Hello, Music City! Last weekend, we had the pleasure of attending the Boom Your Business seminar in Nashville hosted by Wizards of Ads partners. While the edges were a little rough in places because it was the first-time ever, Amy and I came home with two notebooks filled with opportunities for our customers.

We learned from Michele Miller, author of The Soccer Mom Myth, about the dangers of stereotyping female consumers.

David Young talked about the 6-steps of online conversion. David is a Persuasion Architect and teacher who also taught about persona based marketing. The Meet Ms. Jones analysis from Amy Lively and our marketing partners at R&A Marketing are already likely to be the best 1-2 punch in persona writing in the United States.

Peter Nevland from Spoken Groove rocked our world with his wonderful mix of fun, funky, and faithfulness. Peter challenged the room to be unafraid of crazy little ideas. Hopefully he’ll do a young writers workshop at our daughter’s school this year; our Midwest customers will not want to miss it when he does.

Tom Wanek, one of the newer partners, explained how biological signaling theory can be translated into our retail showrooms: simply stated, the combination of what you say and what you do signals customers what to expect or cause confusion when your words and your actions conflict (I talk about this as personal experience in the May 29 post, “Quicksand.”) Tom is a smart retail mind. You should begin to follow him.

Clay Campbell from Kentucky Opry brought down the house with his authenticity. His daytime job is writing books and helping small business owners achieve their wildest dreams. His new book, “12 Steps to A Better Website” is fantastic. Many ideas to improve our client’s sites will come from Clay’s work.

These are just 5 of the 14 presenters. The others were equally great.

In family-owned retail, the competition continues to stiffen. The Lively Merchant and R&A Marketing are constantly studying inside and outside our industry expertise to bring you the best ideas from around the world.

Stay tuned.

This fall, R&A Marketing will host a whirlwind 1-day no-holds barred seminar on small business marketing. Our customers already testify to the benefits of being in relationship, but we want a whole new audience for the day. Details will be posted here later, or contact us for more information. I know it will knock your socks off.