Digital Commerce Summit 2016 Wrap Up

Paramount Theatre

Last week I had the pleasure to attend the Digital Commerce Summit. It's in my home town of Denver and it was filled with my Internet heroes. People like Chris Lema , Brian Clark, Brian Gardner, Joanna Penn, Rand Fishkin, & Joanna Weibe.

The conference was all about selling digital products; something I have a passion for. I took pages of notes and I've condensed them down into the highlights.

My Highlights

Rank Fishkin was up first. And he talked about the story of Moz and how it wasn't all glamorous. Then he went into some of the things he's change, some that he'd keep the same, and a few that he was still considering.

One of the points that stuck out to me was the two different tracks for creators & managers (people wranglers).

Some people are good at creating but aren't good with people. And we should help those people progress just as we'd help a manager progress.

Tara Gentile talked about listening. Something that I focus on both for creating courses and for creating products like WooCommerce. I wish I knew everything about e-commerce & what entrepreneurs need but I don't. No one does. And anyone who builds a product based on a hunch is going to run into trouble.

Joanna Penn had a great talk about intellectual property and why you shouldn't give it up. She had amazing examples about why you should hold onto your own IP but there was another point that really stuck with me. She talked about how every project falls on a continuum between providing cashflow today & building a long term asset.

I really like looking at projects that way. You could spend all of your time working on long term assets but then you might not be able to pay the mortgage. Or you could spend your time working on projects that bring in money right now but then you'll always be trading dollars for hours.

If you want to build a sustainable business you'll need to work on creating long term assets and have enough cashflow to pay yourself every month.

It's a simple idea but one that I'm currently trying to balance.

Chris Ducker was all about personal brand and using your originality to make a business no one can copy.

Pamela Wilson talked about the Emotional Cycle of Change. How we feel about things anything changing in our lives.

This is what entrepreneur's feel as they create businesses. There are definitely emotional low points in creating businesses but as long as you know they're there you can move through them. It reminds me of Seth Godin's The Dip which I highly recommend.

Laura Roeder talked about moving from info products to creating her own SaaS called Edgar. I like her emphasis on long term planning. It took three years to move from info products to SaaS and I'm sure it wasn't an easy transition.

Chris Lema talked about the WordPress market & how it's wide open. One of my favorite quotes of the whole conference comes from Chris:

Sonia Simone might have been my favorite talk because of the number of Star Wars references. That and how she tied those references to real world issues that entrepreneurs face.

She reinforced how it feels to be an entrepreneur. Every conference needs someone who hits the inspirational / emotional aspect and she nailed it.

Joanna Wiebe from CopyHackers debunked the myth

No one reads on the internet

She pointed out that we don't want to convert the average visitor. We should write for just one person. Quite often long copy is helpful.

Wrap Up

The conference was great. If you sell digital products or even if you're just thinking about selling digital products I highly recommend you check out the conference.

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