found out we needed each other to grow our business.”
  • Connect with people who do the things you don’t like to do, they do it well, and they love to do it.

  • 43:03 You have to find those people. That’s the only way to grow your business. You can’t do everything yourself indefinitely, be fulfilled, and grow your business. It’s not possible. You have to build a team, and this might even be next week’s episode, and connect with people who do the things you can’t do, they do them well, and they love to do them. What better place to find them than at a conference where the point is to bring those kinds of people together?
  • 43:33 I hope you check out seanwes.com/conference. The price increases permanently in just a few weeks here, so you can save $500 when you register at seanwes.com/conference now. I hope to see you in Austin, Texas! It’s going to be a good time.