September 26, 2014

When I decided to be the possibility of “contribution” many years ago, I had no idea about the depth of that declaration.

And when I stood on the stage on Day Two of “The Titans of Direct Response” in front of 350 of the most influential direct marketers on the planet and declared, “I am a Titan,” I doubled down on my promise regarding contribution…and connection.

Today’s public declaration:

I plan on being a “contributing Titan” forever.

What an experience this event was…many of you were there…and many of you may have hopefully heard about it.

Dan Kennedy sent me a card this past week (a Fed Ex’d Disney card with Mickey Mouse on it!) and wrote:

“Titans was “THE event of the year…decade”

I know we accomplished something pretty special.

And I think if we could have set the temperature in the ballroom a few degrees warmer and if we could have had continuous coffee service throughout the conference, we would have had almost perfect scores from attendees…:-)

Seriously, those were the only consistent complaints.

So hopefully most of those folks got a sweater and a Starbucks and absorbed all of the amazing content despite the chilly and caffeine-starved conditions…

For this week’s post, I wanted to share some of the lessons I learned putting together and staging this epic event…lessons that I think will be meaningful to all of you whether you were there or not:

1) Grace and humility trumps all

So many people asked me, “How did you deal with all of those egos?” (referring to the speakers).

And I can tell you that it was easy (for the most part)…

I want to call out two of the speakers:

Gary Bencivenga (the best copywriter in the world with more “unbeatable controls” than anyone in history); and Greg Renker (the top infomercial producer EVER and the man with a $2 Billion company).

I encourage all of you whenever you think about bragging about yourself or being envious of the success of others around you (or the accomplishments of anyone in your life), PLEASE go to gratefulness over envy…and thank your lucky stars for everything you have in your life and be proud when you have the opportunity to interact with greatness all around you.

Simply put, if you could have been on any of the preparation calls I had with Gary or Greg before “Titans”…or been on any of the follow up calls or e-mails since…what you would have heard and seen from these two giants is 100% grace and humility…and THEIR gratefulness for being part of such an amazing conference.

I told the story from the stage about the call I received from Greg Renker’s assistant months before the event asking:

“Where should Greg send his $3,500 registration fee.”

Of course I said, “Are you kidding?”

Greg’s assistant: “Well, Greg just wants to contribute something.”

I thought I was in some bizarro  world…and this conversation actually led to an interview Greg and I did for the infomercial industry (no I didn’t make him pay a registration fee!) because we felt that sector of the business needed to be at “Titans.”

Contribution indeed…

And I have similar stories about all of my interractions with the speakers…what an amazing group of Titans.

2) Over delivery MUST be your mantra in life

One of the constant pieces of feedback I received from attendees was how much we “over-delivered”…and whether folks realized it or not, I was practicing a direct marketing rule-of-thumb throughout “Titans”:

“Give the customer more than they ever would have expected”

That applies to things like giving disgruntled buyers extra care or premiums when they are yelling at you on the phone; or always delivering on all of your promises in your promotions.

What we sent the attendees home with from “Titans”–binders, workbooks, CD’s DVD’s–all material from some of the greatest direct response marketers in history, was unprecedented. And there was no other way I would have done it…

3) Wisdom is eternal

I have to admit that I was very surprised how young the audience was…given that we had so many old codgers like me speaking…but I think “Titans” showed the difference between:

 “50 years worth of experience vs. one years experience for 50 years”

This was a conference that was inspired by my personal mission to share the eternal truths of direct marketing (a phrase I got from Titan speaker Perry Marshall)…I think we accomplished that…plus the mixture of tactics and strategy exceeded my wildest expectations.

The feedback and testimonials confirmed all of that…

So it’s OK to hang out with old people with tons of wisdom…but just make sure they can still apply all of that wisdom to you and your business (and life) while telling some war stories at the same time…

4) Direct response marketing (and education) is global

OK…I admit it…sitting  in my cocoon in Connecticut/New York, I often think that there is not much happening west of here(that would be west of the Hudson River, starting with New Jersey)…or east (what is that big “pond” that someone told me is the Atlantic Ocean?)…or north (isn’t Canada part of the U.S.?)…or south (is there direct response marketing going on after you pass the Statue of Liberty at the southern tip of Manhattan)?

We had double digit attendees from Australia (and when one told me he spent 24 hours and $20,000 to get to “Titans,” I cried on stage)…plus folks from Canada (even the French speaking part!),  the U.K., Ireland, Germany, France, Croatia, Dubai, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand–and I know I am forgetting many countries that were represented (and those of you who were there from other countries, send me an e-mail so I can give you a shout out next week)…

But what was also amazing was how every one of those foreign attendees knew (and had studied!) one or more of the speakers at “Titans”–so many were not only direct response practitioners  but also students of the craft.

For me, that was unexpected…and so fulfilling.

My mentors and gurus were their mentors and gurus…I knew I had chosen the right speakers.

And I also learned that the language of direct response marketing and its eternal truths have no borders.

5) Life imitates direct marketing

This will be the title of my first e-book…and after this event, it’s as relevant as ever…

I was convinced before “Titans”…and now I am convinced even more…that when I am “teaching” direct marketing we have to go way beyond concepts like “lifetime value,” “list segmentation,” and “new product development” etc.

This really hit home for me especially when I was talking about Marty Edelston’s four pillars to becoming extraordinary to open the conference AND when I was sitting on stage with my personal Mastermind Group (Michael Fishman, Jim Kwik, Ryan Lee) talking about “accountability for results” to conclude the conference. There are so many things beyond tactics which are critical to focus on in order to make your biggest impact on the world.

Simply put: Being extraordinary and accountable will make you a better marketer…I guarantee it.

And it’s interesting that I get way more e-mail and positive feedback when I talk in these posts about things like developing your “relationship capital” than when I write about how to “build capital” via the best direct marketing techniques I know.

I have learned through you–the readers of these e-mail posts (and through the audience at “Titans”–many of the same people)–that it is critical to pay attention to all aspects of how we conduct ourselves to be the world’s best.

There is so much more to talk about coming off “The Titans of Direct Response”–I promised “epic” and I think I delivered epic…but I see this as only one more step in my renewed commitment to a lifetime of contribution and connection.

And, yes…I am a Titan…with big boy pants to boot! 🙂

Until next week,


P.S. The DVD’s from “Titans” will be available in a few weeks…I plan on making a discounted, “best offer” to this list before I start a program offering the DVD’s to the “outside world.”

Those who attended the event got the absolute lowest price…but I promise you guys an attractive “over delivery” package of premiums and giveaways with the DVD’s at an amazing price for a limited period.

I hope you will all take me up on that offer once I make it available…

P.P.S. If you attended “Titans” and you think there is a concept, idea or lesson that I should write about to this list in the weeks ahead, please send me an e-mail; and if you were an attendee and you are from a foreign country I didn’t mention, let me know that too! 🙂

About the author 

Brian Kurtz

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