Notes from Seanwes conference 2017

I spoke at the Seanwes conference in Austin,TX this week about the Dance of the Possible. Here are my notes from the other talks I listened to (I was sick for a good part of the event so missed a few presentations. Too much BBQ? Quite possibly).

2. Kevin Rodgers, Copywriting

Three questions to ask:

  • What is your story?
  • Who do you serve?
  • Where is your why? (what is the story? what is your customers story? where do they match or connect?)

“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: The hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.” ― Joseph Campbell, The Hero With a Thousand Faces

“Nobody wants to read your shit.” – Steven Pressfield

“TL;DR” – Everyone

Simple version of hero’s journey for writing: Identity, Struggle, Discovery, Result, Call to Action

Examples: Weight Watchers Jessica Simpson ad, Rudolph the red nose reindeer song

Knowledge content is dead – there is a surplus of information and facts for free online. People have to feel something to connect with what you do. If they don’t feel it they won’t feel you.

Rodgers showed a long segment of his stand up-comedy routine, highlight jokes that used the Identity, Struggle, Discovery, Result, Call to Action pattern.

3. Scott Oldford 

Missed this one.

4. James  Clear, Habits

Aggregation of marginal gains: 1% gains in nearly everything you do. The results of small improvements, over time, is surprisingly, and powerfully, high.

Good habits make time your ally, bad habits make time your enemy

Four stages of a habit

  1. Noticing – happens because there is a trigger
  2. Wanting –  because there is a desire
  3. Doing –  happens because there is an ability to acknowledge the results
  4. Liking –  happens because there is a reward

Noticing is crucial for breaking bad habits and building new ones. Can’t change what you don’t notice.

Habit scorecard – helps noticing

  • Goal Write down each habit you perform each day
  • Then assign a score to each habit: positive, negative or neutral
  • Does this habit cast a vote for the desired identity I want to have?

Diderot effect: one purchase tends to lead to other purchases.

Habit Stacking: Hunan behavors are often tied to each oter. Habits come in bundles.

  • Meditation: after I brew morning coffee, I will meditate.
  • Exercise: after I get home from work I will change into workout clothes
  • Gratitude: after I sit down to dinner I will say one thing I’m grateful for
  • Decluttering: after I take my shoes off, I will put one thing left out away.
  • Financing: Before I make an online purchase, I will calculate how many hours of work it will cost me
  • Television. Before I turn on the TV I will say the name of the show I want to watch.

Dopamine is not just pleasure it’s also about desire and anticipation. Desire comes before behavior. Pleasure comes after it. It is your expectation that drives behavior. Every behavior that is highly habit forming – drugs, junk food games – is associated with higher levels of dopamine.

Motivation comes in waves. It rises and falls. Often motivation comes at the wrong time. When desire is high, we need to lock in the habit, or at least start it.

Commitment devices

  • Ask to have half a meal boxed up before you eat
  • Charge your phone in any room other than your bedroom
  • Automattic bank deposits
  • Delte social media applications on your phone (increase friction)
  • Put a post-it note contract on your door (can’t go to bed, or do pleasurahle thing, until you do X)

Habits do not form based on time, the form by frequency. They form based on rate of acting, or repeating.

Number of reputations required varies by difficulty of goal. Every outcome is somewhere on the spectrum of reputations.

“i begin each day of my life with a ritual: i wake up at 5:30 a.m., put on my workout clothes, my leg warmers, my sweatshirt, and my hat. i walk outside my manhattan home, hail a taxi and tell the driver to take me to the pumping iron gym at 91st street and first avenue, where i work out for two hours. the ritual is not the stretching or the weight training i put my body through each morning at the gym; the ritual is the cab. the moment i tell the driver where to go i have completed the ritual.

it’s a simple act, but doing it the same way each morning habitualizes it – makes it repeatable, easy to do. it reduces the chance that i would skip it or do it differently. it is one more item in my arsenal of routines, and one less thing to think about.” – Twyla Tharp 

One tiny habit can be the spark that sets off the sequence of habits you really want.

The two minute rule (David Allen) – downscale your habit until you can get the first two minutes of it to be useful and mindless. Optimize for the starting line, not the finish line.

The best way to build long term habits is with short term feedback.

Your identity emerges out of your habits.

The goal is not read a book, but to become a reader. The goal is not to write a book, but to become a writer.

It’s often wiser to remove the kink in the hose, vs increase the pressure/force you put through the hose (More thoughtfulness, less brute force).

The meta habit of thinking about your habits/result: integrity report – every summer:

  1. What are my core values
  2. How have I been living by those values
  3. Where have I failed to live by those values

Reflecting on this once a year pulls you back to integrity. Annual review every winter, focused .

Ivy Lee Method – 6 todo items per day, reorder in priority. When you come in tomorrow you only get to work top down until it’s finished. You can repeat each day.

5. Mojca Mars

Why aren’t you using Facebook ads? Common answers: complicated, time-consuming, and expensive.

Most ad campaigns fail because:

  • Selling to cold audience directly
  • Wanting to close the deal too quickly
  • Optimizing for the wrong metrics

Things to do:

  • Facebook ad pixel
  • Simple funnel: Attract visitors, generate leads, close sales
  • wwwh: why, what, who and how
  • Attract
    • Make first connection through value, build trust , Facebook pixel tag
    • what: valuable blog posts & video content
    • who: cold audiences – interest targeting (or target competitors), lookalike audiences
    • how: powerful headline (clear problem, questions and cta), branded design. Long format copy currently works well if you earn attention with first sentence.
  • Lead generation: first transaction with potential customer, qualifying audience
    • what: free ebook, cheat sheet, checklist, email court, free trial
    • who: retargeted audience, blog post readers, top web page visitors, contact page visitors
    • how: reiterate pain (remind them of the pain and offer sweet solution), specific outcome, clear & strong CTA (tell them the one next step they should take)
  • ?? (she spoke really fast so I got lost on the structure of her talk several times)
    • why: profit, scale your business
    • what: tripwire product, productize service
    • who: retargeting (avoid cold audiences), existing leads, pricing page visitors, sales page visitors
    • how to promote paid product/service: Creative: focus on specific buyer persona, communicate specific value proposition, Social proof & Testimonials
  • Close sales (don’t think she ever go to this?)

Facebook is trying to compete with youtube and vimeo, so they are promoting video content more than any other. It’s a good time to invest in Facebook video (which may be true, but it’s also what she appears to do for a living).


  • Stranger->value->Prospect->Lead Management->Lead->Sale->Customer

One Response to “Notes from Seanwes conference 2017”

  1. Daniel Blakei

    Interesting notes from the conference! Thank you for sharing us this preview! They are ultimately the topics that I love to learn more about and they are all summed in one place! Whether we are doing business online or offline, or we are students wanting to accumulate more knowledge, the content of this post is very empowering and everything starts on how we choose our habits.We could choose positive or negative habits but first and foremost, we should consider the results. Many people tend to fail on recognizing the impacts because they are focused on their personal and temporal desires.


Leave a Reply

* Required