Jason Cambell Presentation Socks

3 tips to captivate your audience

Stand out from the crowd, be memorable, be yourself – sound familiar? That advice your mum gave you on how to cope as a teenager (read: how to talk to the opposite sex), is still true when it comes to making an impression on your customers. Here’s how one speaker dominated an entire one day conference in less than 20 minutes, and some tips on how you can replicate his formula for success.

HubSpot held it’s first official event in Singapore (Grow), with speakers from their various regional offices. Interestingly the most talked about speaker wasn’t a Hubspotter, it was an external speaker, Jason Campbell from Mind Valley. His on stage presence was nothing short of mesmorizing. There’s plenty to be said for practicing to present, natural aptitude, and plenty of sales experience – however he did three things that stood out. Three things that you can incorporate into your next presentation:

  1. Dress with personality

He was wearing regular on-stage business attire, the waist coat was a nice touch, but the big impact came from his socks. It took a few moments to notice that he (intentionally) wasn’t wearing shoes, and then just a few seconds more for people to start taking photos. After his session lots of people were curious enough to ask him about it, and he has a great story to share about why he wears socks.

The fact that he was dressed a little unusually made him immediately memorable as “that-guy-wearing-socks-on-stage”, and the story he’ll tell you about why he wears them, ensures that you won’t forget him. Except for “business attire”, I don’t specifically remember what any of the other speakers were wearing. What do you remember about the last speaker you saw?

  1. Speaking to your audience with passion & belief

For most presenters it felt like they were moving through pre-prepared sales decks – albeit, very nicely. They didn’t have a single powerful message, one they really believed in, that they were communicating. Jason did, it was clear & obvious. Ignoring his skill as a speaker, his presentation used analogies everyone could relate to, and his whole presentation reinforced the same fundamental concept. Like a good comedian, he directly engaged members of the audience making his points easily relatable.

The end result was that you felt that Jason really believed what he was telling you. Which made it much easier to agree with him.

  1. Be educational, but more importantly be inspirational

Unlike many presentations which try to technically convince people that a particular product is worth buying (which might be appropriate for some audiences), he seemed focused on evoking a specific set of emotions. Most people quite quickly forget the specifics of a presentation, especially if there’s several they have to watch, or they have other things to do. Very few people forget how they feel about something though. Think about the most recent comedy show you’ve seen…. It’s hard to remember more than one or two specific jokes, but it’s easy to remember whether you enjoyed it or came out feeling a bit “meh”…

When you’re designing your next sales pitch, presentation, or campaign, think about how you might be able to leverage some of these tips to leave your audience with a lasting impression. If you’ve got a few tricks of your own, let me know!

Conference and Trade Show Booth

How To make friends & get more leads at your next trade show

I was at an exhibition and saw a standy that proclaimed “Improve sales conversions” in a big bold font. It was actually the only thing the standy said. I’m a digital marketer, I’m always looking for ways to improve conversions. Higher conversion rates are the Holy Grail – even the smallest increase in conversion rate will make a big difference to revenue. So I went over to speak to rep standing at the booth, it’s what happened next that really shocked me.

The company provided live chat, so after the pleasantries I pointed at the standy and asked the most innocent (but hardest) question first “What percentage improvement does your technology usually deliver?” The sales rep squirmed a bit and then said “We’re more focused on customer support, I don’t have any numbers or case studies on sales conversions, but it can help.”

Disrupting the customer journey (in a bad way)

In exactly one sentence he’d completely undermined the “Sales Conversion” marketing campaign, and any credibility that his company could in fact help to improve conversions. I asked a few more questions, which he answered with a product demo and vague assurances that if put at the right place that live text chat could help the sales process, but my confidence was already gone.

Remember the sales funnel?

The marketing collateral had done it’s job of attracting me. I was at the top of the sales funnel. Here’s a few tips to ensure you make the most of your event and get as many good leads as possible.

Pro Tip #1 Use clear consistent messaging

To move me down through the funnel towards purchase the sales message and the demonstration needed to be aligned with the original marketing message. Without consistency throughout the sales process, my original request and any intent for me to buy had been lost.

Whatever messaging you’re putting out at an event, ensure that every aspect of your sales & marketing is in harmony – including all your digital properties. Even if you have an event specific promotion, mention clearly online that you’ll have exclusive promotions or offerings. When a prospective customer looks for you online, they shouldn’t be confused as to why there are no details of your offer.

A lot of start-ups do this very well. Their products are singularly focused, so the collateral, communication materials and demonstrations move one type of customer through exactly one type of buyer journey. It’s a little more work when your product has multiple potential journeys, but it’s something you need to plan for; especially if you’re creating standys to attract clients to a different journey).

Pro Tip #2  It’s not a card collecting game

Trade show leads are great, in fact they’re the highest quality leads you can get, but that doesn’t make them a competition to collect the most business cards. You’re looking for high quality leads, not random business cards. With a few simple questions you should be able to very easily qualify (or disqualify) potential leads at the event, leaving you with a great list of hopefuls & real leads.Lead quality chart

Here’s a few sample questions you can use for quick customer profiling:

  1. Ideally speaking, what would you like to achieve? (Direction and solution fit)
  2. What solutions do you currently use? How are you currently doing this? (Is this a real problem?)
  3. Have you thought about integrating this with … for better …? (How far along the process are you?)
  4. Would you like to schedule some time with your CTO & the engineering team to discuss …? (Seriousness to buy if senior management are ready to hop into the discussion)

Pro Tip #3 Don’t drone on mindlessly

Whilst you want to spend some time with each prospect, you don’t want to spend too much. Be careful, it’s easy to slip into a sales spiel – it’s probably well-rehearsed and comes of naturally. Unfortunately it’s exactly what’s not needed at an event. The event should be busy, you’ll need to size up potential clients quickly, make a connection and then push them towards a particular follow-up action and then move on to the next client.

Your customer journeys should all end with some form of action, and you should know which direction your customer wants to go based on the profiling. Lead them towards one of these actions. It could be anything from scheduling a demo, registering for a trial, a follow-up call, receiving some specific collateral, or buying with a special event discount.

Pro Tip #4 Get people on your list

Collecting a business card isn’t the same as someone registering for your list. Use a tablet and an incentive to collect email addresses directly at the event. This lets you reach out to people with no objections – because they opted in. I’ve used free chocolates, pens and other bits to get people to register – people will register on your list in exchange for candy at an event.

Pro Tip #5 Run a survey

With a few simple questions you can get some great information about your target audience. It’ll improve your marketing and help you to quickly qualify potential customers. You can have someone walk around and run surveys, allowing them to access more people. It also gives you something to share with all the event attendees after the event. I usually do this with SurveyMonkey and in conjunction with #4.

This is a great secondary source of leads, but don’t spam everyone. Use the survey questions to profile respondents and figure out where they fit into your sales funnel.

Pro Tip #6 Prepare your post event email nurturing campaign

Based on the customer profiles and actionable outcomes, prepare a series of post event email campaigns. Of course you’ll have the sales people directly reaching out, this runs in addition to that – to ensure that all those leads get the right type of thank you note with relevant information. Avoid sending a generic thank you note if possible.

Pro Tip #7 Publish your social media tags and handles

If you’d like the extra publicity from event goers publish your handles & tags prominently. There’s nothing more frustrating for an event goer that wants to tweet something than not knowing who to reference or what tag to use. Don’t forget that events are a great opportunity for you to engage on social media. Ask questions, play games & show some personality. Whilst it’s not going to help you create leads directly at the event, you’ll certainly give your social profiles a boost.


The perfect social media profile picture

10 tips to create the perfect social media profile picture

Your profile picture (a.k.a. headshot), is the single most important personal marketing tool you have on social media, or any digital channel for that matter! It is always the first thing people see when they browse your profile, and quickly differentiates serious professionals from amateurs. If you want to be taken seriously, you need a high quality social media profile picture. So I put together a quick guide on how to get your perfect professional headshot for you to download.

Profile Photo Guide
Click here to download Profile Photo Guide (789.11 KB 24 downloads)

I had previously written about why you need to keep your “biography/text profile” up to date, here are the top 10 best practices for creating the ideal professional profile picture:

  1. You should be fresh & clearly in focus

    Don’t be artsy or put yourself in the background. You are the main subject of the photo. You should be perfectly in focus, with your eyes open and full of life. Not droopy, closed, tired, or worn out. Try to take the picture in the morning so you’re fresh.

  2. Only you should be present in the photo

    No group photos please. Remember that you are the star of this photo. Nobody else should be visible at all, not even in the background.

  3. Clothing

    Wear professional attire. For gentlemen this is a suit, shirt and tie. Freshly shaven or beard recently trimmed. Ladies please ensure your shoulders are covered, not strapless, strappy, flowery or floral. Jewelry should be minimal and professional. Clothing should ideally be solid colors, pin stripes are acceptable, not distracting prints or loud tartans.

  4. Posture

    Your posture communicates a lot about you, after your face it’s the first thing people tend to notice. Stand straight, shoulders back, chest out, slight angle to the camera. Chin ever so slightly up. Do not tilt your head to the side. You should look confident and capable.Your hands should not be near your face. Keeps your arms crossed – this will help position your shoulders too.

    Your photographer should be able to help you with this. For corporate profile photos, ensure that all subjects use the same two poses. (1) Facing the camera squarely (2) Facing the camera with torso slightly angled (as shown in the outline picture).

    Photofeeler has a brilliant article on posture and different poses for ladies & gents, it’s worth reading through; and good advice for pretty much any photo you’re going to be in!

    Anatomy of a perfect profile picture

  5. Smile

    It’s surprising how many people don’t smile for photos. You want to seem welcoming and open to conversation, so smile naturally.

  6. Background, location & lighting

    The background should be a single solid color. No patterns, no plants, nothing busy or distracting. The color should not be the same as something you’re wearing or your skin tone. This makes it easy for the background to be removed digitally, a more appropriate background can be added as needed. Ask your photographer to provide your headshot with a transparent background (a.k.a. no background).You want the lighting to be uniform, no harsh shadows or color lighting effects.

  7. Colors

    Full color only please. No black & white or sepia photos please. Don’t apply any Instagram (or other) filters.

  8. Professional photography

    Even if you have a friend that’s taken a course in photography, I always recommend going to a photo studio to get your photos taken. There’s a big difference between a professional studio photo shoot and one taken at home. This is the mental image people are going to recall, make it as brilliant as you can.

  9. Keep it up-to-date & use a recent photo

    Your profile picture needs to accurately represent how you look. That doesn’t mean you need to update it every time you cut your hair, but you shouldn’t be using a photo that was taken 10 years ago.

  10. Sizing & Positioning

    Whilst social media and other profiles will generally not use more than 500×500 pixel images, when it comes to photo sizes, the bigger the better. Please ensure your photographer provides you high resolution photos (Full HD or a lot more). This ensures that your photos can be used in print or on bigger screens. You don’t want to be chasing your photographer one year’s later when you need to print your headshot in a magazine.

    To ensure that your profile picture makes best use of the available space without over crowding, you should fit your photo to match the outline provided. This places your eyes at the 1/3 mark, leaving a feeling of empty space, without being too zoomed out or too close in.Most social networks will automatically resize your profile picture to match their requirements.
    You should ensure that your headshot is a large (16:9) format picture, but that your photographer also gives you one that is a perfect square so that it looks correct when scaled automatically.

    LinkedIN 400×400
    Twitter 400×400
    Google 250×250
    Facebook 180×180
    Instagram 110×110

Your photographer may have their own inputs & ideas, but this will provide the basic outline of what you’d like to achieve. If your photographer permits, take several photos, and ask them for a set both with and without backgrounds.

Here are some samples of what your profile picture should not look like:

What you don't want