In just two short weeks, I’ll be in Cleveland taking part in my third Content Marketing World in as many years. With so many conferences, many in more glamorous locations, what keeps me coming back for more? In one word: community.
Throughout the year, I get to check in with the Content Marketing World community through the Tuesday morning (my time) #CMworld twitter chats. I love seeing the familiar faces each week, and enjoy have a place to catch up on what’s new on content marketing and hear from my peers as to what’s working. I leave every week with a number of ideas to put into practice for myself and my clients.
But I have to say, although I look forward to kicking off my Tuesday mornings each week with the chat, nothing beats having a week of content marketing immersion in Cleveland at the conference. That’s my time to focus 100% on learning more about content marketing and connecting in person with the awesome folks I’ve gotten to know through twitter.
I will admit I’m more than a little sad that I won’t be having Brandie McCallum by my side this year though. She was absolutely the best conference buddy I’ve ever had. It’s hard to believe that was our first time meeting in person because she instantly felt like an old friend. That’s the power of the #CMworld community for you.
This time last year, I'd just transitioned from consulting into running social media and content full time at Anaplan. It was a great opportunity to shape the content strategy and processes for a global company. It's pretty rare to work for a start-up with offices—and content—serving customers on four continents. It was fun to build up the team from just myself and a new social media manager when I started to a team of six content professionals creating compelling content.
But after a year of managing Anaplan's content in-house, I was starting to get the consulting itch again. I missed having the cross-pollination effects that come from creating content for multiple clients, and different industries. And that's when a new opportunity arose that was a perfect fit: leading content for Highwire PR, a San Francisco-based technology communications firm.
In addition to SF, Highwire has offices in NYC and Chicago and focuses on innovative companies in the industries (finance, enterprise tech, healthcare) that have made up the bulk of my career. I get to work on building the agency's content bureau, including defining processes, building the content team, and working with clients on both content strategy and content creation. It's an amazingly awesome combination of the favorite parts of my previous jobs, all rolled into one.
And did I mention there's an adorable office dog? I'm not saying that was the clincher...but...she's pretty darn cute, don't you think?
A photo posted by @misserikasf on Jul 27, 2015 at 1:43pm PDT
This is my first agency gig, so it's been fun learning the ropes and seeing what makes agency life similar to (and quite different from) my prior consulting and in-house content team management gigs. Look for more blog posts from me as I share some of the things I learn along the way.
It's been a few months since I've had time to sit down and write a blog post for myself. You see, in July, I accepted a full-time gig with one of my clients, Anaplan. Since coming home from speaking at the incredibly inspiring 2014 Content Marketing World I've been heads-down on building out our content marketing strategy and team. So although I've still been able to keep up with folks on twitter, the blogs have been a bit neglected.
That said, I've got a lot in store for 2015. I'm planning on guesting on a new social media podcast (I love podcasts and hope to do more of them this year), I have an overflowing Evernote notebook full of blog post ideas, and I plan to actively look for new ways to be an active part of the awesome content marketing community I'm so happy to have found through social media.
What's on your plate for 2015? And how can I be a part of it?
Last year, I headed out to Content Marketing World as a self-employed content marketing consultant, eager to connect with other content marketers working with technology start-ups on creating effective content marketing organizations. This year I was back on the plane to Cleveland for the conference, but this time as a client-side marketer, building a global content marketing infrastructure for my employer, the business planning and execution platform Anaplan. What’s amazing about the conference we regulars refer to by its weekly twitter chat hashtag #CMworld is the conference had just as much value to me in both of these roles.
It's Monday and I'm in Cleveland so that can only mean 1 thing: It's time for Content Marketing World 2014!
This time last year, when I headed out to Content Marketing World, I'd just embarked on taking a year to work as an independent content marketing and social media consultant. The conference had amazing content, gave me a number of great takeaways, and inspired a number of great conversations with other content marketers in more than the usual 140 characters (shoutout to the weekly #cmworld twitter chat!)
After a fab lunch at Urban Farmer a stone's throw from the convention center, I'm getting myself setup for two days worth of learning, ideation and note taking, and thought I'd share my tactics for making the most of the conference.
#1 Make sure you know who you want to meet, and make it a priority to do so!
I have to give a hat tip to Brandie McCallum for getting me to make my personal list ahead of time. Of course, having the conference speakers and attendees listly going helped in actually compiling my personal must-meet list. It doesn't matter where this list lives, as long as you can carry it with you. In my case, since I am an introvert and wanted to see if I could be personally introduced to a few folks, I put mine in a note in a shared Evernote notebook. Which brings me to the next point...
#2 Setup a note taking system.
For best results, you want to have all your notes in one place, whether that means your orange Content Marketing World notebook or a digital file. I'm setting up my session notes in that shared Evernote Notebook so I can easily share them w/my team back in the office after the conference. I'll be taking down my notes via my laptop but with my iPad mini also at hand. I'll use the iPad for snapping photos I want to share and for keeping an open mind map file to track ideas that will inevitably come to me as a results of being at the event.
#3 Use a tool to make livetweeting easier.
I typically use Hootsuite as my dashboard for livetweeting because I can easily keep an eye on the other tweets going in the conference stream, any replies sent to me, and my sent tweets, all in the same dashboard tab, side by side. This helps me easily keep tabs on what others in my session are sharing. That way, I can amplify other POVs, and save on some typing to boot!
For those of you who were at Content Marketing World last year, what are some of your tips for making the most of the event? Let me know on twitter and in the comments.