Last week, I emerged from my cave and travelled to Newcastle for ATOMIC’s Killer Mastermind and Janet Murray’s Courageous Content Live 2022.

Due to my health issues, I don’t go to in-person events very often, and when I do, I usually take my bestie with me to act as a walking stick/translator/navigator/tea bringer when I’m lagging (which I definitely was after 3 days of hard thinking!).

I always try to get to Andrew and Pete’s ATOMIC* events when I can, though, because they’re so bloody good. I’ve been a member of ATOMIC since 2018, and in that time, I’ve gotten advice, reassurance, friendship, and clients from it.

ATOMIC founders Andrew and Pete, my friend Ellie Betts, and me in the teeny boppers
L-R: Pete, Ellie, me, and Andrew

I’ve probably been following Janet for just as long—probably longer, as I discovered Andrew and Pete through an interview she did with them—and I’ve always loved her teaching style.

Here are just some of the things I learned, or that stood out to me, over the 3 days:

Confidence comes across

You may not know when you’re lacking confidence in what you say or write, but other people can tell, even if only subconsciously. This is something I’ve been guilty of in the past, and that I’m working on right now.

Strategy not tactics

As a lifelong learner, this is another one I’ve fallen into the trap of in the past. You can study all the tactics in the world, but if you don’t have a strategy behind them, learning those tactics is a massive waste of time.

The boat and island concept

Email Marketing Hero Kennedy, my friend Ellie Betts, and me
L-R: Kennedy, Ellie, and me

This is a technique that Rob and Kennedy teach in their email marketing membership, The League. The typical strategy of a lead magnet is something someone can takeaway and digest, like a checklist. The problem with that is that there’s rarely an action for them to take at the end.

The boat and island flips that on its head.

The island is the end result, which is what you teach them in your lead magnet. So, for The Writer’s Cookbook, it could be how to sell more books. Then, your paid product or service bridges that gap between where they are now, and getting to that end point—that’s your boat.

It’s a whole new way of thinking about lead magnets and email marketing, but, logically, it makes sense.

Pinterest is great for driving traffic

One of the biggest drivers of traffic to The Writer’s Cookbook is Pinterest, and it has been for years. I haven’t actively used it to promote any of my blog or podcast content. I only use it to curate hair and interior design inspiration.

But it’s one of the biggest search engines in the world. It can be updated in a few minutes each week, and it can help you reach millions of people.

The content on there is also much more evergreen than on other social media sites. I still have posts on there from 2017 or earlier that people find every day!

A close up of the Millennium Bridge, lit up in pink

The best content has the most personality/vulnerability 

A while ago ‘authenticity’ was a big buzzword in marketing, but a lot people interpreted that to mean just copying what other people were doing. Sigh.

The best content really does come from when you’re sharing who you really are.

Some of my most popular posts on LinkedIn, for example, have been when I talk about my chronic health issues, or my recent trip to Newcastle.

Inspired by the event, I also posted a couple of things on my author Facebook page about recent events. They had nothing to do with my books, but they resonated with my audience and they’re still getting engagement, several days later.

When you have something to sell, it’s easy to forget to be yourself. It can also be uncomfortable to shift the focus to yourself. Sometimes, though, those types of posts can lead to everything from new friendships to new clients.

It’s ok to change direction…

The event really helped me clarify what direction I want to take my business in, and which areas I need to take a step back from.

They’re not comfortable decisions. In fact, they take me unbelievably outside of my comfort zone, but I know they’re the right decisions for my long-term business health, mental health, creativity, and physical health.

…Or lean into something more 

Sometimes, we half-ass things without realising it. Maybe it’s fear, time, or something else that means we’re not giving something the time we deserve.

I’ve come to notice, from working with other writers and marketers in the past, we often know what areas we want to focus on, we’re just afraid to lean into them or haven’t yet realised the answer is closer than we think.

Leaning in to your strengths will make it easier for you to generate content to market your business, and it will help you attract more like-minded people to work with. You’ll complement each other’s strengths and fill in each other’s weaknesses, giving you a stronger relationship and strategy overall.

The Millennium Bridge lit up on our walk back to our Airbnb

What are the biggest takeaways you’ve had from an event? I’d love to know in the comments!

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