There's always "take home" value that you can immediately apply after attending Elite Retreat. I, Giovanna have signed an NDA so I can't go into deep details. Last year, I learned the various monetization models from Jeremy Shoemaker's presentation and Lee Dodd introduced the idea of buying and selling website "real estate." This year, Andy Liu's presentation was very interesting because it had a different approach and it focused on team building, applying business formulas, metrics and attracting investors. A memorable quote by Andy about his way of investing was "Buy Based on Current Revenue and Sell for Strategic Value." Although I have no intention to sell any of my sites, I now know what investors look for and the path to take for increased profitability. Had a short yet highly productive chat with Brian Clark about copywriting and conversion. There will be more posts on conversion because it's my new homework and there really is no secret forumula ---> Just hard work.
I was bummed out for missing Shoemoney's presentation this year because you always learn something new and cool from that guy...especially in exclusive and highly private groups like Elite Retreat. It was my loss. Aaron sat next to Matt Mullenweg of Wordpress during the lunch and I guess they had fun exchanging SEO stories. I actually use his platform on at least three of my sites. Aaron is so addicted to the web that his knowledge goes beyond SEO. He's now tying SEO and marketing to the social networking theory. That's not white hat, it's more like clear hat.
The Elite Retreat attendees are all pretty darn razor SHARP. Just being around incredibly smart people was worth the investment but being able to "pick" the brains of the industry's top thought leaders is priceless. Ugh, that last sentence sounded too Mastercard-ish but it's true. People who have attended in the past come for the 2nd or 3rd time.
BOTTOM LINE: Knowledge is can be expensive but truly life changing once it's IMPLEMENTED. If you really want to make it, you need to go out there and take immediate action. If the results are not what you expected, LEARN. If they are positive, RE-APPLY! :)
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