Sharing the PodCamp Experience

This was the first year I felt I needed PodCamp.  I have always considered myself a marketing innovator, but in 2011, something happened.  In 2011, for the first time in my life, the World was moving faster than I was.  In the past, I felt I was always one step ahead of the game when it came to social media, and how to use it in marketing to engage an audience – but this year – so much changed – I felt I needed to freshen up on my social media skills, innovate again, and simply, be inspired.

2011 marked a major career change from retail marketing, something I have done my whole life, to more conservative marketing.  2011 saw Google+ launch, location based marketing explode, and people finally taking Twitter and Facebook seriously.  With all of these tools at our disposal, how can a marketer leverage them to engage with their customers?  How can people use it personally to thrive and grow and to share?  How can social media help a career?  How can it kill it.  Those are some of the reasons I went to PodCamp.

I am not a comfortable person in public.  By nature, I am an ITNJ (Briggs-Myers).  I don’t like crowds.  I am an introvert.  I don’t share unless I have a complete understanding of a task.  And I am skeptical of so called social media experts.  I don’t trust anyone who claims to be a social media expert – because I really feel in this game, you can only continue to learn and grow.  You can get better.  You can evolve.  But you cannot be an expert in social media.

That’s why I love PodCamp.  There are no experts at PodCamp – just real and passionate people who love what they do, and love sharing what they do with others.  Ego’s are left at the door.  Everyone is there for one purpose – to learn, grow and share in a non-threatening environment.  That is the root of why PodCamp was developed and continues to thrive six years after it’s launch.  It is a place to learn and grow, without feeling intimidated by your lack of knowledge.

I was only able to attend Saturday, but I learned a lot in this one day.  The first session I peaked in on was Chris Dilla’s.  Chris has always inspired me, as I have watched her use social media to grow a small business @bocktown into a highly reputable craft beer   and restaurant.  Chris inspires me because she has s true hunger and passion – my guess is she has no marketing dollars, and yet she has put @bocktown on the map locally as a destination for beer and food  People know about it, they respect it, and they want to meet there.  Sure the food is good.  The beer is great – but she doesn’t know that people are coming because of her – and nothing else. Truly inspiring to watch.

Another session that inspired me was the Financial Planning for Freelancers presented by Russell Dunkin.  What amazed me about this session is that it was a boring topic – yet the room was full and engaged.  PodCamp used to be about hobbies, side jobs – but now – PodCamp was about careers and entrepreneurs.  I got a lot of ideas from this session because it was closely tied to what I do – and I realized upon leaving that people are interested in finances.  They want to be in control.

I attended a few other sessions.  I grabbed lunch.  I saw some zombies.  I talked with a guy I work with.  I met some Pittsburgh A-Listers.  I did all of that – and I did it all for a small VIP donation.  It amazes me that PodCamp is free – when so called social media experts are charging hundreds of dollars for webinars on the latest and greatest trends.  The amount of knowledge shared and the passion at this event make it one of the go to events in Pittsburgh.

I only have two goals from one I took from PodCamp – to restart my blog and to use some of what I learned everyday to engage, listen, and grow my customers.

PodCamp 7?  You know it!

— Chris Lovett

AKA @burghdaddy










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