Top 5 takeaways from the US event of the year: Traffic & Conversion Summit 2019

Imagine you had the opportunity to attend the ultimate summit of internet marketers and get tomorrow’s knowledge served up by the industry’s US stars! There’s just one catch: you have to pay top $$$ to fly across the pond and spend three days jet-lagged at the conference… Do any of us have so much time on our hands?! Well, I took that time and attended the Traffic & Conversion Summit in San Diego, California   …for YOU. Enjoy the highlights from the event of the year comfortably with a cup of tea and save yourself the stress of jet-lag!

Welcome to the new column “Coffee Stop” – the new read for your coffee breaks!

Here you will now find the most exciting topics concerning the internet industry. Today you are a guest with me, Polina Katrikh, senior editor at Digistore24. I trust you know me already if you’ve ever read one of my case studies or feature articles – right to the end, I hope. Why do you need to read to the end? Why am I so strict? Well, just do it and you’ll see!

…with my Mac at the ready, I attended the Traffic & Conversion Summit for you in San Diego, California, to deliver the very latest knowledge from the US internet industry directly to your home or office. How did I get there? Well, I’ve been living in San Diego for five wonderful years and I (and you) couldn’t miss THE event of the year. I listened attentively to all the important talks, took notes and sung my heart out. Hang on, you sung? Yes, and plenty of it. That leads us to takeaway #1:

Takeaway #1: If you speak in front of an audience – be a rockstar and enjoy the party!

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Talk or rock concert?

The talks at US conferences are reminiscent of rock concerts. Of course, it’s all about imparting knowledge. But the best way for us to absorb information is if it means something to us. Emotions directly lead us to feel a strong connection with both the topic and speaker. The importance of the emotional component in online marketing was covered in every session. US marketers practice what they preach: they approach people using emotions. The talks at the T&C Summit were loud, proactive, entertaining. At times, they were hilariously funny  or thought-provokingly controversial, and always very emotional. The speakers presented themselves like superstars: with party music, acoustic and visual special effects, they acted like comedians and triggered the audience’s emotions. From shock to laughter and “Aha” experiences – everything was there.

Make your audience laugh without making yourself a laughing stock

The magic word is “moderation”. After all, you want to position yourself as an expert and not as the new comedian on the block. It certainly won’t get you any further if you turn every performance into a rock concert. But the perfect blend of humor, charisma, suitable music and special effects will add spice to your talks and will surely remain in people’s memories.

Takeaway #2: Two things in digital marketing will never change

Whatever the future may bring, online businesses will always need to generate traffic and convert that traffic into revenue. So if you’re serious about this industry, place traffic and conversion at the heart of your marketing strategy.

Takeaway #3: It’s good to be better, but it’s better to be different

The USA is completely caught up in the trend of personal branding. Do you want to fascinate your target group? Do you want to attract them and keep them interested in your products? If so, be YOURSELF and sell through your personal brand.

Source: Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss), author of cult books “The Lorax” and “The Grinch”

In the USA, Sally Hogshead is regarded as the queen of fascination and personal branding: she is an expert on what makes brands so fascinating. She claims that nothing fascinates us more about other people than their uniqueness i.e. how they are different to us. For this reason, if you want to build a personal brand, focus on the core characteristics that distinguish you from others. But where do you start to find out what makes you different? Sally Hogshead has developed a personality test that makes it easier to discover how you fascinate other people.

Takeaway #4: Spice up your story with personal experiences

The speakers at the T&C Summit didn’t shy away from anything if it meant telling a good story. While I hid my bright red face behind my notepad out of embarrassment, the people around me were eager to listen as the speakers delved into the most intimate details of their private lives.

Mentioning personal experiences picks up on the other two trends already mentioned, i.e. to sell yourself as a brand and to build up a personal relationship with your target audience through emotions. The stories told by the speakers often contained a shocking or sensational component to capture people’s attention and spark fascination.

If you’re now itching for the juicy gossip… then I will not disappoint you  
Here are some scan-da-lous examples from the conference which illustrate how you can use your personal story in your sessions, texts or business.

Exhibitionists in a New York slum & nasty bullies

Linda Belgray, cult blog author and successful copywriter with an hourly rate of up to $1,500, started her talk with a story about her difficult childhood in a New York slum. She mentioned the drug dealers and exhibitionists that she met on her way to school. However, they didn’t scare her as much as a certain Sarah Fishbone, who made fun of little Linda Belgray’s writing style in front of the whole class. “Suck it, Fishbone!”, Linda Belgray shouted – “I make $1,500 per hour now!”. The audience laughed and was happy for little Linda Belgray, who showed bully Sarah Fishbone who’s boss!

Private photos in a business presentation...?

Justin Rondeau, marketing director of one of the most influential agencies in the US, DigitalMarketer, introduced his talk by showing a sweet photo of his little daughter. This photo had absolutely nothing to do with his session – Justin Rondeau admitted this at the beginning and invited the audience to simply enjoy the photo. “What the heck” was written on the faces of those around me, but most of them smiled at the sight of the girl. “If the talk is stupid, you’ll at least remember the sweet baby photo” – explained the successful online marketer.

From monk to YouTube star

Jay Shatty, award-winning presenter, storyteller and filmmaker, told us how he went to India for three years at the age of 18 to live as a monk. The extraordinary thing about it, is that this man is not speaking metaphorically when he says he lived as a monk – he literally did! He lived in a monastery for three years and simply wanted to lead a quiet, simple and enlightened life. After three years, however, he had enough and decided to become a YouTuber instead. Two million subscribers find his story fascinating.

From car thief to software entrepreneur

Dan Martell, founder and managing director of SAAS academy, which offers advice to software entrepreneurs, also chose to introduce his talk in a rather scandalous way. He told us that he stole a car while drunk at the age of 17 and ended up being chased by the police. After this adventure, he woke up in a prison cell where he spent the next six months. He describes this experience as “transformational”, which led him to gain insight into his anger issues. Once released, he apologized to everyone he had hurt with his drunken behavior and declared coding to be his new addiction. This then became the main driving force on his journey to becoming a software entrepreneur.

Takeaway #5: There’s nothing out of your league!

As entrepreneurs and as people, we have the ability to solve any problem or difficulty we face! (This is what business guru and philanthropist Richard Branson claims, who has set himself the mission of saving the world by using the lion’s share of his wealth and time.)

Inspiring insights to spur you on:

  • Many of our limits only exist in our minds and are based on negative beliefs. With the help of a good coach, you can root them out and transform them into positive beliefs.
  • The American mentality differs from the typical European mentality in that American entrepreneurs are much less afraid of failure and view flops as a natural phase in the learning process.

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…but of course that’s not all the Traffic & Conversion Summit had to offer. If you’ve been hoping for MORE and are looking for a concrete guide on how to increase your conversion – come back soon for a virtual cup of tea. In the near future I’ll be sharing more US marketer business hacks with you and will report on the following topics:

  • How online marketing superstars can rock their customers’ inboxes with their newsletters
  • The signature tricks used by YouTube giants to ensure unbeatable YouTube ads
  • The best marketing tools that will replace your freelancers
  • …and lots more that I learned at the internet marketing event of the year and was able to note down on my Mac!


>> P.S.: Send me a comment if you found my takeaways useful and exciting! If you yawned while reading, send me a message anyway and let me know which topics you’d find more interesting  




Polina Katrikh

Senior Editor


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