Back in June I attended my second Atomicon conference and thought it would be fun to share a few of the takeaways I had from the event.
Atomicon is a conference for small / online businesses. It’s run by Andrew and Pete and it takes place in my home town of Newcastle / Gateshead – so I feel like it’s a total no brainer for me to attend as these kinds of events are so rare in the North East!
Generally speaking, I find anything like this rather nerve wracking. I’m not a natural networker at all, but I knew some online friends would be going and I’d learn a lot so off I went.
In the end I actually loved chatting to new people and just had a brilliant time!
I didn’t know a lot of the speakers who had been promoted for the event other than Joe Wicks and Rachel Rodgers who pulled out at the last minute and were replaced by Chris Do who I had not come across before either.
To be honest I think part of the pull of these events is more the networking side of things and just knowing that you’ll learn something new so I wasn’t especially bothered about speakers either way.
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Andrew and Pete
The event kicked off with Andrew and Pete. They are always super entertaining and fun, and their presentation focused on making more sales and being more comfortable with sales in general. They talked about basically pre qualifying ‘leads’, using hand raising content (I’m going to do a training on this concept further for Content Marketing for Coaches Club) and generally better personalising your content and communication to suit where your audience is at better, so that when you do have people on sales calls they’re already ticking all of the boxes and are ready to work with you.
Those boxes include:
- They’re suitable for your offers and basically match your ideal client ‘avatar’
- They have the problem your offer solves
- They have ‘investment intent’ – that they are interested in investing in something to solve that problem
Then we had Joe Wicks who was just wonderful! I’d listened to him speak on podcasts before but it was really fun to hear him talking about the business side of things and how he grew from being a PT giving out leaflets at his local train station to running a multi million pound online business.
His talk wasn’t really a talk but instead interview style with Andrew and Pete asking him questions and then he took questions from the audience as well.
A couple of things that stood out for me was him talking about social media and how he’s used it to grow his business. He said he sent 20,000 tweets before he made a penny on social media. He also recognises that he hit social media at a time when it was much easier to grow an audience but that even then he spent what might actually be considered an unhealthy amount of time on social media. He also echoed other advice I’ve heard before which is to create content while you’re doing stuff in your business – I think it was Gary V who said ‘document, don’t create’ which for social media can make a lot of sense.
He also talked about his app, and how his first online programme was very basic and used an excel spreadsheet to give people calories and meal ideas etc as well as a PDF. He invested a lot of money in app development, first using an external company but then bringing it in house.
Something else I found really interesting about what he said was that he never started off wanting to run a multi million pound company, he just wanted to help people and that still seems to be what drives him. He talked about how he’s going to homeschool his kids and the kind of work life balance he wants but how he still personally replies to people on social media.
Overall it was just fascinating to get an inside look at a business the size of his and he was genuinely just a lovely person and came across as being extremely authentic and lovely.
Andrew and Pete have done a blog post with some of the takeaways from how Joe has built his business in this post which is a great read.
Rob and Kennedy
Next up was Rob and Kennedy who are the Email Guys. Again they were very entertaining and talked about email marketing and keeping people’s attention.
They said that fatigue, relevance and time are things that degrade your list and how important it is to turn your subs into customers as quickly as possible. They described this as having three types of subscribers: subscribers, customers and lost customers and when it comes to email marketing it’s all about moving people into that customer category.
They did also serve up what they called ‘uncomfortable truths’ about business – i.e that profit comes first which I found a bit jarring as that’s not the approach I take to business (and funnily enough was the opposite to what Joe Wicks had been saying too!). But there were a few useful takeaways in terms of there being three attention magnets: relationships, money and time, and how you need to convert subscribers, ascend customers and return lost customers.
Break out sessions
I then attended several break out sessions.
Melissa Love – she talked about making funnels more human – my main takeaway was to get back to using more video in my sales and onboarding processes
Chris James – he basically talked about selling in DMs and the whole process from content to having those DM convos. I found this one interesting as selling in DMs is just not for me, but it was helpful to see the whole process laid out so I can understand it better.
Nikki Hesford – Nikki’s talk was about ‘scaling secrets’ and although Nikki was very nice, this was the one talk that absolutely didn’t resonate with me at all. It was essentially about scaling by building a team and not much else. At one point she said if you don’t have a team you have a job not a business which I think is bullshit so that kind of got my back up!
Dani Wallace – I’ve seen Dani speak at another event and she’s just fab, super entertaining and very empowering. She talked about showing up with confidence and what I really took away from her was how she had this entourage of women with her from her community and just how powerful that can be.
Leah Turner – her talk was on Linkedin which I don’t do much with, so I wanted to learn more. She didn’t really talk about the strategy of using it, more how to show up authentically – my main takeaway was to stop thinking of Linkedin as a board room and instead more as a coffee shop in your fave co working space.
The main keynote was Chris Do who was brought in at the last minute to replace Rachel Rodgers and he was brilliant. He was very quiet and understated – not as showy or entertaining as some of the others but that was more than ok because he gave so much value.
He talked mainly about sales and doing so from a really ethical and aligned place in order to feel more comfortable with the whole area of business. Honestly he just gave so much value in what he shared. One example I’ve already used in a discovery call and it was great.
It’s actually really hard to summarise because he shared so much!
One thing that does stick out from a slide he shared is a kick off to a sales convo starter:
What’s on your mind?
- What is motivating our conversation today?
- What’s the reason for you reaching out?
- What is the one thing, that if solved, makes everything easier?
- What’s the real challenge for you?
As I mentioned above, I feel like there was nothing super new or groundbreaking but just the way that people communicated it and delved into the details of it was really helpful. It was also affirming for me as a business mentor that I’m on the same page as a lot of other entrepreneurs with bigger businesses than mine if that makes sense!
Another general takeaway for me that came up in a couple of talks was tracking your data. I realise that other than a couple of metrics I don’t do a lot with data so that’s something that I want to action in my business.
The main thing I really enjoyed about the event was hanging out with people who I know online in real life – many of them from Elizabeth Goddard’s community. I’ve spoken about Lizzy a lot because she’s kind of my go to business coach person. Her style of doing business is super aligned for me and she’s just a lovely person in general so meeting her again was fab.
For someone who works alone, going to an event like this was like a breath of fresh air. We don’t have colleagues as such, so this is as close to a ‘work do’ as I’ll get!
As the event is so close to where I live, I didn’t get accommodation, however I did miss out on the pre and after party because I needed to be around for kids. Next year I’m going to get sorted with an Airbnb or something so I can really enjoy the whole experience.
If you fancy joining me, and perhaps like me, the idea of going to stuff like this on your own is a bit nerve wracking then go get a ticket and let me know and we can meet up!
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