Last year INC. Magazine called Traffic & Conversion Summit the largest, and best, marketing event you never heard of.


Have you ever had one of those dreams where you’re trying to get somewhere but you keep falling down and you can’t get your eyes open? Everything looks distorted and your legs are like jello. It’s the type of dream you only have when your body is so exhausted your head feels crazy-glued to your pillow.


I just woke up from that dream. 


See, I just got back from Digital Marketer’s Traffic & Conversion Summit (T&C2017) and my brain was so tired I literally could not keep my eyes open.


I tried to play family with my 5 year old.


I tried to explain the eye-popping experience that is T&C to my husband.


But, after 3 intense days of learning and absorbing all I could do was fall onto the couch and sleep…


…for 2 hours.


As a mom, I can’t remember the last time I took a 2-hour nap. Oh! hold on a minute – yes I can – 5 years ago – before my daughter was born.


If you’re not familiar with Digital Marketer’s Traffic & Conversion Summit, it’s a 3-day marketing conference right here in San Diego. I had heard it’s THE marketing conference to attend and now I know why. 


On the first day I sat down behind Marie Forleo and Amy Porterfield. They were not presenting…they were attending. They were furiously taking notes – just like I was and I thought, if this is where they get their marketing “next steps” I’m in good hands. #nerdherd




The digital marketer folks were nice enough to sort the sessions by tracks. There was the agency track, head hancho, future of sales, digital retailer behind the scenes track, etc. You get the idea. I chose the beginner track. Or what Digital Marketer called the “Getting Started” track.


I quickly realized, to my delight, I am not a beginner. So then I chose my agenda the way I choose my books…by their cover – or in this case, by their title.  


Before I dive into my top 5 takeways, I have to mention the sausage fest. I don’t say that to be crass, I just can’t believe how much testosterone was in one concentrated area of Southern California. If I had to guess, I’d say the ratio of men to women was about 80:20. There were 4000 people there and let’s just say it was the first time I ever saw men waiting in line for the bathroom (insert evil laugh here).


There were also a lot of beards. Like -a whole lot of beards. It felt a bit like an urban lumberjack festival or a nod to Emperor Pedro II of Brazil. This has nothing to do with my overall summit experience, I just had to mention it because it was new to me. Apparently they are called “hipsters”.  I like you hipsters…I find you oddly fascinating.

Emporer Pedro II of Brazil


O.K., so let’s circle back to why were are actually here… to talk about my top 5 takeaways from T&C Summit 2017.  #tcs2017

1. Customer Journey. My first takeaway has to do with the emphasis on the customer journey and how to nurture that relationship. There was a lot of talk about H2H (human 2 human) connection and that resonated with me. It’s part of why online marketing can feel icky at times. There is too much emphasis on the sale and not enough on helping people. I realized I was making a HUGE mistake in my customer journey and I am fixing it right now! The analogy of a date was mentioned, where you don’t just walk up to someone and ask them to marry you. You talk to them, get to know them and then see if they want to meet up again. I was essentially walking up to the bar and asking to get schtooped. No bueno. 


2. Video is a requirement. There was a lot of emphasis on video…which of course made me giddy. It has gone from a marketing “nice to have” to a marketing “must have in order to build a relationship”. No suprise here, Facebook Live and Instagram Stories were the favorites as well as using video for your FB ads. I was happy to see my work is relevant and growing and I also realized no one talked about the “how-to” of video…just that everyone needs it…NOW! 

3. I Need to Master Facebook Ads. I find Facebook ads ellusive and confusing and it’s on my list to improve my FB ad writing skills. You are going to start seeing longer stories in FB ads and as a storyteller I can no longer avoid the beast. I attended a session called “How to Craft The Perfect, Attention Grabbing, ROI Producing Facebook Ad” by Nicholas Kusmich…and it was amazing. There’s not enough time to give you all of my notes – perhaps another blog post.


4. I Need a Well Branded Website. If you know me, you know I have a nerd crush on Donald Miller of Story Brand. So, it is no surprise that I attended his “Well Branded Website” talk on Friday. My favorite thing he does is called the grunt test (which at this moment my site doe NOT pass). The Grunt Test is if someone who knows nothing about you or what you do comes to your website can they identify:

  • what you offer?

  • how it makes their life better?

  • how they buy it?

All of this within 10 seconds and above the fold! Which means your visitor will not have to scroll for any of that info. I’ve got some work to do!


5. Branding is Really Important. I think this is something a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with because there is so much conflicting information out there. Re Perez of Branding For The People did an excellent job of breaking down the importance of your brand perception. Re went over the 7 components to building a great brand. Something memorable he said was professional is not a personality so don’t ask your designer for “professional”.



I feel like this blog is getting a bit long so I’ll wrap it up with one of the funniest things I heard which was...DON’T BE BORING! 


And of course, if you are structuring your videos and practicing then you will NOT be boring. You will captivate and connect with your audience. 


If you’re not sure how to structure your livestream videos, then make sure you download my NO VIDEO VOMIT: THRIVE ON LIVE CHEAT SHEET.

Now, I’ll be honest, my brain hurt for most of the time and I felt like my eyes were bugging out of my head the entire time…but you can be sure, I’ll be first in line for T&C2018 tickets!


  1. Wayne Cotton on March 14, 2017 at 7:22 am

    Tracy, there are many reasons why it is important for people to follow your guidance. I’ll just mention the first and last. Your guidance made a huge difference in the quality of the four videos I recently filmed for my Launch. You kept my feet to the fire and my mind on track throughout this period of temporary insanity and the outcome was terrific. The last reason is that following your learning journey is a great way to observe your insights and to develop mine. Great job, Tracy. I appreciate YOU!

    • Tracy on March 14, 2017 at 8:46 am

      Hi Wayne! THank you so much for the kind words. You are a pleasure to work with and a quick study:)

  2. Mary Barbera on March 14, 2017 at 11:19 am

    Tracy, you rock! Great advice in this blog. My website doesn’t pass the Grunt Test either but it will soon…..thanks for passing on this information!

    • Tracy on March 15, 2017 at 5:55 am

      Mary, I think you rock! We can work on our websties together:)

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