Category Archives: Success

My Thoughts on Namecon 2015 in Vegas – The Good & Bad

The first Namescon back in 2014 was full of firsts – it was the first Namescon conference, personally it was my first domain conference, and it was also my first time in Vegas!  So I decided to return to Namescon again in 2015, another year wiser. I would like to share just a few of my thoughts on this year’s event, touching on the Good and Not-So-Good. (Early Disclosure:   Namescon was great and I have already registered to attend in Vegas again in 2016!)

Keynote Frank Schilling takes a moment to chat with me at Namescon 2015.

Keynote Frank Schilling takes a moment to chat with me at Namescon 2015.

LEARNING > The best part of Namescon is the ability to learn about the business of domains! There are many strategies and niches within the industry – Namescon was loaded with content at the various sessions. And there were some excellent speakers.  Unfortunately, some sessions overlapped and as a result I couldn’t see some that really interested me. Overall the facility was very good, but the small rooms on the upper floors where some sessions were held were terrible (low ceilings, cramped, converted guest rooms) and I hope Namescon does not use those again.

My main goal attending the past 2 years has been to learn – mission accomplished,  the content and sessions were excellent!

NETWORKING > Some people are open to being approached and some aren’t. Some share and some are defensive. Some are just interested in what “you can do for me”. Some are genuine.  For the most part, there are amazing people in this industry who are willing to help you and guide you if you just ask. But recognize that they are usually busy people and get inundated with requests.  Namescon seemed very open, you just had to take some initiative. On the other hand, it was hard to ignore the feeling of “clique-ishness”  in the domain industry.  My guess is it’s because this industry is actually very small. As a result, the successful domain investors who have been around the past 5-10 years or more all know who each other are, and are very comfortable around one another.   My gut feeling was that there was a small barrier there to overcome to get to “the secret sauce”, and some open discussion.

DISPLAYS & EVENTS >  I had a target list of companies I wanted to speak with in the display area for different business reasons. As usual, there was the good, the bad and the ugly.  Thank you to Frank Schilling for taking the time to speak with me (people were lined up), as well as other representatives at the Uniregistry booth – they were 1ST CLASS all the way!  Godaddy reps were great, trying to answer the different questions I had. I also enjoyed Mike McLaughlin’s keynote re: Godaddy’s plans in the near future.  Escrow.com was there and available to answer all my questions. Then there was the “Not-So-Good”. I had a question for staffers at the Namejet booth: why do they only allow “certain” people to sell domains on their platform? (see my above points on “cliques” and barriers in this industry). And why does Namejet have a “submission” form on their site to submit names for sale, but they don’t take the courtesy to reply to someone telling them if their names have been accepted or not.  I’m disappointed Namejet does business this way and this opinion was reinforced when I visited their booth.  The representative at the booth I wanted to talk with couldn’t be found ( nor could his business card), and those at the booth were unimpressed that I actually wanted to use their service to sell domains. Okaaaayyy….I guess I’ll just take my business and move along….to the competition.

Uniregistry sponsored a popular "lounge" area in the display hall.

The popular “lounge” area in the display hall.

One other small note on events held around Namescon. I didn’t attend the “Waternight” fundraiser party because it is just too damn loud to try to talk to anyone there! haha!  Am I getting old?  I spent money to come to the conference so I could meet and talk to people – from my experience at their Waternight in 2014, trying to talk to someone above the loud “music” was hopeless, so in 2015 I didn’t even bother going to Waternight.

The floorplan at Namescon is great for “chatting” with fellow attendees. The only thing I would suggest to organizers is adding a “structured” way for attendees to meet and get to know each other, perhaps a dinner or luncheon where 8 people sit at a table and get to know each other and share the “secret sauce”.

The truth is Namescon 2015 was a great domain event.  But, the domain industry is also very small, and while open to newcomers, there can be barriers to those trying to learn “the real goods” on how to be successful (matched with realistic expectations) in the domain business.

There are many paths to success, just keep kicking down the door!  I look forward to meeting you at Namescon 2016!

 

 

 

 

Where Do We FOCUS in 2013?

Did you achieve what you wanted to in 2012?  I was looking through my monthly planner from last year and assessing how I did reaching my business goals.  What always surprises me is how quickly things change.

Each year I write down my Top 5 Goals for the Year, then break it down into monthly targets, weekly “to do” lists and then into daily tasks.  I find that internet marketing, and more specifically, domain business, is a series of ongoing TESTING to see what works and what doesn’t work.  So my goals for the year might remain the same, but my strategy changes according to the results of my testing.  My mantra going into 2012 was to FOCUS ON SELLING, because without selling anything I wouldn’t be in business long.  So, I tested different selling tactics through the year and looking back in my planner I could see the results I’d recorded and then my strategy adjustments.

Strategies also changed because of changes in the marketplace.  There are many niches in the domain business, but when behemoths such as Google make waves, it rocks everyone’s boat.  Google has squeezed parking revenues and Google has squeezed low-quality web sites such as sites with little valuable content on crappy domain names.  So whether you are in the business of buying/selling domain names, monetizing domains, developing websites, or generating leads, etc. – it’s a good time to focus on quality rather than quantity.

That’s my new mantra for 2013 – FOCUS ON QUALITY.  As I do every year, I’ve taken a look back to learn from the past year and written down my goals for the new year. Some goals for my business have changed, and so have the strategies.  I’m always testing things and depending how this month goes, my tactics may change – but the goals remain the same.

Last year my focus was on SALES, and this year it’s on QUALITY. If I can do the two together, that’s a pretty good combination.  So whether you are just thinking of starting a small business online, or you have been online for years and trying to find a profitable path, here’s a few small suggestions that may help you along:

1) SELL – business is about selling, giving value in exchange for money. So make sales.  It’s priority #1.

2) FOCUS ON QUALITY NOT QUANTITY – whether it’s domains, websites, content or whatever, it’s better to have fewer better than lots of garbage

3) TEST AND ADJUST –  You need to find what works and you do that by testing. If it works then scale up and if it fails then adjust your tactics/strategy.

4) LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE – the web is a big place and things change fast. Take a step back and look at the industry, market and niche you are thinking about. How will you make money? Is there a better way to make money? Where would you rather be?

5) COPY SUCCESS – Look at successful business people, learn how they did it.  Read, research, learn – copy success.

I wish you all MUCH SUCCESS in 2013!

 

 

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