Agents of Change 2015 – JO Social Branding Conference Recap JO Social Branding

Agents of Change 2015 – JO Social Branding Conference Recap

Last week, I attended a conference where I had a business-altering experience for JO Social Branding.  Some call this the “aha moment”, or the “lightbulb moment”.  I didn’t have one, I had many.  I walked away with a headache because there so many sparks going off in my head.  This happened at the Agents of Change Digital Marketing Conference in Portland, Maine.  It was the 4th annual conference hosted by Rich Brooks from flyte new media.  Rich brought digital marketing experts from all over the United States to Portland for this one day event.  If you want to catch the snippets of the 2015 event, just search on Twitter or Instagram with the #AOC2015.  I want to use this blog post as a way to share some of the valuable insight I learned at this conference.


If I had to choose a “theme of the day” most of the presentations were about building trust with your audience through your own content marketing. 


Marcus Sheridan (@TheSalesLion) The Digital Consumer:
How Today’s Buyer Has Changed and What Your Business Must Do About It


Marcus Sheridan talked about the Digital Consumer.  Marcus shared that through content marketing, our websites, blogs, social media and email marketing provide us an opportunity to create a culture of listeners.  He said, “be the best and most helpful teacher at what you do.”

The mind-blowing concept that he talked about is being completely transparent with your website.  Marcus told the crowd to list the cost of their products or service, talk about known problems in their industry, provide reviews and best of lists of competitors on your website.  Why?  Because when the digital consumer is searching on Google for this information, no one is talking about these taboo questions except for you.  Guess where Google will direct the traffic?  To the website answering the questions – YOUR website.




Nathan Latka (@NathanLatka) Give Me 30 Minutes And I’ll Show You How to Build a $10k Business on Facebook

Next I attended Nathan Latka’s session.  Nathan is the CEO and Founder of Heyo.  When asked the question “which social media platform should I be on”?  Nathan had a simple and easy-to-understand answer.  “Think about how your audience learnsAre they visual, audio or kinesthetic?  If they are visual, Pinterest and Instagram.  If audio, blogs, webinars and podcasts might be a better option.  If they are kinesthetic or a mix of the two, then Facebook and Twitter are good options for them.”  It all boils down to knowing your audience.  


Rich Brooks (@TheRichBrooksDigital Marketing in An Hour a Day

The first words of out of Rich Brook’s mouth was, “Native Americans were known for using all parts of the Buffalo.”  Rich spoke to the concept of not letting your content marketing go to waste.  Repurpose and reuse your content in many ways.  Simply put, “Create less, more irresistible content, to maximize your reach.  Take blog posts and turn them into SlideShare presentations, infographics, webinars, eBooks, white papers and more.  You have already created the content, why not get the most of out of it?  Rich also spoke of the Reverse Blog Post Method.  For example, I may have written a blog post on “5 ways to create a captivating Instagram Bio”.  I could come at it another angle and change the title to “5 ways you are failing with your Instagram Bio” and re-share that post.  If someone asks you to guest post, or you want to share your content in other places, you could be using this method of tweaking the title.


Quote of the day! @therichbrooks #aoc2015

A photo posted by Jeannine O’Neil (@jeannineoneil) on


Ryan Hanley (@RyanHanley_Com) Stand Out: How to Attract, Influence and Acquire More Qualified Leads Online

Ryan Hanley opened his session with this quote, “attention without trust has no value”.  Ryan an insurance agent who works for his family business, discussed how he used video blogging to answer customers’ common questions.  He started out by surveying his customers and social media audience about insurance questions they had.  He accumulated a list of 100 questions and took to YouTube to answer them – one a day.  When people would type insurance questions into Google, his videos would be high in the search.

Both Ryan and Marcus spoke of:

Putting your mindset in the mind of the consumer.  How are they searching?  Make sure you are there with the answer.


Laura Fitton (@Pistachio) Earning Influence: Humility As A Multiplier of Growth

Laura Fitton of HubSpot had a very inspiring presentation.  The main concept of was the topic of Humility.  She shared, “Humility is a grateful teacher.” Humility is not low self-esteem, as Laura quoted C.S. Lewis, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less”.  Laura shared, it is thinking of ways you can help other people. You can gain influence by shedding attention on others and helping them with your content, if it applies to them.


Influence is gained by shining light on other people. #aoc2015 A photo posted by Julia Claire Campbell (@juliacampbell77) on



Finally, Dave Kerpen of LikeableLocal talked about why it pays to be likable.  Dave discussed 7 simple concepts to use social media to promote your content, build your trust and connect with your audience.  Here is a snapshot of his slide that Laura shared on her Twitter account.  The first item on the list is to “listen first and never stop listening”.  


Hopefully, I have been able to share my Agents of Change experience with you and offer a little insight on how to make your digital marketing better.  Whether it is your website, blog, social media account or email.


P.S. I didn’t attend her session but Heather Jackson of Constant Contact spoke on How To Make Email Marketing Work For You.  Here is a fun fact that Nathan’s company Heyo quoted during her presentation.



Image Sources: Link directly to social media accounts.
Cover Photo: Image Courtesy of Constant Contact Instagram.
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