After some encouraging comments from the community about my previous work diary, I thought I’d also post about my experience at my first
SEO inbound marketing conference. I know what you’re thinking – does this guy ever stop and take a break? No rest for the wicked, my friends…
7.30am – Super pumped about my first conference! Irritating that I had to get up early for the train, but these are the types of sacrifices that an inbounder has to make on a daily basis, no biggie. 1st class seats though, that’s what I’m talking about! Luckily I came suited and booted, possibly the best dressed in the carriage. Just call me James Bond; James Bond.
Disaster! I was just in the toilet moisurising and I noticed some white paint in my hair! Dulux non-drop gloss – it does NOT come out easy. Why did the Mrs have to make me paint the day before my big conference? She’s never understood how important I am.
While I wait for a taxi I double check that I’m following all the conference speakers on Twitter so that they recognise me. One of them has used a ridiculous cartoon avatar. This really doesn’t help. Am I having a panic attack? I send them each a jovial tweet and drop in a joke about (not provided).
8.30am – I’ve arrived! An attractive woman asks me for my autograph and hands me a lanyard with my personal brand and Twitter handle on. I doubt I’ll need it with all the work I have done in the last few months developing my real online persona. Guest posting FTW! I can’t see any of my Twitter friends nearby so I grab an espresso and find my way to the cool seats (I decide to sit near the back so I can chat to my neighbours and make new friends while the presentations are on). A true inbounder never misses an opportunity to network!
9:30am – I connect the holy trinity (laptop, iPad and iPhone) to the Wi-Fi so I can start live-blogging. This is what I’ve read other people do at conferences so I better get on it, after all if I don’t write about it where will my readers get the information from?! I Evernoted a YouMoz post the other week about someone’s live-blog getting them over 1000 new business leads afterwards. And 0% bounce rate! I’m going to fill my boots! My awesome live blogging hits a snag with Wi-Fi dropping out every 5 minutes. I’ll have to go for a round-up post instead. My old Nokia phone is the only thing that can connect to 3G, at least I can tweet from that. I start live tweeting every word anyone says, along with the conference hashtag. My fingers are sore but it’s worth it. Regurgitation is king!
10.30am – Sitting at the back was a masterstroke! I am all over the coffee and cakes as soon as the break starts, and my networking plan is working perfectly. The guy to my right is a German called Hans who owns a massive pharmaceuticals company. I get his Twitter ID and add him straightaway. I let him see my profile page first and play the waiting game. I’m pretty sure he was impressed that I’ve got over 1,000 real followers.
11.30am – In an effort to develop our relationship further I show Hans the meme I made of Rand and a beard-based pun. He doesn’t seem to know who Rand is. What an amateur. Holy crap! The current speaker just said he built his slide deck last night – what a legend! Planning is for pussies.
12.30pm – I see some of my Twitter buddies over lunch talking to a couple of the speakers. Probably asking for advice again. I casually stroll over to impart some wisdom of my own. Annoyingly, I don’t get introduced to the speakers and they cut me out the conversation. In their defence, it’s highly likely that they see me as a threat. I abandon my friends and spend the rest of the lunch hour tweeting the conference hashtag with witty remarks. My aim is to get total coverage of the tweet wall. It’ll be impossible to avoid me in any Storify based posts – more brand value. I ask Siri to remind me to get my IQ tested again. I’ll surely get that invitation from Mensa any day now.
1.30pm – Refresh… nope. Refresh… YES! I’ve got a new follower! My tweet wall work is paying off already. Svetlana from Czech Republic. I immediately follow back – my auto-response will send her a message thanking her for the follow. I get back to live-tweeting and set the company Twitter account to retweet my musings. Social media automation is the future and I am its God.
2.30pm – The afternoon is drifting slightly, I’m not really interested in this content marketing presentation. Ok, ok, so content marketing does have its merits but come on it’s nothing on inbound marketing right? Anyway everyone knows that AuthorRank is the next big thing. That reminds me I need to upload a new headshot to Google+ so my author snippet shows up in the SERPs…
3.30pm – Finally another break! The live tweeting has made it hard to focus on the presentations. I really should learn to automate Siri and live tweeting, would save a lot of hard work! I tweet at each of the speakers that their presentation was the best of the day and wait for a response.
4.30pm – A hit! Wil Reynolds retweeted me! This is a turning point for my career, I can feel it. I wonder if he’d be interested in my latest blog post? I’ll tweet it to him later and we can discuss the points I raised at the after-party. I reply to all his other tweets and end with ‘twitter stalking FTW’ & #RCS. He’ll love that.
5.30pm – Conference over, quick change then it’s party time! I’ve told most of my Twitter mates I will ‘buy’ them a drink at the free bar! I’m such a card. I’m staying at the ‘official’ conference hotel. It’s on the company anyway and you get a Mac in every room! Although I don’t actually like Macs cos the buttons are all back to front.
6.30pm – I write up my feedback as soon as I’m back at the hotel and schedule my draft to publish whilst I’m at the party. Classic. I get halfway to the party before realising I’ve left my business cards in my other jacket! I rush back to get them. I’ve had new ones printed with ‘Inbound Marketing Ninja’ as my job title. That will definitely impress Rand.
7.30pm onwards – [REDACTED]