How to Get Real Business Results and Recognition at Conferences (#FinCon13 Recap)

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Want to get real business results? Learn exactly how I was able to get featured in Derek Halpern's keynote speech without ever having met him before. Plus, I share some other tips for getting your business recognized at an industry event.

Every fall bloggers, writers, journalists and other media in the finance world gather for an event called FinCon Expo. I’ve been attending every year since it began back in 2011 (only two months after I started this blog!).

In fact, it’s because of my friend PT from and his encouragement that has allowed my business to continue thriving today — after three full years of blogging online. No matter what conferences are on my schedule to go to, FinCon is an absolute must!

FinCon is like a family reunion, one you actually want to go to. –@PatFlynn

It might be hard to imagine that a conference (especially a financial one) can change the lives of so many people, but I know without a doubt it has changed mine. And it continues to change the course of my business and blog every year.

In 2013 the 3rd annual FinCon Expo event was held in St. Louis, MO and boasted some of the biggest names in the blogging world as keynote speakers. One of them, was my blogging mentor, Derek Halpern.

How I first met Derek Halpern

I was thrilled when I found out Derek Halpern would be attending FinCon to give the closing keynote. He’s been one of my favorite blogging idols since the inception of this blog, not just because he has a crazy entertaining personality (and doesn’t give a crap what other people think about it), but because his stuff works!

It was the last day of the conference and I had some time in my schedule before the next session was to take place. I was sitting in the coworking area catching up on some emails when I looked over and saw Derek sitting at a nearby table.

He looked deep in the thought and I figured he was going over his upcoming keynote speech that was to be delivered later that day. I didn’t want to bother him so I just sat there waiting until it looked like he was taking a break.

Once he lifted his head up and closed his computer, I jumped up and went over to him.

1. Own your awesomeness

Before I get into more of my story, let me back up for a second. During my first year as a blogger, I was getting around 5,000 unique visitors to my site each month. Which is basically NOTHING. But thanks to Derek’s 80/20 promotion versus content strategy (TAPP as he calls it), I’ve tripled my traffic from 5,000 – 15,000 visitors per month!

Want to know the real reason this strategy works? I’m not trying to build a blog that pumps out useless content full of boring ideas.

When I have something important to share — like a tool that saves me 4 hours a week, or how to land long-term clients — that’s when I write a post. I don’t have a set blogging schedule and only publish content when I have something valuable to contribute. Otherwise, it’s just noise, which is what everyone else on the internet is already doing.

Stand in your awesomeness and don’t betray your personal aesthetic or preferences in order to do what everyone else is doing. You’ll find an expert or mentor who believes the same principles you do.

The new strategy for blog success: Create, promote, promote, promote, promote, celebrate. — @derekhalpern

Want to get real business results? Learn exactly how I was able to get featured in Derek Halpern's keynote speech without ever having met him before. Plus, I share some other tips for getting your business recognized at an industry event.

2. Take action to get results

You also can’t be afraid to take action! As I’m sure you guessed, I’m a Social Triggers fan girl, but I don’t idolize people because they’re celebrities or big-time bloggers.

They’re still human beings just like I am, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have good ideas to share, or more experience than me. So I’m always on the lookout for ideas that line up to my vision and ready to take action.

After approaching Derek Halpern, I quickly thanked him for sharing his 80/20 rule and briefly explained how his advice helped triple my traffic from 5,000 visitors per month to 15,000.

As I started to walk away, he stopped me and said he was intrigued by my case study. He wanted to learn more and asked me to sit down at his table. I’m pretty sure my face was beet red by this time but I sat down in the chair across from him and answered some questions about my site.

Then he asked me a question I’ll never forget…

Want to get your new blog featured by a popular blogger? Learn exactly how I was able to get featured in Derek Halpern's keynote speech without ever having met him before. Plus, I share some other tips for getting your business recognized at an industry event.

Derek Halpern asked if he could feature ME and my results in his keynote presentation later that day! I about fell out of my chair, but kept my cool, obviously. I immediately said YES and gave him a link to a photo of me and some stats he could use for his speech.

Mid-way through his presentation I was shocked and elated to find that my picture and my story was mentioned in his slides on the stage screen. The recognition I received from his mention was overwhelming. Suddenly every blogger and journalist wanted to chat with me and find out more about my blog.

I’m so thankful I had the guts to walk up to him and mention the results I had gotten from taking action on his advice. I was genuine in my thanks when I first approached Derek but I was also was confident in myself and my blog.

Don’t be afraid to reach out and grab opportunities before they pass you by, and sometimes taking the initiative to be proactive will majorly pay off.

3. Make your own splash

One final thing that really hit me during Derek’s speech, was the importance of making your own splash. As beginner bloggers it’s all too easy to be the ripples to someone else’s splash, to follow the leader and never sit back and think about what we really want or like.

You’ll make much more of an effect by making your own waves and not relying on other people to carry you. If you want to make your blog and business have more of an impact then give people advice they can actually do that gives massive results.

Don’t publish blog posts or social media content unless it displays a unique angle, personal story based on your experience or explains an old idea in a new way. Stand in your awesomeness and make your own splash, that’s the only way that industry experts and big-time bloggers will take notice.

How to get real business results

  • Only publish content when you have something valuable to say. There’s enough mediocre regurgitation out there already.
  • Find a unique strategy that works for you and then stick to it until you see results.
  • Don’t idolize celebrities or big-time bloggers, they’re just humans like you and I.
  • When opportunities arise, reach out and grab them. Show no fear otherwise they’ll pass you by!
  • Make your own splash and avoid becoming the ripples for someone else. Think for yourself!
  • My friend and fellow business owner, Amanda Abella says it best; “the blogosphere is not about competition, it’s about collaboration”.


  1. Glen Craig says:

    Derek Halpern’s closing was definitely powerful. Great to hear his method netted you 3X traffic! That’s a great testament to his work. His TAPP is one of many things I need to implement.

  2. ptmoney says:

    Thanks for sharing this recap, Carrie. And thanks for sharing your suggestions, insights (and tweets) that make FinCon what it is today. I’m so happy for your continued success. See you soon.

  3. Sarah Li Cain says:

    Great on you for approaching Derek Halpern! And great tips too. I gotta work on promoting my stuff more. I think I get too embarrassed, even though people tell me my stuff is good.

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