Craftsman Creative

This episode of the Craftsman Creative Podcast talks about the Creator Economy Expo (CEX) 2023 and how to best use events to propel your business forward. 

You'll learn the mindset to approach events with, how to apply the knowledge you gain at the event, and how to create opportunities from events like CEX.

Creators & Guests

Daren | Craftsman Creative💡
Film Producer helping Creative Entrepreneurs produce outcomes in their businesses at

What is Craftsman Creative?

A show that helps creative entrepreneurs and business owners build and grow their businesses using proven principles and frameworks so they can survive the present and thrive in the future.

[00:00:00] All right. All right. Oh my gosh, guys. It's another episode of the Craftsman Creative Podcast. How cool is that? Thank you for being here. Thanks for your time and attention. And today we are talking about the Creator Economy Expo or C E X 2023. I just got back last night late. Oh my gosh. What an event. And I want to talk about.

Three lessons from the event that you can apply to your business right now. And you know, just to give you some non spoilers, this is not about what people said during their presentations or things I learned directly from, uh, having conversations with people because those are personal to me, but, It's really more of an overview of how to use events like Creator Economy Expo to move your business forward.

So if you have not yet been doing events, going to events, connecting with people at events, then here's some strategies that you can implement that will help you out. So what I see is [00:01:00] that too many people go to events, they consume a ton of information, and then they try to implement everything when they get home.

And that is a quick recipe for burnout and zero progress. So that's honestly the biggest. Thing that I see wrong, but I, you know, second to that is people aren't going to events. They're not connecting with others in their industry. They're not learning from the industry leaders. They're not having putting themselves in situations where they could connect and learn and grow.

I. And create partnerships and opportunities and things like that for their business. So the thing is, events have been essential to the growth of my business over the last 18 months, but I do think there's a right and a wrong way to approach them to get the desired outcomes. So we're talking about more connections, more opportunities, more progress.

So, What I think it comes down to is how you show up and the mindset that you bring to the event that is so, so important. Now, a couple of things. You cannot meet everyone. This was a smaller [00:02:00] event. It's 350 people. Last year I think was 250, so it was a bigger event, but still, there's no way you're gonna meet.

Every single person there. And if you try, you're gonna fail and you're probably gonna burn yourself out, and it's gonna feel really transactional. You're gonna be going up to people saying, Hey, how are you? What do you do? Blah, blah, blah. And then if they're not exactly who you're looking for, you're gonna move on to the next person, the next person.

And. I guarantee you that, um, going deep is much better than being shallow and just trying to connect with as many people as possible instead of, uh, connecting deeply with this, with just a select few. The other thing is you cannot apply everything you learned. It's just impossible. You're not gonna be able to go to every single part of the event.

You're not gonna be able to go to every breakout room, every meetup, every dinner, every conversation. You're just not gonna be able to, and if you come home and you've got this, Big notebook, full of notes and things that you want to do, and you try to do them all, you're gonna burn out. Uh, it's just not possible to try to implement everything that you've learned.

There's always [00:03:00] gonna be too many things, and you know, if they're, if the speakers and presenters are good, they're gonna convince you that yeah, Pinterest is a good strategy for you right now, and you should be doing TikTok and you should be doing Twitter, and you should be doing email and, and, and, and, and, and all of a sudden, You're gonna spread yourself too thin.

You're gonna diffuse your focus and your energy and all of those different implementations are gonna be less effective because of it. So what you have to do is go in with intention and a desire to get answers to the one or two things that you need help most with in your business right now. So let's dive into that.

Here's some things to do in order to get better results from going to conferences and events like this. The first one, like I mentioned, it's a. All about how you show up. So again, don't try to connect with every single person, and when you do try to connect, don't interrupt. Right? So there are plenty of times, probably a dozen times this event in three days where I was talking to one or two or three or four people, [00:04:00] we're in a little circle and we're having a conversation.

We're mid conversation. And someone would come up, join the circle and just start talking. And it was like, we are in the middle of something and so you've derailed my train of thought. You've interrupted something that maybe was important for me or the other person, and now both of us are looking at you like, that was really rude.

What's up? Like now we're looking at you. Like, how quickly can we get you to go somewhere else instead of interacting with us? Now, there were plenty of times where someone would come up, you know, maybe it'd be at one of those, um, Tables, uh, what do you call those? Not bar tables, maybe Bar tables. The taller ones that you stand around, they're a little bit less diameter than a regular seated table.

You know, three or four people there. And if someone would walk up and kind of, you know, look at me and say, you know, give that look of like, Hey, I'd like to join this group. I would more than happily welcome them in and be like, Hey, come on in. You know? Especially if I wasn't talking, if I was just doing the listening and someone else was talking, I [00:05:00] would happily welcome people into the circle.

And hopefully they're, they're good and they're not gonna just interrupt. Um, So don't just interrupt conversations. Don't just make it about you and say, Hey, this is who I am and this is what I do, and this is what I'm looking for. It feels very transactional at that point, and it's actually a way to find the right people, because if there's a tight group that are already friends and they're having a conversation, you try to join in and they're just like, Hey, you know, like we're in a conversation.

That's okay. It's not rude for them to just keep having a conversation and not invite you in. It just means wrong time or wrong place or wrong people. So go find other people. That's totally fine. There's hundreds of people to connect with, and it also shows you who the right people are. Like if there's someone who is gracious and you know, brings you into this circle and then starts asking about you and who you are and what you do, that's a good person to connect with because they're someone who's interested in helping more than, uh, extracting value from a transactional conversation.

[00:06:00] So another idea in that regard is to plan stuff outside of the event, like be the connector, um, come up with a dinner or a coffee or a morning walk or an afternoon walk, or any of those things. Like most events these days have a Slack channel or a Facebook group or a Discord where it, they're, they welcome you bringing value to the event.

So what you're doing is you're contributing and you're making the event more valuable. So last year I brought. 250 copies of my book to the event I was contributing to the value of the event cuz everybody got a free $20 book that made the event more valuable. And then I was participating in dinners and walks and hikes and things like that.

And this year I even set up a walk. I didn't end up doing it because my schedule changed. But you know, I went to a dinner that someone put together and I went to other events outside of the official agenda. And those people are seen as connectors. They're the ones bringing five or 10 or 20 [00:07:00] people together and letting them interact with each other, and that makes them more valuable for having made that recommendation and creating that opportunity for people to connect.

So go in with a mindset of, I'm gonna contribute to this event. I'm gonna be active, I'm gonna participate, and I'm gonna bring value to it and contribute. So that's the big one, how you show up. The second one is kind of how you approach the content of an event like this, a conference where there's a lot of breakout sessions, a lot of keynote speeches, a lot of opportunities.

I mean, there's probably, uh, four, you know, 10 to 12 different people that I sat in a room and listened to them on stage and was taking notes to their ideas. Maybe three of them were pertinent to where I'm at in my business right now and the things that I'm seeking information on. So the other 10 or 12, yeah, I took notes and I'm gonna file those away and you know, put a little tag by 'em that says Pinterest strategy or Twitter strategy, [00:08:00] or whatever it might be, sponsor strategy.

And when the time is right now, I have those things captured. But that's not what was resonating with me right now. So it's important to still take notes. They might be valuable in the future. Don't just tune out, but also don't go in thinking. You have to take notes and then implement everything you learn.

So what I like to say is seek out resonance. There's this moment where you're just like kind of nodding along and you're, you've got this little smile on your face where you're like, oh my gosh, this is exactly what I needed right now. Sometimes you knew that going in because the title of the talk or the speaker, it's himself or herself.

Were the people you wanted to learn from. But there were one or two times this event where I was like, oh my gosh, I was not expecting that. But that's exactly the insight that I needed. Sometimes it's even something I've heard a dozen times, but it just resonated because it was a different time and place and a different way of phrasing it, different context, and it worked.

So there's a [00:09:00] different, um, a difference between what's what I am thinking about calling a transformational keynote. And it really comes from. The clarity and the preparation and the delivery of the speaker. So if you are speaking at event, like don't just slap some slides together and talk for 15 minutes or 40 minutes.

Really prepare and do your homework and really like dial in and find a good framework for putting a presentation together. But then when that happens, you're. You're gonna resonate with more people. So if you're a speaker, but then if you're sitting in the room and one of those talks really resonated, circle it, highlight it, you know, make it bold so that it's the one thing that stands out when you get home of like, that's the thing I need to revisit and go back to my notes and figure out what am I gonna do about this.

But also outside of the actual like breakout rooms or the keynote speeches, It's, it's good actually to share either your struggles or what you're working on with people so you can, you know, if you see people that you've known [00:10:00] online and you're meeting them in person, you know, they're gonna say, Hey, how's it going?

What are you working on? It's totally fine to be like, you know, I'm, I'm here because I'm really stuck on this. I said that probably three or four times. It's like I'm really excited for this framework that I've put together and you know, I'm just really trying to figure out the lead generation to get this new big high ticket offer off the ground.

Right? And that's where people can then focus their listening and their responses and their ideas to what you need. And it's a really great way to kind of tee them up. So they can give you valuable feedback. And there were one or two really great opportunities that came from that where I put myself in the right room or had, you know, someone that I was talking to and I said, look, this is what I'm working on.

And like for example, Jay Klaus was there and we chatted a bunch over the week and I shared my framework with him and he's like, oh, tell me what's your framework? And I said, mindset, outcomes, visibility, implement systems, and. Expand your impact. And he's like, you know what you need to do? He's like, what I would do [00:11:00] is just drop the extra words and just keep it to, um, implement and expand.

He's like, you know what? It's probably cleaner and more, um, clear, more clear for people. There's more clarity around that. So I'll probably do that. I'll probably just drop the extra verbs and the extra words and whatever the grammatically correct identifier is for those words. But like that was something that resonated so much in the moment.

And then I went to Jay Alonzo's, uh, speech or breakout session and it was talking about how to become someone's favorite podcast. And it resonated so much, not just in the podcast space, but I was like, man, that framework I can directly apply to my marketing and to my newsletter especially. It's like, man, this is like a three for one, because it resonated so, so much.

So, Seek out resonance. That's such an important step as well. Then the last thing I wanted to touch on was, You know, again, I've kind of mentioned this, but it's about implementation, not just gathering as much information as possible. [00:12:00] So when you get home from an event like this, you know, give yourself a day or two to kind of regroup, get back into the swing of things.

Maybe even, you know, I got back late last night. I'm basically taking most of today, Friday off because there's still too much going on in my brain and I'm a little tired for being under slept or you know, some of these days were like 14 hours and I'm, you know, just barely got home and I'm trying to catch up with my family and I'm like, okay, the last thing I want to do is lock myself in a room and say, I need peace and quiet for the next five hours so I can figure this stuff out.

No, just give yourself a little bit of time. Let those things kind of settle in and then. Find the one thing you wanna apply to your business and then I would make a hard and fast rule that you're not allowed to try and implement something else until after you've done that first thing, until it's built out or it's working, or you've reached a certain milestone.

Cuz otherwise you're gonna get overwhelmed and you're gonna give up and nothing will change in your business because you try to do too much all at once. So [00:13:00] let's talk about. You know, maybe you're afraid of going to events or events haven't worked for you that well. Um, you know, if you're an introvert, well, so are half of the people there.

I honestly believe half the people there are introverts. They've just gotten really good at showing up and choosing to be a situational extrovert where they can go Look. I'm gonna just say hi to people. I'm gonna say, hi, my name's Darren. And I work with creatives and I help them grow their businesses.

What do you do? It's one sentence or two sentences that you can get really comfortable with. And the p I guarantee half the people you talk to are gonna be grateful that you started the conversation because they are also an introvert. So again, it goes back to how you're showing up going to an event and making sure that you're not just gonna stand around and wait because you're gonna miss out on opportunities.

Most people there are self-interested, meaning they're there to get something for themselves. So, The best thing you can do is try and get into one-on-one situations and lead with value [00:14:00] because you're gonna form deeper connections with them and you're not gonna get burned out or overwhelmed by trying to compete with the extroverts in a group of five or six people, cuz you're not gonna win out.

I guarantee it. People will always be louder and more. I, uh, direct and interrupting and all those things. It's gonna be really hard. So find one person. At a time and just say, Hey, you know, um, I'd love to chat with you. Do you wanna come over here and sit or do you wanna stand or just stand there and talk to them for five or 10 minutes?

And some of the best conversations I had were the 15 to 20 minute deeper conversations where I got to really know somebody, whether it was at dinner or, or in between or at lunch. Because I put myself in a situation where I was sitting next to someone I didn't know and just said, hi. Um, I probably have a little bit of introvert in me because.

There were certainly times where after getting stopped, you know, multiple times as I was trying to get to the bathroom, um, I was like, man, I, I'm not an extrovert. I don't thrive on this. It's actually draining to be [00:15:00] nonstop being stopped and, um, pulled, pulled and interrupted and all those things cuz people knew who I was.

Cause I gave my book out last year. Um, the other thing I often see as. A hesitancy or a reason not to go to conferences is cuz they can't afford it. And I would hope to shift your mindset from thinking of it as an expense to an investment. Because if you approach the event this way, the way that I've talked about how you show up, seeking resonance and implementation, Over in, over information, then you're actually investing in the growth and future of your business because you're there.

You know, my time at C X last year led to over a dozen podcast appearances, a dozen new friendships as well as new clients, partnerships and opportunity. I mean, I can tie directly over $15,000 in revenue last year to that event. Because people joined my community. They hired me for coaching, and then I did the partnership, [00:16:00] um, with Joe Pulitz, who put puts on c x.

He and the Tilt put it on, and we did a partnership. Um, we created a podcast together, the 10 k Creator, and that led to 12,000 to hundred $50, uh, direct revenue into my business. Because I met him at that event. I showed up the way that I've. Told you in today's episode and, uh, created those opportunities for partnerships and for new, uh, projects.

So don't think about it as you can't afford it. Think about it as you can't. Not afford it, right? Um, it's, you can't not go. They're really, really essential for the growth and, uh, progress of your business. So again, just to sum up how you show up to these events really matters. Don't be the person that's getting the mic.

You know, ripped away for them and being belligerent with people and interrupting a lot of people. I saw a few of those at this event and it was really unfortunate that they thought that was the way to stand out and to show up to an event like this. Don't do that, [00:17:00] but seek out resonance as you're there.

Seek out conversations and people and talks and things like that and really pay attention to what resonates most. What do you feel is the most important thing for you and your business right now? And then when you get home, remember it's about implementation, not just all the information you gathered.

So do one thing at a time, spend a week or a month on it, getting it built out, implementing it in your business before you go to the next step. And that is how to really succeed when it comes to conferences, workshops, events like um, creator Economy Expo, and how to use 'em in your business to get the outcomes that you care about.

So that's it for today. Um, If you have not yet done so, I highly recommend that you head over to scorecard dot craftsman and take my free scorecard. It's super valuable cuz you're, it's almost like getting a slice of coaching from me. I'm gonna ask you like 35 questions, takes about three to five minutes, depending on how quickly you get through 'em, and then at the [00:18:00] end there's tons of resources that are specific to your answers to the scorecard.

So instead of just saying, here's all of my content, All at once. Good luck. What it's doing is I've pulled out the most impactful things that you need, depending on where you're at in your journey. So if you need help with email, I'll help you with a couple of resources. If you need help for visibility and marketing, same thing there.

So depending on where you're at and your results from the scorecard, I can give you fairly personalized feedback with podcast episodes, blog posts, chapters from my book and things like that that are all free to help you take the right next step in your journey right now. So again, that's scorecard dot creston, and I hope that you will do so.

Thanks so much for listening, and we'll see you next week. Thanks.