In anticipation of this year’s PodCamp, I attended the SpeakerUp meeting the organizers hold for individuals interested in presenting a session. At the event, I helped explain and elaborate on some of the concepts past speakers were discussing with a nice gentleman sitting next to me. At the end of the meeting, I distributed a few business cards with individuals, including the man sitting next to me. The week following the meeting I received a nice matte card in the mail at my day job with cj Advertising, the card was from the nice gent I was conversing with, a Tennessee state representative.
Every opportunity to connect with others is important. No matter the size of the event or the location; anytime there is a chance to network, it should be taken. Every industry has it’s own form of technical conference. Some are meant to connect businesses with customers others connect businesses with other businesses that can augment the methods an organization uses to service their clientele. In search and online marketing, there are a number of events that help industry professionals share knowledge, develop strategy, identify changes and create new valuable relationships. There is no college or certificate program for search marketing. The knowledge SEOs/SEMs/Analysts and other web technologists use to perform our duties comes from monitoring search engine signals, paying attention to news or releases, industry events and networking with others.
One of the first networking events I attended was PodCamp Nashville in 2010. Aside from getting out and talking shop at the Cadillac Ranch in downtown Nashville, the event opened my mind to the fact that not all knowledge is contained in a book or behind some velvet rope. Many gurus and experts have obtained these statuses from developing their networks and following other specialists as they develop their own methods for problem solving.
As my father often told me growing up, “if you’re gonna walk through a minefield, follow someone.”
True experts, regardless of the industry, know when they have reached the end of their knowledge base. The ‘expert’ has the wisdom to ask for help; either from friends or people with the know-how to find the solutions. This ‘wisdom’ requires knowing who you can turn to; hence the importance of networking. If you are questioning whether 2013’s PodCamp Nashville is worth your time, ask yourself one question: how valuable is your network?
After attending SMX West in 2012, I found that creating real-world connections was important to my professional success. Just as a website needs visitors, your marketing/advertising success requires that someone take an interest in or at the least, know about you. You may have Earth-shattering ideas or concepts; but if no one hears your voice it doesn’t matter.
Now for a worthwhile plug! This year’s PodCamp is free to attend and they’re are some great speakers offering up important information, including myself! At this event you can:
- Network with professionals from around Nashville (not just marketers and advertisers either).
- Learn more about some of the big names in the Music City: Emma, Horton, Raven and so many more!
- Enjoy learning about several digital areas: web marketing, self-publishing, content creation, Google, etc.
So, register and start signing up for sessions (make sure to sign up for mine: Becoming THE Authority on Google). The only thing you’ll need to pay for is the gas to get to the Hotel Preston, your lunch ($15) and any drinks you may want to lubricate your palate with. You have nothing stopping you from succeeding but yourself.
Following PodCamp, there are a number of networking opportunities that allow PodCampers and others to link up. If you could or could not make it out to the event, there are still tons of opportunities to meet up with speakers or event goers. Find these individuals on Twitter (#PCN13) or visit PodCamp’s website for follow up blogs and posts: http://www.podcampnashville.org/pcn13/news/pcn13-rewind-blog-tour
Here is my slide deck from my presentation.