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5 Things I Learned at ICON16

5 Things I Learned at ICON16

Now that life has settled a bit, I’ve had some time to process my last few days.  I spent March 2-4 in Phoenix, Arizona, for the ICON conference hosted by Infusionsoft, our automated marketing and CRM (customer relationship management) software.  Going to the conference without any compadres from SkEye was a bit daunting and overwhelming.  Not knowing what to expect, I armed myself with an extra stack of business cards and full batteries in my Macbook and phone for taking copious amounts of notes.  

Soon, I realized that Infusionsoft is more than just a software provider, they’re a tool and small business success agent.  The conference was aimed at helping small businesses take themselves to the next level, whether through improved confidence, leadership training, software-usage improvement, management skills, branding, networking, and so many more!

Five things I learned from ICON 2016.

1. Don’t let crazy in the door.

Dave Ramsey gave a breakout session on hiring and firing.  One of his key points on hiring was “Don’t let crazy in the door.”  He said that it’s harder to get rid of a toxic employee than to not hire him/her in the first place.  His hiring process is incredibly lengthy and thorough.  It inspired us to go deeper in our internship hiring process and ask non-traditional questions that allow us to better get to know the applicants.

2. The “buyer journey” of a client is like a romantic relationship.

Carey Ballard, director of content marketing at Infusionsoft, shared the analogy of how a sales pipeline should be thought of in a more personal way, like a romantic, dating relationship.

  • Awareness (catch a person’s eye)
  • Interest (chat a bit, have a connection)
  • Learn (get their number)
  • Justify (figure out if you like each other)
  • Purchase (put a ring on it)

And as silly as it sounds, let’s just be honest, most of us are much more willing to become a loyal customer if we feel like we’re being “wooed.”  As consumers, we want to feel like a business wants more than just our money, they want a continued relationship that provides value to both parties.  So business owners, I challenge you to examine your process, are you fostering a relationship with customers?

3.  Gary Vaynerchuk.

Social media marketing guru. I hadn’t heard much of him before I sat down for his keynote. But now I’m a convert…and then some. Chris and Maggie have even listened to/read his latest book, #AskGaryVee.  Entrepreneurs:  Look. Him. Up.

4.  Sales Pitch Timing.

Oren Klaff, author of Pitch Anything gave a keynote reminding the fundamentals of selling.  These days, too many people are spending too much time developing rapport and features, losing attention when it’s the important “ask” happens.  By the time that a sales conversation gets around to needing to overcome objectives, you’ve lost the attention and focus.  

5.  Branding that Sells.

A client-business relationship can be equated to a bank account.  Branding is like making deposits into that relational equity account; selling is making withdrawals.  It’s not a bad thing to sell, but it needs to be done once enough relational equity has been built.  Since we’re creative-minded people, we like to build our relational equity through branding videos and content.  The following are a couple methods to build those “bank accounts.”

Make ‘em laugh.  If you can make them laugh, they’ll remember you, and it will build relational equity.  Question:  Can you laugh at yourself?  If you’re willing to do it, you can be funny.

Make ‘em cry.  This is difficult to do well, but if you can cause someone to have an emotional response, it can be hugely effective.

Make ‘em feel a part of something.  Do your customers know what you believe?  Do your customers know where you stand?

Christmas Comes to SkEye Studios

Christmas Comes to SkEye Studios

MERRY CHRISTMAS from all of us at SkEye Studios.  We’ve had a big past year, and we have even bigger plans for the year to come.  

Last week, during our office Christmas party, we ate lots of food, played games (Pictionary is even better on our massive white boards!), and we set up some new equipment and had some fun behind and in front of the camera.  We think we’re hilarious…

What do you think?  

SkEye Finds Kirsten in Honduras

SkEye Finds Kirsten in Honduras

Kirsten is our most recent addition.  She comes to us from Carroll College with degrees in Communications and Public Relations.  She would have joined our team earlier, but she was busy traveling the world.  She recently returned from a year-long volunteer opportunity in Honduras and is now relatively fluent in Spanish.  She brings to the table a much needed organizational passion that is already proved to be extremely valuable.

Originally from Idaho, Kirsten also calls Montana home.  Her favorite places to explore are Paradise Valley, Helena, and hometown breweries, and the Portland metro area.  She loves pretending to be “outdoors-y” by hiking with friends, window shopping through small town downtowns, cooking and baking, reading, and medium-length car rides.  

Before entering the film industry, Kirsten’s background lay in hospitality and experiential marketing.  She is passionate about helping others realize their full potential and the joys that come from travel and doing things outside their comfort zones.  After one or two film and media classes in college, she never dreamed she would come to join the industry.

Kirsten has always wanted a career in which her abilities and passions meet a need.  While living in a third-world country, she realized that she would never be comfortable returning to the States only to have some average job that she might feel indifferent towards.  Rather, Kirsten knew she wanted to be in an energizing and challenging role that would allow her desire to help others in a positive environment to flourish.

Margaret the Rockstar Joins the Team

Margaret the Rockstar Joins the Team

Margaret Anderson is a creative mastermind who graduated from Chapman University last year with a Master in Fine Arts in film production with an emphasis in directing.  She provides a huge boost in production value on all of our projects by helping us put our clients’ story into compelling visual experiences.  In fact, she has already made a huge impact on our biggest project yet, Beat Feet: Scotty Smiley’s Blind Journey to the Ironman.

Margaret grew up in Oregon where her love of stories brought her to OSU where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English.  After landing a job at a radio and television station, Margaret was able to combine her love of stories with media.

Using skills in writing, editing and collaboration, Margaret completed an independent feature film which was the impetus for her journey to Chapman University to study directing.  She was accepted to Chapman as an editor and spent her first year not only developing her skills as an editor, but learning to love the whole process of filmmaking, including directing.  The next year, she was accepted into the directing program and since has had the opportunity to make a variety of short films, write a feature script, direct a television pilot and even direct a film in Burkina Faso, Africa.  In 2014, Margaret was accepted into the Halsell Scholarship program where she spent the year under the mentorship of Women in Film President and Oscar-winner Cathy Schulman.

Margaret’s awards and accolades include the Meredith McCrae award for outstanding direction in film by the Women in Film Society and the Directors’ Guild Student Film Award for Women and Minorities, first place.  Her thesis film premiered in the Portland Film Festival in 2015.

Margaret enjoys Humphrey Bogart flicks, obscure board games, and flannel.