I entered his contest on a whim.
I’d been following Derek Halpern for a while and trying to build my copywriting business.
He was offering a free ticket to a small live event in NYC.
Ramit Sethi and James Altucher were speaking, but I was new to this world so I had no idea who they were. I just wanted to be around people who were doing what I wanted to do.
Well, thanks to my horrid video editing and a funny impersonation of Derek, I won. Derek flew me down to the city, put me up in the Ace Hotel, and I went to the first of many internet marketing events in my career.
At lunch, I sat with Will Hamilton of Fuzzy Yellow Balls. We talked mostly about my 4-year-old son taking tennis lessons and my dream of going to Wimbledon. I didn’t realize that his tennis instruction site would appear again and again in case studies for some of my clients (Ramit Sethi, Ryan Levesque, and Jeff Walker have all featured Will at one point).
Then, later at the bar, I was getting a drink and started up a conversation with a guy sitting beside me.
“What’s your story?” I asked.
“I’m Ramit’s brother.”
Now I supposed that impressed most of the people at the event, but not really knowing who Ramit was, I asked, “Is that on your business card or do you have other qualities?”
Maneesh at the time was writing about travel hacking so we chatted about that.
Later, after a few too many adult beverages, I finally found Derek to thank him for the event. He was standing with Ramit.
I opened the conversation with “Wow! You’re shorter than I realized!”…
(Being nearly 6-ft tall naturally plus my “big girl shoes” meant I was quite a bit taller than Derek).
Ramit, Maneesh, and Derek laughed and we went from there.
After the event, I followed up with Will, Derek, and Ramit.
Within two months, I was a copywriter for Ramit… and within a year, I was IWT’s lead writer.
This morning, I tried to calculate what that small interaction has meant for me just monetarily and found it impossible to do so.
There’s the years of salary, travel, and other perks from Ramit’s team (although I’m not full-time with IWT anymore, I still work with them on a contract basis for special projects).
Plus there’s every client I’ve landed since because they’d seen or heard about my work with Ramit — and the referrals that resulted from those clients… and on and on.
And just last week, Ramit sent me a direct referral (not the first, nor the last of those I’m sure).
All-and-all, calling Derek Halpern short and making fun of Maneesh’s intro has added up to at least half a million dollars in revenue for my business.
Now, this whole story may sound a lot like luck…
…And that sure played a part, but there are a lot of things at play here.
I know because I’ve now replicated that success dozens of times. Live events are now the number-one way I find clients (and how I found my fiance ;-)).
And this week, we’re going to dig into exactly how you can use live events to propel your career, too.
So keep tuned to your email for a Live Event Mini-Class. Over the next 5 days, we’ll cover
- How to get in the room with the right people (it starts with choosing the right events)
- What to say when you’re standing in front of someone really important or successful (and how not knowing who Ramit was turned out to be an advantage that I used later when I knew exactly who I was talking to)
- How to convert a live event connection to a paying client
- What to do if you’re an introvert and hate schmoozing with people
- The little-known secret about the best time to talk to people at an event (most people do the completely wrong thing)
- Why business cards are the biggest waste of money (and what to do instead)
- How to recover if you botch the interaction (shyness or awkward moments can actually be very endearing)
And, I’ll share with you the one can’t-miss event I’m attending this year (you’d be crazy to miss this if you’re a copywriter looking for clients)
If you don’t get my emails yet, just enter your info below to get in on the Live Event Mini-class.