How We Booked Gary Vaynerchuk at Our First Marketing Conference

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So, in case you haven’t heard, Gary Vaynerchuk is coming to SkySprout Summit. Pretty cool, right?

We’ve taken every chance to share this news with our supporters and attendees – Gary will hold a fireside chat with our CEO, Nick Francis, and host a wine tasting featuring Empathy Wines immediately after.

When we started SkySprout Summit, we never dreamed of GaryVee rolling up to the Hyatt just for us. We could not have imagined that his name would be on our list of speakers, and we’re thrilled to have the chance to host him at this event. But – that’s not what you’re here for.

The biggest question, both from curious minds and Internet trolls alike, is: how in the world did we, an emerging digital marketing agency from Ohio, book him?

The Complete Guide to Booking World-Renowned Speakers at Your Conference

Step 1. Just ask

No, seriously.

We’re long-time GaryVee fans, and we take his guidance to heart when it comes to the world of digital marketing. We live by the code of hustling every second, working for every opportunity, taking every chance. In the digital industry, that inner commitment to resilience and tenacity is crucial to long-term success.

When compiling our lineup of speakers and panelists, the idea of adding GaryVee to that list seemed far-fetched, maybe even unattainable. Our lineup was already killer, and we were definitely confident in the list as it was – but the temptation to achieve the impossible crept back in. A temptation to call, to ask, to try. To put ourselves out there more than we already had, more than anyone expected us to. He’s a speaker, right? He would want to speak, right? Why not us…right?

As Gary once said, “All your ideas may be solid or even good…but you have to actually execute them for them to matter.” So, we took his advice. We tracked down some phone numbers, mustered up some courage, and executed like we had never executed before.

Dialing and holding and reconnecting and patience led us to the CEO of VaynerSpeakers. We were a little (a lot) nervous, considering we were asking for one of the world’s most sought after public speakers to scoot on over to our first-year conference. We knew nothing about his schedule, and he likely knew nothing about us. But we reminded ourselves – why not us? Why not this? What’s the harm in trying?

So we asked, and we waited. We held our breath.

We discussed the terms/conditions/fine print. All the etceteras.

And they said yes.

The Not-So-Complete Guide to Building Confidence as a Brand

SkySprout is a relatively new digital marketing agency in the metropolitan Columbus, Ohio scene. But we’ve paved a way for ourselves through determination, patience, and a willingness to try everything. The difficult, the utterly nerve-wracking, even the seemingly impossible.

The most important thing we’ve learned as a business is that confidence in your brand can never be overvalued. Without a rock-solid trust in yourself and your team, without the daredevil sense of boldness and nerve, your business will never break through to the front lines of the industry. It takes guts – more than most people believe they have. But, we promise you do have it in you.

Public speakers, like Gary, make names for themselves through doing exactly that – public speaking. Though it was daunting, we kept this in the back of our minds through every second of our call with the CEO. If Gary didn’t want to speak, he wouldn’t – we knew that and accepted it. But this is his career, his passion, his livelihood that we’ve followed and held in high regard consistently. All we needed was the belief that we were solid enough as a business to host him at our Summit. The belief that we were, in fact, good enough.

We can’t give you a step-by-step plan for how to see your confidence evolve and expand. We won’t pretend to have any authority over your trust in your team or yourself. But we can tell you that confidence stems from going to that trade show, making that phone call, trying that thing that makes your palms sweat and your voice waver. It comes from the willingness to fail, and the willingness to pull yourself up by your bootstraps again. Pride doesn’t bloom from sitting within your comfort zone waiting for chances to sprout around you – it’s found in the failures, unanswered phone calls, and stacks of rejection letters strewn about your desk.

We know – doesn’t that sound like a list of things that would just crush your spirit? We hear you. But not every call will go unanswered. Not every opportunity ends in rejection or failure. Gary once said: “If your organization’s intentions transcend the mere act of selling a product or service, and it is brave enough to expose its heart and soul, people will respond. They will connect. They will like you. They will talk. They will buy.” A sense of pride in your brand means believing in what you stand for, where you came from, and where you’re going. The understanding that hurdles approach every business, setbacks come in sporadic streams for every company, is necessary. There will always be another chance, and you can always take it.

Confidence looks different for every brand. But it all boils down to the same idea – the willingness to put yourself out there.

The willingness to try, and fail, and try again.

So go to that conference. Take that opportunity. Call that speaker’s office and invite them out. You never know – the answer could always be yes.

 

Meagan Coultas

Meagan Coultas

Meagan Coultas is SkySprout's copywriter and marketing assistant.

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