The Problogger conference keeps getting better and ... bigger each year. Here is my perspective of a few of the presentations from Problogger 2014.

Pat Flynn – How to Convert Your Casual Readers into a Thriving Community of Raving Fans

The element I loved about Pat Flyn’s presentation was that he simply embodied personal branding. He didn’t tell us how to do personal branding, but showed us through fantastic storytelling and being authentic.

In fact, I’ve told his very funny story of his wife being a Back Street Boys fan a heap of times already. It was very clever, memorable and repeatable – and therefore brilliant storytelling.

Talking about how to convert casual readers into a raving fans, he explained that your entire user base is the affinity pyramid – at the bottom are the casual audience, moving up to active audience, connected community (culture starts here), and then at the pinnacle is the raving fan.

And you want raving fans as they are...well, raving. They rave about you, evangelise you and are dedicated, loyal and will defend you.

Pat believes that we should focus on delivering value to the people at the top. Raving fans don’t happen the moment people discover you; they’re created by the moments you create for them over time.

So how do you turn a casual audience into an active audience? Three things have to happen when they land on your site:

  1. First impression - ask people in your subscriber base how you can improve your site and what do they want to read.
  2. Create unique content – use your own voice and reveal your personality.
  3. Be consistent – your fans will be looking for your content on a regular basis.

Some other Pat tips:

  • You need to put some of you into your blog - build a real relationship with people. Share things about yourself - Back to the Future fan, World of Warcraft gamer, kids, wife.
  • The quick small win – help your fans accomplish something quickly,  like downloading an ebook and tweeting it.
  • Ask for the answer - not the question. Give your audience the opportunity to yell out the answer.
  • Community decision – ask your fans what topic would you like me to write about?
  • The factory tour - show what happens behind the scenes on your blog.
  • Make events - create events, i.e. let go day, free webinars, meetups, create an opportunity for people in your community to connect with each other.
  • Reach out and highlight community members – your fans love having the spotlight shone on them.
  • Create memorable moments by surprise – it’s the random acts and one-on-one moments of surprise they make raving fans.

Darren Rowse – It’s the ordinary things that matter

Darren Rowse’s presentation was all about taking action (something I’m a huge fan of!). So often we get stuck in the fear of starting, that we don’t start at all. Darren’s advice was to take even the smallest of ideas, and just start.

We are not experts from day one, “99% of great bloggers are not awesome on day #1. Their awesomeness is the accumulations of the value they create over time.”

Finding your rhythm is something which I have personally found really powerful for producing the volume of content that I do. Darren suggests creating deadlines for yourself, have a schedule of the number of posts and types of posts you will do each week.

Darren is all about creating meaning. His suggestion is not try to compete with massive click bait posts, but do as Brian Solis says “Don’t compete for the moment, compete for the meaning”.

Rand Fishkin – The Weird and Magical Powers of Google+

I dragged myself to this presentation because, well...I kinda just don’t get Google+. I’ve read heaps and listened to a bunch of presentations and podcasts, but I just didn’t see the value of Google+ until now.

Rand Fishkin sprinkled fairy dust over Google+ and used his magical presentation skills to take me to a place where I actually started getting Google+. (Give the man a medal!)

Take a look at his whole presentation below – but his top tips were:

Tip 1: Measure your progress using a tool called Circlecount to track your Google+ activity and see what works vs what doesn’t.

Tip 2: Be visual – the better the visual the better the performance.

Tip 3: Share to the right people – don’t just use the default settings. More importantly (loved this tip!) search for and share with specific individuals and influencers.

Tip 4: Use ripples to find potential amplifiers, and use Buzzsumo to find the right content to share.

Tip 5: Share Google + on other networks to amplify your Google + shares on other social networks which can help boost reach and SEO influence.

Chris Ducker – The Business of YOU: How Building Your Online Brand will Unleash the Influencer Inside of You!

All I wrote down in my notes for Chris Ducker was:

Funny Funny Funny Funny Funny Funny Funny Funny Funny Funny Funny Funny

Seriously. That is all I wrote.

I blame Clinton from my Mastermind group for making me drink the very strong Moscow Mule at 1am the night before, so by the final presentation on the final day, my brain was fried.

And there is your round up. Loved the conference this year. Loved hanging out with my Mastermind Group and meeting new awesome people. And most importantly, I have a bunch of great ideas I now need to action!

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