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Think Visibility’s March 2011 was a great way to spend my 27th Birthday. Full of like minded individuals, copious amounts of beer and general learning and merriment. Thinkvis (as the cool kids call it) is a one day conference full of interesting presentations and discussion.

Rather than writing a long blog posts (as I’ve stared at my notes and thought “eh?”), I’ve gone through them and come up with a list of 61 things that you should takeaway from Think Visibility. I’ve bolded things which I like:-

Peter Cooper (@PeterC) – Self Promotion For Geeks

  1. Thought Leaders are people who are successful & do things now. Examples include Tim Ferriss, Gary Veynerchuk & Justin Biebler. Each of these were successful in a niche before obtaining mainstream success.
  2. Often people come up with ideas, very few people act on them. All the advice to be successful is out there and usually free, you just need to act on it.
  3. Don’t be like Susan Boyle – she should’ve been more successful earlier on in her life.
  4. Recognise Blocks in strategy and kick them in the arse.
  5. A great strategy to beat blocks is by giving them names. By naming something you name the problem and can easily find the best way to beat it.
  6. 70% of people suffer with some level of Imposter Syndrome – they are the ones that slipped through the net and don’t feel like they belong.
  7. Keep pushing tools and products out.
  8. If the lion doesn’t tell his story, the hunter will.

Stephen Pavlovic (@conversionfac) – Using Brainwashing, Psychology & Cults to Boost your Conversion Rate

  1. Conversion Rate Optimisation isn’t just changing buttons – making big changes to the website and measuring success.
  2. You’ve two hemispheres of the brain – left is logical and analytical, right is creative and linked with unconscious.
  3. New information is checked by the left hemisphere against existing beliefs. To be successful you have to change people’s beliefs and assumptions.
  4. It’s nothing new – Jesus for example used pyschology to convert people.
  5. Yes that last statement may be a bit controversial!
  6. Use letter spam for a great example of something that has been optimised for maximum conversions. Learn from it.
  7. People do want to win. Examples include Take Me Out (women can win a date, even if they don’t like the date) and eBay (items can go for more expensive than on Amazon). Create scarcity to get people to convert.
  8. Read Influence: The Psychology of Persuasionby Robert Ciadini.
  9. Create Authority – Use titles/social status as well as names with testimonials.
  10. Social Proof – A lot of “unauthoritative” people that like a particular product can help drive up conversions.
  11. Create a Cult – People want to be part of a cult and will do anything, such as buy products, to remain in it (a great example will be Apple).
  12. Use your organic search data to create reports to incentivise people to subscribe.
  13. A/B Test whether forcing people to give an email address or a reciprocation request works well.
  14. Don’t force people to sign up during the checkout process as it’s stressful and you could lose sales.
  15. Customer feedback is great at seeing where you’ve gone wrong.
  16. The only conversion rate you should be happy about is 100%.

Paul Madden (@pauldavidmadden) – Adventures in Outsourcing

  1. Paul’s favourite tools for outsourcing include oDesk, Elance and V Worker for Coding and Admin, Code My Concept for Design, Free Agent for Business Admin. Crowd Flower and Fiverr for humans and fun stuff, and 80 Legs for Crawling. Of them, oDesk is Paul’s favourite.
  2. English of 5 out of 5 rating is required for oDesk and a feedback score of 4.5 to 5.
  3. The oDesk tests aren’t really worth the time of day. Paul did the WordPress test after a night out and scored a pass mark!
  4. Providers that are affiliated with larger companies are a lot easier when undertaking outsourcing. You don’t want to rely on just one person.
  5. Get your outsourcer to sign an NDA. You’ll rarely act on these but it makes them think and you get a good idea on how a future relationship could go with them.
  6. Don’t interview individuals, instead give them a small paid task which you can see how they work.
  7. Spell everything out when you write emails. That way you don’t get their interpretation for a task, rather you get your interpretation of a task.
  8. Set outsourcers an hourly limit as your budget.
  9. oDesk has an iPhone app to track projects, but also track them in other ways (Paul uses Basecamp).
  10. Outsourcing isn’t exploiting – at least in Paul’s case. Companies he works with are well set up.
  11. Generally speaking: India and Pakistan have the best general coders at around $9/hour, whereas specialist coders are around $20/hour and are better to get from the UK, USA and Canada.
  12. Design and content should be outsourced to the UK only, nuances and other are best explained and understood by the same or similar cultures.

Twitchiker (@paul_a_smith) – Sharing Not Selling

Bit of a light hearted relief this talk, but with some great takeaways:-

  1. There is no bar in Barcelona that Christopher Columbus last drunk in before going to the new world. Well, there probably is, but the one that claims it is, it isn’t.
  2. You’ve got to be the guy that does things, as they are the ones that get the press coverage and people talking.
  3. Connections are great. You may think you’re a hub but in truth you may be on the side of the conversation, rather than the middle. This isn’t a bad thing, as it can be helpful when you need a bed for the night, for example.
  4. Engage with users on twitter, don’t sell to them straight away.
  5. Twitter isn’t the same that it was a couple of years ago. To attempt something like Twitchhiker nowadays will be a lot harder.

Gary Taylor  (@garyptaylor) – One Domain, One Hundred Days, One Result

  1. Gary’s favourite places to buy domains include Sedo, Acorn Domains, Your Main Domain, Deal A Site, Sitepoint Market and the A4U Forum.
  2. The most important thing when picking a niche is by having an interest in it. When you begin you’re doing it as a 5-9 job, so by having a niche you’re interested in you save money and it feels less like a chore.
  3. It may be better to buy a website rather than start from scratch. May be worthwhile exploring this option with clients.
  4. You should look for a domain also that has product availability, rankings, traffic, potential to grow.
  5. To really grow revenue, you should stay away from Adsense and Amazon affiliates.
  6. Gary doesn’t think that the domain exact match bubble will burst. It was introduced by Google to give a weighting for branded domains, but what’s to say that a brand or a word (for example – Apple).
  7. Put a price on your time if you want to profit.

Dave Naylor (@davenaylor) – Dave’s Den

  1. Dave uses the following tools for website analysis – Xenu, Screaming Frog, Microsoft IIS SEO Toolkit, My Playground Tool and Majestic SEO.
  2. Don’t include a lot of links in the home page.
  3. Footer links shouldn’t appear to be keyword spammy links – try to include keyword rich links in the content.
  4. No page should appear to be a thin affiliate page. Content can be sourced dirt cheap now so you can throw together pages that are lacking content.
  5. Title tags shouldn’t include “Keyword | Keyword | Keyword”. They lose clickthroughs as they confuse people.
  6. Get your mother to read through your site and your search engine snippets. If she’s confused with them, then rewrite your copy.
  7. Using CSS Image Replacement you can have textual links and more dynamic image links.
  8. There’s no point nofollowing internal links. If you don’t want it followed, don’t link to it.
  9. Make sharing items easy with large icons.
  10. Keeping other items on your site (such as Javascripts, CSS, etc) on subdomains (such as cdn.domain.com) helps improve the speed of the site.
  11. At least show some of large content (such as PDF’s) – for usability purposes mainly.
  12. Internal links should be changed to new pages.
  13. And finally – Infographics for the sake of infographics are pointless!

On A Personal Note

I was lucky to win the first even Jaamit Award at the event. I’ve shared my thoughts already on what it meant to me winning it on my personal blog, but once again – thank you!