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When you look at any success, personal or otherwise, there is always a tipping point that you can point to: a moment, a decision, a specific action, that made that first domino fall and put everything in motion. Earlier this year, I left a corporate job that I had held for over 11 years, to pursue my passion and take my digital marketing consultancy full time. When I look back at everything that happened to get me to this point, I absolutely credit attending Social Media Marketing World as my domino.
Today I’m sharing with you the three specific ways that I tripled my business this year… and it all started with SMMW15 (I attended again in 2016, too!) Watch the video, or keep reading!
Inspiration aka “I Can Too”
Social Media Marketing World inspired me in unexpected ways. When I attended SMMW for the first time (in 2015), I had JUST started by blog and Instagram account. I was excited, but I was also suffering from a heavy case of, “who the heck is going to listen to me?!” Despite my many years of real-world experience, why would anyone trust what I have to say about social media, let alone follow me on Instagram!
One of the most unique aspects of Social Media Marketing World is the access to the speakers. I have been to many conferences, but have never seen keynoters and presenters hang out and engage the way they do at SMMW. Here I was, sitting in rooms with my biggest heroes. The biggest social media bloggers with hundreds of thousands of followers.
Every session started by the speaker telling a short version of their “backstory,” or how they got started in social media. I was struck by the normalcy of their journeys. None of these folks had anything extraordinary in their past. No silver platters, just hard work.
I realized that they were who they were because they did the work, and put into practice the lessons that they preached. I too could grow my blog and my social media following by simply putting into practice what I already knew to work.
Attending SMMW15 helped me to crystallize what I needed to do in my business to take things to the next level.
You can learn a lot from reading blog posts or watching YouTube videos, but the sessions at Social Media Marketing World are on a different level. The presenters at Social Media Marketing World are often experts in a specific platform, and their sessions are full of content that you can often only find in their paid programs. It’s like getting to attend the paid courses of all your favorite experts for one, locked-in price… except you also get to MEET them in person, and see your classmates face-to-face. Attending SMMW also introduced me to some new experts that weren’t on my radar.
The knowledge I’ve gained from attending the conference has helped me better serve my clients, improve results, and pitch new prospects more confidently.
Connections That Up Level
I am an introvert, and I don’t consider myself to be good at “networking.” Sure, I’m friendly, but that’s just it. When I walk into a hall with hundreds of strangers, it’s overwhelming. I don’t approach my interactions with a mentality of, “how can I help this person, and how can they help me?”
However, the conference organizers make networking nearly idiot-proof. I’ve never known a conference to go over, above, and beyond to connect people to each other. There are themed-tables at lunch, so you can meet with like-minded people. There is a LinkedIn group and a Slack community so you can try to find people beforehand.
As a result, I’ve met people that have become strategic partners in my business. People with very different, yet complementary, skillsets. I turn to these connections when I’m stumped by a client, and don’t know how to help them. Sometimes I send leads to friends that I think are better suited to serve a client. Sometimes I am on the receiving end of a lead.
The wild part to me, is that I wasn’t even looking for new connections, but being in a place with like-minded individuals is just magical! (Yes, I went there.)
One last great reason to attend Social Media Marketing World 2017: San Diego, America’s Finest City. Need I say more?
Belief, Knowledge, Connections (and San Diego). Will I see you in San Diego this year?