TechPhx … started as a two-day workshop for technology buffs and has grown phenomenally over the past few years into an unconference for new media enthusiasts and professionals including bloggers, podcasters, writers, musicians, social media fans and content creators of every kind and continues to go strong on their 7th year even after a rebrand last year.
I first attended in 2011 and have been a speaker for the last two years. The vibe is awesome and everyone goes as a teacher and a learner whether they are speaking or not. It is two days filled with inspiring keynotes, a plethora of knowledgeable speakers and four to five tracks (audio, social, visual, writing & blogging, coding & geekery, marketing & biz) to choose from each hour.
Here are the main highlights of the opening and closing keynotes, along with the top takeaway from the sessions I attended (with links to the recordings):
In 2006, this husband and wife team were scared to become entrepreneurs, but did it anyway with a simple goal of earning enough money to pay for gas and enjoy a monthly dinner out. They worked hard, built connections and they worked off trade, along with many nights of struggle, excitement and nervousness. They remained focused on their first mover advantage, quality and excellent customer service. Fast forward seven years later, and we learned they switched from free content to a paid membership model, wrote two books, Nicole was able to quit her full time job and even passed on two lucrative buyout opportunities. They discovered they wanted to be in control of their destiny (ha, as much as possible!) and enjoy a lifestyle business that meets their needs, values and goals on their schedule and terms.
The Business of Writing: Moving from Author to Entrepreneur by Karen Baney
It is imperative to understand who would buy your book before writing, self-publishing is coming back in style, and there are plenty of resources available to help authors navigate the business of writing here.
Twitter Chats: Be the Host with the Most! by Angelique
Start by defining your hashtag conversation topic, time slot and have guests use “Q” in front of the questions, so others can follow more easily and the host can answer in a timely manner. When you are ready to jump in, get ready, because the conversation moves fast!
Brand YOU: Identify before You Amplify by Kathy Bass
The title sums up my talk and I would be biased with my takeaways, so you’ll just have to watch it here or check out the 11 slides here. As always, feel free to comment below with any questions or comments … or if you attended, I would love to hear your key takeaway.
RSS for the Perplexed: A look at RSS in Breadth and Depth by Naum Trifanoff
RSS can turbocharge your web reading experience, Blogtrottr and FeedBlitz are the top two ways to easily subscribe to the blogs you love (without getting all those annoying pop-up ads) and increase your audience following.
Why Video: How to Show Your Story in 3 min or Less using “Golden Circle” by Ita Udo-Ema
Building off the popular “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek and following how our brains are wired; change your story order to “Why, How & What” and if you are uncomfortable with videotaping yourself (very common – try the 10-10 challenge – tape 10 (60 second videos) for 10 days. As of this writing and a reminder tweet from Ita, I’m on day 6 and proud to say I’m becoming friends with the video camera. Thanks Ita!
Media Social: You’ve Got it Backwards by Jennifer Maggiore (link not available on this one)
Loved how she backed up her title by showing personal photos instead of slides, so she could be social while being present and providing good and bad media examples along with some powerful social media engagement ideas for the small business owner.
From Podcast to Media Personality: Podcasting, Streaming, Marketing, Revenue by Randall Libero
The internet is a media business, you are a media company and the producer makes things happen. It’s all about perception and the media personalities with the largest audiences are those that speak from the heart and care about their audience.
Closing Keynote — #BeDangerous by Derek Neighbors, Co-founder of Gangplank
Dangerous doesn’t mean bad, risky or dumb; it means being vulnerable, stretching your self to be uncomfortable and practicing to become a better person one day at a time. Derek pointed out how we are extremely connected, yet people are more lonely than ever. Why? Because they forgot to be human. We are wired to do our best work when we are emotionally and mentally connected – which requires offline human contact. We need to have more emotional and mental presence, along with accountability. We need more humanity, community and innovation.
Innovation first requires chaos, then creativity, then collaboration which leads to innovation … all sandwiched in between FUN and excellence. At the end of the day, we all have an abundance of greatness to unlock our unique magnificence. Where is your magnificence? Have you found it yet? Want to find it? Get challenged and inspired here.
After two fun filled learning and sharing days, I left with tons of tips and knowledge nuggets, saw old friends, met new friends and enjoyed wonderful conversations with a variety of people, along with landing two radio interviews, twitter chat guest spot, three potential new clients and even won a $50 Amazon gift card — all unexpected bonuses because I arrived with the intention of being present, not with an agenda! Thank you TechPHX organizers, volunteers, attendees and speakers for an awesome event and UAT — University of Advancing Technology for hosting us!
Bottom line: Unconferences rule, especially local ones like TechPHX, and if you just show up and be present, you will walk away with so much abundance of good.
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