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Who Stole The #SLCSEM / #DMC2015 Show... For Me?

September 4th, 2015 | 7 min read

By Darin "Doc" Berntson

Who Stole The #SLCSEM / #DMC2015 Show... For Me?

Locked on Sports. Locked on Jazz. Locked on Digital Marketing?

Wednesday was the first-ever SLCSEM Digital Marketing Conference here in Utah, and it was pretty freaking awesome.

There were around 300 people in attendance at this all-day online marketing shindig. There were four great keynote presenters, 12 break-out sessions, a ton of yummy food, and a live band with an open bar to end the day on a fun note.

Yup, it was freaking great!

While I could go on in-depth, talking about many of the awesome sessions I attended, the one I want to focus on here is the presentation given by David Locke, the radio voice of the Utah Jazz, and podcaster.

Before the event started I was wondering what on earth will David Locke have to say that pertains to me. Seriously, WHAT? In fact, David mentioned in his presentation that he didn't even know why he was asked to present in the first place, saying that he may only have 10 minutes of material and then could talk about the Utah Jazz the rest of the time. However, David went on for 50 minutes, having to rush towards the end to get finished on time.

He was on a roll, and the attendees seemed to be enjoying his presentation.

After seeing the likes of Cyrus Shepard from Moz drop some killer SEO information, Duane Forrester from Bing discuss all things mobile, and oddly electric cars, Lee Odden from TopRank Online Marketing basically gave away the farm on how he does what he does (maybe not that much), I came away with my favorite keynote presentation being from David Locke. Say what?

Cyrus, Duane, and Lee... they, of course, were freaking awesome, and shared a lot of great information and data. The same goes for many of the other presenters. But, the guy who came in with virtually no data at all, just his passion and story, stole the show for me.

Look, I hear the data all day, every day. Hell, I live in the world of data. But what David Locke brought to the show was passion and a real joy for doing what he does. In fact, he doesn't care about the data. He could not find the data if he tried. (OK, maybe he could) What he does care about is his audience, and bringing the content to them that they want to see and hear.

Let's look at some highlights, along with some tweets from the event.

Fail, and Fail Often

Locke has most of his success with his podcast (which he also streams on Google Hangouts) as well as Twitter and Instagram, He tries other platforms, such as Vine and Pinterest, but he just can't get them to work for him. And he is 100% fine with that!

To this, I will add that you don't need to be everywhere on the web. You need to be where the consumers of your content are. So, it makes sense why Pinterest would not work so well for Locke. Unless he wants to get into his favorite nacho recipes, or maybe his favorite NBA swag he can ink to? 

Consistency Is a Stat You Must Not Ignore

Lock spoke about the absolute need to be consistent in what you are producing. If you are going to do a show, write a blog, or whatever, do it with consistency.

He Is Not Perfect, Nor Does He Claim To Know It All

In his presentation, he full-on admits he has no clue (though I think he does) what he is doing, and afterward put out this tweet.

He has the first rule of Twitter down… Listen. =)

Just Get Started. If You Fail, Move On

Here is David's first-ever “Tip Off” show. He had no idea how it would go back in 2011. Is he glad he did it? You bet!

Know When To Stop

All of the above is one thing if you are producing great content that people love. But, at the end of the day, if your content is crap, and you are not getting any traction or having any success, just stop already. Pull the plug, and try something else.

The Radio Rule. Really, There's This Rule?

Locke said this, quoted by Dan here on Twitter:

This rule is not just a radio rule, it applies to marketing, or business in general as well You are only as good as your word, and commitment to what you do. 

The One-on-One Touch

This is Social Media 101, folks… but it seems that many people, and brands have forgotten this, assuming they ever did it in the first place. Twitter is a great place to listen, engage, and be human to your fans and followers.

Locke even mentioned how he will often reach out to fans on Facebook and wish them a Happy Birthday. That blows his fans away and makes them remain fans and consume his content.

This is a guy working is brand like crazy.

Earlier in the morning Cyrus from Moz was talking about heavily investing in social. Not from ad spend, though they do that too, investing in humans to do social better. Moz, as well as Locke, understand that social is indeed that, social... and they are all in!

So Was Locke a Good Fit For This Conference?

I’ll be the first to admit that I was not jumping out of my seat to see Locke present. I used to listen to him years ago on the radio, but I am not a Jazz fan like I used to be, and I was not familiar with what Locke has been up to online. But, I will tell you this, his presentation was the most human, and inspiring of the day. He made me remember how much I used to LOVE social media and personal branding. He got me excited to want to try new things again and build my own voice. Not because the data says so, but because he loves what he does... as I do.

All day, I mostly heard great comments about David Locke and his presentation. Was it perfect? No. But it was his first, EVER!

Some people didn't like the fact that he had no data, other than a tweet with 700+ RTs. WHO CARES? The moral of this presentation, as I absorbed it, was live, breathe, and sleep passion for what you do.

You Gotta Love It, Baby!

He said something to the effect of "If you are 25 or 45 years old, and you are not happy doing what you are doing, find something that you love and do that".

This guy gets to live out his dream job every day. He knows more about basketball in his left-hand thumb than I will ever know (or want to know) about basketball. He is a true success at what he does, as well as an early adopter in his job among his peers. No one in the NBA is doing what he is doing.

He is not just the voice of the Utah Jazz, calling out all the play-by-play action, but a brand ambassador for the team, as well as the NBA. He has fans all over the globe, and it is easy to see why.

Wrapping Up

David Locke reminds me of two people in the Internet marketing world:

  • Gary Vaynerchuk. Gary bleeds passion, has street smarts like no one else, and has the willingness to try every channel to see how he can make it work for himself and his clients. 
  • Marcus Sheridan aka The Sales Lion. Marcus has a way to give a presentation in a way that brings not only the problem but the solution to the masses. Meaning, he can break it down to what anyone can understand, and think to themselves “ah ha, I can go and do that”!

Both Gary and Marcus have an amazing story behind their personal and professional brands. David Locke, while he may not know it, is headed in that same direction. With a little bit of polish here and there on his presentation, David could find himself on a summertime speaking circuit across the US talking about how and why he does what he does, and the audience will eat it up!

While all the data and insights I heard from the other speakers were beyond awesome, nothing stuck with me more than David Locke's keynote. He is 100% passionate, loves what he does for a living, and lives to share his content with the fans!  

Sometimes it is not all about the numbers, we’ll, OK maybe it is. But before you have the numbers, you have to have your why, and the passion to do what you do, or you may as well go hang up your jersey, and retire.

Until next time,


Darin "Doc" Berntson

Owner/Head Coach @ Bernco Media. Digital sales & marketing since 1997. Passion for teaching companies to be the most trusted voice in their space. They Ask, You Answer Certified Coach & HubSpot Certified Partner & Trainer. Reversed Type 2 Diabetes doing KETO. Wears Mickey Mouse Daily. Daydreaming of next Disneyland Trip.