My Top 3 Takeaways From Bootcamp

4 minute read

It’s been two weeks since Bootcamp. And what a time it was!

The speakers were excellent. Getting a chance to meet so many of you in person was a highlight. And catching up with old friends was long overdue.

As with any event, you get the most out of Bootcamp if you apply what you learn… and the sooner, the better. But there’s a caveat — you learn so much, that putting it all into practice at the same time can feel completely overwhelming.

It’s better to pick just a handful of things — even just one thing — and start using it consistently.

With that in mind, here are my three favorite takeaways from Bootcamp — the ones I plan to start using between now and the end of the year.

A New Way to Frame Obstacles

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Marcella shared a tip she learned from Rebecca, who learned it from Brenden Burchard.

That may sound a bit like a game of telephone, but I always lean in when I know I’m about to hear something that’s been shared forward multiple times. It usually means it’s good.

This tip helps you approach obstacles and feeling stuck with a more open mind.

Here’s how it works.

You name the obstacle or feeling that’s got you stuck (or that you anticipate will have you stuck), and then you immediately follow that with, “So…” and a plan for dealing with it.

For example, imagine you’re invited to be one of the Member Spotlights on the Bootcamp stage. You’re excited, but also quaking in your boots.

You would take a deep breath and say to yourself, “I feel afraid, because everyone is going to be looking at me… so, before I have to speak, I’m going to get up on the stage during one of the breaks to see what the room looks like. And, when I go up there to speak, I’m going to find one or two friendly faces in the crowd and talk to them.”

As another example, imagine you’ve set a big goal for yourself, and you anticipate that the technical side of things is going to slow you down. In that case, you would say, “I anticipate that I’m going to struggle with the technical aspects of this project… so, I’m going to reach out to my network now to see if someone I know would be willing to answer questions when I have them.”

This approach to problems takes so much of the wheel-spinning out of finding a solution. Instead of staying stuck with the problem, it gets you thinking about how to move forward. And, when you use it to anticipate problems, you already have a game plan when snags come up.

3 Things to Remember About Storytelling

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Donald Miller was a highlight as the keynote speaker. He talked about using stories in your marketing materials. And, if you’ve been around Digital Copywriter for a while, you know I’m a big fan of storytelling in your copy.

To immediately make your stories stronger, keep these three tips from Donald in mind.

1. Survive and Thrive

People give their focus to information that will help them survive and thrive. Our brains are simply built that way. It’s efficient to pay attention to the things that tie to our survival and to ignore everything else. So, if you want to get your audience to lean in and listen, think about how your message connects with their survival.

2. Easy to Understand Messages Stick

If your message is convoluted, complex, or nuanced, it will be easy for your readers to forget. Worse, it may leave them feeling confused about what your message means to them. Boil your message down to a simple, memorable statement — a controlling idea — and use that to guide your stories.

3. Use Conflict

Conflict is what makes a story interesting, so it needs to play a role in your stories. Think about what problems your reader faces without your product. Those are the conflicts in the story you’re telling.

Adopt a Strength Mindset


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The final lesson I’m integrating into my marketing sooner rather than later comes from Ilise Benun.

She talked about having a strength mindset in your business relationships, and especially when negotiating fees for projects.

She touched on five things that will put you in a position of strength when talking to a prospect.

  • Listening skills. Listen to what your prospect is saying they need and want. Ask questions to learn more. When you listen, you gather information, and then you’ll be better able to present the right ideas to your prospect and explain how you can help.
  • Relationship skills. Spend time getting to know people and helping them. When you do, you’ll demonstrate your value and find that more people come to you ready to convert.
  • It’s so tempting on a discovery call or during any client conversation to blurt out fee ranges and timelines, but you’re better off waiting to hear more about what the prospect needs and what they’re hoping to spend before you make any comments.
  • Tolerate silence. When you ask a prospect a question, and they don’t answer right away, the temptation is to fill the silence. Instead, wait patiently to hear what they say.
  • Understand that you don’t need to land any particular client. Instead, you want to have many client conversations and be at your best during each of those conversations. When you do, some will convert to clients. Some won’t. And you’ll be fine.

These certainly aren’t all the lessons I’ll be implementing from Bootcamp. But they are the first that I plan to integrate into my writing business. And, given the ease of working them into your business model and writing strategies, I hope you’ll give them a try, as well.