Downing a Beer in Chicago – Wanna See?

by Tim Francis on September 13, 2012

I’m actually leaving for Chicago on Sunday.  Going for 8 days.  If you’re interested in updates from me, throw your name and email in here and I’ll email you with pics, stories, and insights from the trip (see red box below).

Just be forewarned that what I send out may not be business or marketing-related.  You may receive a pic of me downing a beer at Wrigley Field watching a Cubs game or something!

On the other hand, my updates might be about marketing too!  If I am excited to geek out about some amazing thing I see or learn or person I meet, that may come down the pipe too.

Enter your name and email with full disclosure that you could receive just about anything, LOL….

Why Am I Going to Chicago?

Originally just to attend a 3-day, live Perry Marshall event.

But then I started asking around, and I quickly had reasons to extend my trip into an 8-day trade mission (LOL) to meet, in-person, some really interesting and talented people in the field of online marketing.

(And – between these meet-and-greets maybe even see a few sights around Chicago.  Many of my friends have gushed about Chicago, most saying it was in the top-3 of all cities they had ever visited…. one of the world’s most beautiful and fun cities.  Cool – can’t wait to see for myself!)

Chicago Became Milwaukee Too!

While in the area, I will also be visiting Milwaukee to tour the headquarters of Rocketclicks, which is an online marketing firm that has 25x more full-time employees than me (i.e. 25, LOL), and oversees accounts that spend upwards of 300x of what I oversee.

So basically they are 6 stratospheres beyond where I’m at.

Two of their primary leaders over there – Steve Kroll (Director of Operations) and Rob Sieracki (President) – have been graciously mentoring me for many months now.  So it will be super-cool to finally shake their hands and spend a few hours together.

It’s so true: if you want to get better at golf, play with golfers that are better than you!  I’m so lucky that these guys are allowing me to “tee off” with them.  Maybe I can bring them some Maple Syrup or something to show my appreciation with a dash of Canadiana?

Trip Outline

I’m super pumped because my trip looks like this:

  • Sunday – arrive in CHI
  • Monday morning – meet up with Coloradan (someone from Colorado) Kevin Milani, a PPC manager who oversees a $1MM+/year adspend for CatholicMatch.com, an online dating site.  He showed me his metrics and he is currently crushing mainstream dating sites eHarmony and Match.com…. so this guy is a wizard, can’t wait to hang out with him and talk shop!
  • Monday – same day – invited Kevin to join me on my trip to visit Rocketclicks in Milwaukee.  The train ride is 90 mins each way, so Kevin and I will have ample opportunity to geek out talking marketing shop, LOL!
  • Monday afternoon – spending the afternoon touring Rocketclick’s offices, hanging out with Steve Kroll and Rob Sieracki.  I have no idea what I’m going to see or experience, but I am 110% ready to be a total sponge and soak up whatever they’re willing to share.
  • Tuesday – Thursday – not sure what the combination will be… some mix of sightseeing in CHI (cubs game @ iconic Wrigley Field?) and meeting up with other marketing people in Chicago.  Through Planet Perry, plus my Rocketclicks connections I’ve got a few irons in the fire of people to (potentially) meet up with.  We’ll see.  Worst case scenario is I get to have a couple days of casual vacation and sight seeing in what I hear is a stunning city!
  • Thursday night – switch accommodations to a hotel near O’Hare airport…. meetup with my “roomate” for the next 3 nights… a PPC account manager kinda like me… he’s from Virginia, and I think he’s much closer to my size as far as monthly adspend.  He’s taken a number of Perry’s courses, including going to Perry’s annual PPC super-summit in Maui last Feb.  So I’m excited to hear his insights on his experiences.
  • Friday – Sunday –  a live, in-person event with the one and only Perry Marshall!  This is the event: http://www.perrymarshall.com/consulting/alchemist/  …the event is specifically tailored to marketing people such as I.  combination of learning more about the tools and tricks of the trade, plus different ways to create unique equity-based partnerships with businesses, as well as super-networking with other attendees.  I go into far greater detail below (if you’re curious who the speakers are, the topics, etc.)
  • Sunday night / Monday – I’ve got no idea what will happen on these days.  Seminar ends Sunday at 400pm but I’ve specifically booked my flight back for the nexy day at suppertime so that I can capitalize on having a follow-up meeting (in-person) with anyone that I meet during my first 7 days in the Chicago/Milwaukee area (that’s interested in a follow-up meeting with me too, LOL). Too many times at events like this I’ve wished that my flight was just a little later so I could spend just a few extra hours with an interesting contact I’ve just made.

So for this trip I’ve set the whole thing up exactly the way I’ve already imagined, so that’s great! …And the worst thing that happens is that I get an extra day to sight-see in Chicago, or – heck – to sleep in on Monday morning (instead of rushing for my plane back to Canada) after what I’m sure will be a very intense, focused week loaded with professional development and networking.

….so that’s what’s coming up!

And – if you want to receive updates, pics, etc – from my Chicago advenutre, be sure to throw your email in here, and I’ll let you know how things go!

TTYL,

Tim :)

P.S. And for you marketing hard-cores out there…

What’s happening at Perry Marshall’s event?

Advance warning: if you’re not that interested in online marketing, you’ll probably be bored to tears by this section.  Feel free to skip!

Full sales / info page of the event I’m going to is here.

Why am I going?

Event is tailored to meet other people across N.America (and in some cases the world) that are in the online SEM / SEO / conversion / Google / Analytics / email marketing / Infusionsoft / online market research space.

And – furthermore – to identify what aspect of marketing each of us is good at, and what aspects are weaker.  E.g.) maybe someone is good at getting clients, but bad at regularly managing their GAW account.  Or maybe really good at analyzing GAW data and analytics but terrible at building landing pages that convert.  Or good at GAW but bad at Infusionsoft.

That’s what I mean… identify what my strengths are across the myriad skills that comprise my work… then to meet other (complimentary) people that I could potentially partner up with, or at least become friends so my circle of professional colleagues can extend if I ever need a second set of eyes on something I’m working on.

Interesting Line-Up of Speakers

PLUS there will also be a few (but powerful) interesting speakers too.

Perry’s right-hand man Bryan Todd will be sharing the exact 7-step system he personally uses everytime he goes into a GAW account.  (And – as you may know – he’s gone through thousands in his day).

I look forward to understanding this system deeply and then seeing how that can augment (or even replace?) my own system that I use to go through my current clients’ accounts.

Another speaker will be Benji Rabhan – actually a really young guy, only 25 – but Perry has identified as a landing page rockstar.  Benji was actually honored at the White House last year as one of the U.S.’s top-100 young entrepreneurs.  Interested to see what he has to say!  Landing pages… SO IMPORTANT!

Another speaker is Brad Geddes who Perry regards as having one of the deepest understandings of Adwords of anyone he knows.  Perry basically says:

If you have gone through my Definitive Guide, and my Adwords bootcamp, and are *still* hungry to go even deeper, it’s time to study Brad’s 600-page tome on the exhaustive detail of GAW.  Do 2 pages per day of his book and watch your account take flight.

(I’m paraphrasing, but that’s the idea).

Then there’s Paul Lemberg and Derek Naylor that will wiil be sharing – as far as I understand – new partnership structures that marketers like me could enter into with clients / partners where there’s actually an equity share.  They’ll share the pros and cons of this kind of arrangement where you’re really more of a business partner than a client relationship.  I’m probably *seriously* underrepresenting these guys by lumping them (and their two distinct presntations into one explanation) but that’s only because I donn’t fully understand what they are presenting on.

So – to summarize – speakers on the TOOLS of our kind of marketing, speakers on the STRUCTURE of our businesses, and networking to find both partners and brothers/sisters to be in our virtual professional circle.

And Meeting Perry Too…

Oh, and by the way… also getting to shake Perry’s hand in-person for the first time!

His step-by-step tools and education have helped me help my clients substantially in the last year and so I want to personally thank him for his amazing guidance.

(And also for showing me that there was a home for people like me who are eager entrepreneurs, fully committed to the journey, but don’t want to participate in the fantasy of “Get rich quick”… still amazed at how hard I drank that Kool-Aid once upon a time, feel kinda humbled / embarrassed about it actually… parts of me still healing for sure.)

One of my “must-have” pics from this pic will be Perry and I shaking hands.  I’ll send that out to you if you opt-in for my Chicago updates.

TTYL,

Tim :)

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