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How to stand out and design the "new way"

How Wynter completely redesigned events


Yo! Welcome to the next episode of The Reeder where you get content tips and strategies for growing your career, brand, and business.

If you’re new, you can subscribe here and join the crew.

I’m revealing audience growth strategies and tips with Dave Gerhardt this Wednesday

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→ How to create a standout point of view (POV) that hits home with your audience

→ Practical advice for designing a powerful content strategy

→ 5 real-life examples DG and I rely on for consistent audience growth

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I’m very hard to impress.

But it’s not intentional or simply to be critical of others. I have high standards, I’m naturally a skeptic, and maybe I’m just a tad jaded from “seeing how the sausage is made” after 10 years in sales and marketing.

But really it comes down to this: I respect the dedication it takes to become great and the courage it takes to be different.

And while it doesn’t happen often, I love when someone or something impresses me. Once you win me over, I’m all in. I’m a die live-hard fan for life.  

And this week, I was truly impressed by Spryng, a two-day marketing event in Austin, Texas hosted by Peep Laja, CEO of Wynter.

But not because it was a better event than what I’m used to.

It’s because Spryng is a completely different event than I’m used to.

And we know that different is better than better.

In our hunt for growth, status, and results, we often fall into the “better trap.” (Especially if you work at a SaaS startup like I do.)

For example, we see other industry events and decide to do the same, only better. And better usually means “more”. So “more” becomes the strategy. More attendees, more content, more messaging, more sponsors.

But very few people take the time to stop and think if all this “more” is actually backfiring. They don’t realize that attendees — the people this whole event is (supposed to be) for — don’t want a “more” experience.

They want something different.

And if you’re brave enough to imagine what that different is, then deliver on it, you’ll create a NEW experience. You’ll turn attendees into raving fans, build a beloved brand, and stand out against your competition not as the best, but as the only.

How Peep created the “new way” to do events

I’d never been to Spryng before. And I’d never met Peep either.

But I went because the word of mouth in my marketing circle was buzzing big time. Lots of my peers were going and overflowing with excitement when they asked if I’d be there too. It was legit hype.

And when I got there, I immediately knew why.

Peep realized the current way (from now on referred to as the “old way”) sucks. It’s broken and people don’t really like industry events anymore.

So he intentionally created the “unconference” by taking common censuses and flipping it on its head:

Oh, and the dress code was nonexistent. As seen by my Larry June t-shirt, Air Jordans, and corduroy joggers (yes, they’re v stretchy).

Shout out to my good friend Mark Huber for joining me on stage

All these “right turns” that Peep made delivered a different experience. One that people LOVED, raved about - aka sparked word of mouth, and made every attendee like and trust him and Wynter.

And that sounds like a friggin’ win to me.

Quick tactical advice if you want to create something different

Here’s my 3-step formula I use across my content and marketing to stand out:

  1. Identity your channel

  2. Spot habits and common consensus

  3. Do the unexpected (ie, the opposite)

It takes courage. It takes commitment. And it definitely isn’t the easiest path.

But remember, when “better” is broken, do something different.

Holler at you next Saturday,

PS: Today’s post took me two hours to write. You can help me grow my newsletter by forwarding it to one person with a quick “You’ll love this newsletter. Definitely worth subscribing.”

Episode 4 of Reed Between The Lines is live!

I’m joined by Doug Landis, sales legend, tattoo collector, and previously a Growth Partner at Emergence Capital.

You’ll about to hear stories and experiences that made him who he is today. Like

  • How he built his career by following his passions, investing in himself, and doing work that positively impacts others.

  • How being positive and intentional can change your outlook and output, at work and beyond.

  • Plus tips for becoming a more valuable marketer.

It’s real and unfiltered. Perfect for building a more inspired career.

You can watch on YouTube or listen on Spotify or Apple now.

More ways to become to grow your content

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  3. Content Strategy for LinkedIn: This ~1 hour video course shows you how to build your personal brand, create highly engaging content, and accelerate your career.

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