Review of Robert Puddy’s LFMpire Workshop, Bristol, May 2010
Bob Puddy’s 2010 event was held in the Bristol Holiday Inn over the weekend of the 7th, 8th and 9th May and went by the name “LFMpire Builders Workshop”.
The event turned out to be excellent for many reasons and at the same time disappointing for a couple of different reasons – but I’ll come to them later.
First, let’s take a look at what happened, who spoke and see if we can’t give some pointers as to the sources of the scandal and gossip that came away from the weekend in Bristol.
I won’t give away too much as to the content of the speakers’ presentations because (a) they may use a similar presentation in the future and it wouldn’t be fair to give it all away on here and (b) you really should’ve been there yourself.
On to the review…
Thursday 6th May 2010
Many regular seminar attendees will often advise that you get to the seminar the day before it begins. You should also stay in the hotel where the event is being held too, which sometimes means booking early or missing out.
Get there the day before and you are guaranteed to be able to make it for the first session – if that’s what you want to do. What usually also happens is that all of the regulars are there on the Thursday and so you can end up having a few drinks with some very successful people.
I booked the train early (March) so I was able to get a great deal on First Class tickets from Manchester down to Bristol Parkway on Virgin.
And be assured, First Class is far better than standard class.
Not only do you get far more room but you also receive free drinks, free snacks and the wonderful feeling of avoiding the standard train passenger idiots that English trains are known for.
My train journey lasted about 3 hours and then I immediately got a cab for the 5 minute ride to the hotel.
The previous year I hadn’t been too impressed with the hotel – I thought the food was bad and it just didn’t strike me as a particularly nice hotel.
This time I walked in and the lady immediately had my room ready. No need to sign anything or swipe, I just arrived at about 4pm and then dropped my gear off and headed to the bar.
Luckily several other people had arrived before me so I was able to relax and chat over a few beers with some familiar faces.
And that was it for Thursday – networking in the bar and several pints of Staropramen.
I managed to get to bed by about 2am although I could’ve quite easily stayed up as there were lots of people still chatting at that time. My plan was to see every presentation so I forced myself to go.
Friday 7th May 2010
I grabbed some breakfast with David Allen and then headed to the seminar room to register.
The seminar started promptly at 9am with Donna Fox telling us about the speakers that had been lined up. If they were in the room she brought them on stage to tell us a little about what they would be speaking about.
Following that Donna gave us what amounted to a “pep” talk and asked us to try and list the reasons why we were there, for example “what would you like to accomplish this weekend?”
She allowed some audience members the opportunity to share their answers with the rest of the group and also shared a little about his history in the internet marketing field.
A quick break followed and then the presentation at 11am was given, again, by Donna Fox.
This time she gave a planned talk entitled “Internet Marking for Muppets” which was, I imagine, a quick refresher to give those who were new to the field a bit of guidance about the more simple aspects of marketing online.
Donna was, to her credit, refreshingly honest about joint ventures and the fact that marketing online is really a case of who you know, not what you know.
She admitted that “we” (meaning her and other recognised speakers) “only mail for our friends” and “ignore JV requests”.
Takeaways from the talk were (a) come to events so you can make friends with others and help each other and (b) try to outsource as much as you can, you don’t need to know everything, you just need to know how to market products.
Lunch followed and then it was time for a hotseat session at 1.30pm.
The experts who took part were:
Robert Puddy, Martin Avis, Sterling Valentine, Soren Jordansen, Omar Martin and Donna Fox.
The person who had volunteered to have his site assessed was hoping to sell a product on how to make money through podcasting. It does look as if he has taken some of the advice as the initial sales page has now disappeared – it was on a confusingly named domain.
Another break was then followed by a further session from Donna Fox. This time the topic was Persuasion and how to use it in your marketing. It would take me far too long to even attempt to describe the salient points here so I’m not even going to try.
The final session of the day at 5pm was given by Robert Puddy and his topic was “Login Frequency Marketing” which ties in with his main product of the same name.
Bob has been updating and improving his software for several years now and this membership site software is well regarded in the IM world.
He showed the simple process he uses to create membership sites and provided examples of people who have made it work following his formula including his 2 year-old grandson (obviously with a little help) and a coaching student who must be well into her 70s.
Immediately following the last session was the VIP dinner which many attendees were booked in to go to.
I had decided not to upgrade to the VIP sessions so instead I headed out as part of a group to a local pub. There were quite a few of us and we had to wait for an hour and a half to be seated but it wasn’t that bad as we had a few drinks and discussed marketing and the experiences we’ve had.
I grumbled that I hadn’t been paid by someone who owes me several hundred dollars in affiliate commissions and was quickly assured that this wasn’t out of the ordinary.
The meal was great and by around midnight we were back in the hotel, in the bar, where all of the other attendees who had been to the VIP dinner were now mixing.
Again, several hours of networking followed although I ducked out again at 2am to make sure I could get up the following morning. I’m lead to believe that some were still ordering drinks at 6.30am.
Saturday 7th May 2010
Following breakfast with a fellow attendee I ventured down to the seminar room in plenty of time for the 9am start. Of course, it didn’t get under way until 9.20am.
First up today was Omar Martin, who had actually been around since the Thursday night (see what I mean about arriving early?).
Omar hasn’t been around for years like many speakers but he is now at the same level as some of the big guys after knuckling down and working hard. He went through his presentation, giving us the details of his pretty remarkable story. It was quite amusing in parts, with him telling stories of selling door-to-door in Florida, where he currently lives.
Next up at 11am was Martin Avis who has previously spoken at several of Bob Puddy’s events. He was talking about how to make a 6-figure income on just 2 hours’ work a week.
Martin’s main income comes from writing newsletters and his popular “Kickstart Newsletter”. He went through the steps it takes to write articles and how to incorporate them into a successful newsletter.
I took plenty of notes which I’m not going to repeat here but what I can recommend is Martin’s book “You Can Write Articles” which I’ve already previously reviewed on this site:
Martin Avis and 'You Can Write Articles'
The hotseat session after lunch was 20 minutes late after the hotel allegedly took too long bringing out the dinner for the VIP guests.
The experts who took part were Martin Avis, Simon Leung, Omar Martin, Jonny Andrews, Sterling Valentine, Donna Fox and Robert Puddy.
The one bit of advice I took from this session was an excellent quote from Sterling Valentine which said something like:
“Doing your own copywriting is like doing your own brain surgery; it can be done but it’s not a good idea”
At 3pm were heard from Simon Leung who, although born in Hong Kong, grew up in the US and was one of the original employees at Google.
Obviously this makes him very knowledgeable in the workings of the search engine giant and he went through his 10 secrets about Google.
One interesting fact he let slip was that Twitter was now his number one source of traffic.
The last session was a presentation by Jonny Andrews, a US-based marketer who went through his story of being completely broke (to the point of having to sleep in the offices where he worked) to being able to sell very highly-priced products online.
High-priced here means tens of thousands of dollars.
Jonny provided us with a very simple 7 step plan to copy him with the first step simply being “you have to believe you can do it”.
And that was it for the Saturday sessions.
An hour or so later a group of us packed into a couple of taxis and went for a few drinks in Bristol town centre, followed by a great Indian meal.
In a repeat of the previous night we then ended up back at the hotel for several more drinks. The bar was packed again with attendees, speakers and lots of people who had come down for the night because they knew other marketers would be there.
I managed to somehow end up on the end of a well-meaning yet shoddily delivered rant by one highly inebriated marketer. Although after a little arguing he went back to chatting up one of the young ladies who’d arrived that evening.
All good fun – I heard that even more fireworks went off once I’d decided to get some sleep – but they’ll be no details in this report, what happens in Bristol etc
Sunday 9th May 2010
Sat with a few new faces for breakfast on Sunday morning and spoke about the hotseat session that had taken place the previous days.
First up on Sunday at 9.20am (late start again!) was UK-based business-to-business marketer Ambar Hamid.
Ambar covered his method of selling to big businesses including details of a huge deal he did with a large airline. Sadly I can’t repeat any of it as he asked the audience not to but it was interesting.
After the morning break, at 11.10am we heard from Sterling Valentine who was on top form. Judging from crowd reaction and the number of people who were milling around the back of the room at the end, I think he went down well with the LFMpire workshop attendees.
Sterling talked about how he broke out onto the internet marketing scene back in 2006 and went from nothing to $100k in just 92 days. He repeated what Donna had said earlier that weekend – the relationship is key.
An entertaining presentation with some very useful tidbits (is that the right word?) given out by Sterling.
Following lunch there was the final hotseat session which, for once, was concentrating on someone’s attempt to sell an ebook outside of the “make money online” arena.
Ambar Hamid, Omar Martin, Martin Avis, Sterling Valentine and Donna Fox ripped apart the sales process and then gave the owner several tips to increase his conversions.
The final presentation of the weekend was given by young UK internet marketer “Jani G” – full name Jani Gaffhor.
Jani’s presentation covered a little about his backstory and then some tips on how to copy his method of making big profits from small subscriber lists. He gave out a step-by-step “how to” method of piggy-backing on Clickbank product launches to make money.
Interesting stuff from someone I admit I’d not heard of before but who seemed very down-to-earth and is bound to make it much bigger.
And that was it for the weekend.
Sadly, the presentations were over and all that was left to do was for Robert and Donna to close proceedings.
It was at this point that the “disappointing” events happened that I talked about at the beginning of this review.
Robert basically said that he probably wouldn’t be doing another seminar in 2011. He admitted that he certainly didn’t want to promise to do one there and then because he’d be held to follow through then.
Should there not be another seminar from Bob Puddy then I would be very disappointed.
This was the fourth event that he’d organised that I’d been at and I have thoroughly enjoyed every one.
That night a small group of us went for a meal and then continued drinking for a little longer in the bar. I believe some of them were still at it at 3.30am but I gave up at around 11pm.
The next day I went back home on the train, the only passenger in First Class the whole way. It was a nice, relaxing end to a very busy, tiring but ultimately rewarding weekend.
Let’s just hope that Bob has a change of heart and there’s another UK LFMpire Workshop in the near future.