Two weeks ago I had the absolute pleasure of attending the Life Time Value Conference (LTVConf) in Brighton, UK. LTVConf is a conference for people who are tired of trading time for money and want to move to a products business (or have already done so).

The day before the event, I attended a workshop hosted by Brennan Dunn on website/email personalisation, segmentation and automation. Brennan is the master of this stuff. It was a fantastic and very actionable workshop where Brennan talked us through a new way of constructing a funnel built around education.

The conference itself was a mix of great talks and great conversations with like minded people. The conversations took places around tables, in the foyer and in the after party. I love these sorts of conferences because they are full of bright, positive entrepreneurs who are doing inspiring and meaningful things. And there is a great mix of levels: some are starting out on their journey, some are established and everything in between. If all of this sounds interesting to you and you can make it to Brighton, UK, I strongly recommend you attend next year!

Key takeways

I have a huge list of take aways and some of them I will be implementing over the next few months. Here are the top 3 that stand out for me:

Build a system for repeatable book sales

In order to help more people, I need to increase book sales. This will lead to more time to create free content (helping even ore people).

One way to get more book sales is through using personalisation and segmentation to deliver the right educational material to people based on where they’re at and give them the option to go deeper with a book after they are fully engaged with the free educational content.

Be resilient

We can’t always get everything right. Part of pushing forward is accepting that sometimes we will make mistakes. And when we make mistakes, we need to correct them and keep going. Keep creating, helping, teaching…. every day. Doing small things daily beats doing big things occasionally.

Focus on product work

It is all to tempting to prioritise client work other product work. Client work pays now and product work pays in the future, if at all. My progress in building a product business has been seriously held back by accepting client work when I shouldn’t have. Even when I have decided to focus on product work, slowly more and more client work creeps in and then takes over.

A few strategies were discussed in Julia Chanteray’s talk to deal with this, including:

  • Building a war-chest of cash with client work and using that on the product business
  • Putting a limit on the client work you accept. E.g. a maximum of three days per week, leaving 2 days per week for product development
  • Selling services to the same customer base as the products, which drastically simplifies marketing

More take aways

Go small

  • Start small with your first product(s). It is less risky for you and the customer (Laura Elizabeth)
  • Use just enough tech. Simplify with not to much complexity (Stef Lewandowski)

Recurring revenue is important!

Recurring revenue is not the same as repeat revenue. Some recurring revenue makes the business more valuable and predictable cashflow (Stef Lewandowski and Thomas Smale)

Move fast towards your goal and focus

  • Move fast towards your goal. Not everything needs to be perfect. Be prepared to ditch some things, rush some things and focus on doing a few things really well (Jonny White)
  • Give yourself a deadline – a small window to make something happen (Stef Lewandowski)
  • Focus on one thing and it can grow. Don’t try to do too many things at the same time (Stef Lewandowski)
  • Make time for product development. Don’t let client work take over (Julia Chanteray)
  • Be resilient – take knocks and keep going (Hannah Martin)
  • Focus on one thing and do it amazingly well (Bridget Harris)

Writing makes you super human

  • Writing makes you super human. It makes your ideas better, builds authority and clears your head. (James Greig)
  • Write like you talk. “If it sounds like writing, rewrite it” (James Greig)
  • Creativity is a habit, not a feeling. Make time in the calendar (James Greig)
  • Being honest is a great way to be more interesting (James Greig)
  • Be magnetic: some people will love what you write and some will hate it (James Greig)

Get yourself out there

  • Guest post on larger websites like Smashing Magazine (an article there can generate a lot of traffic and followers). Have a solid call to action for the reader to dig deeper. Better than just linking from bio (Laura Elizabeth)
  • Put yourself out there with speaking. Start small with meet ups (Laura Elizabeth)
  • Meeting people and making genuine connections beats outreach (Laura Elizabeth)

Increase value

  • Line your ideas with a rising tide (big trends) (Stef Lewandowski)
  • Websites should be personalised to take into account readers personas (Brennan Dunn):
    • Segmentation: who and where in funnel
    • Personalisation: increase relevance of what you are saying
    • Automation: systematically move people through the funnel
    • Eliminate broadcast emails – they don’t scale
  • Make your business more valuable by (Thomas Smale):
    • Document processes and make as much as possible repeatable
    • Make yourself dispensable
    • Outsource as much as possible
    • Create recurring revenue and repeat business
  • Don’t write features – solve problems (Emma Barnes)

Thank you Jonathan and Andy for putting on such a fabulous event, Brennan for his insightful and incredibly actionable workshop, all the speakers for their great insights, everyone at The Skiff for being so welcoming at the after party and to all the amazing attendees!

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